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