Switzerland houses one of Europe’s most prestigious higher education systems, including continental Europe’s two highest entries in the QS World University Rankings 2018 .Additional attractions to study in Switzerland come from the postcard-perfect beauty found throughout the nation, which is especially known for its magnificent Alpine mountains and dazzling lakes. With around four official languages, Switzerland is the definition of a true European melting pot, and consistently ranks among the world’s leaders on measures of quality of life.On top of that, tuition fees are cheapest for international students
Applying to Universities in Switzerland
Please note there is no centralized application procedure for international students, so in order to apply to study in Switzerland you’ll be asked to make direct contact with each university. You will be able to apply online, and universities’ international and admissions offices would thus be available to help you if you have any questions or encounter any problems. Please do well to check the language requirements of the courses you’re applying to; this is a country with four official languages after all! German, French and English (particularly at graduate level) predominate
If you are from an EU/EFTA country:
- You do not need a visa to study in Switzerland.
- Please note that you will, however, be expected to register with the local Residents’ Registration Office in order to obtain a residence permit. In order to get this you will need to present a completed application form, your passport, proof that you’ve been offered admissions, evidence that you have sufficient cash to support yourself, proof of your address and two passport size photos. If you have to leave for any reason, you will be required to apply for a new residence permit when you return.
- Health insurance is compulsory for all, so do well to purchase insurance cover in Switzerland (unless coverage purchased in your home country is valid in Switzerland).
If you’re from outside of the EU/EFTA:
- You will have to apply for a multiple entry long stay visa (Visa D) from your local Swiss embassy. Do well to allow at least three months for your visa to process, so make sure you apply in plenty of time.
- The embassy will indicate specifically what you need to provide in order to obtain your visa, but it is likely to be similar to the above list for obtaining a residence permit. You will be allowed six months to find a job in Switzerland after completing your degree, and will be able to get a work visa if you succeed.
- Within 14 days of your arrival you must apply for a residence permit. See above for what you’ll need to provide.
Fees and Funding
Switzerland is not a very cheap country to live in. Living costs for students are pegged at CHF18,000-28,000 per year (~US$18,500-28,800). However, this is nicely counterbalanced by the country’s relatively affordable tuition fees. In a couple cases, international students pay no more than local students (some universities operate a slight mark-up). The exact amount varies, but at most leading Swiss universities, international fees are in the range of CHF1,266-2,200 per year (~US$1,300-2,265). A couple of scholarships are available, from the Swiss Government and from individual Swiss universities.