Zurich, Switzerland

How Switzerland got rich

when 30 June 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee CHF 2000

This Summer School looks at the development of Switzerland into one of the richest and most globalized countries in the world.

The course director Prof. Dr. Patrick Ziltener will introduce you to the state of research and scholarly debate on “how Switzerland got rich”. You will evaluate this topic from a sociological, historical, economical, and political point of view.

As part of the program, you will have the opportunity to travel to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other scenic locations in Switzerland, including La Chaux-de-Fonds and Lucerne. You will also discover the country's political roots and its main economic sectors when visiting the capital city of Bern, as well as Nestlé, the largest food company in the world.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Patrick Ziltener

Target group

2nd or 3rd year Bachelor students and Master students

Course aim

During the three weeks of the program, you will:

- find out how some Swiss companies evolved into big transnational corporations and how they manage to export Swiss-made goods under the condition of a strong currency, the Swiss Franc.
- find out how Switzerland, a landlocked country in the mountains, managed to establish itself as a wealthy nation state.
- learn about the humble beginnings of Medieval guilds, the origins of the banking system as well as the associational way of state-building in a world of monarchies.
- hear about early globalizers and industrializers, who pioneered hydropower, textiles and heavy machinery.
- study the Swiss labor movement, from class struggle to social partnership and welfare state.
- find out how various Swiss industries, for instance food, finance or watch-making, continue to be successful globally.

Credits info

6 EC

Fee info

CHF 2000: The Fee of CHF 2'000 includes:

- Tuition and Application Fee
- Final Certificate and Transcript of Records
- Academic Trips to Lucerne, Bern, La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Nestlé museum in Vevey and more
- Various social events including a welcome dinner, a lakeside picnic, a trip to Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls and an optional day hike to the Uetliberg

Not included: Costs for room and board.


Students from UZH partner universities, particularly Strategic Partners and U21 network partners, may qualify for a tuition fee discount. Once we have received your application, we will notify you of any potential discounts available to you.