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2018-07-30 11:57:11

Study in Switzerland for foreign students

Study in Switzerland for foreign students

The Swiss system of education is in many respects the standard for other European countries: the methods that are used by teachers are often based on the philosophy of education of Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget. For foreign students, quality programs have been developed in different languages, schools are invited to receive an elite education with better conditions for study and living. Despite such serious attention to the educational component, the education of students is not limited to a school bench: organizers and teachers strive to make staying in Switzerland diverse, fascinating and useful for the emerging worldview of future generations.

Advantages of studying in Switzerland

  • In the principles of education, the ideas of outstanding teachers are laid, where the personality of the child is the highest value. Great importance is attached to the development and upbringing of independent people, purposeful and active.
  • Education in Swiss universities provides a promising future, the diplomas of respectable universities speak for themselves and are a great advantage in the job placement.
  • Switzerland - an amazing country with a rich culture and history, the resort towns will show all the beauty of the local nature, the picturesque landscapes of lakes, clean mountain air. For students there is a great opportunity to practice active sports. In the country for students is guaranteed a safe and secure stay.
  • Switzerland takes the leading place in the number of programs for foreign students. There are 4 national languages in the country, and most speak the majority of the population, so you can perfectly practice the language or even master several foreign languages at once.
  • In some universities, students are provided with accommodation in a hostel, food, books and uniforms.

Features of the education system in Switzerland

Switzerland consists of cantons, each of which determines the system of education and its basic principles. Secondary education is compulsory for students from 6 to 16 years. Pre-school education is not compulsory, but many children go to kindergarten. The load in primary schools can vary greatly depending on the canton.

Secondaire I is the first stage of education in a secondary school, which takes 3-4 years. Further in front of the student there is a choice: to finish education or continue on the next step, Secondaire II. At the end of this stage, students receive a certificate of full secondary education.

Foreign children can go to public schools for free, the main requirement is good knowledge of the language.

Universities are divided into 2 types: academic and applied. The Swiss system of education is adapted to the graduation of the Bologna Process and offers education on international bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs.

Types of programs in Switzerland for foreign students

High school programs:

  • Swiss Matura Program
  • English GCSE and A-Level
  • American High School Diploma
  • German Abitur
  • French program
  • Combined course

When choosing a program, it is worthwhile to focus on further plans for higher education - first of all, in which country the student plans to study in the future.

Pre-university courses:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • International Foundation.


Up-to-date information for students from abroad

  • There are many private boarding schools in the country, most of which are located in French-speaking cantons. The atmosphere of schools will hang from the language of instruction: thus, in French schools there is a very favorable light environment, many conditions for active recreation, and the main principle of education is freedom. In German schools, on the other hand, great importance is given to concentration, discipline and order.
  • The main requirements: letters of recommendation from teachers, a report card for 2 years, written testing.
  • The most favorable age for admission is 12-13 years: so students can easily pull up knowledge in accordance with new teaching methods.
  • In private schools, the cost is high enough, and only a wealthy family can support a student here. For example, education at the elite private school of the College Du Leman will cost from 41,500  per semester.

Up-to-date information for foreign students on admission to universities in Switzerland

  • Those who come from abroad take a single exam, which is held in Friborg. The exam is conducted on school subjects (a foreign language, history, mathematics) plus 2 subjects are chosen independently by the student. You can take a special preparatory course before passing the University Preparatory Courses Studies at the Swiss Universities.
  • Some cantons do not accept foreign students with a school diploma because of the difference in education. The best solution in this situation will be to wean one year in a domestic university and then transfer to a Swiss one.
  • While studying, students can earn extra money, but not more than 15 hours a week and only with the permission of the administration.
  • It is believed that it is easier to apply to an applied higher educational institution. Sometimes, in order to enter an academic university, foreign students first go to a college or business school.
  • Students can choose accommodation in the hostel (subject to availability of seats) or rent an apartment (alone or in bulk).
  • Graduates of universities can stay in the country for 6 months to find work or continue their education on postgraduate programs.
  • Requirements for foreign students can vary from university to university. The language of instruction depends on the canton - whether it is French-speaking or English-speaking. According to reviews, universities in Lausanne, Geneva and Neuchâtel offer easy entry routes for foreign students - provided they are highly evaluated in a certificate of language proficiency, one can enter without entrance tests.
  • Among foreign students popular are the directions of the economy in St. Gallen, jurisprudence in Friborg and Lausanne, history - in Neuchâtel and philology in Geneva. For example, the bachelor's and master's programs at the IFM University Institute of Finance and Management will cost from 9,000 .
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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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