Written by Alyssa Walker

Nearly 20 percent of students at Swiss universities are international—and nearly 40 percent leave the country after they graduate.  

A new report by the Swiss government’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows an overrepresentation of international students in Swiss schools—particularly the higher up they go. 

Switzerland currently has one of the highest percentages of international students in the world. For master-level and doctoral-level students, the numbers are higher, at 22 percent and 52 percent respectively. They’re also more likely to study natural and technical sciences over social or educational sciences.

What they do after they graduate varies. The report states that “migrant status does not seem to have a quantitative or qualitative influence on integration in the Swiss labor market.”

International students are less likely to work in the public sector, and more likely to accept managerial or directorial positions—and are likely to be found in large businesses.

About a year after international students graduate, 36 percent move abroad, many to a neighboring country. About a quarter are cross-border commuters who work in Switzerland. 

Learn more about studying in Switzerland

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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