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How to Apply

Switzerland is one of the best places to pursue higher education for international students and the country has received many awards for international student satisfaction.

Here are the basic steps involved in applying to an international university in Switzerland.

Choose a study program

Before choosing a study program you want to pursue in Switzerland, you must do a thorough research and try to collect as much information as possible regarding the course. You must also check the entry requirements for that course.

General Entry requirements

Bachelor’s programs:

The applicants must have a Swiss maturity certificate or equivalent foreign upper secondary school leaving certificate. But students applying to medical programs are exempted from this requirement.

Master’s programs:

The applicants must hold a related bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Language proficiency:

In Switzerland, courses are taught in German, French, Italian and English languages. Most of the international students prefer courses in English. In English, the accepted evidence of proficiency is IELTS and TOFEL.

Apply in a university

In most universities in Switzerland, you can submit online application on the website. You also must pay the application fee and upload the required documents. These include a recent passport size photo and a notarised copy of the certificate of your highest educational qualification. Other documents required:

  • Copy of identity document
  • Official academic transcript(s) from the universities you have attended
  • Language proficiency certificates
  • CV
  • Evidence of payment of the application fee
  • Motivation letter

Apply for student visa

You must apply for a student visa to Switzerland with the Swiss Embassy or Consulate near to you as soon as you receive an acceptance letter from a Swiss school or university. You must schedule a visa appointment online through a visa application centre. Then you must submit the application documents and your biometrics will be collected. You will also have to attend a visa interview.
The processing time for short-stay visa is 10-15 days and for long-stay visa is eight to ten weeks.
Documents required for visa application

  • Three filled application forms for long stay visa (visa D)
  • Four passport-size photographs
  • Passport
  • Letter of acceptance from a Swiss university
  • Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees
  • Proof of financial means to meet the cost of living in Switzerland
  • CV
  • Letter of motivation
  • Commitment to leave Switzerland on completion of studies

Other requirements

Health insurance policy:

The international students must make arrangements for a health insurance policy. They can either purchase one from their home country before coming to Switzerland or as soon as they reach Switzerland.
Residence permit: All international students must apply for a residence permit within 14 days after arriving in Switzerland. The application must be submitted to the Residents Registration Office. The validity of the permit is one year, and it can be renewed after that.