Is studying in Switzerland worth it?

FUS editorial board

Switzerland is known for its world-famous chocolate, its distinguished watches, its renowned cheese, and its breathtaking standing landscapes. But for the past century, it has also gained notoriety as one of the top destinations for international students. Known for its superior educational system and cutting-edge research, Switzerland is a country that many believe can offer the opportunity for students to take their careers to the next level.

As a cultural melting pot with four official languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansh), an advocate of global participation, and a well-known hub for efficiency; Switzerland is a great choice for international students seeking to study abroad. This article will touch upon the advantages of the European country with regard to higher education and some of the hurdles that may come along with moving here.

Why is Switzerland the best country to study in?

There are many reasons why you should consider studying in Switzerland. The European country is widely known for its education system, active-learning methodologies, and wide range of programs. It is also notorious for its high academic standards and quality education, but we know deciding to study abroad is not just a matter of academia.

People move abroad to encounter new cultures, explore new lifestyles and break away from their bubble. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its striking mountains and breathtaking landscapes, it can be the change of pace you have been looking for. In terms of culture and lifestyle, Switzerland is considered by some, the oldest democracy on the planet, allowing for peaceful coexistence between its people. Switzerland also offers more social security for foreign students than almost any other country, so rest assured that you will be taken care of while living here.

As for Franklin University Switzerland, the 2022 World Universities Real Impact (WURI) has declared FUS as one of the Top 33 Most Innovative Universities, Top 17 for Industrial Application, Top 4 in Crisis Management, and Top 2 in Ethical Value. FUS is a leader in international education, providing a cross-cultural and multinational environment that inspires students to engage the world in the heart of the Swiss Canton Ticino.

Is the Swiss education system good?

The Swiss education system is internationally acclaimed for its focus on research, student-centered methodologies and high academic standards. Franklin University Switzerland is a dual-accredited United States and Swiss institution and therefore provides all the opportunities of the liberal arts system with a pursuit of excellence.

Franklin is more than an American university in Switzerland – it is an educational experience that goes beyond what it means to study internationally. Today more than ever we see the growing urgency for experiential, international education. Accordingly, we do our best to provide academic courses that are international in perspective and cross-cultural in content.

FUS offers over 17 different Bachelor's programs to choose from, plus the opportunity to design your own academic pathway. There is nothing like the sense of community, great student-professor relationships, academic experiences, beautiful location, alumni network, and the integration of different cultures at Franklin.

What are the pros and cons of living in Switzerland?

Is Switzerland Safe?

Switzerland has been part of the Top 10 safest places on earth in the Global Peace Index for ten consecutive years. Switzerland is considered to be one of the countries with the highest standard of living and one of the most stable economies.

Franklin University Switzerland is committed to providing a stable and safe living and learning environment for all students. The university keeps a high level of surveillance on campus thanks to the FUS staff and external private security partners.

Learn more about wellbeing and security on campus.

Where is Switzerland located?

Switzerland is in the heart of Europe, sharing a border with France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Italy. Living in Lugano is a great opportunity to explore what Europe has to offer. Easily accessible public transport and international travel make Switzerland a dream home base for both experienced and unseasoned travelers. By train, you can reach Milan in a little over an hour and Zurich in two. Airplanes open up the possibilities allowing you to reach Paris, Munich, London, Prague and almost every other European city in 2 hours or less.

What is Switzerland known for?

Ticino is the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland and it manages to blend cultural components that are typically Italian with a tradition of politics and administration that is unmistakably Swiss. Lugano is the largest city in the region and is the third financial center in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva. Lugano is also home to a beloved professional ice hockey club, as well as renowned museums, a conservatory, and multiple cultural events all year round.

What is Switzerland’s natural environment?

Swiss alps, glacial lakes, Mediterranean climate – need I say more? If you are a nature lover, an avid hiker or anything in between Switzerland is the place for you. Students can go hiking and rock climbing in the Swiss Alps, or go swimming in our clean, sparkling, Alpine lakes. Switzerland is highly regarded as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The diverse geography allows for most sports to be practiced at all levels.

What are some disadvantages of living in Switzerland?

Is Switzerland expensive?

It is no secret that Switzerland is a costly place to live, although Lugano is cheaper than cities like Zurich and Geneva, it is important to consider this factor when choosing to move to Ticino. Franklin University Switzerland is committed to encouraging and supporting its students, therefore it offers a series of options regarding financial aid. FUS students are offered scholarships based on academic merit and financial need, plus financial support from other various external programs based on citizenship and other factors.

Discover here to learn if you are eligible to request a scholarship or financial support.

Are the Swiss strict?

Being one of the safest and most organized countries in the world does not come out of nowhere. Switzerland and its people follow the rules by the book, which allows for efficiency and stability, but may lead to some cultural clashes if you come from a different part of the globe. If you are planning to move to Switzerland, make sure to do the research with regards to city-specific policies. A few examples of such restrictions are: some places have “quiet hours” which means no loud music or gathering are authorized after a certain hour. Also, recycling is of the utmost importance and mandatory. Failure to separate your waste properly can result in stiff fines which can go up to 300 USD.

Do they speak English in Switzerland?

Switzerland is a multicultural and multilingual country, and most people are used to communicating in more than one language. English is widely spoken, as in most central-European countries, with an average of 60% of its population being able to speak it. The proficiency of the citizens may vary from canton to canton, but cities like Lugano are known to be tourist destinations and therefore getting around should not be a problem.

Nonetheless, students at Franklin University Switzerland are highly encouraged to be strong, independent users of at least one Swiss language. All Bachelor programs require students to reach level 300 in a Swiss language before graduating. Whether that is German, French or Italian the 300 level is equivalent to a full five-semester sequence (15 credits) of a language going from basics to advanced.

Explore further the Modern Language Requirement.

Is healthcare free in Switzerland?

Health insurance is not free and it is mandatory in Switzerland. The law in Switzerland regarding health insurance (LAMal), requires that anyone who resides in Switzerland must be enrolled with an acknowledged Swiss Health Insurance provider. To comply with LAMal, Franklin University Switzerland has established a contract with SWICA, a well-known Swiss health insurance company.

We strongly recommend that all students who are non-EU/EFTA residents enroll with SWICA. The policy and the costs for full coverage can be reviewed in either Swiss francs or US dollars depending upon one’s account with the University.

For further information on the policy, download the SWICA Student Care overview.

What’s the admission process like?

Admission to Franklin University Switzerland is selective, competitive and based primarily on the following:

  • Academic Record
  • Personal Recommendations
  • SAT I or ACT Scores (Optional)

Whether you are applying as a degree-seeking student or for a study abroad experience, we do our best to make the application process as simple and straightforward as possible.  Each program has its own procedures and contacts, so take a minute to read through the procedure that is outlined in the section that applies to you.  If you have questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to contact us via chat, email or phone.

How much money does a student need in Switzerland?

Switzerland is a great place to live thanks to its excellent healthcare, facilities and public transportation systems. But the high quality services come at a cost. Switzerland is known for its elevated cost of living, hence, managing your budget and making compromises throughout the year are the best way at embracing the opportunity without breaking the bank.

Living expenses vary depending on the city you live in, Geneva and Zurich are known to be the most expensive locations needing on average 1700 - 2500 EUR a month to pay for accommodation, food, transportation, supplies, and leisure. But on average, you should pan for a budget of 1300-1700 EUR in every other city.

Seventy percent of Franklin students receive financial aid, either from the university, their local government or private funds. As an institution Franklin offers scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. Additionally, students may receive aid from various external programs based on citizenship, need, and other factors. Together we create a financial aid package and carefully guide you through your financing options to help you afford your education.

Expenses in Switzerland: housing, food, and transportation

How much is student housing in Switzerland?

It is common for students in Switzerland to stay at university accommodation or student residences. Prices vary based on location and convenience, but you should budget 500-800 EUR per month. Remember to apply in advance to student accommodation as places are limited. If you choose to rent outside the university’s facilities, prices might be a bit steeper, but you can reduce the cost by sharing the apartment with friends or colleagues.

How much does food cost in Switzerland?

Most students choose to buy food from supermarkets and eat out only once in a while. You can expect to pay around 550 EUR/month for food. Try making most of your shopping after 5 p.m. or on Saturdays when many stores offer 25 - 50% discounts on perishable items.

Living in Lugano also allows you to take a quick 20-minute train ride to the Italian border where prices are often more convenient. Although there are restrictions on the amount of oil, meat, and even alcohol that you can bring with you into Switzerland (1L, 1K, and 1L per person respectively), it can make a big difference with your budget in the long-run.

FUS offers convenient dining hall services that are accessible with a rechargeable card. With two locations on campus, you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at an affordable price. Here you can pay around 10 EUR per meal, similar to the snack and restaurants located in department stores (like Migros, Coop or Manor).

Is public transport in Switzerland expensive?

One of the advantages of Lugano being a small city is that most, if not all, distances are walkable. You would mainly use public transport to visit other cities, or sometime to carry your groceries up the hill that can be pretty steep.

In major Swiss cities like Zurich, Basel, Lugano, Geneva, and Lausanne any public transportation ticket is valid on trains, tramways, and buses. The local transport company offers single tickets, monthly/yearly passes, and even country-wide travel cards at a reduced fare.

Additional important information

How long can you stay in Switzerland after studying?

What about planning to stay long-term? Many international students consider the state of the job market before moving abroad. Getting a job or an internship in Switzerland is not easy, but it is not impossible either.

After successfully completing a university degree, students can apply for a “seeking job visa” which extends their ability to stay legally in the country for an extra 3 months after the expiration date of their student permit. A common requirement to find a job is to speak the local language fluently.

Can you work after studying in Switzerland?

If you do manage to find a job, your employer will need to apply for a work permit for you. It is your future employer’s duty to contact the responsible authority in Switzerland. The company will then submit an application to the concerned authorities stating that they have hired a foreign national.

At this link, you will find information and useful links regarding registration and authorization requirements, minimum and average wages, self-employment, social services and unemployment among foreign nationals living in Switzerland.

What jobs are most in demand in Switzerland?

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland, the most common jobs in the country are in the technology sector. Due to its thriving economy and high reliance on baking and engineering, Swiss companies are actively looking for skilled workers in the fields of information technology, software engineering and development; but also practical roles like electrical engineering.

The country is home to some of the world's largest companies, such as Nestle, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Roche Holding AG. This means business professionals also have an advantage in the job market for positions like managers, accountants, and marketers are always in demand in Switzerland.

The Swiss government is working hard to make the country a desirable place for these workers. They have made it easy for people with the appropriate skills to get work permits. The government is also providing incentives such as low taxes and affordable housing.

Why study in Switzerland?

Taking into consideration the high standards of living, the unique educational methodology, and the endless access to culture – we can safely say studying in Switzerland is definitely worth it! Before making your final decision and moving abroad make sure to familiarize yourself with the possible expenses and requirements to enter the country. But just know that this could be the experience of a lifetime.

If you are interested in moving to Switzerland to complete your studies, check out our undergraduate, graduate and study abroad programs.

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