Area: 41,277 km ²
Climate: Dry Temperate, varying with altitude; winters are cold, cloudy, rainy and snowy, summers are cool-warm, cloudy, humid with occasional showers
Population: 7,604,467 (est. from July 2009)
Languages: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbio-Croatian 1.5%, Alb
Type of Government: Federal Republic structure
Independence: August 1, 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
GDP: $309.9 billion (estimated from 2008)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $40,900 (estimated from 2008)
Information for Foreign Students in Switzerland
Obtaining a VisaStudents from EU/EFTA countries must register with the Residents' Registration Office of the local authorities of their municipality of residence within 14 days. The following documents are required: Personal application for residence permit, valid passport or identity card, proof of registration at the university, evidence of sufficient funds (bank certificate or certified document), proof of address at place of residence, passport-size photographs.
HousingAccommodation is generally easy to find while studying in Switzerland. There are some university student houses, but most students live in flat shares, which are advertised on university notice boards or student websites such as www.students.ch and www.studisurf.ch.
Cost of LivingThe cost of living in Switzerland echoes the country's high standard of living. While expensive, residents enjoy excellent communications, transportation, quality accommodation, and superior cultural and tourism offerings.
Health RequirementsIn Switzerland, health insurance is mandatory for all residents. Students from foreign countries must purchase their own health insurance policy if they intend to live in Switzerland for more than three months.
Switzerland is a world leader in railway commuting, with a railway network extending 3,007 km. Thus, Switzerland is an important part of the growing European high-speed transport network. High-speed connecting trains like the French TGV or the German ICE bring cities such as Paris, Lyon, Ulm, Stuttgart or Munich extremely close to Swiss residents. Switzerland is serviced by 3 international airports: Zurich, Geneva and Basel. It also relies on 11 regional airports.