As a new student, you might have many questions when it comes to life in Passugg. Here is a quick guide as to what to expect when you are in our Swiss campus.
1. What is the weather like?
Having a look at the weather in detail, Switzerland comprises of all the 4 seasons around the year.
In the winter, especially on top of Passugg where our campus is located, we see temperatures that vary from a cool 3-10 degrees Celsius (°C), all the way down to freezing with icy rain and snow, which could also reach minus temperatures.
Spring (April & May) and fall (October & November) bring quite a variety of rain and wind mixed with warm sunny days, the temperature can change drastically from 8-20° in a day.
During summertime (June-October), the weather goes up to 20-28 degree Celsius, which is perfect if you want to go for a cool swim or just relax under the sun. Sometimes, it does reach mid-thirties too but that does not stop our students from having fun.
2. What is the city of Chur like?
Chur is the capital and the largest town of the Swiss canton Graubünden also known as Grisons, it is as well the oldest town in Switzerland. The official language of Chur is German (the Swiss variety of standard) , but the main spoken language is the local variant of the High Alemannic Swiss German dialect. Below are some websites that might help you get to know the city well.
- Chur-The Apline City - Helpful for activities to do in Graubünden.
- Little City - Travel & Food bloggers.
- Chur, Switzerland Tourism - A guide for famous attractions to visit and current events happening in the city.
3. What activities can you do?
Chur is more than just being archaic now. It offers a great variety of activities for enthusiastic individuals who want to seek a little adventure with a relaxing mind. Some of the destinations might not be in Chur, but they are not that far to reach by local transport.
- Adventure Room (Escape Room)
- Obere Au (Sports, Fitness and Wellness Center)
- Bundnerkunst Museum (Art Museum)
- Chur Bergbahnen (Cable Car Ride)
- Bernina Express (Alpine journey through the mountains)
- Crestasee & Caumsasee (Lakes)
- SalzKeller - Medical Floating Spa Chur (Relaxation & Spa)
4. Best restaurants to visit near Passugg
The following are a few restaurants in and around Chur, which are our students’ most visited restaurants. All the places are accessible by bus from Passugg and they are not very far away. It is always better to make reservations beforehand.
Local & Tapas: If you are a lover of tapas and local food, these places are worth visiting.
- Calanda: Located near the old city, this contemporary restaurant has a modern look & feel as well as a varied menu of market fresh food.
- Jamies: Great for steaks and it is also vegetarian friendly.
- Restaurant zum Zollhaus: Did someone say Cheese Fondue? This place is perfect for that.
- Pirahna Tapas Bar: It offers delicious food items on the Tapas Menu. A must try.
Italian: Who doesn’t love a good Pizza? They all offer great deals on Italian dishes and specialize in Pizzas.
- Mamma Mia: Freshly made pizzas and delicious desserts.
- Va Bene: Upscale modern European fine dining restaurant with a leading wine list & seasonal offerings.
- 10 Dieci Pizza Kurier: Even Justin Bieber visited this place, you can take a seat on the same chair.
Asian: Food that brings all your taste buds to life.
- Mekong Asia Restaurant: Authentic dishes from Southeast Asia and other flavors.
- Mandarin Oriental: It offers the best Thai and Chinese cuisine.
Take Away Options: Looking for a quick bite? We have you covered.
- Ciao Bella (Kebabs and more)
- Malteser Thai Haus (Thai specialties)
- American Snack Bar (American & Indian)
5. What hotel should my family/friends stay in?
- The Alpina Hotel
Located in Tschiertschen. It is a partner hotel with SSTH, offers spa facilities and more. 15 minutes by bus from the campus.
$$-Approx 150 CHF a night
- Ibis Chur
A business hotel, which is good for short stay. 20 minutes away from the campus.
$$-Approx 140 CHF a night
- Chur City West Hotel
Modern and easy to access with a benefit of shopping center near it. 20 minutes away from campus.
$$$-Approx 200 CHF a night
- ABC Swiss Quality Hotel
This is an elegant hotel with a mirrored facade and very close to the main train station. 15 minutes from the campus.
$$$-Approx 240 CHF a night
- Hotel Stern Chur
The Romantik Hotel Stern is a historic, 360 years old hotel in the centre of Chur.
$$-Approx 190 CHF a night
6. What documents are required for opening a bank account?
Documents that are required to open a student bank account might differ from bank to bank but most of them follow the same procedures. Documents that you may need:
- L/B-Permit or eligible ID
- Valid Passport
- Visa copy
- School enrollment document
7. What apps should I download?
The most efficient transport app that helps you in commuting all over Switzerland and neighboring locations.
A messaging app, most popular in Switzerland for free texts and calls.
Switzerland’s digital cash app. Links to phone number and bank account or pre-pay.
Order food to be picked up from local restaurants and delivered to you.
Helps in easy communication with school and your potential peers.
- City Guide apps
Official Swiss apps for attractions and site-seeing in Swiss cities.
As you begin exploring Switzerland, you will make friends from the country and join social and formal occasions. The Swiss apply a set of rather easy to follow rules:
- Always be punctual. The Swiss consider it as an insult if you arrive late or early.
- Always greet every individual if you are joining a crowd of people for a meeting, a game etc.
- Remember to say please and thank you and you are welcome (or the French, German or Italian equivalent).
- At the table: keep your hands above, and no elbows on the table, no talking with the mouth full, no telephone. If someone hands you a platter of food or a bottle of wine, always serve others first.
- Always look each person in the eyes when saying a toast; in Romanisch (the local language in Graubünden), they say “Viva”.
9. Mobile Phones
When choosing your mobile service provider, keep in mind:
- Unlimited 4G is useful when traveling around Switzerland and keeping in touch with your family overseas.
- Contracts usually last a minimum of a year and charge 300 CHF fee to change/cancel early.
- Possibility to purchase a SIM card separately, so you do not have to buy a new phone.
- Some of the mobile phone companies: Swisscom, Sunrise, Lebara etc.
Groceries & personal supplies
11. Party clubs and bars
The school organizes parties in here. It has a good vibe for people who like to dance and chill.
Great place for shakers and having a fun time. Many students come here to drink and relax.
- Street Café
Students often come here for drinks and delicious bites. Got an open café and chill vibe.
Awesome for private group hangouts. Great for cocktails and mocktails.
- Vino y Mas
This place offers a varied platter of tapas food bites and a great selection of Wines.
12. Transportation in Switzerland
The public transportation system in Switzerland is very reliable, and extensive. You can travel anywhere in Switzerland using the buses, tram and trains.
SSTH has a bus stop right in front of the school (Passugg Alte Post); you can take the bus (number 42) until the train station and move ahead from the bus stop to different directions depending on the destination.
Chur train station is small but it has connections that go to Milan, Vienna, Liechtenstein, Amsterdam and Munich, that leave daily.
Purchase your tickets at the train station, at the windows of the distribution machines, which have instructions in English. Do not board a train without a ticket, there are controllers checking your tickets.
If you plan to use the train often to travel, consider purchasing a half-fare card so you pay half price on all your tickets. If you travel often at night, you could also purchase `Gleis 7` card which allows you to travel all over Switzerland after 7pm till 5am with no additional charge other than the card fee (applies to students who are 25 and below).
Plan ahead to get good deals on the SBB.ch website such as the Saver Day Pass and the Supersaver tickets.
Taxis are highly regulated and safe in Switzerland, but they are some of the most expensive in the world. Also, they are not readily available in remote areas or at some times of day. SSTH has agreed special conditions for students with selected partners.
Below are some contacts
Taxi24 : 041-81-404-24-24
Chur Alp Taxi : 041-79-334-02-02
Both staff and students have the opportunity to rent electric and Mobility (car sharing) cars on campus.
If you plan to drive on the motorway in Switzerland, you must purchase a Swiss “Auto-route Vignette” available at gas stations for 40CHF. Swiss law requires cars to have winter tires during snowy weather; if you are stuck in the snow you are responsible and may receive a ticket with a fine.
Switzerland is very strict about the consumption of alcohol and driving (the equivalent of one drink is all that is allowed, less for new drivers and professionals). Know and respect the limits or you may face heavy consequences.
13. Traveling around
Graubünden is well known for its archaic construction and beautiful lakes. There are a number of places to visit since Switzerland is in the heart of Europe. Some are listed below:
Ski places to visit:
We have our snow-capped peaks to thank for making Switzerland one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. If you are a ski lover or want to learn the art, you must visit these places in Graubünden.
- Arosa (1 hour from Chur)
- Lenzerheide ( 45 minutes from Passugg)
- Flims (35 minutes from Chur)
- Tschiertschen (20 minutes from Passugg)
Experience the Bernina Express, which is a UNESCO-listed route on a round-trip, all day tour from Chur in a wagon with panoramic views of the mountains, bridges, and viaducts.
- Visit the capital of Switzerland, Bern for a scientific tour of the Einstein Museum.
- Swiss National Park in Graubünden.
- Visit ski and summer resorts in Malbun, Liechtenstein.
- The Chocolat Frey Visitor Centre in Buchs AG is a dream for every chocolate lover.
- Enjoy a dinner cruise in Lucerne.
- Thermal Spa in Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is an exclusive treat for relaxation and recuperation.
- Go to Germany for Octoberfest or Europa Park.
- Take a train to Milan for shopping and delicious Italian food.
- Visit Swarovski Crystal Worlds Museum in Wattens, Austria.
- Zurich is a fun city for shopping, eating out and nightlife.
During school mid-term break:
- Beach vacation: Greece, Spain, Malta, Italy or Croatia.
- Big city tours: London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin or Amsterdam.
- Rent a chalet in the mountains with friends to ski or snowboard every day.
Note: If you come to Switzerland on a student visa, you will need to wait for your L/B-Permit to be able to leave the country and re-enter.