Economics Schools and Programs in Switzerland

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Economics Studies in Switzerland

A tasty Swiss fondueAre you planning to pursue a degree in Economics, at least part of which you’d like to complete as a member of a study abroad program in a foreign country?  Have you considered studying in the country of Switzerland, a beautiful European nation that boasts one of the best systems of higher education in the world?  The wonderful and very scenic country of Switzerland has a lot to offer study abroad participants, including excellent universities, friendly people and a number of fun and interesting sites to visits.  To help you get started with this adventure, below we have compiled a brief profile of Switzerland and its Economics education, and highlighted some of the reasons why studying here, either for all or part of your degree, can offer a world of advantages.

Study Economics in Switzerland:  Overview

Basic Facts about Switzerland

Switzerland, or as it is known in official circles, the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal government.  The landlocked nation is located in Western Europe, nestled between Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.  It boasts a total area of just less than 16,000 square miles (41,300 square kilometers), and is geographically divided into three areas: the Alps, the Jura and the Swiss Plateau, where the majority of the nation’s eight-million residents are concentrated.
Switzerland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, as measured by per capita gross domestic product, and has the highest wealth per adult of any country on the globe.  Not surprisingly, two of its largest cities, Zurich and Geneva, are listed among the world cities with the highest quality of life in the world, ranking second and eighth on that list, respectively.
There are three main linguistic groups in Switzerland:  German, French and Italian, although the majority of the country’s residents speak German.

Economics Education in Switzerland

There are several major universities in Switzerland that offer Economics as a degree program, including the University of Bern, located in the capital city, where it is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
At the University of Bern, as well as at other higher education institutions throughout Switzerland, the Department of Economics offers three priorities in training and research:  Macro Economics, Micro Economics and Public Economics.  At the undergraduate level, the program is divided into two modules: an introductory component and main course.  Together these sections require successful completion of 180 credits, or three years of study for full-time students.  The introductory module includes a set or pre-determined curriculum, one that deals with topics such as economics, business administration, social sciences, mathematic, statistics and law.  In the second module, or main course, students can basically compose their own curriculum from a vast range of economics courses, save for a few compulsory courses that each student must complete.
Assuming students continue on a full-time course of study, earning a graduate or Master’s Degree in Economics takes an additional two years of education in Switzerland, which includes advanced coursework in a particular Economics niche and the successful completion and defense of a graduate thesis or upper division project.

Why Study Economics in Switzerland

In addition to Switzerland’s excellent system of higher education, there are many other reasons to choose the country as a study abroad destination.  Students who elect to study here are provided countless opportunities for personal and academic growth, and as it is with many other countries, Switzerland exhibits a strong sense of regionalism that makes it wonderfully unique and exciting.  The country is unbelievably scenic, and is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that encompass sweeping landscapes and quaint, historic mountain towns.
Here are just few more reasons to choose Switzerland as part of your study abroad adventure:
  • Acquire a new language.  Switzerland has four, count ‘em four official languages—German, French, Italian and Rumantsch—making it a great place to acquire new language skills and practice what you’ve learned.
  • The great outdoors.  The beautiful natural landscapes of Switzerland make the country ideal for a full range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and skiing.
  • Location, location, location.  Switzerland’s centralized location serves as a type of Gateway or staring point from which to explore other European countries.
  • Museums.  Despite its small size, Switzerland has a surprisingly large collection of traditional and non-traditional museums, such as the International Red Cross Museum, a symbol of Switzerland and its strong commitment to humanitarianism.
  • Delicious Cuisine.  The many cultural and ethnic groups that call Switzerland home are deliciously represented by the country’s unique and very tasty cuisine.
Whether you decide to study in Switzerland for its outstanding universities and expert faculty, its variety of beautiful landscapes and interesting museums, or the opportunity to acquire new language skills, make new friends and expand your personal and professional horizons, you won’t be disappointed, and you’re sure to leave the country much more enlightened and certainly happier for having lived the experience.