Looking for a job or to study in Switzerland


I am fairly new to

I am South African, in my mid-30's and I wish to relocate to Switzerland. There have been many challenges in trying to get employment in the country. It appears that companies don't want to deal with non-EU citizens. Most of my feedback has been either that quotas are almost met for the year or that Eu or Swiss citizens are preferred.

There have been objections about the German language, which I am busy learning. However this does not carry any weight at the moment.

The most I can get now is a 3month holiday visa, and I am not allowed to work during this time. However can I look for employment whilst in the country for 3 months? Would this improve my chances of finding employment?

Or will it be better to perhaps further my studies at a university in Switzerland? and then find part time work whilst studying? Can one then find part time work easily?

What are some of the better Universities in Switzerland, for internationals?

Any guidance or assistance is much appreciated.

Thank you.


Firstly, no, it's forbidden to look for job with a tourist visa. And indeed, for a non-European is very very very difficult to find a job in Switzerland. Even for europeans it is hard, because quotas. And you must have a high-degree graduate or specialized in a rare or where it misses employed.

German is mandatory yes, but above all Schwyzerdeutsch... But this language is actually a dialect which is different in all german-speaking "cantons"...

For studies, all swiss universities are among the best universities of the World. But you don't have so many studies in English-languages, apart, Polytechnics, "Haute Ecole", private and tourism schools (very expensives).

The best for you is studies but Switzerland is a country very expensive for all.

Thank you Steffifi,

This is informative. :)
Oops, so glad I did not go with the tourist visa option. That would be a waste of time and money.

I will definitely look into the studying options. I see that the private colleges or international colleges are a lot more expensive. The University of Geneva seems better priced and offers selected MBA's in English which actually suited my profession, so I perhaps will make some enquiries there.

I am allowed to work 15 hours a week, if I get into a university, right? And this might be the better way to get to know the culture and passively build networks within the job market.

Thank you. I will send EFS my CV. for more information.


Lea-Ann :

Thank you. I will send EFS my CV. for more information.


That's up to you, but I would be very careful about sending personal details to any person or company that used spam on forums (and the forum PM system) to attract people.

Thanks Fred. Good point.

Where you go depends on whether you speak or want to learn French, Italian or German. Since "high German" for universities is not "Swiss German" for the street, it is doubly difficult. So check out the other areas. I know many foreigners who started with French courses in Neuchatel or Fribourg, they are required before starting at Uni. And there are places to study in Valais too, great locations for sportspeople.

Thank you Gemma for the heads up. The job market has been tough. Perhaps in the new year it will get better or maybe even before the year ends, an opportunity might come up. Which bank do you work at? If they are looking for staff in the mortgage, investment, finance or marketing area, keep me in mind. These are my fields of expertise. Thanks.

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