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2018-07-30 11:56:57

How to enter the universities of Switzerland

How to enter the universities of Switzerland

The Swiss education system is one of the most unique and most popular structures for getting education abroad. This country is popular among foreign students for one simple reason - here you can get a quality European education. The main feature of obtaining a higher or secondary education in Switzerland is due to the fact that in the territory of this country students from other countries can be teached in more than one language. The inhabitants of this multicultural country speak French, Italian, German and English fluently. Depending on the canton, one of the state languages is the main one in the region. The rest of Europe does not have such educational resources, so the question of how to enter Swiss universities is asked by hundreds of foreign students around the world every year.

Programs for admission to universities of Switzerland for foreign students - types and features

The conditions for enrolling in the universities of this country can vary depending on the location of the university, its ranking and prestige. Foreign students have several ways to enter a Swiss higher school.

Depending on the country in which the student plans to receive higher education, this may be an Anglo-American pre-university course for senior classes (A-level or High School Diploma certificates); German Abitur for various specializations - humanitarian, technical or social sciences; French Baccalaureate, where on the second cycle of the course the 16-19 year olds are preparing to enter the universities in Switzerland, France and those countries where it is possible to study in French; the Italian Maturita program, in which high school students choose one of four specializations and are preparing to enter Italian or Swiss higher schools. Also on the list is the most common international pre-university training program - IB (International Baccalaureate). This two-year course, whose certificate is recognized in more than 100 countries around the world and enables applicants to enroll almost anywhere.

Foreign students can enter these programs after the 9th, 10th, 11th grades of the school. In addition, Swiss universities have an annual educational program for the higher education schools themselves. Having finished such a program, the entrant is guaranteed to fall on the first year of a bachelor's degree.

In addition to the first stage of higher education, Swiss universities accept foreign students and the second - in the magistracy. As in the rest of Europe in Switzerland, to obtain a master's degree, you must complete a bachelor's degree + to know at a very good level one of the previously named foreign languages.

Also, during the selection of an educational institution, it is necessary to take into account the priority specialization. According to the Swiss education experts, the economy is best taught at the universities of St. Gallen, the students go to the universities of Lausanne, Fierga and Neshatel to study at law, the exact sciences are taught at the University of Zurich, and the humanities, particularly philology, are best taught in Geneva. Switzerland has a special glory from the sphere of tourism and hotel business: it is considered that Switzerland is the ancestor of these directions, therefore local universities are the best in the world ranking of the corresponding specialization.

How to enter the universities in Switzerland - the process of admission and the conditions of study

Preparing for admission to a Swiss university or college is best to begin at least one year before the potential start of the school year. This is due to the fact that, in addition to preparing the documents for the foreign student, it will be necessary to prepare for the language test and successfully pass the general testing for all foreign students studying in Switzerland. Totally the entire process will take at least 4-6 months.

So, to become a student at a Swiss university, you need:

  • Provide a certificate of secondary education with good and excellent grades in all disciplines
  • Pass a single exam for foreign students. Every year it takes place in Friborg in September or October. The testing includes 5 subjects: 3 compulsory (mathematics, history and language) and 2 to choose from (chemistry, physics, geography, the second language)
  • Provide a certificate of knowledge of one of the European languages (depends on the chosen program)
  • In the institutions of the German-speaking part, stricter requirements for foreign students: applicants must be weaned in the domestic university for at least 2 years.

If, for some reason, the student feels that he is not ready to go to the University of Friborg to take the exam, he has the opportunity to take educational courses and to bring his knowledge to the required level. Classes are held, beginning in June, 2-3 months before the surrender.

To confirm the language level, an international student will need one of the following certificates:

  • DALF or DELF - French
  • DSH or Goethe Institute exam - German
  • CELI - Italian
  • TOEFL or IELTS - English.

To pass any of the tests, you need to register in advance (for 1-2 months), then wait for the results (after 1.5-2 months), and then draw up documents for the application to universities.

Such documents will need to be prepared for a foreign student who wants to enter the universities of Switzerland for the first stage of higher education (bachelor's degree):

  • completed application form for admission to the university (online on the site or manually)
  • passport and study visa
  • statement on the student's progress for the last 2-3 years
  • certificate of secondary education 
  • Certificate confirming confident knowledge of a foreign language according to the chosen curriculum
  • recommendations of teachers from the previous place of study (2-3 responses)
  • motivation letter of the candidate.

But such documentation will be required for admission to universities in Switzerland for the second stage of higher education (magistracy):

  • bachelor's degree
  • completed application for educational program
  • an extract with the student's marks for the last 2-3 years
  • Certificate confirming confident knowledge of a foreign language according to the chosen curriculum
  • recommendations of teachers from the previous place of study (2-3 responses)
  • motivation letter of the candidate.

Tuition fees at universities in Switzerland

Educational services of higher education in Switzerland can be obtained only on a fee basis (the condition is valid for both local students and foreign students), regardless of whether the state or private educational institution. At the same time, the price will be almost the same for all students. On average, the annual cost of education will be 1,000 - 2,000 Swiss ₣. A little more expensive will study for foreign students in the university of the Italian part of the country - about 5,000 - 8,000 ₣. Even more expensive will be the school year in private Swiss universities. Separate items of expenses will be payment of accommodation, meals, pocket and transportation costs (including air tickets in both directions).

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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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