5 Best Scholarships in Switzerland for International Students

//5 Best Scholarships in Switzerland for International Students

Switzerland is famous for its awe-inspiring mountainous views, gourmet cheese and chocolate, and scenic cable car rides through the alpines. More than its mesmerizing landscapes, Switzerland is one of the countries with the most affordable education compared to other EU countries, making it a popular destination for international studies. Moreover, students can even study for free with the numerous scholarships available. Switzerland has scholarships offered by the government, universities and institutions, and private organizations.

Education is highly valued in the country, and inviting students of great minds across the world is believed to be a key player for economic growth and creating top schools. Switzerland has a top-notch education system, so who wouldn’t want to spend a few years of study for free in a beautiful country? In this article, we have listed the top five scholarships offered in Switzerland. Get the chance to live and study for free when you apply for one of the Switzerland scholarships.

Best Scholarships in Switzerland

1. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: a monthly stipend of CHF 1,920, CHF 300 monthly housing allowance, a full-tuition waiver, health insurance, airfare costs
  • Eligible Degree: master’s, doctoral, post-doctoral

The Government Excellence Scholarship is the best scholarship in Switzerland for international students and is granted by the Swiss Confederation and is offered through the Federal Commission for Scholarships (FCS). The scholarship is awarded to international postgraduate researchers and artists to encourage international exchange studies. There are two types of scholarships: research scholarships and art scholarships. The research scholarship is for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in any field of study who wish to further their studies in Switzerland. To avail of the scholarship, researchers must be recommended by their mentors from any Swiss research university, university of applied sciences, and federal institutes of technology.

Art scholarships are for art students aiming to pursue a master’s degree program at any Swiss university of arts. However, it is only available in some countries, so it’s best to check its availability in your country. Qualified applicants need to be excellent students from their previous universities with a master’s degree for research scholarships or a bachelor’s degree for an art scholarship. The degree of the applicant must be equivalent to Swiss education standards, which is then checked by the FCS. The success of your scholarship application depends on your profile, research project or art portfolio, and potential future contributions.

If you pass the preliminary selection, your application will be short-listed. The application is then evaluated by the professors from Swiss public universities of the Federal Commission for Scholarships (FCS). The FCS makes a final list of scholars that still highly depends on your academic standing and excellence.

2. Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP)

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: CHF 12,000 per semester, full-tuition scholarship
  • Eligible Degree: master’s

ETH Zürich is a public university in Zürich, Switzerland that offers an Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme to applicants pursuing a master’s degree at ETH. The scholarship is offered for three or four semesters. It covers living expenses of about CHF 12,000 per semester, a full-tuition waiver, and a mentorship or assistantship program. Qualified applicants must be in the top 10% of their bachelor’s program or equivalent to grade A. Only incoming master’s students are eligible to apply. If you already have a master’s degree or are currently enrolled in one, you are no longer qualified to apply.

To apply for this Switzerland scholarship, simply send your pre-proposal master’s thesis with two references. The application is assessed by the Admissions Committees of the program you are applying for.

3. Alfred Werner Masters Scholarships

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: CHF 30,000 for two years
  • Eligible Degree: master’s

The Master’s Scholarship from Alfred Werner Fund is granted to exceptional international applicants who are in the top 10% of their bachelor’s degree program. Applicants intending to pursue a master’s degree at a Swiss university or institute can apply for the scholarship from there. Among their partner universities are École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Swiss Fédéral Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), University of Basel, University of Berne, University of Fribourg, University of Geneva, and the University of Zurich. Only ten Alfred Werner Masters Scholarships are given, and it is a must to apply as early as possible for this Switzerland scholarship since it takes two months to evaluate eligible applicants.

4. Excellence Scholarships of the University of St. Gallen

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: tuition waiver of six semesters, amounting to a total scholarship of CHF 18,774.
  • Eligible Degree: bachelor’s

The Excellence Scholarship, one of the best scholarships in Switzerland for international students, is a merit-based scholarship given to international students who are taking a bachelor’s degree program at the University of St.Gallen. The scholarship covers the current level’s fees of up to a total of six semesters, amounting to CHF 18,774 or CHF 6,258 per year. Outstanding students during their Assessment Year at HSG are automatically considered for the scholarship.

Moreover, the University of St.Gallen also offers scholarships for master’s students called the Starr International Foundation Scholarship Fund. Outstanding international students who obtained a bachelor’s degree and are taking a master’s degree program in one of their English-curriculum master’s programs can apply for the scholarship. The Advice Center for Study Funding recognizes outstanding students who are eligible to apply. If granted a scholarship, an annual scholarship fund of CHF 20,000 is given.

5. UBS Center Scholarships

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: stipend of CHF 42,500 per year, full-tuition waiver
  • Eligible Degree: doctoral

The UBS Center Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship in Switzerland awarded to excellent graduate international students pursuing a doctoral degree at the Graduate School of Economics at the University of Zurich. Eligible applicants are given scholarships that cover living expenses of about CHF 42,500 per year and a full-tuition waiver for up to four years. International students can apply for the scholarship, but those working with research projects related to the UBS International Center of Economics in Society are given priority.

If you are applying for a doctoral degree at the Zurich Graduate School of Economics, you need to specify in your application that you are interested in a UBS Center Scholarship.


I hope that this article on the Switzerland scholarships was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!