Living in Switzerland

Working at AMI

The Adolphe Merkle Institute gathers outstanding scientists from around the world and is a mosaic of cultures, a meeting place for scientists who are driven by the same enthusiasm and have the same goal - push back the existing boundaries of knowledge.

Researchers work "hand-in-glove" with each other in our laboratories. Openness and sharing are central to the ideals of the Institute. Passionate discussions take place not only at organized events, but also on a daily basis in the hallways and offices.

Students and faculty intermingle in a stimulating environment where open discussions and the exchange of scientific ideas are strongly advocated. Additionally, all researchers are encouraged to participate in international conferences at least once a year, to present scientific findings and to establish contacts with fellow scientists. We also regularly welcome scientists working at other research institutions or companies who collaborate actively with AMI laboratories.

Life in Fribourg

Switzerland's central position makes it an ideal starting point for trips all over Europe. By train, you can reach Milan, Paris or Munich in just four hours or less. All big cities in Switzerland can be reached in one and a half hours. Fribourg is the capital of the canton, a university town in Western Switzerland with nearly 35,000 habitants and a picturesque Old Town next to the Sarine river.

A landmark of the town is the St Nicholas Cathedral, located on the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela (Spain), a pilgrimage route. One way to discover the most beautiful spots in Fribourg is to play a game of unique city golf. For an overview over the whole city, you can climb up the tower of the cathedral or walk up to the chapel of Lorette on the other side of the Sarine. International cycling stars make regular stops in Fribourg during the "Tour de Romandie". In the city, you can discover treasures from earlier periods, such as fountains and the old wooden covered Bern bridge. The university consists of five faculties, five campuses, and is bilingual (German and French), like the whole canton.

Cost of living for students:
To get an overview of the average cost of living in Fribourg please take a look at the calculation on university page.

Life in Switzerland in general:
You can find out more here, here and here.

Possible activities

  • University sport
  • Hiking & Winter sports (30 minutes to the next skiing area)
  • Cycling, skating
  • Canyoning
  • Points of interest/Places to visit

    Take a look at the website of the local tourist information or head to...

    Murten is a small medieval town near Fribourg, located directly on a lake. There are many opportunities for watersports, cycling, skating, and hiking in this area. The town hosts the SlowUp every year at the end of April, where all of the roads around the lake are blocked for traffic and reserved for cyclists and skaters for one day. Also, there are a lot of restaurants with a terrace near the lake, beer gardens, and the possibility of taking a boat tour of the lake. In the summertime you can also go swimming in the lake with a wonderful view of the Mont Vully on the other side of the lake.




    Avenches amphitheatreAvenches is a historical site where remains from the capital of Roman Helvetia can be visited. There are ruins from the city, such as towers, the 'Cigognier'-column, and a theatre. For further information, a short trip to the Roman Museum is recommended. During the summer, there are two festivals in the well-preserved amphitheatre, an opera festival and "Rock Oz'Arènes", a rock festival. (Photo: CC Jan/Flickr)



    In the Gruyère region, there are various opportunities for trips to historical sites, mountains, and to do sports. To relax afterwards, a visit to the thermal centre in Charmey is recommended and some of the top-notch restaurants nearby. This area is one of Switzerland's most popular tourist destinations. The town of Gruyères is a traffic-free medieval site at the foot of the Alps. It is famous for its castle at the top of the hill with wonderful views, as well as for its H.R. Giger museum, home to many of the late Swiss artist's scary creations.

    Chocolate and cheese factories: Switzerland is famous for its chocolate. A visit to the Cailler chocolate factory in Broc is a great experience. Fribourg has its own chocolate factory named Villars. The second product Switzerland is famous for is cheese. You can observe the cheese production process in demonstration cheese dairies in Gruyères.

    Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9254