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Old 23.03.2010, 14:22
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can my daughter go to University for free?

Hi,
Just wondering if anyone knows the answer. My wife is Swiss, I am Canadian, our son is both. My daughter is Canadian from a previous relationship. My wife and son and I are moving to Switzerland and My daughter will visit once a year until she moves with us( I hope!).
Anyway, she has it really good in canada but when the time comes for University , in 6 years, I am wondering if she could attend in the Swiss system for a fraction af the cost in other places.
Thanks everybody.
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Old 23.03.2010, 14:26
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

Even if she is deemed a foreign student - which seems unlikely - the cost is minimal.

The biggest problem could be language but I guess you thought of that.
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Old 23.03.2010, 15:11
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

Looks like it's the same or a little more (depending on the school) as it is for Swiss students:




Click the chart to see the page it's from .
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Old 23.03.2010, 15:15
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

If she hasn't the swiss nationality, then I think she'll have to pay the ''foreigners'' fee. Still is this is still a fraction of what you would pay abroad. For a Swiss, it amouts to 1000chf/year.

There is also the issue of the validity of her high school diploma in switzerland. Unlike swiss students, she may have to take an entrance exam. I don't think it will be an issue with Canada's diploms, but it can't hurt to check with the university she wishes to attend.

Last think, be mindful that some programs have pre-requisite. Studying french litterature, philosophy or history require a backround in Latin, whereas Math and physic ask for a math specialization in high school.

I typically studied science in high school and had to go to a cram course in latin before being allowed in the history department. Maybe they're more lenient with foreigners, but it may be a good idea to check.

As for the language, although a lot of reference books are in english, the majority of the program is given in french/german, tough luck.
Only in EPFZ an EPFL (the local MIT) do they usually use english.
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Old 23.03.2010, 15:22
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

There are a number of Universities of applied science that also teach entirely in English. Top schools like the ETH are certainly very good value for your money for someone who already lives or had family in CH.
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Old 23.03.2010, 16:35
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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There are a number of Universities of applied science that also teach entirely in English. Top schools like the ETH are certainly very good value for your money for someone who already lives or had family in CH.
They still require a proficiency test in the local language.

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If she hasn't the swiss nationality, then I think she'll have to pay the ''foreigners'' fee.
If she has Swiss residency then the local fee applies. If she is only in Switzerland for the purpose of education then the foreign fee applies.

Last edited by vwild1; 24.03.2010 at 17:04. Reason: Merged 2 successive posts into 1
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Old 23.03.2010, 17:38
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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They still require a proficiency test in the local language.
Not for the programs I know, which school are you talking about ?
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Old 23.03.2010, 19:56
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Not for the programs I know, which school are you talking about ?
Zurich - Applied Sciences - from their website - and my daughter was told she would have to take a German test.

Potential students with qualifications from abroad


If you have studied abroad, you must submit documentation and prove that you have an adequate knowledge of German. Please enquire about the exact procedure at the academic office responsible for the degree programme you have chosen.
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Old 23.03.2010, 20:27
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Not for the programs I know, which school are you talking about ?
All public universities and polytechnics require a proficiency test if you hold any kind of foreign diploma for entrance. This includes those programs taught in english like ETH.

Of course, this is only for a bachelor program; masters and up and you can get away with only english.
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Old 23.03.2010, 22:59
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Zurich - Applied Sciences - from their website - and my daughter was told she would have to take a German test.

Potential students with qualifications from abroad


If you have studied abroad, you must submit documentation and prove that you have an adequate knowledge of German. Please enquire about the exact procedure at the academic office responsible for the degree programme you have chosen.
That's just the English information for the general, German programs. The English one (like the one I am currently in) do not require German skills, I can tell you that from first hand experience as there are quite a few foreigners studying in my class. There is business administration, International management and a few others that are English only - no other skills besides work experience necessary to study there.

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All public universities and polytechnics require a proficiency test if you hold any kind of foreign diploma for entrance. This includes those programs taught in english like ETH.

Of course, this is only for a bachelor program; masters and up and you can get away with only english.
I can assure you that in order to study International Management (bachelor) at ZHAW you don't need to speak any German at all. I can't speak for other schools though, but it wouldn't make sense otherwise me thinks.

Last edited by vwild1; 24.03.2010 at 17:06. Reason: Merged 2 successive posts into 1
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Old 24.03.2010, 07:48
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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... when the time comes for University , in 6 years, I am wondering if she could attend in the Swiss system for a fraction af the cost in other places.
Thanks everybody.
So she's what, 13,14 now? That would be probably a little late to enter the Swiss education system at the point where she can get the Matura that guarantees entry to university. Especially if she doesn't speak German/French. Without a Matura, students can still apply, but places are limited.
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Old 24.03.2010, 12:01
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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I can assure you that in order to study International Management (bachelor) at ZHAW you don't need to speak any German at all. I can't speak for other schools though, but it wouldn't make sense otherwise me thinks.
Unless I'm grossly misinformed, ZHAW is not a public school. ETH is the polytechnic, and UZH is the Zürich university.

The primary difference between a uni/polytechnic and a "Hochschule" (such as ZHAW) being that the latter is unable to issue doctorates. From what I understand, ZHAW is a somewhat special case being partially funded by the canton. This would mean that they are free to offer programs in other languages, but are still subject to cantonal pricing regulations.

Another note, is that a Hochschule has a completely different set of entrance requirements, accepting the shortened form of the matura. I don't remember exactly what's left out, but it takes about a year off of the adult matura program if I remember correctly.

Doesn't mean it's no good by any means, but it's not a full fledged public university; they all require a local language proficiency test.
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Old 24.03.2010, 13:30
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Unless I'm grossly misinformed, ZHAW is not a public school. ETH is the polytechnic, and UZH is the Zürich university.

The primary difference between a uni/polytechnic and a "Hochschule" (such as ZHAW) being that the latter is unable to issue doctorates. From what I understand, ZHAW is a somewhat special case being partially funded by the canton. This would mean that they are free to offer programs in other languages, but are still subject to cantonal pricing regulations.

Another note, is that a Hochschule has a completely different set of entrance requirements, accepting the shortened form of the matura. I don't remember exactly what's left out, but it takes about a year off of the adult matura program if I remember correctly.

Doesn't mean it's no good by any means, but it's not a full fledged public university; they all require a local language proficiency test.
Hm.. some of it is correct, other things not. ZHAW is a fully publically funded school, we have a dual system here in Switzerland with regular Universities and Universities of applied Science (Fachhochschule). There are both private and public Universities and Fachhochschule in Switzerland, but ZHAW is a public FH. It is correct however that FH have a different focus and also different requirements. Salary & qualification wise they are on a similar, albeit not identical level. Statistics issued by University of Zürich shows that graduates from FH initially have a lower salary but are on par after 2 years, because of more work experience before entering University and a more practical focus. I have just spoken to the dean of the program I am in, most programs do indeed require a German language test, but not for all foreign students, so neither of us is wrong/right I'm afraid, do not all require a local language proficiency test if you're studying in English, but most do, and it depends on the individual.
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Old 24.03.2010, 15:05
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

Thanks everybody. She is fluent in french so that will help..
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Old 24.03.2010, 15:21
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Looks like it's the same or a little more (depending on the school) as it is for Swiss students:




Click the chart to see the page it's from .
For what it's worth, there is talk of raising the foreign-student tuition in ZH - perhaps to 2x the Swiss-student rate. It's only talk now, but in six years' time it could well be a reality.

(Still a sight cheaper than even most state schools back home!)
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Old 24.03.2010, 16:08
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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For what it's worth, there is talk of raising the foreign-student tuition in ZH - perhaps to 2x the Swiss-student rate. It's only talk now, but in six years' time it could well be a reality.

(Still a sight cheaper than even most state schools back home!)
Yeah, they made me pay £2'500 per trimester in the UK because they classed me as a foreign student despite having a British passport and living in the UK two years prior. So it would only be fair.

The talk is actually not so distant, some people say it might become effective as of this autumn. See, Switzerland only has a numerus clausus for the medical department, so it is not uncommon for 800 - 1000 people to start in a particular subject. Psychology is one of those things, in Germany you have to have a certain grade at your Abitur to get in, in Zurich, anyone can do it. So a lot of Germans come here to do the subject. Some lectures are standing room only, not very useful when you have to take notes. At the end of the first year, they kick about 65% of the people out following exams, some say it's actually more than that. There's two further culls in the next two years but they are not quite so harsh. You can resit the exam once, after that you are barred from that particular subject in all Swiss universities.

You will have to speak German or French, as unless you are doing a Master's Level degree at the ETH, I don't think there is a course that is solely in English. And yes, there is the language proficiency exam, plus another thing but I don't know what that looks like.
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Old 24.03.2010, 16:21
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Yeah, they made me pay £2'500 per trimester in the UK because they classed me as a foreign student despite having a British passport and living in the UK two years prior.
How is that possible? What's the criteria?
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Old 24.03.2010, 16:22
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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Yeah, they made me pay £2'500 per trimester in the UK because they classed me as a foreign student despite having a British passport and living in the UK two years prior. So it would only be fair. ....
When was that? Since various bilateral agreements, any EU or Swiss citizen pays the same fees as locals, in an EU or Swiss university. So a Swiss citizen going to a Scottish university will pay zero, but if they go to an English university they'll pay up to ~£3000 a year. ( In an interesting quirk, if you're British, but not resident in Scotland, you pay your tuition fees - so a British Swiss resident going to a Scottish university has to pay! ).

edit: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/...ed/feeloa.html You have to establish residency before the course begins to benefit from getting the non-overseas rate. And that is subject to interpretation. I'd guess in CH, you have to be registered here before the course begins - or maybe on application.
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Old 24.03.2010, 16:38
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

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When was that? Since various bilateral agreements, any EU or Swiss citizen pays the same fees as locals, in an EU or Swiss university.
... provided they have been resident in the EU / Switzerland for the last 3 years - if they lived outside then they are bally foreigners.
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Old 24.03.2010, 18:33
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Re: can my daughter go to University for free?

tbh - that's not what the link I provided says.
 




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