What You Can Expect Studying as an International Student in Switzerland

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What You Can Expect Studying as an International Student in Switzerland

More information on studying in Switzerland may be found in our handy guide here.

Have you ever considered spending a semester, or maybe your whole academic career, abroad? Why not make Switzerland your destination? The country is not only recognized for its exquisite chocolate, great cheese, and excellent timepieces, but it also has some of the world's top colleges.

Here are some reasons why you should consider studying in Switzerland:

What makes Switzerland so unique?The economy: When you consider studying abroad, Switzerland may not be the first nation that springs to mind. However, it has several advantages that most people are unaware of. Despite being a small nation with only about eight million people, it boasts one of the most stable and robust economies in the world.

The school system: It's not only the economy; Switzerland's education system is regarded as one of the greatest in the world. This is evident in the numerous Nobel Awards awarded to Swiss scientists during the last century, particularly in physics, chemistry, and physiology.

The people: Swiss people may appear distant and chilly at first, but as you get to know them, you'll discover that they are a really pleasant and courteous nation that will always lend a helping hand.

The safety: Your parents will benefit from not having to worry about you throughout your studies because Switzerland is a highly safe nation with very low crime rates. So you can enjoy your student life to the fullest without having to worry about getting home after a fun night out.

Nature: With the Alps just outside your door, your spare time will never be dull. The magnificent scenery practically begs to be explored. So strap up and go hiking in the mountains, cycling along the rivers and lakes, and getting lost in the landscape.

Europe's beating heart: Its central location in Europe, bordered by Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Austria, makes it an excellent base for exploring the continent.

University education and research

University education has a long history in Switzerland, with the first university established in 1460 in Basel. There are several types of universities from which to choose:

Regular university, where you acquire the fundamentals of academic life.

University of applied science/arts, which provide greater hands-on training.

University of teacher education, primarily for those studying lectureship.

The prerequisites for admission vary depending on the sort of university. Getting into a traditional university, for example, might be more difficult than getting into a university of applied science.

To study in a Swiss institution, you must have an equivalent to the Swiss "Matura," which is a general higher education admission certificate. However, each university has the authority to set its own conditions. In certain situations, institutions ask you to take an entrance exam before being accepted if your high school diploma is insufficient.

Switzerland has approximately 3,000 degree programs, 700 of which are in English, so you won't be limited. With a few exceptions, such as medicine, which requires unique criteria, you may study practically anything.

If you want to pursue a master's degree in Switzerland, you must first have a bachelor's degree. Some colleges request a CV and a motivating letter before making a choice.

Universities are well-equipped because they are well-funded, ensuring an excellent study experience. They expect a lot from their pupils in return. The academic system is tough and has numerous deadlines, so forget about floating through the semester and relaxing back... be prepared to work hard!

Costs and financing in Switzerland

Let's get to the not-so-fun aspect of living in Switzerland...living there is sadly rather pricey. Cities such as Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Bern are among the most costly in Europe.

Rent rates vary depending on whether you live in a dorm, shared apartment, or on your own, but to save money, seek for areas outside of the city and commute to your institution. It will be easy to travel there because Switzerland has an excellent bus, rail, and tram infrastructure.

The cost of supermarket shopping is greater in comparison to other European nations.

It is, for example, 20 to 30% more expensive than neighboring Germany. When you go out to dine, the amount may surprise you even more because it is larger than what you pay for groceries.

In comparison to other nations such as the United States or the United Kingdom, the annual expenditures of colleges in Switzerland will not leave you in debt. The costs charged by each institution vary and are set by the appropriate canton; nonetheless, they typically range between 800 and 1,500 CHF every semester (about US$800 to US$1,500).

So, how do you afford to live and study in Switzerland? First and foremost, check with your local university to see if there is any sponsorship or financing available to you.

Of course, there is always the possibility of finding a student job and working a few hours each week. International students are permitted to work 15 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours per week during the semester break. The salary is also quite generous, so you'll have a better chance of living in Switzerland if you earn between 25 and 35 CHF per hour (US$25-35).

So, what are you holding out for? You won't be sorry if you follow the call of the Swiss Alps and the aroma of chocolate and cheese!

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