Student Guide to Study in Switzerland 2019 - 2020

About Switzerland

Switzerland is among the most happening destinations for Indian students who would like to look beyond America to study abroad. Located in Central Europe, the land of the Swiss might sound like an unconventional destination, but when it comes to studying here, there’s no dearth of benefits and opportunities.

Study in Switzerland

Quality Of Living:

Almost 60% of the country’s land is mountainous, therefore one can expect to find picture perfect rolling hills, open pastures, forests and lakes. For those who find joy in nature and outdoor activities, student life in Switzerland will be like a dream, with pleasant a summer season and manageable winters.

Home to two global cities, and sharing borders with Italy, France and Austria, Switzerland’s cities are dynamic and overflowing with opportunities to interact with different cultures and languages. Since Switzerland is located centrally, traveling to any of the countries surrounding it is easy, with minimal expenses.

English Language

Having four national languages and several dialects, Switzerland might look intimidating to students who aren’t multilingual. However, most universities offer Graduate and Postgraduate programs in English, particularly business schools. Most locals too are at least mildly fluent in English, so day to day interactions will not pose much of a challenge for Indian students studying there.

Economic Superpower

Economic Superpower

Despite its small size, Switzerland’s economy is one of the most competitive economies in the world and a force to be reckoned with. Openness to foreign investment and low rates of corruption have made it one of the most stable economies, with the country regularly ranking highest on the lists of average individual wealth and quality of living.

Education System in Switzerland

Its booming economy and trade makes Switzerland an attractive destination for students wanting to pursue business and finance, from studying to working after graduation. Universities in Switzerland are renowned throughout the world for their commitment to high standards of education and research. Foreign students who opt to study in Switzerland have benefited from small size of classes, hands-on approach to syllabus and opportunities to pursue research.

Higher Studies in Switzerland is done mostly in Vocational and Technical institutes and Universities. Switzerland has four official languages. Mostly the Bachelor’s degree is taught in German, French or Italian and not English. Some Universities mix that with Local official languages and English. Such as in some Bachelor’s degrees in ETH Zurich, first year is taught in German and second and third is taught in English.

There are two semesters: The Autumn Semester and Spring Semester. Each semester runs for 14 weeks.
Universities in Switzerland:
There are three type of Universities in Switzerland:

  1. 12 Doctoral / Research Universities

  2. 8 Universities of Applied Science

  3. 20 UTE (Universities of Teacher Education)

  • All humanity and science degrees can be pursued at academic Universities in Switzerland. Apart from degrees, some specialisations like heath sciences can only be pursued in Universities of applied sciences.

  • Doctoral / Research Universities offer bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees along with PhD in theory based or research based disciplines.

  • Applied Science Universities are mostly for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in scientific fields and professional education. They are highly concentrated on research output.

Other specific Universities in Switzerland offer University level education other than above categorised institutes.

  1. Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP), Lausanne

  2. Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch (IUKB), Sion

  3. Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva

  4. Distance Learning University Switzerland

Switzerland is known for intensive master’s and research programs in science and technology, from genetics and pharmaceuticals to biotechnology  and medicine-related subjects. Two of its universities have ranked in the world’s top 15 according to QS World University Rankings 2018 - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The fact that the country has produced a total of 31 Nobel laureates in the Sciences is a testament of its quality education. For students of humanities and law, University of Zurich offers a wide range of programs.

Student Life In Switzerland

Student Life In Switzerland

There will never be a dull moment in the life of a student in Switzerland. Universities are proactive in organizing workshops and conferences so that students can engage with their courses even outside the classroom, and develop a professional network that will help them after graduation. Universities are well equipped with facilities like libraries, canteens and gyms, while also routinely organizing hiking trips for foreign students, to help them explore the country.

Opportunities For Working While Studying

Most universities have job placement units that offer part time jobs within the campus. Those on student resident permits are allowed to work, with the only requirement being that they produce a statement from university authorities stating that working while studying will not stretch the duration of their programs.

As courses are strenuous, foreign students are only allowed to work for a maximum of 15 hours per week. Wages can be anywhere between CHF 20 to 35, depending on skills and type of job.

Options For Working After Graduation

Graduated students have the option to apply for a six month long residency permit to explore job opportunities in the fields of their degree programs. Once employed, a work permit can be applied for. For those who wish to study further, residency permit is renewed after admission is secured.

Students of International Relations and related majors will find no dearth of opportunities to advance their careers after finishing studies, seeing as Switzerland is home to many international organizations like the United Nations and World Economic Forum. Foreign language students will also find jobs quickly as translators and interpreters in international organizations as well as MNCs.

Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is a mountainous country located in western europe. Mostly famous around the world for its idyllic ski towns and chocolate, it is also known for how high its standards of living, education and work are. Switzerland is fast becoming a lucrative destination for Indian Students planning to study abroad.

Flanked by countries like Italy, France, Germany and Austria, Switzerland is a hub of cultures and languages with as many as four national languages. It is an ideal educational destination for those interested in degree programs related to language and culture. Known for having a rich topography, the country also provides a plethora of travel options for those living there.

Stay back and Work permit after Study in Switzerland

Who would want to leave Switzerland? There are some rules and regulations set by Swiss immigration for both EFTA/EU student and non-EU students. For any kind of extension in your stay, an employment in necessary. Find out the details about stay back option and work permit after study in Switzerland here: Stay back and Work permit after Study in Switzerland


Surrounded by the Alps on the south and north, and Jura Mountains on the west, about 60% of Switzerland’s land is mountainous. A bulk of the population resides in the northern half of the country, towards Central Plateau, for ease of life.

The plateau region is where the biggest cities and education institutions of Switzerland are located. The landscape is characterized by hilly, open pastures, and fields. For a small country, Switzerland encompasses quite the diversity of climates, from a warm summer to humid winters with sprinklings of periodic rainfall.

Travelling :

TravellingDue to its unique location and cultural leanings, Switzerland is a solid hub for tourism. The most popular destination is Zurich, a prestigious art trade centre with multiple renowned museums, galleries and theatres to browse through. Tips for the intellectual traveler: don’t miss this one, and make sure to invest in good walking shoes.

For nature lovers, cities like Interlaken offer a variety of adventure sports. Hikers and skiers will not run out of things to do here. History lovers will feel at home in Lucerne, a medieval city in central Switzerland teeming with historical sites and ethnic festivals.

Wondering how to get around? Switzerland boasts of the safest public transport system in the world, with trains and buses plying throughout the country. Bonus: there are daily, nightly and student train passes available for all kinds of tourists. For the adventurous types, cycling routes are scattered throughout the country and bicycles can be organized in a jiffy.


The dominant religion in the country is Christianity, although the state of Switzerland officially recognizes no state religion. Citizens are free to pursue any religion they like, as guaranteed by the constitution.

Most Swiss cantons, or member states, recognize Roman Catholic and Reformed Churches. More than 70% of the population identifies as Christian, although adherence to all religions in the country has been observed to be on the decline since the beginning of 20th century. Amongst minority religions, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are significant, while about 12% of the population identifies as atheist. 

Politics and Economy:

Switzerland enjoys a robust, high-tech economy and is constantly ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, thus providing unmatched quality of living and work environment to its citizens. Despite its miniscule size, Switzerland is the most competitive economy in the world and the richest country in Europe.

Trading, banking and tourism form the lucrative sectors in the country. Switzerland ranks relatively high on the ease of doing business scale as well. A booming economy ensures that there's no shortage of work, with unemployment rate being as low as 3.2%.

Top Seven Reasons to Study in Switzerland

If the beautiful landscapes, excellent quality of life, and being the most neutral country in the world does not cut it for you, and if the excellent academics and world-class research output are not enough to convince you to opt for study in Switzerland, we have seven solid reasons that can change your mind. Read Top 7 reasons to study in Switzerland here: Top Seven Reasons to Study in Switzerland



Elementary education is compulsory in Switzerland, with public schools starting with Kindergarten, and going upto Gymnasium, or high school. The model of every canton being responsible for its own educational policies has made Switzerland's school system efficient. 

Why should high school students looking to study abroad consider Switzerland? For starters, Swiss universities rank pretty high on a worldwide scale, with University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich ranking 54th and 20th respectively. For Indian Students interested in humanities, University of Zurich is a hotspot with over a 100 Graduate and Post-Graduate degree programs.

With several official languages, and the presence of prestigious international organizations in the country, those interested seeking Master's in international relations and foreign languages will find a range of options here. However, English language fluency is a requirement for applying to Swiss Universities, as most of the curriculum is taught in English.

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