This page is primarily intended for admitted applicants and/or for currently enrolled participants.

Visa and Residence Permit

  • Most nationals from countries outside the European Union / European Economic Area will need a visa to enter Switzerland for study purposes.
  • It is very important that you check the immigration requirements in good time. It usually takes around 3 months from submitting the application to the visa actually.
  • In case you need a visa, you must apply for it at the Swiss Embassy or Consulate General nearest to your place of residence.
  • After having entered Switzerland, all students are required to register at the local residents' registration office ("Kreisbüro") in their neighborhood of residence. Students living outside the city of Zürich report to the registration office of their local authorities.
  • You will need a valid passport, two passport-size photographs, confirmation of matriculation from the University of Zurich, and a visa if required.
  • A residence permit and a foreigner's identity card will be issued four to six weeks after registration.


Health Insurance
  • For anyone staying in Switzerland longer than three months, health insurance is compulsory.
  • Students from an EU state who are legally insured in their home country can apply for exemption from this obligation by using the European Health Card or a provisional certificate issued by the health insurance company in your home country.
  • After your arrival in Switzerland you will be contacted by the health services department of your place of residence. Should you not be contacted, please ask your local authorities about the procedure.
  • If you do not have a provisional certificate or an insurance card, but other proof of health insurance corresponding to Swiss requirements, an exemption from obligatory insurance may be possible. If not, a policy for basic insurance must be taken out at a Swiss health insurance company.
  • Travel insurance taken out in your home country will not be accepted.

Private Liability Insurance
  • This insurance covers damage inflicted by you to other persons.
  • A private liability insurance costs from CHF 100 to CHF 150 per year with a limit of indemnity of up to CHF 5 million.
  • Although private liability insurance is not compulsory, we suggest all international students to contract such insurance.

Useful links:
Guidelines for Students with a Visa Requirement (University of Zurich)
Information on immigration, residency, health care etc. (ETH Zurich)
Swiss Federal Office for Migration
Residents' Registration Office


Swiss universities do not usually have on-campus housing, but rather students organize themselves in flat-sharing communities ("WG" or "Wohngemeinschaft"), with three or four flatmates renting a flat together and sharing the rent.
For new incoming foreign students with no acquaintances in Zurich, it can be difficult to find a flat to share. If you cannot arrange housing from your home country, you should arrive one or two weeks before the semester begins to try and find a room.
Useful information on accomodation can be found here.
Accommodation offers can also be found on the various notice boards in the university buildings and institutes. A useful link for students looking for accommodation from outside Switzerland is the University of Zurich and ETH Online Marketplace.


Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. These figures should therefore be regarded as a guideline only (in CHF):

Rent incl. heating 550
Additional expenses (telephone, internet) 200
Meals 400
Insurance 250
Travel 80
Clothing, laundry, personal items 70
Leisure, spending money 150
Teaching materials 50
Total 1,750

The expected minimum cost of living for students therefore comes to a total of CHF 1,750 per month. Course fees come to around CHF 770 per semester.


Public transport in the city of Zurich is a dense and well-planned network. There are buses, street-cars, regional trains and even boats. There is a discount for students under the age of 25. Bicycles are an inexpensive alternative to public transport.

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