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2018-07-30 11:56:45

Best medical institutions in Switzerland for international students

Best medical institutions in Switzerland for international students

Switzerland, despite its small size, is one of the flagships of European education - and medical schools in Switzerland are also very popular.

This is a fairly compact country in the central part Europe, more than a quarter covered with forests and bordering on the high peaks of the Alps. The history of the state is quite rich and rich, there is an extremely extensive cultural heritage - many well-known artists, composers, writers, politicians and scientists were brought up on the territory. Many visitors are struck by a unique architecture, represented by numerous unique castles, manors and houses: there are 4 world monuments included in the UNESCO heritage list.

Many students and residents of other countries believe that only the banking system and education in the field of hospitality technologies are exclusively developed here - but this is not quite true: there is a great deal of attention paid to science and education here. Proof can serve as the Nobel statistics: with a population of only 7 with a small million people, Switzerland's descendants are several dozen winners of the prestigious award!

The traditions of medical education here were laid back in the 15th century, simultaneously with the founding of the Basel University, the oldest in the country. It is quite difficult for foreign students to enter the medical faculty, since this profession is extremely in demand among Swiss citizens: according to statistics, there is the largest number of doctors in the world per unit of population.

The profession of a doctor in the country is very respected and prestigious, as the nation's health task is set and controlled at the state level. Many citizens choose first the doctor, and only then they are identified with the clinic for treatment: that is why the personality, and not only the level of education and the qualification of the specialist are of great importance - the Swiss attach great importance to building trustful, friendly relations between the medic and the patient.

Structure of medical education

The learning process today is quite lengthy and difficult, it includes 4 stages:

  • Basic level (4 semesters, obtaining Demi-License)
  • Profile study of the selected disciplines and directions (obtaining a degree of a licentiate and a diploma)
  • Additional courses, Doctoral studies
  • Narrow medical specialization and obtaining a scientific degree.

Medical schools and faculties provide training in various areas:

  • Home therapist (these are general practitioners: they monitor the general health of patients, carry out primary diagnosis and Write out directions to more narrow specialists)
  • Therapist for internal diseases (general practitioners, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, etc.)
  • Pediatrician (medical support and supervision of a child from 0 to 18 years)
  • A gynecologist (including midwifery, many physicians of this specialization have many private doctors who at the same time have easy access to large medical and diagnostic centers)
  • Surgeon (emergency medical care, radical treatment of internal diseases and disruptions Organism)
  • Oncologist
  • Psychiatrist (for them a separate requirement was created - fluency in several foreign languages in order to Direct communication with patients was most effective and productive)
  • Orthopedists (general practitioner, specialty on the verge of surgery, traumatology and general therapy).

Students who successfully completed their studies and completed compulsory postgraduate specialization can join the Association of Doctors- Specialists of Switzerland (FMH status (Swiss specialist) must be confirmed annually). Most often practicing doctors combine several directions: working with private clients, in general and private clinics, regional (as is customary here - cantonal) hospitals, and also conduct their own and group research.

Where to go to study?

For you, SMAPSE experts have compiled a list of the most popular and prestigious institutions of higher education offering medical education:

The population of the small town of Basel is only about 170 people: it is in the north-west of the country, the River Rhine divides it into Small and Big Basel. It is a large educational, commercial, cultural and financial center, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are well developed: it is in Basel that the headquarters of famous international corporations are located (Hoffmann-La Roche, Novartis, Clariant). The city is also famous for its architectural and cultural-historical sights: Gothic cathedrals, the main city gate of Spalentor, various museums, the Church of St. Paul.

The University of Basel is the oldest in Switzerland: it was founded in 1459, and today 1500 students from 35 countries of the world study here. The most famous faculty of medicine: it became the base for the establishment of the educational institution together with the faculties of theology, law, free arts. Education is provided in the following areas:

  • Jurisprudence
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy and History
  • Business and Economics
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy and the natural sciences
  • Theology.

The university is deservedly proud of the successes of its students, graduates and teachers - many of them have become laureates Nobel Prize, for example:

  • Tadeusz Reichstein - discovery in the field of physiology and medicine of hormones in the adrenal cortex (1950)
  • Arber Werner - discoveries in the field of genetics and microbiology (restriction enzymes, 1978).


Bern is the capital of Switzerland, a political center with a population of 133 thousand people: it is here that the central bank, parliament and government are located. The city also has a huge number of attractions and cultural monuments (the Old City was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List): Bernese Fountains, Cathedral, Clock Tower, medieval quarters and streets, famous theaters, museums, art galleries and, of course, an ancient university with Unhurried academic spirit.

The year of the Bern University was 1528: originally it was intended for the preparation of pastors-Protestants from the Carmelite monastery, but gradually more and more new subjects, sciences, directions for study were added. So, in 1805 the faculties of medicine, philosophy, law and theology were opened, which led to the formation of a modern university (1834), which exists to this day. Here, carefully guard educational age-old traditions, while not being afraid to introduce modern techniques and innovative equipment. Education is conducted in German, but exams can also be taken in French or Italian.

The medical faculty has a full staff of highly qualified professionals with extensive practical work experience. Duration of education is 6 years: 3 Bachelor's degrees and 3 more Master's, at the end of the students pass a general mandatory examination for compliance with the basic law of the medical profession Medizinalberufegesetz MedBG. Also the university is proud of its famous graduates:

  • Charles Albert Goba is a politician, a lawyer (Nobel Peace Prize)
  • György de Hevieshi is a chemist (Nobel Prize for the discovery of hafnium)
  • Koher Emil Theodore - Surgeon (Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology).

Albert Einstein once worked in these walls: his office is still preserved in its original form.

Geneva is perhaps the most famous city in Switzerland (many even mistakenly consider it the capital of the country, although it is only the second largest). It is quite an expensive city with the highest standard of living, it is here that the headquarters of international organizations are located:

  • International Labour Organization
  • European United Nations Headquarters
  • World Economic Forum
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • European Center for Nuclear Research
  • The World Health Organization and .

Since the city is practically directly bordered by France, historically the main language here is French.

The first mention of the University of Geneva refers to 1559: its founder is the famous enlightener John Calvin. Until 1807, the institution was considered an academy and only after it acquired the prestigious status of the university. Today, more than 16,000 students study here, there are 7 faculties:

  • Translation
  • Theology
  • Medicine
  • Jurisprudence
  • Psychology
  • Economic and social sciences
  • Natural History.

Almost all lectures are translated into audio and video format and are available in a common extensive database. The institution also has its own functional website, where students can find homework, required lists and literature and many other useful information for learning (each student is assigned a personal account).

The Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1876. Today, education is conducted in close cooperation with city hospitals and clinics, which provides for pupils (1,521 people) a large number of practices, opportunities for internships. Specialization of the faculty lies in the field of neurology, transplantation, metabolism and genetics: according to these directions it is the absolute leader, provides the highest rating among all medical schools and universities.

Lausanne is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is one of the most attractive and picturesque places in the country. This francophone city has received a powerful stimulus for development in the Age of Enlightenment - and to this day enjoys great popularity among many citizens and foreigners due to its restraint, elegance, unhurried rhythm of life and incredible beauty of nature. The population is about 136,000 people (the fourth largest city in the country).

Lausanne also bears the status of the Olympic capital - here is the International Olympic Committee and many international sports associations and federations. In this city - the only one in the country! - The metro is equipped: despite this, most of the townspeople prefer to use trolleybuses.

University of Lausanne was founded in 1537 as an academy, and acquired a prestigious status in 1890. Today, about 12,000 people study at 7 faculties:

  • medicine
  • socio-political sciences
  • economics and business administration
  • law
  • natural sciences
  • humanities
  • exact sciences.

The educational institution includes three campuses: the most Large is on the shore of the famous picturesque Lake Geneva. 

The local medical faculty is proud of the country's only department of pharmacy and institute of criminology. Graduates are in demand, qualified physicians who do not stop conducting fundamental research and develop in basic biological disciplines. The university cooperates with all national centers of higher education and takes an active part in the most part of the profile federal projects.

The large German-speaking Zurich is located in the northeast - this is the largest city in the country, numbering approximately 390,000 inhabitants. It is a world center of finance and science, home to a host of headquarters of banking and insurance organizations. In 2011, Zurich was named the second in the world in terms of quality of life, and in 2012 received the first place among the most expensive cities in the world for living. There is a huge number of attractions, monuments of culture and art: St. Peter's Church, Fluntern Cemetery, Opera House and Town Hall, Fraumunster, Mahmoud Mosque, Kunsthaus, Lindenhof, Grossmunster, Uttlberg are worth mentioning.

The University of Zurich is in the TOP-3 Swiss universities. It was founded in 1833 and consisted then of three faculties: medicine, theology and jurisprudence. Today, the number of faculties has increased to 7, with 23,000 students:

  • Economics
  • Mathematics and the natural sciences
  • Theology
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • Law.

The medical faculty of the university is the largest medical school in Switzerland: it has more than 2000 students and 600 teachers. 

The university is also proud of its famous and famous alumni:

  • 23 of the President of Switzerland
  • Prime Minister of Liechtenstein
  • Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize)
  • Many politicians
  • Prime Minister of Kosovo
  • Karl Alex Muller (Nobel Prize)
  • Erwin Schrödinger (Nobel Prize) and many others.

In addition to the above, it is worth noting and other prestigious and well-known Swiss universities, where you can get medical education:

  • Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland)
  • Zürcher Fachhochschule (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)
  • EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne)
  • Les Roches-Gruyère University of Applied Sciences (University of Applied Sciences Le Roche-Gruyère)
  • Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland)
  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • Université de Friborg (University of Friborg)
  • Fachhochschule Ostschweiz (University of Applied Sciences East Switzerland)
  • Berner Fachhochschule (Bern University of Applied Sciences)
  • Zürcher Fachhochschule (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)
  • Kalaidos Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences Kalaydos).

Admission and tuition fees 

Medical universities of the country for foreign students set very small quotas and extremely strict entrance requirements, but even this does not stop a large flow of entrants from around the world. The competition here is unusually high, that's why only the best of the best come.

Applicants must pass a foreign language examination (written and spoken part, grammar and other key language skills are checked), the result should include at least 60% of correct answers. Other requirements for applicants may vary significantly depending on the institution chosen, so it is better to clarify them directly from the admissions office.

Tuition fees is about 750 francs per semester: after paying for this period, the student can attend absolutely any lectures, classes and seminars, regardless of which faculty was chosen, even Classes in related specialties. Please note that living in any city in Switzerland is quite expensive (accommodation, food, utilities, transportation and other city expenses); And even a short stay in the country will require compulsory insurance. After enrollment, each student receives an annual study visa, which is renewed annually.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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