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Ing Tomáš Krásný, University of West Bohemia,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Lausanne, Switzerland. It's a French speaking part of Switzerland. Although I don't speak french at all, I also had no problems to go around or live just with English. Almost everybody speaks enough to understand.
Lausanne is a very nice city. Around the southern part of Lausanne is the Lake Geneva which is just beautiful. You can see the mountains on the other side of the lake and the view is excellent. Regarding the history of the city there is an old cathedral also with a very nice view on the city and on the lake. People in the city are very friendly and helpful. They very often gather by the lake just to hang around or do some barbecue.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
In Lausanne itself there is not so many "trips" to do. You can explore the city and see the main things in a single day. To see more, e.g. to enjoy Swiss mountains, you have to take train somewhere else. I would definitely recommend to go to the vineyards towards Montreux, the view is just excellent. Then you could also go to Château de Chillon and then walk by the lake to Montreux, very nice trip.
Nafora S.A. is a small start up company located in the center of Lausanne. Our team was consisting only of ~10 people. The company main focus is algorithmic trading on international exchanges worldwide.
I was developing new algorithmic trading platform which is a highly concurrent and distributed system. The whole platform consists of multiple single applications that are communicating. I was contributing on every one of those applications so I could understand the whole complexity of the platform.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
My salary was CHF2500 which is for basic living and lodging enough. I was paying CHF800 for accomodation, so my net income was around CHF1400 and you can live with that if you are not spending the money crazily.
Lausanne in canton Vaud is an French speaking canton. For me it was definitely not an issue even though I don't speak French. I had no problems with English. If anybody did not speak English they always did their best to understand each other somehow. The main language in our company was also English since we had coworkers from e.g. Tunisia, Hungary or Netherlands.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
IAESTE provided me with an accommodation that cost CHF800 which is more than an average for a single room. It was also not located in Lausanne, I always had to take a bus first to get to Lausanne. My housing was in Préverenges which is next to Lausanne towards Morges (or Geneva). The reason it was this "pricy" is the fact that is was located close to the lake in a little bit more expensive area.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)
Many times during summer weekend events. E.g. Geneva weekend, Zermat weekend, Hard hiking weekend, excellent.
Meeting other foreign students
Not really because the company I worked in was a regular company, it had nothing to do with students or universities. On the other hand this company was hiring students from EPFL, so I got in touch with them.
Sport and culture
Culture in Lausanne is not that rich. Regarding sport it is much better. You can go to gym, climbing, anything you want. The only disadvantage is the price.
Food, local specialties
Fondue, raclette. Raclette is the winner. Also also wine, I can't forget.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Try to look for accommodation that is cheaper then CHF800. I'm sure if you try hard enough you can find something that is definitely cheaper and will be located in Lausanne. Otherwise no special recommendation. Or yes, get a bike (either buy one here or bring one).
What not to forget with you
Nothing particular, basic stuff or equipment. Bike was very useful for me. I brought it by car from Czech republic so I didn't have to buy it here.
Benefits of the internship
Definitely a lot of experience at work. It gave me really a lot. Then I'm happy I got to know Switzerland, the culture, nature and the level of Swiss life.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Very responsive and helpful.
Overall experience with IAESTE
Very nice. It is a group of young people helping and supporting each other, experiencing all kinds of adventures etc.
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