A high stan­dard of liv­ing and a rich aca­demic her­itage make Zurich a fast emerg­ing study des­ti­na­tion. By Son­ali Achar­jee

India Today - - STUDY ABROAD -

Known for its host of lux­ury brands, low taxes and bank­ing sys­tem, few people would guess that Zurich, Switzer­land’s largest city and Europe’s wealth­i­est city, also ranks as one of the top ten stu­dent cities in the world ac­cord­ing to the QS sur­vey 2013. So when Natesh Desh­pande, 28, re­ceived an of­fer to pur­sue his MBA from the Univer­sity of Zurich he was sure that the city had lit­tle to of­fer man­age­ment stu­dents. How­ever, a visit to the univer­sity quickly changed his mind.

“I think Zurich is im­pos­si­ble to beat when it comes to the stan­dard of life and safety of stu­dents. While liv­ing costs and rent might be high, the tu­ition fees on the other hand are much less than the US or UK. Ad­di­tion­ally be­ing home to so many dif­fer­ent cor­po­rates and banks makes the city a great choice for man­age­ment stu­dents,” says Desh­pande. “What re­ally con­vinced me how­ever, was the breath­tak­ing scenery that both the city and univer­sity of­fered. Study­ing with the pris­tine Lake Zurich and shim­mer­ing Swiss Alps in front of you has a charm of its own,” adds Desh­pande.

Nearly 60,000 stu­dents pur­sue their stud­ies at the 20 col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties that are based in the city. Three of these uni­ver­si­ties in par­tic­u­lar have re­ceived world­wide at­ten­tion for their qual­ity of teach­ing, place­ments and re­search fa­cil­i­ties. These in­clude the Univer­sity of Zurich, Zurich Univer­sity of Ap­plied Sci- ences and Swiss Federal In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Zurich ( ETH). Cur­rently ranked as 12th in the world ac­cord­ing to QS World Univer­sity Rank­ings 2013, ETH is the high­est ranked univer­sity in con­ti­nen­tal Europe while the Univer­sity of Zurich also finds a place in the QS world’s top 100 univer­sity rank­ings. “At first you might feel a bit out of place be­cause the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents are much less com­pared to other coun­tries but if you make an ef­fort you’ll find there’s plenty of sup­port for In­di­ans in Zurich. The In­dian Stu­dents As­so­ci­a­tion of Zurich is a great point of con­tact for those feel­ing home­sick. And once term time com­mences there is just so much of work, re­search, projects and ac­tiv­i­ties to pur­sue you just au­to­mat­i­cally set­tle in,” says Desh­pande.

Aside from world class aca­demics and in­fra­struc­ture, stu­dents in Zurich also get the chance to en­joy a wide va­ri­ety of sports, cul­tural ex­trav­a­gan­zas, food and her­itage sites. ‘ Old Town’ or Nieder­dorf and Langstrasse are two of the most pop­u­lar spots for stu­dents to hang out in the city. For those look­ing to do a spot of sight­see­ing, Gross­mün­ster church, the mu­seum of Zurich, Botan­i­cal gar­dens and the 88- me­tre Sun­rise Tower are worth check­ing out here. Zurich is also well con­nected to the var­i­ous Swiss ski slopes and stu­dents are of­ten found try­ing their hand at snow­board­ing, hik­ing and ski­ing. “If you like na­ture, sports and food then this is the per­fect city for you. Cheese, chocolates and meat are usu­ally the sta­ple food for stu­dents here. While eat­ing out can be ex­pen­sive, there are plenty of stu­dent cafes that serve af­ford­able fare. Ad­di­tion­ally it’s easy to sim­ply cook at home,” says Desh­pande.

With con­nec­tions to all leading Euro­pean cities and businesses, a great qual­ity of life and a wealth of aca­demic her­itage, Zurich cer­tainly has what it takes to be­come a leading in­ter­na­tional stu­dent des­ti­na­tion.

The pris­tine Lake Zurich and the shim­mer­ing Swiss Alps add a spe­cial charm to this town

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