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Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Zurich, Switzerland

Engineering students are eligible to study abroad at one of the world's top engineering schools! The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (called ZHAW for its initials in German and pronounced seta haw) School of Engineering is located in the economic powerhouse of Switzerland, a country ranked first in the world for innovation.The Global Exchange Program at ZHAW provides an incredible opportunity for students to study, conduct research, network, and live in one the world's most developed countries.

Though Zurich is located in the German (or Swiss-German to be more precise) part of Switzerland, students can study and live easily in this international city without German language skills. 
Links and Resources: 

Important Information for 2024-25

  • Global Exchange Program applications open October 1 in TritonsAbroad
  • Check the nomination and application deadlines for 2024-25 to ensure your application is submitted on time. 
  • Please note that Global Exchange Programs have two applications: one for UC San Diego (TritonsAbroad) and the other for the partner university. 
Visit the How to Apply section for more information on the application process and the Pre-Departure Requirements section for important steps and considerations leading up to your time abroad. 


Basic Information

Exchange Details:
  • Academic Level: Undergraduate (Third and Fourth Year)
  • Eligible Major(s): Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) majors.
  • Fall Semester: September to January
  • Spring Semester: February to June
Students are expected to arrive at least one week before the beginning of a semester for orientation.
Given that the academic calendar does not align with that of UC San Diego, students do have the option to leave before the final examination period to start the next quarter. The Global Exchange Program coordinator can facilitate this process.

Course Information

  • Full Time Enrollment: 30 ECTS (14 weeks of classes) with a minimum enrolment of 16 ECTS. Individual lessons are 45 minutes each and modules usually consist of 2-4 weekly lessons. Depending on the workload, each module is worth between 3 and 6 ECTS. Students can identify courses and learn more via the English Language Course Catalog.
  • Courses in German: Should students want to study in German, they require at least a Level B2 proficiency in German. An intensive German course is offered during the summer by a partner university in Konstanz, Germany. Students can also study German for beginners at ZHAW.

Housing and Dining

Students are responsible for their own housing and accommodation.

Cost of Living

Cost of Living: Approximately 1,500- 1,800 Swiss Francs (CHF) per month.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

There are multiple options for students to apply and receive additional financial support for studying in Switzerland:
  • ZHAW SoE Scholarship: Incoming Exchange Students have the opportunity to apply for a ZHAW School of Engineering (SoE) Scholarship (CHF 3,000.00 maximum for overseas students per semester). This scholarship is based on both academic merit and financial need. Information on how to apply will be included in your letter of acceptance.

For information on financial aid, scholarships and additional funding, speak to a Study Abroad advisor.

Immigration and Visas

U.S. citizens must obtain a student visa or residence permit to study in Switzerland. For other citizenships, visit the website of the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in your country of citizenship for visa requirements and processes. 

Health and Wellness

English is widely-spoken in Switzerland and students can find English-speaking doctors if needed.
Mental wellness and support for students with disabilities are available and can arranged on an individual basis. 

Student Experience and Opportunities

  • Research Opportunities- Students have the opportunity to work on industry-based projects during the semester and carry out larger industry-based projects for two to three months as an internship. These are usually worth 6-8 ECTS.
  • For internships (separate from industry-based projects), this is possible but needs to be discussed on an individual basis. For students wishing to pursue an internship in Switzerland, potential funding is available to students through the ThinkSwiss Program.
  • Recreational- The ASVZ offers all university members an attractive and varied sports program, which offers plenty of opportunities to discover new activities and partake in traditional sporting, fitness and recreation programs.
  • Social Activities- The local Erasmus Student Network on campus organizes various activities and excursions throughout the academic year for international exchange students. Additionally, social events will be planned during welcome week and orientation.