The Swiss brand is internationally recognized. When we hear the word Switzerland, we think of Swiss chocolate, cheese and elegant watches. A lesser-known aspect, however, is the pride of place the Swiss education system occupies globally.

This small country centered in the heart of Europe has a long history regarding the quality of education. The origins of this educational distinction go back to the year 1460 and perhaps even further. With a large number of universities and institutes of higher education, studying in Switzerland will give you the opportunity to explore and learn in a way that meets your ambitions and goals

Why study in Switzerland?

The education process in Switzerland takes you far beyond the walls of the library. Switzerland, with its picturesque nature, its charming geography, its amazing diversity that combines different European cultures, and its cities that are classified among the best countries in the standard of living in the world, provide a scientific environment that encourages innovation and progress.

With so many highly ranked universities, the Swiss higher education system provides students with an opportunity to advance their education and future careers. In addition, as a country that encourages global participation, Switzerland is an ideal choice for international students to study abroad.

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Switzerland is proud of its scientific institutions that are internationally referred to as Lebanon, and in particular its business schools, which are among the best in the world. In addition to the advantage of having study options in many languages Because Switzerland takes German, French, Italian and Romansh as its official languages, it is also possible to study in English – which a large proportion of the people speak – in many educational institutions.

Your reasons for studying in Switzerland might include:

A country whose population is as diverse as its geography

Switzerland is made up of 26 federal states with four national languages, so it is no wonder that Switzerland’s population is among the most diverse in Europe. The beautiful and diverse nature of the country also enables international students to experience Switzerland in the way that suits them. Whether it’s around the Swiss Alps or the central plateau, in a big city or somewhere more rural, there is something for everyone!

Student mosaic

According to Study in Switzerland, foreign students from different parts of the world make up 25% of all students in Switzerland. This is great news for any student newly arriving in Switzerland, as meeting other international students will be the fastest way to form friendships and grow your social and professional network. It’s also the perfect way to find new customs and traditions, and even learn a new language!

The rest of Europe is at your doorstep

Now that you have made new friends and explored what Switzerland has to offer, it is time to go out and see the rest of Europe. Switzerland borders five other European countries – France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy – and has close ties with all of them.

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Switzerland’s transportation system is manifold, well-organized and efficient, ready to make your dream weekend a reality. For example, you can cross the border into Germany to explore the Black Forest, or make your way south to Italy and visit Milan, one of the biggest fashion capitals in the world.

Efficiency is a top priority

The success of the Swiss transport networks is made possible by the Swiss’s passion for efficiency. This will be a great outlet for students who have experienced annoying delays in the New York or London metro, for example, as trains in Switzerland run regularly and on time. But competence is a major player in every other aspect as well; Official documents are issued on time and universities are well-organized, which means less difficulty when it comes to immigration and school registration papers.

High quality education

The most important thing for any student considering a study abroad experience is the reputation of any university they may study at. Swiss universities emphasize quality, by offering an innovative environment for students and researchers, to enjoy their independence while receiving a high-quality education. With 11 out of 12 Swiss universities in the world university rankings (all in the top 500), there are a number of great institutions for students to choose from that all have large numbers of international students among students.

For example, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich is one of the oldest universities of science and technology in the world. The Institute has taught 21 Nobel laureates, including Albert Einstein – one of the most famous and influential scientists of the modern era.
In any case, no matter which degree program you choose, you will be happy that you have chosen to study it in Switzerland.

Tuition costs in Switzerland

It is known worldwide that living in Switzerland is very expensive; However, the cost of education is not that high, which is to everyone’s surprise. The tuition fee is relatively low, thanks to the high spending per capita on education in Switzerland. Through this approach, they demonstrate their support in granting everyone (including international students) the equal right to complete higher education.

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Here are the details of the cost of studying in Switzerland:

Admission costs to Switzerland

Except for the tuition fees each semester, there are some other one-time expenses that you have to pay upon admission. These are registration fees, exam fees, semester fees, social and cultural institutions fees, university sports, library use, student union fees, etc. However, they are sometimes included in the tuition fee.

  • Application fee : 50 to 250 Swiss francs, depending on the university.
  • Exam fees : The academic entrance exams cost between 100 and 800 Swiss francs per test.
  • Language test fee : If you will study in English at a Swiss university but English is not your native language and it was not the language of your previous study, you must provide evidence of the language level, such as TOEFL or IELTS, which can cost 170 to 250 Swiss francs. This also applies to other languages, be it German, French or German.
  • Other fees : up to 30 Swiss francs as a contribution to sports facilities, about 10 Swiss francs as a contribution to the Social Fund, and such contributions to the Scholarship Fund and the Student Union.

study fees

Swiss public universities receive significant government funding. This is the reason why tuition fees are affordable compared to fees charged by UK or US universities. Costs vary according to university, major, and nationality of students up to; Tuition costs are usually lower for students whose countries belong to the European Union and European Economic Area.

Tuition fees in Swiss public universities

Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees : 400 – 3700 euros per year.

Doctorate : 100-900 euros per year

Tuition fees in private universities

Private Swiss universities usually charge higher tuition fees, which can reach 43,000 euros per year. Some universities offer a discount if students pay the full amount when they start their study program.

Best Swiss Universities at Affordable Prices

This is the average tuition fee at some of the most affordable higher education institutions in Switzerland:

  • University of Geneva : € 900 per year.
  • University of Bern : € 1,700 per year.
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts in northwestern Switzerland : 1,260 euros per year.
  • University of Lausanne : € 1,040 per year.

Tuition fees in the best Swiss universities

Here is a list of the average tuition fees at top-ranked Swiss universities:

  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich : € 1,200 per year.
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne : € 1,150 per year.
  • University of Basel : € 1,550 per year.
  • University of Zurich : € 1,300 per year.

Food costs in Switzerland

Most students choose to buy food from supermarkets and eat out once in a while. You can expect to pay between 400 – 550 EUR per month for the food. Try to get the most out of your shopping after 5 PM. When many stores offer 25-50% discounts on perishable items.

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Inexpensive restaurants in Switzerland serve meals at prices ranging from 16 to 27 euros per person. Restaurants serving foreign food may have lower prices.

The university food court is also a good option, as you only pay 8-10 €, snack bars or restaurants in supermarket.

Transportation fees

About 11% of students choose to walk, 10% use a bike, and another 10% use public transportation. The cost of commuting on public transport is around 55 euros per month.

In major Swiss cities such as Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel, any public transport ticket is valid on trains, trams, buses and even ships.

You can also use the Numbeo website to check rates and other costs in Switzerland.

What are the conditions for studying in Switzerland?

To be admitted to a Swiss university to study a bachelor’s degree, candidates must have either a graduation certificate from a Swiss high school recognized by the state or a certificate of completion of secondary education at a foreign school that is eligible for the university and recognized as an equivalent by the university to which the student is applying. For master’s programs, a bachelor’s degree is required from an accredited university, and sometimes in a discipline related to the master’s program of your choice.

A good knowledge of the language of instruction (which varies according to major, university and curriculum) is also a prerequisite. Most schools require a B1 / B2 level, according to the European Language Passport (Europass) standards, although some bachelor’s and master’s programs are taught in English. You may be required to take a language test such as the TOEFL test prior to your admission to the program, depending on the language of instruction in the program and the language of your previous education. Applicants should contact the university of their choice in a timely manner to obtain more information about language requirements.

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There is no central admission system for applying to Swiss universities. Once you have selected a program, explore the institution’s website to ensure that you meet the academic requirements for admission, and submit your application directly to the institution of your choice through its application portal.

If you are applying to a public university in Switzerland, be it a traditional university or a university of applied sciences, browse this list by country of origin to find out the general requirements for admission to each specific university.

Often private institutions of higher education have their own entry requirements, and it is best to contact the institution to find out the specific prerequisites for the program you want to study.

What are the conditions for a student visa to Switzerland?

Since Switzerland is part of the Schengen area, the Schengen visa gives you the right to enter the country, but if you want to reside as a student, you must take several other steps. The procedures for students from the European Union and the European Free Trade Association differ from those for students whose countries do not belong to these two associations.

If you are a resident of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, you do not need a visa. You will only need to register with the local authorities in the city in which you reside within 14 days of your arrival in Switzerland. This is where you will receive a residence permit.

The applicant must prove that he has come to Switzerland to study and that he is enrolled in a university. So, he needs a certificate from the school or institution. Students must also prove that they have health insurance and can cover their living costs during their stay. A residence permit is usually granted for the duration of the study program, but depending on each student’s situation and the country from which he applied, he or she may have to renew their residency annually.

Students can work but for no more than 15 hours per week, otherwise they must apply for a work permit. The student’s family (spouse and children) can join the student in Switzerland, but the student must prove that he has sufficient resources to cover their expenses.

For students from countries that are not members of the European Union or European Free Trade Association, they must apply for a visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country.

What kind of visa do I need?

Depending on the length of your studies, there are two types of visas that you can apply for.

  • C visa : It is a short-term visa that allows its holder to reside in Switzerland for a short period of time. This visa is ideal for summer schools, seminars and language schools lasting up to three months.
  • D visa : It is a long-term visa for people looking to study, work or reside in Switzerland. Foreign students are granted a Schengen visa for a period of one year with the possibility of extension.

Swiss visa interview

Where can I apply?

The first step, after getting an acceptance letter from your university, should be to schedule an appointment with the Swiss embassy or consulate in your area. These procedures take time, so be sure to schedule your appointment 6 months in advance of your studies. Processing short-stay visas takes about 10-15 days and long-stay visas between eight to ten weeks.

Your documents must be in French, German or English. If you are not in this language, you will need a certified translation of these documents.

Student visa requirements for Switzerland

Long-stay visa (D visa) required: three forms to be filled out and signed, four passport size photographs.

  • A passport valid for three months after the planned stay.
  • Acceptance certificate issued by a Swiss university.
  • Proof of ability to pay registration and tuition fees – original and photocopy.
  • Evidence of sufficient financial capacity to cover the cost of living in Switzerland for the duration of the study (21,000 Swiss francs or 19,200 euros at the start of each year of your studies).
  • Proof of the scholarship or loan, which is a letter from your sponsoring institution – if any – in which you confirm that all study expenses are covered by the grant or loan that you provide.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Letter of motivation to run.
  • Commit to leave Switzerland upon completion of studies.

In addition, the Swiss authorities may conduct a language test to ensure that the student is able to absorb the lessons.

Are there scholarships for Switzerland?

If you are interested in studying in Switzerland and your academic career meets all requirements except for financial requirements, you will be happy to know that Swiss universities and institutes offer various scholarships in several majors to help students complete their studies. For example, we mention:

  • The Lausanne Federal School of Applied Arts provides an Excellence Fellowship for Masters study for foreign students with excellent academic records. The fellowship includes a financial package of 16,000 Swiss francs for each academic year in addition to providing a room for students. You can visit this link to get more information about it.
  • The Faculty of Science at the University of Geneva has partnered with multiple sponsors and created the Fellowship of Excellence Program specially created for motivated international students interested in pursuing a Master of Science degree in any of the disciplines offered by the college. You can view its details through this link .
  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, which is ranked 14 in the world’s best universities, offers distinction scholarships and various opportunity programs as well as a master’s study fellowship. You can view it here .
  • The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship provides a monthly waiver of tuition fees, health insurance, airfare and most importantly, a housing allowance for foreign students who move to Switzerland to study. Since this is an Tamayaz scholarship program, it should not shock anyone that this scholarship is awarded to distinguished international students only. To apply for it, click here .

Student housing in Switzerland

Accommodation costs in Switzerland range from 600-700 € per month, which is well above the international average of 300 € per month.

The most popular housing options for international students in Switzerland are:

  • Student accommodation : between 450 and 800 euros per month, the number of places is limited.
  • Rent / Share an Apartment : The average prices are between 700 and 1,200 EUR per month. It is one of the most popular accommodation options among students. You can reduce costs by sharing the apartment with other students.

Can I work during the study period?

Many foreign students in Switzerland may choose to work while they study. While some universities do not recommend it because it might distract you and affect your academic work, others facilitate job searches by providing job boards and other advisory services. However, you should know the following:

  • Working hours for students are limited during the academic year and there are some requirements that the student must fulfill.
  • International students can work up to 15 hours per week.
  • During the semester holidays, international students can work up to 100%.
  • Students from outside the European Union or EFTA countries can only start work 6 months after starting their study program.

What are the most popular leisure activities in Switzerland?

Switzerland is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth, due to its amazing geographical diversity and stunning nature. You can join the locals on one of the countless trains, boats or buses for a tour of the famous Interlaken Valley, climb the Alps, visit the charming village of Guarda, or enjoy the ancient history and unmatched architecture of Zurich, Basel, Lausanne, Geneva and Luzern. The popular Swiss pastime is ideal for any student looking for something comforting to help clear their mind and take up the rigors of their studies.

Is Switzerland safe?

Switzerland is one of the safest countries ever, in 2019, it ranked 11th according to the Global Peace Index.

The crime rate in this country is very low. The chance of falling victim to a crime in Switzerland was 0.3% in 2017. The most common crimes are pickpocketing and petty property crimes, and these petty crimes often only occur in tourist areas. Another interesting fact is that Switzerland has not experienced a mass shooting in 19 years, despite the large number of gun owners (yes, the Swiss have a lot of guns). But the crime rate is very low for a simple reason; The Swiss abide by the law.

Plus, they are very well educated. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 86% of them have a high school diploma. The higher the level of education, the fewer people are drawn to criminal activity.

The strict laws enacted by this country along with an educated population, have resulted in a place with a high level of security. But this, of course, does not prevent you from adhering to public safety measures – especially in tourist places – such as keeping the wallet in the front pocket and not carrying a large amount of cash and keeping your belongings and bags in plain sight.

The health system in Switzerland

If you have been in Switzerland for less than three months, you may be exempt from the requirement to have basic health insurance if you have a European health insurance card, your own health insurance policy or travel insurance. However, you may have to confirm this with the cantonal authorities in the place where you plan to study.

After three months, all foreign students will be required to apply for a health insurance plan that is in line with the Swiss National Health Insurance Scheme.

The Swiss healthcare system is really cool. It consists of a network of highly qualified doctors and hospitals equipped with the latest technology for diagnosis and treatment.

There is no free government health service in Switzerland. The Swiss healthcare system is not dependent on the state but is financed by the individual through contributions to health insurance plans.

Basic health insurance costs around € 200 per month, but it does not cover all medical needs and you may need to upgrade to more expensive insurance in order to receive full healthcare. Examples of health insurance systems common among foreign students in Switzerland are:

Academic Care

Groupe Mutuel Academic Care is an insurance package for international students at very cheap rates. The cheapest is the monthly installment for students under the age of 26 which is 90 CHF (83 EUR) with an annual discount of 500 CHF, while for those over 26 years it is 125 CHF (115 EUR) with an annual discount of 500 Swiss Franc.


Through the Student Scheme, you offer an insurance package for international students at cheap rates. The monthly installments (Standard Plan) for students up to 31 is 65 CHF (with an annual deduction of 1000 CHF), while for students over the age of 32 it is 85 CHF (with an annual deduction of 1000 CHF).

Sponsoring students from SWICA

Student sponsorship offered by SWICA is also an affordable student insurance package for non-Swiss students. Monthly tuition payments for students under the age of 25 are 91.70 Swiss francs (with an annual discount of 500 Swiss francs), while there are slightly higher rates for students over 25.

Difficulties studying in Switzerland

Living in Switzerland is very expensive

Switzerland is a beautiful country with a great higher education system. But it is also a very expensive place to live. It is especially difficult for international students because they have to settle everything from scratch there. It is really difficult to move to a foreign country and start a living. Moreover, when you have to bear the costs of living in a place like Switzerland, it can come as a huge shock.

According to estimates, the cost of living in Switzerland is 400 times more than that of Pakistan. Two student cities in Switzerland; Zurich and Geneva are among the 10 most expensive cities in the world.

This problem can be solved by trying to get the most out of shopping after 5 PM. When many stores offer 25-50% discounts on perishable items.

Eating in university halls may also be a good option, given that they are subsidized and relatively inexpensive.

Very strict rules

Switzerland is said to be very strict when it comes to rules and regulations even for the smallest things. Most people live by the rules and are very serious about their principles. You will see people angry if you don’t follow the directions. Just like ordinary people, university professors in Switzerland also adhere very much to the principles. They will inform and cooperate with you on any study matter. They also have impressive communication skills and qualifications. However, they will only work with you as long as it is according to the instructions. For example, once you have determined your score, you can forget any service from them. They will not tolerate. They even follow laws that you might think aren’t really important.

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