Reasons to Study in Switzerland: Student Survey | Top Universities

Reasons to Study in Switzerland: Student Survey

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Tiina Niemi

Updated Apr 19, 2021



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According to international student testimonies, Switzerland is considered a great place to receive higher education in Europe. In the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014 more than 7,000 students reviewed their international study experience with the help of the world’s largest database of international student experiences, In total, 228 students shared 530 comments related to their experience of studying in Switzerland, giving the country an excellent rating of 8.9 out of 10. The Student Satisfaction Awards are a valuable source of information for future students who wish to enrol at universities in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe.

Six universities in Switzerland received awards of international student satisfaction. The first three had average ratings of at least 9 out of 10 and were awarded the Certificate for Excellent International Student Satisfaction. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) placed first, followed by the University of Bern and ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Three more universities in Switzerland were rated “very good”, including ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the University of Lausanne and the University of Zurich.

The advantages of studying in Switzerland

Switzerland is well-known throughout Europe for the high reputation of its universities and teachers, and surveyed students agree with this view. Reviewers are happy with the top-quality universities and facilities that generally exceed their needs. They are also pleased with the compact class sizes, practical courses and diverse research opportunities. Overall, students are more satisfied with the academics in Switzerland than on average in Europe. Because universities in Switzerland are highly regarded around the world, students are confident the opportunity to study in Switzerland will play an important role in their future careers.

“From an academic point of view, I would recommend this university because there are well-known (on the world scale) professors, who have extraordinary presentation and communication skills and also experience – you can learn a lot from them. What I also like is the fact that there are quite many events organized at the university, such as workshops, conferences, start-up events, etc. This allowed me to grow my professional network.”student from France

“Because it's where most international organizations are located and its surroundings are amazing, as well as the people. The university has a high level and it helps you with the professional market later. I think it's an opportunity that opens doors for students once they finish their degrees.”student from Spain

“I will recommend to study at University of Zurich due to the high education level and the possibility to really enhance your own academic background and skills. The university is well furnished with canteens, libraries, gyms, open areas, and so on.” – student from Italy

Many students were impressed by the cities and natural beauty of Switzerland. They enjoyed exploring the countryside and taking part in various student activities. Reviewers were also happy with the friendly atmosphere and the opportunities to learn a foreign language. The social life and events were high up on the list of things international students appreciated about studying in Switzerland.

“The city (Zurich) has so much to offer, especially in the summer, with the lake, the rivers, the cultural and musical events, the warm summer weather, the mountains, landscapes, and the list could go on forever. It is quite an expensive city, but there are student jobs offered at the university that can really balance your expenses. The ESN organization is very friendly and they also engage exchange students in many activities, from social drinks and partying to hiking trips, climbing, swimming in almost all the lakes in Switzerland, and much more.” – student from Romania

“It would be a good learning experience. There are no words to describe the city and the natural beauty. Lake view, snow-clad mountains, cool breeze, hiking and skiing. Overall I rate 10/10 for both city and university” – student from India

High living costs and demanding classes seen as setbacks

Most reviewers find Switzerland a very expensive study destination. Others also note that student accommodation is not sufficient in some cities and finding affordable accommodation may be a problem. A few reviewers mention that the peaceful atmosphere in the country may at times get boring for more active, outgoing students. However, travelling around the country or to other nearby European destinations can offer a great opportunity for adventure. Students who prefer a more relaxed study pace may have a difficult time with Swiss education, as demanding teachers often strive for student excellence.

Universities in Switzerland offer many study opportunities to international students. To read more about the Student Satisfaction Awards and universities in Switzerland, visit the StudyPortals country overview. Students who plan to study in Switzerland can also compare over 300 master’s programs taught in English, and almost 100 English-taught bachelor’s programs.

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