Known as a neutral country and a country of stability, Switzerland has long maintained this image, making it an attractive destination for tourists, businessmen, and students. The central location of Switzerland along with its lakes and the proximity to the Alps just makes this country very naturally beautiful. Along with all these comes a caveat: the high standard of living.
Still, Switzerland has proven time and again that it is deserving of all this recognition. With its role in international political affairs and advancements in research, Switzerland has made its mark as the country of choice for business, research, and education. Here, we will discuss various Switzerland scholarships available for international students.
Living Costs in Switzerland for International Students
Studying in Switzerland may set a student back by around CHF 2000 (€1900), very expensive compared to other countries in the region. This includes accommodation costs amounting to CHF 400 for rooms and CHF 800 for flats monthly. Food and other personal expenses such as clothes, shoes, and hygiene can cost up to €700. Transportation passes can cost below CHF 100 but can be reduced if a student opts for the bicycle.
Can International Students Work in Switzerland?
Students are permitted to have part-time work in Switzerland up to 15 hours every week, with the option to make it full-time work during breaks. Work permits are required, although if a student is from a non-EU country, they can only work six (6) months after they have arrived in Switzerland.
Top Universities in Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the University of Zurich are just some of the top universities in Switzerland, both of which are found in Zurich. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne or the EPFL is a public research university located in Lausanne by Lake Geneva. The capital city also hosts a top university in the University of Bern, while the University of Basel boasts a high international student population.
Best Scholarships in Switzerland
Scholarships from ETH Zurich are highly sought, and this scholarship is one of those. Not only does this program provide for the student’s living costs and full degree cost, but it also allows the students to form a network while they are studying, aside from the mentorship that they can avail themselves of. The ESOP will waive tuition fees for the program as well as provide CHF 12000 every semester. This Switzerland scholarship is meant to cover study and living expenses. Approximately, international students are expected to pay CHF 23000 for their study and living costs without a scholarship.
To be eligible, the student must ensure that they have exceptional marks during their bachelor’s studies. They should also already have a research topic proposal for the master’s thesis as this will be evaluated by the committee.
The Swiss Government, to promote and strengthen international relations and research education, provides educational scholarships to over 180 countries around the world. These scholarships are offered by the government with attracting art students or master’s degree holders pursuing higher studies in mind. There are research scholarships that are open to all Swiss cantonal universities. An applicant is required to be nominated by an academic mentor to be considered for the scholarship. Meanwhile, art scholarships are open to all Swiss art universities and conservatories.
The Federal Commission for Scholarships offers these Switzerland scholarships to students who want to pursue Ph.D. studies, postdoctoral studies, and research. For Ph.D. studies and research studies related to the student’s Ph.D., a monthly amount of CHF 1920 will be provided by the FCS. For postdoctoral research, the scholarship will be CHF 3500 monthly. Aside from this monthly scholarship, mandatory medical insurance, an accommodation allowance of CHF 300, a public transportation card with transportation cost cut by half, and a lump sum return flight ticket will be provided. If there will be conferences required during the study, this will not be covered by the scholarship
The EPFL offers the opportunity to study within its campus overlooking Lake Geneva with its limited fellowships. There are no eligibility requirements for applying for the fellowship if the student has exceptional academic records. The only caveat is if the applicant already has a master’s degree, in which case, an excellence fellowship is not possible to be granted.
There are two types of Switzerland fellowships offered at EPFL: external and internal. If a bachelor’s degree is obtained from the EPFL, it will be considered an internal application. The student will be eligible for an annual grant of CHF 5000, CHF 10000 in total. For external applications, the student is eligible to receive CHF 8000 per semester for a total of CHF24000 for a 1.5-year course and CHF 32000 for a 2-year course. Regarding other costs such as accommodation and tuition fees, this will be shouldered by the student.
The University of Geneva, in cooperation with its internationally recognized research and programs, has implemented a merit-based fellowship program. The objective of the faculty is to provide professional development in the sciences, communication, and media, hence opening this Switzerland scholarship to students interested in obtaining a master’s degree in the university.
The Faculty of Science offers master’s degrees in various disciplines such as astrophysics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, mathematics, pharmacy, and physics, among others. Degrees are taught in either English or French, and a language requirement should be fulfilled by the student depending on the degree.
If a student is successful, they will be eligible to receive a grant worth CHF 10000 to CHF 15000 annually, renewable until the duration of the program unless a student fails to maintain the grade requirement for the program. This will not cover other living expenses and must be shouldered by the student in other ways.
The University of Lausanne (UNIL) provides merit-based master’s scholarships to international students (students who finished their bachelor’s in a foreign university). A language requirement of at least a C1 in English or a B2 in French is necessary to be considered for the scholarship. Once a student applies for the scholarship at Switzerland, this will also be considered as the application of the student to the master’s degree in UNIL. Around 42 master’s degree programs are offered by UNIL and are all available for scholarship application except for Medicine, Education, Law, Physical Education and Sports Didactics, and Health Sciences.
Only ten (10) scholarships are provided by UNIL annually. If a student is successfully accepted into the scholarship, they will receive a monthly scholarship amount of CHF 1600 for 10 months every year until the master’s degree has been obtained. A student will also have waived registration fees. Considering the cost of living, this scholarship at Switzerland will not be enough to cover living expenses.