General Information:

Switzerland officially the Swiss Confederation is a country in Europe. While still named the "Swiss Confederation" for historical reasons, modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, called Bundesstadt("federal city").The country is situated in Western and Central Europe,[note 6] where it is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found; among them are the two global and economic centres, Zürich and Geneva.

Higher Education:

Higher education in Switzerland comprises academic studies at the 10 cantonal universities and the 2 Federal Institutes of Technology, at the more professionally-oriented universities of applied sciences and at the universities of teacher education. A few more University-level institutions are considered public institutions of higher education.
Entry Requirements:

General requirements:

Undergraduate studies (first cycle)

Each Swiss university or college is responsible for evaluating if your previous qualifications are valid for you to meet the minimum eligibility to apply for a first-cycle degree. However, if you have successfully completed upper secondary studies, you are in possession of a valid school leaving certificate and qualify for higher education studies in your home country, you usually qualify for higher education studies in Switzerland. In some cases, you are also required to take additional qualifying courses.

Master's studies (second cycle)

If you are applying for a master's program at university in Switzerland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant bachelor's or equivalent degree diploma.

Doctoral studies (third cycle)

In the event you are applying for doctoral studies at university in Switzerland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant diploma or master's degree.

Language requirements for studies at universities in Switzerland

Students are required to have a good level of knowledge of the language of instruction of the study program they will be taking. Since there are three official languages in Switzerland, the language of instruction varies depending on the university and college as described below.
In general most institutions require a minimum level of command of the language of instruction corresponding to the B1/B2 level according to the European language passport. Please, note that the German/French/Italian language requirement usually applies to studies at the first cycle (undergraduate).


The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where German in the usual language of instruction:
  • University of Basel
  • University of Bern
  • University of Lucerne
  • University of St.Gallen
  • University of Zurich
  • The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  • University of Fribourg


The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where French in the usual language of instruction:
  • University of Fribourg
  • University of Neuchâtel
  • University of Geneva
  • University of Lausanne
  • Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne


The list below shows the universities and colleges in Switzerland where Italian in the usual language of instruction:
  • University of Lugano


There is an increasing number of master's and research programs designed for international students. In this case, English is usually the preferred language of instruction.

Residence permit / visa

The application for a residence permit or a visa is different for EU/EFTA citizens and for people from other countries.

EU/EFTA countries:

Students from EU/EFTA countries must register with the Residents' Registration Office of the local authorities of their municipality of residence within 14 days and apply for a residence permit. The following documents are required:
·         Personal application for residence permit
·         Valid passport or identity card
·         Proof of registration at the university
·         Evidence of sufficient funds (bank certificate or certified document)
·         Proof of address at place of residence
·         2 passport-size photographs

Non-EU/EFTA countries:

Students from non-EU/EFTA countries must contact the Swiss Embassy or the Swiss consulatein their native country and apply for a visa. Students are responsible for gathering the information and the documents required for the visa issuing process. Among other things, they must submit proof of registration at a university. Students must be aware of the fact that, as a rule, an application for a visa takes several months to process.

Health insurance:

In Switzerland, health insurance is mandatory for all residents. Students from foreign countries must purchase their own health insurance policy if they intend to live in Switzerland for more than three months. This does not apply to students from countries which provide international coverage or offer equivalent insurance protection.

Work permit

Switzerland admits employed foreign citizens on the basis of a dual system. People from EU/EFTA countries profit from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (there are transitional differences for Bulgaria and Rumania till 2016). People from all other countries are subject to different directives.

EU/EFTA countries:

·         Employment for students: EU/EFTA citizens studying in Switzerland are permitted to accept a side job for a maximum of 15 hours per week without any additional permit or notification required. This remains true for the entire period of validity of their student permit.
·         Short-term employment: EU/EFTA citizens working in Switzerland for less than 3 months per year do not need a work permit. They are, however, required to register with the competent authority.
·         Long-term employment: for employment exceeding 90 days per year, EU/EFTA citizens must acquire a work permit. The work permit application can be handed in to the local municipal office at the place of residence or work.

Non-EU/EFTA countries:

Citizens from non-EU/EFTA countries are subject to certain restrictions in their access to the Swiss labor market. Only a limited number of highly qualified professionals are admitted and issued a work permit.
Part-time employment for students:
·         Non-EU/EFTA citizens studying in Switzerland are permitted to accept part-time employment for a maximum of 15 hours per week, but only after residing in Switzerland for a minimum of 6 months. Students must maintain full-time student status and show regular progress in their studies.
·         Exemption: Master students with a Bachelor degree from a university abroad working for their Swiss university/institute do not have to wait 6 month.
Short- and long-term employment:
·         Third country nationals who earn a degree from a university in Switzerland may stay in the country for up to six months after graduation to seek full, permanent employment.
·         Non-EU/EFTA citizens must acquire a work permit before beginning their job. In general, the employer submits an application to the relevant authority of the canton where the prospective employee will be working. The application process can take up to several weeks.
·         Candidates who receive a degree from a university in Switzerland will be granted facilitated admission to the Swiss labor market. Employers will still have to show proof that the candidate is of economic and scientific interest to the Swiss labor market.

Cost of Studying in Switzerland:

University fees might seem nominal compared to the Anglo-Saxon system. The Universities in Switzerland actually belong to the public domain and are still financed in large part by Swiss taxpayers, with the exception of the semi-private Italian University of Switzerland. Some universities require foreign students to pay an additional fee, a pittance when compared to the actual cost of a student to the society, which varies by faculty between SFR 50,000 and SFR 150,000 per year.
A student’s monthly budget amounts to approximately SFR 1,800: food and upkeep from SFR 800 to SFR 850, lodging SFR 400 to SFR 600, tuition fees and supplies, transportation and insurance (approximately SFR 250). Students should be aware that several payments fall due simultaneously at the onset of their studies, for example first term health insurance payment, first semester tuition fees, first rent payment, which often includes an obligatory security deposit and foreign student medical exam bill. As such, you can anticipate a minimum cost of SFR 16,000 to SFR 24,000 per year, depending on where you study (Geneva and Zurich being considered as more expensive) and your standard of living.

For More Information:

  • Call MyStudy Centre on 03-3374 5850 or visit website: www.mystudy.my