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Switzerland as a Study Destination

Switzerland attracts thousands of international students each year. With approximately 20% of the student population coming from overseas, Switzerland truly is a welcoming destination for students for their education and to discover a new culture. Switzerland welcomes international students in its drive for innovation, technology and research, education and business development. Switzerland’s investment in education and research is among the most eminent of all OECD nations. Apart from technology and research, Switzerland is also well-known around the globe for its excellence in hospitality.

Quick Facts

  • Switzerland has four native languages: Swiss, German, French and Italian, making it the most cosmopolitan country in Europe.
  •  Largest Cities: Geneva and Zurich are the two largest cities in Switzerland and are top choices for students as well as tourist. Switzerland is home to some of the world’s best-ranked academic institutions.
  • World renowned Education Institute: Zurich’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, known as ETH Zurich spots the 7th place in Science and Technology and has hosted a massive 31 Nobel Laureates. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne- EPFL), the University of Geneva and the University of Zurich also hold top positions in the 2013-14 QS World University Rankings’ Top 100.

  • Well-organised Transport System: According to the Environmental Performance Index 2012, Switzerland is ranked in the first place, principally due to its role of hydroelectric power and its extremely well-organised and systematic public transportation mechanism.

  • Switzerland higher education is split into Universities, Universities of applied sciences (UAS), and Universities of teacher education (UTE). Switzerland has 12 universities, mainly 10 cantonal universities and 2 federal institutes of technology, 8 universities of applied sciences and arts, 20 universities of teacher education, and various state-funded university institutions.

  • In the 2012-13 autumn semesters, over 220000 students enrolled at Swiss universities: of this total enrolment, 51% were female and close to 25% were international students. 138 000 students were enrolled at universities, 67 000 enrolled at universities of applied sciences and arts, and 17 000 at universities of teacher education.
  • Switzerland possesses a competitive economy in the globe, according to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13.


International Students

Switzerland offers a high level of living standards and best quality of services- transports, infrastructures, Medicare and so on. It provides internationally recognised qualifications and research facilities with outstanding reputation for quality and innovation. It presents a positive sort of multiculturalism with people living together idyllically and is considered as one of the safest nations.

Main Reasons to Study in Switzerland

High-Quality and Cost-Effective Education

Swiss Universities are known worldwide for their quality in teaching and research, resulting in the top positions in the world. The cost of a Swiss education is significantly lower than many of the country’s European counterparts. Swiss has low tuition fees and university-sponsored scholarships, thereby establishing it a popular study destination for students.  

Many Scholarships Available

There are many scholarships programs-governmental and Universities for international students thereby enabling academic studies in various universities in Switzerland. 

Multiculturalism

Swiss is a land of great cultural diversity. Switzerland has four national languages-German, Italian, French and Romansh thereby bringing back many different countries and cultural diversity thrives. 

International Perspective

Switzerland is part of the worldwide community and maintains a worldwide network of cooperation’s and partnerships in education and science. The Red Cross, International Olympic Committee and the World Economic Forum are  few of the global organizations situated in Switzerland. 

Career Opportunities

There are tremendous work opportunities in Switzerland. Switzerland's economy is based on a highly skilled labour force.

Bits of Advice 

  • Application Procedure: Switzerland doesn’t have a centralized application process for international students, i.e. applications which can be submitted electronically are made instantly to your institution of choice. The procedure mostly takes place in the spring for enrollment the following autumn, although deadlines vary according to institution. 
  • Language Requirements: Different institutions have different language requirements. Before applying to an institution, check the language requirements and other necessary pre-requisites along with the program offerings.
  • Visa Requirements: Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin. Students from EU/EFTA countries don’t need a visa, while pupils from outside the region will require a visa. The processing time is three months. Students must register their address proof and identity documents, along with registration proof and evidence of sufficient funds, with their local Registration Office within 14 days of arrival.
  • Health Insurance: In Switzerland, health insurance is compulsory for all international students. Students from foreign countries must obtain their own health insurance policy if they intend to be in Switzerland for more than three months. 
  • Accommodation: Most higher education institutions provide on-campus accommodations. Contact the housing office of your academic institution for help finding accommodation. While the cost of living in Switzerland is high, the advantages of studying and working here are huge, including higher salaries, a global setting and a great standard of living thereby, making it a safe and salubrious environment for students. 
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