Living in Geneva as an Intern

Geneva is a great place to be for the summer - nice weather, clean city, beautiful geography,fun cultural events, and a really active intern scene.  While it's a relatively expensive place to live, there are ways to save. Below are tips and information about living in Geneva.

Items to Budget For

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Local transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Food
  • Entertainment/Travel

Living Expenses

  • Local transportation buy a monthly passfor limitless local transport on all buses and trains (less expensive for 25 yrs and younger).
  • The public transport system is very ubiquitous, intuitive and efficient.
  • Meals: most United Nations organizations have cafeterias where meals are inexpensive. Lunch is a good time to visit other United Nations cafeterias and local restaurants or grab food at a local grocery store and eat in the park with co-workers and fellow interns.
  • To eat cheaply go to the supermarkets just across the border in the French villages - you will save over 50%!
  • Plan to withdraw cash from you U.S. bank account via local ATMs. Service charges ($1-2) are applied.



There are plenty of options for short-term accommodations in Geneva, but it requires some legwork to find something. Many cheaper places don't have web sites, so definitely call for prices and applications. Most speak English.

United Nations intranet announcement: One option for finding summer lodging is to ask a United Nations supervisor to post an announcement on your behalf on your organization's intranet.
Public classified ad: Put a classified ad (petite annonce) in Geneva's popular weekly newspaper GHI. World Radio Geneva has classified ads in English (
Residences: The terms “residence” and “foyer” refer to short-term hostels or dorms, where amenities are shared with others in the apartment or floor. These are the cheapest options for short-term accommodations and are a great way to meet a lot of other interns from all over the world. Some are listed below.

Here are some of the same and more:

Name Address Phone/Fax Email/Web

Accueil Residence pour Jeunes Filles

Rue Alcides-Jentez 8, 1205 Geneve

41223209277 f. +41223222601

[email protected]

Auberge Communale de Carouge

39, rue Ancienne, 1227 Carouge

41223422288 +413422205


Centre International Reforme John Knox

27, rue des Crets-de-Pregny, 1218 Gd Sacconnex

41227989161 f. +41227910638


Centre St. Boniface

Av du Mail 14, 1205 Geneve

41223222600 f. +41223222601

Centre Universitaire Catholique

30 rue de Candolle

41223297056 f. +41223201238

[email protected]

Centre Universitaire Protestant

1 Av. du Mail, 1205 Geneve

41223229000 f. +41223229099

[email protected]

Centre Universitaire Protestant

2 Boulevard de la Tour 1, 1205 Geneve

41227081010 f. +41227081011

[email protected]

Cite Universitaire de Geneve

Avenue de Miremont 46, 1206 Geneve

41228362222 f. +41228392223


City Hostel Geneva

2, rue Ferrier, 1202 Geneve

41229011500 f. +41229011560

[email protected]

Foyer Champel


41223465411 f. +41223462141


Foyer Forget Me Not

Rue Virginier 8, 1205 Geneve



Foyer Georges Williams

Av. Sainte Clotilde 9, 1201 Geneve


[email protected]

Foyer International

St-Justin Rue de Prieure 15-17, 1204 Geneve

41227311135 f. +41227388884

[email protected]

Foyer Internationale pour Jeunes Filles

Rue Platamour 29, 1201 Geneve



Foyer Le Carilan

Av. ds Communes-Reunies 16, 1212 Grand-Lancy



Foyer Myrjana

Av. ds Communes-Reunies 16, 1212 Grand-Lancy

41227945698 f. +41227388884


Foyer Universitaire de Carouge

Rue Joseph-Girard 12, 1227 Carouge

41223015434 f. +41223015477

[email protected]

Home Saint Pierre

4 Cours-Saint-Pierre, 1204 Geneva

41223103707 f. +41223101727

[email protected]

Home Sweet Home

Rue Pre Naville6, 1207 Geneve

41227369356 f. +41227369355


La Villa Clotilda

Rue de Mont Sion 14,



Pension Esmeralda

7, rue Simon Durand, 1227 Acacias



Residence Le Voltaire

9, rue Le Voltaire, 1201 Geneve

41223442460 f. +41223442460


Residence PTT (female only)

Rue des Alpes 17, 1201 Geneva

41227328910 f. +41227328912


Residence PTT “Les Penates” (male only)

Rue de Penates 3, 1203 Geneva



Residence St James

Rue du Versonnex 3, 1204 Geneve

41228499100 f. +41227364374


Residence Universitaire Internationale

Rue Rothschild 22, 1202 Geneve

41227160202 f. +41227160201

[email protected]

Residence Village-Suisse

3, rue du Village-Suisse, 1205 Geneve



Youth Hostel

Rue Rothschild 28-30, 1202 Geneva

41227326260 f. +41227383987

[email protected]



Wouldn't want to stay in any of these long-term, but could work for short visits.

Name Address Phone/Fax >Email

Hotel Aida

6, avenue Henri-Dunant, 1205 Geneva

41223201266 f.+41223212853

[email protected]

Hotel at Home

16, rue de Friburg, 1201 Geneva

41229061900 f. +41227384430

[email protected]

Hotel Auteuil

33, rue de Lausanne, CH-1201 Geneva

41225442222 f. +41225442299

[email protected]

Hotel Bel'Esperance

1,rue de la Vallee, 1204 Geneva

41228183737 f. +41228183773

[email protected]

Hotel Bellerive

83, route d'Ermance, 1245 Bellerive

41227521282 f. +41227521513

[email protected]

Hotel Bernina

22, place Cornavin, 1201 Geneva

41229084950 f. +41229084951

[email protected]

Hotel Calvy

5, rue du Midi, 1207 Geneva

41227002727 f. +41227356162

[email protected]

Hotel Carmen

5, rue Dancet, 1205 Geneva

41223291111 f. +41227815933

[email protected]

Hotel Central

2, rue de la Rotissiere, 1204 Geneva

41228188100 +41228188101

[email protected]

Hotel Comedie

12, rue de Caouge, 1205 Geneva

41223222324 f. +41223222323


Hotel de Geneve

1, place Isaac-Mercier, 1201 Geneva

41227323264 f. +41227328264

[email protected]

Hotel de La Cloche

6, rue de la Cloche, 1201 Geneva

4122729481 f. 41227381612


Hotel Grand Pre

35, rue du Grand Pre,1202 Geneva

41229181111, f. +41227347691

[email protected]

Hotel Le Cerf-Volant

7, chemin des Sapins, 1216 Cointrin

41227980757 f.+41227886108

[email protected]

Hotel Les Hauts-de-Rive

48, Bld des Tranchees, 1206 Geneva

41223462933/4 f. +41223462211

[email protected]

Hotel Les Nations

Rue du Grand-Pre 62, PO Box 420 1211Geneva 16

41227480808 f. 41227343884


Hotel Luserna

12 Avenue de Luserna 1203 Geneva

+41223454545 f.+41223444936

[email protected]

Hotel Mon-Repos

131, rue de Lausanne CH-122 Geneva

41229093909 f. +41229093993

[email protected]

Hotel Pax

68, rue du XXXI Decembre, 1207 Geneva

41227875070 41227875080


Hotel Plan-les Ouates

135 Route de Saint-Julien 1228 Plan les Ouates

41227949244 41227949475


Hotel President Wilson

47, quai Wilson, 1211 Geneva

41229066666 f. 00419066667


Hotel Tiffany

1, rue des Marbriers 1204 Geneve





  • Almost all United Nations organizations have lots of interns during the summer (and year-round). As such, group activities abound, including international dinners, camping trips, going out for drinks, hanging out at the lake, football (soccer) games, and lots more.  Ask around and go o to other organizations to meet other interns.
  • Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) has some fun beach areas.
  • Take a bus ride to Annecy, France or other nearby French lake and mountain towns for outdoor summer activities.
  • Mont Saleve, just outside Geneva, is a fun day hike. The Friends of the Saleve association takes groups up for free every Sunday. It is not difficult to travel there alone. A cable car makes the trip up and down even easier. There are also at least two launch stations for paragliders,  bring a chute if so inclined.


  • Stay as long as you can for your internship - min. 10 weeks.
  • Swiss francs are the currency throughout Switzerland, but it is recommended to carry euros too, since there may be frequent travels to France
  • French is the main language of Geneva, but English is predominant in the international organizations. French, German and Italian are the official Swiss languages, but English is more common than German or Italian.
  • Geneva is geographically surrounded by France, where most things, including groceries, are cheaper. Make friends with other interns who have cars (Germans) and go shopping with them. Also, Geneva buses and trams go to the French border all around the city and some stores are within walking distance from these, especially from southeast Geneva.
  • Crossing the border Swiss-French border is can be compared to walking across the street. It is possible to cross on foot without being stopped.. Cars are stopped more often, and there are actually some restrictions on the amount of goods you can bring into Switzerland from France. A small amount of groceries is fine.