When will I choose my Academic Travel, First Year Seminar, and language classes?

Undergraduates starting in Fall must submit preferences for Academic Travel, First Year Seminar, and language classes by July 31. If you are starting in Spring, you will select and register for these three classes during new student registration day.

Go to Undergrad Preferences

Graduate students follow a specific pre-scheduled curriculum and do not choose courses.

What are my Academic Travel choices?

First year undergraduates can choose from several Academic Travel courses. You must state your preferences for your Academic Travel course by July 31.

Go to Undergrad Preferences

Graduate students have a pre-determined Academic Travel program that supports the Master’s level curriculum.

When will I choose my classes?

Once this year's Orientation schedule is finalized, we'll update the Franklin website. Until then, note that we generally assign students an appointment on Friday during Orientation so you can meet your academic advisor and choose your courses. This year, that appointment will take place on Friday, August 20, so we encourage all new undergraduate students to not plan anything for that day until you receive information from the Registrar about your advising appointment. Study abroad students who are not in their first year of university might select their courses ahead of time as a part of their home institution's program. 

Graduate students follow a specific curriculum and are pre-registered for their courses.

Where can I find the Academic Calendar?

The academic calendar has important dates for all students including when the semester starts, deadlines for registration and withdrawal, holidays and breaks, and the end of the semester. It can be found on the University website in the Office of the Registrar pages.

Go to the Academic Calendar

When will I know which residence hall I've been assigned?

Housing assignments for undergraduates are finalized in August for the fall semester and in January for the spring semester. Students will be informed of their assignments upon arrival in Lugano. 

Graduate students are generally housed together in Alba Residence, but depending on availability and students' preferences, they might be housed in another residence hall.

May I arrive early?

If you arrive before the check-in date, plan to stay at a hotel in the area. Students will not be permitted to move in early, as our staff and student leaders are busy preparing for everyone's arrival, finishing training, and doing other things to prepare campus. Visit the Accommodation section of our website for recommended hotels. Many of these hotels offer a discount for Franklin students and parents. The country dialling prefix for Switzerland is +41, so you must dial 011 41 followed by the phone number when calling a Swiss phone number from the U.S. For example, to call the Franklin Reception desk from the U.S., you would dial 011-41-91-985-22-60.

Do I have to purchase the meal plan?

Franklin’s meal plan is designed to ensure students always have access to a nutritious meal or a snack between classes. The plan covers about 10 meals each week, which gives students the opportunity to cook at home and to try the local cuisine in Lugano on the weekend. All first year undergraduate students are required to purchase a 1600 USD / CHF meal plan on their Falcon Card for each of their first two semesters at Franklin (not including summer). 

Other options are available to transfer, study abroad, and graduate students. Contact us at info@fus.edu for more details.

Will I have Internet access in my residence?

Yes. The campus-wide wireless network is available at all times to all students. There is wireless internet access and individual room ethernet access in all our residences.

Should I bring a laptop computer?

If you have a laptop, bring it! Adapter plugs can be purchased locally. All campus buildings have free wireless internet access.

Each student is given campus network credentials, a university “@student.fus.edu” email address and storage space on the network for personal files. Computer labs are available to you during the same hours as the library, unless a class is in session in a particular lab.

If you own a desktop computer and would like to bring it with you to Franklin, note that you will need a wireless USB adapter or PC card to connect to the internet and, importantly, you will need to make sure that the computer is compatible with the higher 230 volts AC used in Switzerland. For these reasons, we suggest that you do not bring it. There are sufficient student computing facilities at the University with desktop computers in the labs, library, and in a new electronic classroom.

Go to Pack Your Bags for more information on what to bring and what not to bring with you when you come to Franklin.

Do I need a bank account in Lugano? How can I receive regular pocket money?

Most students maintain their bank accounts at home and access funds from all European countries with their ATM card. This is an advantage for parents, since money can be easily deposited into the student's home bank account, eliminating any delay in receiving funds and avoiding the expense of bank transfer fees. UBS, a major Swiss bank, and PostFinance, affiliated with the Swiss Post Office, offer basic savings and debit accounts for students. Students from the United States are only eligible to apply for an account with UBS. These accounts are especially useful for paying local bills (such as mobile phone bills) and offer online banking and a debit card.

Go to www.ubs.com/ch and www.posta.ch for more information

How can I keep in touch with family and friends back home?

Studying at Franklin is an enriching experience, however it is true that the longer you’re away, the more difficult it is to stay connected with family and friends. Most students keep in contact with regular exchanges of photos, messages, and calls through apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

Encourage your family to “like” the Franklin Facebook Page, the Graduate Studies Facebook Page, or join the Franklin Parents Facebook group so they can see what’s happening on campus. There is also a Franklin Instagram and you can find us @franklinswiss on Snapchat. 

How can I get a local telephone number?

We recommend that you get a Swiss mobile phone or a SIM card that you can use with your own mobile phone. Make sure your phone is unlocked so it is not limited to your home carrier service and that you can change SIM cards. There are several providers in Lugano – visit the Comparis website to compare mobile phone plans and costs. It is a good idea to get a pre-paid package due to the high disconnection fee for ending a contract early.

Should I get an international plan through my current phone plan?

This depends on where you are from. Certain European and UK providers have competitive pricing on packages that cover Switzerland. We recommend that you check with your provider and compare prices with local phone packages before deciding. There are several providers in Lugano – visit the Comparis website to compare mobile phone plans and costs.

What should I bring to furnish my apartment?

University residences are fully furnished. Students must provide their own towels, pillows, and bed linens. Bed size varies from residence to residence and you won't know your residence until you arrive on campus. We offer a rental service for sheets - you can rent for a few days or even a whole semester. New students may request rented linens through their application portal before they come to campus.

Basic kitchen utensils are supplied, and all other necessary items are available at stores around Lugano.

Go to Pack Your Bags for more information on what to bring and what not to bring with you when you come to Franklin.

Do I need to bring sheets for my bed?

Students must provide their own towels, pillows, and bed linens. Bed size varies from residence to residence and you won't know your residence until you arrive on campus. We offer a rental service for sheets - you can rent for a few days or even a whole semester. New students may request rented linens through their application portal before they come to campus. You can also buy bedding locally.

Do I need a car?

Given the high costs of insurance and gasoline in Europe, most students do not have a car. In Switzerland, the public transportation system is extensive and highly reliable, with an efficient network of buses and trains traveling to every city and many villages throughout the country. Traveling in Europe by train is fairly easy, and there are multiple low-cost airlines offering regular service to major European destinations.

Can I bring my skis?

Absolutely! If you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you will appreciate the proximity of ski resorts such as Airolo and Splügen that are not too far of a trip from Lugano. Higher altitude skiing is available in Andermatt, which is about two hours from Lugano, and in St. Moritz and Davos, which are three hours from Lugano. All of these ski resorts are accessible by train or bus, and the ski season lasts from late November through early April.

Go to Pack Your Bags for more information on what to bring and what not to bring with you when you come to Franklin.

Can I bring my stereo or hairdryer?

We strongly discourage you from bringing electronic equipment or appliances, including personal appliances such as hair dryers and hair straighteners. Many U.S. appliances are wired for 120 voltage and the Swiss electrical system uses 230 volts AC. Plugging in a lower voltage appliance to a Swiss plug can ruin appliances and electrical outlets.

Stereos, hairdryers and other appliances are readily available in Lugano, with the correct plug and no need for adapters or complications.

Go to Pack Your Bags for more information on what to bring and what not to bring with you when you come to Franklin.

Can I ship my things to Switzerland before the semester begins?

Yes, you can ship your belongings ahead. Surface mail is the cheapest way to ship personal items and boxes generally take four to eight weeks to get to Lugano from the U.S. Thus, if you are starting in August, send your boxes no later than July 17 to be sure they arrive by late August or early September.

Please note the different address below for any mail sent after July 17.

Before July 17

All parcels must be sent to:

Your Name and Last Name
c/o Franklin University Switzerland
Via Ponte Tresa 6
6924 Sorengo
Switzerland

After July 17

All parcels must be sent to:

Your Name and Last Name
c/o Franklin University Switzerland
Via Ponte Tresa 29
6924 Sorengo
Switzerland

What is the best way to travel around Europe? Do I need a Eurail Pass?

Depending on what your individual travel interests are, there are several options:

Swiss Train System (SBB) - Many Franklin students purchase a Half Pass along with a seven25 Pass. The Half Pass offers a 50% discount on the purchase of most domestic train tickets at any time. The seven25 Pass allows students to travel for free on the Swiss train network after 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. The price of the Half Pass is around 120 CHF and a seven25 Pass costs an additional 390 CHF. Combined, these passes offer an outstanding value for students who wish to travel within Switzerland.

International Train/Eurail Passes - International train travel can be a great experience and an interesting way to see Europe's smaller cities and varied landscape. With the prevalence of low-cost airline services, however, although more environmentally friendly, train travel may not always be the cheapest way to travel from city to city. Unless you are planning a rail trip that will use a Eurail Pass extensively, it is probably an unnecessary purchase. There may be better alternatives to meet your travel needs, such as faster and often less expensive European airlines like EasyJet or RyanAir.   

Rental Car - AVIS, Hertz, Europcar, SIXT and other options are available in Lugano. Note that young drivers (under age 25) are usually required to purchase additional insurance and rental rates are generally much higher than in other countries. Smartcars are small and inexpensive and can be rented by young drivers (18 and older) at daily or weekend rates.   

Low-cost Airlines - EasyJet flies to destinations all over Europe and beyond and is often cheaper (and much faster) than taking international trains. Fares can be checked easily on the website. Another low-cost airline is RyanAir.

What will the weather be like throughout the year?

The fall weather in Lugano is generally warm and sunny. In September to mid-October, daytime temperatures range from 20° to 28°C (70° to 80°F). The evenings are pleasantly cool, usually around 15°C (60°F). During the winter, the temperature range is 40° to 50°F (5° to 10°C) during the day, and at night temperatures can drop close to freezing. Spring arrives early in Ticino. The average temperature range is from 10° to 25°C (50° to 75°F). On the official City of Lugano website, you can check an Italian-language weather report from Lugano. On Yahoo! Weather, you can find an English-language report of the weather in Lugano.

How many students are there and where are they from?

Currently, an average of 375 students attend Franklin every year, from approximately 59 different nationalities. Here’s a sample of some of the countries represented in recent years: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela.

Go to Facts and Figures on our Website for more information about Franklin and our students.

When can I start traveling? How long does it take to get my Swiss residence permit?

Within a few days of arriving on campus, you’ll meet with Office of Student Life staff to begin your application for a Swiss residence permit. It can take some time to process, and this is process is completely managed by the government. Staff are not able to expedite the process or can influence it beyond preparing your application. Once you have your permit, you can come and go as you please provided you adhere to Swiss guidelines and any regulations of the countries you would like to visit. Switzerland participates in the Schengen Agreement, which allows people from participating nations to travel within Europe without getting an additional visa or document. 

People from outside of the Schengen area do have to show their passports at borders if asked, so we always recommend that you have your passport and permit with you in case border officials stop you to ask about having a visa. With the Swiss residence permit, you can move throughout the Schengen countries without having a visa for each country, which is a great advantage for independent travel.

It is important to remember that you must have your permit and passport every time you cross an international border. The trips to Italian border towns and Milan are quick and easy, but since Switzerland and Italy are two different countries, travelers may be required to present their documents and demonstrate they have permission to be where they are.

How can I keep in touch with people from Franklin?

Wi-Fi is available on campus and in the residence halls, as well as in other public locations around Lugano.  Most students use Skype or similar apps to keep in touch with the Franklin community while they’re here.

Franklin graduates keep in touch with each other all over the world. There are events organized to bring current students together with alumni throughout the year. Go to Alumni News and Updates to see what our alumni are up to.

For other questions, contact us at info@fus.edu.