Lugano is a small-sized municipality based in Swiss region of Ticino. Its population amounts to about 29000 inhabitants extending over an area slightly larger than 11 km2.
These small dimensions can be surprising if compared to the importance and international fame of the city: its geographical position and the Swiss economic and social stability have contributed to the creation of an important financial market. Nowadays, Lugano is the third financial centre in Switzerland, after Zurich and Geneva.
The University of Lugano (Universita della Svizzera italiana-USI) was founded in 1996 in the centre of the town. Today, USI comprises four Faculties: Economics, Communication Sciences and Informatics in Lugano, and Architecture in Mendrisio, for a total student
population of approximately 1600 from 35 different countries, and a total teaching staff of 300 professors and assistants. Benefiting from a unique geographic, political, and cultural location, USI has gained distinction as a multilingual and multicultural university, with a broad international outlook. It
enjoys privileged relations with several Italian universities, particularly with those located in Northern Italy, and has built special collaborative or exchange partnerships with a number of foreign universities in Europe and elsewhere.
Foreign nationals without any permit of residence in Switzerland must apply for a permit with student
status. Applications must be directed to the Ufficio regionale degli stranieri (Aliens’ Registration Office):
Ufficio regionale degli stranieri (Lugano)
Via Balestra 33
6900 - Lugano
tel. 091 815 54 81
fax 091 815 54 99
09:00 - 11.45
14:00 - 16:00
Ufficio regionale degli stranieri (Mendrisio)
Via Pollini 29
6850 - Mendrisio
tel. 091 816 45 01
fax 091 816 45 09
09:00 - 11.45
14:00 - 16:00
The foreign applicant must report in person or be represented by someone acting on his behalf at the competent Ufficio regionale degli stranieri, and complete the official form, enclosing the following documentation:
* passport or identity card
* two passport-sized photographs;
* admission statement signed by the Faculty’s administrative officer;
* statement of financial means.
must declare that he/she has found accommodation, show copy of the lease (tenancy agreement) or deed of purchase, and must undertake to leave Switzerland as soon as the study period is over and be aware that family and relatives may visit while respecting the conditions applicable to visitors / tourists. Students are authorised to live in Switzerland while their applications are being processed, waiting for their permit to come through.
In cases where a visa is obligatory, students must contact the Swiss Consulate in their home country and obtain an entry authorisation. In such cases, entry into Switzerland is possible only once the request has been granted.
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