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Study in Switzerland - visa's, applications and language requirements

calendar_month 01 Mar 2011, 00:00
Switzerland is an excellent location for living, studying and working. Its cultural variety, beautiful landscape and innovative environment offer first-class surroundings for both your well-being and career advancement. So how to you go about studying there? QS Top Universities finds out.
If you wish to study in Switzerland, you need to file your admissions application directly with the admissions office at the Swiss universities, or universities of applied sciences, that you wish to attend. They are ultimately responsible for admitting foreign students. You'll need your upper secondary school-leaving certificate (the original or a notarised copy) and an up-to-date passport photograph. Be sure you check with your institution of choice which certificates and qualifications they will recognise for an application, as they each have their own criteria. Always check the admissions deadline and set enough time aside to ensure you get your application in on time. For admission into Swiss universities, you must provide proof of prior education equivalent to a Swiss "Maturitat" (Federal academic baccalaureate), certifying that you have the general knowledge and skills required to enter a university. If you don't hold such a certificate, you may be required to sit a university entrance examination as part of your admission requirements.
Additional admission requirements
If your Swiss universities of choice require you to meet additional admission standards, here's what you can expect to have to provide:

- Admission examination

- Minimum grade average

- language certificates

- proof of admission to a recognized university in the country of origin

- and/or passing the entrance exam in Fribourg
If you're a EU or EFTA citizen, you must register with the local authority within 14 days of arriving in Switzerland, and apply for a residence permit. You will need to present the following documents:

- Personal application for a residence permit

- Valid passport or identity card

- Proof of registration at the university

- Evidence of sufficient funds (bank certificate or certified document)

- Proof of address at place of residence

- 2 passport photographs

If you're an international student from outside the EU/EFTA, contact the Swiss embassy or consulate in your own country before you leave to apply for a visa. If you're an international student from outside the EU/EFTA but do not require a visa, consult your country's Swiss embassy or consulate. They'll be able to tell you what entry and residence requirements you need to be able to study in Switzerland.

To find out what category of international student you come under, go here

Language requirements
For bachelor's programs, an important requirement for admission is proof of command of the language of instruction. English is widely spoken throughout Switzerland, but the majority of undergraduate programs are taught in German, French or Italian. Therefore, if you wish to study in a Swiss university, you need a high level of comprehension in one of these three languages.

What else do I need?
Visas, applications and residence permits are just the start of the study abroad process - there is plenty more to get organized. You need to sort out finances, insurance, an international student card, and your passport - just to name a few. But with QS Top Universities' Study Abroad Checklist you'll have everything you need, and more, to start a successful study abroad experience in Switzerland.

What are you waiting for?