Switzerland at a glance:

  • Name: Switzerland and Confederation Helvetica (therefore the abbreviation CH) –
  • Location: Central Europe (GMT+1) –
  • Size: 41285 km² –
  • Climate: General information, diagrams and weather forecast –
  • Capital: Bern City –
  • Currency: Swiss Francs (CHF) –  – The Euro (EUR) is not an official currency
  • Education: From Kindergarten to University –
  • Food: Cheese, chocolate
  • History: Founded in 1291, independent since 1648 –
  • Languages: There are four official languages in Switzerland –
  • Swiss National Park: Information about and lots of pictures of the Swiss National Park (SNP) –


The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. From July to August the daytime temperature range is 18 to 28 °C (65° – 82° F) and from January to February the range is -2 to 7 °C (28° – 45° F). In spring and autumn, the daytime temperature range is 8 to 15 °C (46° – 59° F).


Mountains cover 60% of Switzerland’s land area, with ranges of the Alps in the south and the Jura Mountains to the north.

Switzerland’s highest point is Dufourspitze (Monte Rosa), in the Pennine Alps, which rises to 15,206 ft (4,634 m).

Between the mountains there’s a hilly, central plateau that extends on through the east-west axis of the country.

Moving north, the Rhine River makes up much of Switzerland’s border with Germany, as well as part of Lake Constance.

Switzerland’s two largest lakes are Lake Geneva (shared with France) and Lake Neuchatel – which is the largest lake entirely within the country’s borders.


Switzerland had a population of 8.02 million as of 2012. Its population quadrupled over the period 1800 to 1990.
Population: 8.081 million (2013) World Bank
Life expectancy: 82.70 years (2012) World Bank
Fertility rate: 1.52 births per woman (2012) World Bank
GNI per capita: 59,210 PPP dollars (2013) World Bank
Population growth rate: 1.0% annual change (2013) World Bank
Official languages: Romansh, French, German, Italian


The education system in Switzerland is very diverse, because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system mainly to the cantons. … The minimum age for primary school is about six years in all cantons but Obwalden, where it is five years and three months.

VISA and Immigration


You need the following documents to apply for a study permit:

  1. Proof of acceptance
  2. Proof of identity
  3. Proof of financial support
  4. Letter of explanation

In addition to these documents, you may have to provide other information when you apply for a study permit. Check the visa office instructions for your country or region  for local requirements.

If you are not a citizen of the country where you submit your application, you may have to provide proof of  your present immigration status in the country where you apply.

If the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a re-entry permit, you must get one before you apply for a Canadian visa. Other documents may also be required.

1. Proof of acceptance

If you plan to attend any school (primary or secondary), college, university or other educational institution in Canada, the school must complete and send you a letter of acceptance. You must include the original letter with your study permit application. See a sample standard letter of acceptance (PDF, 73.68 KB).

2. Proof of identity

You must provide:

  • A valid passport or travel document for you and each accompanying family member. The passport or travel document must allow you to return to the country that issued it. Citizens of the United States do not need a passport. However, you must carry proper identification that proves your citizenship or permanent residence.
  • Two recent passport-size photos of you and each accompanying family member. The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo.

3. Proof of financial support

You must prove that you can support yourself and the family members who accompany you while you are in Canada. You can prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Canada by showing some of the following:

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada;
  • proof of a student/education loan from a financial institution;
  • your bank statements for the past four months;
  • a bank draft in convertible currency;
  • proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees;
  • a letter from the person or institution providing you with money; and
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.

The following table shows the minimum amounts that you will need.

Number of persons All provinces except Quebec Quebec
Single student Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month) Tuition plus $11,000 for a 12-month period (or $917 per month)
+ one family member $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month) $5,100 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period (or $425 per month)$3,800 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $317 per month)
+ each additional family member $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month) $5,125 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period (or $427 per month)$1,903 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $159 per month)

If there are foreign-exchange control measures in your country, you must provide proof that the exchange control authorities will allow you to export funds for all of your expenses.

4. Letter of explanation

In some cases, you may wish to apply for a study permit even if you do not need one right away. There are benefits to having a study permit, even if you do not require one. If you have a valid study permit, you can:

  • work part time on campus at the college or university at which you are registered as a full-time student; and
  • apply to renew your study permit from within Canada, if you decide to continue studying in Canada.
  • If you decide that you want to continue your studies in another program after you complete your short-term course or program, you must apply through a Canadian visa office outside Canada for a study permit if you do not already have one.
  • If you are applying for a study permit even though you do not need one, you should include a letter that explains why you are applying. The letter will inform the visa officer that you understand your options.


What is the Tuition fees for degree studies in Switzerland?

Public Swiss universities receive significant funding which makes tuition fees seem affordable compared to tuition fees charged by universities from the UK or U.S. Fees are variable depending on each university and the study programme you choose, but the average is 535 EUR per semester for a Bachelor and Master degree and around 200 EUR per year for a PhD programme. Students who come to Switzerland on an exchange programme don’t pay any tuition fee.

Universities from Fribourg, Lucerne, Neuchatel, St. Gallen, Zurich and Lugano charge extra tuition fees for foreign students.

Private universities usually have higher tuition fees that range from 750 and 8,000 EUR per semester.

PhDs are very popular in Switzerland not only due to the world’s famous and acknowledged research work made by the most prestigious institutions, but also because candidates that pursue a PhD in Switzerland are also considered employees, thus, they are paid for their work. In addition, tuition fees for a PhD can get lower than 100 EUR per semester in public universities.

View 485 Bachelor degrees in Switzerland

2. What are the Living costs in Switzerland ?

Living costs all over Switzerland are expensive, with Geneva and Zurich as the most expensive cities to live in. Although it highly depends on your life style, managing your monthly expenses without making any compromise could be a tough challenge in Switzerland.

You should plan an average budget of around 1,000 and 1,400 EUR/month to pay for: housing, food, transportation, tuition, supplies and a few leisure activities. Take into consideration that at the beginning of your studies you will have to pay bigger sums for the first term health insurance, first-semester tuition fees and first rent payment, as these often include an obligatory security deposit.

Check this website to see detailed prices of living in Switzerland.

3. Accommodation options and costs

Out of the total monthly expenses of EU students, they usually pay around 33 % on accommodation, 7 % on transportation and around 8 % on tuition fees. Rates for accommodation in Switzerland are above the international range of 200 – 300 EUR/month, as the average for any housing option is around 450 – 500 EUR/month.

On average, students that live alone pay about 700 EUR/month, students living in student accommodation pay around 450 EUR/month, while those who live with partner/child(ren) spend around 750 EUR/month.

A percent of 8 % of the international students in Switzerland live in student halls of residence, the rest choose other housing options. Around 68 % of students are very satisfied with their accommodation in Switzerland; as the average rate of student satisfaction in Europe is 60 %, this could mean that accommodation options and facilities in Switzerland are very good.

The most common housing choices among international students in Switzerland:

  1. Student halls of residence – between 360 and 800 EUR/month.
  2. Rent/share an apartment – average price ranges between 650 and 800 EUR/month for a one-bedroom apartment.
  3. Hostel – rates start at 33 EUR/night for a studio.
4. Food costs in Switzerland

Prices for food varies significantly depending on the exact region in Switzerland you live in. Most students choose to buy their food from the supermarkets and eat out only once in a while. Food bills from the supermarket would be around 180 – 200 EUR/month, but they could get higher, to about 280 – 300 EUR/month. However, they could be a good option as most of them sell pre-made meals for between 4 – 8 EUR.

Inexpensive restaurants in Switzerland serve meals at prices that range from 12 to 22 EUR per person. Restaurants that serve international cuisine can have lower prices.

street restaurant switzerland.jpg

Some of the Swiss dishes that are worth trying are: fondue (made with cheese, or chocolate), Zurich-style veal ragout (“Züri-Gschnätzlets”), Älplermagronen, a sort of macaroni, and for dessert you will love meringues and whipped cream (from the Gruyère region), or B”undnernusstorte –a caramelised nut-filled pastry.

Swiss drinks include a range of wines and beers as well as the famous Absinthe.

5. Transportation costs

The most popular means of transportation for students in Switzerland are: 11 % on foot, 10 % bicycle, 10 % public transport. In any city in Switzerland, a monthly pass on the public transportation is around 40 – 50 EUR.

Major Swiss cities like Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel have extended S-Bahn networks – fast metropolitan area trains with frequent stops running at short intervals. In these cities, all providers unite in a transport association, meaning the same tickets are valid on trains, tramways, buses and even ships.

You have the option to buy a Swiss travel pass (340 EUR for 15 days) and travel as much as you like in Switzerland without tickets, simply boarding with this pass. With this pass, you can also travel for free by bus and tram in most towns and cities in Switzerland.

6. Extra costs for students

You will have to pay for a monthly health insurance, between 300 and 330 EUR.

The books and supplies will cost you another 90 EUR/month.

Leisure is part of any student’s budget, so you should know that it costs around 27 EUR to see a show and a cinema ticket is around 14.5 EUR.

By presenting the student ID card, a museum ticket should only cost around 6 – 7 EUR.

If you live in an apartment, you would have to pay at least another 100 EUR each month on utility bills.

book costs switzerland.jpg

7. Scholarship options for students in Switzerland

In Switzerland, international students can get scholarships offered by the Swiss government, based on partnerships established with several countries. Most of these scholarships are granted to postgraduate candidates and researchers.

Check out scholarship opportunities in Switzerland.

You should check if you are entitled to receive a scholarship by contacting the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.

Other scholarships are offered by some of the Swiss universities; you can benefit from grants ranging from 9,200 EUR to 13,700 EUR, available only for one year, with the possibility of extension, provided you will be academically successful at the end of your first semester of studies.

In some universities, you can apply for an interest-free loan of up to 11,000 EUR per year, which covers up to 40 % of fees and living costs. In Zurich, you can also opt for the solidarity fund for foreign students – available for Bachelor students who have completed their first semester. The amount of the fund can get up to 520 EUR/month, for up to ten semesters.

Check out Master programmes in Switzerland

8. Student money saving tips in Switzerland
  • Try having a meal in the university dining hall where you would only pay 7 – 8 EUR or at the snack bars or restaurants located in department stores (like: Migros, Coop or Manor).
  • In restaurants, beer is often cheaper than water, so better have a beer and it will also help you look more like a local.
  • Try making most of your shopping after 5 p.m., as many stores add 25–50 percent discounts on perishable items. You should also take advantage of the traditional sale months, January and July, or consider shopping across the border in Germany or Italy once in a while.
  • If you’re only considering a drink, in hostel bars you can enjoy 2-for-1 happy hours and cheap drinks for around 4.5 EUR.
  • In ethnic restaurants like Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Thai you can get good deals for large portions and pay only 9 EUR.

Study Options in Switzerland

HTMi Hotel and Tourism Management Institute

Business & Hotel Management School (BHMS)

Business School Lausanne