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Why Study in Switzerland?

There are many advantages to study in Switzerland. The high quality of education is relatively accessible and a large percentage of the student population is of foreign students. In Switzerland, 17 percent of students at Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences come from abroad– the highest percentage in Europe. The reason why Switzerland is popular with foreign students is because of its high quality of education, low tuition fees, wide range of study programs in English, research-based environment and excellent facilities.

Switzerland has twelve public universities offering a wide range of first-rate educational opportunities for national and international students. ETH Zurich and EPFL, the two federal institutes of technology are world leaders in science and engineering education and research. The ten cantonal (state) universities not only provide comprehensive courses in diverse fields of study but also conduct cutting-edge research. Eight universities offer courses in applied sciences and the fifteen universities of teacher education.

There is a vast choice of educational opportunities for international students with many programs, especially at the master’s degree and Ph.D levels taught in English. Research based masters programs are popular, as are programs in the areas of international affairs, public administration, finance and hotel management.

International flair is already provided by the multi-lingualism of the smallest federal state in the world. You will meet and associate with people from all over the world, giving you a very global outlook and politically neutral understanding of life.

Apart from that, Switzerland is an excellent location for living, studying and working. It is located in the heart of Europe and its cultural variety, beautiful landscape and innovative environment offer first-class surroundings for the well-being and career advancement of the student.

Students can also explore the surrounding regions with the minimum amount of travel on any of Switzerland’s well connected transport networks. Switzerland is an ideal location for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. The Swiss Alps provide a picture-perfect backdrop and you will find a wealth of activities available throughout the four seasons that will interest even the most lethargic of personalities.

Courses & Degrees in Switzerland

Master’s Degree
Bachelor’s Degree
Swiss Higher Diploma Programs

  • Business Administration
  • International Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Public Health
  • International Hospitality, Events and Tourism Management

Eligibility for Bachelor’s Degrees and Diplomas

10 + 2 years of education is mandatory.

Work Experience – Students with prior work experience are given preference in good business schools.

Eligibility for Masters Degrees

A Bachelor’s Degree – 16 years of education is required, some schools will accept 15 years also.

GRE / GMAT – Some schools will accept your application without these tests.

TOEFL / IELTS – Some schools will accept your application without these tests.

Work Experience – Students with prior work experience are given preference in good business schools.

Entrance Tests

International students are admitted to Swiss universities as long as they have obtained a secondary school program diploma or certificate that is considered equivalent to the Swiss secondary school leaving certificate.

International students who do not have the appropriate secondary school qualification can take an entrance exam to qualify for enrollment. International students cannot enroll in medicine, dentistry or veterinarian studies due to a lack of space in these programs.

Since bachelor’s level courses are taught in German, French or Italian depending on the school, students should apply only to schools where they are proficient in the language used by that school. All students must have health insurance coverage.

Entry Dates & Admission Deadlines

Entry dates vary with each school but a general guideline is below.

  • January
  • February
  • October

It is recommended to apply 1 year in advance and no later than 3 months if you have all your test scores in order. Please keep 2-4 weeks for visa approval.

Funds Required

Tuition Fees

Tuition for foreign students averaged about CHF1500 (USD$1350) in 2010 at most universities but was about CHF8000 (USD$7000) at the Italian university.

Total Cost including Living expenses

Tuition fees for universities and colleges in Switzerland vary from institution to institution. However, if you know which college you wish to attend, you will be able to get a prospectus (by ringing or writing to the Swiss Embassy in your country) that will list the relevant costs.

On an average, a student’s annual budget would need to cover approximately SFr 16,000 to SFr 24,000 depending on where you study and your standard of living. While these are the standard costs, most universities offer forms of financial assistance and in some cases, scholarships.

Visa Fee

Switzerland Student Visa application fee is currently Rs.3900.00

Air Ticket

It depends where you fly from & how early you book your ticket.

Proof of Funds for Visa

You will be required to show that you can pay for your tuition and living expenses while you are in Switzerland.

Switzerland Student Visa

Student applicants who have been accepted and have an Offer Letter from a university can apply for a student visa. Students have to show sufficient financial means to cover the cost of living in Switzerland. Swiss Embassy/Consulate may also ask for a declaration of guarantee.

Talk to a Y-Axis Consultant about our Student Visa Services which include assistance with your application, documentation advice, review and a mock interview.

Working on your Student Visa

For foreign students, the number of weekly work hours is limited to 15 to 20 hours a week, but this is fairly flexible depending on the canton. For example in Geneva, you can work up to 30 hours per week.

Each university has a job placement office that provides information on student employment. Wages vary between SFR 20 and SFR 35 according to the job and your skills.

After you Graduate

Non-EU-citizens can only get a work permit if their employer proves that they could not fill the respective position with a Swiss or EU citizen. There are some exceptions to this rule for highly qualified/specialized and/or top executive management positions.

If an employer wants to hire you, he must send you an official offer of employment. If you accept the offer, then your employer applies for a residence permit in the local canton’s police section for foreigners. If a residence permit is approved, your employer sends you a ‘pre-authorization for a residence permit ( Zusicherung der Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Autorisation de Sejour) in addition to your employment contract. On arrival in Switzerland, you present this document in the formal application for the actual residence permit.

The process of work permit application can take several months and there is no guarantee that a permit will be issued. The decision on whether or not a permit will be granted depends on a variety of changing criteria such as the type of job, your qualifications, nationality etc. Within the limits prescribed legally, individual cantonal authorities have a large degree of freedom, so the ultimate decision could depend on the mood of the official when your application is examined.

Short-term residence permits (L-Permit)

A short-term residence permit L ( Kurzaufenthaltsbewilligung EG) is valid for up to one year and can be renewed. It is linked to a specific job and company and you may not be granted a new permit if you change jobs. After 24 months the residence permit ends definitively. Short-term courses are under this category for students.

B residence permits (B-Permit)

The B – Permit is normally valid for one year and can be renewed. To Non-EU-nationals, it is only issued in specific circumstances (i.e. If you are a highly trained specialist in a profession where there’s currently a shortage of qualified people from Switzerland or the EU). Long-term courses fall in this permit category.

Settlement C permits (C-Permit)

A C-Permit is given out for permanent residency in Switzerland and can be renewed indefinitely. To Non-EU-citizens, it is normally only given out after 10 years of residency in Switzerland. There are some exceptions for spouses of Swiss citizens and other groups. The C-Permit allows you to freely change jobs, employers and/or become self-employed.

Talk to a Y-Axis Consultant about our General Admission Package – guaranteed I-20!