Student Loan Switzerland for International Students to Study Abroad: A Complete Guide!

Student Loan Switzerland for International Students to Study Abroad: A Complete Guide!

Do you dream of studying in Switzerland, one of the world’s most beautiful and innovative countries? If yes, you might wonder how to finance your education and the available options. This blog will provide you with a complete guide on student loan Switzerland in 2023, covering everything from eligibility criteria and the application process to interest rates, repayment options, and more. So, let’s get going!

Also Read: Education Loans for Abroad Studies in 2023

What is a student loan in Switzerland?

An education loan is money borrowed by students for financing their post-secondary or higher education-related expenses (tuition fees, books and supplies, living expenses) while they pursue a degree. 

Education loans are available for both domestic and international students. The loan amount, interest rate, and repayment terms vary depending on the lender and borrower’s creditworthiness.

How do Education Loans Work?

The borrower can apply for an education loan from a bank or other financial institution. The application process typically involves submitting proof of enrollment in an educational institution and proof of income or assets to demonstrate the ability to repay the loan. 

Once approved, the funds are disbursed directly to the educational institution or the borrower, depending on the lender’s policies. Education loans can be repaid over several years, with interest rates ranging from fixed to variable. Some lenders offer flexible repayment options that allow borrowers to defer payments while still in school.

Benefits of Taking a student loan Switzerland 

There are several benefits of taking an education loan to study abroad. Here are some of them:

  • By choosing a student loan in Switzerland, you can preserve your family savings and avoid selling your investments in fixed deposits, mutual funds or bonds.
  • Education loans offer lower interest rates, flexible repayment options, and longer tenures.
  • Education loans have tax benefits and sometimes do not require collateral or guarantors.
  • Your visa approval is more likely with an education loan than with self-funding your education abroad.
  • Since the funding is guaranteed, study abroad loans make it easier for students to get their visas approved.

Also Read: Loans to Study Abroad

Top Universities in Switzerland 2023

Here are the top ten universities in Switzerland and their world rankings for the year 2023:

UniversitySwitzerland RankWorld Rank
ETH Zurich111
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne241
University of Zurich382
University of Bern494
University of Basel5101
University of Lausanne6135
University of Geneva7201-250
Università della Svizzera italiana8201-250
University of St Gallen9301-350
University of Fribourg10501-600

Also Read: List of Top Universities in the World

Eligibility Criteria For Getting A Student Loan For Switzerland

While researching the different types of loans, you will also need to check whether you’re eligible for one. There are some general criteria that all banks follow in granting a student loan to Switzerland. Note that individual banks can also have additional terms and conditions that a candidate must adhere to when applying for an education loan to them.

  1. The candidate must be of Indian nationality.
  2. In the case of a minor applicant (<18 years old), parents must take out the loan.
  3. The applicant must have an excellent academic record.
  4. The candidate must present the acceptance letter to a reputable university, institution, or college in Switzerland.
  5. Banks prefer courses that are related to technical or professional skills, so the applicant’s chosen course should be one of them.
  6. Loan providers set out some standards in underwriting norms, ensuring that only safe and secure loans are available for students. They help decide whether or not to provide a candidate with an education loan for abroad studies and its amount and interest rate.

Also Read: Student Loan Eligibility Criteria for Studying Abroad

Types of financial aid for International Students to Study in Switzerland

Different types of financial aid are available for international students who wish to study in Switzerland. Some of the options are:

Scholarships and Grants

These financial aid are not needed to be repaid and are based on various criteria such as academic merit, financial need, nationality, field of study, etc. Some examples of scholarships and grants are:

  • Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for foreign scholars and artists.
  • Cantonal scholarships for Swiss nationals, refugees, foreign nationals living in Switzerland, and Swiss nationals residing abroad.
  • Scholarships from foundations and funds that support people getting an education or training.

Switzerland offers a plethora of scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Let’s explore some of the popular scholarships offered by the country to international students:

For Undergraduate Students:

Scholarship NameAmount/ Benefit
Franklin Honors Program AwardCHF 2,863 – CHF 9,545
(INR 2.5L – 9L approx)
The Ambassador Wilfried Geens United World Colleges (UWC) AwardCHF 2,862 (INR 2.5L approx)
Excellence Scholarships of the University of St. GallenCHF 18,756 (INR 17L approx)
Excellence FellowshipsCHF 10,000 (INR 9L approx) spread over three years

For Graduate Students:

Scholarship NameAmount/Benefit
ETH Zurich Excellence Master’s Scholarships

(Note that Master Scholarship and Excellence Scholarship Program are two scholarship programs that the university offers. It’s for all students having a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution)
Master scholarship – Partial stipend for living and study expenses of CHF 6,000 (INR 5.5L approx) per semester + a tuition fee waiver.
Excellence Scholarship – A grant covering living and study expenses covering CHF 11,000 (INR 10L approx) per semester.
The University of Lausanne Masters Grants for Foreign StudentsA monthly stipend of CHF 1,600 (INR 1.5L approx).
EPFL Excellence Fellowships for Master’s StudentsA stipend of CHF 16,000 (INR 15L approx) per academic year divided into 8,000 dollars per semester and the cost of room and board.
Graduate Institute Geneva ScholarshipsA full scholarship of CHF 20,000 (INR 18L approx) and a partial scholarship of CHF 10,000 (INR 9L approx). A merit scholarship based on academic excellence may include an offer to work as a teaching assistant or a tuition reduction based on financial need. 
European Mobility for Higher Education: Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) / ERASMUSCHF 380 – CH 440 (INR 35k – 40k approx) per month, depending on your home country.

Student Loans 

These are financial aid that need to be repaid with interest and are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower or a co-signer. Some examples of student loans are:

  1. Bank loans: These are usually offered at competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms. However, they may require a co-signer who is a Swiss resident or has a Swiss bank account.
  2. Peer-to-peer loans: These are usually offered at lower interest rates than bank loans and do not require a co-signer. However, they may have limited availability and eligibility criteria. 

Examples of peer-to-peer loan platforms include:

Non-profit loans: These are usually offered at low or no interest rates and flexible repayment terms. However, they may have limited availability and eligibility criteria. Educa Swiss is a non-profit organisation that connects students with private loans from individuals and organisations.

To apply for an education loan, start your process at least 6-7 months before your study program starts. You should also compare different options and check the requirements and conditions of each loan provider.

Also Read: List of Top International Student Loans

Documents Required To Apply For Student Loan in Switzerland

The documents required to apply for an education loan to study in Switzerland may vary depending on the type of loan, the lender, and the borrower’s profile. However, some of the common documents that are usually needed are :

  • Application form: A simple application form including two photos with your signature as suggested by your assigned financial officer or loan provider.
  • Identification proof: Aadhar card, PAN card, and Passport of the applicant and the co-applicant (if any).
  • Admission letter: A letter from the Switzerland university confirming your admission and stating the course details, duration, and fees.
  • Academic documents: 10th, 12th, Degree/Diploma certificates and mark sheets of the applicant and the co-applicant (if any).
  • Competitive exams: IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT scorecards (if applicable).
  • Income proof: Salary slips, bank statements, income tax returns, and Form 16 of the applicant and the co-applicant (if any).
  • Residency proof: Electricity bill, house tax receipt, ration card, or any other document that shows your current address.
  • Collateral documents: Property papers, valuation reports, insurance policies, fixed deposit receipts, or any other document that shows the security offered for the loan (if applicable).

Also Read: Education Loan for Abroad Studies by Indian Government

Student Loan In Switzerland: Application Process

Since the entire loan process, from loan application to approval and disbursement, is time-taking, it’s always advisable to apply for a loan early on by following the steps below:

  • Check whether the banks recognize the course that you have chosen to study.
  • Figure out the amount of loan you’re going to take from the bank and how much you are going to arrange on your own.
  • Compare different banks and loans they provide for studying abroad and select the ones that suit your needs the best.
  • Fill out the loan application form and approach the bank after finalizing the bank and the loan amount.
  • When your loan gets approved, the bank will issue a loan document containing various loan elements.
  • After you sign the loan document, the bank will pay the amount to you in instalments or per the university’s instructions.

Read Also: 5 Things to Keep in Mind to Apply for an Education Loan

Repayment Options

Repayment of an education loan to study in Switzerland depends on various factors, such as:

  • The type of loan you have taken (secured or unsecured)
  • The amount of loan and interest rate
  • The duration of the loan and the moratorium period
  • The currency of the loan and the exchange rate

To repay an education loan, you need to follow the terms and conditions specified by your lender. You also need to consider currency conversion and exchange rate fluctuations, as they may affect your repayment amount. 

Read Also: How to Pay Off Student Loans?


Q1. Does Switzerland offer student loans?

Ans. Yes, Switzerland offers a variety of educational loans for international students, such as:
Cantonal student loans
Private scholarships
Switzerland’s international student loans
Specialized student loans

Q2. What’s the maximum amount of student loans allowed?

Ans. According to the Bank of Baroda, the maximum student loan amount for studying in India is Rs 125 lakhs, while the maximum amount of education loans for studying abroad is Rs 150 lakhs.

Q3. Can I get a 100% loan to study abroad?

Ans. Education loans cover 100% of expenses related to education. But, full coverage is only provided under a certain limit.

We hope you got all the information regarding student loans for Switzerland. For more content on availing education loans to study abroad, subscribe to Fly.Finance.

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