Cheapest University in Switzerland

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Which university in Switzerland is the cheapest? Is there a town or city in Switzerland with cheap universities? How much does it cost to go to university in Switzerland as an international student? In this article you will find lots of helpful information about how to study at a university in Switzerland as an international student and what becomes more affordable than studying abroad. Get more information regarding Cheapest University In Switzerland, public universities in switzerland for international students, universities in switzerland for international students in english, free universities in switzerland for international students & living cost in switzerland for international students

In comparison to other countries with world-renowned universities, Switzerland offers exceptionally cheap tuition fees to their students. One of the prime examples is the difference between Swiss annual tuition fees and those of the US.

It’s absolutely going to be worth it reading through the article below as it gives you valuable information on how to study abroad in Switzerland for free, can you study in Switzerland for free, how can I study in Switzerland for free, and so much more relevant information.  All you just have to do is read on to get the full details.

What’s more? You will find out related posts on study in Switzerland for Indian students, Universities in Switzerland, public universities in Switzerland on Collegelearners.

Cheap University in Switzerland for International Students

Switzerland, apart from being a beautiful place also offers plenty of opportunities for studying when compared to other European countries. Apart from being the bank of the world, it has come up with the latest opportunities in academics for both students of the city and international students. The government has made it possible for the students to enroll in the program for low tuition fees. The cheapest universities offer even different programs. So, when international students are planning to enroll in any of the cheap universities in Switzerland, they can choose from plenty of options.

Cheapest Universities in Switzerland: Are There Any Tuition-Free Colleges?  - Studying in Switzerland

Studying in Switzerland can be very exciting when compared to other countries in Europe. The Swiss government and other bodies help make available low tuition Universities in Switzerland. These cheapest Universities in Switzerland offers all courses in several fields of study. So, for international students who wish to study in Switzerland, should take note of the cheap or low tuition universities in Switzerland. Most foreign students currently rush to Switzerland because it has become a top destination for students due to their high-class education.  Switzerland is currently seen as a confederation with a population of over 8 million.

The Universities offer several academic programs in the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.

  • The American Graduate School of Business
  • Franklin University Switzerland
  • European Graduate School
  • SBS Swiss Business School
  • Geneva Business School
  • University of St Gallen (HSG)
  • IHTTI School of Hotel Management
  • University of Business and International Studies (UBIS)
  • Cesarittz Colleges
  • Ecole Polytechnique Federal De Lausanne
  • ETH Zurich
  • University of Bern
  • University of Italian Switzerland
  • Webster University Geneva
  • University of Art and Design
  • Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences
  • Sustainability Management School
  • University of Lucerne
  • State Tourism and Hotel Management School
  • United International Business School
Low Tuition Fees Universities in Switzerland | Low-Tuition Schools in  Switzerland - A Scholarship

universities in switzerland for international students in english

APPLY: Cheapest Universities in Switzerland 2021

1. The American Graduate School of Business

This is one of Switzerland’s new generation Universities that is known to offer more than academics to students. It has programs that equips students to grow in a working environment. The University also admits undergraduate and graduate students. It has a 60-70 percent acceptance, with a tuition fee of CHF 300 – 60,000.

2. SBS Swiss Business School

This cheap school in Switzerland offers several Business and management courses to national and international students. The tuition fees is CHF 2300 – 9500 and the acceptance rate of this school is fair.

3. Geneva Business School

The Geneva Business School is a Business and finance institute established in 1995. This School offers a limited number of programs to graduate students. Scholarship opportunities are also available to help students complete their studies at the school. The acceptance rate is 60%, while the tuition falls within the range of CHF 5,700 – 20,000.

4. University of St Gallen (HSG)

One of the cheapest Universities in Switzerland is the University of St Gallen (HSG). The University is well-known for its outstanding academic curricular which places it top in the world university ranking. Applicants can pursue undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the University. The acceptance rate is65% – 80%, while the tuition fees is Euro 12,000.

5. University of Business and International Studies (UBIS)

UBIS is a first-class management school in Switzerland that offers admission to lots of international students. The University offers Business and management courses across academic levels. The university has a decent acceptance rate, with a tuition of CHF 40,000 or above.

6. Cesarittz Colleges

Cesarittz College is world standard institution with lots of national and international students enrolling into its program. Cesarittz College is also a low-tuition university in Switzerland with a good acceptance rate and a tuition of CHF 41,400 – and above.

7. Ecole Polytechnique Federal De Lausanne

This school is also among the cheap Universities in Switzerland that offers a series of technical programs to students applying into the field of Science and technology. The school’s acceptance rate is about 70%, with a tuition of CHF 50,000.

8. University of Bern

University of Bern is a public Institution that was established in 1834. The University offers several academic programs across undergraduate and graduate levels for national and international students. It has an acceptance rate of 60 – 80 percent, with a tuition of 30,000 and above.

Tuition Fees and Living Costs in Switzerland -

9. University of Italian Switzerland

The University of Italian in Switzerland is also among the list of the cheapest Universities in Swiss that offers different programs to local and foreign students. The acceptance rate is good, and tuition depends on the program.

10. Webster University Geneva

The Webster University in Geneva was established in 1978, the University is a public institution which offers graduate and undergraduate programs to national and foreign students. The tuition is CHF 40,000 and has an acceptance rate of over 60%.

11. Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences

The Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences offers several Science programs across undergraduate and graduate courses, with an acceptance rate of over 70%.

switzerland tuition fees for international students

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.

If you’ve thought about studying abroad in Switzerland or already got accepted to a Swiss university, read below to find out more about tuition fees and the costs of living in Switzerland for international students.

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.

41+Cheapest universities in Switzerland to Study Abroad in 2021

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
engineering university switzerland.jpg

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

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.

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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.

You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Switzerland.

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.
street restaurant switzerland.jpg

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 organisations.

  • 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
  • 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.

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

universities in switzerland for international students in english

Swiss universities are very welcoming to international students. With their adapted programs in English and language learning courses they offer, they make the right choice for your studies. But the fact is that not all universities in Switzerland have adapted to English courses. The biggest number of English programs is on the maters and doctoral level. Only some universities offer all of their bachelor, masters, and doctoral programs in English.

Disclaim: The following lists of higher education institutions do not represent a ranking.

EU Business School


Established in 1973, the EU Business School is an institution that offers foundation, bachelor’s, master’s, MBA, and doctoral programs in subjects that cultivate entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. 

With its global network, the school encourages students to partake in exchange programs, both within Europe and with partner institutions worldwide. EU Business School also offers two English preparatory programs that may only be taken as a precursor to their degrees.

Language: All the courses are taught in English.

Tuition: Bachelor – CHF 13,800 (per semester); Master – CHF 9,600 (per term)

American University in Switzerland 

Source: American University in Switzerland

Established in 1963 (originally under the name American College of Switzerland), the school changed its name to the American University in Switzerland to display its growing international education status. This international university offers bachelor’smaster’s, and doctorate business degrees and a summer program.

AUS is a Higher Education institution that prepares students for 21st-century business challenges while thriving within an ever-changing environment. Its programs provide students with transferable skills in a multicultural and progressive environment, where cutting-edge theory interlinks with practical experience.

Language: All the courses are taught in English.

Tuition: CHF 18,000/year for undergraduate, CHF 15,000/year for graduate, and CHF 20,000/year for postgraduate.

International University in Geneva

Source: International University in Geneva

The international university of Geneva is a non-profit Swiss Foundation of Higher Education founded in 1997. It is one of the top ten business schools in Switzerland, and with its graduate and undergraduate programs, it is an ideal institution for international students.

The programs are specially designed with theoretical and practical instruction to prepare students for international business practices. Their exchange program enables students to study at universities worldwide. All undergraduate programs lead to a double degree: students graduate with a specialized degree from the International University in Geneva and a BSc (Hons) in Business Management from the University of Plymouth (UK).

Language: They are one of the few schools whose courses are taught in English.

Tuition: Total tuition per program is 36,400 CHF (in total)

Business and Hotel Management School of Switzerland

Source: Business and Hotel Management School of Switzerland on Facebook

BHMS is one of the worlds leading hospitality schools. Its distinctive quality is that it has designed the fastest BA degrees without compromising the education quality. What they have done is that they’ve combined 18 months of studying with an 18 month paid internship.

The institution also has a Preparatory English Program to ensure students maximize their development before starting a full academic program. The students at the Luzern campus have the opportunity to prepare for their future management roles in the hotel and hospitality industry. BHMS has students from 65 countries.

Language: All the courses are taught in English.

Tuition: 23’100 CHF (in total)

Montreux Business University

Source: Montreux Business University on Facebook

This university offers programs designed for students to learn the fundamentals of business and have the opportunity to use the knowledge for further personal development. These programs enable students to enter the workforce armed with both hard and soft skills of business.

The professors are real-life business professionals, bringing their own experience into the classroom, allowing them to learn from their experience and mistakes. The classes are small-sized for a more effective learning environment.

Language: All the courses are taught in English.

Tuition: Undergraduate – CHF 24’000 (international students); CHF 18’000 (EU & Swiss students)
Graduate – CHF 35’500 (international students); CHF 30’000 (EU & Swiss students)

Universities offering English courses

While not all universities offer their courses in English, some of them have a number of them in English and offer support in German, French, or Italian for the rest of the courses. While some might look at this as a disadvantage, it is actually a blessing in disguise. At these universities, you get to study at a world-class institution and perfect your foreign language knowledge.

Although the bachelor programs in these universities are not completely in English, most of their masters and doctoral degrees are. This is why these universities are so well known internationally for their masters and doctorates.

University of Geneva

Source: the University of Geneva on Facebook

This research university, located in Geneva, was founded in 1559. Its long history and legacy make it one of the best places to be studying in the world. University rankings have ranked this university in the top 100 universities.

The university’s main missions are research, teaching, and services to the community. Today, it is the third-largest university in Switzerland by the number of students, 40% of which are international.

Language: The courses are taught in French and English.

Tuition: 500 CHF (per semester)

University of Bern

Source: University of Bern

Being located in Switzerland’s capital, the University of Bern benefits from the city’s diversity, cultural heritage, and development. With Bern being located in a German-speaking canton, this language is required for a full-degree program.

The World University Rankings ranks this university in 113th place. The university is welcoming to international students, with their engagement in exchange programs like Erasmus, ISEP, and bilateral agreements with other international universities.

Language: The courses are taught in German and English.

Tuition: 950 CHF (per semester)

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW

Source: Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW on Facebook

FHNW is one of Switzerland’s preeminent universities of applied sciences and arts, involved in teaching, research, continuing education, and service provision in both innovative and practice-oriented approach.

The institution offers specific English modules in the fields of Computer Science, and Engineering, and Management, and two different international tracks, a special project-based program, and a master’s degree program.

Language: The courses are taught in German and English.

Tuition: depends on the degree of choice.

University of Basel

Source: the University of Basel on Facebook

Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the oldest in Switzerland and has a history of success going back over 550 years. Thanks to its research achievements, the University of Basel is ranked among the world’s top 100 universities.

The institution has seven faculties covering a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. At the same time, it is amidst the international competition of five strategic focal areas, including Life Sciences, Visual Studies, among others. While some courses are taught in English only, students must have knowledge of C1 in German.

Language: The courses are taught in German and English.

Tuition: 850 CHF (per semester)

University of Lausanne

Source: Université de Lausanne on Facebook

The University of Lausanne was founded as a theology school, turned into a university.  It is around 450 years old, and approximately ⅕ of its student body is international students. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019 ranks the University of Lausanne 50th in Europe. 

The institution also has a wide range of continuing education and interdisciplinary courses, among other cultural activities such as language and IT courses. The university has 190 research units that work on genomics, aesthetics of cinema, environmental law, and criminalistics.

Language: The courses are taught in French and English.

Tuition: 580 CHF (per semester)

University of Zurich

Source: The University of Zurich on Facebook

The University of Zurich is one of the best universities, not only in Switzerland but also in Europe. Its location in one of Switzerland’s largest cities allows it to be home to many Swiss and international students.

It has achieved ranking as the 90th best university in the world, and it is a member of the League of European Research Universities. As an institution, it is committed to gender equality, diversity, and sustainability.

Language: The courses are taught in German and English.

Tuition: 1,220 CHF (per semester)

Other universities in Switzerland offer a few English programs, such as the University of Fribourg, with two English study programs. Other universities offer a few English courses, such as the University of St. Gallen or programs in several different languages-University of the Arts Bern.

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