Studying in Switzerland: What You Need To Know

Located at the heart of continental Europe, Switzerland is a country that is strategically bordered by some of Europe’s major countries such as France Italy Austria and Germany.  

Switzerland prides itself on its education system. Many of its higher education institutions rank in various university global rankings, such as the QS World University Rankings, Shanghai Rankings, and Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings. Swiss HEIs are also known for their excellence in research and high quality of teaching. 

If you want to study in Switzerland, here are some interesting things that you should know. 

It is Not Part of the EU or EEA 

Switzerland may be found at the heart of continental Europe, but it is neither a part of the European Union nor the European Economic Area. Despite this fact, Switzerland has retained strong economic, political, and social ties with other countries in the EU.

For a long time, Switzerland has nurtured a strong relationship with various European countries through bilateral agreements with the EU, including policies on trade. That is why Switzerland enjoys some of the benefits that are usually reserved for EU members. 

It Has Four Official Languages 

Switzerland is an international student’s haven when it comes to diversity. 

In fact, it is one of those countries that can really boast having a diverse culture. In 2018, around 25.1% of its population are foreigners. In the same year, it was found that only a third of Switzerland’s permanent resident population had Swiss nationality; 37.5% of this population had a migration background. 

This diversity is also reflected in its number of official languages. While most countries only list one or two official languages, Switzerland has four: French, German, Italian, and Romansch. Additionally, around one-tenth of the population speaks other non-official languages, such as Portuguese, Serbian, and Croatian. 

It Has been Neutral Since 1815 

Switzerland has maintained a neutral position in world affairs for centuries. Even during the two World Wars, where most countries in Europe were greatly involved, Switzerland maintained a neutral stance when it came to military affairs. The country’s reputation for neutrality is also one of the reasons why many international organizations, including some headquarters of the United Nations and the International Committee of Red Cross, are located there.

It has Accessible Education 

Despite its location in Western Europe, and despite having one of the best education systems in the world,  Switzerland’s public university tuition fees are actually relatively low or free for both nationals and international students. Although some institutions may charge a slightly higher fee to international students, it is still practically low. In fact, students may expect to pay around CHF 500 to CHF 2000 per semester. 

In addition, there are various scholarships and financial aids from various organizations that students may apply for. 

Want to know how to apply and get into a Swiss institution? Browse through MSM Unify’s articles about Switzerland to learn more.