Student life in Zurich

Student life in Zurich
Updated 2019-08-19 08:26

Despite being one of the world's most expensive cities, Zurich offers a young and vibrant atmosphere to locals and expats alike. As an international student in Zurich, you will even find many benefits specifically tailored to make your student life affordable and enjoyable.

Student accommodation in Zurich

Finding student accommodation is, of course, your top concern when it comes to studying abroad. Luckily, in Zurich, there is an already existing network of student housing available. In general, there are three types of student accommodation in Zurich: student dormitories, shared flats in student residences and private shared flats.

To begin your search, contact your university's housing service, such as that of the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) if you are one of their students. Their staff will answer your questions and could give you a list of useful addresses. WOKO, on the other hand, has an extensive network of student residences in Zurich and Winterthur. Alternatively, you could also search for online offers through websites such as Facebook groups,, and

Leisure in Zurich

Students in Zurich can take advantage of a range of free or discounted leisure activities in the city. Particularly during the summer, sunny days are the perfect occasion to enjoy the wonderful nature and outdoor scene that the city has to offer. Whether it is jogging along the lake, swimming in clear waters, or hiking in and around Zurich, you will undoubtedly find something perfect for you! For sports lovers, you could even take over 120 kinds of sports classes free of charge at the universities' sports centre with a valid student card from ETH, UZH, ZHAW, PHZH or ZHdK.

Due to the high living costs in Zurich, when it comes to partying, students usually buy drinks in bulk from grocery stores and have house parties. It is also not uncommon to find student parties at the event room or common space of student residences. Entrance fees for parties held at clubs and bars could easily cost 25 CHF per person or more.

Living costs in Zurich

Without surprise, living costs in Zurich are high. This is why many students in Zurich resort to doing grocery shopping at discount supermarkets such as Denner and Lidl, where prices are lower than other Swiss chain supermarkets. To save money on food, you can also eat at university cafeterias, where, upon presentation of a valid student card, you could enjoy meals at a discounted price. With regards to transportation, young people under 25 benefit from the junior subscription for Zurich's public transport network, ZVV. Most students in Switzerland also possess a half fare card from the Swiss railway company, SBB, which allows them to buy public transport and train tickets at half price.

Student discounts in Zurich

Just as in many other countries, students and young people receive many special discounts in Switzerland. In addition to the discounts and benefits already mentioned above, museums, events and attractions across the country mostly offer student tickets at a special price. With your Zurich student card, generally known as 'Legi', you could also benefit from many discounts and special offers listed here. If you wish, you may also pay to become a member of the student initiative LEGI, which provides an even larger number of student discounts in the city.

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