Switzerland is a small country located in the heart of Western Europe, and sharing borders with neighbouring Germany, Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Italy and France. There are now approximately 7.7 million people living in Switzerland, speaking four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.
Switzerland is also the birthplace of the Red Cross and home to a large number of international organizations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Area – although it is notably not a member of the European Union, nor the European Economic Area.
Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, and has the highest wealth per adult (financial and non-financial assets) of any country in the world. Zurich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as the cities with the second and eighth highest quality of life in the world.
Switzerland enjoys the status of one of the most competitive economies in the world. Large multinational corporations such as Nestlé, Novartis and ABB have their headquarters in Switzerland. The financial sector, including banking and insurance, also plays an important role. “Brainforce” is also highly valued, and Switzerland ranks second after Sweden in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2007.
Switzerland has a stable, prosperous and high-tech economy. Switzerland’s economy is based on a highly skilled labor force. The main areas include microtechnology, hi-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. Swiss companies are extremely competitive in world markets. The best-known export items are watches, chocolate and cheese; however, mechanical and electrical engineering and chemistry together account for over half of Swiss export revenues. Consulting, banking, insurance and tourism also make up a significant part of international trade. Switzerland’s international reputation as a research center is beyond dispute. The high standard of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, of the 10 cantonal universities and of research institutes in Switzerland attracts many scientists and students from overseas.
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities, from glacial conditions on the mountaintops to the often pleasant near Mediterranean climate at Switzerland’s southern tip. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing.
You can study
The decision concerning admission to a course of studies rests with the individual institution. The basic admission requirement is a Swiss secondary high-school-leaving certificate or a foreign secondary high-school-leaving certificate considered equivalent.
The prerequisite for access to a Master’s programme is a successfully completed Bachelor’s level programme. Each university makes its own decisions as to whether a foreign Bachelor’s degree can give the holder access to Master’s programmes, and what are the conditions, if any (entrance examinations, further requirements).
To be eligible for a PhD programme at a Swiss university, applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent from a recognised or accredited university,as conditions vary among universities.
Switzerland Colleges accept either IELTS or TOEFL scores as a proof of English Proficiency. The score of IELTS may vary depends on the course and university selected.
Students who do not hold fully recognized foreign certificates qualifying for university entrance must pass a central university entrance examination
The Swiss Government grants university scholarships to foreign students who have graduated from university or, to a limited extent, university of applied sciences or advanced arts programmes
Part-time employment for students: non-EU/EFTA citizens studying in Switzerland are permitted to accept part-time employment for a maximum of 15 hours per week, but only after residing in Switzerland for a minimum of 6 months. Students must maintain full-time student status and show regular progress in their studies.
Exemption: Master students with a Bachelor degree from a university abroad working for their Swiss university/institute do not have to wait 6 month.