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Study in Switzerland from UK: Eligibility and Top Reasons why Students choose to Study in Switzerland



Are you interested in studying in Switzerland which is among the top best destination countries in education? what are your personal views and interest towards taking up a course in a country like Switzerland, either way, a study in Switzerland will boast your academic portfolio and provide more job opportunities for you as an international student, therefore this post on study in Switzerland from UK will provide more information why some students choose to study in Switzerland, questions, answers and eligibility requirements.

Study in Switzerland from UK

However, United Kingdom offers you a world-class education, internationally respected qualifications and outstanding career prospects.

Most international students choose to study in Switzerland due to some certain reasons which these post will unveil.

Is studying in Switzerland difficult?

It might be quiet easy to get into many universities in Switzerland, but it is often not easy to stay.
One of the most difficult things you will encounter during your studies are the exams and other requirements. There is a large workload to complete in a short amount of time.

Can international students study in Switzerland?

Yes, it is easy to study at a Swiss institution but you need an equivalent to the Swiss “Matura”. This is called a general higher education entrance qualification.
Switzerland offers over 3,000 degree programs with 700 in English, so you don’t need to get worried about it.

As a UK citizen can I still get a job in Switzerland? (Study in Switzerland from UK)

The Citizens’ Rights Agreement agreed between both countries protects those already living and working in Switzerland before the end of the Brexit transition period.

Those with a work permit get to keep all their existing rights for residence and employment.

Core details of studying in Switzerland

If you decide to study in Switzerland you will be able to visit picturesque landscapes, experience multiculturalism at its finest and live in some of the top ranked cities.

Switzerland is a country located in the heart of continental Europe with a longstanding history in higher education excellence.

This is dated way back to the year 1460 when the oldest university in the country, University of Basel, was founded.

The country is Surrounded by Italy, Germany, France, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the safest countries to live and a popular tourist destination country.

Finally, in Switzerland you can also enjoy an innovative technological environment and high educational standards, as the country continuously ranks among the World top Study abroad Destinations.

Switzerland Relationship with other EU countries

This is no surprise as Switzerland is a developed country ranking first in attracting skilled international workers in cities like Basel, Zürich or Geneva.

The number of international students choosing to study in Switzerland continues to grow year by year.

Programs in Switzerland include degrees in tourism and hotel management, finance, international business and law and computer science.

Switzerland is the home country of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the second largest office of the United Nations (UN) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

It is also a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), but notably not a member of the European Union, the Eurozone or the European Economic Area.

Switzerland; student destination country from UK (Study in Switzerland from UK)

The country is bordered by France, Germany and Italy, it gives you wide range of opportunity to visit other culturally diverse countries.

Switzerland is a popular country with students and graduates who wants to study abroad.

The country is not only known for academic excellence, Switzerland is also a great place to study if you want to pick up a second language, thanks to the multilingual Swiss language.

In student’s free hours, they can be able to explore in beautiful cities scattered all over the country.

They will be able to enjoy arts and music festivals in Swiss meadows and visits to theatres and museums in metropolitan cities.

Top Reasons why students study in Switzerland? (Study in Switzerland from UK)

The Economy

Switzerland might not be the first country that comes to your mind when you think about studying abroad. However, it offers many benefits most people don’t even know about.

Even though it is a small country with only around eight million inhabitants, it still has one of the most stable and powerful economies worldwide.

Education system

The fact is that the country’s worth doesn’t stop with the economy; Switzerland’s education system is also known to be one of the best in the world.

This is reflected by the many Nobel prizes the Swiss have earned over the past century.

This is of course from courses especially in the areas of physics, chemistry and physiology.

The people (Study in UK from Switzerland)

Swiss people might come off as distant at first, but when you get closer to them, you’ll realize that they are a very nice and polite nation who will always offer you a helping hand.

In general, they have amazing people that are always ready to help out individuals anytime.


The country (Switzerland) is a very safe country with very low crime rates. So you can enjoy the student life to the fullest, without being too worried on your way back home after a great night out.


There are more and many natural things to enjoy while you are in the country. The breathtaking landscapes basically demand to be explored.

So buckle up and do some trips into the numerous mountains, cycle along the many rivers and lakes and get lost in the scenery.

Tuition fees & funding (Study in UK from Switzerland)

The Swiss Government’s ongoing commitment to higher education in Switzerland means that the tuition fees are still relatively low.

Tuition fees vary from institution to institution and between courses but in many cases there is little or no difference between the fees for a Swiss student and  those of an international student.

In general, annual tuition fees for a masters degree program at a Swiss university is relatively low to compare to some other European countries.

Foreign scholarships

The Swiss Government does offer a variety of scholarships to foreign students from both industrial and development countries.

The best way to find out whether you’re entitled to one of these scholarships is to contact the Swiss consulate in your own country.

In most cases to be eligible to apply for one of these state-funded scholarships the student must be under 35 years old.

Student living in Switzerland

The universities offer first-class facilities and the cities offer a high standard of living.

This is coupled with a great networking opportunities in the worlds of business and finance as well as research and development.

It offers a great environment in which to develop your language skills. It’s location in the heart of Western Europe also makes it a great place to be based to explore the rest of Europe.

However, as a student living in Switzerland you should budget between CHF1,500-CHF2,500 (€1,250-€2,000) per month to live on (accommodation, travel, food etc).

Language Requirements (Study in Switzerland from UK)

The different universities on Switzerland teach their degree programs in different languages depending on their location.

The Universities of Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Lausanne, and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, are based in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and therefore teach in French – although the University of Fribourg is Switzerland’s only bilingual university offering its curriculum in both French and German.

The Universities of Basel, Bern, Lucerne, St Gallen, Zurich and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich are all in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

While the Università della Svizzera italiana is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, therefore offering its programs in Italian.

However, Degree programs at all Swiss universities are increasingly being offered in the English language.

To be eligible, students will need to demonstrate a sound understanding of the English language through TOEFL or IELTs scores, or an equivalent English language exam.

Heart of Europe

The country is located in the middle of Europe, surrounded by Germany,  France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria. In addition to that, it offers a great position to travel around Europe.

Healthcare & insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all Swiss residents. If you are a foreign student and you are planning to be in Switzerland for more than three months you must get a health insurance policy.

Working Possibilities in Switzerland as a student

Students from EU/EFTA countries can work for a maximum of 15 hours per week without any additional permit for the entire period of their student permit.

Students from non-EU/EFTA countries are permitted to work part-time employment for a maximum of 15 hours per week, but only once they have lived in Switzerland for a minimum of 6 months.

Students must maintain full-time student status and show regular progress in their studies.

However if you are a master’s student and hold a bachelor’s degree from a non-Swiss university you do not need to wait for 6 months.

Third country nationals who earn a degree from a Swiss university can stay in the country after graduation for up to six months to seek permanent full-time employment.

Non-EU/EFTA citizens will need to get a work permit before starting their job. To get a work permit your employer will submit an application to the relevant authority.

Switzerland immigration principles (Study in Switzerland from UK)

Students can come to Switzerland to study from overseas as either a regular student, an exchange student, or as a ‘free mover’.

Regular students need to fulfil the necessary immigration requirements and these will differ depending on what country they are from.

Exchange students are in Switzerland for a limited period only due to an agreement between their home institution and a Swiss institution.

Free-movers also only study in Switzerland for a limited period of time (usually just a couple of semesters) and are not aiming for a degree. Regulations for free movers vary so check the Admissions department of your preferred Swiss institution for more information on this.

If you are coming to study a degree program in Switzerland you will need to apply for a residence permit, the application procedure is different for citizens of the EU (European Union) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) than for people from other countries.

EU/EFTA nationals

If you are a student from a country in the EU or EFTA you must register with the Residents’ Registration Office at your local authorities within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland and apply for a residence permit.

You will require the following documentation:

1.    Valid passport or identity card.
2.     Proof of your university registration.
3.     Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living costs for the duration of your studies.
4.    Proof of address at your Swiss residence.
5.    Completed application form for residence permit.
6.    Two passport-size photographs

Non-EU/EFTA nationals (Study in Switzerland from UK)

If you are a student from a non-EU/EFTA country you must contact the Swiss Embassy or the Swiss consulate in your native country and apply for a visa before you come to Switzerland.

You will need the following documentation:

1.    Valid passport or identity card.
2.     Proof of your university registration.
3.     Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living costs for the duration of your studies.
4.    Proof of address at your Swiss residence.
5.    Completed application form for residence permit.
6.    Two passport-size photographs

Universities in Switzerland

  • Bern University of Applied Sciences
  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • ETH Zurich
  • EU Business School
  • IFM Business School
  • International University in Geneva
  • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Swiss IM&H
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland
  • The University of Basel
  • University of Bern
  • University of Fribourg
  • The University of Geneva
  • University of Lausanne
  • University of St. Gallen
  • The University of Zurich
  • USI Università della Svizzera italiana

Most popular among these universities

You will regularly see many Swiss universities in the world’s top 100 ranked universities – ( ETH Zurich, EPFL, the University of Zurich and the University of Geneva).

ETH Zurich, with a clear focus on technology, is often considered the best university in Switzerland.

It is renowned for its cutting-edge research and its wide selection of courses in different areas of science and technology.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) was incorporated in 1853 and, like ETH, specialises in technology. The majority of courses are offered in French, but there are many Masters and Doctorate programmes offered in English.

The University of Zurich is the largest institution of higher education in the country. There are variety of courses including science, law, philosophy, theology, medicine. Many of their Master’s degree programmes are offered in English.

The University of Geneva is the third oldest university in Switzerland, and also the third largest, with around 16,000 students.

Category of universities in Switzerland

below are the university categories…

  • Universities (UNIs) – Offering degree programmes at a high scientific and theory-based level, you can study humanities, science and some engineering courses.
  • The Universities of Applied Sciences and the Arts (UASAs) – provide scientific and professional education. These eight institutions run courses in landscape architecture, health sciences, music, art, theatre, film and design.
  • Universities of Teacher Education (UTEs) – offer practice-oriented training such as pre-primary, primary, secondary and special needs education. There are 20 UTEs in Switzerland

Higher education institutions in Switzerland follow the system of:

  • Bachelors degrees
  • Masters degrees
  • Doctoral (PhD) degrees.

Top 100 of the QS World University Rankings 2020, including:

  • ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute ofTechnology (6th)
  • EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (18th)
  • University of Zurich (76th)

Popular student cities include Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zürich.

Student visas (Study in Switzerland from UK)

If you plan to study in Switzerland for more than three months, you must apply for a student visa before you move to the country.

There are two types of visas for students depending on the length of their stay:

  • C Visa for short stays such as summer schools
  • D Visa for extend stays.

Non-EU nationals apply for Swiss student visas at the Swiss Embassy or consulate in their home country.

Visas can take several months to process so factor this into your plans and apply early.

Students from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK do not need a visa to study in the country.

However, all students need to apply for a residence permit and register as a foreign resident within 14 days of arrival.

Local Residents Registration Office may require:

  • a valid passport
  • proof of university registration
  • a bank statement to provide evidence of funds
  • proof of health insurance
  • A proof of address
  • two passport photographs.

There are three types of residence permit:

  • Permit L for a one-year stay. Can only be renewed once.
  • The Permit B for a one-year stay but has no renewal limit.
  • Permit C is for permanent residence.

How to Apply

The country does not have a centralised admissions procedure. Most applications to Swiss universities are made online directly to institutions.

Therefore, for specific information and admission deadlines, contact the admissions office of your chosen university.

On your application form you’ll need to indicate the faculty and degree programme you’re interested in.

You’ll then receive written confirmation of your application along with an application fee invoice and a list of the supporting documents required.

finally, you will submit necessary documents, and upon receipt of the application fee, you’ll be sent formal confirmation.


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