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Thun cityspace with Alps mountain and lake in Switzerland

Study in Switzerland: A Guide for International Students

Start your study abroad experience in Switzerland

Università della Svizzera is a multi-lingual university with courses taught in Italian and English. It has a strong international orientation with students from more than 100 different countries!

Located in the heart of continental Europe, Switzerland is a small country with a longstanding history in higher education excellence, dating all the way back to 1460. With a wide variety of higher education institutions, studying in Switzerland will give you the opportunity to explore and learn directly in line with your passions. 

An education in Switzerland will take you far outside the walls of the library. With its diverse and picturesque landscapes, cultural variety (fusing German, French and Italian traditions), top ranked cities for quality of life, innovative technological environment and high educational standards, studying abroad in Switzerland is an experience of a lifetime. With 248,000 students registered for the 2017/2018 autumn semester, higher education is continuing to grow in Switzerland, and the same year saw increasing numbers of women and international students in Swiss higher education.  

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Switzerland prides itself on its well-recognized institutes in science and tourism, as well as internationally-accredited business schools. The country's diverse geography, four official languages, high English proficiency and culture of learning and innovation are all reflected in the world class education you will receive by studying in Switzerland.

Switzerland - Quick facts & figures




German, French, Italian, Romansh


8.5 million

Area Size

41,285 km²

International students


Academic Year

September - May


Swiss Franc (CHF)

Calling Code


Time Zone


Birdseye view of Geneva, Switzerland

More about Switzerland

Switzerland is a wealthy country with a high quality of life. The country is densely populated with an average of 215 people per square kilometer. Studying abroad in Switzerland will be a unique experience. From snowy winter sport activities in the Alps to bustling urban centers and everything in between, your education in Switzerland will give you endless opportunities to explore your new home. 

Furthermore, with its central European location Switzerland is the perfect "home base" for those wanting to discover the rest of the continent. With four official languages, you do not even have to leave Switzerland to get a taste of four distinct different European cultures. The list doesn’t stop there, read about the top 10 reasons to study in Switzerland

A great reason to pursue your education in Switzerland is the broad spectrum of educational opportunities on offer. Read through this guide to find out more about the different types of higher educational institutes in Switzerland, how to apply, and a few practical details you should consider during your preparations for studying in Switzerland. Or, if you're ready, find your dream Swiss Degree Program by browsing the program options below! 

Education System

Switzerland is world renowned for its education system, promoting high academic standards and innovative teaching methods. Public and private institutions offer a wide range of programs in English at all levels, for Swiss and international students alike.

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Student Visas

Despite its location in the heart of continental Europe, Switzerland is not an official part of the European Union and every international student will require a student visa to study. Find out documentation you need and the processes you should follow depending on your country of origin.

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Housing & Living Costs

Finding budget friendly housing in Switzerland can take a bit of careful planning but look through your options to find the best accommodation for you and your piggy bank!

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees in Switzerland vary greatly, depending on if you’re planning to attend a public or private institution, your program of study, and your level of study. There are several different scholarships available from specific institutions and from the Swiss government.

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Language & Culture

Switzerland has four official languages and boasts a wide range of diverse cultural traditions in the different linguistic regions. You can study in three of the official languages or find one of the many programs offered in English! Efficiency is a priority, and Switzerland is highly organized with a strong tradition of popular democracy.

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Application Process

There is no centralized system for admissions to Swiss universities. Application processes can differ from institution to institution, get started early to leave time for ironing out those all-important details.

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Ready to look at education in Switzerland? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Switzerland.

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Last update: 23 Oct 2019

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Last updated: 10/23/2019

Student Visas to Study in Switzerland

Switzerland is not an official part of the European Union (EU), and all international students require a student visa in order to study in Switzerland. There are different processes and levels of complexity in applying for a Swiss residence permit, depending on if you are an EU/EFTA national or not. No matter your citizenship or residency, you are able to apply for a Swiss student visa!
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Last updated: 11/29/2019

Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Switzerland

The Swiss brand is internationally recognized. Think Swiss chocolate, cheese, watches, and the Swiss army knife. However, what’s lesser known is the prestigious place that the Swiss university system holds in the world. With several top-ranked universities, the Swiss higher education system offers students the opportunity to take their education and future careers further!

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