Geneva vs. Zurich: Which Student City Is Better for You?

Geneva vs. Zurich: Which Student City Is Better for You?

Geneva vs. Zurich: Which Student City Is Better for You?

When thinking about student cities in Switzerland, Zurich often takes the cake. After all, not only is it the largest city in the country, it is also a global financial center.

Apart from Zurich, many international students tend to overlook other student cities. For instance, options like Geneva often become a first, even second alternative.

What a lot of students don’t know is that living in Geneva is as competitive as Zurich. In some cases, it may even be a more beneficial and practical choice for you.

So, let’s run through the strengths of each city to find out which one is better for you:

Cost of Living

Overall, the difference between living costs isn’t insanely high. But in the long run, these tiny details become more significant and more noticeable.

According to Numbeo, a single individual needs 1,538 Fr. ($1,673) per month in Zurich. Meanwhile, in the same scenario, you’ll need about 1,400 Fr. ($1,523) in Geneva.

Note that these figures both exclude accommodation. If we include monthly rent in the picture, that’s where the gap begins to grow.

To put it into perspective, you’ll need around 194 Fr. ($211) every day in Zurich. This already includes all that you’ll need from transportation to meals.

On the other hand, you’ll need around 152 Fr. ($166) per day in Geneva. It’s still quite high, but definitely cheaper than Zurich.

Quality of Life

Now, Zurich is more expensive than Geneva, but it doesn’t come without a guarantee. Yes, it does cost more, but the quality of life is also higher, as the data suggests.

In the 2019 quality of living city ranking, three Swiss cities managed to land in the top 10. Leading the pack is Zurich, claiming 2nd place.

Geneva ended up in the much lower 9th place, but it’s still an impressive feat. Some of the factors considered for this ranking include climate, communication, political violence, and social environment.

Access to World-Class Education

Both student cities have their aces when it comes to international education. For instance, both Zurich and Geneva are wonderful choices for business education.

When it comes to top-tier universities, Zurich definitely has more. Its best university is ETH Zurich which bagged 8th place in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

In the same list, Zurich also has the University of Zurich within the top 100. 

Geneva’s best bet at the world rankings is the University of Geneva. It claimed the 108th spot on the list with growing popularity among international students.

Apart from this, Geneva is also the home to the campus of the EU Business School. This institution is one of the most prestigious private business schools in the world, offering a wide range of business programs.

Both Zurich and Geneva have something unique to offer to thousands of prospective international students around the world. Dig around and do more research starting with our list of the most affordable universities in Switzerland to help you make the best choice. 


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