To most people, Switzerland is best known for its watches, cheese, private banking and natural beauties. None of these, however, are the main reasons many young people decide to study in this country. There are many other arguments in favour of studying in this central European country. Switzerland is a multicultural and multilingual country, which is also home to many international organisations and multinational companies. Swiss universities enrol many foreign students each year. Switzerland is an excellent starting point to discover Europe. Thanks to international airports in Basel, Geneva and Zurich, and the incredibly efficient Swiss railway system, cities such as Paris, Rome, Vienna or Berlin are only a few hours away.
The structure of Switzerland's system begins with primary education (a sort of kindergarten), then a lower secondary education followed by an upper secondary education, which may even include vocational training. The highest level, tertiary level education, is university level or higher education The basic structure of the Swiss education system is as follows: Colleges.
Public universities provide academic education which is highly regarded anywhere in the world at the prices affordable to the Swiss but also to foreigners. Switzerland, not being in the EU, doesn’t discriminate between tuitions costs of European and non-European students. That’s why both categories pay the same tuition fees, which average 1.600 EUR / year, for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In comparison, PhD degrees can cost around 100 or 200 EUR / year. Still, the price may depend and rise based on the field you wish to study in. For instance, Medicine can cost up to 16.000 EUR / year. Students who come to Switzerland on an exchange programme don’t pay any tuition fee, while universities from Fribourg, Lucerne, Neuchatel, St. Gallen, Zurich, and Lugano charge extra tuition fees for foreign students.
As an international student in Switzerland you are legally allowed to work for not more than 15 hours per week (i.e. around 2 hours per day.) During the vacation period you may work full-time but only if you've been living in the country for at least 6 months.