Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Studying in Zurich is a great experience and beneficial for both personal and professional development. The largest city in Switzerland is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the country and around the world. In order not to get lost with this offer, the following article provides an overview of different institutions and options.
The best-known higher education centers in Zurich are the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), both of which rank among the world’s best study institutions. In addition, Zurich offers other, often practice-oriented universities, such as the Zurich Art University (ZHdK), the Zurich Teacher Training University (PHZH), the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and other state and private institutions in Zurich and the surrounding area. Each of these institutions acts independently, has its own academic focus and individual requirements for the students. Young adults who come to Zurich as part of an exchange or to start their studies should know which institution suits their skills and interests best and should find out more about their specific courses.
Most universities have three levels of organization, that can serve as a point of contact for new students. Firstly, there are bodies for administrative matters at the university-wide level, for exchange students this is usually an International Relations Office. In addition, depending on the subject, it is important to know the faculty to which a course belongs and the specific institute or department that is planning the courses. Since the organization of different departments and faculties can differ greatly, even within the same university, it is advisable to use information from your own institute as a starting point. It is also very possible that the major and minor are managed by different departments or faculties. One should be aware that these are independent units and communication is necessary with both individually.
It is therefore advisable for prospective students to familiarize themselves with the specific websites of an institute at an early stage. The individual contact persons at the various levels are also happy to provide information and there is almost always a student advisory service. This complex administration and binding deadlines should therefore not be a deterrent, but rather ensure that the study time continues smoothly.