UZH International Summer School 'How Switzerland got rich' – Impressions from the Summer School 2018


How did Switzerland become one of the world’s richest countries? Nineteen international and seven UZH students of the University of Zurich from all kinds of disciplines spent two weeks exploring possible answers to this question as part of the first UZH International Summer School in July 2018. During the classes with course director Prof. Dr. Patrick Ziltener (Institute of Sociology, UZH), presentations by various guest lecturers and several academic trips, these students were given a broad insight into the sociological, historical, economic and political development of Switzerland. “We want to show the students a few Swiss success stories, but without excluding the negative aspects”, says Prof. Ziltener.

Visiting Schwyz, Altdorf and Lucerne, they learned about the tradition of mercenary soldiers and marvel at numerous elegant buildings that are today’s legacy of the wealth gained through these mercenaries. A second trip brought the participants to Vevey and introduced them to Nestlé, one of the largest multinational companies of Swiss origin. In the capital city of Bern, the group learnt a lot about the political system of Switzerland and how that contributed to the development of the country.

During the UZH International Summer School 2018 participants not only learned about the origins of Switzerland’s wealth, but they also experienced the beautiful city of Zurich. Thereby, the international students were able to profit from the first-hand knowledge and insider tips of their fellow participants from UZH. The various optional social activities including a hike to Uetliberg, a Chocolate Tour through Zurich, a pic nic and much more allowed for fun-filled relaxation and plenty of time to get to know the other participants much better.


To find out more, watch what students had to say about their experience here.


What students say about their favorite spots in Zurich:

What students say about the University of Zurich compared to their home university: