Sustainability During Your Exchange

Things to Consider When Going Abroad

Spending time abroad can enrich your studies tremendously; however, mobility also comes with a carbon footprint. A single flight from Zurich to New York and back emits, per passenger, twice the annual per capita greenhouse gas budget that could be tolerated from a climate point of view. The following tips can help you make your trip abroad more sustainable:

  • Select closer destinations. Europe has outstanding, excellent universities, many of them in neighbouring countries. Select your destination with reference to your field and the persons you can meet: Which researchers and teachers have published convincing ideas relating to the core questions that interest you? 
  • Combine multiple travel purposes. If possible, plan your trip so that it fulfills multiple purposes.
  • Research sustainability initiatives at your university of choice. Information on UZH sustainability initiatives can be found here
  • Calculate your route: Compare energy consumption, CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts for different modes of transport.
  • Travel by bus or train. Trains and buses are environmentally friendly ways to travel within Europe (PDF, 692 KB).

Opportunities for an exchange within Europe can be found here:

Outgoing students (from UZH)

Incoming students (to UZH)


Factsheet "Sustainability During your Exchange"

Tipps and tricks for train travel (PDF, 212 KB)

Trains versus planes (PDF, 166 KB)


Green Travel Top-Ups

Financial aid with the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP)

Within the framework of the SEMP, based on the call for projects 2021, financial aid is now available to students (both outgoing and incoming) who choose to travel to and from their destination using a means of transport generating lower CO2 emissions than the plane: Students will receive a 100 CHF top-up to their SEMP scholarship if able to submit proof of travel by train, bus or alternative.

Greener Mobility_Decision Tree
Source: Movetia

More information on Living Sustainably in Zurich