Main content

World Food System Summer School: Organic Agriculture and Food Systems

Rheinau, Switzerland, 7 - 21 August 2016


Thank your interest. Please check back later for information about our courses in 2017, or sign up to receive email notifications about dates and deadlines for future courses.

Download flyer (PDF, 414 KB).

Accordion. Press Tab to navigate to entries, then Enter to open or collapse content.


Apply (Application Period for 2016 now Closed)

Your application must include two things:

  1. Your CV in PDF format, maximum 3 pages, 1 MB.
  2. A demonstration of your motivation: Please prepare something that communicates your motivation and answers the following three questions:
  • Why do you want to come to this course?
  • What can you contribute?
  • What do you hope to do after this course?

Here we encourage you to use your creativity! You can submit a letter, video, or any other format of your choice to communicate your message. Please just make sure it addresses the questions and can be reviewed by the selection panel in under 15 minutes!




We need you - future decision makers and thought leaders - to help building sustainable food systems.

Join the World Food System Summer School and connect with a community of motivated and like-minded students, researchers and practitioners from around the world who are all committed to building sustainable food systems.

Our summer school is hosted on the “Gut Rheinau”, one of Switzerland’s largest and oldest organic farms. Experience food systems and organic production first hand, being immersed in a modern, socially integrative, food system.

  • Discuss challenges, opportunities, and innovations in food systems across disciplines, sectors and scales in collaboration with producers, leading research institutes, industry partners, policy makers, and civil society representatives.
  • Critically reflect on the role of organic production systems to contribute to global food and nutrition security together with a network of global change makers.
  • Learn how to apply a food systems perspective. The program will take an integrated approach that considers interactions across the food system and with its environmental, social, and economic boundary conditions.
  • Be creative and innovative. Exchange ideas and work on case studies to address contemporary challenges of the world food system as part of an international interdisciplinary team.
  • Experience on-farm the realities of organic production systems in a global context.

This immersion learning experience integrates lectures, group work, case studies, workshops, excursions, art, and includes guest speakers and evening social and cultural activities. You will also have the chance to do hands-on work on the farm.


To be eligible you must be currently enrolled (minimum 3rd year Bachelor student) or have recently graduated from university (max. 2 years since graduation).

You have a strong interest in food system challenges and solutions, in interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration and inter-cultural exchange, and relevant expertise.

We are running a competitive application process. This also applies to applicants from ETH Zurich.

Course Dates

You will be with us for two weeks, between August 7 and 21, 2016 in Rheinau, Switzerland. We expect you to attend for the entire course period.


The ETH Zurich accredits successful completion of the course with 4 (four) ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points. Acknowledgment of the points in your study programs at your home institution is your own responsibility.


The course fee of 750 Swiss Francs (CHF) per student covers:

  • board
  • lodging
  • local travel
  • all activities during the program

All of the above is organized by the course organizers.

Participants are responsible for paying and organizing:

  • their own visa (if required)
  • health insurance
  • transportation to and from Rheinau, Switzerland

Course Organizers

The course is organized by the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich. The center focuses the expertise and excellence of ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Research towards the vision of a healthy world through sustainable food systems. Our 39 professorial members from different departments engage in interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach together with partners from a variety of sectors.

ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It has more than 18,000 students from over 110 countries and 500 professors.


Logo of Mercator Foundation Switzerland


Mercator Foundation Switzerland, whose support aims to explore the role and potential of organic farming systems (certified and non-certified) to contribute to global food security.

Logo of PartnerRe




Think Swiss Logo


Think Swiss

Page URL: http://www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch/education/summer-schools/upcoming.html
Wed Dec 07 10:44:10 CET 2016
© 2016 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich