Scholarships and exchanges




The Swiss government offers scholarships to foreign students from a large number of countries, including the United States, Australia and India.

Through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), the Swiss government helps foreigners continue their education in the countryexternal link.

Various Swiss universities offer their own scholarships, including merit scholarships.

For a list of countries that qualify and more information on the scholarship programme, visit the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.external link

All Swiss universities have student exchange programmes with US universitiesexternal link to allow Swiss and American students to experience each other’s higher education systems.

The prestigious Fulbright – Swiss Scholarship Programexternal link, based on a bilateral agreement, provides talented American and Swiss students with scholarships to study in Switzerland or in the US. Find more information on this pageexternal link from the US Embassy in Bern.

The Swiss Competence Centreexternal link for exchange and mobility offers educational exchange programmes in Switzerland and abroad.

A word of warning: the FCS does not advertise scholarships by email. As a rule, scholarships are directly managed by the Swiss representation in the country concerned. The Swiss authorities recommend not responding to such emails and, above all, not transferring any money.

Erasmus

Switzerland participated in the first Erasmus scheme, which was set up in the 1980s to facilitate the exchange of university students between European countries. 

But following an anti-immigration referendum in 2014, the European Union suspended Switzerland's membership of Erasmus+ (scheme for 2014-2020). Under pressure, the EU and the Swiss government found a temporary solution for Erasmus+ wherein Switzerland assumed its own costs and organisation for participating in the programme. This has been extended until the end of 2017 allowing students to continue to benefit from the EU’s programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport. The Swiss authorities are still seeking a long-term solution with the EU on future Swiss participation in exchange and cooperation projects. 

Despite this hiccup, last year the number of students coming in and out of Switzerland as part of Erasmus+ grew by 12%, continuing a growth trend since Swiss participation in the scheme was threatened. For the school year beginning in autumn 2016 a record number of over 10,000 students signed up to take part in the scheme by either coming to study in Switzerland or leaving the country to study elsewhere in Europe, according to the ch Foundation for Federal Cooperationexternal link.

Erasmus+ includes exchanges for students enrolled in university and in apprenticeship programmes, as well as opportunities for adults, secondary school students and youth exchanges outside of school.

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