When Switzerland is mentioned, maybe we mostly think about chocolates with Alpine milk or delicious Swiss cheese. But among other things, Switzerland is known for a very high quality education system as well. Some of the most prestigious universities are based there. Thus, the alpine country would be a great choice for academic advancement.
Also, we know that Switzerland is among the most expensive countries in the world, and this could be a barrier for a lot of students. But you don’t have to worry about this, because Switzerland is generous when it comes to international students. Both Swiss Government and Swiss universities (some of them listed as the best universities in the world) offer scholarships for international students.
So, if you are looking for information about studying in Switzerland, you are in the right place. We have selected some of the best opportunities for international students. Keep reading…
Every year, Swiss Government offers scholarships for international students from over 180 countries.
There are two types of scholarships: Research Scholarship for young researchers from abroad who have a master’s degree or PhD and Art Scholarships for foreign artists holding a bachelor’s degree.
Scholarship recipients will be selected by the awarding body, the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), according to three criteria:
In the frame of Research Scholarship Programme, there are three types of scholarships for students who have completed a master’s degree or PhD.
PHD Scholarships are available for highly qualified postgraduate students (possessing the required degrees) from all academic fields. Duration: 12 months prolongable up to 36 months (based on the achieved academic results). As a grantee, you will receive:
Postdoctoral Scholarships are available for highly qualified postdoctoral researchers at the beginning of their academic career from all academic fields. Duration of this scholarship is 12 months and there’s no prolongation possible. Scholarship recipients will receive:
Research Fellowships are available for highly qualified postgraduate researchers from all academic fields as well as young medical doctors. Duration of this scholarship is 12 months and there’s no prolongation possible. Scholarship recipients will receive:
Depending on which scholarship or programme you choose, as a grantee, you can study at any of these Swiss universities / institutions:
Universities: University of Basel, University of Bern, University of Fribourg, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, University of Lucerne, University of Neuchatel, University of St. Gallen, University of Zurich, Universita della Svizzera italiana.
Federal Institutes of Technology: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Research Institute of the ETH Domain (PSI; WSL; EMPA; EAWAG), Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID).
Universities of Applied Sciences: University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Bern University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland, University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, The Zurcher Fachhochschule.
Teaching and Research Institutes: Universities of teacher education.
However, no scholarships are available for the academic year 2021-2022 for students from countries such as Canada, France, Ireland, Luxemburg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Vatican City State.
Art Scholarship is offered for highly qualified young artists – from all artistic fields – wishing to pursue an initial master’s degree. These scholarships are only offered to students from a limited number of countries only. There are included countries with which Switzerland has reciprocity agreements for art scholarships.
So, this scholarship is available for students or citizens of Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and United States of America.
Duration of this scholarship is 12 months prolongable up to 21 months at most depending on the Master programme chosen and the necessary ECTS credits. Scholarship recipients will receive:
Where can I study with a Swiss Government Art Scholarship?
Universities of Applied Sciences: University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Bern University of the Arts, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Eastern Switzerland, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, Zurich University of the Arts.
Keep in mind that for different countries there are or may be different deadlines and types of scholarship on offer. So, If you are interested to apply, please choose your country of origin according to your passport, and get the full package information for the application processes.
Besides Swiss Government, there are some of Swiss universities who are offering scholarships for international students as well. Get to know some of them!
Have you ever dreamed of studying in one of the most prestigious universities in the world? Well, you might have an opportunity now! ETH Zurich, ranked as the best university in Switzerland by Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, offers two types of scholarships for foreign students.
The Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP) offers a scholarship, mentorship and supports students with a network of the ETH Foundation. Grantees will receive:
Who can apply for these scholarships?
In order to apply for any of these scholarships, students must have a Bachelor’s Degree, and very good results as well. Keep in mind that students who are enrolled or hold a Master Degree, aren’t eligible for these scholarships.
Students can choose their study field in any of these Master’s Degree programmes:
Application timeframe: You must apply within 15 Nov – 15 Dec 2020.
An extra fact about ETH Zurich: Over twenty Nobel Prize Laureates – among them the well-known scientist Albert Einstein – have been students at this university.
University of St. Gallen (also listed among the best Swiss universities) offers two types of scholarships for international students.
Excellence Scholarships are given to students who are enrolled in Bachelor studies at the University of St.Gallen on the basis of merit. At present, a grantee receives:
Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund is available for highly talented foreign-language students, who are completing a Master’s degree in one of the English-language programmes:
As a rule, every year grantees will receive:
Application timeframe: These scholarships are offered yearly. A committee chooses the respective scholarship holders by the End of August 2020.
If you want to study in one of the best Swiss universities, you may be interested in the University of Lausanne. This university offers around 10 scholarships every year, to students who have graduated from a foreign university and have excellent academic results.
Grantees will receive an amount of 1,600 per month from 15 September to 15 July (or 10 months a year) for the complete duration of the masters.
Who can apply?
Students who are interested to apply for this scholarship, must have:
Interested students can apply chose their Master Programme from these faculties:
Application deadline: 1 November 2020.
Graduate Institute Geneva is an institution of research and higher education dedicated, to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues. Also, this institution offers scholarships for excellent students around the world.
Types of financial aid or scholarships that offers this institute, are:
In this institute, you can study at these academic departments:
Summer @EPFL is a 2-3 months fellowship, dedicated to Bachelor and Master students, who are enrolled in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Telecommunications or Electrical Engineering. Among the others, students who want to be part of this fellowship, should have excellent academic results as well. During this fellowship, students can learn new skills and gain experience in their chosen field while collaborating with leading senior scientists.
Accepted students will receive:
Who can apply?
This fellowship is open to forgein students who are enrolled at least in the second year Bachelor or above, in any of the programmes listed below:
For students in Indian institutions, deadline is around 15th November each year, while for students from the rest of the world, deadline is around 1st February each year. Actually, applications are closed, but will open as late as a couple of weeks before the next deadline. So, if you are interested, save the date!
By the way, EPLF is listed as the second one among the best universities in Switzerland!
International Academic Scholarship is given to international students who are enrolled in a master’s degree programme at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, as of the 2020 autumn semester, on the basis of their academic performance.
Who can apply for this scholarship?
Forgein students who are interested to apply for this scholarship, should:
The International Academic Scholarship will not be advertised for the academic year 21/22.
And of course, do not forget to check about Erasmus+ study Universities in Switzerland as well. You can check for exchanging student programmes in Erasmus+ website, or at Erasmus+ office at your home university.
As we said above, Switzerland is known as a very expensive country to live in. So, if you are a student, you should know and choose wisely when it comes to living spaces. For example, you can rent a small apartment, because the prices are considered high, especially for students. According to some data published in swiss-blog, these are the 6 most expensive cantons for renting a one room home:
However, rents can change, so depending on the city or canton you are going to study, make sure to get the right information about living costs there.
We hope this article was helpful and wish you luck during your academic journey! We also encourage you to study abroad, because as Johan Asplund said: “When you study abroad, every step is a learning experience“.