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2018-07-30 11:57:05

Education in Switzerland for foreign students: the cost, reviews

Education in Switzerland for foreign students: the cost, reviews

Switzerland for foreign students is a great place to get a European education. There is everything for an unforgettable student's experience: high urban culture, a variety of sports and recreation, an extraordinary nature and, of course, the highest quality of education.

The advantages of educational institutions in Switzerland

  • Swiss education is considered one of the best in Europe, it uses the most innovative approaches in teaching;
  • Inclusive education is well developed;
  • Graduates of higher education establishments are first-class specialists, very popular all over the world;
  • The favorable environment for education and the possibility of an internship in a large company is significantly different from that in other countries: educational programs in the cantons are so different that one can speak of 26 different educational systems that are connected by basic principles. In educational institutions there is no concept of fundamental education, in the priority physical culture and language learning.
    • Kindergarten 4-6 years
    • Primary school 6-12 years
    • Secondary school 12-16 years old
    • High school 18-22 years

Kindergartens, features of education and upbringing

  • Kindergartens are accepted from 4-6 months in nursery groups, but are not mandatory and the main concern of caregivers is that the child is fed and satisfied
  • Many Swiss people also completely negatively perceive the desire of foreign parents to drive a two-year-old child to music and drawing
  • The main task of parents in Switzerland is to allow a child to be a child and enjoy a happy childhood sometimes. Not strict arithmetic and not the alphabet is taught here by children - sooner or later the child learns this - and the language practice, so the child at the end of the kindergarten already knows at least 2 of the 4 national languages ​​of the country
  • All kindergartens - private and public - are paid. Institutions have a flexible schedule, and only parents decide how much time the child will spend in the garden.

Primary school: emphasis on teaching the child language

The main condition - the readiness of students to learn and exit from the early childhood period, students do not write any introductory tests. Primary school becomes compulsory at 6 years old, but schools already accept four-year schools.

  • Required admission: 6 years
  • Primary school period: 6 years (usually from 6 to 12 years)
  • Tuition fee: primary school is free and compulsory
  • Main subjects: languages ​​(Italian, French, German and Romansh to choose from) and necessarily English, physical education.

High school: forms and types of education 

Nomenclature, bypassing Secondaire II. The secondary education of Secondaire II is completed according to the national programs or the international International Baccalaureate IB, which offers advantages when entering the world's top universities.

  • The private boarding school of the College Du Leman offers basic and secondary education programs that meet modern standards.

Higher educational institutions: system and methods of teaching

There are 2 types of universities: academic and professional. Academic numbers are 12 for the entire country, and education there involves serious research work in the field of modern science (neurobiology, medicine, physics, chemistry). Pedagogical universities (psychological, musical, pedagogical, etc.) number about 120. Higher education involves 2 levels: bachelor's and master's degrees. In addition to universities, young people can go to colleges and after them to universities. It will cost several times cheaper.

Certificate of maturity

  • Maturité professionnelle is a certificate of secondary vocational education, which is received by students who refused to study at the second stage of the academic program Secondaire II. Enables admission to applied universities in Switzerland;
  • Maturité gymnasiale - a certificate of full secondary education or a matriculation certificate, which students receive after the completion of Secondaire II. With this certificate you can enter both the academic and applied higher education institution.

Types of programs in Swiss schools for foreign students

1.Programs of secondary school

  • Matura (Swiss Federal Maturite) is the federal program of the Swiss educational school. Matura is a Swiss federal program that is divided into 5 types: ancient (classical) languages, modern languages, mathematics and natural sciences, modern foreign languages, economics;
  • GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-level are programs of the British educational system, perfectly suitable for those who intend to study in Britain. This is an alternative to Matura;
  • The American section is a course that was developed according to the American educational module High School Diploma for future students of American universities;
  • The English-language section is a course that combines American and British educational standards;
  • The French Section (BAC) is a similar program for those wishing to study in France;
  • The German section - programs in German ( Abitur ), which practically provide 100% enrollment in universities in Germany;
  • The Swiss section - the language of instruction can be chosen from four state, and the program itself corresponds to the educational standards of Switzerland.

2.Pre-University preparation

  • International Baccalaureate, IB is a very popular course with serious preparation to the leading universities of the world. The IB diploma opens the doors of any university.

Diplomas and degrees of higher education in Switzerland





3-4 years

Diploma (Diploma), Bachelor (Bachelor)


1-2 years

Licentiate (Lizentiat), master (Master)


2-3 years

Doctorate (Doctorate)

Opportunities for foreign students

1. Work while studying. In order to start working in Switzerland, you will need permission from the administration, which will confirm that the work will not affect your studies. You can work up to 15 hours a week.

2. Scholarships and grants. For immigrants from countries outside the European Union, there are certain restrictions: they can not qualify for educational grants, but they have the right to receive educational scholarships. The main requirement is to study "excellent". A scholarship for the post-graduate students is also on the order of 1,665 ₣. For students of economic universities, as well as undergraduates of music faculties, there are separate awards.

3. Custodianship. School students under the age of 18 are required to have an official representative.

4. Homologation of the certificate. 

5. Features of living. Foreign students are offered the possibility of living in host families, in private boarding schools or on campus.

6. After graduation, the student has the following opportunities:

  • Apply for a master's or postgraduate course
  • Students who have a residence permit stay in the country for six months to find a job. It should be noted that it is quite difficult for foreign students to stay in the country, as companies are obliged, in the first instance, to take the descendants of EU countries.

What are the programs for foreign students in Switzerland


Age Range

Language Requirements

Average cost per year of education

Study and rest in summer language schools

From 6 years

Low language knowledge and above

1,000 ₣ in Week

Secondary education

11-12 years old

Average level of language proficiency

60,000 ₣ 

Pre-university preparation

From 17 years old

20,000 ₣

Bachelor's program

From 18 years old

Test DAF 4 / DELF B2

1,500 ₣

Master's Courses

From 20 years old

Test DAF 4 / DELF C1



50,000 ₣

Doctoral studies

Test DAF 4 / DELF C1

300 ₣

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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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