Student Life in Geneva

Student Life in Geneva


Non-EU citizens must apply for a student visa to study in Switzerland. The visa requirements can be found HERE.

The visa documentation required for studying as a non-EU/EFTA nationals includes: 

  • Proof of adequate financial resources to cover your costs while you’re in Switzerland, whether yourself or a sponsor, such as copies of bank statements or a letter from the bank.;
  • a health insurance policy that includes accident coverage;
  • a study plan explaining the general purpose of your studies; 
  • a confirmation that you have been admitted to a higher education institution recognised by the Swiss government; 
  • Proof that the personal and educational requirements for your study program are fulfilled;
  • a letter of motivation, your CV and an information sheet detailing your language skills;
  • proof that you have appropriate accommodation; and
  • a confirmation that you will leave Switzerland at the end of your studies.

The Swiss government advises that it can take up to 8 weeks to get your student visa application processed, so start getting your documents together as soon as possible! Contact your local Swiss embassy or consulate today to get the process started. 

SSBM Geneva will assist and guide you in the student visa application process. Please contact us at for more details.

When you arrive in Switzerland

You have 14 days after your arrival in Switzerland to register your arrival and arrange to get the residence permit from the cantonal migration offices (if required). You’ll be issued with a permit B. It’s valid for a year and renewable.

Cost of Living

The following table provides an idea of the costs of living in Geneva. Cheaper accommodation is available in the neighboring French towns, such as Ferney-Voltaire, Annemasse or Saint-Julien-en-Genevois.

Estimated living costs per student CHF
Rent: student residence (shared facilities) 550
Rent: student residence (single apartment) 700
Food etc. 600-800
Health insurance 100 (these costs can be avoided if the students maintain the insurance in their home country)
Mobile phones 25-35
Study-related expenses 100
Public transport 45 (under the age of 25), 70 (over 25)
Total monthly cost 1’400 – 1’900

Working in Geneva

Different criteria are applied to students depending on where they come from. Students coming to Switzerland from EU, EEA, and EFTA countries are able to work during their studies.

However, for Non-EU/EEA/EFTA citizens the rules are different. You can only start working six months after you have started your studies and have gotten a work permit.

General rules that apply are:

  • International students can work up to 15 hours a week
  • During semester holidays international students can work up to 100%.
  • Students from outside the EU/EFTA countries may start working only 6 months after starting their degree program.

How much is the salary?

Depending on the sector, students working 15 hours earn CHF 1,900 to CHF 2,900.


SSBM Geneva does not have accommodation facilities but will do its best to help you to find the right one.

You have the choice to find your own accommodation through the Geneva accommodation services listed below:

Nettilac SA
Rue du Parc 4
Phone: +41 22 312 04 50

Foyer Universitaire de Carouge
12, rue Joseph-Girard
1227 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 301 54 34

Hôtel Tiffany
1 rue des Marbriers
1204 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 708 16 16

Régie Foncière SA
Rue de la Fontaine 5
1211 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 817 08 17
Fax: +41 22 817 08 99

45, Avenue de la Praille
1227 Carouge, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 339 80 00

Foyer International
15-17, rue du Prieuré
1202 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 731 11 35

Centre Saint-Boniface
14, av. du Mail
1205 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 322 26 00

Régie Zimmermann S.A.
Rue Richemont
19 1202 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 909 25 25
Fax: +41 22 909 25 50
Genève Famille
69 route de Thonon
1222 Vésenaz
Phone: +41 22 752 41 42
38 rue de l’Athénée
1206 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 735 63 20

Résidence Moléson
4, rue du Moléson
1201 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 339 80 00

Régimo Genève SA
Rue Richard Wagner 1
1211 Geneva
Phone: +41 22 795 17 50

4, rue du Moléson
Phone: +41 22 339 80 00

Ms. Marjaneh VALERI,
Phone: +41 22 344 64 20