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Student Guide – the ZHAW at a glance

Campus

CampusCard

The CampusCard is primarily a student identification card. It can also be used to pay for goods, services and the use of equipment (e.g. printers and copiers) or to access the relevant university buildings (depending on the School) outside of open hours. The ZHAW catering services only apply the student discount when payment is made with the CampusCard. In addition, the CampusCard functions as a library card. For members of the ASVZ, the Academic Sports Association of Zurich (of which students are automatically members), the CampusCard serves as their membership card. Finally, many restaurants and shops give discounts to students when they show their CampusCard. Further information on the CampusCard, including the issuing offices and discount overviews, can be found on the intranet.

University Library

In Winterthur, Zurich and Wädenswil, students have access to modern libraries with large collections of specialised literature for the relevant disciplines at each location. In addition, the Winterthur library offers a unique study environment. Detailed information on electronic media, library use, courses, open hours and contacts for personal consultations with the University Library’s information specialists can be found online.

Canteens

A variety of canteens (Mensa), cafeterias and coffee bars can be found at each ZHAW location. In Winterthur and Wädenswil, SV Switzerland is responsible for catering. You can find everything from small snacks to full meals, all at reasonable prices. Meal plans, open hours and further information can be found online.

Open hours

The ZHAW buildings are open to the public during normal teaching hours. Special open hours apply between semesters. The CampusCard still provides access to many ZHAW buildings even outside of open hours.

Service Centers

The Service Centers provide all kinds of copy and print services as well as complementary services such as binding and laminating (except in Zurich). In addition, the Service Centers issue the CampusCard and provide assistance in case of questions and problems regarding the CampusCard such as malfunction, loss or credit balance payouts.

Safety and security

The ZHAW has an emergency number, 058 934 70 70, which is available around the clock, 365 days per year, and operated by an external partner of the ZHAW. This number must be called in all emergencies to ensure quick action can be taken on-site. All public emergency services are summoned directly by the emergency centre in consultation with the caller. The ZHAW emergency app lists the key rules on what to do in emergencies such as fire, accident or evacuation. If you register through the app, you will receive important and useful information in the event of an emergency.

Maps and floor plans

Detailed floor plans and addresses for the Winterthur, Zurich and Wädenswil locations can be found on the intranet. Individual buildings are labelled clearly on the campus maps.

Studies

Study abroad

A stay abroad is an opportunity to build an international network, gain intercultural skills and deepen your knowledge of foreign languages. During a semester or year abroad, students can study or do an internship at a company or an organisation. Credits obtained abroad are generally recognised by the home university. The ZHAW works with partner universities around the globe. Students who complete a semester or year abroad within the framework of the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP, the Swiss programme for Erasmus+) generally receive financial support. You can also gain international experience through a double or joint degree programme, at a summer or winter school or during work on your Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis. Please contact the International Relations Office at your School.

Digital learning

At the ZHAW, a range of digital teaching, learning and examination formats are deployed, including blended learning, a combination of classroom and online learning. The digital formats support location- and time-independent study and allow the use of cutting-edge technologies. Through the Moodle learning platform, teachers can provide materials and exercises in the form of videos or quizzes in order to consolidate, supplement or substitute classroom learning. A wide variety of tools help students work together virtually and strengthen their digital skills.

Legal provisions

The key laws governing your studies, such as the Federal Act on the Funding and Coordination of the Higher Education Sector or the law governing the universities of applied sciences of the Canton of Zurich, can be found online (some only in German).

Semester dates

The autumn semester starts on 1 August and ends on 31 January, while the spring semester starts on 1 February and ends on 31 July. These are the time frames in which the teaching and examination periods of each semester take place. Students are expected to spend the time outside of teaching and examination periods for independent or guided self-study.

Programme regulations and appendices for new students

The programme regulations and the General Academic Regulations with appendices for new students in their first semester can be found online.

Communication and information

General information

Fact sheets on social security (OASI, DI, income compensation), financial aid, data transfer and other issues relating to your studies can be found on the intranet.

ICT

All ZHAW students receive their own personal e-mail address (username@students.zhaw.ch), disk space for data storage as well as internet and intranet access. There is a wireless network across all campuses. You can view your user information and change or reset your password using the SelfAdmin Service. The ZHAW network can also be accessed remotely. The self-service portal of the ZHAW Service Desk offers further information regarding practical matters and the possibility to submit support requests. It also offers an ICT introduction for new students.

Communication channels

Comprehensive information about the ZHAW can be found online at www.zhaw.ch and on the intranet at intra.zhaw.ch. The electronic infopoint provides all ZHAW members with the latest information regarding their School.

Social media

The ZHAW supports and promotes open dialogue on social media channels. It has formulated social media guidelines containing standards and recommendations on the use of social media. The purpose of these guidelines, among other things, is to protect the personal reputation of all ZHAW members and further strengthen the ZHAW brand. The guidelines and other helpful information regarding social media at the ZHAW can be found on the intranet.

By students for students

Alias is an association representing all students at the ZHAW while also promoting student culture. Through two information channels, Alias provides entertainment as well as the opportunity for active engagement. The online magazine Brainstorm provides free weekly information on current issues of interest, ranging from student life at the ZHAW to culture, food and travel – there’s something for everyone. The student radio station Campus.FM broadcasts shows on culture, sports, news reports, talk shows and much more every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All the shows are available as a podcast. Take a look, tune in and join in!

Contacts

Counselling

A dedicated team of counsellors is available to all students to help you organise your studies and solve issues. Key areas of focus include psychological counselling and coaching, financial aid, studying with a disability, balancing studies and family commitments, balancing studies and elite sports, studying abroad, and more. Counselling sessions are confidential and free of charge; the counsellors are bound by professional secrecy.

ZHAW Career Services

ZHAW Career Services offers information and counselling services to help students transition from student life to working life. These include individual career coaching, job application checks, interview practice, workshops on career assessment and career development, and an online platform with lots of information, links and book recommendations on topics related to career entry.

Compulsory military service

The Registrar’s Office provides information to all students with questions about compulsory civil protection, military or civilian service and helps them coordinate their service and studies.

Diversity

Through various projects and services, the Diversity Unit works to highlight the commonalities and differences between ZHAW members and harness this potential. It is committed to establishing institutional structures that guarantee equality of opportunity. It promotes equality between genders as well as people with different abilities and works on issues related to social and cultural background, sexual orientation, religion, nationality and age. In addition, it provides counsel on balancing studies and family commitments and helps in cases of discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.

Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office is the ZHAW’s central information office both within the university and in the public sphere. It manages the internal and external rental of spaces at the Technikumstrasse and Stadt-Mitte campuses, and is the point of contact for issues relating to students’ compulsory military service for the Winterthur Schools.

Academic offices

The academic offices are the first points of contact for students in case of questions regarding their studies. All contacts are listed online.

Service Desk

The Service Desk is the central point of contact for ZHAW members in case of questions or problems in the domains of the ZHAW Shared Services (Information & Communication Technology, Facility Management, Human Resources and Finances & Controlling). The Service Desk employees are on hand to ensure smooth operations throughout the university from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Studying with a disability

Students with a disability or a chronic illness are entitled to equal rights and support in overcoming barriers during their studies at the ZHAW. The ZHAW counsels students affected by disabilities or illnesses on all issues and processes relating to their studies. To apply for concessions to compensate for disadvantages, we recommend contacting the support office as early as possible.

Student representation

University Conference / Council of the Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts

The University Conference represents all members of the university and consists of representatives for the lecturers and teaching staff, research associates and assistants, administrative and technical staff and the student body. The Council of the Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts (FHR) is the highest body of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and Arts (ZFH) and is responsible for the strategic management of the ZFH universities. The students of the ZFH have one representative in the FHR with an advisory function.

VSZHAW is now Alias

The whole student body forms the ZHAW students’ association, Alias. Alias gives students a voice in dealing with the university, the authorities and third parties. The student council of Alias is the students’ official representative body; it consists of about 50 student members elected from all Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. They make key decisions and elect representatives to participate in the various committees. Alias’ committees deal with issues such as sustainability, university policy and diversity. In addition, the association organises events at all university locations. Alias invites all students to get involved and take an active part in the association.

Services and offers

Choir

Alpha-cappella is the ZHAW choir and includes about 80 singers. Rehearsals take place every Monday evening from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. in the auditorium of the School of Health Professions in Winterthur. The choir also offers voice training courses. Choir practice and voice training courses are open to students and employees from all disciplines. Further information and the registration form can be found on the choir website.

Sport

(Photo: ASVZ/Adrian Villiger)

The Academic Sports Association of Zurich (ASVZ) offers an incomparably diverse sports programme on behalf of the Zurich universities. ZHAW students are automatically members and benefit from free classes and fun courses and camps in more than 120 sports. The ASVZ website, app and newsletter provide an overview and the latest info.

Techshop

At the Techshop, ZHAW students can get notebooks, calculators, office materials and other items at very favourable conditions. The shop is located on the Technikumstrasse campus in Winterthur and is open at lunchtime during the semester. All products are also available online.

Theatre group and band

The students’ association runs a theatre group and a band, which are made up of students from various Schools. Both are based in Winterthur and are open to all students, with or without prior experience.

Discounts

A number of restaurants and shops at the ZHAW locations give discounts to students when they show their CampusCard. On the intranet, you can find a list of all the businesses where you get discounts. Students also benefit from discounts in other areas; for example, the SBB offers the GA travelcard to students between the ages of 25 and 30 (until their 30th birthday) for the same price as the travelcard for young adults up to age 25, which is CHF 2,650 for 2nd class and CHF 4,520 for 1st class. Contact your degree programme office to receive your certificate of enrolment, which is needed to get the student travelcard.

Accommodation

There are various student residences in Winterthur and Wädenswil run by the WOKO Student Housing Cooperative on behalf of the SWOWI Foundation for student housing. WOKO itself offers housing in Zurich for students of the Schools of Applied Psychology and Social Work and at Bürglistrasse in Winterthur. In addition, there is a residence for 105 students at Untere Briggerstrasse in Winterthur which is run by Livit AG (see studentenwohnen.ch); the “Wohnen für Hilfe” programme by Pro Senectute promotes homeshares where students can live with elderly people in return for help with household tasks; the Jugendwohnnetz offers inexpensive housing for students in Zurich; and numerous private flatshare offers can be found on websites such as wgzimmer.ch.