Thinking About Living and Learning in Europe? Consider Switzerland!


Canadian students can get a dynamic, international education at one of Switzerland’s many world-class universities.

Switzerland boasts beautiful views, a rich history and culture, and some of the top universities in the world. Influenced by its European neighbours, Switzerland’s four official languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh (a dialect unique to Switzerland).

Switzerland’s history of peace, neutrality, and positive quality of life offer comfortable living and wellbeing for its citizens, as well as travelling students.

What are the most popular Swiss universities for Canadians?

Several universities of Switzerland have earned global claim, including ETH Zurich, EPFL, the University of Zurich, and the University of Geneva.

Focused on technology, both ETH Zurich and EPFL offer cutting edge technology and classes offered in both French and English.

The University of Zurich is the largest higher education institution in the country, offering a wide variety of programs, including Master’s programs offered in English.

The University of Geneva is a leading research university and a member of the League of European Research Universities. Most programs at U Geneva are taught in French.

Notable universities:

Other notable Swiss universities include:

Take the time to choose a school that best suits your chosen field of interest! When you’re accepted, you’ll need a study permit, but they’re easy to get so long as you’re prepared.

Keep in mind not every school offers courses and degrees in English, though many do — so make sure to add this to your list of research questions!

What are the costs to study at a Swiss university?

Swiss universities provide comparatively lower tuition fees than other nations, with heavy subsidies from the Swiss government.

Prices vary from public to private university and which university you choose. For example, ETH Zurich‘s international tuition a year is approximately $2,100 CAD, while the University of Geneva‘s international tuition is roughly $1,200 CAD.

Although tuition costs may be slightly lower, Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Keep this in mind when budgeting!

Expense Canadian dollars
Tuition fees Depends on university; roughly $1,200 to $2,100 per year
Supplies $134
Accommodations $940
Food $806
Clothes and personal items $201
Health insurance $120
Transportation $80
Other (phone, internet, etc.) $201
TOTAL $2,485 + tuition

(Cost estimates are per month, with the exception of tuition, drawn from Study in Switzerland’s cost of living page.)

What about scholarships to study in Switzerland?

Even with comparatively lower tuition to other countries, Swiss universities still have many scholarships available.

Mainly given through the international office of your chosen university, these scholarships can aid in not only the affordability of tuition, but also living expenses. Many Swiss universities are also eligible for Canadian student loan programs, but be sure to check with the financial aid offices to confirm.

Need a post-graduate scholarship? You may have options. The Swiss Government awards ‘Government Excellence Scholarships‘ to postgraduate candidates and artists. There are two kinds of scholarships: research and art.

Research scholarships (PDF) are available to any field of research for students wishing to pursue research or further studies in Switzerland at the doctoral or post-doc level.

Art scholarships (PDF) are available to students wishing to pursue an initial master’s degree in Switzerland. They are available to students from a limited number of countries — unfortunately, Canada is not among them.

The scholarship covers a monthly living stipend, exemption of tuition fees, health insurance, travel costs/airfare, and housing allowance. Find out if your country is eligible here.

But why study in Switzerland?

So why should you choose Switzerland for furthering your education? If the rest of this article hasn’t convinced you yet, maybe this will.

Experiencing everything Switzerland has to offer — beautiful views, culture, food — while also getting a serious education — will make memories and connections that last a lifetime.

With its comparatively low tuition cost, choice of top universities, and incredible sights, choosing Switzerland for your education might just be your best decision yet!

Discussion4 Comments

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