The USA is a dream destination for international students. Degrees offered by American universities and colleges are renowned worldwide and attract students even if the duration of the studies can be longer when compared to courses from European countries.

Graduating a Bachelor’s or Master’s program in the USA is also a great advantage since many of the country’s universities are famous for the brilliant academic environment and the innovative teaching methods and tools.

Tuition fees for Master’s studies in the US

How much is a Master’s degree in the USA? It depends. Tuition fees can vary depending on multiple factors, like discipline, length of study, university, city, and so on.

Based on the programmes listed on our portal, you can see that although people generally perceive the US as an expensive study destination, there are many affordable Master’s programmes you can choose from.

Most affordable universities in the USA

The following American universities have some of the most affordable tuition fees:

  • The City University of New York (CUNY)
  • California State University Long Beach
  • Western Kentucky University
  • South Texas College

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list with tuition fees at top-ranked U.S. universities:

  • Princeton University – average tuition of 44,000 USD/year
  • Harvard University – tuition between 5,500 – 33,000 USD/year
  • University of Chicago – tuition between 13,500 – 39,500/year
  • Yale University – tuition between 22,000 – 46,000 USD/year
  • Columbia University – tuition between 23,000 – 59,000 USD/year

At these top American universities, some study programmes like Law, International Relations, Visual Arts, MBAs, and others can cost over 60,000 USD/year.

Online Masters from universities in the U.S.

Here is a short selection of universities offering online Masters in the U.S. in case you want to save up on travel and living costs and study from home:

  • Walden University
  • American College of Education
  • Northern Arizona University

Master’s tuition fees in the US based on the study subject

Master’s tuition fees between 5,000 – 20,000 USD/year

  • Some Business programmes, like MBAs, can cost over 70,000 USD/year.
  • Some Engineering programmes can cost over 47,000 USD/year.
  • Some Law programmes can cost over 50,000 USD/year.
  • Some Medicine programmes can cost over 64,000 USD/year.
  • Some Computer Science & IT programmes can cost over 55,000 USD/year.
  • Some Humanities programmes can cost over 50,000 USD/year.
  • Some Education programmes can cost over 40,000 USD/year.
  • Some Social Sciences programmes can cost over 35,000 USD/year.

Scholarships for international students coming to the U.S.

Many universities and colleges offer financial assistance to international students. Study fields that usually receive more generous funding include Engineering, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences.

In addition to universities, there are other commissions and organisations that offer scholarships and financial aid to international students based on different criteria, like:

  • Academic achievements
  • Financial need
  • Extracurricular activities

Some examples of scholarships you can apply to:

Living costs in the United States

Living costs in the U.S. vary a lot because of the large territory the country covers. In general, living in urban areas (in or near a big city) is more expensive than living in smaller towns or suburban areas. To give you a clearer picture of the general living costs of studying in the USA, we have included some estimates for the major regions of the country, in 2017.

The costs cover prices for a full year stay in the U.S. (academic year + vacation). As a general rule, locations in the Midwest region of the States have lower living costs, while those in the East and North-East are the highest. Living costs can vary significantly depending on four main factors:

  • Accommodation on-campus or renting apartments outside campus
  • Choosing meal plans, personal grocery shopping or eating out
  • Traveling by public transport or by car
  • Amounts spent on entertainment

Click on the cities to find out more about student life and living costs of studying there.

East Coast

  • Boston (Massachusetts) and Miami (Florida): 1,500 – 3,000 USD/month
  • Atlanta (Georgia): 1,200 – 2,200 USD/month
  • Philadelphia (Pennsylvania): 800-1.300 USD/month
  • Washington D.C., and New York City: 1,700 – 3,000 USD/month

West Coast

  • Los Angeles (California): 1,500 – 2,500 USD/month
  • San Francisco (California): 2,200 – 4,000 USD/month
  • San Diego (California): 1,400 – 2,400 USD/month

Central

  • New Orleans (Louisiana): 1,100 – 2,000 USD/month
  • Seattle (Washington): 1,500 – 2,500 USD/month

North Central

  • Chicago (Illinois): 1,300 – 2,500 USD/month
  • Detroit (Michigan): 1,000 – 1,800 USD/month

South

  • Dallas (Texas) and Houston (Texas): 1,000 – 2,000 USD/month

For more exact yearly costs, contact the university you plan to study in and ask for an estimate.

Accommodation costs in the States

Accommodation costs are just as varied as general living costs in the United States. The average apartment can start from minimum 600 USD (one bedroom apartments in more rural areas) and go up to 3,000 USD (1 bedroom apartment in Boston).

Renting outside campus in America might be less expensive than living on campus – 450 USD/month for shared rooms.

Average room and board costs at universities amount to:

  • 9,800 USD/ academic year at public four-year colleges
  • 11,100 USD/academic year at private four-year colleges

Utility costs that come with accommodation

Utilities may or may not be included in the price, so you should check the contact before making a decision. Here are some of the most common values you will see for different utilities:

  • Electric: 50 – 100 USD/month, depending on the size of your apartment, and if your heating is electric, the overall price may go up to 150 USD/month.
  • Heating : 50 – 100 USD/month.
  • Internet averages 45-50 USD/month.
  • Most phone services average 50 USD/month.
  • Water, sewer, and trash are usually covered by the landlord, but if you have to pay it will cost 50-75 USD/three months.

Food costs in the USA

Groceries for one person amount to 400 – 600 USD/month depending on your dietary habits and if some meals are included with your accommodation at the university. Look for some of the cheapest supermarkets like Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Trader Joe’s, to do your shopping.

If you live in residence halls, you could select the on-campus meal plans, for which you would have to pay around 250 USD/month.

Examples of prices in restaurants

In Bowling Green, restaurants have affordable prices, a pizza will cost around 7 USD and you can get a coffee for 4.50 USD.

In Chicago, you can grab a meal for around 12 USD, while a beer in a bar is 6 USD.

International and American restaurants in San Francisco serve meals that cost around 15 USD.

Transportation in America

A public transportation monthly pass is between 45 and 100 USD (some universities have discounts for students, but not all). For instance, in Cincinnati, a metro fare card for students is 53 USD/semester and in Nashville, a monthly public transportation pass is 44 USD.

The biggest transportation expense will probably be flying from and to your home country. Be careful to plan your airplane tickets into your total budget, as this can have a great impact on your plans.

Try to factor in vacation trips to tourist destinations and weekend getaways in the U.S., as depending on your living location and your destination, you can spend as much as 500 USD/trip.

Additional costs

  • Books and supplies: 400 – 1,000 USD/year
  • Health insurance: 700 – 1,100 USD

Try to also have a budget for other personal or unexpected expenses for the year of about 2000 USD.

Spain is one of the most visited European countries and a preferred study destination for many international students who wish to discover its interesting culture and lifestyle. The Kingdom of Spain has a rich history and provides enchanting experiences whether in large cities, the countryside or on the beach.

Universities in Spain are the kind of places where you can enjoy both a good holiday and a great Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme. But is there more to know about Spain? Well, studying in Spain allows you to enrol at some of the best universities worldwide, including famous Spanish business schools. Student life is also very entertaining.

If you want to study in Spain, it’s important to know how much money you’d need as an international student. Keep on reading as we describe what kind of tuition you should expect and what are the living costs in this beautiful country.

University tuition fees in Spain

Tuition fees in Spain vary based on different factors, such as the type of higher education institution (private or public), the degree type, the number of credits, the region where you study, and your nationality.

Based on our research, we’ve noticed that non-EU/EEA students can encounter the following situations when they enrol in Spanish public universities:

  • They are charged the same tuition as EU/EEA citizens
  • They are charged tuition that is around 1,000 – 1,500 EUR higher than the tuition for EU/EEA citizens
  • They are charged tuition that is two or three times higher

These situations are not rules, and they vary from one study programme/university to another. Before choosing a degree, always check the type of tuition that applies to students from your country.

Tuition fees in public universities

Public universities in Spain offer two types of degrees: official degrees and university-specific degrees. For official degrees, each Autonomous Community establishes limits for tuition. They usually range between:

  • 150 – 3,500 EUR/year for Bachelor’s programmes
  • 300 – 3,500 EUR/year for Master’s programmes

For university-specific degrees, each institution is free to set any tuition fee, because there are no limits imposed by the authorities.

Tuition fees in private universities

Private universities have higher tuition fees, but usually not exceeding 20,000 EUR/academic year. Some programmes offered by business schools can cost over 25,000 EUR/year. You’ll also find MBAs and International Management degrees that charge tuition fees of 30,000 EUR/year or more.

Most affordable universities in Spain

These are some of the Spanish universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

  • University of Granada – the average tuition is 821 EUR/year
  • University of Valencia – the average tuition is 2,600 EUR/year
  • University of Santiago de Compostela – the average tuition is 1,600 EUR/year
  • Universitat Rovira i Virgili – the average tuition is 2,900 EUR/year

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Spanish universities:

  • Autonomous University of Madrid – average tuition is between 2,000 and 3,000 EUR/year
  • University of Barcelona – average tuition is 2,900 EUR/year
  • Pompeu Fabra University – tuition ranges between 3,000 and 4,000 EUR/year
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona – average tuition fees are 3,500 EUR/year

Related:
List of University in Spain

Prepare to apply

You should remember that each programme’s website should be your go-to mentor. Each Spanish Master’s application is customised by its university, so you should get the specifics directly from the source.

You will be charged an application fee with the submission, so be prepared and put money away especially for this first process. Also, although you could consider this advice redundant, you should apply to something you are sure you want to attend.

Try and think through and recognize what your needs and wants are, because it won’t be profitable to apply to a hundred universities and spend the Master’s money you saved that way.

After this soul-searching, the actual application to a degree in Spain will feel like a breeze.

Where to apply for a Spanish Master’s degree?

Although there are websites that can help you with your application for a University in Spain, the best route you can take is to check your choice programme’s website and follow the instructions there.

Language requirements for a Spanish university application

I’m going to blow your mind with this information, but Spain is a Spanish-speaking country. Shocking, I know.

Although there are many programmes taught in English, the majority of them are in Spanish and will require a Spanish language proficiency test and the submission of all your documents in Spanish, as well.

For the programmes in English, universities recommend you provide a certificate of proficiency. The most popular and requested tests are:

  • IELTS
  • TOEFL

Required application documents

General application documents

Usually, all the lists of necessary documents for applying in Spain differ from programme to programme. A short list of common certificates you have to upload to your application is:

  • Proof of earning your Bachelor’s degree
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your transcripts

These documents are obligatory even if you are returning to a university you already studied at or if you studied abroad for your Bachelor’s degree.

It is very important to submit all these forms in Spanish, so, if they are in another language, search for a translator as soon as possible. If you provide the documents in any other language, the process will be delayed, and, by default, so will your acceptance.

Specific application documents

If you want the most of your experience, you should have these documents when you’re leaving for the Spanish Master’s degree:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your Social Security Card
  • Information regarding healthcare and insurances in Spain
  • Information regarding the banks and credit institutions in Spain
  • Contacts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your country’s embassy
  • A planned-out budget for your stay

University application deadlines for Spain

Master’s programmes in Spain don’t share a calendar, so it all comes down to your researching skills and the personal website of each institution.

As a rough guide, you should know that universities offer both autumn and summer semesters, the latter one being the main one.

A list of broad dates is:

  • July: deadline for the main courses
  • Middle of September or early October: first semester starts
  • December or early January: first semester finishes
  • January: final exam of the first semester takes place
  • End of January of the first of February: second semester starts
  • May: second semester ends
  • June: final exam of the second semester

Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

Start preparing for your Visa and Residence Card, like, yesterday.

It is very important to complete your Spanish Visa application, seeing how you will need one of each if you’re planning to stay in Spain for more than six months. If your staying period is for three months, you can acquire a Visa only.

The list of documents necessary for your Spanish Visa is quite comprehensive, so start preparing them early. They consist of:

  • The proof you were accepted at a university in Spain
  • Your passport (and be sure it is updated)
  • Completed application
  • Photo ID
  • Birth certificate

Costs of living in Spain for international students

Generally, Spain is a relatively affordable country where international students should not feel financially pressured.

  • You’ll need between 900 – 1,100 EUR to live in Spain. Costs are higher if you choose Madrid or Barcelona, which are the most expensive Spanish cities.
  • In cities like Valencia, Seville or Cadiz, you can enjoy cheaper costs of living, around 700 – 900 EUR/month on average.

Related:
Cost of Living in Spain

Student accommodation costs

The main housing options for students in Spain are:

  • Student residence halls – prices range from 360 to 650 EUR/month.
  • Rent an apartment – Many students prefer this option. Prices start at around 200 EUR and go over 1,000 EUR/month. You can find websites like Uniplaces or Resa, which help you compare different living places. One way to reduce your expenses is to share an apartment with other students.
  • Living with a Spanish family – Prices can vary based on region, living conditions, and so on. You can find online services that help you get in touch with Spanish families.

Other costs associated with student accommodation

Renting a private apartment or studio does not necessarily mean that its monthly cost includes all the expenses. You have to add:

  • Basic utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage): 115 EUR/month
  • Internet: 30 EUR/month

Food costs

Students in Spain will find plenty of choices from the local cuisine, such as “paella”, “escabeche” or “merienda”. For your monthly groceries, you would normally spend between 200 and 400 EUR. It depends a lot on your habits: if you cook or not, how often you eat out, and so on. Some of the cheapest supermarkets in Spain are Dia, Bally, Dani and Mercadona.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around 10 EUR, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is 35 EUR.

Transportation costs

A regular trip by public transport usually costs 1.5 EUR, and a monthly transport pass is 42 EUR and a little over 54 EUR in large cities.

You can travel around Spain and see its lovely cities with AVE (speed train): the average price for a trip is 75 EUR. With the youth travel card, you can get major discounts.

If you prefer private transport over walking, you can also rent a car from local companies.

Extra costs

  • Books, supplies and other learning materials: 900 EUR/year
  • Special classes with different fees: from 30 EUR to around 200 EUR
  • Health insurance: between 70 and 180 EUR/year

3. Funding & student support

If you need financial support to build your future career through education, you have several options in Spain:

  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarships for international students. The EU provides funds to international students enrolled in Erasmus Mundus Joint Master programmes, either for Master’s or doctoral degrees. The fund is equally provided to students coming from both EU and non-EU countries.
  • African Leadership in Business. These MBA scholarships are offered to African citizens who are interested in studying a Master of Business Administration abroad and are committed to returning to Africa after their studies.
  • You can explore other scholarships and financial-support programmes on the Gooverseas official website.

If you’re looking for affordable degrees in Europe, you should consider studying in Italy. It is home to some of the oldest universities in the world, which offer high quality education and low tuition fees. You will also enjoy traveling and exploring the rich culture and history of Italian cities.

Although tuition fees are affordable, there are other expenses you need to cover, like: accommodation, food, transportation, books, and others.

Tuition fees in public universities

Public universities in Italy set their tuition fees based on discipline and the degree type (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD). On average, tuition ranges between 0 – 5,000 EUR/academic year. If you’re a non-EU/EEA student, some study programmes can demand much higher tuition.

Tuition fees in private universities

Private universities in Italy usually charge higher tuition fees compared to public universities and most of them have the same fees for both EU and non-EU/EEA students. The average tuition fees in private universities range between 3,000 – 35,000 EUR/year.

Most affordable universities in Italy

Check the list of Italian universities with some of the most affordable tuition fees:

  • Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria
  • University of Camerino
  • Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
  • University of Pisa

Related:
List of University in Italy

Tuition fees at top-ranked Italian universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at top-ranked Italian universities:

  • Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – average tuition fees 4,000 EUR/year
  • University of Bologna – average tuition fees 3,000 EUR/year
  • University of Padua – average tuition fees 2,600 EUR/year
  • Polytechnic University of Milan – average tuition fees 3,900 EUR/year
  • University of Trento – average tuition fees 4,000 EUR/year

Scholarships and funding opportunities

Most scholarships in Italy are offered by the government or by the universities. Examples of scholarships you can apply to:

  • Italian government scholarships for international students – for all degree levels, and for teachers of Italian as a second language. Scholarships are awarded for three, six, or nine months.
  • Some Italian universities such as Politecnico di Milano, University of Padova, Bocconi University, Bologna University, offer scholarship programmes for international students; these are usually between 5,000 and 12,000 EUR/year. You can find more information on the universities’ official websites.

You can also check out the Scholarshipsineurope.com to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

View scholarship opportunities in Italy

1. Prepare to apply

Before applying to a university in Italy, first, you will need to check if your qualifications are considered eligible for higher education studies in Italy.

  • Check the tuition fees and living costs. Cities in Italy might be beautiful, but can be fairly expensive depending on the limits of your budget.
  • Contact the university you are interested in and ask for a prior assessment.
  • The university will give you feedback regarding your eligibility; if you meet the admission requirements, then you will have to submit a pre-application request to the Italian embassy or consulate in your area.
  • The Italian embassy or consulate will submit your application and documents to the Italian higher education institution you chose to apply to.
  • The Italian embassy or consulate publishes a list of admitted candidates usually at the end of August.

2. University application tips

Admitted students are usually ranked based on their grade point average (GPA) from their previous studies. Check with the chosen universities and see the minimum grade point you need to obtain in order to qualify for the degree you wish to study.

You may have to attend specific admission exams for certain specialized fields of study, such as:

  • Medicine
  • Architecture
  • Engineering

Students from countries where admission to university is possible after 10 or 11 years of study must prove that they have passed all necessary examinations for two years or one year, in order to reach the total of twelve years of study.

3. Language requirements for Italian university application

Italian universities offer study programmes taught both in Italian and English. However, most English study programmes are available for postgraduate level, Master’s degrees and PhD courses. Within some Italian universities, you may have the option to apply for degrees taught in the Italian language, but take the assignments and exams in English.

Language tests accepted by universities in Italy:

Italian

  • CILS – exam may be taken in Italy and at Italian Institutes of Culture worldwide
  • CELI – take the exam at certified centres in partnership with the University of Perugia

English

If you apply for a degree taught in English, you will be required to provide proof of English language proficiency. Accepted English certificates are:

  • TOEFL
  • TOEIC
  • IELTS
  • C1 Advanced

Students who can prove that English was the medium of instruction of their Bachelor’s degree (at least for three years) are exempted from providing any English language certification.

4. Required application documents

  • Identity document
  • Passport type photograph
  • Academic transcript
  • University application form
  • Detailed study programmes/course description (must contain the number of hours of the courses or training activities that you have completed according to your academic curriculum)
  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Letter of motivation
  • Language proficiency (English or Italian)
  • Portfolio (only for applicants to architecture, urban planning, or any design programme)
  • Official score SAT or ACT

5. University application deadlines for Italy

Mid-April to mid-May: contact the Italian embassy/consulate to receive a Letter of Academic Eligibility and Suitability (Dichiarazione di Valoro in Loco (DV)).

Deadlines for applications may vary according to each institution, so always check with the university you are interested in and try to apply as early as possible.

6. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

Studying in Italy means a few extra steps after the application process:

  • Apply for a visa if you need one (mainly students that come from non-EU countries).
  • Apply for a residence permit by registering with the local police (Questura), within eight working days of your arrival in Italy.
  • Prepare a health insurance plan that covers at least 30,000 EUR. EU citizens holding a European Health Card (EHC) have access to the same range of medical services as the Italian citizens. Both EU (without an EHC) and non-EU citizens can either pay for a health insurance policy from their home country before they depart for Italy or can purchase one as soon as possible after their arrival. They can also subscribe to the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – S.S.N.).
  • Students must officially enrol in the university after arriving in Italy before they can start their classes.

For more details regarding applying to an Italian university, you can always check the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.

Non-EU students must apply for the Italian visa

Here is detailed information about the student visa application process for students coming from a non-Eu country:

7. Costs of living in Italy for international students

The overall living costs for international students in Italy range between 700 and 1,000 EUR/month. These costs include: accommodation, food, public transportation, local travel and/or entertainment.

Living in Italy is a great experience, but keep in mind that if you choose Rome or Milan, they are more expensive when compared to other Italian cities. Check the average monthly living expenses for students in these student cities in Italy:

  • Bologna: around 750 – 1,100 EUR/month
  • Florence: around 850 – 1,300 EUR/month
  • Milan and Rome: between 850 and 1,450 EUR/month

Accommodation

You can expect to pay anywhere between 300 – 600 EUR for housing. Prices vary depending on the city in which you live and the type of accommodation. Sharing an apartment with other students is a good way to reduce your monthly expenses. You can also live with a local family and practise your Italian skills while getting to know their tradition and lifestyle.

On average, here are the prices students spend on housing, depending on the type of accommodation:

  • Students living alone: 400 – 700 EUR/month
  • Students living in student accommodation: 250 – 300 EUR/month
  • Students sharing a rented apartment: 250 – 500 EUR/month

Don’t forget to take into account utilities, which can add between 90 – 260 EUR to your monthly expenses.

Food costs

You will spend around 150 – 200 EUR/month if you buy groceries from local supermarkets. Lidl, Penny Market or Esselunga have some of the lowest prices.

In Italian restaurants, lunch or dinner start with antipasto, (a sort of appetisers or hors d’oeuvres) a course consisting of various types of cold meat, seafood and vegetable dishes, with prices between 8 and 15 EUR.

In mid-range restaurants, pasta dishes are between 6 and 12 EUR, while the main fish or meat courses will normally cost between 8 and 16 EUR.

You should be aware of an important detail: any Italian restaurant will charge you for the bread and cover; this usually costs around 1 – 2.50 EUR per person.

Transportation costs

Public transport is the easiest and most convenient method to travel in Italy. A monthly bus/tram/metro ticket for students is somewhere between 25 and 45 EUR/month, depending on the city.

The train network in Italy is fast and well maintained, so visiting other cities is definitely an option. Fares start at around 20 EUR for a trip, but if you book tickets earlier, you could get discounts of up to 70%.

Extra costs when studying in Italy

  • The costs for phone bills and internet can reach 30 – 50 EUR/month
  • Entertainment and social activities add another 30 – 40 EUR/week
  • Books and other study materials can cost around 40 – 50 EUR/month

Related:
Cost of Living in Italy

Tips for saving money

Have an inexpensive meal at the university cafeteria or “mensa”, or check the crowded places that serve street food and you can get a sandwich or a slice of pizza for 2 – 3 EUR. In most pubs, small restaurants and cafeterias in Italy, if you choose to eat or drink at a table, you will pay double the price that is listed on the menu! When you can simply order and take away, you should do it. Some restaurants in Italy have the Apertivo (similar to the American Happy Hour), where they offer a free buffet if you buy a drink, for around 6 EUR; this is usually between 6 and 9 pm.

Studying in Europe and living in Italy, one of the most beautiful countries, is a great choice. Low tuition fees will allow you to save some money and explore its cities full of ancient monuments and mysteries while enjoying great weather and trying some of the best food in the world. Have a great study experience and make the most out of it!

Visa fee

Now that you have an overview of tuition fees and living costs in Italy, you can start applying to universities. While you do that, don’t forget to also check the Italian student visa requirements if you are from outside the EU/ EEA.

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. It is famous for high standard education and ground-breaking research. For these reasons, Swiss MBAs and PhD programmes are renowned and appreciated worldwide. As a European business hub, young adults not only dream of studying here, but they also consider pursuing a career in Switzerland after finishing their studies.

Many Swiss universities received awards of international student satisfaction, confirming that studying in Switzerland could be one of the best choices you have ever made. Switzerland has three widely spoken official languages (French, German and Italian), meaning you will have the opportunity to experience a complete European atmosphere and culture in one relatively small country and enrich your language skills as well.

Applying for studies at a university in Switzerland is really easy, you just have to remember some essential tips:

1. University tuition fees in Switzerland

In most European countries, tuition fees for non-EU/EEA citizens are higher than those for EU/EEA students. Switzerland is an exception; here, tuition at most public universities is the same for all international students, regardless of their nationality. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Université de Fribourg
  • University of Lucerne
  • University of Neuchâtel
  • University of St. Gallen
  • University of Lugano
  • University of Zurich

At these universities, you can encounter two situations:

  • Tuition fees are higher for non-EU/EEA citizens
  • Tuition fees are higher for all international students when compared to fees for national (Swiss) students

Tuition fees in public universities

Public Swiss universities receive significant funding from the government. That’s why tuition fees are more affordable when compared to fees charged by universities from the UK or the US. International students who come to Switzerland on an exchange programme don’t pay any tuition fee.

Average tuition fees at Swiss public universities:

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes: 400 – 3,700 EUR/year
  • PhD degrees: 100 – 900 EUR/year

Tuition fees in private universities

Swiss Private universities usually have higher tuition fees that can reach 43,000 EUR per year. Some universities offer a discount if students pay the full amount when they begin the study programme. For some degrees, tuition is calculated based on the total number of courses or credits.

Most affordable Swiss universities

These are some of the most affordable higher education institutions in Switzerland:

  • University of Geneva – average tuition fees: 900 EUR/year
  • University of Bern – average tuition fees: 1,700 EUR/year
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW – average tuition fees: 1,260 EUR/year
  • University of Lausanne – average tuition fees: 1,040 EUR/year

Tuition fees at top-ranked Swiss universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Swiss universities:

  • ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich – average tuition fees: 1,200 EUR/year
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne – average tuition fees: 1,150 EUR/year
  • University of Basel – average tuition fees: 1,550 EUR/year
  • University of Zurich – average tuition fees: 1,300 EUR/year

Related:
List of University in Switzerland

Scholarships for students in Switzerland

International students can get scholarships offered by the Swiss government, based on partnerships established with several countries. Most of these scholarships are granted to postgraduate candidates and researchers. Other funding opportunities are offered by individual universities and other organizations.

  • You should check if you are entitled to receive a scholarship by contacting the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country.
  • Other scholarships are offered by some of the Swiss universities; you can benefit from grants ranging from 9,200 EUR to 13,700 EUR, available only for one year, with the possibility of extension, provided you will be academically successful at the end of your first semester of studies. Here are some scholarships offered by the University of Geneva.
  • Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists – scholarships awarded by the Federal Commission to foreign artists with a Bachelor’s degree or young researchers with a Master’s or PhD degree.
  • You can explore many other scholarship programmes on Studyinswitzerland.plus.
  • In some universities, you can apply for an interest-free loan of up to 11,000 EUR per year, which covers up to 40 % of fees and living costs. In Zurich, you can also opt for the solidarity fund for foreign students.

2. Prepare to apply

  • Switzerland provides a variety of study options, many of them highly focused on research. Choose your degree after you collect all relevant information.
  • Check the exact entry requirements for each degree programme, as there are often specific admission criteria for Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine degrees.
  • Look for scholarship opportunities in Switzerland. You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

3. Qualifications not recognized by most Swiss universities

You should be aware that some qualifications are not recognized by most Swiss universities, such as:

  • Distance education certificates, night school certificates and certificates not attained in a school class
  • Certificates from vocational or part-time high schools and schools offering vocational training as well as general education

If a credential or qualification is not recognized, you will have to pass the full Swiss (or cantonal) maturity examination. This is mainly the Swiss equivalent for international baccalaureate, based on a specific curriculum (seven key subject areas studied by all students), depending on each Swiss canton.

4. How to apply

  • Complete the online application form from the website of the university.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Upload all the supporting documents before the deadline.

5. Language requirements for Swiss university application

Switzerland has three official languages (German, French and Italian) and the language of instruction depends on the university. In addition, most universities also offer a wide range of programmes taught in English. Most international students apply for either English, French or German taught degrees.

Accepted evidence of proficiency for each language are:

  • German: DSH, TestDaF, OSD, telc and others
  • French: DELF or DALF
  • English: IELTS, TOEFL

If you don’t hold a language certificate, you can take a language test at the university and they can decide if your level is sufficient for you to complete your studies. This option is not available within all universities, so first check with the institution.

6. Required application documents

  • A signed printout of your application form
  • Two passport photos
  • Copy of identity document
  • Official academic transcript(s) from each university you attended
  • High school diploma or Bachelor’s diploma
  • Language proficiency certificates (German/French/English)
  • CV
  • Evidence of payment of the application fee (100 – 150 CHF or 400 CHF for late applications)
  • Personal essay/Motivation letter

7. Additional documents for students who apply to a doctoral programme

  • A letter from an instructor of the faculty who is approved to direct doctoral dissertations, and who agrees to overlook your research.
  • If you are in your final year at secondary school and have not yet received your diploma, you may apply based on your grades over the year, but you have to send copies of your final exam results as soon as you have them.
  • All certificates and transcripts that are not in English, French, German or Italian must be translated into English or French by a certified translator. Along with the translation, some universities will demand an official document from the school or university that you attended, with an explanation of the grading and assessment system.

8. University application deadlines for Switzerland

Deadline for application at Swiss universities is variable, depending on each university and sometimes it also depends on your qualifications or if you need to apply for a student visa. Students are usually advised to submit their application in the spring semester for studies beginning the following academic year.

Regular application

  • Fall semester: start of December – end of April
  • Spring semester: start of May – end of November
  • If a visa for Switzerland is required, the following deadlines are recommended: start of December – end of February for the Fall semester and start of May – end of  September for the Spring semester.

In some cases, applications for PhD candidates have different deadlines:

  • For the fall semester: until mid-October
  • For the spring semester: until end of March

Universities that will receive your application too late, will sign you up for the next semester.

9. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

  • If you need a student visa, apply for one as soon as possible as it usually takes around a month to get a response from the embassy/consulate.
  • All foreigners intending to study in Zurich require a residence permit, which you can obtain from the local migration office, within 14 days after your arrival to Switzerland.
  • Make arrangements for the health insurance policy. EU students automatically qualify for basic medical care in Switzerland with a European Health Insurance Card. EU and non-EU students can either pay for a health insurance policy from their home country before they come to Switzerland or can purchase one as soon as possible after their arrival.

10. Non-EU/EEA students must apply for the Swiss student visa

Here is detailed information about the student visa application process for students coming from a non-Eu country:

11. Living costs in Switzerland for international students

Living in Switzerland is expensive and managing your monthly budget without making any compromise could be a tough challenge.

You should have an average budget of 1,300 – 1,700 EUR/month to pay for accommodation, food, transportation, supplies and leisure activities. Geneva and Zurich are the most expensive cities, and you might need a budget exceeding 1,700 EUR/month.

Here is how much you will spend, on average, in these Swiss cities:

  • Geneva – between 1,650 – 2,500 EUR/month
  • Zurich – between 1,650 – 2,200 EUR/month
  • Bern – around 1,600 EUR/month
  • Basel – between 1,400 – 2,000 EUR/month

Related:
Cost of Living in Switzerland

Student accommodation costs and options

Rates for accommodation in Switzerland are around 600 – 700 EUR/month, well above the international average of 300 EUR/month.

The most common housing choices among international students in Switzerland are:

  • Student halls of residence – between 450 and 800 EUR/month. The number of places is limited.
  • Rent/share an apartment – average prices range between 700 and 1,200 EUR/month. It’s one of the most popular accommodation options among students. You can reduce your costs by sharing the apartment with other students.

Food costs in Switzerland

Most students choose to buy food from supermarkets and eat out only once in a while. You can expect to pay between 400 – 550 EUR/month for food. Try making most of your shopping after 5 p.m. when many stores offer 25 – 50% discounts on perishable items.

Inexpensive restaurants in Switzerland serve meals at prices that range from 16 to 27 EUR per person. Restaurants that serve international cuisine can have lower prices.

A good option is the university dining hall, where you would only pay 8 – 10 EUR, or the snack bars or restaurants located in department stores (like Migros, Coop or Manor).

Transportation costs

Around 11% of students choose to get around by foot, 10% use the bicycle, and another 10% use public transport. A monthly pass for public transportation is around 55 EUR.

In major Swiss cities like Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel, any public transportation ticket is valid on trains, tramways, buses and even ships.

Extra costs for students

  • Monthly health insurance: between 250 and 330 EUR. You might be exempt from paying this fee if you meet certain requirements.
  • Books and supplies: 100 EUR/month
  • With a student ID card, museum tickets should only cost around 6 – 7 EUR.