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Basics Languages needed to study at a Swiss university

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Not all Swiss universities offer courses in English. Some may offer courses in a national language and English or in a national language alone. It is advisable to check the language requirements of the specific course you wish to enroll in.

Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. English, though not an official language, is often used to bridge the divides, and a significant proportion of official documentation is available in English. German (both High German and Swiss German) is spoken by about 63% of the population, French by about 23%, and Italian by about 8%. Romansh is spoken by less than 1% of the total population.  Around 4.6% of the population lists English as one of their main languages.

The most notable linguistic fact about German-speaking Switzerland is the use of dialect for spoken communication and standard German for written communication. This makes the task of language learning in German-speaking areas more challenging for foreigners.

French is spoken in the west of the country, while Italian is spoken in Ticino and the south of neighbouring Graubünden. Romansh is spoken only in Graubünden.

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