Why study a Bachelor or Master in Switzerland

Find all the study programs in Switzerland

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Switzerland

About Switzerland

It might go without saying that the name “Switzerland” means land of the Switzer, which is an old name for the Swiss. However, swiss people also have other nicknames in other languages like “La Suisse” in French and “Die Schweiz” in German. The Latin derivation of the name “Confoederatio Helvetica” is used additionally. This is why the internet domain code for Swiss websites is Ch. 


Another fun fact about Switzerland is that it has been politically neutral for as long as anyone knows. Everyone knows that Switzerland took a neutral stance in the second world war but being neutral has deeper roots for Switzerland. Since centuries of conflicts, many European rulers have considered the country to be a neutral buffer. 


Switzerland also has a very high standard of living, which includes many excellent universities that many people from around the globe venture to so they can study in Switzerland. If the idea of studying in the Land of the Switzer sounds attractive to you, read on to learn more about the top-ranked universities there and how to apply for universities and a study visa. 


In Switzerland, the official four languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh. More often than not, which language will be spoken depends on the region you are in.


The official legal currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. This currency is also used in Liechtenstein and in the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia. The Swiss banknotes are issued by the Swiss National Bank, while the federal mint, named Swissmint, issues and distributes coins. 


Geographical information

Geographically, Switzerland is a stunning mountainous country that can be found in Western and Central Europe. The country is well known for its beautiful natural features, notably its many lakes and mountains. Switzerland shares borders with 5 countries: Austria and Liechtenstein at the east, France at the west, Italy in the Southern part and Germany in the Northern portion.


The wide majority of Swiss people are of the Christian faith, with approximately 38 per cent being Roman Catholics and around 30 per cent Protestants. A significant portion of people also doesn’t belong to any religion. There is also 5 per cent who pertain to the Muslim faith. Other religious minorities include 0.5 per cent of Swiss being Buddhist while 0.3 per cent are of the Jewish faith.  

Political stance

From a political angle, Switzerland has a federal system with three levels that govern it. These three levels are the Confederation, the cantons and the communes. They also have a system of direct democracy, which means that Swiss people directly have a say in political decisions at many different levels.


Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Swiss economy, with around 4 per cent of people working in it. Switzerland is a popular tourist destination with stunning lakes, rich mountains and crisp clean air, as well as the great attractions that both tourists and international students can enjoy.


Top Attractions include the Matterhorn, which is one of the highest mountains in the Alps, giving Switzerland its renowned iconic top. This is located on the border with Italy, rising to a spectacular height of 4,478 meters.


Another popular attraction, located in the lovely Bernese Oberland, is the unique train ride to Jungfraujoch, named the “Top of Europe”. This observation deck has a scientific observatory at 3,454 meters. The most extensive glacier in the European continent, the Great Aletsch Glacier starts right there at Jungfraujoch. This glacier is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 


Finally, if you like extreme sports, Interlaken is the place for you. Located in the middle of Lake Thun to the west and Lake Brienz on its east, Interlaken is one of Switzerland’s renowned summer holiday resorts. 


Swiss food is well known around the world for being delicious. International students can enjoy many amazing dishes that are unique to the country. 


Examples of Swiss delicacies include Rostis, which is made up of sliced potatoes that are cooked in a skillet with some butter. They stick together and make a galette. Some people also add eggs or meat to eat with this famous dish. 


Another popular dish is the Émincé de Veau à la Zurichoise which is made up of sliced veal with creamy mushrooms. Popular in Zurich, this dish is served with Rosti potatoes, especially during cold weather. Be careful though as this meal has super high calories! 


Study in Switzerland

Study in Switzerland


Switzerland is a great study destination for international students. Many students want to study in Switzerland, due to the fact that it’s one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world. The schools are also great and teach students excellent skills. Read on to learn why you should study in Switzerland and how much it costs international students. 


Why should you study in Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. It is also culturally rich, with cultural artefacts featuring a blend of different European countries. Read on to learn more about why you should study in Switzerland. 

Research-based institutions 

Universities in Switzerland are known for being highly focused on research. They also use non-traditional teaching methods to teach students. The universities of Switzerland have produced some of the most outstanding engineers and academics that the world has seen. Switzerland is one of the best international study abroad destinations globally, with top research faculties for those interested in it.

Low tuition fees 

Another reason why international students like studying in Switzerland are the relatively low tuition fees. Many international students head to the Swiss universities every year, with 40 to 50 per cent of the students at the Swiss Federal Institutes did technology being international students. Educational standards are high in Switzerland because the government cares a lot about how good the level of education is in the country. 

Beautiful landscapes 

Another reason why international students should study in Switzerland is the beautiful landscapes. Students are drawn to the picturesque landscapes, famous chocolates and many diverse cultures blending together. International students will have a great time studying in this country with endless beautiful views. 

How much does it cost?

If you want to study in Switzerland, you’ll need to pay an application fee of up to 100 Swiss Francs. Average tuition fees for EU students are between 5,000 to 25,000 CHF for bachelor’s programs, while for master’s programs, costs range from 3,000 to 14,000 CHF. If you are a Non-EU student, you can expect the tuition cost to be a little higher than for EU students. You should also set aside 100 CHF a month for books. 

Living in Switzerland

Living in Switzerland


The average cost of living in Switzerland could cost students up to 18,000 CHF a year, including tuition fees. The country isn’t the cheapest when it comes to the cost of living but it’s because Switzerland offers one of the highest standards of living in the world. This section talks about the various accommodation types and the other costs of living and how much they will be. 



There are several types of accommodation for international students who want to live in Switzerland. The top two types that are popular among university students, especially international ones, are university dorms or shared flats. Read on to learn how much each one of them costs. 

University dorms 

University dorms are the most popular type of accommodation for international students, especially first-years who aren’t used to living abroad alone. In these accommodations, each student will get a room that is semi-furnished with essentials. They will share a common area and other services like laundry and a cafeteria with other students in the hall. You can expect to pay between 475 and 900 CHF a month. 


Shared Flat

Shared apartments are the second type of accommodation that most international students pick to live in. The cost of these shared flats differs based on amenities and services and how big the apartment is. Another factor that affects cost is the location of the apartments. It generally costs a price range from 400 to 1600 CHF every month.


If you pick a room with a shared kitchen and bathroom, you’ll pay between 400 and 1000 CHF per month while choosing a flat with one of two rooms will cost you between 800 and 1600 Swiss Francs a month. 


Other costs of living

When it comes to other costs of living, you can expect to pay around 450 CHF a month for groceries, like food and drinks. You should set aside around 60 CHF for a monthly transport pass. In cities like Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Geneva, this ticket works on trains, buses, and even ships.


You can expect to pay basic utility costs for electricity, heating, cooling and water of about 200 Swiss Francs a month. One minute of prepaid mobile calls costs you 0.22 CHF, while an internet package will cost around 55 Swiss Francs monthly. 

Universities in Switzerland

Universities in Switzerland

Universities in Switzerland are known for having a significant level of education. They also like to promote cutting edge research in all fields of study from maths to economics and other humanities. Read on to learn about the different degree types available there and the top universities in Switzerland. 

Degrees available

When talking about the degrees available, higher education in Switzerland is mainly managed by two federal technology institutes and ten regional universities. For Bachelor’s degrees, most programs are three years but programs like medicine or pharmacy may need 5 or 6 years to finish them. During the first years of your bachelor’s degree, you’ll study some significant subjects, along with some extra minor subjects and some electives. In your final bachelor year, you’ll work on your thesis dissertation. 


During a postgraduate program like your master’s degree, you will need up to 2 years of study to complete it. There are many postgraduate courses offered in English so which makes Switzerland an excellent option for postgraduate international students. For doctorates, you can expect to complete them in three to five years, working on a dissertation with guidance from a supervisor. 


Top-ranked universities

There are many top-ranked universities in Switzerland. You can learn about the top five ranked universities in this section of the country profile. 


1. ETH Zurich

Location: Zurich 


ETH Zurich, named the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a public university and the most popular technology and science university in the world, ranking 6th globally. Several Nobel prize winners graduated from there, including Albert Einstein. The university houses around 20,00 students coming from 110 countries. 


When it comes to costs, International students pay a non-refundable application fee of 150 francs. The cost of studying there is 1598 CHF per year. This comprises tuition and other fees like lab fees. 

2. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

Location: Lausanne


The second top-ranked university in Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne which stresses on education, excellent research and innovative technologies. Almost half the students in the university are international. The university is well known for its great education in Computer Science and Engineering.  


Fees for international students at this institution are 1420 CHF for tuition per year. This university also provides Excellence Fellowships for international students who want to study postgraduate degrees there, so they are worth looking into. 

3. University of Zurich

Location: Zurich


The University of Zurich is ranked at number 53 worldwide. Bachelor programs there are taught in German but master’s degrees are all taught in English, so keep this into consideration when looking up this university. 


As an international student, you’ll need to pay an application fee of 100 francs and 720 CHF per semester if you are pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you are pursuing a PhD then you’ll only have to pay 150 CHF per semester. 


4.  University of Bern

Location: Bern


The University of Bern is the most ancient university in all of Switzerland, founded way back in the year 1460. The university houses eight schools: law, theology, medicine, veterinary medicine, humanities, science, human sciences, and business and economics studies. It ranks among the top 150 universities globally and has many famous alumni who graduated from there. 


You can expect to pay about 1400 CHF or more a year, depending on the program you have chosen and the level of education, whether undergraduate or postgraduate. 


5. Sustainability Management School (SUMAS)

Location: Gland


The Sustainability Management School focuses on sustainability as a key value for its degree programs. It also has many online programs at the postgraduate level, in line with its policy of sustainability. Impressively, it’s the first private business school located in Switzerland to have won the QS Stars Rating. You can expect to pay up to 30,000 francs for an MBA because it’s a private university. 


Examples of other universities

Some other good universities to look into if you are interested in studying abroad in Switzerland are the University of Geneva, The University of Basel, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)and the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Be sure to give them a look when deciding which institution you want to study at. 


Student Visa - Switzerland

Study Visa in Switzerland

When it comes to studying in Switzerland, you’ll need a study visa to be able to study there. There are different types so it’s essential to know which one you need and exactly how to apply for it. Read on to learn about the types of visas and how to apply for one. 


Types of Visas

The visa you’ll need is based on how long you will study in Switzerland.  You can find two kinds of study visas for studying abroad in Switzerland:


  • Type C Visa: Type of visa for students who will study for up to 90 days in Switzerland. This one is specifically for students who will attend summer school or language courses, for example. 


  • Type D Visa: This visa type is for people who will study for longer than 90 days. It’s also named the Schengen visa and is given to holders for a time period of one year, with the possibility to extend the visa duration.  


How to Apply


If you’re curious about how to apply for your visa, the first step is to book an appointment at the Swiss embassy in your home country. Then you’ll pay the application fee of 150 CHF and fill out the application form. The next step is to hand in the application and the required documents at the embassy. You’ll then pay for the visa and wait for your visa approval 


Required Documents for Type D Visa 

  • Visa application form
  • Passport or another form of identification 
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Acceptance letter
  • Evidence of payment
  • Proof of financial ability to support yourself (at least 21,000 CHF for every year).
  • Letter proving financial aid like scholarships or loans
  • CV or Resume
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Proof of leave at the end of the Program from the country
  • Letter from institution proving acceptance to the program 

Language Requirements

You’ll also need to prove your language proficiency, with some universities allowing you to take the test at the institution if you don’t have any proof. Most require you to hand in proof of language proficiency as a test result in the language of your program. Accepted tests include IELTS and TOEFL for English language proficiency. DSH, TestDaf, OSD are accepted for German and DELF or DALF are the accepted ones for French. 

Insurance Coverage 

You must also prove coverage of health insurance. If you are from an EU country, your EHIC can be an exemption so you won’t need health insurance. If you are non-EU, you’ll need to pay for a monthly health insurance. This can cost you anywhere from 65 to 90 CHF a month. If you pay for a year at once rather than each month on its own, you can receive a discount of up to 2 per cent. 


Visa Processing Time


It can take up to one month for your visa to be processed, and sometimes up to several months if there are complications. When you send your application, the embassy will pass it on to a cantonal migration officer in Switzerland to look over and approve your application. If accepted, the Consulate General of Switzerland will offer you a visa. Please apply in advance in case it’s late as you won’t be able to enter Switzerland without the visa. 

How to apply - Switzerland

When it comes to applying for universities in Switzerland, there’s a simple process to be followed. You should check course eligibility before applying as they typically have specific requirements according to the course and university. Read on to learn how to apply to universities in Switzerland. 


Eligibility Criteria

It differs based on the subject at hand and the university when it comes to eligibility criteria. 


For most bachelor’s programs, you’ll need: 

  • High school diploma and transcript
  • Language proficiency documents for the language of course


For most master’s programs, you’ll need: 

  • Certificate of bachelor’s degree
  • Transcript of bachelor’s degree
  • Language proficiency documents for the language of course 


For most doctorate programs, you’ll need:


  • Master’s degree in a related subject 
  • Proof of language proficiency in the subject of instruction

Application Steps 

The first step along the way is to choose your university and program, including the language and field you want to study in. Then you should check the admission requirements for the program you want. There are some general requirements in Switzerland but you will also need to check your specific program to see what is required in addition to them and what the criteria are for admission. If you can’t find some information on the website, contact the admissions office directly. 


You should then contact the university to apply. They will give you information on deadlines, needed documents and admission and enrolment procedures. You might be able to apply online, or you may need to mail the documents, depending on the program and university. 

General university requirements

The general requirements for admission to most Swiss universities are the following documents, so be sure to have them on hand when applying: 


  • Your online application form, printed and signed
  • Two passport photos
  • Copy of passport or identity document
  • Academic transcripts from high school or previous university degrees
  • High school diploma/ bachelor’s diploma (whichever is applicable)
  • Language proficiency proof in German, French or English
  • CV or Resume
  • Proof of application fee paid (100 to 150 CHF). If your application is late, you’ll need to pay 400 CHF
  • Motivation letter 


You’ll need to hand in additional documents if you are applying to a PhD program, such as a letter from a faculty member who directs doctoral dissertations and is willing to supervise your research. 


If you hand in any documents in another language other than English, French, German or Italian, you have to translate them into French or English by a certified translator, as well as hand in the official document with an explanation of the grading system. 


Application Deadlines

When applying to universities in Switzerland, you should keep the deadlines in mind. For Fall Semester, your deadline is the end of April and the application opens at the start of December. If you are applying for the Spring semester, your deadline is the end of November with the application opening at beginning of May. 


Scholarship in Switzerland

Scholarship in Switzerland 

Although tuition fees in Switzerland may be considered reasonable, the cost of living in Switzerland is very high due to the high standard of living. This is why students may need financial aid or scholarships. There are many forms of financial aid and scholarships available and several ways to acquire them. Read on to learn more about this topic. 




There are scholarships based on merit, sports skill and other skills that can allow you to get financial assistance. There are both government and private scholarships available to students. Here are some of the most popular scholarships you should look into and apply to: 


Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Studies (FCS) Scholarship: 

Students coming from specific home countries can get scholarships through agreements between their government and the Swiss one. This government offered scholarship is mostly provided to postgraduate students. If you want to see if your country is a partner in this program, ask at the Swiss embassy in your home country. They’ll have the needed information.  


Swiss Excellence Scholarship

Another government based scholarship is the Swiss Excellence Scholarship, offered to postgraduate students who want to pursue research. This covers tuition and other costs of living.  

University Scholarships 

Some Swiss universities offer special scholarships to their own students. These are typically merit-based scholarships based on excellent grades. Some universities that offer these scholarships are ETF Zurich, University of Bern, University of Geneva, and the University of Zurich so be sure to look into these universities to see funding options you can acquire to help you out. 

Alfred Werner Scholarship 

Alfred Werner Foundation offers 10 master’s scholarships to students who are applying to Swiss universities. They offer a grant of 30,000 CHF. However, this scholarship is very competitive as it is only provided to students who scored within the top 10 per cent of achievers in their undergraduate degree. 

ERASMUS Scholarship 

Another popular scholarship is the Erasmus Scholarship or The European Mobility for Higher Education: Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP. This program gives financial support to students or teaching staff. They can offer grants from 3 months to up to 12 months. They generally provide students from 400 to 450 CHF a month to provide them with financial support. 

Friedrich Naumann Scholarship

Finally, the Friedrich Naumann Scholarship offers 897 CHF a month to students who want to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Switzerland. The scholarship also pays for health insurance as a form of supporting candidates.