FAQ about education and training in Switzerland

FAQ – Studying at Universities and Federal Institutes of Technology

Can I enrol on a degree course at an university or federal institute of technology with just my foreign Matura?

Basically with a Swiss Matura you can enrol on a degree course at a university or federal institute of technology.

You can find the country-specific information for the admission with your foreign educational qualifications under www.swissuniversities.ch. You must submit an application for admission to your chosen university or federal institute of technology. The individual institutes are responsible for answering questions relating to matriculation eligibility. They will clarify their entrance requirements.

Provisory acceptance will be given on condition that you pass the ECUS Examinations (entrance examinations for students with foreign educational qualifications).

Is it possible to study medicine in Switzerland with a foreign Matura?

As a Swiss abroad, you have a chance of being accepted to study medicine in Switzerland as long as you have fulfilled the entrance requirements of your chosen university and have passed the compulsory aptitude test for medical degree courses in Switzerland. The individual universities are responsible for answering questions relating to matriculation eligibility.

If I have already done some semesters at a university abroad, can I finish my studies at a university in Switzerland? If so, will these semesters be taken into account?

In most cases, the answer is yes but individual cases must be clarified with the relevant faculty. Often only a small part of the completed study time abroad is taken into account.

FAQ – Universities of Applied Sciences

Can I study at a University of Applied Sciences with a foreign Matura qualification? What are the entrance requirements?

The main way to enter, the so-called 'king's way', is with a Professional Matura, which consists of doing an apprenticeship, attending a vocational middle school and passing the Professional Baccalaureate examinations. It is also possible to gain admission to a university of applied sciences with a Gymnasial Matura plus proof of a minimum of one year's relevant work experience. If you, as a Swiss abroad, have a diploma which is not comparable with the Matura or Professional Matura, you must clarify the entrance requirements with the university of your choice.

FAQ – Diploma Recognition

After studying abroad, I would like to return to Switzerland to work. How do I find out whether and in what form my foreign diploma will be recognised?

You can find further information and the most important contacts for Recognition here.

Will the education or training I do in Switzerland be recognised when I return abroad?

You must clarify the issue of professional recognition of education or training undertaken in Switzerland with the authorities of the overseas country, not with the Swiss authorities.

FAQ – Scholarships

Is it possible for me, as a Swiss abroad, to get a scholarship for my education or training in Switzerland? If so, what are the conditions?

The cantons of origin are primarily responsible for scholarships for young Swiss abroad. The most important requirements are that it is your first education and that you have the admission’s certificate. More information is available under “Scholarships”

Can I, as a Swiss abroad, get a scholarship from Switzerland for my education or training abroad?

Most cantons do not award scholarships for studies or training abroad.

As a Swiss abroad, I have been given a scholarship from my home canton but it isn't enough to live on. Is it possible to get a supplementary scholarship?

Yes. Home communities and private institutions award supplementary scholarships in certain cases but this is only in addition to the cantonal scholarship. It is worth enquiring about possible scholarships in your parents' country of residence.
More information is available under “Scholarships”.

If I, as a young Swiss abroad, do my education or training in Switzerland, how can educationsuisse help me financially?

On the one hand educationsuisse can help with the scholarship application process to your home canton. You can obtain the relevant cantonal application forms from educationsuisse. On the other hand educationsuisse itself also gives supplementary scholarships and loans if your cantonal scholarship is not enough.

FAQ – Apprenticeships and work experience

Who can give me information if I don't quite know which education or training route I would like to take?

Switzerland's public careers advisory services will help not only Swiss but also Swiss abroad to find answers to choice of career and further education questions. You should make contact with your home canton's careers advisory service in writing, by phone, or by e-mail. More information about professions, education and training is available under www.berufsberatung.ch.

Who can help me find an apprenticeship?

There is no official apprenticeship agency in Switzerland. Finding an appropriate apprenticeship is your own responsibility. You must actively seek out suitable offers and do so in good time, at least twelve to eighteen months before you plan to begin. Please check for the apprenticeship’s list for Switzerland at this site. Many big companies advertise their apprenticeship vacancies on their internet sites.
More information is given on the “Apprenticeship” page.

How do I find an internship?

It's basically the same as with apprenticeships - there is no agency in Switzerland, rather it is your own responsibility and it's not particularly easy to do from abroad. For further information please contact educationsuisse.

FAQ – Accommodation

How do I find affordable accommodation in Switzerland?

Affordable accommodation in Switzerland is rare. We therefore strongly recommend that you begin your search in good time. Offers can be found on the internet, in newspapers and on the notice boards of colleges and universities. Some individual educational institutions offer on-site accommodation. More information is available on the websites of some universities. You can request by educationsuisse a compilation of hostels and student halls of residence and a collection of links.

FAQ – Living and Working

What costs should I reckon with if I would like to study or train in Switzerland?

The costs depend very much on what kind of education or training you do and on your personal requirements. Although semester fees are usually relatively low, the cost of living in Switzerland is quite high. Experience shows that for a university, federal polytechnic or college of higher education course, SFr 16'000.- to SFr 24'000.- per annum is what you should expect to need. Costs for an apprenticeship are lower because the apprentice receives a modest salary from the first year of the apprenticeship.

As a Swiss abroad, am I allowed to work alongside my education or training course? How do I find a job?

As a Swiss abroad you do not need any permits to take a job and work. This also applies to side jobs. Finding a job is your own responsibility. You will find vacancy notices on the internet, in regional newspapers, or at job centres. You can request at educationsuisse for addresses and hints about job searches in Switzerland.

FAQ – Language Courses

Do I need a good knowledge of the Swiss national languages if I want to study or train in Switzerland or is it enough that I speak very good English?

Good knowledge of at least one national language is mostly imperative for all kinds of education and training in Switzerland. Although good knowledge of English is an advantage, it is in no way sufficient, except in the case of some higher level studies. Many educational institutions require applicants with another mother tongue to take a language examination in order to be certain that the students have a good enough knowledge to be able to follow the teaching.

Can I get a scholarship for a language course in Switzerland?

Only a few cantons award scholarships for language courses. Therefore, you generally must bear the costs of language learning yourself.

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3006 Bern

Swiss schools abroad
Phone +41 (0)31 356 61 20

Education in Switzerland
Phone +41 (0)31 356 61 04

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