How can I get a scholarship to study in Switzerland?

Being able to sustain yourself when you study abroad is one of the main concerns for international students. While the tuition fees remain reasonable at most Swiss institutions, the living costs in the country remain quite high. Many opt for working part-time while others would apply for a scholarship to cover their living expenses. Funding opportunities come from the Swiss government, from the universities or from private organizations. Once you have chosen the program to pursue, make sure to check any available scholarships to finance your studies in Switzerland.

Read also our guide on the tuition fees and living costs in Switzerland.

Scholarships from the Swiss Government for international students

As more and more international students choose Switzerland to pursue academics, the country also has become generous towards them throughout the years. Brilliant students can then apply for the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, which rewards exclusively the academic and scientific merit of candidates from more than 180 countries. 

The grants are awarded by the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS). The commission mostly aims at international students and researchers holding a master’s or a PhD and international artists holders of a bachelor’s degree. 

Decision from the FCS is made on the basis of the applicant’s profile, the research project or artistic work and any potential for future research cooperation. To find out if your country is a participant in the program, check with the Swiss embassy of your home country. There are usually 2 types of grants:

  • Research scholarships for those who intend to conduct postgraduate studies or research in Switzerland. It can be either a research fellowship, a PhD or a post-doctorate grant, at any university, university of applied science or institute of technology in Switzerland. Students also must be nominated by an academic mentor at a Swiss HEI to be considered.

Learn more about the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

Read here how to do your PhD in Switzerland.

ETH Zurich Excellence Scholarships to study a master in Switzerland

To give national and international students an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree at ETH Zurich, the institution offers them support through its Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Program (ESOP). The program intends to cover the recipients’ study expenses and living costs. They receive an amount of (CHF12,000 per semester) along with a tuition fee waiver. 

Moreover, the scholarship is for the regular duration of a master’s program, which is 3 or 4 semesters. The same goes for the tuition fee exemption. Furthermore, the program is open to excellent students who have earned their bachelor’s with excellent grades (top 10% or grade A) at ETH Zurich or elsewhere. Along with documents for their Master admission, students also need to submit a pre-proposal for their master thesis. 

As for the deadlines, students need to submit their application by December 15th of each year. The decisions are then communicated by the end of March of the following year. Lastly, the number of scholarships awarded every year depends on the availability of fund. 

Find out more details by visiting the program’s website at ETH Zurich

EPFL Excellence Fellowships: Undergraduate & graduate scholarships for international students in Switzerland

EPFL is one of Europe’s most diverse and popular institutions of science and technology. And as such, the institution gives a number of scholarships at bachelor’s and master’s levels to outstanding students, national or international ones. These are fellowships financed either directly by EPFL or through partnerships with private organizations. 

Bachelor excellence fellowship 

This program grants scholarships to students who have achieved excellent results during their pre-university years in both academic and extracurricular activities. The grant consists of an amount of CHF 10,000 spread over 3 years, along with a housing guarantee. Applicants in their final year of high school must then check that box in their registration form. Moreover, application deadline for the Bachelor Excellence Fellowship is April 20. 

For any additional guidelines and important details, make sure to check the website of the EPFL Bachelors Fellowship.

Master excellence fellowship 

This scholarship based on merit is open to students who are holders of a bachelor’s degree, either from EPFL or an external institution. To benefit from this program, candidates must apply using the same form for their application to a master’s program. There is usually a box to check on the application form that indicates they should be considered for the excellence scholarship. The application deadline is either on April 15 or December 15. 

Additionally, the scholarship is worth CHF 10,000 per semester. Moreover, it is renewable under the condition that the student earn 50 ECTS at the beginning of their second year of master with a GPA of 5,0/6. Besides, the scholarship aims to give students an opportunity to focus on their studies while undertaking other activities that will likely enrich their professional background and develop other essential skills. 

Get more details by visiting the page for the EPFL Masters Fellowships

Alfred Werner’s fully funded masters scholarships in Switzerland 

Since 2013, the Alfred Werner Scholarship Program grants 10 scholarships every year to outstanding students from foreign countries. These candidates, to be eligible must have graduated in their undergraduate programs in the top 10% (grade A). This is a CHF 30,000 grant per student per master’s program. 

Moreover, they must apply to a master’s program in chemistry or biochemistry at one of the eligible Swiss universities or Federal institutes of technology. 

The host institutions include: 

  • EPFL – the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
  • ETH Zurich
  • University of Basel
  • University of Berne
  • Fribourg University
  • Geneva University 
  • University of Zurich

Get more details and read the guidelines about the Alfred Werner Scholarship Program

UNIL Master’s scholarships in Switzerland for international students

The University of Lausanne has around 10 scholarships available every year. They target international students who want to earn their master’s degree at the university. This is a grant of CHF 1,600 per month that runs from September 15 to July 15 each year. The funding lasts for the duration of the master’s program. Moreover, the students will be exempt from paying the registration fees for the course, except for the CHF 80.00 fees they have to pay every semester. 

Furthermore, only international students can apply, and they must not have studied at UNIL before. They also must have outstanding academic results and have a proficiency level of at least B2 in the language of their master’s course. Lastly, the application deadline is on November 1st each year. 

Learn about the eligible and excluded master’s program and get more details on this scholarship, visit the website of UNIL

Partial and fully-funded scholarships from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights 

These are scholarships awarded to students who are citizens of non-western countries to study LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights or a Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. Selection is done on the basis of the candidate’s academic merit, participation in extracurricular activities as well as their financial needs. 

Moreover, the scholarship covers the student’s tuition fees for the partial funding. While the full scholarship covers the student’s tuition and living costs in Geneva for 10 months. Students must then submit their scholarship request along with their university application, by choosing the “application with scholarship” track. Also, they must secure their places by paying a non-refundable deposit of CHF 150.

Learn more and check out if your country is eligible by visiting the page of the scholarship program.

Excellence Scholarships of the University of St. Gallen

The University of St. Gallen, through the Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund offers excellence scholarships of CHF 20,000 each year. The intended recipients are highly talented international students, holders of a bachelor’s degree in one of the institution’s master’s programs in English. This includes masters’ degrees in accounting & corporate finance, banking & finance, economics, international affairs & governance, international law, marketing management, quantitative economics & finance and strategy & international management. 

Learn more on the program and other scholarships available at the University of St. Gallen.

MBA Scholarships at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

Among the best study programs available in Switzerland, the most popular are MBA and PhDs. It’s then only logical that there are funding that allow international students to earn their MBA in Switzerland. And the International Institute for Management Development, an independent institution with Swiss roots and a global influence has some interesting programs to check out. 

IMD’s purpose through its scholarship programs is to foster growth in diversity. They offer therefore merit based and financial need-based funding for students who have applied for and admitted to a MBA program at the institution. Among these programs, there are the: 

  • Nestle MBA Scholarship for Women from developing countries, worth CHF 25,000
  • Financial need scholarships worth CHF 30, 000 for students with good academic results but with proven financial need
  • Hilti Scholars Program worth CHF 50,000 for students with engineering, mathematics, science and technology backgrounds to further their education at IMD.

Learn more on the website of IMD

About Herilalao

A versatile freelance content creator and SEO specialist, I have a passion for writing and a knack for optimizing online visibility. I help businesses and individuals enhance their online presence through engaging and well-researched content. From writing informative articles to optimizing websites for search engines, I thrive in finding ways to create and manage content that not only resonates with readers but also boosts visibility and drives organic traffic.

One comment

  1. hi there,
    Am Alex from East Africa,Uganda,Kampala i have looked through the available scholarships but i have not gotten any of my choice.
    i would love to study my Masters Program from any university in Switzerland.
    i like the page becouse it gives you all the data you need to know.

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.