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About Switzerland

Switzerland not only boasts an internationalized higher education sector. It also has quite an internationalized economy and political sphere. Thousands of international companies and organisations have settled here because of the country’s pedigree of neutrality, open-mindedness, diplomatic virtues and political stability. Switzerland is home to about 11,524 multinational companies. Some have their headquarters in Switzerland, others in neighbouring Germany and France, or in the United States and Britain.

The country boasts industries like banking and finance. Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.

Educational perspective

In total there are 12 general universities located in Switzerland and a smaller number of science and research specific higher education institutions. One will find eight of these universities in the QS World University Rankings, with the highest being ETH Zurich, ranked at number 10. Four of these universities are also listed in the top 100.

Switzerland regards education as hugely important in the day to day success of the country. It believes it is essential for its stability in terms of politics and its increase in wealth. There are a number of institutions which focus on specific subjects, making them highly specialised and an excellent choice for anybody who wants that extra focus.

Why choose Switzerland – From a student perspective

Switzerland is a country of natural wonders, with numerous lakes, historical cities, idyllic landscapes and the Alps, but it is also a great destination for those interested in Higher Education. The country has a high standard of education recognised worldwide and a great level of satisfaction of international students, according to a research in the StudyPortals with more than 7000 students.

Switzerland is considered to be a prime destination for studies related to this sector. Switzerland, as the birthplace of Hospitality, has a great reputation for excellence in Hospitality Education, and a large number of executives in the global hospitality industry are graduates of Swiss hotel schools.

Additionally, being a first-world country, Switzerland offers the best conditions for international students, such as: safety, high life-standards and cultural diversity.


September & February


  • Fall semester: 1 December – 28 February
  • Spring semester: 1 May – 30 September
  • Sometimes varies from university to university

Passport validity requirement

A passport valid for 3 months beyond your departure date from Switzerland

Living cost

The cost of living in Switzerland echoes the country's high standard of living. The Swiss have access to excellent quality products, transportation, quality accommodation, and superior cultural and tourism offerings. While an outsider may feel that the cost of living is high, what they often miss out is that the Swiss are also paid pretty well.

Usually the cost of studying & living in Switzerland for an international student depends on their personal choice of recreational activities but it safe to keep at least 1600 CHF to 2000 CHF for your monthly expenses.

Living costs in Switzerland for students will also differ according to which city of your university.

After studies – settlement options

If you are a non-EU/EFTA citizen and you have lived in Switzerland for 10 years (or less for some nationalities) you can apply for a Swiss settlement or permanent residence permit. You can also apply to become naturalised as a Swiss citizen after 12 years, or less in some situations (such as marriage or birth).