Got accepted at a Swiss university? Indian student Shubhangi shares some tips to give you head start in the admission process.
1. Accept admission as earlier as possible.
First of all, congratulations on being accepted! Once you’ve made up your mind on coming here to study, you will need to reply to your university and confirm that you accept the offer of admission. Doing this as soon as possible will certainly make the procedure easier for you.
For more blog posts and information on studying in Switzerland visit our dedicated page Education Swiss Madeexternal link.
To confirm admission at the university (I speak of my experience with ETH Zurich) you will need to send your original certificates and documents by post. Doing this earlier helps you in getting your “confirmation of matriculation” - a document required for obtaining a Swiss student visa or applying for scholarships.
Early action also ensures you get your university login details ahead of time, which you can use to register for your courses. As someone who only got their login at the start of the semester, I missed out on some interesting courses as they were completely filled up by the time I got the chance to register.
Therefore, I would advise prospective students to accept the admission offer immediately if you are ready and send in your documents as soon as they are available.
2. Apply for university housing immediately
When it comes to university accommodation, make sure you fill in the housing form the day you receive it (or as soon as possible). In the case of ETH Zurich, you will receive an email from the international student support office which will contain the link for university housing, roughly a month after you receive the admission letter.
If you’ve made up your mind about coming to ETH Zurich or any Swiss university, then the university housing is your safest bet for the initial period. I would definitely say that the housing situation is very tight in Switzerland, particularly in larger cities like Zurich.
I wasn’t provided the university housing, and trust me, it made my life much worse than you can imagine. I changed accommodation thrice within a period of about six months and it is an unsettling experience for a newcomer. Therefore, I would strongly recommend completing and sending the housing form either on the same day or as early as possible.
3. Try finding a scholarship
It is not easy finding a scholarship for Switzerland, nonetheless, it is not impossible. Indian students have a few options such as the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation in India (however, it is only limited to non-engineering student). You can also apply for some loan-based scholarship options in India such as JN Tata etc.
Even if you are unable to secure a scholarship, it is perfectly fine. Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the most expensive countries in the world, however the low tuition fee for majority of the courses makes life easier. In fact, a lot of students come here without any scholarship and try to find part-time work like teaching and research assistants later on.
4. Contact professors and other students from your department
I highly recommend contacting a professor you would want to work under and research her/his work and try to figure out your field of interest. It also helps contacting some of the alumni as they could definitely give you some department specific tips.
5. Getting Ready to come to Switzerland
Now that all the formalities are done, it’s time to prepare yourself to come to Switzerland.
First of all, read the information on your university website, as they provide extensive information that also may specifically relate to the particular region your university is located.
It’s best to apply early for your visa as it requires many documents and takes a long time to process. To be safe, apply three months before your flight.
After this, it’s time to focus on packing essentials. While your university may give you information on what to pack, they are general guidelines. You should also make a list of items to bring that are specific to your lifestyle. I would be most likely be sharing my version of important tips and tricks on packing in a future blog, as dependent on the number of people interested. Leave a comment if you’re interested to know more.
Let me know if you want tips and tricks on packing for Swiss university life in a future blog.