Adult education and courses in the Bern region
Bern and Biel-Bienne offer plenty of adult education options. Many of these courses are conducted in German, but there are options for non-German speakers. As a bilingual city Biel-Bienne offers courses in French as well. Networking with internationally-minded locals and fellow expats will also provide inspiration for personal enrichment.
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Whether learning a language, taking up a new hobby, or acquiring valuable skills, there are special interest courses available for all needs and interests. Online learning courses are a good option for those wanting flexibility. The Migros Club School is a good place to start looking. Another excellent provider of adult education is Volkschochschule (DE). Although both of these websites are primarily in German, their staff will certainly speak English if you stop in and visit them in person.
Professional training in Bern & Biel-Bienne
The Berufsberatung- und Informationszentrum (BIZ) (DE/FR) assesses professional qualifications and experience relating to the Swiss job market. They also supply information on further education and training in Canton Bern. Language courses (see the article Language courses in Bern), vocational and skills training, or business schools may be a step in the right direction.
Native English speakers might also be interested in checking out the events organised by the English Teachers Association of Switzerland.
University study in Bern & Biel-Bienne
CRUS created a very useful and comprehensive list of all degree programmes in Switzerland that are offered in English. The Bologna Reform is a system to recognise foreign qualifications. It was created to facilitate mobility in the tertiary education sector. Switzerland was amongst the first countries to sign and implement this declaration.
University Bern is very well-reputed and is centrally located, near to the main train station. It offers a variety of courses in eight faculties and 160 institutes. German is not necessarily required for graduate level study, it depends on the programme. Other institutions offering higher education are the University of Applied Sciences (campuses in Bern and Biel-Bienne) and PH Bern (DE) (Pädagogische Hochschule Bern) for teaching degrees at Swiss State Schools.
Location of study is often dependent on the subject of interest. Most courses are only offered at either the Bern or Biel-Bienne campus. Many students also travel to other nearby cities to study, such as Olten, Basel or Lucerne.
Public universities are state subsidised and charge basic tuition fees. When applying to register for a post-graduate degree there are several factors to consider, including your tertiary education, experience, and permission to study in Switzerland.