Study Abroad Student Handbook
Switzerland Switzerland
Center for Global Education

Why Study Abroad?

As the land of the Alps, including the world-famous Matterhorn, two-thirds of Switzerland is composed of forests, lakes, and mountains. Switzerland provides students and travelers with a dynamic sense of culture, education, history, and a balance of cosmopolitan and tradition found through the various cantons and regions. Though Switzerland has no central ethnic or linguistic identity, the country represents a multicultural setting by which connects the 26 cantons as a melting pot of German, Italian, and French history and culture - particularly in folk art and festivals, architecture, theater, and art foundations. Switzerland does not produce raw imports, but instead, processes and resells foreign trade under an exemplary, highly-skilled service industry. The country is widely known for its technological expertise, fine cheeses and chocolates, and watch-making.

Often regarded as one of the most innovative and competitive countries in the world, Switzerland boasts an impressive high-tech economy as one of the wealthiest countries with high median household incomes and consistently low unemployment rates. The country offers prestigious education in mountainous surroundings; educational facilities include the Swiss Hospitality Schools and hotel management institutes, such as the Caesar Ritz Colleges and the Hotel management Institute in Lucerne, respectively. Switzerland combines culture, business, and education, making it a great place to study various aspects of their most important economic sectors of manufacturing chemicals, musical and measuring instruments, and banking.

The 26 cantons serve as their own sovereign states with its own constitution and government. The official language of each canton varies between German, French, Italian, Romansh, or a combination, such as with Bern, Fribourg, Graubünden, and Valais; Ticino is the only canton where Italian is the sole official language. By studying in Switzerland, you will have access to not one but three cultures, especially if the canton borders the countries of Italy, Austria, France, and Germany. You will be able to practice three to four languages, or concentrate on one, and also have easy access to trips to neighboring countries! While the cantons provide political separation, travelers may find it easier by separating based on regions: Basel and Aargau, Bernese Highlands, Bernese Lowlands, Central Switzerland, Graubünden, Jura Mountains and Fribourg, Lake Geneva, Northeastern Switzerland, Ticino, Valais, and Zurich.

Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music and sciences. Many Nobel prizes were awarded to Swiss scientists, including Albert Einstein, who acquired Swiss citizenship and worked in Bern for the majority of his life. Among the most important cultural performances held annually are the Lucerne Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Locarno International Film Festival. Alpine symbolism, also referred to as Swissness, has played an essential role in shaping the Swiss national identity. In Switzerland it is mostly expressed in dance, poetry, wood carving, embroidery, and music – especially the trumpet-like alphorn. There are great things to study and observe for every student in Switzerland where culture is reflected in its diverse, western European culture.

Read on – Why Study Abroad and find answers how study abroad can affect your personal growth and career path.

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