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Exploring Switzerland

Today, our students travelled to the canton of Valais, had the opportunity to visit one of our partners, Lonza, and got to see our capital Bern. They travelled by train, which is a very convenient way to travel in Switzerland.

The Canton of Valais is the third largest Canton in Switzerland by area and Sion is its largest city. Valais is the highest canton in terms of absolute, relative, and mean elevation with many peaks over 4000 meters above sea level. That means: there a a lot of mountains and many of us Swiss spend some time there on our holidays in summer to hike or bike, and in winter to ski or snowboard. One specialty is that there are two languages spoken in the Canton: While the more populous Lower and Central Valais are French-speaking, Upper Valais is German-speaking. Their Swiss German dialect is very distinct and so different from many others that for example people from Zurich struggle to understand them.

In the Canton of Valais, Lonza was founded in 1897 and is a very important company for the Canton as well as for IChO 2023. Lonza’s site is located in Visp and is the largest and oldest site in a global network of more than 30 sites. It is also one of the most significant for research, development and manufacturing. In Visp, Lonza includes a number of industry-leading facilities specializing in the development and manufacture of products for pharmaceutical applications. The IChO student had a great time visiting the company and learning more about their activities in Switzerland as well as worldwide.

Today, the students have another day of exploring Switzerland ahead of them: They are off to the beautiful city of Lucerne and up to Mount Rigi. Meanwhile, the mentors are busy with arbitration all day.

Want to know what our students learned on this field trip? Read Saulè's interviews here:


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