You may be approaching graduation or searching for the perfect opportunity to bring you, your life, and your career to the next level. We know how daunting it can be trying to plan your future. It can be exciting, scary, and it can certainly be downright OVERWHELMING. Trust us, we get it. The decisions you make now are starting to set the precedent for the rest of your life, so don’t sell yourself short. This is the perfect time to challenge yourself and feed your soul. Luckily for you, we are here to help, and Switzerland is calling your name.
Not only are there great universities in Switzerland, but studying in Switzerland for international students can be a truly wholesome experience. Endless amounts of Swiss chocolate, cheese, and fondue; what more does your soul need for feeding? How top graduate programs in Switzerland, opportunities for mingling with major international influencers, and the Alps!? If you’re looking to get your masters, Switzerland is the place for you. We bet that you are already picturing yourself walking through the charming streets of cities like Geneva, Zurich, and Bern, with the mountains as your backdrop.
If you aren’t ready to apply to a Swiss university and buy your plane ticket right now, no worries, here are six more reasons you should consider a graduate degree abroad in Switzerland.
6 reasons to find graduate programs in Switzerland
1. A Variety of Language and Cultural Opportunities
One of the most intriguing parts of traveling is being exposed to new languages and cultures, right? Well, lucky for you, Switzerland, despite its small size, has many influences from its neighboring countries. You can live life in four different languages, depending on where you are in the country (and even more in the major international cities).
In the north you will see, hear, and breath German. You will even taste German, as the upstairs neighbor also influences the food that is eaten, too. In the east, you will float through the graces of French. French food. French words. French lovers— well, maybe not for everyone. But living in a new country is all keeping an open mind, right? The south will bring you closer to the graces of Italy. Although, this region remains Swiss-ly reliable and prompt, unlike its sultry influencer.
No matter your cup of tea, you can find these variations major brews throughout the different regions, and also the less common Romansh, which is only indulged by 1% of the population. No matter what region you’re in, we can help you fit right in!
2. Top Notch Academic Focus
You’ve matured now that you have finished your undergraduate degree. There is an air of sophistication you. You’re ready to study alongside the best. You’re so over the undergraduate experience and you’re ready for strict focus on academics and your future. No distractions, PLEASE.
Even though we are exaggerating here, we know that you do take your education seriously enough to look into investing more years and earning a new degree, so we want to make sure you know that you can find balance in Switzerland. We’ve told you some of the travel opportunities for living in Switzerland, but your education does come first.
You can rest easy knowing that your masters in Switzerland will be a respected degree. Switzerland is known for its rigorous and focused academic system. You will be studying alongside like-minded individuals who are just as motivated as you are. Success may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile. So you can find the balance that works best for you between work and play.
We hear that the best balance is a piece of Swiss chocolate in each hand, so keep that in mind!
3. Size, Centrality, and The Ease of Public Transportation
The magically charming home of fine wines and cheeses can be found in central Europe. Which means that your new home base is almost in the center of the European continent. Which means you are the center of the world… the center of the universe! Okay, not quite, but you are in the perfect location to travel to many of the wonderful European countries you have always dreamed . Weekend trips to Lake Como in Italy, or Saturday trips to markets in France, your life has now become a movie.
Not only is it easy to get to the surrounding countries, but there is also an ease of access to transportation within the country itself. SBB, the wonderful public transportation system in Switzerland, gives you options: trains and buses and boats— oh my! You’ll be able to take the train from the north to the south, buses and trams around major cities, and boats across lakes. You can even take a boat tour around Lac Leman (insider tip: it is not called Lake Geneva!!!) from a port in Geneva! Sail away under the Jet d'Eau.
4. The Hub for International Organizations: Geneva!
Even if you aren’t studying in Geneva, you will still be able to access this hub for international organizations easily— thank you SBB — from wherever you settle in the country (like we said, Switzerland’s small size can work to your advantage)! Geneva is such an international city that you will hear a combination of languages beyond those nationally recognized. You can also get by easily enough with just English, if that is a concern of yours.
There are many international organizations that have offices or headquarters in Geneva. This includes the World Health Organization, United Nations, and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), just to name a few. So not only are you bumping shoulders with some of the top scholars of the world at the universities in Switzerland, but also major international players who are doing BIG things.
5. Undeniable Beauty and Opportunities for Adventure
People often travel to Switzerland to experience the sky-scraping Alps, the hillside vineyards, and the tranquil lakes dispersed throughout the country. Switzerland is the outdoor-ists dream! Hiking in the summer, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and views that will make your heart flutter with each glance all year round.
If you love the thrill of adrenaline rushing through your veins, skydiving in Interlaken may be a good study break! Or if you’re more into the views and less into the adventurous activities, take a train to the top of the Matterhorn in Zermatt. For those who are looking for an even more relaxing escape, plan a relaxing trip to one of Switzerland’s hot springs.
To be completely honest, it’s hard to escape the natural beauty of Switzerland. Even everyday commutes to work are made more enjoyable with a view of the Alps on the horizon!
6. Scholarship Opportunities
Now, you may be thinking to yourself that all of this sounds great but, *sigh*, what the cost??? Fret not. We’ve thought that, too! Despite the high costs of living, graduate programs in Switzerland are still worth looking into because… drumroll, please… there are so many scholarships for international students studying in Switzerland!
There are government scholarships like the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists, or the Erasmus Mundus Scholarships, that can help you lower your costs. Universities also often have scholarships available through their own institutions that international students can apply for. And, of course, we have some resources of our own for you!
Swiss university FAQs
1. Can I Study in Switzerland in English?
About 21% of students studying at a Swiss University are international students. While undergraduate degrees may be taught in German, French, or Italian, master degrees in Switzerland are more commonly taught in English. This means that you should have no problem finding a masters degree program in Switzerland that is taught in English.
The exciting aspect of studying with an international community is that you may all come together with different languages and backgrounds, but have English as a shared form of communication and understanding. This can be used to your advantage, but don’t be scared to step even further outside of your comfort zone. As we mentioned above, Switzerland is a place of various language opportunities, so even if you do opt to study in English, we highly encourage you to embrace the languages and take a course or two!
2. What Are Top Areas of Study for International Students in Switzerland?
Hospitality and tourism are both top areas of study based on the world-rated university programs that are available in Switzerland. Students flock to the universities in Switzerland to learn these subjects. Both are great for future work with diverse groups of people and the potential for international work. The great thing hospitality and tourism is that you can find work virtually anywhere in the world.
Business is another great subject to study in Switzerland. Like we mentioned before, Switzerland is centrally located in Europe and also has international hubs, which makes it an ideal place to study business. Studying business abroad gives you a foot up within the field. Not only have you learned how to adapt to living in a new place, but you’ve also learned international business in a very international setting, it’s a win-win!
3. What Are The Best Universities in Switzerland?
École hôtelière de Lausanne is noted as one of the best hospitality schools in the world! You will get a high quality education while being based in a city along Lac Leman that has easy access to other cities like Montreux, Geneva, and Nyon. While in Lausanne make sure to check out neighboring school École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s library. It is built to look like a piece of Swiss cheese… we’re not kidding… look it up. Wavy floors mimic the curves of a finely sliced piece of fromage and circular skylights mimic the holes!
University of Zurich is also a top-rated school. Zurich is a great city to pursue Business degrees, as it is a worldwide hub for banking and finance. It is a prominent city in the international finance world. Plus, Germany is just a hop and a skip away, so you can get some more exposure to new business systems in the neighboring country.
University of Geneva also tops the list. As we mentioned before, Geneva is an international city with major organizations. It is the perfect place to pursue a graduate degree in Switzerland. Plus, from Geneva you have easy access to Nyon, Montreux, and Lausanne, too (and also France!!).
4. Are There Any PHD Programs in Switzerland for International Students?
We thought you’d never ask! Yes, of course there are PHD programs in Switzerland that you should check out! We knew you were dreaming big!! The PHD programs in Switzerland may open the doors to international relations and political science. As with any experience or degree abroad, this will be a very unique experience, as well as a challenging one, because not only will you be completing your doctorate (how amazing!!!), you’ll also be adjusting to a new setting, new languages, and a new culture.
The challenge will be well worth it because you will come out of completing your degree with the confidence to take on any situation. You’ll know the extent of your abilities to adapt and live and learn outside of your comfort zone. Think of how that will influence your future career and the rest of your life. Talk setting off on the right foot!
Conclusion, or as they say in Swiss German: Fazit!
As a centrally located, European country with international hubs and easy mobility, Switzerland is an ideal location for obtaining a degree abroad. You will have plenty of opportunities to find yourself spending time in the Alps and swimming in the lakes, taking trains across city and country borders, and meeting amazing scholars and businesspeople from all over the world! You will return home with a great education, and also a great sense of international business, hospitality, and all of the connections you’ve made.
The process for getting your masters in Switzerland has only just begun. When looking into grad school, Switzerland has various programs for you to choose from that will open doors to many opportunities in the future. Let us help you find the perfect Swiss University by using our online advisor tool! You tell us what kind of program you are looking for, and we will find you a perfect match! Bon voyage y bonne chance!