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Study in Switzerland

Switzerland is a wonderful place. It’s famous for chocolate and skiing, but it is also an amazing place to study. Studying in Switzerland offers a European experience in a developed, yet diverse country. With a variety of nations bordering the country, it’s a cultural melting pot, which makes it great for an inspiring study experience.

Why study in Switzerland

In total there are 12 general universities located in Switzerland and a smaller number of science and research specific higher education institutions. You will find ten of these universities in the QS World University Rankings, with the highest being ETH Zurich, ranked at number 9. Three of these universities are also listed in the top 100.

Switzerland regards education as hugely important in the day to day success of the country. It believes it is essential for its stability in terms of politics and its increase in wealth. There are a number of institutions which focus on specific subjects, making them highly specialised and an excellent choice for anybody who wants that extra focus.

About Switzerland

Switzerland is a beautiful country with some glorious sites. From the Swiss Alps to the Jura Mountains there are wonderful views to be seen by all who visit the country.

The top tourist attractions in Switzerland include:

  • Lake Geneva – in the third biggest city in the country, it is home to the world’s tallest water fountain and many marvellous museums and fine dining restaurants.
  • The Swiss National Park – Located in Zernez, the park covers 169 square kilometres and is home to mountains and woodland with a wide variety of wildlife, from red deer to marmots. Admire the breathtaking views and have some time away from your studies.
  • The Rhine Falls – located in Schaffhausen it is Europe’s largest waterfall and is home to beautiful views and a medieval castle which houses a youth hostel and shops. If you’re lucky enough to be around on the 1st August, Swiss National Day, it annually hosts a spectacular firework display.

Studying in Switzerland is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Take advantage of Switzerland’s location and travel to some of the bordering countries in your down time.

Costs of studying and living in Switzerland

The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).

Tuition fees at Swiss universities are heavily subsidised by the Swiss government, meaning that public university fees are relatively low. A public institution will tend to charge between CHF 500 ($500 USD) and CHF 2,000 ($2,000 USD) per semester. Private universities will probably charge higher tuition fees, especially for international students. There are scholarships available, contact your chosen institution for more information about this.

It is also important that you consider your cost of living when budgeting for studying in Switzerland. The recommended budget for yearly living cost is between CHF 18,000 and CHF 28,000. Students who are from and EU/EEA country are permitted to work up to 15 hours per week during term time, with no limitations outside of term time. Students from any other country are permitted to work 6 months after the beginning of their studies. They will be issued a work permit. For more information about working during your studies, contact your chosen university.

Student visas

If you wish to study at a university in Switzerland, you might have to apply for a visa. This will depend on where you are from.

If you are from an EU/EEA country will not need a visa to study in the country. You will, however, need to register as a foreign resident within 14 days of your arrival. This can be done at your local Residents Registration Office. When you go to do this, you should take with you:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of university registration
  • A bank statement to provide evidence of funds
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of address
  • Two passport photographs.

If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa before you travel to Switzerland. This can be done at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country. The application process can take months, so make sure that you get started in plenty of time!

You will need to purchase health insurance before your studies in Switzerland, unless your home health insurance policy is still valid. You are able to choose your insurance provider, with no limitations. However, your chosen institution will be able to provide more information about this if you require more assistance.

For more information about getting a Swiss student visa, see our Switzerland Student Visa Guide article.


Switzerland has 4 official languages. These are German, French, Italian and Romansh. You will have many opportunities to pick up more than one language during your studies. Make an effort to communicate with locals in their language. This is a fantastic skill and will look great on your CV!

Both bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes are taught in German, Italian and French. There is an increasing amount of programmes being taught in English, meaning there are plenty of options for international students.

No matter what language you choose to study in, you will probably have to prove that your language skills will meet the teaching standards. If they don’t meet these standards, it is common for institutions to offer language courses.

Student cities in Switzerland


The city of Geneva is home to just under half a million people, and is a global city. It is a financial centre, as well as a worldwide centre for diplomacy due to the presence of international organisations and the headquarters of many United Nations agencies.

You will find several higher education institutions located in Geneva, including the University of Geneva and CERN. Also found in Geneva is a city campus of the EU Business School, offering English business programmes at all levels.

READ MORE: Universities in Geneva


Located on Lake Geneva and at the base of the Alps, Montreux offers beautiful scenery and free time opportunities. Over the years, the city has been called home by many famous names, including Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.

The Glion Institute of Higher Education can be found in Montreux, and offers a unique and global approach to hospitality and services management education.

Search for courses in Switzerland

More information about studying in Switzerland

Capital City Bern (de facto)
Currency CHF, Swiss Franc
Language(s) German, French, Italian
Universities on StudyLink 20 universities
Major Student Cities Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux

Read more about studying in Europe

Study in Europe

Masters courses you may be interested in studying in Switzerland

Highlighted courses in Switzerland

Sports Management BA

EU Business School, Geneva Switzerland

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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Master Degree

EU Business School Digital Switzerland

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Master of Artificial Intelligence MSc

University of Italian Switzerland (USI) Switzerland

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Maste Mechanical Engineering MSc(Eng)

ETH Zürich Switzerland

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Mobilizing People - Leadership Development Program Executive Development Programme

IMD Business School Switzerland

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Master of Arts in Social Work MA

University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland (SUPSI) Switzerland

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Bachelor in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning BSc

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts Switzerland

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View all courses in Switzerland

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