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MS IN SWITZERLAND

Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is recently proclaimed as the best country in the world. It is a Central European country, home to numerous dazzling lakes, villages, towering waterfalls and the high peaks of the Alps. This country is undoubtedly on everybody’s bucket list. Mostly famous for its watches, chocolates, cheese and the jaw-dropping scenic beauty, the country is also known for its booming economy, low un-employment rates, and happy friendly citizens.

However, the least known fact about the Switzerland is that it offers a top-notch higher education system as well. Switzerland is an internationally-renowned centre for academic excellence with four national languages namely German, French, Italian and Romansh which truly makes it a European melting pot.

ms in switzerland
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Why study Masters in Switzerland?

benefits of studying ms in switzerland
Every year a number of international students head to Switzerland for pursuing their Masters abroad. According to a study, nearly 25% of the student population in Switzerland is comprised of international students. But what makes Switzerland such an attractive destination for study purposes? Here is a list of some of the reasons you should consider when planning to study your masters abroad:

Excellent education system:

The higher education system in Switzerland is world famous for its high academic standards and innovative teaching methods. The swiss universities are also consistently ranked among the best universities in the world and the degrees are considered to be highly prestigious and valuable. Also, the country has one of the highest investments in education and research sectors with the highest number of registered patents in all European countries.

Safe environment:

Switzerland is counted amongst one of the safest countries in the world. Violent crimes are almost non-existent here and the risk of petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, are also very low compared to any other country. So, international students feel safe and at home while in Switzerland.

International exposure:

Since numerous students plan their masters in Switzerland, one can find several opportunities to interact with people and build a vast network both personal and professional. Also, students find ways to explore new customs and traditions that makes them more open minded. Further, living in a multi-lingual society, helps them learn a new language and broaden the horizons.

Affordable tuition fee:

The tuition fees to study in the Switzerland is comparatively affordable, not only to the swiss candidates but for international students as well. It is almost non exorbitant which is why students are automatically attracted towards this destination.

High standard of living:

Switzerland is home to some of the world’s best cities. Swiss cities such as Zurich, Geneva and Bern offer a high standard of living. Whether it is about having a meal at a trendy place or attending an exhibition, the life in Switzerland is at its best.

Top Universities in Switzerland:

Swiss universities are consistently ranked in the world’s top 100 best universities. In fact, about 11 Switzerland universities feature in the Times Higher Education World University rankings. Apart from having a strong presence in the national and international ranking tables, universities in Switzerland are also very international in terms of their student and academic communities.
top universities in switzerland
Here are some of the best universities:

ETH Zurich-

Originally founded in 1855, ETH Zurich is Switzerland’s highest ranked universities. Currently placed seventh in the world, it is the only non-UK European university to rank within the global top 10. The university is renowned as a leader in scientific and technical fields, with connections to an impressive 21 Nobel laureates. Currently there are more than 22,200 students with about 40% international students comprising of the total student body.

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)-

Incorporated in 1853, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is a university that specializes in science and technology. It welcomes students from about 120 nationalities. However, EPFL being located in a French-speaking part of Switzerland, most courses offered here are taught in French, but there are also some programs offered in English. The university is ranked in the top 25 in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2019.

University of Zurich (UZH)-

Founded in 1833, University of Zurich is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 26,000 students enrolled. It offers a variety of programs in various disciplines such as science, law, philosophy, theology and medicine. Unlike EPFL, many of their Master’s degree programmes are offered in English.

University of Geneva-

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva is the third oldest university in Switzerland, and also the third largest, with around 16,000 students. It is a public research university with 40% of its student body comprising of international students.

Applying for a Masters in Switzerland:

ms in switzerland application
There is no centralized application system or applying to Swiss universities. If you have made up your mind to pursue a MS in Switzerland, then you must apply directly to the prospective university for your desired master’s program.

However, to be eligible to apply to any of the swiss universities you must fulfil the following criteria:

  1. You must have a bachelor’s degree in any relevant discipline
  2. A good knowledge of the language of instruction of the program. If the program is taught in English, then you must prove your proficiency through TOEFL/ IELTS score. However, for non-English Masters programmes (French, German, Italian or Romansh), you need to check the language used at your university and ensure you have the necessary competency. Most of the schools require a B1/B2 certification level.

After exploring your university’s website and fulfilling the admission requirements, apply directly to the institution through their admission portal. An application is considered complete when you submit all the necessary documentations:

Tuition Fees in Switzerland:

Tuition in Switzerland is relatively cheaper than other European countries. It also depends on the type of university you are planning to attend. The Masters fees in Switzerland is lower at public institutions compared to private institutions.

Also, the exact cost of studying a master’s degree in Switzerland will vary between institutions, programmes and subject-areas.

Availability of Scholarships:

switzerland scholarships
The Swiss government provides a generous amount of funding to higher education institutions. There are several scholarships available to international students studying a Master’s degree in Switzerland.

  1. Swiss Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students- The scholarship is available to postgraduate researchers in any discipline. It covers tuition fees, monthly payment, airfare, housing cost and insurance allowance.
  2. University of Lausanne Master’s Scholarship for Foreign Students- The university of Lausanne offers scholarships to Master’s students at the university through the UNIL Master’s Grants. The value of the scholarship is CHF1,600 per month.
  3. ETH Excellence Scholarships- ETH Zurich offers scholarships to candidates who wish to offer a Master’s programme in the university. It covers full tuition fees, as well as, living expenses. Students also receive a partial stipend and an offer of assistantship.
  4. Graduate Institute Geneva Scholarships (Mater’s Programme)- The scholarship available can be full or partial. Full scholarship is CHF20000, while partial scholarship is CHF10000.
  5. Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) Excellence Fellowships- EPFL offers fellowships at the Master’s level to students with outstanding records. Anyone applying for Master’s degree is eligible for the application. The worth of the scholarship is between CHF16,000 and CHF32000.

Student Visa for MS in Switzerland:

If you are a student planning to study masters in Switzerland, you will need a student visa (D-Visa) to enter and study in the country. But alike most countries, different immigration procedures apply to students depending on the nationality.

Documents required for D-visa:

switzerland student visa
  • Application for long stay visa (visa D) – three forms, filled and signed
  • Four passport-size photographs
  • Passport – valid three months beyond the planned stay
  • Letter of acceptance issued by a Swiss university
  • Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees – original and copy
  • CV
  • Letter of motivation
  • Proof of healthcare insurance which includes cover for accidents
  • Commitment to leave Switzerland on completion of studies

Note: Switzerland has a compulsory health insurance system. Every person living in Switzerland for more than three months – including international students – must have basic health insurance coverage.

Working in Switzerland while studying:

Although many Swiss universities do not promote work while study because work can be distracting and tiring and may negatively affect the academic scores, but some universities facilitate job searches and other career related services.

So, if you are one of those students who is looking forward to working in Switzerland while pursuing a Masters, then this is for you.

As an international student outside the EU/EFTA , you can work part-time while studying for up to 15 hours a week in term time and full-time during holidays, but only after they have lived in Switzerland for six months.

Cost of Living in Switzerland:

cost of living switzerland
With a high standard of living, the cost of living in Switzerland is relatively higher. Although, the cost may depend on the cities you are living in, the average costs that you should keep in mind are:

Meal- CHF 25
Monthly rent- CHF 1,455
Monthly transport- CHF 77
Entertainment- CHF 18

Conclusion

Acquiring a degree from swiss university associates you with a high-quality, globally renowned academic system. Also, studying in such a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and diverse nation, you will be equipped with advanced knowledge and be better able to develop your people-skills. You may also be able to substantially enhance your employability in a global business context.

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