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University exchange programmes



A stamp for the Erasmus scheme
(Keystone)

Swiss universities are very popular with foreign students, who make up 17% of the student body, almost three times the OECD average. As a result, international students are well catered for on Swiss campuses and all the relevant information is available in English.

See here for a listexternal link of Swiss universities and other higher education institutions.

One route to studying in Switzerland is to enrol as an international student for a degree on a regular course of study. Alternatively, you can apply for one or two semesters as an exchange student or a visiting student, and complete most of your degree at your home university.

Exchange students pay their usual fee to their home university while visiting students pay the fees of the host university. The starting point is to find out whether your own university participates in any international exchange programmes or has bilateral agreements with Swiss universities. Only then will you be eligible to apply as an exchange student.

Following a 2014 Swiss vote which targeted European Union immigration, Swiss participation in the Erasmus+ university exchange scheme was suspended. An interim arrangement supported by Swiss funding is now in place under the name Swiss-European Mobility Programmeexternal link (SEMP).

Under this temporary solution, Switzerland is a partner country of the scheme, which offers students more limited opportunities than full membership would. The workaround is expected to remain in place until 2021.

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