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Doing an apprenticeship or studying in Switzerland

18.09.2019 – Ruth von Gunten, educationsuisse

Swiss Abroad can also benefit from the excellent and diverse range of educational opportunities available in Switzerland.


After compulsory schooling, young people in Switzerland can choose from over 250 apprenticeships or go on to further education at high school or specialised middle school. However, the route they take at this stage is not necessarily binding. Not only can you still do an apprenticeship after getting a high-school diploma, but it is also possible to study at a university of applied science on the back of vocational training and vocational baccalaureate.

How to choose the right vocational course? The official website offers a wealth of information such as job descriptions. A specific counselling session can be provided for Swiss Abroad either face-to-face in Berne at the career guidance center (BIZ) or via Skype (register via educationsuisse).

Higher education at a university

The ten public universities offer courses in law, economics, mathematics, natural science, humanities, and social science. The Federal Institutes of Technology (ETHZ and EPFL) focus on engineering, mathematics, and natural science. You can obtain a bachelor degree after studying for a total of three years, while a subsequent master course will last a further one and a half to two years. To gain admission, students need to have obtained their Swiss high-school diploma or a foreign equivalent. Special entry requirements apply to medicine.

The Universities of applied sciences, which comprise around 60 schools and departments (including arts and music), offer practice-oriented bachelor and master degrees in a wide range of fields. Normally, the prerequisite for admission is an apprenticeship with vocational baccalaureate. However, it is also possible to gain entry on the strength of a high-school diploma plus a year’s work experience in your future field of study.

The universities of teacher education provide teacher training at all school levels. The admission requirements vary depending on the course concerned.

All Swiss universities organise open days that usually take place in autumn or winter. Information on the entry requirements for students with a foreign qualification is available at

The team at educationsuisse speak English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. They can help you find the right answers to your questions and give support on specific enquiries. The website provides an explanatory overview of the Swiss education system, clearly depicted in a diagram. For further information or queries: email or phone +41 (0)31 356 61 04.

educationsuisse, Alpenstrasse 26, 3006 Berne, Switzerland,,