Switzerland is a diverse country with plenty of opportunities for international students. The country, located in the western and central area of Europe, is near Italy, France, Austria, and Germany. With a population of over 8 million people, this country is important for many reasons, including its unique culture and free-lifestyle living. It also has the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world, making it one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, and also one of the most wealthy locations. For those students who want to be a part of the country's incredible business and economic growth, enrolling in an MBA program may be the ideal first step.
Study Bachelor in Switzerland 2023
Study in Switzerland
Basic monthly living cost
Rent in a shared flat988
Share of utilities75
Sample lifestyle cost
Fast food combo15
Pint of local beer7
Higher Education in Switzerland
Switzerland has ten"cantonal"universities as well as two Institutes of Technology that are considered federal higher education facitlities. In addition, numerous colleges are spread throughout the country to accommodate a growing number of international and local students. Universities and colleges in Switzerland adhere to the semester schedule,
with winter semester lasting
from October to March and summer semester continuing
from April to July.
There are three basic academic degrees given in Switzerland: the License, the Diploma and the PhD.Obtaining a "Lizentiat "and a Diploma correspond to the equivalent of obtaining a U.S.Master's degree.Most students earn a License and Diploma within four to five years.Students must earn these two degrees first before they can pursue a PhD.
Potential students must present an application to the higher educational institution of their choice, detailing the anticipated field of study.Copies of examination results, a curriculum vitae and any other degrees or certificates that may influence acceptance
into the school should also be included in the packet.Following acceptance, students will need to contact their country's Swiss Embassy for information regarding entry procedures for Switzerland.In addition, all students will need to provide proof of being financially stable while studying at a Swiss college or university.
All students must have a state-recognized maturity certificate or some other certificate that is recognized as being equivalent to the maturity certificate by the university to which they have been accepted.In addition to
having excellent grades
, students should possess adequate knowledge of the university's predominantly spoken language before applying to that university.
>Upon arriving in Switzerland
, students will have to obtain a residency permit at the local police department.They will need to present a valid passport
, letter of acceptance
from the university and a bank statement or other document verifying that they have sufficient financial means while in school.This residency permit will need to be renewed each year you are attending a Swiss higher educational institution.
Prominent Swiss Universities
Popular universities in Switzerland include:
- University of Bern (mostly German speaking)
- University of Geneva (mostly French speaking)
- University of Lausanne (French speaking)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (German and English speaking)
Switzerland also has many private colleges, fine arts universities and pedagogical universities that offer diplomas recognized by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, or the EDK.
Tuition for attending a Swiss university or college varies between 2000 Swiss francs up to 8000 Swiss francs, possibly more depending on the university and course of study.
Health Insurance Coverage
Anyone residing in Switzerland longer than three months must carry some kind of health insurance coverage, whether it is Swiss-based or recognized by another country. Students arriving from countries that offer international coverage may not have to obtain Switzerland's compulsury health insurance.
Why Study in Switzerland?
Switzerland is well-known for its innovative research and development industry so students endeavoring to major in biotechnology, genetics, pharmaceuticals and other cutting-edge, health and medical-related careers will find Swiss higher education brimming with exceptional science and technology programs. Alternately, the Swiss are also highly respected for their financial and business acumen. Students endeavoring to pursue a career in the financial sector will also discover that Swiss universities provide comprehensive degree programs for business and financial majors.
- C visa – for short courses (summer schools, language schools) that last for up to three months.
- D visa – for courses that last longer than three months.
What type of Visa do you need?
C visa; D visa
Price and currency
For a student visa, the application is free of charge; however, there might be some exceptions.
Who can apply for the visa?
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it allows EU citizens to attend university in the country. Students that do not have EU/EEA nationality must contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country to apply for a visa prior to entering the country.
For courses of up to three months – summer courses, language schools – you may need a short-term Schengen C visa; for courses longer than three months, you may need a long-term national D visa.
You cannot come to Switzerland on a three-month tourist visa and change it to a student residence permit after you have arrived in Switzerland. Thus, even if you are exempt from needing an entry visa, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, or Singapore nationals, you will still need to apply for a residence permit before you arrive if you plan to stay longer than 90 days.
All international students, including EU/EFTA citizens, will have to apply for a residence permit at a Residents Registration Office within 14 days after their arrival in Switzerland.
Where can you make the application?
Swiss embassy or consulate
You’ll need to apply for a visa through the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.
How to make the application?
When you have received confirmation of acceptance by a Swiss university or private school, you will need to contact the Swiss embassy in your country for information on entry formalities for Switzerland. You will have to show proof that you have adequate financial means to support yourself during your studies.
You will need to complete an application form and submit supporting documentation in French, German, or English, so you may need to translate your documents.
For short-term Schengen C visas, documentation includes:
- a valid passport/travel ID;
- proof of adequate financial resources to cover your costs while you’re in Switzerland;
- healthcare/accident insurance;
- confirmation of booked courses including fees paid;
if you’re under 18, a birth certificate and authorization to travel if coming to Switzerland alone, or copies of parents’ visas if they will be accompanying.
For a long-term D visa, documents will include:
- a valid passport/travel ID;
- proof of adequate financial resources to cover your costs while you’re in Switzerland, whether yourself or a sponsor, such as copies of bank statements or a letter from the bank;
- proof of healthcare insurance which includes cover for accidents;
- motivation letter outlining why you want to come to Switzerland to study and how this will be beneficial to your career;
- confirmation of enrolment at a recognized Swiss educational institution;
- confirmation of course fees paid;
- your CV;
- copies of previous educational certificates and diplomas;
- a signed letter confirming that you will leave Switzerland at the end of the course.
You may also be asked to sit a language test to make sure that you will be able to follow lessons.
If you want to undertake postgraduate studies, you’ll need to submit proof that you’ve been admitted to a post-grad course and have the appropriate qualifications, sufficient financial means, and somewhere to live.
When should you apply?
You should schedule an appointment at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your area as soon as you get the acceptance letter from the Swiss educational institution. You should schedule the appointment for a visa interview as early as 6 months prior to the start of your studies but no later than ten weeks before your departure.
The processing times for short stay visa applications are 10-15 days; and eight to ten weeks for long-stay visas.
The length of the student visa depends on the length of your course. The residence permit is given for one year and can be renewed.
You may take up part-time work for up to 15 hours a week in term time and full-time during holidays, but only after you have lived in Switzerland for six months.
If you already hold a Master’s degree from a foreign university and you’re in Switzerland working for your Swiss university or institute, you don’t have to wait six months but can start work right away. Your employer will need to get a work permit for you. You will need to maintain your full-time student status and show that you are continuing to make progress in your studies.
After graduation, foreign students can stay in Switzerland for six months to look for work.
Hours per week
Why do you need this type of visa?
Your visa application may be rejected if you are not able to show proof of the required funds, or if you provide incorrect or incomplete documents.
- Zurich Elite Business School
- Swiss UMEF (University of Applied Sciences Institute)
- Consortium of European Universities - EUMaster4HPC
- Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW
- IE University
- Swiss School of Business Research
- CIES - International Centre for Sports Studies
- Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland
- EHL Hospitality Business School
- Lucerne School of Business – Management Programs