Cost of Studying and Living in Switzerland

If you are thinking about studying in Switzerland or got already accepted in one of the Swiss universities, you have to know that the government universities receive substantial funding from the Swiss government. Moreover, the tuition fees in private universities are not much different from the government ones. We have prepared for you a summary of the cost of studying and living in Switzerland to be prepared in advance.

Average Annual Tuition Fees: How much does it cost to study in Switzerland?

Switzerland is an expensive country to live in, especially for international students. However, tuition fees in Swiss universities are fairly reasonable, especially for public institutions. 

Tuition fees in Switzerland depend on the student’s nationality, the university, the level of study they apply for and the discipline. Like in any other country in the world, medical degrees, MBA as well as executive master’s programs are the most expensive. And study costs are also higher in private institutions than in public universities. 

Discover here our ranking of the top 10 universities in Switzerland with their official websites

To find out about these tuition fees, you can contact directly the university of your choice. But here are some details you can already keep in your notes:

  • The average fees for bachelor and master programs are 1,600 Euros.
  • As for the PhD programs, the tuition fees range between 100 and 200 Euros, because the PhD students are hired in the university while studying.
  • Some disciplines cost more than the others, such as medicine and some types of engineering. The fees for such disciplines reach 16,000 Euros per year.
  • Universities in Freiburg, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, Zurich, and Lugano have higher tuition fees for international students.

Average Fees of Some Reasonable Swiss Universities

  • University of Geneva: 900 Euros per year
  • Universities of Bern and Lausanne: 1,500 Euros per year
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts: 1,300 Euros per year

Average Fees of Some Top-Ranked Swiss Universities in Global Ratings

  • ETH Zurich: 1,600 Euros per year
  • The École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne: 1,100 Euros per year
  • University of Basel: 1,500 Euros per year
  • University of Zurich: 1,400 Euros per year

Cost of Living in Switzerland for international students

The cost of living in Switzerland is high. So, students have to manage their monthly expenses.

Living cost per month in Switzerland

They have to plan for a budget with a specific amount of money per month. It is not easy but not impossible as well.

They should limit their expenses to 1,000-1,400 Euros per month.

This amount shall include the cost of accommodation, food, transport, education, and other needs, in addition to a few entertaining activities.

Geneva and Zurich are the most expensive cities in Switzerland. They need a budget that exceeds 1,500 Euros per month. Here you are the average monthly expenses you may need in some Swiss cities.

  • Geneva: between 1,600 and 1,700 Euros
  • Zurich: between 1,200 and 1,700 Euros
  • Bern: around 1,100 Euros
  • Basel: between 900 and 950 Euros

To know more about the accommodation options and its prices, check our article about how to get a student accommodation in Switzerland.


Most of the students choose to buy their food from large supermarkets. Their bills usually range between 180 and 200 Euros per month.

They may also reach between 280 and 300 Euros per month, according to the chosen lifestyle by the student.
Average restaurants in Switzerland offer meals for 12-22 Euros per person. The cost of the meal in the university food court is less than 10 Euros.


Many students prefer to move inside the cities on foot. Others use bicycles. Some students prefer public transport that costs around 80 Euros per month. In the major Swiss cities, such as Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, and Neuchâtel, the public transport tickets are usable in trains, trams, buses, and even ships.

There is also a ticket for who wish to visit other Swiss cities. It costs around 150 Euros and is valid for a week.

Other living costs for international students in Switzerland

Apart from food and transportation, international students need also to pay for their accommodation. Renting a room in a student residence will cost between 500 and 800 Euro per month, depending on the city. The other option is to share an apartment with other students, which will reduce the rent down to 400 Euros per month. This cost will actually swallow most of the student’s living cost in Switzerland.  

The other items not to miss out are internet subscription and phone bills, which will cost around 60 Euros per month. Moreover, other fees like sports gym will cost around 40 Euros per month, a cinema ticket will cost 10 Euros, and a museum visit using a student card will cost only 7 Euros.

Although the cost of studying and living in Switzerland might be high, you can still benefit from one of the scholarships offered by Switzerland.

About Sara

A professional Eng><Ara translator and writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.