Why should I study in Switzerland?

The country of beautiful mountains, cheese, and chocolate...

Study in Switzerland

Switzerland is located in Europe and landlocked by 5 countries. There are 4 language communities in Switzerland, German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic is the first language in some smaller parts of the country.

The Swiss Higher Education System

In Switzerland, there are 10 state universities, 2 federal universities, 8 universities of applied sciences and 17 universities of teachers’ education. While all these types award Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, only universities are entitled to award doctorates.

As usual in the European Higher Education Area, the degree structure is three-tiered for the overwhelming part of subjects/programmes: Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees.

Switzerland’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

As shown in the table below, Swiss Higher Education Institutions clearly score above average in 4 out of 5 U-Multirank dimensions, i.e. Teaching and Learning, Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Orientation.

National performance: Switzerland

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 20.689655172413794% 41.37931034482759% Research 24.719101123595507% 69.66292134831461% Knowledge Transfer 35.2112676056338% 59.15492957746479% International Orientation 13.333333333333334% 71.66666666666667% Regional Engagement 45.945945945945944% 43.24324324324324%

Fees & University Entrance Requirements

Tuition fees in Switzerland may vary between 400 and 10,000 CHF per and depend on the university, canton and whether you are an EU citizen or not.

Entry requirements

To study in Switzerland on a Bachelor’s programme you need a secondary school certificate that qualifies you for higher education (Maturität). In order to study at Master’s degree level, you are required to hold a Bachelor’s degree. Medical programmes and programmes with limited capacities are regulated more restrictively. All universities are autonomous in terms of admission. Most of them require that you sit a screening test.

In French-speaking parts of Switzerland you need a proof of your knowledge of the French language.

Scholarships in Switzerland

A scholarship database can be found here.

Student Visa

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa, but need to register with the local immigration authorities (Fremdenpolizei) within a week of their arrival. These authorities will provide you with a student residence permit.

Generally, all non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must first acquire a certificate of enrolment at a higher education institution in Switzerland. After that, you need to apply for a student residence permit (long-term national D visa). If you are planning to work in Switzerland you may work 15 hours per week during term-time or full-time in holidays. However, this is only possible after you have lived in the country for at least 6 months.

Key highlights for students interested in studying in Switzerland

Switzerland’s higher education performance in U-Multirank

  1. In 2018 U-Multirank has a nearly full coverage of Swiss universities, presenting data on 12 out of 13 universities.
  2. On a global perspective, Swiss higher education institutions perform very strongly in U-Multirank’s Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Orientation dimensions.
  3. Swiss universities perform strongly in links to business and industry as measured by Co-publications with Industrial Partners and their high volume of External Research Income.
  4. Six Swiss universities reached more than 10 top positions; the highest numbers are achieved by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (17) and ETH Zurich (16).
  5. University of St. Gallen is among the global top 25 universities performing in U-Multirank’s 2018 edition in generating Income from Continuous Professional Development courses.

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Useful vocabulary

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Hallo - Ciao - Bonjour

Bye

Tschüss - Ciao - Au revoir

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Danke - Grazie - Merci

Please

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