Join Us for a Study Abroad Experience in Switzerland
Away from the classroom your time in Geneva will be filled with opportunities. Below you will find links to some suggested attractions and resources that will help you plan how to fill your time off campus.
The Swiss, French and Italian Alps and Lake Leman are at your door step! Geneva region is the perfect place for outdoor activities — skiing, paragliding, sunbathing, strolling along the lake — and sightseeing — Montreux, Gruyère, Annecy, Chamonix.
Among European cities, Geneva is one of the best connected by low-cost airlines with direct daily flights landing in Geneva from many European capitals. Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin are just a few hours away. If you book early you return ticket might only be CHF 60. (www.gva.ch)
It is also very easy to get around by train within Switzerland and neighbouring France and Italy: Luzern, Interlaken, Paris, Rome and more. Get your Eurail for unlimited travel: www.eurail.com
Geneva also has a lot to offer. Wander in the botanical gardens, explore the Old Town and St Pierre cathedral, get a taste of Geneva’s history and heritage by the Reformation Wall (www.geneve.ch/en).
Visit some museums that are unique in the world: the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent museum, the Information and Telecommunication Technology museum at the International
Telecommunication Headquarters, Patek Philip museum on the evolution of watch making
in Geneva, the Olympic museum in Lausanne.
Enjoy coffee in a local café: www.geneve.com
Students Already Studying at a Webster Campus
If you are already studying at a Webster campus and would like to join us in Geneva, learn more about studying at Webster Geneva for Webster students.
Students From Other Universities in the United States
If you are currently studying at a non-Webster campus in the United States, learn more about Webster Geneva for non-Webster U.S. students.
Study Abroad Information for Students from Outside the United States
Student Visas and Residence Permits
Following Admission, you will also be given the necessary documentation, instructions and website links to make the visa and permit process as clear and smooth as possible.
Permits and Prolongations
If you are on a current resident permit that allows full-time residency in Switzerland, you will not need to go through the full student visa process provided that you earn admission and apply to extend your permit with local authorities prior to its expiration date.
If you are an EU or EFTA citizen, you will not need a student visa to attend, yet when you arrive for New Student Orientation, we will provide you with an attestation from Webster University Geneva and guide you on how to declare your arrival for full-time studies to the local authorities.
Swiss Student Visas
All students from outside the European Union and EFTA member states need to make a formal application for a Swiss student visa from the Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate. You must complete the visa process in your home country or country of legal residence before entering Switzerland.
Tourist and/or Schengen Visas are not accepted for study purposes; Webster University Geneva is not authorized to register for courses under a Tourist and/or a Schengen Visa.
For the most up-to-date information or for answers to detailed questions, be sure to contact the Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate nearest to you, or refer to the FDFA website — selecting your country of residence.
Student Visa Application Process
Following admission and once you confirm your intention to enroll with Webster, you will need to submit your enrollment deposit (to Webster) and then proceed with the application forms and supporting documents to the Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate nearest to your official residence.
The student visa process is lengthy (from several weeks up to two months) and requires you to pay close attention to all pertinent details. The Swiss authorities will only consider applications that are complete, so be sure to follow the admissions office recommendations. It is extremely important to keep personal copies of all forms and documents submitted to the Swiss authorities.
Once all your documents have been submitted, the Swiss Embassy/Consulate will forward your application to the authorities here in Switzerland. The Geneva ‘Office of Population and Migration’ (our immigration office) will assess your application in collaboration with the federal authorities. They will inform and notify the Swiss Embassy/Consulate in your home country about their decision, and the Swiss Embassy/Consulate will then notify you.
* During the visa process, third parties such as universities are discouraged from interfering with the authorities to speed up the process or inquire about missing documents. It is your responsibility to keep on top of your visa application process and to keep our admissions team informed about progress or any difficulties.
Upon Your Arrival: Your Swiss Student Residence Permit
All students (except Swiss citizens) enrolled in Webster University Geneva need to apply for a Swiss Student Residence Permit upon their arrival in Geneva. The permit can take two to three months to be issued and is valid for one year. Students must make sure to renew their permit every year before leaving for their summer or winter break. Student permit information for current students can be found on the Registrar's Office Pages.