Study and Research Opportunities in Switzerland

Long and short-term academic programs are available in Switzerland across many universities and educational centers. International students and researchers may apply to BA, MA, Ph.D., and postdoctoral research programs in Switzerland. Moreover, summer schools and conferences are other excellent academic activities that make Switzerland an attractive destination for scholars and scientists. Many programs also come with fully-funded scholarships and fellowships as well as travel grants and financial aid, thus every student, researcher, and professor can always find a suitable program in Switzerland and apply.

Scholarships in Switzerland

Fellowships in Switzerland

Grants & Awards in Switzerland

Summer Programs in Switzerland

Switzerland as an academic destination

The home country of the world-known watches, chocolate, and cheese is also famous for its innovative programs. Switzerland holds the status of one of the most innovative European countries, and one of the main factors influencing this title is the quality of Swiss education. 

Switzerland's most developed academic directions are be Human Medicine, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, and International Business. Watching the statistics of Swiss ranked universities, the country's business schools have the most recognition and prestige in Europe and in the world. Also, the most developed degrees in Swiss universities are graduate, research-based programs. 

Many international studies aim to move to Switzerland to upgrade their academic skills and stand closer to the further career path in the country. Given that roughly 25% of students and employees in the country are foreign nationalities, the chances of settling in Switzerland after the successful completion of studies are quite real.

The dominant language of the country, both in academic programs and everyday communication, is German. 17 of 26 Swiss cantons speak German. The other two official languages are French and Italian. Therefore, both when submitting documents for university application and visa, you need either the original versions of those documents in one of the three official languages or their notarized translations. 

There are also options for choosing English programs, which is not difficult in Switzerland as most of the graduate programs are taught in English. 

For being admitted to English-taught programs, you should pass IELTS and TOEFL. Similarly, DSH, TestDaF, OSD are the accepted language proficiency tests for German and DELF for French. 

Universities in Switzerland

One of the oldest survived universities globally, the University of Basel, was founded in Switzerland in 1460. It's the oldest higher educational institution in the country. 

Since then, Switzerland's education infrastructure has been enriched with ten cantonal universities, two federal institutions of technology, and a number of public and private universities of Applied Sciences

Many Swiss universities are included in the globally ranked universities, among which the four main ones are the following.

  1. ETH Zurich is the leading university in Switzerland, which is famous for programs in science and technology. Up to 40% of the students in ETH are international students. 
  2. EPFL is also specialized in technology, with the majority of the undergraduate courses told in French. Graduate programs, in contrast, are mainly in English. 
  3. The University of Zurich is the largest university in Switzerland. The main programs are in science, law, philosophy, medicine, theology, etc.
  4. The University of Geneva is one of the oldest and largest Swiss universities. Like in ETH Zurich, almost half the Geneva University students are of foreign nationalities. 

Student visa to Switzerland

EU/EFTA citizens don't need a visa; they only need to apply for a residence permit within 14 days of arrival in Switzerland. Non-EU/EFTA citizens need to apply for a student visa in advance: C Visa for short-term studies such as summer schools and D Visa for long-term studies, working or residing in Switzerland. 

The types of residency permits include:

  • Permit L allows to stay a year in the country and can be renowned once
  • Permit B also allows to stay a year in the country and has no renewal limit.
  • Permit C is for permanent residence.

International student expenses in Switzerland

Switzerland state universities are funded from the taxpayers' budgets. That's why the tuitions of those universities are considered to be affordable.

The tuition fees in public and private universities vary significantly. While bachelor's and master's programs cost up to 4000 EUR in state-funded universities, private universities' same fee can reach 43,000 EUR per year. 

There is no difference in tuition fees for national, EU/EEA, and non-EU/EEA students in most Switzerland universities. 

The second important component of the international student expenses in Switzerland is the housing expenses, which has two options. Students reside in residence halls (costing 450-800 EUR/month) or share a renting apartment (costing 700-1,200 EUR/month). 

Along with the above-described scholarship opportunities, you can also work in Switzerland to cover your expenses. International students are allowed to work a max of 15 hours per week in parallel to their studies. During the holidays, there are no restrictions on working hours. Non-EU/EFTA citizens can work only six months after their enrollment in the degree program. 

We hope the opportunities collected in this section of ARMACAD will help you construct your academic and career path in Switzerland.