The Swiss capital charms visitors as well as inhabitants with an Old Town that has barely changed in over 500 years. Situated in a peninsula of the fast flowing river Aare, its beautiful arcades, many street fountains and historical sights such as the Clock Tower (Zytglogge contribute to Berne’s small town charme. Since 1983 the whole of the Old Town has been acknowledged as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral,  the federal building or the recently enlarged bear park are all things that make Bern unique and worth a visit. The hills all around, the Aare and the Alps on the horizon bring an element of nature into the urban image.

The University’s main building has a breathtaking view over the Old Town and to the Alps. The University’s history goes back to the foundation of the “Hohe Schule” (High School) in 1528 and the institution had its best years at the beginning of the 20th century with the professorships of Albert Einstein, Anna Tumarkin (the first woman to be appointed as a regular lecturer in Europe) and Nobel prize winner Theodor Kocher. As the University grew, more and more students came and new departments were added, the need for new locations arose.

The English Department is located about 800 metres from the main building in the Uni Tobler, a former chocolate factory which has been reconstructed as a university building in 1982. Here, students can meet with fellow students in the tea corner, an institution for all those who want to share their experience or meet new people, or find a quiet study place on one of the platforms of the library. All in all, it is a lively department that offers something for everyone – a place to study and learn, exchange knowledge and gossip, a place to meet old friends and make new ones, in short, it serves as a a space for encounters.

The lectures and seminars of the Summer School will take place in the rooms of the Uni Tobler as well as at the Hochschulzentrum vonRoll, a circa ten minute walk from Uni Tobler, where new buildings have been, and still are, added to the University’s landscape. These buildings enhance the urban edge of factory buildings that also defines the Uni Tobler, as they too are rebuilt factory structures. The rooms here are modern, large and full of light and there is a small cafeteria in one of the houses. So coffee and food are always available during the long hours of the Summer School.

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