Study in Switzerland
Switzerland has several cantonal universities, federal polytechnic schools and several world-renowned private institutes of higher education. The reputation of the Swiss education system is also internationally recognized. To integrate an institution of higher education in Switzerland, formalities may vary depending on the origin of the candidates. Here is a summary of entry requirements:
Prerequisites for entering Swiss institutions of higher education:
Foreign students wishing to study in Switzerland must first be in possession of a secondary school diploma (called "Certificat Fédéral de Maturité" in Switzerland). Enrolling in an undergraduate curriculum (Bachelor degree) requires a French Baccalaureate, a German Abitur, or any other secondary school diploma recognized as equivalent to the Certificat Fédéral de Maturité. If your secondary school diploma is only partially recognized in Switzerland, an entry test to the Swiss university system must be performed. Entry tests to the Swiss university system are held twice a year in Fribourg (June and October) and optional preparatory courses are organized (upon payment of extra fees). Note that fees of 400 CHF apply for the entry test.
To find out more about Fribourg entry tests, please refer to the CIUS (Cours d'Introduction aux Etudes Universitaires en Suisse) website at http://www.vkhs.ch/.
It is important to have necessary language skills to enter the university of your choice: Italian for the University of Ticino, French for the University of Geneva and Lausanne or German for the University of Basel or Zurich. Tuition in English is often available in most Swiss universities in Master progams.
If you meet basic requirements to enter an institution of higher education in Switzerland (Baccalauréat, Certificat Fédéral de Maturité or equivalent), it is necessary to apply for preadmission with the university of your choice. The documents checklist generally includes:
- A copy of your secondary school diploma (Baccalauréat, Certificat Fédéral de Maturité, Abitur etc. ..);
- Copies of academic degrees and diplomas (if any) and university transcripts;
- A detailed Curriculum Vitae.
Note that you can preregister online with several Swiss universities. Please refer to the website of your preferred university in Switzerland for further information about online admission procedures.
Registration confirmation is then sent to the candidate.
Student visa procedures:
Once registered with a Swiss institution of higher education, it is of your responsibility to apply for a residence permit:
Nationals of the European Union and European Economic Area:
Nationals of the EU/EEA must apply for a residence permit at the municipal services ("Service des Habitants" or equivalent). The application documents checklist includes:
- Residence permit application completed and signed;
- Travel documents;
- Confirmation of admission to the university;
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover cost of studies (bank ostatements or any certified document);
- Proof of residence in Switzerland;
- 2 passport-sized photos.
Nationals from outside the European Union - European Economic Area:
Foreign nationals from outside the EU/EEA must apply for a student visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate in their home country. Contact the nearest Swiss embassy or consulate to find out more about basic formalities and visa procedures. The list of Swiss embassies and consulates abroad is available at http://www.eda.admin.ch/.
Once in Switzerland, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit at the municipal services ("Service des Habitants" or equivalent - see above - nationals of the European Union - European Economic Area).
Once the permit and (or) the visa in your possession, it is imperative to confirm your registration with the registration and enrollment service ("Service des Immatriculations et des Inscriptions") of your university. It is upon registration confirmation that you must pay for tuition fees.
Scholarships are available for foreign students in Switzerland. For more information about scholarships available in Switzerland, please refer to the CRUS website at http://www.crus.ch/.
The ERASMUS program in Switzerland:
Citizens of the EU-EEA can also benefit from the ERASMUS programme in Switzerland. The ERASMUS programme is designed for students of the EEA-EU plus Turkey wishing to study in an other EU-EEA country. Diplomas and degrees obtained abroad in the framework of the ERASMUS programme are valid in your home country via the European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS). ERASMUS grants are also available to students who carry out studies in another european state via the programme. For more information about the ERASMUS programme, please refer to the official CRUS website at http://www.crus.ch/.
University of Lausanne
University of Geneva
University of Friburg
University of Neuchâtel
University of Bern
Guide section: Study
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