Entry + Stay

Studying abroad, either on a short-term basis or for a complete degree, has many advantages. Not least of this is future attractiveness on the job market. But it also requires thorough preparation: you need to get organized in plenty of time.

Before you can set about organizing  a period of study in Switzerland, you need to make various arrangements concerning accommodation, immigration formalities and residence. According to your country of origin or nationality, there are various conditions  to be fulfilled.  Find out in good time about immigration formalities and make the appropriate arrangements.

Obligatory health and accident insurance

Mandatory health insurance in Switzerland

In Switzerland conclusion of a health and accident insurance policy for stays of longer than three months is mandatory. A basic insurance plan covers medical care in the case of sickness or accident.
After arriving in Switzerland and registering with your municipality of residence, you have three months in which to take out health insurance. Provided you register within this time, you are insured from the time you enter Switzerland.
Students are responsible for taking out health insurance themselves.

Exemption from mandatory health insurance
Persons from the EU/EFTA area who have a European health insurance card can, on application, exempt themselves from the duty to take out health insurance. This is also true of students from non-EU countries whose health insurance schemes are recognised by the Swiss authorities. Find out from your health insurance organisation whether your scheme covers you in Switzerland.
An application for exemption from mandatory health insurance is only possible in Switzerland in the first three months following commencement of the health insurance obligation. In Bern Canton the application must be submitted in writing to the Federal Office of Social Security and Supervisory Board for Foundations.

The BFH International Relations Office will be happy to supply you with the application form for exemption from mandatory health insurance.

The application form must be signed and stamped by your health insurer. Please therefore take care of this form prior to travel. In the case of applications from citizens of EU/EFTA countries it suffices if a copy of the European Health Insurance Card is enclosed with the application.

Information about exemption from mandatory health insurance in Switzerland by the Federal Office of Social Security of Bern Canton (in German)

Taking out a Swiss health insurance policy
If you are unable to prove that you have adequate insurance cover, you must arrange insurance in Switzerland. You are free to choose the health insurance fund you wish. Some insurance companies have special deals for students.

Comparison of health insurance company premiums

The International Relations Office will help you on taking out a health insurance policy.

Further information
General informations | Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)

Personal liability insurance

Personal liability insurance insures you for any damage you might cause to other persons or their property. A mishap can easily happen. If damage is caused to persons who are not family or friends, or to their property (e.g. a flat or room), this is covered by personal liability insurance. This type of insurance is not required by law, but we recommend that exchange students take out a private personal liability policy. In Switzerland this costs between CHF 100 and CHF 150 per annum.

If you do a traineeship in Switzerland, your employer will automatically provide you with adequate workplace liability cover.