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Cost of Studying in Switzerland in 2024

Updated on 21 November, 2023

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

cost of living in switzerland

Studying in a foreign country requires meticulous planning of finances. After all, living abroad in a developed country is a costly undertaking. For aspirants of higher education in Switzerland, it certainly is an expensive affair. The country offers exceptional academic programs and inspiring views that attract worldwide attention from aspiring scholars keen on gaining knowledge and experience abroad. So here is a breakdown for you on studying in Switzerland. 

Pre-arrival Cost of Living in Switzerland for Indian Students

There are several pre-arrival costs of living in Switzerland for Indian students you need to consider. These include university application fees, language test fees, other standardized test fees, student visa fees, health insurance fees, pre-arrival accommodation costs, and travel expenses.

Admission to Switzerland University Fees

Universities in Switzerland have an application fee while submitting the admission form. The application fee is usually between CHF 100 and CHF 300.

 Student Visa Fees

The visa cost depends on the duration of the course. Students need to apply for a Schengen visa for a 90 days course, and longer-duration courses require a national visa. A Schengen visa costs around CHF 80, and the national visa is around CHF 160. Students also need to pay visa application fees and other related expenses.

Health Insurance Fees

All international students studying in Switzerland are required to have health insurance. The cost of health insurance depends on the type of policy and the insurance provider. On average, the cost of health insurance for students in Switzerland is around CHF 200 to CHF 300 per month.

Examination Fees

If you are applying for a program that mandates an entrance examination, you will need to pay an examination fee. For example, applicants taking an entrance exam for admission to bachelor’s studies at ETH Zurich, will have to pay an exam fee of CHF 500. 

Language Test Fees

Most Swiss universities require international students to demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction. You may need to take a language test such as the TOEFL, IELTS, or the Swiss Language Certificate. The language test fees range from CHF 300 to CHF 400 based on the test.

Accommodation Cost

Students must consider the cost of accommodation before arriving in Switzerland. The accommodation cost is around CHF 1200 to CHF 2,000 per month, depending on your location and accommodation type.

 Travel Expense

The cost of airfare varies depending on your location, the time of year, and the airline. Also, consider the transportation cost from the airport to your accommodation.

 Top Universities in Switzerland and Popular Courses 

Universities QS World University Rankings (2023)U.S. News & World Report Ranking (2023)Popular Courses 
ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology929
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne1669
University of Zurich8367
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biology and Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
University of Bern120107
University of Basel136150
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biology and Biochemistry (tie)
  • Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Medicine 
University of Lausanne203182
  • Oncology
  • Geosciences
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)240676
  • Space Science
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Computer Science
University of Geneva125109
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biology and Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology and Educational Sciences
  • Social Sciences
University of St. Gallen501-
University of Fribourg571537

Top Reasons to Choose Switzerland to Study

World-Class Educational System

Switzerland has earned global recognition for a top-tier educational system featuring high standards and forward-thinking teaching practices. International students can choose from twelve public universities and nine applied science facilities spread around the country complemented by specialized institutions.

The Swiss education methodology places particular emphasis on real-world applications of classroom concepts through interactive learning environments to foster participation from students and prepare them for a better career.

Internationally Recognized Degrees

A degree from a Swiss university is highly regarded worldwide, opening up numerous career opportunities for graduates. Employers around the globe value the quality of education provided by Swiss institutions. By choosing to study abroad in Switzerland, you earn a competitive edge.

Cultural Diversity and Multilingualism

Reflecting extensive multiculturalism in its very essence, Switzerland has four official languages - German, French, Italian & Romansh - that bring a unique touch to the country's identity. Also, higher educational institutes emphasize diversity. 

Stunning Natural Beauty

Famous worldwide for its exquisite natural beauty comprising majestic peaks, crystal clear bodies of water unspoiled wilderness areas teeming with life! There is no place like Switzerland for students who want to embrace nature while pursuing their academic goals. The summertime calls for leisurely hikes along picturesque pathways or invigorating cycles through idyllic villages, while winter provides plenty of opportunities to try skiing/snowboarding at rustic resorts tucked into the mountainside! So don't miss out on this chance to refresh your mind amidst mesmerizing scenery with every step you take.

Proximity to Other European Countries

Switzerland's central location in Europe is the ideal base for exploring the continent. The country is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Students can visit Europe's most beautiful cities and experience their unique cultures and histories.

High Standard of Living

Switzerland is renowned for its high standard of living, boasting a strong economy, low corruption, and excellent public services. The country is known for being clean, efficient, and well-organized, offering a safe and comfortable environment to live and study. The Swiss healthcare system is the best in the world, ensuring all the residents have access to top-quality medical care.

Opportunities for International Students

Switzerland is an abode for international students, creating a diverse and inclusive atmosphere on campus. Students can meet and interact with people from all over the world, broadening their horizons and expanding their global network.

Part-time Work Opportunities

International students are permitted to work part-time alongside their studies. Non-EU students must complete six months of study to work part-time and require a work permit. Students can work up to 15 hours per week during the semester and full-time during vacations. It is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

Tuition Fees in Switzerland 

Switzerland Education System

The education system in Switzerland is the main reason for enticing overseas students to apply to this country. The universities generally provide three types of degrees:

  • Advancing one's education through postgraduate courses requires careful selection and consideration of various options available. The Bachelor's degree is at the initial level and could be attained within three academic years whilst acquiring adequate knowledge in your field of interest. 
  • Master's degrees require about 1.5- 2 years, depending on an individual's proficiency and time commitments. 
  • Those intending to make significant contributions to their chosen discipline will find Doctoral programs useful. These programs typically take around three to five years of dedication and hard work consisting of rigorous research projects with significant contributions towards scientific or scholarly development according to one's area of specialization.

Switzerland University Fees

Bachelors Switzerland Tuition Fees

Public universities offer bachelor's programs at a lower tuition fee than private universities. The average tuition fee for a bachelor's degree in a public university is CHF 1,000 to CHF 2,000 per year, while the tuition fee for a bachelor's degree in a private university can range from CHF 10,000 to CHF 20,000 per year.

Master's Switzerland Tuition Fees

The average tuition fee for a master's degree in a public university is CHF 1,000 to CHF 2,000 yearly, while the tuition fee for a master's degree in a private university ranges from CHF 10,000 to CHF 20,000 per year.

PhD Switzerland Tuition Fees

PhD programs in Switzerland are usually offered by research institutions and universities. The average tuition fee for a PhD program in a public university is CHF 500 to CHF 1,200 per year, and the tuition fee for a private university PhD program ranges from CHF 5,000 to CHF 10,000 per year.

Other Costs of Living in Switzerland

The cost of living in Switzerland for Indian students varies on the city you are living in, your accommodation, and your lifestyle.


Accommodation is a major expense for students studying abroad in Switzerland. On average, you can expect to pay around CHF 1500 to CHF 2,500 per month for a 1-bedroom Apartment in City Centre.


The average cost of groceries for one person per month in Switzerland is around CHF 400. It includes grocery items like milk, bread, eggs, cheese, chicken, fruits and vegetables.

A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around 100 CHF for two people and for fine dining experiences, it is around 70 CHF per person.


Public transportation in Switzerland is efficient and reliable. The country has a well-connected and efficient public transport system, including buses, trains, and trams. The average cost of a one-way ticket is around 3.50 CHF. The average cost of a monthly pass is around CHF 80. With these ticket prices, travelling by local bus can be an affordable option for students in Switzerland.


Studying in Switzerland is a life-changing experience. It’s essential to plan and budget for all the costs associated with studying in Switzerland. By planning the cost of Studying in Switzerland, you can ensure you are financially prepared for your time in Switzerland and focus on your studies without any financial apprehensions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work while studying in Switzerland?

Yes, international students are allowed to work part-time while studying in Switzerland. However, there are restrictions on the number of hours you can work per week, and you'll need to obtain a work permit.

Are there scholarships available for international students in Switzerland?

Yes, there are several scholarships available for international students in Switzerland. Some of them are -

  • EPFL Excellence Fellowships
  • ‎University of Geneva ‎scholarship
  • ETH Zurich Excellence scholarship

Do I need to speak German, French, or Italian to study in Switzerland?

It depends on the program and the university you choose to study. Some programs are taught in English, while others require German, French, or Italian proficiency as per the medium of instruction. 

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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