Study in Switzerland

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country with spectacular natural beauty. It is a multicultural and multilingual country giving taste of Europe's culture. The country’s four official languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh. Banking and tourism play a significant role in Switzerland's economy. However the country’s economy is also driven by agriculture and industry. Switzerland is known for its chocolates and cheese, and also for their watches, trains and mountains, not to forget the multi utility Swiss army knife. Switzerland's schools of higher education are world class and regularly appear in the list of world's top 100 schools. Studying here not only places one well in the career path but is also a truly international, exciting and fulfilling experience.

Universities in Switzerland

Among the most sought after degrees in Switzerland are its finance, law, international affairs and business degrees. Switzerland is also a world leader in hospitality and tourism management education. Many Nobel prizes have been awarded to Swiss scientists associated with Swiss Universities of Applied Science and Arts. Below is a domain wise list of universities and colleges we recommend in Switzerland.

Finance and International Business

Law

Hospitality

Applied Sciences and Art

Structure of Education

Education policies in Switzerland vary from place to place because of the lack of a centralised controlling authority. While the constitution of Switzerland decides founding policies like compulsory primary education for all, setting the beginning of the school year in the autumn etc, the education system is mostly run at the cantons level. Of the twelve universities in Switzerland, ten are managed by the cantons they are located in, while the other two, ETHZ in Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, are federal institutes managed by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. Education in Switzerland meets international standards and at the time of writing this article Switzerland was said to have at least 105 international schools. Many universities offer courses in English apart form those in the locally spoken languages.

Swiss universities and colleges offer degrees at four levels - Associate, Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.Ds. An associate degree provides preparation for a bachelor's degree and can be obtained in general fields of study. Bachelor's degrees are more specialised fields of study generally requiring minimum three years of full time study. For those who wish to gain more knowledge of their chosen fields may opt for a one or two year Master's program. A Bachelor's degree in the same field is a pre requisite for all Masters programs. PhD in Switzerland is a research-based qualification usually obtained in 3-5 years.

Cost of Education

Public universities in Switzerland receive ample funding from the State and hence their tuition fees are significantly lower than the universities in the UK or the U.S. Private universities are usually costlier. While in general, Swiss universities charge the same tuition fee for EU and non EU students, a small number of exceptions include the universities of Fribourg, Lucerne, Neuchatel, St. Gallen, Zurich and Lugano. Depending upon the university you chose, tuition fees may vary approximately from 1,000 EUR/year to 3000 EUR/year. Although the tuition fees are low, the cost of living in Switzerland can be quite high, typically between 1,300 and 1,800 EUR/month. All students staying in Switzerland for more than three months are required to get a basic health insurance. However, students holding an 'European Health Insurance Card' or having a private insurance from an EU country are exempted. Many fully or partly funded scholarships are offered to local and international students by the universities and the State of Switzerland. International students can work upto 15 hours a week during the semester, and full-time during semester breaks (after you have lived for six months). They need a student work permit for doing so and can start working only after completing six months of stay in the country. Students may apply for student loans or could apply for on campus work to support education expenses.

Application and Eligibility

Swiss Master's programmes need the student to hold a Bachelor's degree in the same or in a similar field. Similarly Doctorate programs require a relevant Master's degree. You can to apply to universities individually, online, from the applications page of their websites. Most universities have a page for international admissions giving details of application deadlines, specific admission requirements, forms etc. Some universities may have entrance tests. Proficiency in the language of instruction needs to be established with a certificate such as IELTS, DSH, DELF etc. Some universities need applicants to take a language proficiency test if they do not hold an internationally accepted language certificate.

Cities in Switzerland

As a general rule, the central and northern parts of Switzerland speak German, French is the major language in the western region and Italian is spoken in parts of the South. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. Located in north-central Switzerland it has a population of 410,000. Zurich has a dense network of trains and buses and the Zurich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country. Switzerland does not have a capital city. Bern is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their "federal city". Geneva, located in the French speaking part of Switzerland, is an international centre for diplomacy. Many international organisations like the Red Cross and various agencies of the United Nations are headquartered here. The Geneva Conventions for wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war were signed here. St. Gallen, situated in the German speaking northeastern part, is one of the highest cities in Switzerland. Other major places in Switzerland are Lausanne, Winterthur, Basel, Lugano etc.




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