Daily life

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses | Switzerland

Switzerland is a small country that enjoys great cultural diversity. People from around 140 countries live in Switzerland. One in five persons does not have a Swiss passport. Switzerland's entire resident population is 8 million.

Cost of living

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. The high prices for consumer goods, housing and health insurance are partly due to the relatively high level of salaries in Switzerland. According to a comparative international study conducted by UBS, the Swiss economic development hubs , namely Zurich, Geneva and Basel, are among the front runners among the cities with the highest gross pay for all types of professions.

The majority of Switzerland's residents are tenants and currently there is a shortage of apartments on the market, above all in urban areas, especially in and around Geneva and Zurich. Housing costs are therefore comparatively high. In addition, you will find that the compulsory health insurance premiums can be very high.

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the main items of expenditure in a typical Swiss household budget are social security contributions (10%), health insurance (5.6%) and taxes (11.7%), accommodation and energy (15.1%), transport (8%) and food (6.4%). In 2013, the average monthly household income amounted to CHF 7'130.

 

About Switzerland

Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe, it shares borders with Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Austria.

 

Language courses

Learning the local language is the key to integration. Have a look at the offers for language courses at the universities.

 

Banking and currency

In order to open a Swiss bank account, you will need your passport and residence permit.

 

Medical care

The Swiss health insurance system guarantees access to a range of quality medical care services and appropriate medical treatment for all insured people.

 

Transport

Public transportation in Switzerland is generally considered to be good – you can get almost everywhere in the country without a car. Trains and buses generally run on time.

 

Shopping

In the Swiss supermarket scene there are several big players with a good reputation in environmental questions.

 

Media

Radio, television and newspapers play an important part in Switzerland in terms of freedom and diversity of opinion.