How Switzerland got rich - What defines a country's success? (Online Course) - SOLD OUT!

Applications closed for this program

Kindly take note that "How Switzerland got rich" is fully booked and we no longer accept registrations. Thanks to all who will be joining us!

UZH (Online) International Summer Schools 5 - 24 July 2020


Course Description

This Summer School looks at the development of Switzerland into one of the richest and most globalized countries in the world. Find out how Switzerland became an international finance center, 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.


During these three weeks, you will learn about the country's roots and study its worldwide successful industries like watchmaking, pharmaceuticals, and food processing, through talking to leading experts.


We will further compare Switzerland to other countries and will explore their similarities and differences. By doing so, we will examine which historical, sociological, and political factors have to be taken into account when explaining a country's success.

Last but not least, this will also help us to understand why countries react differently to crises such as the one we are all currently witnessing with COVID-19.


Learn more about the program (incl. a preliminary schedule) in our detailed Course Description. (PDF, 296 KB)


Hosting Institute: Institute of Sociology, UZH

Course Director: Prof. Dr. Patrick Ziltener

Language of Instruction: English

Credits: 6 ECTS

Target audience: 2nd or 3rd year Bachelor students and Master students

Entry Requirements, Application Process and Regulations

Entry Requirements

  • Master students or good Bachelor students who have completed their first year of study are encouraged to apply. This course is open to students from all subject areas.
  • Applicants must possess a sufficient command of English (broadly CEFR B2 or equivalent) to be able to actively contribute to classes. This needs to be visible from your motivation letter, previous studies or work experience.

Application Process

All our summer programs for July 2020 are fully booked. Applications for next year will open in late December 2020. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Send your request to


UZH International Summer Schools Regulations 2020 (Online Format) (PDF, 62 KB)

UZH Students please note that it is possible to register for this summer program directly via the regular module booking tool. Additional information on the course can be found in the course catalogue. The number of UZH participants is restricted. 
Participation in the UZH International Summer School is free of charge for UZH students. In return we expect some organizational support in running the summer school.

Fees and Discounts


The regular fee for this summer school is CHF 1,400. 

  • The fee includes: Tuition and application fee; final certificate; study trips; a digital social program that will foster your intercultural competence


Generous scholarships are available for talented students.

State your interest in getting a scholarship in your motivation letter. Once we have received your application, we will notify you of any potential discounts available to you.  

Technical Requirements

To follow this online summer school, you will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection. Due to daily video conferences, we highly recommend high speed broadband access for the optimal learning experience. 

The course content will be provided via one learning platform (Microsoft Teams). We will invite you to join this platform before the online summer school starts. Some livestreams might be provided over Zoom. Make sure these applications work on your computer / in your region. (Please note that we cannot provide technical support during the online summer schools.)


Schedule and Classes

CourseDescription_HSGR_UZHISSOnline2020 (PDF, 296 KB)Please refer to our Course Description.

Note: The program may be subject to change.