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Studying in Switzerland

Updated on November 14, 2023

The universities offer a variety of study options at all levels, including bachelor's, doctorate and master's degrees. Because courses are offered in a variety of languages, Swiss universities welcome about 25 % of students from around the world each year. Some of the universities even made it to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. Switzerland has twelve universities, ten of which are cantonal universities and two of which are federal technical colleges.

Language of the programmes

The language of the courses depends largely on the focus and the university. Some offer bilingual programmes while others are in English. At the ETH in Zurich, some are first in German and later, in the second year, in English. Since Bachelor's programmes are in the official language of the region, courses are held in German, Italian or French, depending on the canton.


The cost of a degree programme ranges from CHF 400 to 6500 per semester but varies greatly from canton to canton. In addition to study costs, students must also pay for course materials. For students who no longer live with their parents, there are of course other costs such as rent, food and free time. An individual budget plan helps you to plan your finances well. You can find general information on this at budgetberatung.ch. You can also enquire about tuition fees at the respective university or get an overview at https://www.swissuniversities.ch/service/studieren-in-der-schweiz/studiengebuehren.

Financing options

Before you start studying, you need to think about a few things. This of course includes finances. You have the following options for financing your degree:


A scholarship is a type of financial support, for example, for students who cannot finance their education themselves. Scholarship recipients receive either a regular or a one-time payment of a certain amount of money that covers the education fees.

The very first step is to submit your application to the canton that is responsible for you, ideally 3 to 4 months before the training begins. However, you must remember to submit a new and complete application each year before you start your studies.

Private foundations/funds

There are many private foundations/funds in Switzerland that focus on individual education grants. Cantonal career and study guidance offices and the Federal Department of Home Affairs, FDHA have lists of information and addresses.

Student jobs


Student jobs are an attractive solution for many students because they give you the opportunity to gain your first practical experience and bring variety to your everyday life. This means you can get an insight into the industry before you graduate.

The most popular career fields are the commercial and cateing sectors. In general, students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the lecture period and even longer during the holidays.

Student visa

EU and EFTA citizens only need to be able to prove that they have been admitted to the university, but do not need a visa to study in Switzerland. However, if they stay in Switzerland for more than 90 days, they must apply for a Swiss residence permit from their canton of residence.

In contrast to them, people from third countries have to prove that they have a student visa.

You can find out more about the visa here:



Are you a student from abroad and need help with your first steps? We will be happy to find the right insurance solution for you and support you with further questions.  

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