Why to Study in Switzerland for Indian Students?
Do you want to invest in internationally recognized education?
Would you like your child to study at one of the best universities in the world in a safe environment full of cultural exchange?
Switzerland is the answer to all these questions.
The country of the majestic Alps, vast prairies and one of the most powerful economies welcomes thousands of international students every year.
Discover how to study in Switzerland.
How to Study in Switzerland for Indian Students? What do you need?
Switzerland is one of those countries that, with its undeniable charm, attracts all kinds of tourists yearly.
The internet is full of beautiful photos and videos of Swiss landscapes that are so captivating that they seem straight out of a fairy tale.
From the iconic Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva, this European nation has several sites that everyone should visit at least once in their lives.
However, the exemplary educational system has contributed to this country’s popularity. There is no doubt that Switzerland is home to some of the most prestigious and imposing higher education institutions in Europe, such as ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), the 6th best university in the world according to the QS Top Universities 2021.
As if this were not enough, we are talking about a multicultural country with 4 official languages and the highest rates of life in terms of education, satisfaction, security, employment and health.
If you want to see for yourself, look at the OECD’s Better Life Index and see that Switzerland outperforms the organization’s average in almost every category.
In short, studying in Switzerland may be the best decision you make in your life. Over 20% of the students who enrol in Swiss institutions are foreigners so you will be surrounded by a diverse community of international students from various parts of the world.
Do you already want to pack your bags? We do not blame you! However, if you want to study in Switzerland while living in India, you should first know the types of visas.
At the moment, the available visas that you can process according to the duration of your stay and your nationality are:
- Student Visa (National Visa D). Visa is aimed at all international students who do not belong to a country of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) who want to study in Switzerland for more than 90 days.
- Schengen Visa (Short-term visa C VisaVisa aimed at foreigners of some nationalities interested in studying in Switzerland for less than 90 days.
As you can see, Schengen Visa you need to apply for to travel to Switzerland depends on how long you plan to stay.
Moreover, speaking of short courses, in Switzerland, there are many academies to learn German that offer summer programs of less than 12 weeks.
There are 4 official languages in this country, but German is the most used throughout the territory and in all social classes.
Ready to live the most incredible experience of your life? Ongoing!
Cost of Study in Switzerland for Indian Students
Benefits of Study in Switzerland
Living in this beautiful first-world country has its price. With so many benefits and such a high quality of life, it is not hard to tell that Switzerland is an expensive place.
For this reason, we are going to give you some information that will be useful when creating your budget and travelling to the land of chocolate.
Making a rough calculation, it is estimated that a single person needs about $3,861 to live and study in Switzerland for 1 month. Of course, several factors come into play in this calculation, such as the Student’s college tuition, city, and general lifestyle.
A curious aspect of this European nation is that Bern, the federal city, is not the most expensive region to live in. If you look at the table, we have left you above. You will see that the rental prices in this city are cheaper than in other cities such as Zurich, Geneva or Basel.
The good news is that compared to others, the tuition fees to study in Switzerland are relatively low. Public universities offer affordable tuition fees that do not differ much from those paid by local or EU/EFTA students.
On the other hand, private universities are naturally more expensive. In general, tuition for international students ranges from $3,341 to $44,545 per year.
Study in Switzerland for free for International Students
Although there are technically no free universities or educational institutions in Switzerland, it is possible to lower tuition fees through government and university scholarships.
As we mentioned recently, the cost of higher education in this country is quite affordable, considering its quality.
International students have access to a wide repertoire of programs and financial support of different kinds.
The Government, universities and other organizations are responsible for lending a hand to foreigners from around the world who choose Switzerland as their academic destination.
Swiss Government scholarships are managed through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) and are awarded primarily to research or postgraduate students from one of the partner countries.
More than 170 countries have agreements with this European country to promote cultural exchange and education. Some universities offer more than $60,000 scholarships to international students who meet the program’s conditions.
Study at the University in Switzerland
Imagine studying at a university where every managerial, teaching and administrative aspect is geared towards student well-being and learning.
The State Secretariat supervises all universities in Switzerland for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) to ensure compliance with academic standards.
Each university is regulated by its respective canton, the political/administrative entities into which the country is divided.
The offer comprises some 12 universities, all with a wide catalogue of world-renowned careers, BBAs and MBAs.
Most surprising is that 10 of 12 Swiss universities are listed in the 2021 QS World University Rankings. That is a great ranking considering that this nation has just over 8.5 million people.
One of the most famous universities in Switzerland is the ETH Zurich, founded in 1855 and considered the best non-British European university in the world.
No less than 21 Nobel Prize winners have graduated from its facilities, including Albert Einstein, Alfred Werner, Heinrich Rohrer and Karl Alexander Müller.
Studying in Switzerland is an excellent opportunity to develop yourself in chemistry, mathematics, aeronautics, physics and engineering.
Not for nothing, do. They have the largest particle accelerator in the world!
What will universities ask of you?
In most countries, there is no general list of requirements to be admitted to a Swiss university as a foreigner. This is mainly because each canton establishes its admission criteria.
To study for a bachelor’s degree, you will likely need to have a Swiss Certificate of Maturity or an equivalent document in your country of residence. It is also a requirement to demonstrate your command of the language in which the classes are taught.
Various languages , such as Swiss German and French, are spoken in Switzerland, but all universities offer programs in English. This is so since 25% of registered students in Switzerland are foreigners.
Requirements to Study in Switzerland
Now, so that you have an idea of the general requirements that you must meet to enter a prestigious Swiss university, we are going to list some of the conditions established by the UZH (University of Zurich):
- Have a Non-Swiss Baccalaureate Certificate, equivalent to the Swiss Certificate of Maturity (more gymnasial Maturitätsausweis ). All students who have not completed their baccalaureate studies in Switzerland or a Lisbon Recognition Convention country must have a valid Baccalaureate Certificate. This requirement aims to demonstrate that you have the necessary level of education to pursue an undergraduate program at a Swiss university. However, depending on the type of certificate, the university may require a minimum overall grade.
- Pass the Complementary Examination established by the Swiss Institutions of Higher Education (ECUS). A common requirement for admission to a bachelor’s program to study in Switzerland is to pass the ECUS. This exam is carried out only once a year in August. If your university requires you to take this exam, you can only qualify for the fall semester. To know more about it, open the following link.
- Language requirements. Every international Student in Switzerland must prove that he is fluent in the language in which the chosen program is taught.At UZH, for example, to study a degree taught in German, you must prove that you have at least level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On the other hand, for courses taught in English. You will likely be required to take the TOEFL exam, but the minimum score required may vary from university to university.
- Health insurance. Any non-EU/EFTA foreigner must have travel medical insurance if he is going to stay in the country for more than 3 months. You must take out private health insurance after 90 days in Switzerland. Every year, you will have to pay 10% of the total cost of each medical treatment you need.
Important. If you want to know the specific requirements to study at the University in Switzerland according to your country of residence, click here.
What are they going to ask you in a Business School?
Not only do the Universities have international recognition in Switzerland. Business Schools such as IMD or Genoa Business School are highly respected institutions attracting thousands of international students each year.
Most of them aim to train professionals and leaders in business management, capable of promoting all types of organizations in the labour market. BBAs (Bachelor of Business Administration) are among the most in-demand degrees in the country.
For their part, the MBAs of these institutions are also extremely popular for the skills and practical knowledge students acquire.
Once again, the requirements to be accepted in a Business Schoolvary according to the canton, the institution and the program.
For example, to pursue a Master of Business Administration, you will likely need to meet the following:
- A university degree.
- Letters of recommendation from people who know you and have worked with you.
- Demonstrate your command of English by submitting the IELTS or TOEFL.
- Demonstrate knowledge of a second language, which can be your mother tongue.
- Work experience of at least 3 years.
What is the process to be accepted?
To be accepted into a University or Business School in Switzerland, you must meet the program’s specific requirements and each institution.
As you know, the cantons that divide the country are in charge of regulating higher education institutions, so it is difficult to identify a general admission processfor all of them.
For this reason, it is best to contact the university or school that interests you, review their academic offer and see the admission process. We recommend you do it in time because, with the number of foreigners who want to study in Switzerland, it can take several months before you receive a response.
Visas to Study in Switzerland
Do you want to study in Switzerland? Keep reading to learn about the types of visas, their requirements and the process you must carry out to fulfil your objective.
Student Visa (National Visa D)
To study in Switzerland for more than 90 days, it is necessary to have a National D Visa, which in this case would be the Student Visa. Schengen Visa is only required for non-EU/EFTA foreigners.
You may not need this visa if you live in India but have European nationality. In this case, you will only need to process a Residence Permit within 2 weeks of your arrival in Switzerland.
On the other hand, for all other international students who do not have any connection to EU/EFTA countries, here is the process to follow:
What I need?
- Copy of your passport, valid for at least 3 months from the expected date of arrival in Switzerland.
- Application for a National “D” Visa. You must submit 3 forms, all filled out and signed.
- 4 recent passport-size photographs (35x45mm).
- University Acceptance Letter, issued by the institution where you will study in Switzerland.
- Proof of registration and registration payment. You will need the original document and a copy.
- If you have a scholarship/loan, proof that the institution will cover all the expenses of your studies.
- Proof of sufficient economic funds. You must present any proof of financial solvency that proves that you can support yourself during your stay in Switzerland. Your bank statement or any other document you submit must show possession of at least $23,140 at the beginning of each academic year.
- Curriculum Vitae updated and detailed.
- Certificate and high school diploma legalized and apostilled.
- Motivation letter. The document must contain your aspirations when studying in Switzerland and plans after completing your degree.
- Proof of residence or accommodation in Switzerland. You must present a document explaining where you plan to stay when you arrive in Switzerland. If you are staying with a Swiss friend or family member, you must present a letter signed by the sponsor and a copy of their passport. If you are not a Swiss citizen, a copy of your residence permit.
- Commitment to leave Switzerland at the end of your studies.
- $97 to pay for visa (the price may vary depending on the country).
Important. It may happen that after starting the application, you have to submit some additional documents.
Depending on the university or institution chosen, the consular office can give you an oral and written exam to check your command of the language.
- Go to the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in your country. The first step is finding the consular office representing Switzerland in your country of residence. If you are unsure how to find it, please open this link.
- Deliver the documents. You must provide all the documents requested and be prepared in case additional documents are needed. Remember that the requirements that we have mentioned are indicative and may vary depending on your country of residence. To download the application form in Spanish, click here.
- Wait for the reply. After attending the appointment and submitting the documents, it is time to wait for the answer. You will have to be patient, as it usually takes 8 to 12 weeks for the authorities to decide.
- Ready to study in Switzerland! Now that your Student Visa ( National Visa D) has been approved, you are ready to study in Switzerland for more than 90 days as a foreigner. Congratulations!
Work after Study in Switzerland
Unfortunately, a Student Visa per se does not permit you to work in Switzerland. Non-EU/EFTA international students can only work 6 months after starting their studies and obtaining a work permit.
Would you like to do less than 3 months in Switzerland? Does your country require a Schengen Visa? Then you have found the Schengen Visa for you.
A visa is mandatory only for foreigners of some nationalities who want to enter one of the Schengen area’s countries.
For their part, Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador citizens need to complete this procedure to study in Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days.
What I need?
- Copy the first 3 pages of your passport. The document must have at least 2 blank pages and be less than 10 years old. It must also be valid for at least 3 months after the expected return date to your country. That is, if you are going to stay in Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days, your passport must have a minimum validity of 6 months.
- Copy of previous visas that are still valid.
- Previous and expired passports (if applicable).
- A recent passport-size photograph (3.5 x 4.5cm) , in color and on a white background.
- Round-trip flight reservation (do not buy the ticket). For this requirement, it is valid to present an image of the flight you plan to take to study in Switzerland if your SchenVisavisa is approved.
- Travel medical insurance has a minimum coverage of $36,154 for illness expenses. If you live in Bolivia, you can take out the insurance there or in Switzerland. In addition to the minimum coverage, the insurance agency must have a European branch and respond for urgent medical care, illness and repatriation.
- Bank movements of the last 3 months. A representative of the financial institution must sign the documents.
- Payment of the consular fee. The price of the Schengen Visa depends on the country from where you do the procedure.
Specific Requirements for Students:
- Study schedule.
- Certificate of studies.
- Proof that you have been admitted to a short course in Switzerland or a summer school.
- Find the Swiss Consular Office in your country. The first thing you should do is find the Swiss Embassy or Consulate that corresponds to you. To find out where this office is located in your country of residence, visit the following page.
- Make an appointment and bring the documents. To process your Schengen Visa to study in Switzerland, you must make an appointment at the corresponding consular office. On the day of the appointment, bring all the documents that have been requested. You can start this process up to 6 months before the date you plan to travel. To view the application form, click here.
- Wait for the decision. Now is the time to be patient and wait for the Swiss authorities in your country to decide. Generally, responses to Schengen Visa applications are issued within 15 calendar days but may be extended case-by-case.
- Travel to Switzerland. If you have in your hands your Schengen Visa for Switzerland, you are ready to study for up to 3 months in this magical European nation.
Can you Study and Work?
No, Schengen Visas do not permit you to work in Switzerland or any other country in the Schengen Area.
In which Universities can I study in Switzerland?
Compared to other countries, we could say that the offer of universities in Switzerland is slightly reduced. However, each institution is positioned in the most important world rankings.
If you want to study at one of the best universities in Europe, take a look at this list of Swiss institutions:
- University of Zurich
- University of Geneva
- Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL)
- University of Bern
- University of Basel
- ETH Zurich
- University of Saint Gallen
- University of Freiburg
- Graduate Institute of International Studies (IHEID)
- University of Italian Switzerland
- Lucerne University of Sciences and Applied Arts.
The most sought Public Universities in Switzerland
- University of Bern
- University of Lausanne
Private Universities with the best international agreements
Visa to Study German Language
In Switzerland, there is no specific visa to study German. Remember that this nation has 4 official languages, so there is much cultural diversity. In addition, the German spoken in this country differs from the official German.
Suppose you are interested in learning this dialect spoken in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and on the borders of Austria. In that case, you should look at the course duration to find out what Schengen Visa to apply for.
Intensive courses of more than 90 days will require a Student Visa. On the other hand, for summer courses of 6 to 12 weeks, you may not need a visa if your country is exempt from Schengen Visa.
Where can I Study German in Switzerland?
If there is an ideal destination to learn a new language, there is no doubt that Switzerland is a strong candidate. There are several language schools in the cities of Zurich and Basel that teach this variation of German to international students.
All universities and institutions indeed offer programs in English. However, since German is spoken in 17 of the 26 cantons that make up the Swiss Federal Constitution, it is good for you to learn this language.
In addition, Swiss German is spoken by more than 60% of the population, so it is definitely in your best interest to defend yourself with the language.
Some of the academies and language schools to study German in Switzerland are:
- International Language School Basel. Academy with almost 10 years of experience in teaching languages. It offers a wide range of adult courses, from German, French and Italian, to Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.
- LSI Zurich. Learn German in the beautiful and busy city of Zurich. The LSI academy is located in the old historic centre of the city, but it has completely renovated classrooms so you can fully enjoy your study experience in Switzerland.
- Germany School. Language academy based in Bern, Zurich and Lucerne was founded in 2006. Learn this new language from the hands of native teachers with extensive experience, film sessions and fun socio-cultural activities.
What are the language institutes or academies going to ask you for?
Each academy sets its criteria for admitting international students to its courses.
Courses to learn German in Switzerland usually start every week. There are also private classes where you can choose when to start and what time is most convenient for you.
The institute may ask you to take a German test to find the right course if you have basic language knowledge.
For the rest, you only need to apply for the course of your interest and pay the corresponding fee. As mentioned above, whether or not you need to apply for a visa depends on the duration of the course and your nationality.
What is the process to be accepted?
The process of being accepted is usually very simple. In most cases, you must contact the academy by email, online chat or inquiry form on their website. After selecting the course you like, you will only have to pay the fee and prepare for your trip.
Scholarships to Study in Switzerland
Switzerland has a reputation for being quite expensive, and according to statistics, it seems true. For this reason, to help you reduce your expenses a little, we present some of the international scholarships for foreigners in Switzerland:
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Scholarships are aimed at young researchers with a master’s or doctorate and artists with a bachelor’s degree. International students from more than 180 countries can participate in this program.
- Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Program (ESOP). Scholarship aimed at excellent students who have completed their studies at the undergraduate level and want to study for a master’s degree in Switzerland at ETH Zurich.
- University of St. Gallen Scholarships. Scholarships are aimed at international students enrolled in a degree program at the University of St. Gallen who maintain an exemplary average.
Study and Work in Switzerland
Since the cost of living in Switzerland and tuition at some private universities can be quite expensive, many international students need to work.
If you do not qualify for a scholarship and your savings are insufficient to cover your expenses in Switzerland, consider looking for a job.
Are we describing your situation? Then pay attention to the following points:
- The Student Visa does not automatically grant you the right to work. International students outside the EU/EFTA can only work in Switzerland after 6 months in the country and with their work permit.
- You can work up to 15 hours a week in academic months and full-time during vacations.
- You can earn between $2,125 and $3,244 working 15 hours a week as an international student in Switzerland.
- Some universities offer services to facilitate the job search for their international students.
- If you do not know German, French or Italian, it may be more difficult for you to find a job.
Have you finished your Studies and want to stay and work in Switzerland?
Switzerland has somewhat restrictive immigration conditions, especially for non-EU/EFTA foreigners. If you have finished your studies and want to stay and work in Switzerland, you should know a couple of things.
First, the Swiss authorities only grant work permits to foreigners they consider to be in the general economic interest of the country. To be considered, you must have a postgraduate or polytechnic degree, which varies depending on your profession.
It is also important to note that citizens of Switzerland and EU/EFTA countries prioritise when choosing employment. The good news is that by getting a work permit, you will be entitled to the same salary and working conditions as Swiss citizens.
For more information on how to work in Switzerland after studying,
we recommend you open this link. If you are interested in looking for a job online, visit the search engines Jobscout24 or the English forum.