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Study Abroad - Switzerland


Switzerland is an abode to much more than chocolate and cuckoo clocks. Spectacular Alpine mountain ranges are flanked by crystal-clear bodies of water such as Lake Geneva. The Swiss education system is internationally renowned for its high academic standards, well-regarded research outputs and student-centered teaching methods.  

In terms of administration, the Swiss education system is largely decentralized and each of the 26 cantons is primarily administered by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)

Why Study in Switzerland?

1) In total there are 12 general universities located in Switzerland and a smaller number of science and research specific higher education institutions.

2)  There are a number of institutions which focus on specific subjects, making them highly specialized and an excellent choice for anybody who wants that extra focus

3)  It offers educational courses on affordable tuition fees

4)  A leader of Tourism and hospitality

5)  Infinite networking opportunities for freshers

6)  Opportunities for a well-paid career


Eligibility Criteria for study in Switzerland

A Swiss student visa will be required depending on the country of origin of the prospective student. Read below for more detailed information regarding the student visa procedure. There are two types of visa you can apply for in Switzerland:

1) C Visa:  A short-term visa that allows you to stay in Switzerland for a short period of time. It can be used for summer schools, seminars or language schools that last up to three months (90 days).

2) D Visa: A long-term visa for people looking to study or work in Switzerland. International students are granted a Schengen visa for one year with the possibility of extension.

Swiss Student Visa: EU/EEA/EFTA Nationals

If you are a European citizen then you will not need a visa to live and study in Switzerland. The only thing you need to do is register with the local authorities of the city of your residence and get your residence permit. Your registration needs to be done within 14 days of your arrival. 

Additionally, you need to prove that you came to Switzerland for studies. You can prove your purpose of residence by providing your letter of acceptance from your university, along with your health insurance that can cover you throughout your studies. You are still eligible to work, but not more than 15 hours per week. If you find a full-time job, then you will need to issue a work permit.

Swiss Student Visa: Non-EU/EEA/EFTA Nationals

Non European citizens must hold a Swiss student visa in order to be allowed entrance and stay in Switzerland while studying. Visit the nearest Swiss Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence and book an appointment for a visa. Make sure to book your appointment months before the beginning of your studies. You will need the following documents: 

1) A valid passport or identification card.

2)A completed and signed residence permit application form. 

3) A certificate or letter of acceptance from a Swiss university.

4) Sufficient funds to support you throughout your studies. This can be provided through bank statements.

5) Proof of payment of the university fees, if applicable.

6) Your curriculum vitae (CV). 

7) A written statement that you will leave Switzerland upon completion of your studies. 

Keep in mind that the Swiss authorities might ask you to take a language test in order to make sure you are able to follow the university courses. All the aforementioned documents must be also submitted in French, German, English or Italian. Contact your nearest Swiss Embassy for certified translations of your documents.

Necessary Documents :

For the acquisition of a Swiss student visa, you will need to have the following documents: 

1) Three long-stay visa (D Visa) application forms, filled and signed. 

2) Four passport-size photographs.

3) A valid passport.

4) Letter of acceptance from a Swiss University.

5) Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees, either original or copy.

6) Proof of sufficient funds for your studies in Switzerland through bank statements.

7) Scholarship/Loan proof, if applicable.

8) Curriculum Vitae.

9) Letter of motivation.

10) A written statement that you will leave Switzerland upon completion of your studies.

What after Study?

you can extend your residency permit for six more months to look for a full-time job. During this period, you’re allowed to work for 15 hours a week. To apply, all you have to do is provide your cantonal migration office with the following documents:

1) Certificate/proof that you’ve finished your courses

2) Evidence you can financially support yourself

3) Evidence that you can live somewhere suitable

You can also apply to extend your residence permit if you want to continue to study in Switzerland for postgraduate studies, but you must have an official offer. The maximum extension period, in this case, is two years.

For EU/EFTA nationals


The Bilateral Agreement on the free movement of persons (FMP) confers upon the citizens of Switzerland and of the EU Member States the right to freely choose their place of employment and/or residence within the national territories of the contracting States Parties.


For third country students:

Job-seeking in Switzerland

Once graduated, foreign nationals can obtain a residency permit for six months in order to look for a job in Switzerland that is consistent with their qualification.


1) Providing a certifying letter from the EPFL confirming the end of study (official diploma isn’t necessary)

2) Having the necessary financial means

3) Having suitable housing

Nota bene:

1) The six month residence permit cannot be extended.

2) During this period the person is allowed to work maximum 15 hours per week.



1)Evaluate the universities to consider for your studies based on your requirements

2) Prepare to apply : By disseminating the required information about various study options and scholarship facilities

3) Recheck your Qualifications not recognized by most Swiss universities

 Such as:

1) Distance education certificates, night school certificates and certificates not attained in a school class

2) Certificates from vocational or part-time high schools and schools offering vocational training as well as general education

4) Apply to the University Courses

1) Complete the online application form on the university website

2) Pay the application fee

3) Upload all the supporting documents before the deadline

5)  Language requirements for a Swiss university application :

  1. German: DSH, TestDaF, OSD, telc and others 2)French: DELF or DALF  
  2.  3) English: IELTSTOEFL

6)  Required university application documents

1) A signed printout of your application form

2)Two passport photos

3) Copy of identity document

4) Official academic transcript(s) from each university you attended before (if applicable)

5) High school diploma or Bachelor’s diploma

6) Language proficiency certificates (German/French/English)

7) CV

8) Evidence of paying the application fee (100 – 150 CHF or 400 CHF for late applications)

9) Personal essay/Motivation letter

8) Additional documents for students who apply to a doctoral programmes

1) A letter from an instructor of the faculty who is certified to direct doctoral dissertations, and who agrees to overlook your research.

2) If you are in your final year at secondary school and have not yet received your diploma, you may apply based on your grades over the year, but you have to send copies of your final exam results as soon as you have them.

3) All certificates and transcripts that are not in English, French, German or Italian must be translated into English or French by a certified translator. Along with the translation, some universities will demand an official document from the school or university that you attended, with an explanation of the grading and assessment system.

8)  University application deadlines for Switzerland

Deadlines for application at Swiss universities are variable, depending on each university and sometimes it also depends on your qualifications or if you need to apply for a student visa. Students are usually advised to submit their application in the spring semester for studies beginning the following academic year.

Regular application


1) Fall semester: start of December – end of April.

2) Spring semester: start of May – end of November.

3) If a visa for Switzerland is required, the following deadlines are recommended: start of December – end of February for the fall semester and start of May – end of  September for the spring semester

Facts about Switzerland

Switzerland’s education system is one of the most advanced in the world. Switzerland is the go-to choice for many students looking to study internationally. The system is well established and functional with delegated accountability and administration. Switzerland ranked as the best education system in the world but ranked third overall in the entire human capital report. The two countries to rank higher overall were Norway and Finland (Finland finishing in first).

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    Top Universities in Switzerland

    University of Copenhagen
    Technical University of Denmark (TUD)
    University of Southern Denmark
    VIA University College

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