Many expats choose to study in Switzerland because of its high quality of teaching and relatively low tuition fees. Whether you have just graduated from the school system in Switzerland, or you are looking to come and study from abroad on a visa, universities and other educational facilities are available to you.
Swiss higher education explained
Much like the primary and secondary school system, higher education in Switzerland is highly specialised and dependent on ability. There are multiple different types of higher education, ranging from traditional universities to vocational colleges and finishing schools. Planning which avenue of higher education your child follows is a major decision for both your child and the rest of your family, so it is important to know where each path leads.
Tuition fees & cost of higher education in Switzerland
Most universities in Switzerland are controlled and subsidised by the counties (cantons). They are also free to charge as much or as little as they deem necessary for tuition. This leads to major differences in tuition fees throughout Switzerland, although costs do remain low. In order to find out what you will be charged to attend university, you can use the guide to tuition fees & costs of higher education in Switzerland.
Scholarships for international students studying in Switzerland
There are many scholarships and grants available to overseas students. These can range from fully-funded courses to exciting internships abroad. There are multiple societies that award scholarships based on personal circumstance or personal excellence, allowing the best and brightest to study in Switzerland. They can also subsidise food and student housing.
University terms in Switzerland 2023-2024
Swiss universities split their terms into two large semesters, one in the autumn and one in the spring. The terms this year are:
- Autumn semester: September 18 - December 22
- Spring semester: February 19 - May 31
When you are not studying in Switzerland, you may have free time to study or branch out into other activities. The break times between semesters are typically used for studying, exams, or finding a job or internship.