Study in Switzerland - Unveiling the Gems of Swiss Academia

Discover why studying in Switzerland can be a rewarding experience for international students. Learn about top universities, popular student cities, the application process, visa validity, employment opportunities, and more.

Switzerland, a land of breathtaking vistas, cultural vibrancy, and academic excellence, beckons international students to embark on an enriching educational journey. Nestled amidst the majestic Alps, Switzerland boasts a reputation for world-class universities, cutting-edge research facilities, and a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Whether you aspire to delve into the intricacies of science and technology, explore the nuances of business and economics, or immerse yourself in the world of arts and humanities, Switzerland offers a myriad of academic pursuits to ignite your intellectual curiosity.

Why study in Switzerland?

Switzerland is renowned for its high standard of education, making it an attractive destination for international students. Here are some reasons why studying in Switzerland can be a rewarding experience:

World-Class Universities: Switzerland is home to some of the world’s top-ranking universities, offering various academic programs. These institutions are recognised globally for their excellence in education and research.

Innovative Teaching Methods: Swiss universities are known for their innovative teaching methods, often involving practical, hands-on learning experiences. This approach not only enhances the learning process but also equips students with the necessary skills for their future careers.

Strong Emphasis on Research: Switzerland is a global leader in research and innovation. Many Swiss universities have state-of-the-art research facilities, providing students with the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking research.

Diverse Range of Academic Programs: Whether you are interested in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or business, you’ll find a program that suits your interests and career goals. Moreover, many programs are taught in English, making it easier for international students.

International Exposure: With students from all over the world, studying in Switzerland provides a multicultural environment that fosters understanding and respect for different cultures. This international exposure can be invaluable in today’s globalised world.

Excellent Career Prospects: Swiss degrees are highly respected by employers worldwide. Furthermore, Switzerland’s strong economy and status as a hub for international organisations and multinational companies provide ample job opportunities for graduates.

Top universities in Switzerland.

ETH Zurich

Ranked 9th in the world, ETH Zurich is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university. It is renowned for its cutting-edge research and innovation

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

With a global rank of 16, EPFL is one of the most cosmopolitan technical universities. It specialises in natural sciences and engineering.

University of Zurich

Ranked 83rd globally, the University of Zurich is the largest in Switzerland, offering a wide range of courses.

University of Bern

The University of Bern, ranked 120th worldwide, is known for its comprehensive offerings and interdisciplinary courses.

University of Geneva

Ranked 125th globally, the University of Geneva is Switzerland’s second-largest university with a strong focus on international relations1.

University of Basel

With a global rank of 136, the University of Basel is known for its achievements in research and teaching.

University of Lausanne

Ranked 203rd in the world, the University of Lausanne is known for its innovative teaching methods and strong emphasis on research1.

USI Università della Svizzera italiana

Ranked 240th globally, USI offers various courses in several fields of study.

University of St. Gallen

Although it’s ranked 501st in the world, the University of St. Gallen is considered one of the world’s leading business schools.

University of Fribourg

Ranked 571st globally, the University of Fribourg is unique for its bilingual curriculum (French and German)

Popular Student Cities in Switzerland.

Switzerland is home to several popular cities among students due to their high-quality education institutions, beautiful landscapes, and cultural attractions. Some of the most popular student cities in Switzerland include:


Zurich is Switzerland's largest city and a central financial hub. It is home to several world-renowned universities, including the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). The city offers a vibrant cultural scene, numerous museums, and a high standard of living.


Geneva is known for its international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Red Cross. It is home to the University of Geneva and other institutions, making it an attractive destination for students interested in international affairs and diplomacy.


Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is home to the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). The city offers a picturesque setting and a strong focus on science and technology.


The capital city of Switzerland, Bern, boasts a rich history and culture. The University of Bern and Bern University of Applied Sciences provide various academic opportunities in a charming and historical environment.


Basel is known for its cultural heritage, with numerous museums and galleries. The University of Basel is one of the oldest in Switzerland and is highly regarded for its research and academic programs.


Lucerne is a picturesque city located by Lake Lucerne and surrounded by mountains. While it may be smaller than other Swiss cities, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty and academic opportunities, including the University of Lucerne.

St. Gallen

St. Gallen is famous for its business and management programs, particularly at the University of St. Gallen. It's a leading destination for students interested in economics, business, and law.

How to Apply to Swiss Universities in India?

As an Indian student aspiring to pursue higher education in Switzerland, you’re embarking on an exciting journey filled with academic excellence, cultural immersion, and breathtaking vistas. To help you navigate the application process smoothly, let’s break it down into manageable steps:

1. Research and Explore:
Before diving into the application process, take some time to explore the diverse range of universities and programs available in Switzerland. Visit university websites, read student reviews, and attend online webinars to gain insights into the academic offerings, research opportunities, and campus life.

2. Check Language Proficiency:
Depending on the university and the program, you may need to demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction. In Switzerland, programs are offered in multiple languages, including German, French, Italian, and English. Ensure you meet the language requirements for your chosen program. For English-taught programs, you should provide English proficiency test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL.

3. Gather Your Documentation:
Start assembling the necessary documents required for your application. These typically include:

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all your previous educational institutions.
Diplomas and Certificates: Copies of your credentials, degrees, and relevant certificates.

Language Proficiency Tests: Scores from English or German language proficiency tests, such as IELTS or TOEFL, may be required depending on the program and university.

Letters of Recommendation: Request two or three letters of recommendation from professors, mentors, or employers who can attest to your academic abilities and personal qualities.

Personal Statement: Craft a compelling personal statement highlighting your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and motivations for pursuing the chosen program.

4. Check Eligibility and Deadlines:
Each university has specific eligibility criteria and application deadlines. Carefully review the admission requirements for your desired program and ensure you meet them before proceeding.

5. Online Application Portal:
Most Swiss universities have online application portals where you can submit your application forms, upload documents, and pay application fees. Create an account and follow the instructions carefully.

6. Application Fee:
Pay the application fee. The amount varies depending on the university.

7. Interview:
After the fee payment, an interview may be scheduled.

8. Acceptance Letter:
If your application is successful, you will receive a letter of acceptance from the university.

9. Visa Application:
Indian students must apply for a Swiss student visa. Check whether you need a C or a D visa. Download the relevant visa application form and fill it out.

11. Visa Fee:
Pay your visa application fee online.

12. Appointment:
Make an appointment at the nearest VFS Global Centre.

Visa Validity

Swiss student visas are initially valid for one year. However, they can be extended for the duration of your study if you are enrolled in a more prolonged course such as a degree1. You can apply for a visa extension at your cantonal immigration office. Please note that the information might have changed, and it’s always a good idea to check the latest updates from the official Swiss Embassy or consulate.

Employment Opportunities

Switzerland’s robust economy and low unemployment rate make it an appealing destination for international students seeking job opportunities, especially in sectors like engineering, pharmaceuticals, technology, banking, insurance, and analysis.

The opportunities for international students in Switzerland include on-campus work (up to 15 hours/week during the semester), off-campus employment (up to 15 hours/week during studies and full-time during breaks), internships related to studies, and post-graduation work with the possibility of obtaining a work permit. Regulations and conditions can change, so stay updated through relevant authorities and university services.

Are you ready to turn your aspirations into Swiss reality? With Rao Consultant, your dependable immigration consultant, let's make your academic and career dreams in Switzerland a seamless reality. Get in touch with us now for expert guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Switzerland offers a world-class education, with 10 Swiss universities consistently ranked among the top 150 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2023. The country's strong economy provides ample opportunities for internships and employment after graduation, with Switzerland's unemployment rate consistently among the lowest in the world.

The specific eligibility requirements will vary depending on the university and program you are applying to. However, in general, you will need to have: A solid academic record, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher for most undergraduate programs. Proficiency in the language of instruction, typically either English or German, with a score of at least 6.0 on the IELTS or equivalent for English proficiency. Meet any other requirements the university sets, such as specific coursework or relevant work experience.

The cost of studying in Switzerland varies depending on the university, program, and lifestyle. However, in general, tuition fees for international students are lower than in many other developed countries, with the average tuition fee ranging from CHF 10,000 to CHF 20,000 per year. Living expenses are also relatively high in Switzerland, but there are several ways to save money, such as living in a student dormitory or cooking meals.

Yes, you will need a visa to study in Switzerland if you are not a citizen of an EU/EFTA country. The type of visa you need will depend on the length of your stay. For short-term studies (up to 90 days), you will need a Schengen visa. For long-term studies (more than 90 days), you will need a national ticket.

The most popular programs to study in Switzerland vary depending on the university and program. However, in general, popular programs include: Engineering, with Switzerland being a global leader in engineering and technology. Business, with Switzerland's strong economy and many multinational corporations, provides ample opportunities for graduates. Computer science, with Switzerland being a centre for innovation in information technology. International relations, with Switzerland's role in international organisations like the United Nations and its diplomatic ties with many countries. Switzerland has a well-respected legal system and several international law organisations. Tourism Switzerland is a popular tourist destination and has a strong tourism industry. Hospitality, with Switzerland's reputation for excellence in hospitality and several world-renowned hotels and restaurants.

Switzerland is a safe, clean, and beautiful country with a high standard of living. The people are friendly and welcoming, and the government is easy to get around. Switzerland consistently ranks among the top countries in the world for quality of life. However, the cost of living is high, especially in the major cities.

There are several different types of accommodation available for students in Switzerland


In Switzerland, international students can unlock a world of academic excellence and diverse career prospects. With opportunities for on-campus work, internships, and post-graduation employment, this scenic country offers a gateway to a global career. The key to success lies in staying informed, networking, and exploring the many pathways that Switzerland has to offer. As you embark on your academic journey here, remember that Switzerland’s stunning landscapes are just the beginning of the adventure – your future is waiting to unfold.

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