Studying in Switzerland

  • Population: 8,000,000
  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • University Students: 150,000
  • International Students: 40,000 (25%)
  • English-taught Programs: 900

Switzerland is a truly gorgeous country with some stunning nature, such as the Swiss Alps and the 1,500 lakes, such as Lake Geneva or the Lake of Zurich.

Given its location in the heart of Europe and rich history with four official languages, including German, French, Italian and Romansch, the country is a hub for cosmopolitan lifestyle.

If that was not enough, Switzerland is also considered one of the safest with a very low crime rate and in 2015 it was ranked as the happiest country in the world.

Universities in Switzerland

There are 10 Universities in Switzerland spread across the country’s 26 cantons (districts) and a few more Universities of applied sciences and research Universities. In addition, you have two Federal Institutes of Technology. Universities in Switzerland enjoy a highly regarded reputation around the globe, with many of them featured in top rankings such as the QS World University Rankings.

Some of the most noteworthy Universities in Switzerland include:

  • ETH Zurich
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Basel
  • University of Bern
  • University of Lausanne
  • University of St. Gallen
  • University of Geneva

Business Schools in Switzerland

Switzerland boasts a substantial number of business schools.

Public Business Schools

  • HEC Lausanne
  • Gallen MBA-HSG
  • University of Geneva
  • University of St. Gallen
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences/ZHAW

Private Business Schools

  • AGSB University
  • Basel School of Business
  • Business and Hotel Management School – Switzerland
  • Business School Lausanne
  • Cesar Ritz Colleges
  • EU Business School
  • Geneva Business School
  • Geneva School of Business and Economics
  • GSBA Zurich
  • HTMi
  • IMI International Management Institute Switzerland
  • Institut de Finance et Management
  • International Hotel and Tourism Training Institute
  • International Institute for Management Development
  • International School of Business Management
  • ISG Luxury Management
  • Klubschule Migros
  • Business School in Economics and Management (BSNE)
  • SBS Swiss Business School
  • Sevanan Business School
  • Sustainability Management School
  • Swiss Hotel Management School
  • Swiss Institute for Management and Hospitality
  • Swiss Management Center
  • UBIS University
  • Victoria School of Management

Hospitality Schools in Switzerland

  • Cesar Ritz Colleges
  • École hôtelière de Genève
  • École hôtelière de Lausanne
  • Glion Institute of Higher Education
  • Hotel Institute Montreux
  • International Business School of Switzerland
  • Les Roches International School of Hotel Management
  • Swiss Institute for Management and Hospitality

If you are interested in pursuing a hospitality degree in Switzerland, check out the complete guide to the best Hospitality Schools in Switzerland with details on programs, tuition fees, scholarships and accreditations.

Study in English in Switzerland

Most Universities in Switzerland teach in German, Italian as well as French, however, a growing number of programs are now also taught entirely in English. As of 2019, the Swiss Universities association lists around 900 programs taught in English.

Tuition Fees in Switzerland

Given that public Universities in Switzerland are funded by the state, studying in Switzerland is quite affordable. Tuition fees at University in Switzerland tend to average between CHF 500 (440 EUR) – CHF 2,000 (1,750 EUR) per semester. Fees for international students may vary slightly. Tuition fees at private higher education institutions can go up to CHF 30,000 (26,000 EUR).

Scholarships to Study in Switzerland

There are many scholarship opportunities for students interested in studying in Switzerland. There are scholarships for international students at Swiss Universities and governmental scholarships awarded to postgraduate students.

Costs of Living in Switzerland

The cost of living in Switzerland is considered one of the highest in Europe. Official figures recommend students to budget between CHF 18,000 (16,000 EUR) to CHF 28,000 (24,500 EUR). Living costs in the cities of Zurich and Geneva are relatively higher than those in other cities such as Luzern or Bern.

Internships & Company Placements in Switzerland

An internship or “stage” as it is known in France is considered a core part of one’s higher education. With some programs this is even mandatory. The internship can also be a stepping stone for future full-time employment. Speaking, reading and writing French will be essential for most company placement opportunities. The internships in France can be paid or unpaid.

Working in Switzerland

As an overseas student from the European Union, you can work 15 hours per week during the academic year. The rest of the year there is no limitation in place for students. Non-EU international students can work 6 months after their studies have commenced.

Salaries in Switzerland are ranked as the third highest in the world, which may ease the high costs of living.

Applying for a Student Visa to Study in Switzerland

Students from outside of the European Union are required to apply for a student visa. To apply for a student visa to study in Switzerland you are advised to apply at the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

EU citizens do not require a student visa and can attend University freely. All that is required from them is to register with the cantonal Resident’s Registration Office in the town where you will study.