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The basics
Switzerland: Student Finances

Four Swiss university scholarships for international students

Being an international student can be expensive, so see if you are eligible for these scholarships at different Swiss universities to save you some money.

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Although tuition fees in Switzerland are quite cheap for international students, the cost of living is high and it will be helpful to save a bit of extra cash if you can. As a result, it is definitely worth seeing if you are eligible for any of these scholarships.


It always feels good to save a bit of money, right?


Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students

Funded by the Swiss Government, these Excellence Scholarships are given to certain international students in an effort to boost international research and engagement from countries all around the world. Receivers of this scholarship are selected by the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (or the FCS for short). The FCS offer two different types of scholarship as part of the scheme:


They offer a research scholarship, which is for postgraduate researchers in any subject area. To be eligible for this, you must have a master’s degree (or something higher), and be nominated by an academic tutor from the Swiss University you want to study at.


They also offer an art scholarship, which is for art students who are interested in studying a master’s degree in Switzerland. You can only apply for this if you already have a place to study in Switzerland, and unfortunately it is only available to students from a limited number of countries


Not only do these scholarships mean you don’t have to pay tuition fees, but you also get a monthly payment, housing allowance and even health insurance! Both of these are free to apply, so why not give it a try?


ETH Excellence Scholarships

ETH Zurich provides two different types of scholarship programmes for those who want to study a Master’s degree at their university. They’re called Excellence Scholarships for a reason though, you will only be successful in your application if you belong to the best 10 per cent of your Batchelor’s degree.


The Excellence Scholarship and Opportunity Programme (ESOP) gives you a unique scholarship which covers all study and living costs, including full payment of tuition fees, and provides specific supervision throughout the Master’s degree.


The Master Scholarship Programme (MSP) gives you some money towards study and living expenses, but crucially still covers all tuition fee payments. The MSP does require some financial contribution if you are selected.


Both scholarships last for the duration of the degree.


University of Geneva Excellence Masters Fellowships

The Faculty of Science at the University of Geneva have teamed up with various sponsors to offer an Excellence scholarship for students wanting to study a Master’s degree there. The programme covers a broad range of scientific subjects, including Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, and again only accepts you if you are in the top 10 per cent of students in your Batchelor’s degree.


The Excellence Fellowship provides a grant of between CHF 10,000-15,000 per year and is extended for the duration of the Master’s degree, if you are academically successful at the end of your first semester.


Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) for Developing Countries

This scholarship is unique because it is not specific to Switzerland, it takes place at universities all over Europe. It is hoping to become the main EU programme for doctoral training, financing 25,000 PhDs and awarding over EUR 6 billion to support training in research and career development for PhD students all over the world.


Marie Curie started the International Incoming Fellowships programme to develop scientific co-operation between Third Countries and Europe. The aim is for the researcher to be given the tools to be able to further their research from their chosen university. In return, the researcher will transfer the knowledge and results they gain from their work into the university.


The funding will support the researcher for 12-24 months of work, and those applying must have at least four years’ full-time research experience or a doctoral degree to be considered.


So, there you have it, plenty of options for you to study (for free) in Switzerland! It doesn’t get much better than that. For a comprehensive list of thousands of scholarships, available all over the world, go to our international scholarships page.


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