Study in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most popular study abroad locations for Indian students who want to go beyond America. The Swiss homeland, located in Central Europe, may appear to be an unusual place, but when it comes to studying here, there are plenty of advantages and prospects.

Because mountains cover about 60% of the country’s area, visitors may expect to see picture-perfect rolling hills, open pastures, forests, and lakes. Student life in Switzerland will be a dream for individuals who enjoy nature and outdoor activities, with beautiful summers and tolerable winters.

Switzerland’s cities are lively and abound with opportunities to mingle with diverse cultures and languages, as it shares borders with Italy, France, and Austria. Because Switzerland is strategically positioned, traveling to any of the nation’s surroundings is simple and inexpensive.


Top Universities to Study in Switzerland

No doubt there are a number of best universities in Switzerland. Swiss universities offer several courses in each subject however If you are planning to study in Switzerland you should know that some of the top universities in Switzerland are the following:

  • ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich was established in the year 1855. There are about 22,200 students in the university out of which 9,262 are undergraduate students and about 6,158 are Postgraduate students. The university stands at 9th position in the QS world ranking.

  • University of Zurich

University of Zurich was established in the year 1833. There are about 25,732 students in the university. The university stands at 83rd position in the QS world ranking.

  • Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne University was established in the year 1853. There are about 11,449 students in the university out of which 5,736 are undergraduate students and about 5,713 are Postgraduate students. The university stands at 16th position in the QS world ranking.

  • University of Basel

University of Basel was established in the year 1460. There are about 13,139 students in the university. The university stands at 136th position in the world ranking.

  • University of Geneva

University of Geneva was established in 1559. There are about 17,271 students in the university. The university stands at the 125th position in the QS world ranking.

  • University of Lausanne

University of Lausanne was established in the year 1537. There are about 13,500 students in the university out of which 8,066 are undergraduate students and about 1,370 are Postgraduate students. The university stands at the 203rd position in the QS world ranking.

  • University of Bern

University of Bern was established in the year 1834. There are about 18,576 students in the university. The university stands at 120th position in the QS world ranking.

  • University of Gallen

University of Gallen was established in the year 1898. There are about 9,047 students in the university out of which 4,952 are undergraduate students and about 3,443 are Postgraduate students.

  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies was established in 1927. There are about 951 students in the university. About 89 percent of the student population in the university are foreigners.

So these are some of the best universities to study in Switzerland for international students.


Scholarships for International Students to Study in Switzerland

If you are planning to study abroad in Switzerland and you are from India then you must know that there are a number of Switzerland scholarships program offered to international students who want to study in Switzerland. Following is a list of Switzerland scholarships that you can consider:

  • Government Scholarships
  • ETH Zurich Excellence Master’s Scholarships
  • University of Lausanne Master’s Grants for Foreign Students
  • EPFL Excellence Fellowships for Master’s students
  • Graduate Institute Geneva Scholarships
  • University of Geneva Excellence Master Fellowships
  • University of Zurich Scholarships for Ph.D. candidates
  • Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Scholarships
  • IMD MBA Scholarships

These are some great Scholarships to study in Switzerland for Indian students.


Types of Degrees to Study in Switzerland

Types of Degrees Description
Bachelor’s Degree The first degree is a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree consists of 180 ECTS credits, or three years of full-time study. A Bachelor’s degree is required for admission to study MS in Switzerland.
Master’s Degree The Master’s degree is the second level of education. A master’s degree consists of 90 or 120 ECTS credits. This is the equivalent of one or one and a half years of full-time study. A master’s degree is required, as well as strong grades, to pursue a PhD.

Furthermore, universities can award Master’s degrees in further education, known as Masters of Advanced Studies, to students who have completed at least 60 ECTS credits. Doctoral studies are not available with this degree.

Doctorate Degree The Swiss doctorate is a research-based degree that requires independent work on a unique thesis. There are two common paths to a Swiss PhD: Traditional or general PhDs are completed inside a single university and are supervised by one or more of the university’s academic experts.


Approximate Annual Tuition Fee to Study in Switzerland

Types of Degrees Approximate Annual Tuition Fee
UG in Switzerland 400 – 700 EUR/year
MS in Switzerland 400 – 700 EUR/year
PhD in Switzerland 100 – 900 EUR/Year
MBA in Switzerland 28,779- 81,523.50 EUR/Year


Top Courses to Study in Switzerland for International Students

  • Study management courses in Switzerland
  • Study banking and finance in Switzerland
  • Study sports event management in Switzerland
  • Study social media marketing in Switzerland


Requirements to Study in Switzerland for International Students

Language Requirements

There are 3 official languages in Switzerland: French, German and Italian. Students must have a good command of the language of instruction of their course. However, the majority of degree programs offered by Swiss universities are also taught in the English language. If a candidate wants to study in Switzerland then they must give the language proficiency test of the language of instruction of their program.

Following are the most common and well recognized language proficiency exams you can give:

  • For English- IELTS (score must be at least 7), TOEFL (score of 600 for paper based and a score of 100 for online), or CAE.
  • For Italian- CELI or PLIDA
  • For German- Goethe certificate C1 or TestDaF
  • For French- DALF C1

Documents Required

Switzerland university requirements for international students differ from university to university but some of the general documents required to study in Switzerland are as follows:

  • Complete application form
  • A valid passport
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Academic transcripts and diplomas
  • Language proficiency certificates
  • Motivation letter
  • Application fee receipt


Living in Switzerland

It’s no secret that Switzerland is constantly ranked as one of the most desirable countries to live in the world. According to the OECD Better Life Index released in 2021 Switzerland is considered to be above average among OECD countries in subjective well-being, health, environment, skills, security, work life, employment, earnings, education and housing. The majority of Swiss citizens are working and living a good life. The average lifespan in Switzerland is 84 years, which is four years longer than the OECD average. Above all, they’re basically happy with their lives. Switzerland received a 7.5 on a scale of zero to ten from citizens. The average OECD score is 6.5.


Research Institutes in Switzerland

Swiss universities have a strong research reputation. The Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), the University of Zurich, the University of Basel, and the University of Bern are consistently ranked among the world’s best universities for research and innovation. The ETH Zurich was placed eleventh in the world and 9th in Europe in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. Universities must create great research in order to perform well in worldwide rankings.


Economy in Switzerland

Switzerland’s economy is one of the most mature and evolved free-market economies in the world. The service sector, particularly the Swiss banking industry and tourism, has evolved to play a substantial economic role. In the 2015 Global Innovation Index, Switzerland’s economy was ranked first in the world, and third in the 2020 Global Competitiveness Report. Switzerland, behind Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, is the world’s third richest landlocked country, according to UN data from 2016. Switzerland is one of the 3 countries in the world that have a GDP per capita of more than US$70,000.


Education System in Switzerland

Switzerland’s education system is mainly decentralized. The State Council for Education, Research, and Innovation is responsible for 26 cantons (SERI). Each canton, on the other hand, develops and enforces its own set of rules, which can be inconvenient for families migrating from one part of the country to another. In a recent OECD/PISA study of educational standards, Switzerland was placed ninth out of 65 countries and economies. The majority of local and international schools are free, but they exist only because parents pay high taxes. Since education is compulsory in Switzerland, there is no way for parents to avoid paying such taxes.


Study in Switzerland Without IELTS

It’s currently the country of Switzerland. You can study in Switzerland without IELTS test, and several Swiss colleges provide IELTS exemptions. If candidates pass the scholastic element, almost all Swiss universities waive the IELTS/English Test for specific Bachelor and Master Degree Programs. Similarly, there are a number of scholarships and internships in Switzerland that do not require IELTS. Switzerland is a major European Union member and a member of the United Nations. Thousands of international students travel to Switzerland each year to study for free and avoid taking the IELTS exam. Engineering, Business Management, Hotel Management, Films and Media, Arts and Design, Science and Technology, Computer and IT, and Animation programs are available at the majority of universities for Masters and PhD degrees.


Top university to study in Switzerland

University QS Ranking 2023 THE Ranking 2023 ARWU Ranking 2022
ETH Zurich 9 11 20
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) 83
University of Zurich 83 82 59
University of Geneva 125 201-250 62
University of Bern 120 94 101-150
University of Basel 136 101 83
University of Lausanne 203 135 101-150
USI Università della Svizzera italiana 701
University of St. Gallen 501-510
University of Fribourg 501-600 351 501-600


Cost of Studying and Living in Switzerland

The cost of education varies by field. International students’ annual tuition can range from £650 to £1600 per year, with medical students paying up to £1600 per year. Switzerland has one of the finest quality of life in the world; therefore it’s natural that the expense of living there is also high. Tuition, accommodation, transportation, food, supplies, and leisure activities must all be considered into a student’s budget when planning to study abroad in Switzerland. The cost of living varies per city, with Zurich and Geneva being the most costly and Basel being the cheapest. In these cities, a monthly budget ranges from £1,000 to £1,500.

Why Study in Switzerland

Switzerland needs no introduction. For ages, people all around the world have admired the European nation, from its Alps to its chocolates, from its famous bank to its watches. Every year, a big number of students from all over the world migrate to this country to take advantage of the country’s high educational standards.

  • Quality Education

Swiss universities offer a diverse range of courses across disciplines, at various levels (undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral), and at various higher education institutions to study in Switzerland. This country is home to some of the world’s best educational institutions. Whether one wishes to pursue a career in hotel or hospital administration, an MBA, or a master’s degree in science or the arts, Switzerland will provide the greatest institutions and internationally recognised courses.

  • A Country of Innovation

It is not a country that believes that education should be a monotonous and boring experience that students must endure for a set number of years. In Switzerland, education is associated with new and distinct ways of thinking, which leads to advancements that benefit humanity.

  • Career Options

The best part about studying in Switzerland is that there are great employment opportunities in Switzerland. As a country whose educational standards and system are not only well-known but also well-respected around the world, a student graduating from any course immediately finds himself or herself on the red carpet of professional life. When the norm is to battle to gain a footing in a field, this is a big benefit. There are a number of jobs in Switzerland for Indian students.

  • Diversity

Studying in Switzerland is synonymous with variety. There are four official languages and 26 federal states. When you add in a big number of international students, the country truly becomes a global community. Switzerland is a place where people of many ethnicities and cultures may make friends from other countries and learn a lot from the exchange of cultural influences.

  • Lifestyle

The Swiss way of life is a wonderful blend of the hardworking German way of life and the laid-back French way of life. The country deliberately promotes a culture in which all work is completed on time and without corruption, yet the quality and enjoyment of life are not jeopardised. The Swiss are adventure-loving people who may be found travelling and hiking around the country, making it a lively environment.

  • Safest & Happiest Country

Last but not least, with all of the benefits listed above, Switzerland is without a doubt one of the happiest countries on the planet. Furthermore, Switzerland’s stance of neutrality makes it one of the safest countries in the world. In Switzerland, you will feel safe whether you are walking through the cities or hiking through the Alps. It is one of the most important factors for international students.

  • Best Student Cities

As can be seen from the list above, Zurich and Geneva are home to some of the world’s best universities. Not only do they have some of Switzerland’s Best Universities, but they also have the world’s fourth-largest stock exchange, the Swiss Stock Exchange. The city’s primary attractions are Lake Zurich and Geneva. Lausanne and Bern are two more student cities worth mentioning, with Lausanne being a francophone culturally rich city and Bern being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Switzerland’s student cities offer the ideal blend of heritage and modernity. Apart from this there are a number of top universities to study in Switzerland for international students.

How to Apply to Study in Switzerland

The universities in Switzerland do not have any centralized admission system, candidates are required to apply directly to the Swiss university itself. If you want to study in Switzerland you must go through the following steps

  • Select the University and Course

You must spend quality time in selecting the course you want to pursue and the university in Switzerland, making sure the goal of the university’s program must align with your goals. Remember that universities of Switzerland offer the best degree program in subjects which includes- IT, Computer Science, Engineering, banking, Finance, Business Administration and accounting.

  • Check the Admission Requirements

You must check the admission criteria and requirements thoroughly after choosing the university and course of your choice. Pay good attention to the admission criteria of the specific degree program of the university you have opted for. It is suggested to contact the Swiss embassy near their homes or contact the university itself for more details on the admission requirements.

  • Collect the Documents Required

If you want to study in Switzerland universities, collecting and preparing your documents correctly can play a major role in getting admission to your desired university. Remember that you may have to translate your documents into French, German, or Italian as Switzerland is a multilingual country. Make sure you are submitting the documents in the proper order and sequence as required by the university you are applying to.

  • Submit Your Application

After filling the application form and collecting all the documents required properly you are now ready to submit your application. You have to submit your applications along with the documents directly to the university you want to apply to. Once you have submitted the application form you must wait for the university to contact you.

  • Apply for the Swiss Student Visa and Residence Permit

If you have received admission confirmation from the Swiss university you must start applying for a Swiss student visa and residence permit. Remember that the visa process may take time therefore you must apply for it as soon as possible.

When to Apply to Study in Switzerland

Generally, the universities of Switzerland have 2 intakes that are mentioned below:

Fall Intake- Fall intake is between the months of September to February. The application deadline will be at the end of March.

Spring Intake- Spring intake is between the months of February to June. The application will be around the end of August.

Student Visa for Switzerland

International students who are not EU and EEA citizens would have to apply for Switzerland study visa in order to study in Switzerland. The cost of Switzerland study visa is 60EUR. You would have to apply for a type D visa which is granted for employment or studying longer than 90 days in Switzerland. The application process for a Swiss student visa may take 56 days or more therefore it is advised to apply for the visa as soon as you receive a university acceptance letter.

Non-EU and EFTA students would also need to apply for a residence permit for staying longer than 60 days in Switzerland.

Work Opportunities

An international student is allowed to stay In Switzerland for 6 months after completing their degree program in Switzerland to find jobs.

Key points to remember:

  • It will be the responsibility of the employer to apply for the work visa on your behalf once you are hired.
  • A candidate is allowed to work part time up to 15 hours a week during the time they are looking for jobs. (6 months)

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