STUDY IN SWITZERLAND

Why you should study in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Known for its world-class education and cutting-edge research, it is quickly becoming a top destination for international students. Read more to find out why so many students want to study in Switzerland. 

Switzerland is known for its banking system, cheese, the army knife, chocolates, and beautiful mountain ranges. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Switzerland is a hub to its unique culture, innovation, and inventions. Its world-class universities attract thousands of international students every year. And although the overall cost of studying in Switzerland can be high, it’s one of the very few countries that a student can leave debt-free. So, let’s dig in! Here is everything important you need to know if you want to study in Switzerland-

Why study in Switzerland?

According to the World Happiness Report, Switzerland has consistently been among the top 10 happiest countries in the world. There are a lot of reasons why the residents of this nation are so full of life. Switzerland, as I’ve already mentioned, is beautiful. It has a solid economy, a great healthcare system, is safe for international students, and has a commendable education system. Let’s cover these points one by one-

Snow path at the side of a mountain with snow covered mountains in the background
The beautiful snow-capped mountains in Switzerland

Nature

Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe. It may seem like a small country, but its breathtaking landscape and natural beauty make it look grand. You could bike or ski in the Swiss Alps, go swimming in crystal-clear waters, and take a trip to the quiet countryside.

Safety

A lot of times, you’ll hear how your friends had to block their credit cards or talk to insurance companies after they were robbed abroad. None of that in Switzerland. The country ranks as one of the safest in the world. It’s not just low on crime but is also a stable democratic nation.

Culture

A hub of cultural diversity, Switzerland welcomes people from all around the world. The people are helpful and considerate. They might even take you to film festivals, for jazz clubbing, to watch performances, or just stroll through one of the 600 museums in the country!

Healthcare

Switzerland doesn’t just have a great healthcare system but also an enviable health insurance policy. Having health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Switzerland, and it covers all kinds of illnesses and accidents. So, if you get sick in Switzerland, you won’t have to worry.

Education system

Known for its education system, Switzerland has high academic standards and teaching methods. The universities here believe in active learning and provide a range of programs for Swiss and international students (who, by the way, make up 20% of the student population).

What are the top universities in Switzerland?

Similar in size to the US state of Virginia, Switzerland is home to a small number of residents. Despite this, Switzerland universities consistently rank among the top 100 in the world! While some of these institutions are the regular kind, others focus solely on the arts and teacher education. But Switzerland universities are widely known for one area of study – science & technology.

Here are some of the best universities in Switzerland-

ETH Zurich

Ranked 7th best in the world, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) has a clear focus on technology. Established in 1855, the university offers a wide range of courses in technology and natural sciences, like Landscape Architecture, Quantum Engineering, and Cyber Security.

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich campus, Switzerland


The university carries out cutting-edge research, is associated with 21 Nobel Laureates, and has a 40% population of international students!

EPFL

Like ETH Zurich, EPFL specializes in technology. Placed 22nd in world rankings, it comes 11th in place for engineering and technology, and 13th for natural sciences. The subjects taught range from Robotics and Data Science to Materials and Energy Science.
However, since the university is based out of a French-speaking region in Switzerland, most of the courses are taught in French. But there are several Masters and Doctoral degrees offered in English, as well. It will depend on your choice of program.

University of Zurich

The largest university in Switzerland, the University of Zurich is the 78th best university in the world. Here, you can choose from a hoard of courses, including science, law, philosophy, theology, medicine. Many of the degree programs at the University of Zurich are taught in English, be it for Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D.
The University of Zurich also runs an impressive selection of events, libraries, museums, and educational programs.

University of Geneva and University of Bern are also great options if you want to study in Switzerland.

What is the cost of studying in Switzerland?

The tuition fees at Switzerland universities are highly subsidized by the government. So, the fees at public universities are relatively low for all students, regardless of their nationality.

Consequently, the amount of tuition you pay per semester can vary between CHF 500 AND CHF 2000. The final amount will depend on the university and the program you choose. 

However, despite the comparatively low tuition fees, the cost of living can be extremely high, especially in cities like Zurich and Geneva. On average, you would be paying CHF 22,200 every year, for accommodation, food, health insurance, transport, and other things. But depending on the location and the type of apartment you choose, this amount can range between CHF 18,000 & CHF 30,000.

There are a few things that will help you cover these expenses. After 6 months of starting your education, you can take up a part-time job, get a work permit, and easily earn 25 to 35 CHF per hour. This would ease your stay in the country. Apart from this, you can always apply for a scholarship offered by the Swiss Government or your university. 

What’s the admission process like?

Like many other study-abroad destinations, Switzerland does not have a centralized admission system. So, the first step for you is to decide which program you want to study.

Once you’ve chosen, you can explore the top universities for that subject and shortlist the ones you like the most. Keep in mind that the country has 4 national languages, so choose your universities according to your language preference. Also, make sure they fit in your budget.

The next step would be to look at the program requirements. Even though these requirements vary from one university to another, some of the eligibility criteria are pretty common.

For students who want to pursue a bachelor’s in Switzerland, these documents include a secondary education leaving certificate and proficiency certificate for the language in which the program will be taught. If your program is taught in English, you will have to take the TOEFL

For those looking to do a master’s, a bachelor’s degree is required, along with your CV, a Statement of Purpose, and test scores. These will include your scores for GRE or GMAT, and TOEFL (or another language test) depending on the program you choose to study.

What about Student Visa for studying in Switzerland?

The Switzerland visa application process for international students depends on their nationality. If you are from Europe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway (EU/EFTA), you will need to apply for a Residence Permit. Others will need to apply for a Switzerland visa at your local Swiss embassy.

For EU/EFTA students

Stays up to 90 days within 6 months do not require authorization. But if you want to stay longer, you should apply for a Residence Permit within 14 days of your arrival in Switzerland.

The documents needed include-

  • A valid passport
  • Confirmation that you have been admitted to a recognized educational institution.
  • Proof of adequate financial resources to cover the cost of living in Switzerland during your study
  • A health insurance policy that includes accident coverage
  • This permit will remain valid for the duration of your studies, or one year, and you can apply for renewal again if necessary. Another instance where you’ll need to renew is when you leave the country and want to come back to continue your studies.

For non-EU/EFTA students

You would have to apply for a Switzerland visa at your local Swiss embassy or consulate. Note that it can take between 8 to 12 weeks for it to be processed and apply accordingly.

The documents needed are-

  • A confirmation that you have been admitted to a recognized or accredited educational institution
  • Proof of adequate financial resources to cover the cost of living in Switzerland during your study
  • A health insurance policy that includes accident coverage
  • A study plan with information about the purpose of your studies
  • Proof that you fulfill the personal and educational requirements for the intended study
  • A motivation letter, your curriculum vitae and an information sheet detailing your language skills
  • Proof that you have appropriate accommodation
  • A confirmation that you will leave Switzerland at the end of your studies

Remember, you should apply for a visa without gainful employment.

What about jobs in Switzerland for international students?

On campus jobs are the most convenient jobs to have as a student
Students looking for on-campus jobs can go to the career center and look for the on-campus postings

Switzerland has some of the world’s brightest minds. Jobs are abundant in the field of technology, hospitality, finance, pharmaceuticals, and business. Many multinational companies are headquartered in Switzerland, including 15 Fortune Companies. You can work at large companies like Nestlé, ABB, Google, and Swatch or find a place in smaller companies active in technology, trade, finance, management, and consulting.

Once you learn your trade and graduate, you will have 6 months to find a job in Switzerland, which is a considerable amount of time. And once you’ve secured your job, you can easily apply for a work visa!

So, what is Switzerland famous for?

Switzerland is close to France, Germany, and Italy. This is why it has 4 national languages – German, French, Italian, and Romansh! What’s more, English is becoming increasingly popular in the country.

Another thing you should know is that there are over 1,500 lakes and 4,400 ranges in Switzerland. You can always go hiking with your friends and witness the epic landscapes surrounding these mountains and streams.

But two of THE coolest things about Switzerland (that this blog would be incomplete without) are these – One, Albert Einstein coined his famous theory of relativity in Switzerland and two, CERN! CERN is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, and it is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Switzerland – Yes, no, maybe?

All in all, Switzerland is a terrific place to study. Yes, the tuition fee might be high, but it’s worth the world-class education! What’s more, you can leave the country debt-free, which is not true for even the best study abroad destinations in the world.

It’s a beautiful country. The quality of life is great, and there’s a lot of things you can explore and discover. Who knows, you might even learn a new language or two as you study in Switzerland!

So, let me know what you think in the comment section. Cheers!

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