Studying, diplomas and schools in Switzerland

How can I study in Switzerland?

If you plan to study in Switzerland, you will need to know the details of all the Swiss institutions of higher learning to decide where to apply.

Don’t forget that English is not one of Switzerland’s national languages, so only a restricted number of courses are taught in it. If you don’t speak German, French or Italian, you should be sure to ask about the language of instruction.

If you want to study at a private college, you should check its credentials before paying any money. If in doubt, enquire at your local Swiss embassy or consulate.

You are not allowed to finance your studies through work, although you can normally work to earn extra money. There are restrictions on the number of hours you are allowed to do this; the precise rules depend on the canton.

How can I get a scholarship to study in Switzerland?

The Swiss Government grants university scholarships to foreign students who have graduated from university or, to a limited extent, university of applied sciences or advanced arts programmes. Detailed information on the application requirements for the scholarships, the relevant countries, and how to apply are provided by the State Secretariat for Education and Research.

Will my foreign qualification be recognised in Switzerland?

If you obtained an educational or professional qualification abroad, you may want to know whether it is recognised in Switzerland and what additional qualifications you will have to obtain. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the first point of contact for the accreditation of professional qualifications in Switzerland, both for people who intend to take up permanent residence in Switzerland and for those who plan to provide services for a limited time.

I would like to do an internship or work as a trainee in Switzerland. What possibilities are there?

Switzerland has adopted what are known as trainee agreements with around 30 countries so that young professionals can develop their professional and language skills in Switzerland. The list of countries includes Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa and the United States.

To qualify as trainees, nationals of these countries must prove that they have completed a vocational training course of at least two years’ duration. In the case of Canada, students are also accepted who wish to spend time working abroad as part of their training. Age limit: 35 (except Australia, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland and Russia: 30). The traineeship must be done in the field studied. Duration: max. 18 months.

How can my children study in Switzerland?

There are a number of private schools in Switzerland. The umbrella organisation has all the details on its website.

If you are taking up residence in Switzerland, your children can attend their local public (state) school.