Studying and Living for International Students in Switzerland

Switzerland is internationally known as centre of excellence for education and research. Its a land of great diversity.


Switzerland lies in the heart of Europe and shares borders with Germany, Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Italy and France and serves as a critical nexus for communication and transports between the Northern and Southern Europe.

Getting Around by Trains

The well- organized and developed railway system helps Swiss residents to avoid excessive driving, thus contributing to an ecologically sound environment. The Swiss rail service is extraordinarily efficient and most of the network is operated by SBB. To know about the charges, schedule and other related information, visit official website of SBB SBB also offers a travel pass of their own which is valid on both rail and bus networks.

Train Types in Switzerland: Suburban (S-Bahn), Regional(Regional Express ad InterRegioExpress), InterCity, High Speed (InterCityExpress, TGV & RailJet), EuroCity and CityNightLine (CNL).

Train Passes

  • The Swiss Pass is a single-country rail pass that is valid either over a span of continuous days or one month or as a flexipass, i.e. for a certain number of days s within a one-month window. 
  • The Swiss Transfer Ticket is a round-trip ticket between the Swiss border and any given spot in the country in which two days of train or bus travel tickets are been given, for  one-month, from any Swiss border station to any point in Switzerland.
  • The Swiss Card is a One-Month Half-Fare Travelcard that gives 50 percent off on all Swiss trains, postal buses, city trams and buses, mountain lifts, and lake and river boats.

Travelling In and Around by Bus

Local bus services cover the whole country. Postbuses are the national yellow buses which run connecting routes between stations and towns with no rail access. 

Tuition Fees

Semester fees at public universities vary between CHF 500 and CHF 2 000 approximately. The Tuition fees per year vary depending upon the Institution. For foreign students, an additional fee is charged. 

Living Expenses

The Living expenses in Switzerland for students vary between CHF 21,000 and 31,000 per year approximately, depending on the University location and personal needs.


Students should search for accommodation in good time prior to their arrival. Many universities offer subsidized accommodation for Swiss and international students. Prices for subsidized student flats are less than normal market prices. University accommodation includes halls of residence. University accommodation is a great way of settling into student life easily while Private accommodation includes House and flat rentals.

Health Insurance

Switzerland holds a mandatory health insurance mechanism that ensures access to a range of high quality medical care services to all people living in Switzerland. International Students living in Switzerland for more than three months must have basic health insurance coverage.

Working While Studying

International students can work in Switzerland for about 15 to 20 hours in a week, but this is somewhat flexible depending on the canton. Full-time work is permitted during the semester holidays. Students must notify the responsible immigration authorities of any employment pursued during their stay in Switzerland. Students from non-EU/EFTA countries are allowed to work only 6 months after commencing their degree program. Each university has a job placement office that provides information on student employment. Wages vary according to the job and your skills.
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