Switzerland is located at the heart of Western Europe and blessed with not only beautiful landscapes, but also cultural diversity and a high living standard. Officially called the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland has a long history of neutrality, direct democracy, and federalism. As the world’s 20th largest economy, Switzerland is home to many multinational companies and several international organizations. With four national languages spoken in Switzerland (German, French, Italian, and Rumansch) and a quarter of its population holding a foreign passport; living in Switzerland offers a real international experience. Switzerland is part of the Schengen Area, although it is not a member of the European Union, allowing you the opportunity to travel around Europe without the need for additional visas.
Switzerland evokes thoughts of crystal clear lakes, chocolate, fondue and a sense of time that is universally respected. Perhaps most importantly, while studying in Geneva you can experience life in one of the world’s major centers for international governance. Known as the “capital of peace,” Geneva’s humanitarian traditions are carried through its 300+ NGOs, ongoing diplomatic missions, and headquarters to the European UN and Red Cross.
Study in Switzerland opens the door for international careers in business and international organizations, as well as in research & innovation. Thanks to the excellence of Swiss universities and innovative research ecosystem, Switzerland ranks on the top of global competitiveness and innovation index. There are 12 general universities in Switzerland and a number of other universities of applied sciences and research universities. Swiss universities are generously supported by the government and fees for nationals are low. At many institutions, fees are the same for foreign students or there is only a small premium, reflecting the country’s desire to attract overseas students. Of those studying at university in Switzerland, 21% are international students.
Most Swiss universities are publicly funded, making international study relatively affordable. The Swiss government, and some universities, also offer scholarships to international students. Each year the Swiss Confederation awards “Government Excellence Scholarships” to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. Recipients are selected by the awarding body, the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).