international students

Switzerland is best known for its banks, watches, chocolate, education, and high living cost. What we didn’t know is that it’s generous when it comes to scholarships, too. Undoubtedly, the Swiss country is one of the countries with the best education system in the world – so who wouldn’t want to study there, plus without spending a dime (nor a Swiss Franc (CHF))! Here is an extended list of the scholarships available for international students in Switzerland:

Types of scholarships

International students in Switzerland interested in scholarships can get them from the Swiss government, from Swiss Universities, or other organizations such as SEMS.

Governmental scholarships

The Swiss government scholarships are based on partnerships established with several countries and are offered through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS). Most of these scholarships are granted to postgraduate candidates and researchers. If you want to check whether your home country is a partner, you can contact the Swiss Embassy or consulate in your home country.

Swiss Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students

students walking
Source: The Graduate Institut Geneva

Each year, the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships for international post-graduate researchers in any discipline. This is done to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and 180 other countries.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The scholarship covers a monthly living stipend, exemption of tuition fees, health insurance, travel costs/airfare, and housing allowance.

Eligibility: The research scholarship is available to those who hold at least a Master’s degree and plan to come to Switzerland to pursue research or further studies at the doctoral or post-doctoral level.  

Non-governmental scholarships

Swiss universities offer scholarships, too, where one can benefit from grants of up to CHF 60.000. Below you can find 13 Swiss Universities that offer scholarships for international students:

ETH Zurich Excellence Master’s Scholarships

Source: ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich supports excellent students wherever they have finished their studies. All of them who wish to pursue a Master’s degree at ETH are eligible to apply for their two scholarship programs: the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP).

Scholarship value/inclusions: The Excellence Scholarship covers the full study and living costs of the students. At the same time, the Master Scholarship Programme (MSP) gives students a partial stipend and an assistantship offer.

Eligibility: Excellent students who have finished their Bachelor studies in the ETH or other Swiss or international university.

University of Lausanne Master’s Grants for Foreign Students

University of Lausanne

The University of Lausanne offers scholarships to international students who want to pursue a Master’s Degree at the University through the UNIL Master’s Grants.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The amount of the grant is CHF 1,600.- per month.

Eligibility: International students with undergraduate degrees.

EPFL Excellence Fellowships for Master’s students


The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) is one of Europe’s most famous science and technology institutions. EPFL gives a limited number of fellowships at the Master level to students with excellent academic records.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The Excellence Fellowship consists of a grant (CHF 8,000/semester) covering expenses such as accommodation, tuition fees, etc. for a maximum of four semesters.

Eligibility: Anyone applying to an EPFL Master’s Program.

University of Bern

University of Bern campus

The University of Bern offers scholarships for international students, too. Through the Swiss Study Foundation, UNIBE offers grants for excellent students. At the same time, through The Spark of Hope Foundation, it supports female Master and doctoral students from the Global South by offering scholarships.

Scholarship value/inclusions: Partial and full scholarships.

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Bern, or respectively be female graduates from developing countries.

Graduate Institute Geneva Scholarships

Graduate Insitute building

Graduate Institute invests considerably in financial aid, aiming to attract talented scholars worldwide, regardless of origin and financial ability. They help their students that have financial need and award others based on academic excellence.

Scholarship value/inclusions: Financial aid may take the following forms: a full scholarship of CHF 20,000; a partial scholarship of CHF 10,000; A merit scholarship awarded based on academic excellence; it may be associated with a paid position as a teaching assistant or with need-based tuition reduction.

Eligibility: Students documenting financial needs or based on academic excellence.

Moreover, Graduate Institute Geneva offers specific scholarships, which may include cost-of-living scholarships, tuition reduction, and/or a paid position, in various proportions. They are either given to students from Africa, Asia, and Latin America or through the Refugee Scholarship. They support refugees in Switzerland holding a B or F permit and wishing to pursue their studies. They offer them a full annual scholarship of CHF 20,000 to cover living expenses, with the possibility of a tuition fee reduction depending on the candidate’s financial means.

University of Geneva Excellence Master Fellowships

University of Geneva

The University of Geneva Faculty of Science, in collaboration with several sponsors, has established an Excellence Fellowship Program to support highly motivated candidates who intend to pursue a Master of Science in any of the disciplines covered by the Faculty. 

Scholarship value/inclusions: The Excellence Fellowship consists of a grant amounting to CHF 10,000 to CHF 15,000 per year.

Eligibility: All outstanding and highly motivated candidates who intend to pursue a Master of Science.

University of Zurich Scholarships for Ph.D. candidates

The University of Zurich (UZH) is the largest in Switzerland, with over 26,000 students. They offer scholarships for Master graduates from around the world and awarded to candidates on the grounds of outstanding academic merit. Continuing support will be subject to the satisfactory completion of course work, and the duration of the scholarship can be up to 4 years.

They report that ‘while preference may be given to students whose research plans include areas of interest of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society, applications from all areas are welcomed.’  

Scholarship value/inclusions: The UBS Center Scholarships are full scholarships, covering living expenses and all fees of approximately CHF 42’500 plus tuition fees.

Eligibility: Candidates with outstanding academic merit.

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Scholarships

The Geneva Academy offers partial and full scholarships for its LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law (M TJ).

Scholarship value/inclusions: Full scholarships cover tuition fees and living expenses in Geneva for 10 months. Partial scholarships cover tuition fees.

Eligibility: A full degree in law, a strong academic record, and a sound command of English.

University of St.Gallen

The University of St.Gallen offers two different scholarships to students.

• Excellence Scholarships

They are granted to international students enrolled in Bachelor studies based on merit. Every year, six scholarships are awarded to students in the Assessment Year, which will be paid out over a period of 3 years.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The scholarship amount is equivalent to the Bachelor’s Level’s current tuition fees. Since it runs to six semesters, a grantee receives an annual sum of CHF 6,252 (for all three years, which means the total sum of the scholarship is CHF 18,756).

Eligibility: International applicants with internationally recognized relevant educational qualifications and certificates that have passed the University of St.Gallen’s internal admission test.

• The Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is set aside for highly talented foreign-language students with a recognized foreign Bachelor’s degree who are completing a Master’s degree in one of the English-language programs the university provides.

Scholarship value/inclusions: Grants are given in the amount of CHF 15,000 per program every year.

Eligibility: Exceptionally talented foreign-language students who are completing a Master’s degree in one of the English-language programs.

IMD MBA Scholarships

IMD offers several scholarship programs for international students from different countries and backgrounds.

Nestle MBA Scholarships for Women

The Nestlé Scholarship for Women was initiated by a group of IMD MBA participants who wanted to encourage women to take a Masters in Business Administration.

Scholarship value/inclusions: CHF 25,000

Eligibility: Preference is given to women from developing countries.

University of Basel

The University of Basel has its own fund to aid students with minimal resources and from low-income families. These are either partial scholarships awarded during the final degree phase (BA/MA) or Solidarity funds (Solifonds) awarded from the student body. As for scholarships specifically for international students, UniBas says they ‘should find out what scholarships they are eligible for in their home country.’

Scholarship value/inclusions: The partial scholarship ranges from CHF 200 to 600 per person, per month. The Solifond is CHF 500 to 1000 per person, per semester.

Eligibility: Students with limited resources.

Aristotle College

The Reginaldus Foundation awards several scholarships to deserving and needy students of the university campus of Lugano. These grants are aimed at students who intend to live in Aristotle College, which offers board and lodging and some academic activities.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The scholarships cover the college fees, totally or partially, depending on applicants’ merit and financial situation.

Eligibility: Low-income, deserving students.

Les Roches Global Hospitality Education

Source: Les Roches Global Hospitality Education

Founded in Switzerland in 1954, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of hospitality, tourism, and event management. They follow the Swiss model of hospitality education, with experiential, hands-on learning built into the fabric of the study programs they offer.

As part of their partner scholarships, they have the International Baccalaureate IB Scholarship, which is given to 10 incoming undergraduate students who are IB Diploma graduates. They also give 20-25% scholarships to specific GEMS students but contact them for detailed information. They also have a limited number of merit-based scholarships that are awarded to outstanding students.

Scholarship value/inclusions: Each scholarship and financial aid package has specific criteria. For the Merit-based scholarships (new students), it’s either a 10%, 15%, or 20% reduction off Semester 1 tuition fees.

Eligibility: It is examined on a case-by-case basis, but usually by merit or need.

Alfred Werner Masters Scholarships

The Foundation offers a maximum of ten scholarships. Candidates must apply for admission to an M.Sc. program at a Swiss University or a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and, at the same time, ask for the support of the institution for an Alfred Werner Scholarship. The Foundation expects to receive the nominations of the different institutions by mid-April 2021.

Scholarship value/inclusions: For the academic period from September 2021 to May 2023, a maximum of 10 scholarships of CHF 30’000 each.

Eligibility: International students in the top 10% of their undergraduate programs. 

European Mobility for Higher Education: Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) / ERASMUS

The Swiss version of the program Erasmus+ for higher education is called Swiss-European Mobility Programme or SEMP. SEMP gives Swiss higher education institutions the possibility to support students and teaching staff doing a study-, training- or teaching-mobility in Europe with funding.

Therefore, scholarships for incoming students will be covered by the Swiss side. A SEMP exchange may last 3 to 12 months.

Scholarship value/inclusions: CHF 380 to CH 440 per month, depending on your home country.

Eligibility: All European countries enrolled in a university in their home countries.

Scholarships for American students who want to study in Switzerland

Up to 10 Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are available for research or a Ph.D. degree program in all disciplines, and for research or a master’s degree program in the Arts. The grant lasts 12 months.

Scholarship value/inclusions: Grantees receive a monthly stipend and up to 1,000 Swiss Francs for airfare upon successful completion at the end of the grant period.

Eligibility: In general, a Bachelor’s degree is sufficient for conducting research at Swiss universities, with two exceptions: research candidates applying to ETH Zurich or the University of Basel must have completed a master’s degree by December 2018.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation: Scholarship for International Students

This scholarship is targeted for international students from all countries committed to the German liberal party’s political ideas and willing to take responsibility.  Minimum funding covers two semesters starting with the beginning of the sponsorship. It is initially granted for one year. Deadlines for application are 30 April and 31 October of each year.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The scholarship’s worth is up to EUR 850 per month. In addition, there is a contribution to health insurance.

Eligibility: Qualified international candidates pursuing their first degree, Bachelor’s or Master’s, at a state or state-recognized higher-education institution in Germany, Switzerland, or within the European Union.


      1. Good morning.
        I am Adam Iddrisu, reaching you from Ghana. I graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor of Administration, double majored in Public Administration and Development Studies. I also went further to do an Honours degree in Development Studies, which is considered to be a post-graduate qualification in South Africa.
        I saw an invitation for applications for the Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. I applied and was shortlisted. I have since been interviewed and I am sure I will be part of the successful applicants. The fee to be paid by the applicants from Africa is CHF 3500. I know the Swiss government has done us a favour by giving us this amount to pay for the program. Successful applicants from other parts of the globe will be paying CHF 25000 yet I cannot pay the CHF 3500.

        This is a life time opportunity and missing this great opportunity, following the lack of funding, will be a great misfortune. Here, the lack of financial resources will prevent me from reaching my potential.

        I would be grateful if some kind of financial aid could be made available to enable me reach my potential. Thank you.

        Kind regards,

        Adam Iddrisu

    1. Dear Tracy,

      The first step towards applying for a scholarship is to find them. As we explained in the article, there are many types of scholarships. The procedure of applying for a scholarship depends on which type of scholarship you’re choosing.
      We hope to have been of help.

      Good luck!

  1. Good information, am actually looking forward to study in Switzerland, hope to get that opportunity

  2. Fantastic and very informative piece for all students interested in studying the cute mountainous country in name of Switzerland.. This is hundred percent helpful..keep the good job up????

    1. Hi Teresia,

      Every university in Switzerland offers different scholarships. We mentioned most of them in our article. For more information visit the website of the university of your choice and see if you are eligible for any of them.
      We hope we have been of help.

      Good luck!

  3. Hello,
    My Daughter is currently giving exams to clear high school she is passionate to learn neurology and wishes to become a neuro surgeon.
    We are Pakistani national
    Can you please guide for further process

    1. Hi Azfar,

      We would advise your daughter first to research the universities that offer her choice of program. We’re sure that the university she’ll choose is going to guide her further into applying for admission and with whatever she needs help with.
      We hope we have been of help.

      Good luck!

  4. I am delsiya Tharmarasa from srilanka i whould like to study biomedical engineering in Switzerland so what i want to do for get this scholarship

  5. Hi, looking forward to find a full scholarship in Switzerland. I want to get my MBA degree next year. I am from the Philippines holding a degree of BACHELOR OF SCIENCE in BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION major in OPERATION MANAGEMENT. Currently working in Cayman Island for almost 2years now.

    1. Hi Emma! I am a fellow Filipino planning to take a Master’s degree in Switzerland as well. Were you able to find a full scholarship?

  6. I would like to apply for a scholarship at the University of Basel .The scholarship given to less privileged international students. How can I apply for it?

    1. Hi Oscar,

      For scholarships offered by the University of Basel, please visit their page: wherein you’ll also find the email addresses where you can contact them.

      Additionally, you can check:

      If your profile matches “highly motivated, competitive young researchers” who have graduated from University with a Master’s degree for pursuing doctoral or postdoctoral level studies or Bachelor’s for grantees of Fine Arts Scholarships.” , then you might be eligible to apply for a Government Excellence scholarship. Get the details here:

      Finally, please also take a look at this other resource we have published on scholarships for international students:

      Best of luck,

  7. Accept my greetings first!
    I am a BBA graduate from Afghanistan. I am in need of a free scholarship and can’t provide any scholarship by myself. So if you have any funded scholarships please don’t hesitate to inform me.

  8. Dear Sir,
    Hope you are well and safe.
    My husband, daughter and I live in Lebanon. My daughter Julie, born on Oct. 22, 2012, is a high flyer honor student now in Grade 3 class. Due to bad situation in lebanon, I was wondering if we are eligible to have the scholarship in Switzerland and get the child study visa for her and be with her. We only have Lebanese passports.
    Thank you

  9. Hello,
    I am currently pursuing my B.S from a US university in physics. I wanted to complete my graduate program at ETH Zurich in theoretical physics. I was wondering if International students are granted full scholarships based on academic merit. Please let me know about the funding and initiation of the application process. Thank you.

  10. My daughter graduated summa cum laude in UBIS Geneva with a dual degree (international relations). we are currently looking for a scholarship program for masters related to her field. would you be able to recommend as it seems we tried some universities here and nothing transpired. thank you very much for your kind assistance.

  11. Hi,
    I am currently taking a master’s degree in European and International Law. I was awarded the “Best Performance in class” (best-overall Diploma grade) further to my graduation from my undergraduate university. I was born and raised in a developing country. I am looking for an Excellence scholarship to pursue further master’s studies in Law in Switzerland (either for 2021/2022; or 2022/2023 period). I was also potentially interested in Ph.D. Which scholarship of a Swiss institution/university would you be able to recommend?
    Many thanks in advance!

  12. Hi! I’m a highschool student and I wanted to know if there are any Bachelor scholarships. Because all I could read was for Masters or for students with a Bachelor’s degree.

  13. Hello
    Am from Nigeria and I need of full scholarship that covers both my tuition and accommodation through out my schooling years…I already have BSc in Anatomy and will love to do a course that will help me become a nurse
    Any help please?

  14. I’m an undergraduate student in a Catholic University here in Cameroon. How do I get full information about the tuition fee, cost of living and any other added information?

  15. Great read. I am a government employee in Uganda, currently, I am pursuing Masters’s Degree in Economics from Japan. I hope to transition straight for my Ph.D. and Switzerland is my choice for the Ph.D., how can I better my odds of getting a fully-funded Ph.D. scholarship in Economics.

  16. Dear sir/madam,

    I am a hospitality student from Sri Lanka, I am very interested to study further in one of the worlds best countries like Switzerland. I am always searching on the internet for a good scholarship to continue my studies because I know that I cannot afford the fees of the universities in your country. Please guide me to get a good scholarship for me in the hospitality industry. I am trying to get help from your side to find the best way to get into Switzerland. Please help me. if you need any detailed information I can share with you. I believe that you will be my life changer. God bless you all & thank you for your valuable time.

    Thank you,

    your sincerely,
    Aashiq Riyal.

  17. Hello, thank you for the informative guide first.

    I’m an undergraduate computer science student from Kenya, currently in my final year on campus. I want to study in Switzerland for my Master’s and Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence as soon as I’m done with my Bachelor’s degree. Which Swiss universities offer such kinds of scholarships for international students?

    Thank you!

  18. I am Lawrence Sylvester Daudu, from Nigeria i would love to get swiss scholarship in order to further my education as an accounting student graduated from university of abuja, (FCT) not a must studying the same course but any related course available. Best regard wait to hear from you and to be guided.

  19. Am Hannah
    I would wish to apply for a scholarship for my son Brian maina as an undergraduate enrollment for medicine in your universities. He is from Kenya Africa has completed his secondary school and achieved a grade A. Please assist

  20. Hello, thank you so much for the informations given.
    Personally i would like to pursue MA in Tourism studies and am having trouble picking the right university and finding scholarship.
    Can you please assist me with links or websites.
    Thank you

  21. I’m looking for MSc in Global Health or Public Health with a full scholarship. I heard that the quality of education is so rich in any university in Switzerland. Is there any recommendation for me, regarding which universities will be the better choice for studying public health or global health subject with scholarship opprotunities?

  22. Good morning,

    Your article is very helpful. I just got admitted into the University of Zurich for masters in International Business Law. The tuition fee is very high and I applied to the school’s financial aid but I was informed that I have to be a permanent resident in Switzerland before I can be eligible. Is there any way you can be of help? Thanks so much.

    Adetokunbo Ajibulu

  23. Hi everyone.
    Thanks to go this kind of opportunities for young students.
    Please i would want to know more details on how to apply for this scholarship.
    Thank you for your time and understanding

  24. I am Zerihun from Ethiopia, I would like to study Ph.D. in the field of biomedical sciences in Switzerland, so which University provides Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences/Health sciences? And what I want to do to get this scholarship?

  25. Hi everyone,
    I am Jacob,
    I am a Kenyan citizen interested to study in Switzerland for undergraduate course in Education to fulfill my dream of being a teacher. I have just completed my O level in Kenya I am hereby requesting for who will be within reach to assist me get a scholarship to pursue my education course
    I am looking forward for better feedback.
    Thanks for your time.

  26. I want to find a scholarship for Masters in Switzerland I need help ( with love from Afghanistan )

  27. Hello, I’m from India, and I’ve completed my bachelors in Commerce, Now I’m looking for Msc in data analytics . How can apply for University of Bern with full scholarship?

  28. I am C resident Holder , and I want to go to London for Bachelor in Art , yearly fees 23 thousand Pound.
    is there any chances for international students like myself to apply for loan in switzerland in order to study in london?
    Thank you in advance

  29. I am Ahmed from Egypt, I am 23 years old, I have a Bachelor’s degree in the Faculty of Arabic Language, Department of History, I am looking for a free scholarship in technology and software. Please help and inform me.

  30. Hello, my name is Hassan Emad from Syria, I am 21 years old, I live in Egypt, and I hope to receive the scholarship to continue my education in a better country. I am looking forward to a better future… Thank you very much

  31. Good day,

    My son is currently pursuing his A Level studies in Kingsley International School, Malaysia. Upon completion in mid 2023, he plans to further his undergraduate studies in Economics, Finance and Banking in overseas. Switzerland is one of the countries he is looking forward to.

    As we are from middle income family, we would like to know is there any scholarship available for my son to apply for undergraduate studies in Switzerland.

    We would appreciate if you could provide us some information on any scholarships available.

    Thank you.

    Mr YAP

  32. Dear / Sir

    Am looking for a Phd program in electrical and electronic engineering.
    Iam 43 years old

    Best regards

  33. Hello , iam ibrahim merazka from algeria i study in alamrani brothers high school in batna and this year iam gonna have my high school degree.
    Iwant to ask you if there is a free grant for studying sport in one if your universities in switzeland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.