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Information on Switzerland

Would you like to study in Switzerland? The information provided here is designed to help you.

Why studying in Switzerland

Great importance is attached to education and talent development in Switzerland. Being a small, diverse country with a global reputation for excellence in science, engineering and technology, Switzerland is able to offer you a unique experience that will improve your career prospects.

Switzerland in brief

Switzerland has a population of some eight million and has four official languages (German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic). This small country at the heart of Europe is worth a visit not just because of its mountains – Switzerland has a lot to offer in addition to chocolate, banks, cows, the Red Cross, yodelling and neutrality. Switzerland is also highly regarded due to its cleanliness, orderliness, security and peace.

Facts and figures

You will find the most important general information on Switzerland (currency, climate, facts and figures, languages, geography, economy, tourism, etc.) under Facts and Figures on study in switzerland+.

Entry and residence

Depending on their country of origin, foreign students require a valid visa and a residence permit to enter Switzerland and to live here while studying. Visas are normally issued by the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country and have to be applied for early on in person; applications generally take between one and three months to process.

Study and residence in Switzerland


Our recommendation to exchange students is to register with a student accommodation service or flat-share scheme. For a small fee, these organisations will help you find suitable accommodation. Find out from the school in question whether it offers nearby accommodation.

Liability insurance

Before travelling to Switzerland, please ensure you are adequately insured. We recommend exchange students take out private liability insurance to cover third-party damage claims. Evidence of such insurance generally has to be provided when renting accommodation. Additionally, the liability insurance also insures you for any damage you might cause to other persons or their property.

Health insurance

Anyone studying in Switzerland for more than three months falls under the statutory Swiss health insurance scheme. The European health insurance card is sufficient for students from an EU or EFTA country.

Social insurance

Foreign students are exempt from paying into the AHV/IV/EO (social insurance scheme) providing they are only resident in Switzerland for the purpose of studying and do not have a domicile in the country under civil law.

Public transport

Switzerland has an excellent public transport network which can be used to get to virtually anywhere in the country. Swiss trains, buses, trams, ships etc. are famous for their punctuality


You must cover the cost of rent, living, books etc. yourself. You should allow for a budget of approximately CHF 1,000 to 1,500 per month.


We put together the most important information about bursaries and grants. Consult the individual schools for details of bursaries and grants.


FHNW Standing Committee on International Affairs