FAQ

1Information about how to get to CERN

1. When should I arrive at CERN?

We recommend that you plan your journey so that you arrive at least one hour before the official opening of the programme.
Please note: You can enter the CERN site on the first day of the programme at the earliest.

2. How do I get to CERN?

You will find useful information about “how to get to CERN” on our dedicated website. The essential information is:

  • If you arrive by plane, there is a very cheap (= free of charge) way of obtaining a one hour ticket for the public transportation system: Directly in front of the exit, at the end of the baggage claim area (before you leave through the customs exit) you can obtain a free ticket to use on buses and trams. Take bus 23 (to ZIPLO), 28 (to Parfumerie) or 57 (to ZIMEYSA Gare), get off at "Blandonnet", then catch tram number 18 to CERN.
  • If you arrive by train, we suggest you get off at the central station, called “Genève Gare Cornavin”. Take tram number 18 (direction CERN) and get off at the terminus (“CERN”). Ticket machines are available at all stops. The ticket “Tout Genève 1h“ costs 3 CHF, is valid for an hour and will be sufficient to reach CERN. Details are available on the official website of the public transportation system agency in Geneva.

3. How do I get access to the CERN site?

When you arrive, please report to the guards at Entrance B (open 24 hours per day). Please tell them your name and show your passport or any photographic ID. The guards will then hand you an individual access badge that you should always wear visibly during your stay.
After this procedure, you may enter the CERN campus and go to the CERN hotel reception in building 39. There you will obtain your room key and an envelope containing a CERN map and a city map of Geneva.

2 Information about staying at CERN

1. Where will I stay at CERN?

We will reserve either single (58CHF/night) or double rooms (38.50CHF/person/night) in our CERN hotel for the duration of the programme (rooms with toilet and shower en-suite; bed linen and towels are provided). Please note that it is not possible to further extend your stay at the CERN hotel. If you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer, please find below a list of hotels close to CERN:

2. Where will I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

At CERN, you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Restaurant 1 in building 501 (opening hours: 7 am until midnight; 7 am - 11 pm during weekends).

3. Whom should I call in case of an emergency?

In case of an emergency (fire, accident, etc.) at CERN, you should call our Fire Brigade. The telephone number is 74444 (from any phone inside CERN) or +41 22 767 4444 (from your mobile). Our fire brigade is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

4. Is there a medical service at CERN?

If you feel sick, which we sincerely do not hope, you can go to CERN’s ambulant medical service. Tel: 73186 or 78435 (from inside CERN), +41 22 767 3186 or +41 22 767 8435 respectively. If you have serious health problems outside the opening hours of the medical service (8:30 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm), please call the Fire Brigade (+41 22 767 4444).

5. Which currency should I bring with me?

CERN is located on both sides of the border between Switzerland and France. The most commonly used currency is Swiss Franc (CHF), but payments may also be made in Euros (EUR). There is a UBS bank located on-site and ATM’s are available. Both the CERN hotel and CERN’s restaurants accept cash and credit cards.

6. Can I smoke at CERN?

At CERN, you can only smoke in specially-marked areas. All buildings (including the CERN hotel) are non-smoking facilities.

7. How do I get access to CERN’s WiFi?

If you bring a device with WiFi card, you can access the CERN network by following a simple authorisation procedure (find more information on this website). You can apply for this in advance by following the procedure with the mobile device that you intend to bring with you, using this link (Please add your CERN contact as guaranteeing contact person).
At CERN, you can also connect to the Eduroam network and there is also a dedicated "CERN-Visitors" network, which provides you with limited access for 24h. However, we strongly advise you to use the official CERN network, as this gives you full access to the World Wide Web.

8. Can I take pictures at CERN? 

YES! You may take photographs of everything at CERN - but you will need a camera. So please do not forget to bring one with you!

9. Do I need a power adaptor to charge my devices at CERN?

Swiss power sockets look different from standard European ones - not to speak about those from Central America or other parts of the world. Therefore, please bring an adaptor to connect your devices to either Swiss or European power sockets.

10. Do I have to bring something special to wear?

During the programme, you will visit many CERN facilities and also do a walking tour of the city as part of the programme. Please make sure to bring along both comfortable and suitable shoes.
For safety reasons, high-heeled shoes, open-toed shoes, flip-flops or sandals are not permitted for the visits of the CERN facilities.

3Information about CERN's International Teacher Programmes

1. When will the next International High School Teacher (HST) Programme take place?

The International High School Teacher Programme 2020 (HST2020) will take place on 5-18 July 2020.
The programme will start on Sunday, 5 July at 5 pm and will be finished on Saturday, 18 July in the morning.

2. When will the next International Teacher Weeks (ITW) Programme take place?

The International Teacher Weeks Programme 2020 (ITW2020) will take place on 2-15 August 2020.
The programme will start on Sunday, 2 August at 5 pm and will be finished on Saturday, 15 August in the morning.

3. Is there a difference between the HST and ITW programmes?

Both the HST programme and the ITW programme are directed at in-service science teachers, who teach STEM subjects at high-school level. The main difference is that the HST programme traditionally takes place in July, while the ITW offers teachers the opportunity to take part in an international teacher programme at CERN in August. Aside from this, there are little to no differences between the HST and ITW programmes.

4. Where can I find the programme agendas for CERN’s international teacher programmes?

There are dedicated programme websites for both the HST2020 programme (indico.cern.ch/e/HST2020) and the ITW2020 programme (indico.cern.ch/e/ITW2020), which will be updated closer to the respective dates.

5. Is there a participation fee to take part in CERN’s international teacher programmes?

No. There is no participation fee for CERN’s teacher programmes.

6. Is there financial support for CERN’s international teacher programmes?

Yes. Every accepted applicant will receive an allowance to cover their living costs for the duration of the respective programme.

7. How will participants receive their allowance?

CERN will cover the costs for accommodation at the CERN Hotel and provide anonymous prepaid cards, which can be used to pay for meals and drinks for the duration of the respective programme.

8. Does CERN provide financial support for the travel costs?

No. All accepted applicants are expected to arrange and finance their trip to and from CERN on their own. However, CERN has limited funds available to support a small number of teachers by means of a travel grant.

9. Who is eligible to apply for the travel grant?

All accepted applicants can apply for the travel grant under certain conditions after the selection process. Since CERN only has limited funds available, priority will be given to applicants from distant countries.

10. When and how will the travel grant be paid?

The travel grant will exclusively be sent via bank transfer during the first week of the respective programme. Depending on the country and bank, it can take up to 14 days until the bank transfer is fully completed. Thus, participants are expected to advance their travel expenses in full.

4Information about the application process for CERN's International Teacher Programmes

1. Who is eligible to apply for CERN’s international teacher programmes?

Both the HST programme and the ITW programme are open to in-service science teachers from around the world. All applicants need to have a good working knowledge of the English language and need to be committed to attending the programmes in full. Furthermore, preference in the selection will go to teachers who have proven experience of extra-curricular activities, such as:

  • Organization of educational activities (science olympiads, summer courses for students)
  • Contribution to the planning of national curricula
  • Involvement in the activities of national and international educational bodies

2. How do I apply for CERN’s international teacher programmes?

Applications for HST and ITW are only accepted via the respective application form on the CERN teacher programmes website. The application process is split into five parts. You will be asked to supply personal & school details, provide a short curriculum vitae, answer programme specific questions, and upload a 1-minute video clip to present yourself in English. 
Please carefully read the instructions that are provided at each stage of the process and please note the respective word limits.

3. Do I need to register in order to apply for CERN’s international teacher programmes?

Yes, you need to create a CERN lightweight account to access the respective application form.
The registration process is described in this dedicated document.

4. What is the purpose of the 1-minute video?

The 1-minute video clip is your chance to explain why you are the ideal candidate to participate in CERN’s international teacher programmes! Please present yourself in English - we want to see and hear you in the video. Describe briefly what draws your interests towards physics and sciences. Catch our attention with your creativity!

5. What are the criteria for the 1-minute video?

The 1-minute video does not have to be professionally produced. You can simply use your phone to record your presentation.
The file size must be less than 100 MB, and you can upload any of the following file types: avi, mov, wmf, fly, mp4.

6. Will I receive a confirmation email after my application?

Yes, all applicants who successfully apply for either the HST programme or the ITW programme will receive a confirmation email immediately after submitting their application.

7. Can I modify my application?

Yes, the confirmation email contains a link to the application, and all applicants can modify their application until the deadline of the application process.

8. When will I be informed about the status of my application?

We will send out acceptance and rejection emails to all applicants in spring 2020.