Perhaps, it’s been your lifelong dream to study in Switzerland as an international student, but you’re not sure if you’re dreaming right. Pause here and consider reading through this guide. Hopefully, you’ll get enough information to satisfy your curiosity.
According to Geneva Business School, Switzerland has the best education system in the world. And Times Higher Education confirms Switzerland has extraordinary opportunities for international students, despite being a small country at the center of Europe.
You may wonder why Switzerland has the best education system in the world.
I’ll tell you.
As a country that established its first University over 500 years ago, Switzerland has consistently committed a substantial part of its national budget to education, thereby making sustained academic progress over the centuries.
One more thing.
Although schooling in Switzerland has some variations in the calendar and educational structure, you are sure of getting a quality education irrespective of where you choose to study in Switzerland.
A Brief Background Information About Switzerland
Switzerland is a country at the center of Europe, surrounded by many mountains, lakes, villages, and the alps. Containing prehistoric structures, Switzerland has some interesting markers, such as Brunswick Monument, Landwasser Viaduct, Castello Di Montebello, Chapel Bridge, and many others.
Although Known for its watches and chocolates, the major industries in Switzerland is a country at the center of Europe, surrounded by many mountains, lakes, villages, and the alps.
Known for its watches and chocolates, the major industries in Switzerland are Banking and finance.
Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Its currency is the Swiss franc. It has no official capital but a “federal city,” which is Bern. It has about 8.637 million people, according to the 2020 World Bank report.
Now that you have a glimpse of the background of information about Switzerland, it’s time you learn why studying in Switzerland will benefit you as an international student.
Why You Should Study in Switzerland
There is a barrage of reasons why you should consider studying in Switzerland. However, we’ll discuss a few of them here.
It’s Safe and Stable
Switzerland has a high standard of living, with reports of positive economic well-being above the world’s standards. Crimes and criminalities are at their lowest, and Switzerland is among the cleanest nations in the world. It has a well-organized public transport and health system.
It’s Career building friendly.
If you have completed your studies and wish to build your career to an enviable height, Switzerland is the most viable destination for you to do so.
The country is one of the highest salary-paying countries in the world, and the minimum wage is higher than it is in many countries, which implies students doing some “low-paying” jobs can earn reasonable amounts while still studying.
That’s not all.
Switzerland has the highest cluster of Fortune 500 companies globally. And because most universities in Switzerland have strong practice orientation, these companies reach out to them for personnel selection. These universities select the best from their faculties and department, thus, providing the selected students the opportunity to start their careers with top-flight companies.
It presents unlimited networking opportunities.
Switzerland is one of the prominent financial hubs in the world. For this reason, and because of how they run their universities, students have ample and endless social networking opportunities.
Moreso, because networking fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation, students have the opportunity of meeting the right people who will help them realize their aspirations.
It’s a tourist attraction and hospitable.
Have you heard about The Matterhorn? One of the highest mountains in the Alps. Or the Jungfraujoch? The Top of Europe.
If you have heard about them, they are not some fairytale.
What many people don’t know is that:
Switzerland is a place to beat when it comes to dazzling Alpine panorama.
Indeed, it’s adjudged the cradle of hospitality, owing to its long and copious history, which dates back to over 150 years, when the country built its first commercial hotels across the Montreux Riviera. So, the building of the majestic hotels foreshadowed the beginning of splendid tourism in the country.
In all, the beautiful scenery of lakes and mountains, the medieval structures that give historical sense and
classical hotels provide an excellent aesthetic and tourist mix for visitors.
You’ll learn a language.
One great opportunity you’ll have by studying in Switzerland is that you’ll learn at least one new language. Switzerland is a multilingual country, having German, Italian, Romanish, and French as official languages. As an international student, especially one who has an interest in international business, learning either French or German will give your career a huge boost. In addition, according to research, learning a new language will protect your brain from the decadence that comes with old age.
In its 2021 report, the Global Innovation Index ranks Switzerland as the most innovative country in the world. A record it has held since 2011. GII uses around 81 indicators to determine the rankings of 132 world economies. These indicators include a range of social, business model, and technical indicators, as well as research and development laboratories, contributions to scientific journals, etc.
In Europe, Switzerland is also an innovative leader. The indicators of innovation systems according to the European Innovation Scoreboard are:
· Investments – finance and support, firm investments.
· Innovation activities – innovators, linkages, intellectual assets.
· Impacts – employment impacts, sales impacts.
Switzerland came top in all the indicators.
Its strength is in its diversity.
As an international student in Switzerland, you’ll benefit in a great measure from its rich diversity. To be clear, Switzerland is a global center of technology, finance, and innovation, which draws people from across the globe.
In addition, its multilingual nature adds more colors to its diversity. The country has four official languages: German, Italian, Romanish, and French.
So, if you wish to apply for international scholarships, Switzerland should be among the countries in your rank order list. Now you know the reasons to study in Switzerland, let’s carefully look at what other things you need to know to study in the Alpine country.
What You Need to Study in Switzerland
If you nurture the dream of studying in Switzerland as an international student, you should meet these conditions if you want your dream to come to fruition.
Without downplaying the specific requirements of the University, course, or program the student is applying for, the following are the general requirements for admission for any student who wishes to study in Switzerland.
Application Form: You should submit a duly filled and signed application form.
Passport: You should present a valid passport and passport-size photographs.
Academic transcript: You should submit previous academic transcripts and diplomas if applicable.
Language Proficiency: You submit evidence of language proficiency in English, Italian, French, or German.
Curriculum vitae: You should submit a well-crafted and comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV)
Motivation Letter: You should submit a copy of the motivation letter explaining why you chose to study in Switzerland.
Application Fee: You should submit evidence of paying the application fee.
Also read: 9 Best Ways to Adapt to a New Culture as an International Student.
9 Best Swiss Universities for International Students
As we have observed earlier, Switzerland has been at the peak of achievement and savored the top spot for the literacy rate worldwide. As a country, its first University is over 500 years old, and it never spares resources when it comes to investment in education. This investment in education largely accounts for why its universities are among the best in the world.
Here is a list of the 9 best universities in Switzerland, in no particular order.
1. ETH Zurich
The mission of this University is to produce world-class engineers and scientists. Formerly established as a Federal Polytechnic School in 1854, the school has made remarkable impacts in science and technology, producing several Nobel Laureates, including Albert Einstein.
2.École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The University has three main areas of interest: education, research, and innovation. No wonder it specializes in natural science and engineering and is known globally for its contributions to research and development. The University, powered solely by hydropower, is located beside Lake Geneva.
Founded in 1833, the University of Zurich is in Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland. Coincidentally, the University is also the largest in Switzerland, with about 28,000 enrollments.
The University offers courses in theology, law, business, economics and informatics, medicine, arts, social sciences, science, and veterinary medicine.
This prestigious University is in Bern, the country’s “Federal City,” and was established in 1834. The University offers a wide range of courses.
The University of Basel, founded in 1460, is the oldest University in Switzerland and among the world’s oldest surviving universities. A good number of international students are studying at the University.
The University offers courses in theology, law, medicine, humanities, social sciences, science, business and economics, and psychology.
The focus of the University is a public research. The University was founded in 1559 and is located in Geneva. It’s a center for enlightenment scholarships. The International University in Geneva offers Graduate and Undergraduate Business Administration, International Relations, marketing & digital media programs.
7. THE UNIVERSITY OF ST.GALLEN
The University specializes in business administration, economics, law, and international affairs. Located in St. Gallen, the University was founded in 1898.
The University of St.Gallen in Switzerland is a place for students and the people in the region. It is an educational institution, event organizer, employer, provider of services, and much more. The publicly accessible library invites people to do research and read.
8. UNIVERSITÀ DELLA SVIZZERA ITALIANA | USI
The University is arranged into six faculties and is active in several studies and research areas, among which: are architecture, communication sciences, computational science, data science, economics, health studies, humanities, informatics, law, medicine, and biomedicine. It’s a Swiss public university established in 1995, with campuses in Lugano, Mendrisio, and Bellinzona.
The University has five faculties for study, learning, and research. The faculties are Arts and Humanities, Science and Medicine, Management, Economics, Social Sciences, Law and Theology, and numerous interdisciplinary institutes and centers of excellence. The University’s core value promotes quality, responsibility, and readiness to engage in dialogue. It was established in 1889 and is located in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Are there Job Opportunities for Students While They Study in Switzerland?
The answer is yes!
Although before now, Swiss immigration policies restricted non-European graduates from building a professional career in the country. Nevertheless, the latest policy changes allow them to compete for some professional job openings.
The law permits foreigners with a university degree from a university in Switzerland desirous of working in the country. The Act, as amended, allows foreign nationals to stay in the country and find a job for up to six months after their studies.
The law gives Swiss citizens and their foreign counterparts equal opportunities while applying for a job opportunity “of high academic or economic interest” External link. During those six months, these graduates can work up to 15 hours every week, provided they can show evidence of housing and enough financial resources.
Again, as an international student in Switzerland, you can work up to 15 hours per week by law. You can also work full-time during vacation as long as you have been in the country for at least 6 months.
Getting a job is more accessible in a metropolis like Zurich and Geneva. Each University has a job placement office that provides information on student employment.
As no central job searching tool covers all Swiss universities, it is necessary to consult each University’s databases. You will find direct access to each University’s database of job vacancies under the section working in research.
Now that you’ve been exposed to the reasons you should study in Switzerland and the best universities you can apply to, won’t it be excellent if you grab your device and start exploring the options available to you?