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UZH for Students

Finances and Insurances

Students at the Irchel Bar

How much does it cost to study at UZH?

Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. The figures below should therefore be regarded as a guideline only. The expected minimum cost of living for students at the University of Zurich therefore comes to a total of CHF 2,000 per month.

Approximate figures (in CHF, per month):

 
Rent incl. heating 690
Meals 450
Leisure and spending money 150
Additional expenses (phone, internet, television fees) 140
Tuition fees (approx. CHF 800 twice a year) 130
Teaching materials (depending on branch of studies) 100
Health insurance (after deducting premium reductions)/insurance 100
Travel 100
Clothing and personal items 100
AHV/IV (social insurances) 40

What insurances do I need?

As a student at UZH, you are required to take out insurance in accordance with the applicable regulations. We strongly recommend that you inform yourself about the exact insurance conditions and benefits in order to be well covered in case of need. Below you will find the most important information in brief.

Compulsory Health Insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for anyone staying in Switzerland longer than three months. Students from an EU state who are legally insured in their home country can apply for exemption from this obligation by using the European Health Card or a provisional certificate, both of which issued by the health insurance company in the home country.

After your arrival in Switzerland, you will be contacted by the health services department of your place of residence. If you are not contacted, please ask the local authorities about the procedure. If you do not have a provisional certificate or an insurance card, but other proof of health insurance corresponding to Swiss requirements, an exemption from obligatory insurance may be possible. If not, you must take out a policy for basic insurance at a Swiss health insurance company.

Travel insurance taken out in your home country will not be accepted.

Accident Insurance

Students who have an accident on the premises of the University of Zurich are not insured through UZH. Because no comprehensive work-related or non-work-related accident insurance exists for students, it is recommended that they conclude an insurance policy that has adequate coverage for Switzerland. This is especially important for students who work in labs.

Students who are employed at UZH for more than 8 hours per week are insured by UZH in the case of both work-related and non-work-related accidents. Students in employment relationships of under 8 hours per week are granted only work-related accident insurance.

Private Liabilty Insurance

This insurance covers damage inflicted by you on other persons. It also covers any loss incurred in the room or flat you are living in. A private liability insurance costs from CHF 100.- to CHF 150.- per year with a limit of indemnity of up to CHF 5 million. Although private liability insurance is not compulsory, we suggest that all international students close an insurance contract.

In the case of damage, the University institute, department, or clinic is liable if no gross negligence is present and if the damage was caused in the context of a task performed on behalf of the student's supervisor.

AHV: Old Age and Survivor's Insurance

All Swiss and foreign students with legal residence in Switzerland must pay contributions.

The Canton of Zurich's office for social insurance, SVA, determines the rates for social insurance. You also pay the sum directly to the SVA office. To determine whether students are obliged to contribute, the UZH transfers the following data to SVA Zürich: Name, birth date, address, insurance number, civil status, nationality.

In the first half of the year, students are informed by the SVA by e-mail about their obligation to pay contributions and are asked to complete a questionnaire online. Students who have already covered the contribution in the year in question by paying contributions from (part-time) jobs will not receive a notification. If you are unsure, please contact the SVA. UZH only provides the addresses for the mailing and is not responsible for the mailing.

If students are employed and pay AHV via their employer, the amount will be reduced. Employed students must enclose their annual pay statement when returning the SVA form.

Please read the information about AHV contributions from SVA Zürich:
SVA Zurich: Students' contributions to the AHV/IV (in German)
SVA Zurich: Prevent Contribution Gaps (in German)  

Is it possible to work alongside my studies?

  • In many study programs, it is common for students to work during the semester or during the semester break. However, part-time employment may extend your studies.
  • Programs with highly structured schedules, assessment levels and a high number of courses/lectures are less suitable when it comes to pursuing a part-time job and require a high degree of discipline.  
  • If you would like (or need) to work more than just part-time, we recommend getting in touch with academic advisory services to find out how this might affect your studies.
  • In general, combining part-time work and your studies gets easier the further along you are in your program. Schedules are often fairly tight in the beginning. You can find several job offers on the Career Services website:
    Career Services: Jobs

Can I apply for a grant?

  • In principle, your parents are required to help fund your studies (Bachelor’s and Master’s). If neither your parents nor you are able to do so, you can apply for a grant in your parents’s canton of residence. For more information, visit the websites of the relevant cantonal offices.  
  • UZH also hands out grants, usually in addition to the cantonal study grants. We suggest you find out about eligibility. 
  • Swiss nationals living abroad can apply for a grant in their home canton. Useful information is available from educationsuisse.  
  • As an international student, you cannot apply for financial support for your Bachelor's studies until you have successfully completed the first year of the Bachelor's degree program, and only if you are entitled to financial aid in principle.
  • Prospective international students at Master's level can only apply for support if they have a Swiss Bachelor's degree.

Information and Consultation

The Student Financial Aid Office is the first point of contact for questions about financing your studies at the University of Zurich. They provide information about accessing scholarships, loans and emergency credits in case of hardship. They also inform you about your rights and obligations and can help you plan a realistic budget for your studies. You can find information on their services and consultation hours on the following website:
Student Financial Aid Office

For International Students

Due to the high number of requests, the Student Financial Aid Office unfortunately cannot respond to e-mail queries from international students who do not meet the basic conditions for financial assistance set out above. Thank you for your understanding.