Are you new at ZHdK? Here’s what you need to know!

Let’s go! 691 new students begin their course at ZHdK. Photograph: Johannes Dietschi © ZHdK

Welcome! Are you one of the 691 students beginning their course at ZHdK? Is everything new and you’ve got lots and lots of questions? The Zett editorial team went round campus in search of answers to at least some of those questions: about using the workshops, how you can actively contribute your opinion, where to pick up your matriculation number, what’s on the table in the Mensa Molki and how studying abroad works. Have a good start! 


May I use the workshop on my own?
Adrian Brazerol, Head of the Teaching Workshops, Production Centre: Yes, you may! Once you have completed the relevant Z-Tech course, nothing stops you from pursuing your design ideas with a 3D printer or CO2 laser printer. Our ten workshops have around six hundred machines to help users work with a wide variety of materials.

Is there a student organisation that I can join?
Soraya-Thashima Rutschmann and David Bircher, VERSO Co-Presidency: VERSO, ZHdK’s student organisation, enables students to share their opinions and actively participate in university life. Meet us and other students at the regulars’ table in the entrance hall or go along to a student meeting in your department! Check our website ( for meeting dates and our market place (Marktplatz) for accommodation and job offers.

Where can I find the latest university news?
Laura Rosini and Leoni Hof, Project Manager, ZHdK University Communications: Check ZHdK’s social media channels. Our Twitter and Facebook pages include event tips, raffles and news. We are always searching for the best impressions of campus life for our Instagram account. You can really immerse yourself in university life with magazine Zett. You can either read it digitally or read the print edition, which is available in the entrance hall of Toni-Areal. Here you will find interviews, essays and reports from the ZHdK cosmos. The student portraits are particularly popular – maybe one of you will appear soon!

When’s the rush hour in the cafeterias?
Marialaura Aceituno, Buffet employee, ZFV Catering Services: Most people want to have coffee between 10:00 and 10:30. We serve around 1500 wake me uppers at the Toni-Areal every day. Coffee is available with oat or cow milk, in reusable cups or your own. If you’re worried about dozing off in the queue, I recommend “Mia&Noa” coffee boutique in the entrance hall. Waiting times are usually shorter there because you can place a personalised order via their app.

What does the President of ZHdK do?
Thomas D. Meier, President: Together with my colleagues of the University Board, I am responsible for ZHdK’s strategic orientation and management. I also represent the university externally, in national and international committees and maintain contacts with politicians, officials and local authorities. I look forward to the new semester kicking off, when the buzz around campus returns after the summer break! After 13 years in this exciting position, the new President Karin Mairitsch will take over at the end of September.

Where can I get my matriculation number?
Sara Guntern, University Office: If you have a Swiss university admissions certificate, please post it to us by 30 September. We will then affix your matriculation number on your certificate and return it. If you have a foreign admissions document, your matriculation number will be issued when you register at the University Office (Hochschuladministration).

I’ve lost my Campus Card! Where do I start looking?
Edina Filan, Administrative Member Facility Management/Reception: At reception, because that’s where the lost property office is. If that doesn’t help, we are still the right place to contact. We will replace your card so you can open doors around campus, make photocopies, borrow books or buy food in the canteen.

Why should I still go to the library in the digital age?
Irene Ragaller, Knowledge Transfer Coordinator, Media and Information Centre: Because we can do much more than Google — and offer a lot more than just books: for example, electronic media that are not freely available online. We help you find what you really need amid the information deluge — among others, with our tailored courses and personal research consultations. The library is also a wonderful place to find inspiration, to study in a concentrated way or to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle. Check here for background and current information. You can also visit us online of course!

What does the Molki Canteen offer?
Mark Voser, Head of Operations, ZFV Catering Services: Our cooking slogan is “local, organic and fair trade.” You can feel and taste this directly on your plate and in your glass! Our drinks are produced at the Toni Areal or come directly from local farms. We have three menus: mainly vegetarian and vegan dishes, but meat eaters won’t miss out either. We also offer crunchy salad bowls and homemade desserts from our patisserie. Click here to see our menu plan and all important information.

I’ve got the ideas, who’s got the technology?
Mara Güntensperger, AVS Loans, Production Centre: The AVS Loans Service is your gateway to the world of audiovisual technology at ZHdK. Do you need an SLR camera, a fog machine or an amplifier? Browse our online lending system and rent equipment for your projects free of charge. Are you a tech novice and can’t navigate our large selection? No problem! We offer personal advice to help you find the right device.

Can I study abroad?
Carmela Ahokas, Exchange Coordinator Outgoings, Mobility Office: As part of your studies, you have the opportunity to complete an exchange semester. Marseille, Buenos Aires or Hangzhou – you’re spoilt for choice! The ZHdK cooperates with over 150 universities worldwide. The Mobility Office team will help you prepare and organise your stay abroad. Visit us at the information event on 16 November 2022 or find out more online.

Where can I find inspiration?
Manuela Moor, Head of Visitor Services, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich: Treat yourself to a creative break now and then and visit the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. ZHdK students have free admission to the main museum building at Ausstellungsstrasse 60, as well as to our annex at the Toni-Areal. The exhibition “Swiss Design Lounge” has been conceived as a meeting place and is ideal for working, reading or relaxing.

Editorial note: This article is a slightly revised version of the original text, which was published on 16 September 2021.

Share your impressions of your first day at ZHdK on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter under the #firstdayatzhdk hashtag!
Gianna Bärtsch was a project manager and Leoni Hof  ( is a PR manager at ZHdK University Communications.
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