Study In Switzerland - Requirements,Tuition Fees,Cost of Living & Universities

This is a comprehensive guide on studying in Switzerland as an international student. This detailed post will give you all the necessary information you will need about studying in Switzerland as an international student. It will answer most frequently asked questions such as


How to study in Switzerland

Why study in Switzerland

Cost of studying in Switzerland

Universities in Switzerland for international students

Cost of living in Switzerland for international students

How to get a visa to study in Switzerland

How to apply and study in Switzerland

Tuition fees to study in Switzerland

Applying to study in Switzerland


There is no centralized application procedure for international students, so to apply to study in Switzerland you’ll need to make direct contact with each university. You will be able to apply online, and universities’ international and admissions offices should be available to help you if you have any problems. Make sure you check the language requirements of the courses you’re applying to; this is a country with four official languages after all! German, French and English (particularly at graduate level) predominate.

Applying to universities in Switzerland


Selecting Universities:

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.

Requesting Application Forms:

There are two ways to get application forms:

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Application Requirements:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :

1. Schools that seem to match your requirements

2. Schools that are not suited to your needs

3. Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories

Recommendation letters:

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

School records/Academic transcript:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.


Tuition fees and cost of studying in Switzerland for international students


The cost of studying in Switzerland depends on the university you want to enroll in and the course you want to study. This is because all universities in Switzerland have different tuition fees.


The annual tuition fees for international students to study in Switzerland is between USD 1000 to USD 2000.


Students are allowed to work for about 15hours a week alongside their studies without a work permit. Scholarships are also available for international students. So contact the university you want to enroll in directly to check the available scholarships for you.


The cost of living in Switzerland for international students


The cost of living in Switzerland is very high, and it also depends on the location you want to stay in Switzerland.


You will need about USD 2000 per month to cover all your expenses which includes accommodation, feeding, transport etc. As an international student, the cost of accommodation depends on where you want to live. You should also know that the cost of living in Switzerland depends on the lifestyle and spending habit of a student.


Visa to study in Switzerland


As an international student, you will require a visa to study in Switzerland. Below are the requirements and process of getting a Switzerland visa.


What are the requirements for entry into Switzerland?

Swiss citizens have an unrestricted right to enter Switzerland. All that is required is to show a valid Swiss passport or ID card.

If the person does not have a travel document, he/she may enter Switzerland if Swiss citizenship can be proven or shown to be plausible. The Federal Office for Migration (FOM) therefore recommends that the following documents be presented:

         Photocopy of a valid passport or ID card,

         An expired travel document,

         An official document showing the person’s identity and/or citizenship (e.g. driver’s licence).

EU or EEA citizens must satisfy the following entry requirements:

         They must present a valid ID card or passport;

         They must not pose a threat to public order and security.

Types of visa:

         A Type C visa is required for short-term stays of up to three months and destined for tourist purposes, such as visiting relatives or friends, participating in sports or cultural events, for business, and schooling or study programs. Type C visas are valid for the entire Schengen area, which is why they are commonly referred to a Schengen visas.

Please note that people intending to come to Switzerland for the purpose of pursuing gainful employment, are required to hold both a valid Schengen visa and work permit.

         A Type D visa is required for stays of more than three months' duration. This visa is a national visa, issued to people who wish to stay in Switzerland legally and for a prolonged period of time. Stays subject to type D visa requirements need to be previously authorised by the appropriate authorities Type D visas are typically issued to people wishing to work or study in Switzerland, and for purposes of family reunification or lengthy medical treatment.

How long does the visa procedure take?

Once a Swiss representation has considered a Schengen visa application to be admissible, the application will, as a rule, be processed and a decision taken within fifteen days. Applications are considered to be admissible if the representation has received the applicant’s passport, photo, and identity documents, and if the applicant has been fingerprinted and the visa fee been paid. Under certain circumstances, the period for processing an application may be extended by 30 to 60 days.

Dealing with applications for a national (Type D) visa falls under cantonal jurisdiction. Stays subject to Type D visa requirements must be previously authorized by the competent authorities. The time cantonal authorities need to process an application may vary according to canton and purpose of stay.

How much does a visa cost?

The cost of submitting an application is EUR 60. An additional EUR 60 is charged for a renewed application following a rejection. This amount does not include processing fees.

Time required to issue a visa:

The procedure usually takes between 6–8 weeks, sometimes longer, depending on the season. We therefore recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

How long is the visa valid for?

A student permit is valid for the length of the study period.

Visitor visa is valid for up to 3 months.

Transit and airport transit visas are issued to nationals wishing to pass through Switzerland or continuing on a connecting flight to another country.Holders of transit visas must leave Switzerland within 24 hours of arrival and holders of airport transit visas must continue their journey within 48 hours.

Visa appeal procedure:

The Embassy has refused my visa application (receipt of form refusing a visa) 

You may appeal against the refusal of a visa (delivered by means of a standard visa refusal form according to Annex 5.3 of the Federal Office for Migration’s directives on issuing visas) within 30 days of receipt of the refusal. The appeal must be made in writing (in German, French or Italian) and be substantiated. It may be submitted to the following address:

Federal Office of Migration

Quellenweg 6

3003 Bern-Wabern

either by your host in Switzerland or your host’s legal representative. If you do not have a host or a legal representative, the appeal may be submitted to the Swiss representation abroad. The Federal Office for Migration requires an advance on costs before beginning the visa appeal process.

Other information:

I would like to extend my visa. What must I do?

Based on the prevailing division of competence between the Federal Government and the cantons, the cantonal authorities are responsible for the extension of visas or the granting of aliens police residence permits. For this reason, we ask you to address your enquiry directly to the cantonal migration authorities responsible for your place of residence.

Please note that, in general, you are only permitted to stay in Switzerland for a maximum of 3 months within any 6 month period.


List and ranking of all universities in Switzerland



This is the list and ranking of all the universities in Switzerland. The ranking is based on the quality of education each of the university provides and also the available academic and social facilities in the university. So below is the list of the of all the universities in Switzerland and their ranking




Rank    University         Location

1          Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich


2          École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


3          Université de Genève


4          Universität Zürich


5          Universität Bern


6          Universität Basel


7          Université de Lausanne


8          Université de Fribourg


9          Universität St.Gallen

St. Gallen

10        Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz

Brugg ...

11        Université de Neuchâtel


12        Berner Fachhochschule

Bern ...

13        Zürcher Hochschule der Künste


14        Hochschule Luzern

Luzern ...

15        Università della Svizzera Italiana


16        Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement


17        Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale

Delémont ...

18        Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil


19        Universität Luzern


20        Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich


21        Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik Buchs


22        Kalaidos Fachhochschule

Zürich ...

23        Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch


24        Webster University Geneva


25        Zürcher Fachhochschule


26        Fachhochschule Ostschweiz

St. Gallen

27        Fachhochschule Les Roches-Gruyère

Bulle ...


Courses you can study at universities in Switzerland

Accounting and Finance

Aeronautical engineering

Manufacturing engineering






Art and Design

Oral science


Biological sciences


Business management

Chemical engineering


Civil engineering

Ancient history

Mass communication

Computer science


Creative writing






Electrical engineering


Film making

Food science


General engineering






Material technology


Mechanical engineering

Medical technology












Veterinary medicine


Items to pack while going to study in Switzerland


In your carry-on bag

           Cell phone and charger

           Boarding pass(es)

           Cash (bring American dollars and the currency of your host location or money you can exchange for it—enough to use in case of an emergency, but not more money than you can afford to lose)

           Copy of birth certificate

           Copy of Social Security card

           Credit card (notify your bank that you’ll be abroad before you leave to avoid your account being frozen)

           Debit card


           E-reader or book

           Emergency contact list

           Face wipes


           Hand sanitizer


           Health insurance card


           Prescription medication(s) you usually take (make sure you bring enough refills to last your entire trip—but future prescriptions can go in your checked luggage)

           School ID

           Spare outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)

           State ID

           Student visa

           Travel itinerary

           Travel pillow

           Travel tickets (if you’re taking a train or other transport after your plane lands)



           Acne medication/cream

           Face lotion/moisturizer


           Mini shampoo & conditioner (until you get the chance to get full-sized bottles in your new country)

           Mouthwash (small)

           Soap (mini bottle if you're using body wash)





           Bobby pins


           Contacts, solution and case (again, make sure you have all the contacts you'll need for your time abroad)

           Glasses and glasses case

           Hair ties



           Nail clipper




           Tampons and pads



You will likely have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, and you'll be able to purchase detergent in your host country.

           Downy Wrinkle Release spray

           Linens/towels (if your housing doesn’t have them)

           Portable stain remover pen

           Travel sheet (for hostels)


           Athletic sneakers (1)

           Bathing suits (1-2)

           Boots (1-2)

           Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)

           Casual dresses (2)

           Everyday comfortable shoes (1-2)

           Flats (1)

           Flip-flops (1)

           Formal outfit (1-2)

           Gloves (1, if weather appropriate)

           Going-out outfit (3-5)

           Hat (1)

           Heavier coat for colder climates (1)

           Heels (1-2)

           Jacket (2; a light one and one for colder weather, if applicable)

           Jeans (2, one black & one blue)

           Jewelry (remember that bringing jewelry to another country is always a risk; don’t bring anything too valuable!)

           Leggings (1-3)

           Long-sleeve shirts (3-5)

           Pajamas (2-3)

           Pants (1-2 nice pairs)

           Purse (1-2)

           Raincoat (1)

           Scarf (1)

           Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)

           Shorts (2-4, if weather appropriate)

           Skirts (1-2)

           Socks (14)

           Sweaters (3-5)

           Sweatshirt (2)

           T-shirts (3-5)

           Tank tops (3-5)

           Underwear (14)

           Watch (1)

           Workout clothes (2-5)


Remember that most of your electronic items will need an outlet converter in order to work!

           Camera (remember your case and USB cords)

           Cell phone (keep in mind that you’ll be able to buy an international phone when you arrive at your destination)

           Chargers (laptop, phone, camera, e-reader, etc.)

           Flash drive



           Laptop case

           Outlet adapters (2-3)

           USB cable


           Adhesive bandages

           Allergy medicine

           Birth control

           Cold and flu medicine

           Eye drops

           Motion sickness medicine

           Over-the-counter pain medicine



           Backpack (small)

           Gift for your host family (bring something that they couldn’t get in their own country, like memorabilia from your hometown)


           Language dictionary


           Playing cards

           Travel guide

           Umbrella (small)


Benefits of studying abroad in Switzerland or any other study abroad destination


1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.


Hope this post was helpful


Question tags

How to study in Switzerland

Why study in Switzerland

Cost of studying in Switzerland

Universities in Switzerland for international students

Cost of living in Switzerland for international students

How to get a visa to study in Switzerland

How to apply and study in Switzerland

Tuition fees to study in Switzerland
Applying to study in Switzerland

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