To secure a modern degree, considerable capital is required to pay the tuition fee for international institutes. With global headline inflation reaching 6.8 all over the world, overseas students gravitate towards tracking part-time/full-time work opportunities during their study duration abroad.

Though a long-term investment, an advanced degree necessitates earning to cover living expenses. Switzerland is considered an ideal destination in this regard as it offers fruitful employment opportunities to students during their study duration. Being a small country known for its strong economy, majestic Alps, and well-maintained infrastructure, Switzerland promotes a work-study culture.

Switzerland consistently ranks high in global education quality and quality of life indices. For students opting for part-time employment, competitive salaries and diverse positions are available here. While students can benefit from its research-led leading universities, they can also work to support their financial needs accordingly.

To get more information on what work-study programs are available in Switzerland and ways to gain employment here by international students, we have created an all-inclusive article below.

Ways to Work While Studying in Switzerland

The Swiss government and institutes are supportive of students working alongside their study course, there are many employment opportunities available here. Some of them are discussed below.

Internships

1. Study-work Programs

The first option students can avail of while applying to a study program in Switzerland is to choose a work-study program. Through this, students can work at a credible company affiliated with the university and gain work experience which counts in their course points.

This is the best way as the education of the student will not be compromised while working. To gain this, the applicant needs to apply for the internship in the company and get approved by them If they are eligible. One such program is offered by ZHAW as mentioned earlier.

On-Campus Jobs

2. Research-Assistant Position

The next way to gain employment for international students in Switzerland is by applying for the on-campus post of research assistant. This is for the research conducted by professors and doctoral students. It allows the applicant to gain beneficial information in their field of study or get to contribute to a different field altogether.

The student needs to provide previous experience in the study subject and study credentials to the respective person or authority. Each student is expected to earn CHF 30-50/hour with this post.

3. Teaching Assistantships

Another great opportunity on campus is for the post of a teaching assistant who works under the supervision of an experienced professor. Advanced students studying for master’s degrees and above can apply for this post. It helps them gain teaching experience in a specific field, and they can earn around CHF 25-40/hour from this.

4. University Jobs

Apart from these, If we look at other on-campus posts, universities offer students jobs in cafeterias, libraries, and administration departments. These jobs offer flexible work hours for students to adjust according to their academic schedules.

A simple application form with the course the applicant is studying, their previous education records, and a valid passport is required to apply for this job. A pay of CHF 20-30/hour is offered to them, which is considerable.

Off-Campus jobs

5. Part-Time Jobs

If we look at off-campus job opportunities, many options are available within Switzerland. With no previous experience and only passport and student permits, students can apply for part-time jobs at restaurants, cafés, shops, retail stores, and companies. A pay of up to CHF 20-35/hour can be earned through these posts.

6. Language Tutor

Another credible and easy job post students can earn good money from is teaching a certain language to other students or other people. This job requires having proficiency in a certain language and having cleared a language proficiency test at a certain CEFR level.

The student can individually teach language online or work with a teaching institute with flexible hours for these posts. This is a high-paying job and can give CHF 25-40/hour to the employee.

7. IT Support Job

One job that students with expertise in IT and related subjects can apply for is as an IT support personnel in Switzerland. A certificate of completion of a course in an IT-related subject is required for this. The pay scale of these ranges from 20-26 CHF/hour

8. Sales and Marketing Representative

Prospective students interested in sales and marketing may be able to get work as sales associates or marketing interns for local companies. No previous experience is required for this job. Earnings with this post could range from CHF 20-30 per hour.

Freelance Work

9. Graphic Designer

For students with skills and who want to work from home with more flexible work opportunities, online graphic designers are high in demand. They can sign onto different job portals to provide their certification as graphic designers and gain employment. The pay for this job varies per project.

10. Virtual Assistant

Many firms require virtual assistants to manage client orders and operations online. Certain experience in the field is required to apply for such a job. The timescale of the job needs to be adjusted according to the student’s study schedule. The pay for this job also varies per post.

FAQs About Working While Studying in Switzerland

Is There a Work-Study Program in Switzerland?

There are a few work-study programs available in Switzerland for international students. But one we would like to mention is offered by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Its work-study Bachelor’s degree is offered for a diverse range of courses which include aviation, data science, electrical engineering, energy and environmental engineering, medical informatics, etc.

This bachelor’s degree program combines theory which accounts for 40% of the course with practical experience. In addition to completing a bachelor’s degree program that lasts for four years, the students get practical experience working in a company. This is modified so that it corresponds with the content covered in the course.

The applicant must apply for an internship program with the partner companies of ZHAW independently and gain a training contract from here. Alongside this, a high school diploma is required to follow this Bachelor’s program and work side by side. This is a great way to earn and propel your career forward by gaining real-life experience by working in a firm through this course.

Can You Work in Switzerland While on A Student Visa?

Yes. EU/EFTA students are permitted to work part-time for 15 hours per week during semesters. While they are permitted to work full-time during semester breaks. For this, the student requires no additional permit. For students who are from non-EU/EFTA regions, a work permit is required to start working in Switzerland.

From respective authorities, the applicant can gain the permit after fulfilling the requirement of providing an acceptance letter of the study program, a valid passport, and other documents. The student can start working after 6 months from the start of their study duration after gaining this employment visa.

What Are the Benefits of Working While Studying in Switzerland?

Under Swiss student employment restrictions, foreign students are permitted to work up to a certain amount of hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer and winter holidays.

1. Funds to Cover Essential Living Expenses

Switzerland’s high cost of living can be daunting for international students. Having part-time employment may assist with monthly expenditures like rent, food, and travel. It also gives the student financial freedom and security.

It lessens the need for financial aid from schools and the government as a whole. Students may reduce their reliance on student loans or financial aid by working and earning an income. It allows individuals to have more control over their finances and potentially reduce future debt.

2. Acquire Relevant Job Experience

Gaining work experience helps students enhance their professional profiles and acquire industry-specific skills. Gaining work experience like this may boost a student’s career after they graduate.

3. Gain Language Proficiency

Several languages, including German, French, Italian, and Romansh, are recognized as official languages in Switzerland. Working allows students to use and enhance their language abilities in a practical, realistic context. It can help them while permanently residing in the country or exploring more job opportunities in the future.

 

Switzerland is brimming with elite universities that open doors to international students every year for advanced courses. With the country’s high ranking in quality of education, students worldwide move to this country for better opportunities. But to support their living expenses, working is integral for the majority of students alongside study courses. For this purpose, to catch up with the high cost of living in the country, the government has opened numerous work opportunities for overseas students.

 

We hope this article helped you understand how to work while studying in Switzerland effectively. You can check out the Switzerland Page and the Available Programs in Europe for International Students to learn more about studying abroad.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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