Switzerland provides the opportunity for students to study not only in 3 official languages, but also more and more universities offer the option of studying in English for foreign students. There are three academic degrees and titles awarded in Switzerland: Bachelor, Master and Degree in Doctoral Studies. Universities in Switzerland follow the Bologna system, so it is easy for foreign students to cross from another university.
The academic year usually begins in September. However, the applicants should contact the selected university much earlier.
Applying for studies at a university in Switzerland is generally not difficult, and it will be even easier if you adhere to this useful mini-guide that we have prepared for you.
Find a degree programme that suits your needs
Switzerland offers a wide range of educational opportunities. The first step that leads you to a degree at one of the Swiss universities is to decide in which area you want to improve yourself. Find the appropriate subject, and then the university that suits you best. Some of the best rated are Universities in Basel, Zurich, Lausanne and in St. Gallen. Cantonal universities offer the possibility of studying the so-called social sciences (art, literature, language, history, anthropology, political science ...), mathematics and natural sciences, law, economics, medicine and pharmacy. Federal institutes of technology offer the possibility of studying natural sciences, architecture, mathematics, computer science, humanities, engineering and so on.
Inquire about scholarships
Scholarships in Switzerland vary and very much depend on the programs and on the universities. That's why it's important for you to do research and comparison before you finally decide. All tuition fees can be found directly on your university website, and they vary between CHF 500 and CHF 4000.
In addition to tuition fees, also count on daily living expenses that depend on your habits and lifestyle.
Find out if your qualification meets the entry requirements for a course
In order for you to be enrolled at a university in Switzerland, you must have either a Swiss-issued certificate or another foreign certificate recognized as equivalent by the university. To enroll some of the applied science programs, you will also need additional evidence of experience and special abilities in the selected field. Copies of test results, biography and any other diplomas and certificates that may have a positive impact on your admission to the desired school should be enclosed as well. One of the preconditions is good knowledge of the language in which you will attend classes (German, French, Italian, English). You must be in command of necessary language skills, some universities require C1/C2 level of certification. Additional programs will require additional language testing. Some universities offer affordable or completely free foreign language courses, so you can take advantage of them.
Follow the application guidelines
You apply for each university in Switzerland directly. The website of the university has a form that you need to complete, as well as any additional instructions for successful application. All you need to do is to search carefully and to follow the given steps. If you need help or if you have any doubts, contact the international and admission offices of the university.
Notification of acceptance
Once your application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter. After this, you need to pay the registration fee and submit the documentation required by the university.
Apply for your student visa
The next step is to contact the Swiss embassy in your country and inquire about entry formalities for Switzerland. It is necessary to prove that you have enough financial resources to support yourself while you are studying. For this, you will have enough report from the bank or some similar document.
If you are coming from the EU / EFTA country, you do not need a visa to enter and study in Switzerland. All the other students must obtain a type D student visa in the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in their own country. Schedule your appointment for a visa interview as early as 6 months before studying in Switzerland, but no later than 10 weeks before your departure.
* More information on Swiss student visa you can find here.
Welcome to Switzerland
One of the first things that every student should do when arriving in Switzerland is to register with a local office for registration of apartments in order to obtain a residence permit. Deadline is 14 days after arrival.
Student insurance is also mandatory for all students and you are required to buy health insurance within three months of your arrival in Switzerland. In this way, all your health needs will be met while you are studying. With adequate student insurance you will cover all possible medical services, some of which may cost you a lot of wealth, such as hospital treatment.
Lastly, you should keep in mind that life in most Swiss cities is extremely expensive. The good news is that students are allowed to work (no more than 15 hours a week), which is sufficient for an existential minimum and a few chocolates :-).