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Study in Switzerland

Overview

Other than being one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Switzerland is also a well known study abroad destination. This is because of its highly ranked universities, excellent research facilities, optimum student/faculty ratio and low tuition fees.

Studying in Switzerland for international students has always been an affirmative choice which is why the immigrant population in this country is 25.1%. 

International students wanting to study abroad in Switzerland can be assured of high standards of education. Other than these, a growing economy, with the presence of well-established companies increases the job prospects for students.


Switzerland As a Study Destination: Highlights

Here’s an overview of all the factors that an international student must know about when pursuing higher studies in Switzerland: 

Language of Instruction

  • German
  • French
  • English 

Average Cost of Study

200 - 850 CHF / semester

Average Cost of Living

2,000 CHF/month

Sources of Funding

Scholarships, Part-time job opportunities and Internships

Exam Required

Language Proficiency exams (English, German or French)  GMAT, GRE, etc.

Intakes

  • Autumn/Fall
  • Spring

Type of Visa

C-VISA (stay less than 3 months),  D-VISA (stay more than 3 months)

Top Courses

Business Management, Hotel and Hospitality Management, Applied Mathematics, Banking and Finance

Types of Degrees

Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Master of Advanced Studies, Doctorate Degree

Best Student Cities

Zurich, Lausanne, Geneva, Bern, Basel


Why Study in Switzerland?

With excellent universities, ground-breaking research facilities, higher education in Switzerland is considered to be amongst the best in the world. However, these are not the only benefits of choosing Switzerland for higher studies. Here are the top reasons to study in Switzerland for Indian students and other international students:

  • Switzerland is home to highly ranked universities with the teaching style being interactive. 
  • Switzerland is a safe and friendly country which is open to welcoming new cultures. 
  • The main reason to study in Switzerland for Indian students is the multilingual advantage. Learning French, German and Italian can help students converse better with the locals and add to the resume. 
  • The great social life is another major reason to study abroad in Switzerland. There are multiple festivals, places to visit, and travel opportunities for students. 
  • The decision to study abroad in Switzerland can lead to high-paying job offers. The residents in Switzerland are known for their high standards of living which is proof of their income. 

Education System

Switzerland’s education system is the biggest reason why international students are drawn towards applying to this country. There are multiple institutes in Switzerland that offer higher education. These universities provide different types of degrees such as:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: It is a full-time undergraduate degree which generally has a 3 years duration.

  • Masters Degree: A graduate mostly comprises 1.5-2 years of full-time study. 

  • Master of Advanced Studies (MAS): It is a postgraduate degree that generally lasts for 1-2 years and usually consists of course work, independent study and a masters thesis.

  • Doctorate Degree: A doctorate degree takes a total of 3 to 5 years to complete.

The detailed view of different types of universities in Switzerland is discussed below:

Type of Institution 

Key Points

Universities

Research institutions that offer bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees

Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts

Offer practice-based Bachelors, Masters degree programs

Universities of Teacher Education

Offer programs in teaching for pre-primary level, primary level, secondary level I, secondary level II and special needs education

Apart from the universities, there are other higher educational institutions in Switzerland such as Business Schools, Medical Schools, Music Schools and Hospitality Schools.


Credit System in Switzerland

All universities in Switzerland follow the Bologna process based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS credits) same credit system. The credits that a student earns during the course are taken into consideration to calculate the final result.

  • For Bachelor’s programs in Switzerland lasting 3 years, students have to complete a total of 180 ECTS credits. 
  • To complete a Master’s level degree around 90-120 credit hours are required. For a MAS degree, 60-120 ECTS are required. 
  • Doctorate degrees require students to be able to complete 240 ECTS credits.

Top Courses

There are multiple courses in Switzerland that will confidently cater to the needs of international students. 

The best courses in Switzerland for international students are:

  • Business Management
  • Hotel & Hospitality Management 
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Banking & Finance
  • Quantitative & Systems Biology
  • International Law
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Interdisciplinary Sciences

Program 

Duration 

Average Tuition Fees

BA Hons (International Hospitality Management)

2-3 years

12,000 CHF/ semester

Bachelor of Business Administration

3 years

13,500 CHF/ semester

MA Banking and Finance

1 -2 years

3,000 CHF/ semester

MSc Mechanical Engineering

2 years

1,200 CHF/ semester

Master in Interactive Design 

3 semesters

1,600 CHF/semester

Masters of International Business

18 months

36,400 CHF/ year

MBA (Global Banking & Finance)

3 terms

12,600 CHF/ term

MSc Artificial Intelligence

4 terms

4,000 CHF/  semester

 

Biology
masters
Course Duration - 18 Months
Nuclear Engineering
masters
Course Duration - 24 Months
Energy Science and Technology
masters
Course Duration - 24 Months
Mechanical Engineering
masters
Course Duration - 18 Months
Robotics, Systems and Control
masters
Course Duration - 18 Months

Admission Process

The process of admission in Switzerland differs from university to university. However, there is a common process that is followed by all.  A step-by-step process of how to study in Switzerland is discussed below:

  1. Research and understand the education system and the type of universities in Switzerland.
  2. Find the universities offering programs related to your interest and field of study. Shortlist universities based on the programs and curriculum. 
  3. Compare fee structures and evaluate scholarship options in each of the universities you have shortlisted. 
  4. Check eligibility criteria for individual programs and make a list of documents required for the application process. 
  5. Fill the application form and upload all required documents and certificates. Pay the required application fees.
  6. Wait for the universities to revert. Once accepted, you can apply for a student visa. 

The application process can turn out to be a long and complicated task. Hence you may want to get in touch with our career counsellors at Yocket to simplify the process for you.


Admission Requirements

Based on the degree type, the requirements are listed. Ensure all of them are checked when applying for further studies in Switzerland:

Degree Type 

Requirements 

Bachelor’s Degrees 

  • High school academic transcripts
  • Language proficiency in English, German or French

Master’s Degrees 

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • SOP
  • Resume
  • Language Proficiency test in German, French, or English
  • GRE/ GMAT

Master of Advanced Studies

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Work Experience 
  • Language Proficiency test in German, French, or English
  • GRE/ GMAT

Doctorate 

  • Master’s degree and all other academic transcripts
  • Work experience
  • References
  • SOP stating your academics and the program details you’re applying for

Cost of Attendance

The cost of studying in Switzerland is quite nominal when compared to popular study abroad destinations such as the US and the UK. The overall cost of studying can be divided into two categories – Tuition Fees and Cost of Living.


Tuition Fees

The tuition fee depends upon the program you choose to pursue. The programs related to areas such as engineering, management and medicine are generally more expensive. Here’s a quick look at the tuition fee for public universities: 

Degree Type 

Average Tuition Fee per Semester

Bachelors 

700-3,500 CHF 

Masters 

700-2,000 CHF 


Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Switzerland is 2,250 CHF/month. The costs vary on different factors, one being the type of area you choose for universities. Here is an estimate based on the top three student-friendly areas in Switzerland.

Factor 

Average Cost per month

Fees

900 CHF 

Travel

100 CHF 

Accommodation

1,000 CHF 

Food

500 CHF 

Healthcare 

400 CHF 

 

Best student cities

Considering the high student population in Switzerland, these are the top cities international students should consider.

City 

Average Cost of Living per month

Zurich

2,,300 CHF

Lausanne

2,000 CHF

Geneva

2,000 CHF

Bern

1,500 CHF

Basel

2,000 CHF

 

Visa

You require a student visa to study in Switzerland. Here’s a step by step process for student visa application in Switzerland:

  1. On receiving a letter of acceptance from the Swiss University, reach out to the Swiss Consulate in your country.
  2. Fill a Visa Application Form and schedule an appointment at the Swiss Visa Application Center.
  3. Visit the embassy or consulate at the scheduled date and time. Carry the completed application form along with all relevant documents.
  4. Submit the documents and pay the Swiss student visa fees. For Indian students it is 160 CHF. 
  5. Collect the acknowledgement receipt and wait for approval. If you’re applying for a short visa which is less than three months, it takes up to 10-15 days. However, for a long term visa which is for more than three months, the time process for student visa can go up to 10 weeks. 

Necessary documents and personal details needed to apply for Switzerland Student visa:

  • Swiss Visa application form
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • National Passport copy (valid for 3 months before the exit date)
  • Any other copies of previous passports/visas
  • Medical travel insurance copy
  • Proof of funds to stay in Switzerland
  • A detailed letter stating why you want to study in Switzerland, when are you arriving and how long will you stay
  • Proof of university enrollment
  • No objection certificate from university

Top Scholarships

To help international students fund their studies, there are multiple scholarships in Switzerland, both  governmental or non-governmental. Given below are the details of some of the top scholarships:


Swiss Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students

Post-graduate researchers or Ph.D./doctorate students in any subject.
Amount/ Benefit: Covers cost of living, tuition fees, insurance, travel costs, and more.


ETH Zurich Excellence Master’s Scholarship

International students pursuing masters at ETH Zurich. 
Amount/ Benefit: A grant of up to 60.000 CHF


Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Scholarships

International students pursuing LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law 
Amount/ Benefit: Full scholarships cover tuition fees and living expenses in Geneva for 10 months. Partial scholarships cover tuition fees.


Nestle MBA Scholarships for Women from Developing Countries

Female  students from developing countries pursuing MBA Degree. 
Amount/ Benefit: 25,000 CHF


UNIL Master’s Grants in Switzerland for Foreign Students

International students pursuing a masters degree at University of Lausanne.
Amount/ Benefit:  1,600 CHF  per month


EPFL Excellence Fellowships

Students enrolled for  Postgraduate Programs at EPFL.
Amount/ Benefit: 10,000 CHF per semester


University of Geneva Excellence Masters Fellowships

Students enrolled for  Master of Science degree at University of Geneva.
Amount/ Benefit: 10,000-15,000 CHF per year

Work Opportunities

There are multiple part-time jobs in Switzerland for international students. 

As per the rules, international students can work part-time 15 hours/week and full-time on semester breaks. You require a work permit which your employer will provide. 

There are multiple options for Switzerland part time jobs for students. Here are the popular ones with their average salary.

Part-Time Jobs

Average Salary Per Hour

Research Assistant

28 CHF 

Sales Advisor

23 CHF 

Store Assistant

25 CHF 

Sales Assistant 

24 CHF

Travel Assistant/ Tourist Guide

20 CHF


Post Study Work Options For International Students in Switzerland

Studying in Switzerland for international students comes with another set of advantages. Switzerland allows international students to work and stay back in the country after completion of their degree. However, they do have to fulfill certain conditions to be able to do so. 


Job Outlook for International Students after Studies

Switzerland is known for having one of the highest average salaries in Europe. The unemployment rate is around 3 percent and there are a number of job opportunities available across industries. Let us take a look at the top fields offering job opportunities in switzerland after MS:

Area of Specialisation

Average Annual Salary

Engineering

99,000 CHF

Pharmaceuticals

93,000 CHF

Computer Science & IT

88,000 CHF

Banking & Insurance

1,00,000 CHF

Hospitality

58,253 CHF


Post Study Work Visa & PR In Switzerland

International Students in Switzerland are allowed to remain in the country for six months after completion of their degree. A Switzerland Work visa is granted to those who are able to find a job. Visa for a work permit is given to successful job applicants. The Work Permit will be valid as long as you are employed with a Swiss Employer.

Students who want to stay for a longer period and obtain Permanent Residence (PR), need to reside in Switzerland for 10 years. PR can be availed in five years if the below criterias are met:

  • No crime records
  • A2 level language skills in the area your living (oral)
  • A1 in written language (Should take Language proficiency test if no skills are shown)

International students choosing to study in Switzerland can benefit immensely from the access to high educational standards and promising career opportunities. Apart from this, students also get to experience multiculturalism, quality life, innovative technology and picturesque scenery in the country.  Switzerland has always opened doors to new cultures living amongst them, thus making your journey easier in Switzerland. In case you’re looking for any assistance during your admissions process, Yocket is here to help. 

FAQs


Can international students apply for both semesters?

Ans: International students (including Indian students) can apply only for the autumn semester.


Are students allowed to work in Switzerland?

Ans: EU students are permitted to work 15 hours a week, without a work permit. After completion of their degrees, students are allowed to stay back for 6 months and search for a job and on securing one get a work visa.


What is the minimum wage students can earn in Switzerland?

Ans: There is no minimum wage limit. Normally as per voluntary collective bargaining agreements, unskilled workers earn upto 2,200 to 4,200 francs per month and skilled workers earn upto 2,800 to 5,300 francs per month