How to organize a CUSO seminar?

The Proposal:

The first thing to do as to have an idea for the seminar. The idea should be discussed with Prof. Nierstrasz so he can ask for funds from CUSO. You should write down a maximum of one page about the idea and the topics to be covered in the seminar. Also you should write down a budget proposal for the seminar. The budget can be calculated as follows:

  • Lunch for the participants (20 CHF per person per day maximum). This will be reimbursed if it is a meal for the whole group and should be on a single bill (or receipt).
  • Transportation for the participants. Each participant can get reimbursed the train ticket, with halb-tax, from the home university to the activity location. So we calculate the maximum possible fees as: number of participants * 50 CHF per day, as that is roughly the price of a return-haltax train ticket between Geneva and Bern. (CC: A better estimate though would be at most 25 CHF; typically, half of the participants are from Bern anyway if we organize an activity, so 50 CHF per participant is way too much.)
  • Transportation fees for the speaker. It depends on where the speaker is coming from.
  • Lunch for the speaker and organisers (40 CHF per person per day).
  • The standard rate for teaching is 250 CHF per hour. This can be increased to 300 CHF if there are circumstances that warrant it.
  • Coffee breaks - 6CHF per pause per person per day. One break per 4 hours of teaching (half).

Just keep in mind that the upper limit for a one-day seminar is 5000CHF. CC: Where does this come from? I don’t know whether this is correct...

The Speaker:

  • Only after you get a confirmation on the budget, you start looking for a speaker because only then you have the money :)
  • Only speaker from outside CUSO get paid. CUSO members do not get paid as speakers.
  • The speaker is the most crucial element in the whole event. If you find a good speaker, the seminar will be a success. Try to look for speaker you know personally or somebody recommended.

The Organization:

Before the event:

  1. Agree with the speaker on a date. Keep in mind the availability of the seminar room. Also preferably, find a date where most of the SCG members are around.
  2. Agree with the speaker on the content of the seminar.
  3. Send an email to the CUSO coordinator, informatique(at)cuso(dot)ch, with the exact dates and content so he can update the webpage of the event.
  4. Send an email to the already registered participants notifying them about the changes.
  5. You can either organise the lunch in the mensa or Coop restaurant for everybody, or let everyone decide where to eat and bring the receipt. The later is easier and more desirable. If you want to organise the lunch at a Coop restaurant, book enough tables in the restaurant in advance.
  6. If the speaker does not have an Eduroam account, you have to ask the secretary for a WiFi access.
  7. You have to buy coffee (2 cups per person per day), biscuits, water, juice (optional), fruits (apple and banana), coffee cups, water cups, sugar, creme, and the little plastic sticks to mix the coffee and the sugar. The costs of these things are called operational costs. You can put it in your own reimbursement form.
  8. Print the list of attendees. The CUSO coordinator will send it to you a week before the event. If not, make it yourself. You can see the list of participants at:
  9. Print reimbursement forms for the participants. Forms can be downloaded at:

During the event:

  1. Make the participants sign the attendance form. You should have one attendance form per day.
  2. Distribute the reimbursement forms to the participants. At the end of the event, collect them back filled, singed, and attached with the original receipts.
  3. Collect the receipts from the speaker and organisers (including yourself).

After the event:

  1. Create an course evaluation form using Google Forms. Send the link to the participants as soon as the event ends. When you get all responses, send the results to the speaker.
  2. Make sure you collect all the reimbursement forms from the participants, speaker, and organisers. The organizers/speakers have a different reimbursement form.
  3. Write an “Activity Report”. It should contain a summary of the seminar (maximum 20 lines) and your evaluation of the seminar (maximum 15 lines).
  4. Pack the reimbursement forms, attendance lists, activity report and send them to the CUSO coordinator.


  1. When you decide on the date and time, check the train schedule from the cities of CUSO universities. In our experience, the best time of the day to start an event is 9:15 in the morning.
  2. Send an email to the participants 10 days before the even to remind them.
  3. If you need to print/copy course materials, you can use the copier in the building in Neubrückstrasse 10 in the second floor. If you need to print/copy/bind a large amount of materials, you can go to the copy office of the university at Sidlerstrasse 5, UG, A92.
  4. More information can be found here:
Last changed by admin on 21 April 2009