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2021-08-24 15:13:37

Education in Switzerland for foreign students: tuition fees

Education in Switzerland for foreign students: tuition fees

Education in Swiss private schools is one of the most expensive in the world, and higher education is comparable to the United States and Great Britain.


Secondary schools in Switzerland for foreign students: tuition fees

Schools in Switzerland can be public or private, but both types offer high-quality courses. Private schools include international, denominational and secular schools.

Studies in Swiss public schools are free, parents do not need to pay tuition. Depending on the canton, attendance at public schools requires payment for consumables, school trips, extracurricular activities or other things that are not directly related to education.

International schools are private schools, they do not receive state support, so the fees here are quite high. For example, the tuition fee at the Zurich International School for a high school student is approximately 34,000 € / year. The cost of studying in private religious and secular schools costs from 30,000 € / year.

Tuition fees in higher education institutions in Switzerland for foreign students

Swiss public universities receive significant funding from the state, so tuition fees are more affordable compared to the amount charged by universities in the UK or the US. Foreign students coming to Switzerland on an exchange program do not pay tuition fees.

The average total cost of a bachelor's degree in Switzerland is about 17,000 € for the entire program, but depending on the chosen university, the amount varies from 4800 to 24,000 euros. The fee for obtaining a master's degree in Switzerland varies depending on the chosen course – from master of arts to master of business administration the cost varies greatly.

Swiss private universities have higher tuition fees, which can reach 43,000 €/year. Some universities offer a discount if students pay the full amount at the beginning of the study program. For some degrees, tuition fees are calculated based on the total number of courses or credits.

The most affordable universities in Switzerland:

Cost in leading Swiss universities:

Scholarships in Switzerland

Scholarships specifically created to get education in Switzerland are often granted through bilateral applicants and the Swiss government + there are scholarships specific to Swiss educational institutions.

  • Swiss scholarships for international students promote international exchange, cooperation in the field of research between Switzerland and 180 other countries. This scholarship can be applied for by masters who plan to continue their research education in Switzerland, or by students who have a bachelor's degree and plan to continue their studies at the master's level in Switzerland.
  • ETH Excellence scholarships support students from ETH and other universities (national and international) who wish to pursue a master's degree in ETH through a two-year scholarship program.
  • The University of Lausanne's Master's Grants for International Students are intended for students who have graduated from a foreign university and wish to continue their Master's programme at the University of Lausanne.
  • EPFL Excellence Fellowships offer a certain number of scholarships for students with solid academic achievement and wishing to continue their studies in the master's degree at EPFL.
  • Geneva Institute scholarships provide more than 2 million Swiss francs to support students with financial needs, offering partial/full financial assistance to complete postgraduate studies in Switzerland.
  • IMD MBA scholarships offer merit-based scholarships and needs to students from around the world. Four scholarships are available, covering 80% of the tuition fee + one full-cycle scholarship.
  • The Master's Scholarships of the University of Geneva are offered by the Faculty of Natural Sciences to highly motivated students wishing to continue their studies at the Master's level in any of the faculty's programmes.

Cost of living in Switzerland for international students

The average budget for housing is from 1300 to 1700 € / month. to pay for accommodation, meals, transport, supplies and leisure. Geneva and Zurich are the most expensive cities, renting housing here will cost more.

Average cost of living:

  • Geneva – from 1650 to 2500€/month.
  • Zurich – from 1650 to 2200€/month.
  • Bern – about 1600€/month.
  • Basel – from 1400 to 2000€/month.

The most common accommodation options among international students in Switzerland are:

  • Student dormitories – from 450 to 800€/month. The number of seats is limited.
  • Joint rental - the average price ranges from 700 to 1200 euros per month. This is one of the most popular accommodation options among students.

Food prices in Switzerland

Most students prefer to buy food in supermarkets and eat out from time to time. Prices - from 400 to 550 euros per month for food. Inexpensive restaurants in Switzerland offer meals at prices from 16 to 27 euros per person.

A good option is a university canteen, where you will pay only 8-10 euros,or eateries located in department stores (for example, Migros, Coop or Manor).

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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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