Study in Switzerland: 4 best cheap universities


Home to institutions that consistently rank in the top spots of the rankings QS World University Rankings. Described as one of the most innovative countries in the world, according to the Global Innovation Index. A world-class healthcare system. These are some of the reasons many international students choose to study in Switzerland.

It is no wonder that this country has become a popular destination in recent years. No less than 12,300 international students enrolled in a Swiss university at the start of the 2020 academic year, according to annual data published by the Federal Statistics Bureau — a 4% increase compared to 2019.

Although there is a certain prestige to studying in a country that is home to the Swiss Alps, the central plateau and the Jura mountains, it is undoubtedly expensive to live in Switzerland. In major cities like Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich, expect to pay up to $2,196.60 to rent a room in the city center. This does not include your utilities, public transportation costs and student insurance.

Though there is no tuition free universities in Switzerland, there are fortunately cheap options for international students. Tuition fees at these universities can start from 500 Swiss Francs (USD 498.27 at the time of writing) per semester:

Need a break? Simply admire the picturesque landscapes of Switzerland. Source: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Study in Switzerland: The Best Cheap Universities for International Students

1. University of Geneva

The University of Geneva (UNIGE) is a public research university based in Geneva, a city known for being home to organizations such as the United Nations Red Cross and the World Trade Organization. It was founded in 1559 and ranked among the best 100 best universities in the world.

Choose from more than 500 programs covering the exact sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences and law, among others. His areas of research excellence include life sciences (molecular biology, bioinformatics), elementary particle physics and astrophysics.

UNIGE also hosts and co-hosts seven National research centers: Frontiers in Genetics, MaNEP, PlanetS, SwissMap, Chemical Biology, Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases and LIVES-Overcoming vulnerabilities in a life course perspective.

You will have to pay 500 Swiss francs per semester for training at UNIGE. A three-year undergraduate degree will last six semesters, while a two-year master’s program is only four semesters.

2. University of Lausanne

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the University of Lausanne — also known as UNIL — is the second oldest university in the country.

UNIL is home to seven facultiesincluding the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, the Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, the Faculty of Letters — School of French as a Foreign Language, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, the Faculty of Economics and business, the Faculty of Biology and Medicine and the Faculty of Geosciences and the Environment.

Since UNIL is located in the French-speaking Switzerland, the majority of its courses are taught in French. As such, you must have a good level of French to be admitted to UNIL. Click on here to see the UNIL bachelor’s and master’s degrees taught in English.

Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student, you can expect to pay 580 Swiss francs per semester to study at UNIL.

study in switzerland

ETH Zurich students are always at the forefront of innovation. In this photo, students work on their racing car during the Formula Student Germany competition. Source: Daniel Roland/AFP

3. ETH Zürich

As one of the oldest institutions in Switzerland, ETH Zurich offers the best of both worlds. The ETH Zurich Zentrum campus embodies the university’s traditional roots in the city, while a modern ETH Zurich Hönggerberg campus is located on the outskirts of Zurich.

Choose from a wide range of English-taught Masters programs that will cover areas such as Environmental sciences, Environmental genius, Quantum engineering and much more. Project-based learning components are included in these programs to encourage active participation in industrial and academic research projects.

Usually you will pay 730 Swiss francs per semester for your master’s degree at ETH Zurich.

4. University of Neuchatel

Another university located along Lake Geneva in a French-speaking region of Switzerland is the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE). Despite its modest size, the UniNE is relatively well known for its welcoming attitude towards students coming from 100 countries. According to its website, 42% students come from other Swiss cantons (cantons refer to a district, section or part of a country) and 22% come from abroad.

While most of their courses are taught in French, UniNE also offers programs taught in English. Some of them are distinctive. Image management learning in the world of sport through FIFA Master – International Master (MA) in Sports Management, Law and Humanities in the heart of Europe or learn the philosophy of the mind with a Master of Arts or Science in Cognitive Science. Tuition fees at UON start from 790 Swiss francs for their master’s program.


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