Updated date: 07th March 2022


The world’s most favorite tourist destination is rapidly converting into the world’s favorite Study Abroad destination. Study in Switzerland not only provides a happening and safe student life, but also excellent academic credentials and research opportunities.


Study in Switzerland for FREE

How to Study in Switzerland for Free

Studying abroad for free is actually a dream come true. But unfortunately, quality education comes with value. It never comes for free. However, you can apply for scholarships to decrease your financial burden. You can follow the below steps to make your way to study in Switzerland at an affordable cost. 

1. Develop Your Skills and Portfolio

  • When you start to submit your applications to universities and colleges in Switzerland, a good GPA, high test scores, and a good behavior background will increase your chances to get scholarships. These prove that you are eligible for scholarships.
  • Having a good academic report tells a university that you are a perfect choice to invest in because they will be expecting outstanding outputs. So, before looking into studying in Switzerland, you should get good results from your previous studies. 
  • Also, always practice building a good reputation so that there will be no negative opinions about you, no one will question your behavior while you are applying for Swiss university. This is the first and crucial step for international students who want to study at in Switzerland.

2. Attend Affordable Universities in Switzerland

  • Most of the universities in Switzerland do not charge tuition fees to international students. Although not all universities follow this, there are plenty of universities that provide such a relief. 
  • The student is encouraged to get in touch with institutions, research their websites thoroughly and acquire as much data as possible. 

3. Get your application prepared in advance

  • “Early bird Discounts” are used to attract international students to study abroad. Some universities offer discounts to international students on the tuition fee if applied Early. This would not help you to study in Switzerland for free but definitely will lower your cost of study.
  • As your admission application will be processed fast and you may get the benefit of discounts on your tuition fee. Also, be aware that there is too much competition in the international market, so always be early to grab the benefits before someone else does.

4. Apply for Scholarships in Swiss Universities

If you want to study at Universities in Switzerland, and are worried about the tuition fees in Swiss Universities, here are two of the fully-funded study abroad scholarships, which will help you manage your cost of studying in Switzerland :

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are awarded every year for doctoral, post-doctoral, and research-based studies to the international students studying in Switzerland. It is one of the largest scholarships worldwide, as it is awarded to students from 180 countries willing to carry out their research and doctoral/post-doctoral Ph.D. in Switzerland.

  • Host Universities in Switzerland- Any of 10 Cantonal Universities in Switzerland, federal institutes, or public research and teaching institutes.
  • Level of Study - Doctoral and Post-Doctoral study in Switzerland or research in any discipline.
  • Scholarships Include -The scholarship includes tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses, airfare allowance for a maximum of 3 years. A country-wise allowances list can be found on the scholarship website.
  • Deadline for Application - Between September-December, annually.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A Master’s Degree, completed before the September of the application year.
  • Candidate must be born after 31 December 1983
  • A letter of acceptance from a professor/university who is hosting the program
  • Must have  a research proposal including a timeframe
  • Necessary Language skills
  • Applicants who have been in Switzerland for one year before September of that year are not eligible.​

ETH Zurich Excellence Masters Scholarship Program

ETH Zurich Excellence Masters Scholarship Program consists of two scholarships: the Master Scholarship Programme (MSP) and the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP). It is for the candidates who want to pursue a master’s in Switzerland at ETH Zurich.

  • Host Universities in Switzerland - ETH Zurich in Switzerland
  • Level of Study - Eligible Master’s Program at ETH Switzerland.
  • Deadline of Application-15 December, annually.

Scholarships Include:

  • ESOP (Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme):
  • The ESOP scholarship includes a tuition Fee Waiver, living and study expenses (CHF 11000 per Semester)
  • MSP (Master Scholarship Programme):
  • The MSP scholarship includes a tuition Fee Waiver, partial living and study expenses (CHF 6000 per Semester), OR an assistantship from the second semester.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Candidates who are eligible and accepted for a Master’s program at ETH Zurich.
  • It is open for both national and international students who want to study in Switzerland
  • The candidate must have scored well in the bachelor’s program, preferably in the top 10% of the class, or grade A scores.
  • It is open for the students who have graduated with a bachelor’s from ETH Zurich, too.

Apart from these, there are many public and University-funded scholarships to study at Universities in Switzerland for international students. With the right research and execution, you can make a smooth way to finance your cost of studying in Swizteraland. Do not forget to check: Scholarships in Switzerland

5. Look for Scholarships offered by your country

You can also find Scholarship opportunities in your home country which are mainly provided by the government. You just have to research deeply for them across the government website and hope to find a golden opportunity among them. 

6. Find Cheaper Accommodation

The prices of accommodation in Switzerland fluctuate depending on the area and the type of accommodation. It is possible to find a flat in Zurich for $400-500 per month, while a similar flat in Winterthur may cost almost twice as much. Finding cheap accommodation combined with scholarships and work opportunities will decrease your financial burden.

7. Job Opportunities in Switzerland

International students can work part-time for up to 15 hours per week during the semester. Also, they can work full-time during holidays. Students from outside the EU or EFTA region may only start working six months after the beginning of their studies. 

8. Lowering the cost of living in Switzerland

Finally, you get a seat at a Swiss university covering most of your educational fees, and also find affordable accommodation, you still have many other living expenses to deal with. Ways to lower these expenses are :

  • Get passes for local transport.
  • Shop during sales.
  • Get student discount cards.
  • Buy second-hand books or digital copies.

The best way is to obtain a scholarship, whether from the university, government, or any other organization, to reduce your cost of living. You should also not miss the chance of working while studying.

Read Also:-

Eligibility Criteria to Study in Switzerland

Choose Top Courses to Study in Switzerland

Most Employable Courses in Switzerland for International Students

Checklist Before going to Study in Switzerland

About the Author:

Twinkle is an active listener and observer. She has a boundless curiosity to improvise her all-round knowledge. She is always open about her thoughts and her personality is filled with thirst for acquiring knowledge about different fields. Her favourite pastime is to pen down her thoughts and knowledge. Her strength is the simplicity of language yet being artistic.

Categories: Switzerland

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