switzerland

Switzerland at a glance

Officially named as the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland is one of the wealthiest and most productive countries in the world. Although most Bachelor’s programs are taught in one of the country’s official languages, German, French or Italian, you may also study in Switzerland in English, since there is an increasing number of master’s and PhD programs addressed to international students. In fact, more than 49000 international students chose to Study in Switzerland in 2009. That over 21% of the student population body!

Located in the Alps, Switzerland has a long history in neutrality, direct democracy and federalism. Switzerland is also home to many important international organizations, such as the Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee and the World Economic Forum, just to mention a few of them. In spite of the fact that Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union, it signed the Schengen Agreement, which affords you the opportunity to travel around Europe without the need for additional visas.

The Top Tourist Attractions in Switzerland include:

  • The Jungfrau Region
  • Chateau de Chillon, Montreux
  • Swiss National Park, Zernez
  • Fasnacht Spring Carnival, Basel
  • Geneva
  • The Matterhorn, Zermatt
  • Moritz
  • Pilatus

Key Features

  • IELTS/ TOEFL/PTE are mandatory
  • 6 months post study permit
  • The hub for Hospitality, Tourism & Event Management Courses

Why Switzerland ?

There are many advantages to studying in Switzerland. The high quality of education is relatively accessible and a large percentage of the student population are foreign students. You will meet and associate with people from all over the world, giving you a very global outlook and politically neutral understanding of life. Switzerland is a small country in the centre of Europe and exploration of surrounding regions can easily be undertaken with the minimum amount of travel. Switzerland is an ideal location if you enjoy outdoor pursuits. The Swiss Alps provide a picture-perfect backdrop and you will find a wealth of activities available throughout the four seasons, that will interest even the most lethargic of personalities.

After a gruelling day of lectures, what can students do to relax? All universities and colleges offer a variety of recreational activities for their students. There are several inter-university sports tournaments and you are likely to find tennis courts, sports centres and a café-bar where students can socialise. Away from campus, students are entitled to discounts at exhibitions, theatres, art galleries, and museums. A student would only need, between 100-150 Swiss Francs per week in order to sample everything that Switzerland has to offer. In addition, as many colleges are situated in and around the Alps, many students enjoy the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard. Although the cost of hiring the equipment can be expensive, a student can buy a ski pass for approx. SFr 450. The pass would be valid for a year and allows access to various pistes and slopes giving the novice plenty of time to perfect their technique.

As with any country, as a potential student you must meet the entry requirements of your chosen university, as well as those of the country itself. All students must be in possession of a valid passport and in addition, students from certain countries will also require Swiss entry visas. Student entry visas should be requested from the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in your home country, after you have received your acceptance letters from the university. Assistance and advice for students is readily available from your chosen institution. Many universities will also require you to demonstrate your linguistic proficiency.

Most Swiss universities structure their academic year in three term periods that run from early September to December, late January to early May, and late May to July respectively. Courses are generally modular with students having to attain the required number of credits in order to pass their chosen course. Students are asked to complete a set number of courses per term and, in this, learn to adapt to a variety of teaching methods. Most classes will involve lectures followed by group seminars; designed to discuss the issues raised in the lectures. The teacher/student ratio in these discussion groups is relatively low, with an average of ten students assigned to one professor. Essays and exams are common yet there is also room for individual case studies and audio-visual projects. Library facilities are extremely good.

Tuition fees for universities and colleges in Switzerland vary from institution to institution. However, if you know which college you wish to attend, you will be able to get a prospectus (by ringing or writing to the Swiss Embassy in your country) that will list the relevant costs. On average, a student’s annual budget would need to cover approximately SFr 16,000 to SFr 24,000 depending on where you study and your standard of living. Don’t be put off if these costs are out of your price range, most universities offer forms of financial assistance and, in some cases, scholarships.

As a European business hub, several courses have links with locally based businesses that cannot be beaten. Special strengths are in banking, machine tool and precision engineering. Other strengths include chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, not to mention great hotel and tourist educational departments. The country has been very successful in attracting the investment of foreign multi-nationals and businesses, also one of the reasons for its huge banking sector. The knock-on effect of the wealth results in attracting some of the most respected academics in European universities attracted by the high wages and the comfortable lifestyle.

Through the Federal Commission for International Students, the Government provides a small number of scholarships to foreign postgraduates only. These help students undertake research in fields that the Swiss universities are particularly active in. A special programme also exists providing scholarships to postgraduates from central and eastern European countries.

The most popular of the educational facilities for foreign students, are the Swiss Hospitality Schools. Located in various towns and cities across Switzerland, these schools are renowned worldwide for their high standards and are almost a pre-requisite for hospitality students looking for a first class education. Famous schools such as the Caesar Ritz Colleges, the Ecole Hôteliére in Lausanne, International Hotel Management Institute in Lucerne, the Hotel Institute in Montreux and many others provide highly competitive qualifications in all aspects of international hospitality and tourism management. The entry requirements for these schools can vary according to your personal area of interest. Merit based scholarships are also available but you would need to enquire with the institution of your choice.

So what are you waiting for? If you are looking to study in a country that is renowned for its educational system, with a totally diverse culture and adventurous activities just waiting to be experienced, all in breathtaking surroundings. After all, this is the country where Albert Einstein gained his technical qualifications and found the inspiration to create his theory of relativity. Take the decision, be positive, and pave your career path with solid foundations. Study in Switzerland.

Education system

The education system in Switzerland is varied, because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system mainly to the cantons. The first university in Switzerland was founded in 1460 in Basel, with a faculty of medicine. This place has a long history of chemical and medical research. In total, there are 12 Universities in Switzerland; ten of them are managed by the cantons, while two federal institutes of technology, ETHZ in Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, are under the authority of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. In addition, there are seven regional associations of Universities for Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen) which require vocational education and a special Berufsmatura, or a Fachmatura (a graduation by a Fachmittelschule) to study. Switzerland has a high rate of foreign students in tertiary education including one of the highest in the world of doctoral level students. In 2014 Switzerland had the highest rate of inhabitants (2.98%) with doctoral degrees in the world.

There are 14 public and generic universities in Switzerland, 10 of which are maintained at cantonal level and usually offer a range of non-technical subjects. Of the remaining 4 institutions, 2 are run by the Swiss Confederation and are known as “Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology”.

Switzerland is well known for its advanced business education system. A number of world-class universities and MBA programmes, such as the International Institute for Management Development, HEC Lausanne, St. Gallen, Kalaidos FH and University of Zurich belong to that category. All of them are also registered in the Financial Times ranking. See also the list of universities in Switzerland.

Switzerland has a high rate of international students. In 2013, 16.9% of the total tertiary enrollment in Switzerland came from outside the country, a rate that is the 10th highest of the 291 countries included in the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This rate was just higher than Austria (16.8) and just lower than the United Kingdom (17.5). However, due to the much smaller tertiary system in Switzerland their 47,000 foreign tertiary enrollments are dwarfed by much larger countries such as the United States (740,000), the United Kingdom (416,000), France (228,000) and Germany (196,000). Many international students attend Swiss universities for advanced degrees. In 2013 masters programs enrolled about 27% foreign students (fourth highest rate) and doctoral programs were 52% foreign (second behind Luxembourg)

UNIVERSITÄT (UNIVERSITY)

  • UMEF
  • BHMS
  • CESAR RITZ
  • HTMI
  • Le Cordon Bleu College
  • SUMAS

Eligibility & Documentation?

  • A letter mentioning the field of studies you are interested in
  • A copy of your matriculation certificate
  • Copies of your college or university certificates (if any)
  • Examination results with an official statement about your studies
  • A detailed curriculum vitae.

Depending on the university, you may also have to take an entrance exam. There is an exam session twice a year, one in the second half of June and one in the beginning of October.

Cost of living

Most Swiss universities own student accommodation, which they manage and rent out. As an international student, you’ll usually receive a subsidized price for housing on campus. The advantage of living on campus is that you will live close to college facilities as well as other students. You should apply for student housing as soon as possible since places are limited.

Some international students prefer to rent a room in the house of a Swiss family, to truly experience the Swiss culture and integrate with the Swiss people.

A student’s monthly budget amounts to approximately SFR 1,800: food and upkeep from SFR 800 to SFR 850, lodging SFR 400 to SFR 600, tuition fees and supplies, transportation and insurance (approximately SFR 250). Students should be aware that several payments fall due simultaneously at the onset of their studies, for example first term health insurance payment, first semester tuition fees, first rent payment, which often includes an obligatory security deposit and foreign student medical exam bill. As such, you can anticipate a minimum cost of SFR 16,000 to SFR 24,000 per year, depending on where you study (Geneva and Zurich being considered as more expensive) and your standard of living.

European Union
Masters (MS) Degree

Deadline: varies
Study in: European Countries
Course starts: Aug-Sept 2017

Brief description:

The Erasmus Mundus Scholarships, funded by the European Union, are exclusively awarded to students coming from both EU and non-EU countries that have been selected to attend one of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes at Masters Level.

European University Scholarship Program

European Universities/Institutions participating under approved Erasmus Mundus Action Joint Programmes.

Field(s) of Study:

About 116 Masters Courses are supported by scholarships. The field(s) of study covered are: Agriculture and Veterinary, Engineering, Manufacture and Construction, Health and Welfare, Humanities and Arts, Science, Mathematics and Computing, and Social Sciences, Business and Law.

Number of Awards:

No Specified

Target group:

Category A Scholarships: Nationals from another country than the European Union Member States and Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein all together.
Category B Scholarships: Nationals from the European Union Member States, or from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein.

Scholarship value/inclusions:

The programme offers full-time scholarships and/or fellowships that cover monthly allowance, participation costs, travelling and insurance costs of the students. Scholarship amounts can vary according to the level of studies, the duration of studies, and the scholar’s nationality (scholarships for non-EU students are higher than for EU students).

Eligibility:

Please note that each Erasmus Mundus Joint Programme defines its own selection criteria and admission procedures.

Application instructions:

The next application round for courses starting in the academic year 2017/2018 will start to open in the last quarter of 2016.
Deadline varies depending on the programme but falls around December to January.