Study in Switzerland
Higher Education in Switzerland
Switzerland has ten "cantonal" universities as well as two Institutes of Technology that are considered federal higher education facitlities. In addition, numerous colleges are spread throughout the country to accommodate a growing number of international and local students. Universities and colleges in Switzerland adhere to the semester schedule, with winter semester lasting from October to March and summer semester continuing from April to July.
There are three basic academic degrees given in Switzerland: the Bachelor, the Master and the PhD. It is still possible to obtain a Diploma , also called "Lizentiat", which corresponds to a U.S. Master's degree. Most students earn a License and Diploma within four to five years. Students must earn these two degrees first before they can pursue a PhD.
Potential students must present an application to the higher educational institution of their choice, detailing the anticipated field of study. Copies of examination results, a curriculum vitae and any other degrees or certificates that may influence acceptance into the school should also be included in the packet. Following acceptance, students will need to contact their country's Swiss Embassy for information regarding entry procedures for Switzerland. In addition, all students will need to provide proof of being financially stable while studying at a Swiss college or university.
All students must have a state-recognized maturity certificate or some other certificate that is recognized as being equivalent to the maturity certificate by the university to which they have been accepted. In addition to having excellent grades, students should possess adequate knowledge of the university's predominantly spoken language before applying to that university.
Upon arriving in Switzerland, students will have to obtain a residency permit at the local police department. They will need to present a valid passport, letter of acceptance from the university and a bank statement or other document verifying that they have sufficient financial means while in school. This residency permit will need to be renewed each year you are attending a Swiss higher educational institution.
Prominent Swiss Universities
Popular universities in Switzerland include:
- University of Bern (mostly German speaking)
- University of Geneva (mostly French speaking)
- University of Lausanne (French speaking)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (German and English speaking)
Switzerland also has many private colleges, fine arts universities and pedagogical universities that offer diplomas recognized by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, or the EDK.
Tuition for attending a Swiss university or college varies between 2000 Swiss francs up to 8000 Swiss francs, possibly more depending on the university and course of study.
Health Insurance Coverage
Anyone residing in Switzerland longer than three months must carry some kind of health insurance coverage, whether it is Swiss-based or recognized by another country. Students arriving from countries that offer international coverage may not have to obtain Switzerland's compulsury health insurance.
Why Study in Switzerland?
Switzerland is well-known for its innovative research and development industry so students endeavoring to major in biotechnology, genetics, pharmaceuticals and other cutting-edge, health and medical-related careers will find Swiss higher education brimming with exceptional science and technology programs. Alternately, the Swiss are also highly respected for their financial and business acumen. Students endeavoring to pursue a career in the financial sector will also discover that Swiss universities provide comprehensive degree programs for business and financial majors.
Switzerland, located in Central Europe, is the land of the Alps. Its tallest peak is the Dufourspitze at 15,203 ft (4,634 m) on the Swiss side of the Italian border, one of 10 summits of the Monte Rosa massif. Most of Switzerland is composed of a mountainous plateau bordered by the great bulk of the Alps on the south and by the Jura Mountains on the northwest.
Officially called the Swiss Federation, Switzerland lies in western Europe and is bordered by Italy to the west, Germany to the north, Liechtenstein and Austria to the east and France to the west. Bern is the capital of Switzerland, a landlocked country that consists of 26 cantons, or territorial subdivisions that differ slightly in government administrational procedures. The majority of Switzerland's population (nearly eight million people) live on an area referred to as the Plateau, where the heavily populated cities of Geneva and Zurich are located.
Switzerland is famous for being one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Residents possess the highest amount of non-financial and monetary assets per individual as compared to any other citizens in the world. Additionally, Geneva and Zurich consistently rank as two cities exhibiting the best standards of living among all other global cities. Switzerland's stable economy is attributed to its self-sufficiency through farming and effective manufacturing practices that allow it to export large amounts of goods. Other areas that Switzerland shows excellent economic expertise include tourism, international banking, transportation, biotechnology and research and development.
North of the Swiss Alps the climate is temperate but influenced by various altitudinal factors that involve wind exposure and atmospheric condition arising from mountain placement. Switzerland's average temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 celsius), with rainful amounts fluctuating from as much as 67 (170 cm) inches near Lugano and as little as 21 (53 cm) inches around the Rhone Valley. North and west of the Alps, residents experience a rainy, somewhat cool climate with temperatures remaining around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) in the winter and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) in areas south and southeast of the Alps.
Essential Facts about Switzerland
- The flag exhibits a white cross against a bright red background. Arms of the cross are slightly longer than their width.
- The Swiss National Anthem, or Swiss Hymn, begins with the line "Radiant in the morning sky, Lord, I see that Thou are night". (Trittst in Morgenrot daher, Seh' ich dich in Strahlenmeer)
- Switzerland retained its own currency, the Swiss franc, when Europe switched to the Euro. Coins of one, five, ten, 20 and 50 centimes comprise the other monetary units. Francs are available in one, two and five francs. Franc "notes" come in ten, 20, 50, 500 and 1000 francs.
- Switzerland uses the metric system for evaluating weights and measures
- National holidays are New Year's, Labor Day on May 1 and Christmas. Ascension, Good Friday, Whitmonday and Easter Monday are considered religious holidays
Because Switzerland is bordered by several distinct countries, the state has four national languages--Italian, German, French and Rhaeto-Romansch. The majority of Swiss citizens primarily speak German, while 20 percent speak French and eight percent speak Italian. Numerous dialects unique to certain cantons exist as well.
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