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Cost of Studying
Life, Health and Safety
Cities and Courses
Why Study in Switzerland?
While there are many reasons one would choose the bountiful and picturesque country of Switzerland for a long-awaited holiday, only a few know that Switzerland has really good options for higher studies. To make this systematic and easy to understand, let us take you through these reasons one by one.
While culture and language are richly spread across the country, most outsiders who have chosen to settle in Switzerland feel that the locals never accept them as their own. This is one of the things that make Switzerland a questionable choice in an otherwise ideal scenario.
Education System in Switzerland
Swiss universities are known for their global standards and universities recognized across the world. Continuously trying to align itself with the Bologna Process, which attempts at coherence in quality of higher education across Europe, Switzerland is increasingly becoming a popular destination amongst international students.
If you are attempting a Master's degree, you need to have finished your Bachelors's before the beginning of your course, even if you choose to apply before finishing your final year. Your admission, of course, would be provisional to your result.
If you are attempting a Ph.D., a degree that Switzerland is most known for, you need to have finished your Masters. It takes about 3 - 5 years to attain a Ph.D. in Switzerland, and the degree involves rigorous research and expenses that arise from it.
Except for two federal universities, the other ten universities known for academic excellence are cantonal. While researching for the institution you choose to study in, you must also read about the cantonment your university belongs in, since the diversity of culture and language along with the research orientation deeply affects the way the course is executed.
Cost of Studying in Switzerland
Most universities in Switzerland hand out average monthly-expenditure charts to students for them to anticipate the cost of studying and make arrangements accordingly. Data below (in Swiss francs) is an average and essentially depicted in a range, since all individuals are different and so are their preferences. Read more about cost of studying in Switzerland.
Life in Switzerland, Health and Safety
Twenty-one percent of the Swiss population comprises of foreigners and it is common to run into people with different cultures. Three different languages, namely Swiss German, Italian, and French, add up to a rich experience for expats. The country is safe and sound, with terrorism and crime being quite negligible. People are warm and welcoming but foreigners are mostly considered as tourists. They are not really treated like natives, even after living in the country for a long time.
Health insurance is compulsory for all citizens or foreigners, living or studying in Switzerland. It is an investment one has to account for while accounting for the cost of studying in Switzerland.
The weather in Switzerland is fairly lovable with greenery and fresh air adding to its natural beauty and exuberance. The country deeply cares about nature and all public places, including workplaces and colleges that adhere to strict environmental protection practices.
The standard of living is better than most countries in the world and Zürich ranks third in the list of best cities in the world to stay in. Poverty is minimal in the country, and services are well paid for. Employment is difficult to find for outsiders since the Swiss believe in first employing the natives.
Overall, living in Switzerland is convenient and comfortable but you need to be really good at what you do to be able to grab a work visa extending your education.
Popular Cities and Courses
Switzerland as a country is highly developed which makes the distinction between urban and rural fairly faint. The Major hubs of Switzerland include Zürich, Geneva, and Montreux while the governmental and official center is at Bern. Lausanne and Neuchâtel are also good options to consider when choosing to study in Switzerland.
Popular Courses in Switzerland
Switzerland offers courses at the Research, Masters, and Bachelors levels. The broad subject areas include:
Job prospects in Switzerland
As an international student in Switzerland, you are entitled to work as a part-time employee after six months of your arrival in Switzerland for your education that includes Undergraduate, Masters, Ph.D., etc. However, some highly qualified students are allowed to work as a part-time employee just after their arrival in Switzerland. Any international student is allowed to work for 15 hours/week at max.
When it comes to working full-time after graduation, a student is given a period of six months to seek a job following that if that student doesn’t have an offer that candidate should return back to the home country. If the graduate has a job offer and the firm has agreed to sponsor the Swiss work visa, the graduate can stay in Switzerland as long as the Swiss work visa is valid.
Perhaps, there are certain measures that might be considered:
Switzerland Application Process
For a chance to be a part of any good university in Switzerland or anywhere else in the world, it is important that you make a comprehensive, well-rounded application. There are many stages of this process, and on an average, it takes a year for any student to enroll themselves in a university of their choice. The steps are listed below in chronological order, for ease of comprehension.
1. Research and understand the education system and societal structure in Switzerland:
It is important to contextualize your reasons to study abroad with the real-life scenarios in any country. Read about life in general and the culture that the country offers. Try to find about expat encounters and experiences personally and academically. Switzerland has two in-takes; summer and winter and the courses are structured accordingly. See which time of the year is right for you to be ready with a solid application.
2. Spend time in shortlisting courses:
It is crucial that you spend significant time towards understanding the best permutation and combinations while picking the degree you are applying for. It should be a perfect mixture of the subjects you like, have a foundation in, and wish to pursue. It is also good to know the professional scope in a stream, both in India and in the rest of the world. Remember to give each of these aspects equal importance while researching, even if you choose to prioritize one over the other later on.
3.Find the right university to match:
Once you are sure about the subjects you want to graduate or master in; or in some cases do research on; it is essential to ensure that you find the right university that specializes in the stream. For example, the ETH Zürich might be a great university with an excellent world ranking to science and technology while the University of Geneva is an ideal option to pursue research-based courses.
4. Compare fee structures and evaluate scholarship options:
While courses and universities are important things to consider while finalizing upon what you want to pursue, it is also essential to find out if the course you have picked fits the financial bracket you are willing to spend on this part of your education. Defining your budget will help you chalk out the financial help you can take from your parents, the scholarships you might have to apply to, the loans that you might need to consider and the odd-jobs you might have to take up while studying. There are numerous good scholarships that Swiss universities offer, especially for research-related courses, and you must research and apply well in time to leverage from these.
5. Check compliance with eligibility criteria:
Once you have thoroughly run yourself through the above aspects of your decision to study abroad, it is time to carry out the practical steps towards your university applications. In general, students apply to roughly 4 to 5 universities, since this provides them with enough time to work on each application extensively and still creates a safety net of options that they might get into. Before you start writing your SOP’s, ensure that your past qualifications and work experience, if any, tick the eligibility criteria of your course. Some universities may not acknowledge part time education or night-schools. One surely sub-consciously looks through this while shortlisting a course; but it is good to carefully go over each point in the eligibility tab of a university website. Take the relevant language tests along with the needed attestations well in advance so that you know nothing is standing between you and your opportunity to study abroad in Switzerland.
6. Don’t wait until the last day to send your application:
While deadline adherence may seem like the most obvious step, universities and portals witness late entries year after year. The reasons for delay in submissions are sometimes as silly as being so busy with compiling the application, that the deadline is forgotten about. A perfect analogy is studying so much for an exam that you don’t make it in time for it. No matter how much you know, you have lost time to reflect that in your paper. Not to forget the first impression you are leaving on selectors. Maintain a calendar with your personal deadlines, which are a few days before the actual deadline, so that you are in check of when to apply. It is critical to ensure
that your study portal or counsellor aligns with when you want your application to reach the university.
While these steps cover the basic stages, one has to go through while making a college application in Switzerland, the physical application needs –
Application to universities can be exhaustive. It is advisable to have enough time in your hand before you start the process, accounting for any visa contingencies as well. If you apply with a clear head, focused vision, and disciplined approach, the hard work will bear a sweet fruit.
Steps to apply for Switzerland Student Visa
So you are an Indian student who is looking to study in the land of the Alps!
Switzerland in recent years has gotten recognition with regards to the quality education it offers as well as its vast employment opportunities. Many students from around the world dream to make the most of these opportunities in order to carve out a good future. The thing is, while this is certainly not an unattainable aspiration, the process may take quite a while to complete. Hence, before you set about to initiate the visa application process make sure you have enough time to see it through to the end.
How long will it take to get your visa?
The very first thing that you ought to know is the visa type that is applicable to you – National Visa D. Generally, the waiting period ranges within three months. Hence, you must plan adroitly. After having enrolled for the course that you want to study in the varsity of your choice, you must not procrastinate to set in motion the visa procedure. Remember to apply for the National Visa D three months before the course commences.
What is the procedure to apply for the National Visa D?
To get a student visa, the following steps need to be followed in order.
Normally the visa fee charged is 60 euros and an additional 300 rupees is charged for postal fees. The entire application process takes around 8-12 weeks.
What is the validity of your visa?
You can certainly stay for the entire duration of the course. But in order to do that, you need to renew the visa yearly. In fact, many people choose to perpetuate their stay post-completion of the course, either to continue studying further or to get employed in Switzerland. If you make any decision that is similar to any of these, then you will have to apply for the renewal of the visa every year or apply for a different visa that will be suitable to your requirements.
What are the required documents?
The documents that you must furnish in order to get the student visa to study in any college or university in Switzerland are mentioned below -
How much does one need to pay while applying for a student visa?
A student visa application costs INR 4,500.
The Switzerland visa fee for Indian students, who are going for research, is free. However, this is valid for cases that are not receiving any other kind of financial benefit, for instance, a fellowship, etc. This amount, in case applicable, must be paid in cash. Students can enjoy a waiver of the application fee also if they earn a government scholarship to study.
Switzerland certainly promises to open innumerable and significant opportunities for students. As a result of this, today, crores of Indian students are willing to study there instead of continuing education here in India. Hence, it is important to comprehend the entire visa application process well, so that no stone is unturned, and the process meets success in time.
Visa Application Procedure -
You can initiate the application process once you have a letter of acceptance from the university you wish to study in. However you need to apply in advance by atleast 12 - 14 weeks before your departure, so that the procedure can smoothly go on. The minimum time requirement is at least 10 weeks.
Students pursuing courses that involve a stay in Switzerland for more than three months need to submit their applications personally at the embassy of Switzerland. One can schedule an interview with the embassy directly, or route it through VFS global services (the agency that is the single route for all short term Shenzhen Visas.) For the latter, you can use this link to initiate the interview process. Long stay visas take about eight to ten weeks of processing time, and once you get in touch with the embassy, you will be guided at every stage.
Read the below articles to know more about studying in the Switzerland