The University of Bern has some guidelines on visa requirements and residence in Switzerland for international students:
Conditions relevant to entering and residing in Switzerland
In general, you will need to check visa requirements with the Swiss Embassy in your country. Note that, if a visa is required, you have to apply for it 3 – 4 months in advance. As a general rule, you will be asked to provide proof of residence and finances, e.g. provide a Swiss bank account, proof of matriculation and a rental contract for an apartment. See also FAQ below on accommodation. In some cases it might be useful to ask the directorate of the Graduate School for a Letter of Support, e.g. stating that the program is run in English.
The tuition and semester fees of the Univ. Bern are very low compared to international standards: only 750 CHF per semester.
Living costs in Bern are about 1600 CHF per month (room rentals 400 – 700 CHF, food costs approximately 500 CHF).
The registration fee is 100 CHF (105 CHF from abroad). In case of subsequent admission, the fee is counted towards the admission fee (also 100 CHF). Applicants from Switzerland receive a payment slip after registration, applicants from abroad a payment receipt with the registration. Master students who take courses at ETH Zurich can apply for the reimbursement of travel expenses (see FAQ).
Information Univ. Bern
Most of our students are able to work a few hours per week, primarily between the semesters. Typical salaries fo student jobs are approx. 20 - 30 CHF / h. Junior assistant jobs at the Univ. Bern are paid approx. 30 CHF / h. Working permits for EU / EFTA citizens are issued by the Canton of Bern administration; a limit of 15 working hours per week may apply.
Job portal Student Union Univ. Bern
Portal for (junior assistant) jobs at U Bern
The University of Bern provides good information for incoming students about living and studying in Bern:
Information for prospective students
Browse the website of the University of Bern for prospective students.
Specific information for incoming students is alos provided by the Welcome Centre of the University of Bern.
Homepage of Bern tourism
Bern tourism has a lot of useful information about the everyday life in Bern.
The University of Bern provides ample information about living in Bern and finding accommodation:
Welcome Center: Living in Bern
General information about living in Bern, provided by the Welcome Center
Welcome Center: Accommodation list
List of accommodation offers mediated by the Welcome Center of the University of Bern
Student lodging associations
Links to student lodging associations and other operators
Student's organization database
The student's organization of the University of Bern has an online database of available rooms for registered users (in German). Write them (in English) in case you need assistance. One option is 'Living for Help', where you help elderly people doing housework for an inexpensive rent.
Here is a list of potential supporters:
Links on Univ. Bern website
The list provided by the University of Bern
Foreign students with a degree (postgraduates), maximum age 35
Swiss Studies Foundation
Funding program from the Swiss Studies Foundation
Cantonal scholarship for students studying for a first degree - applications accepted from candidates aged under 35
Scholarship for Swiss citizens abroad, education in Switzerland
de Giacomi Foundation
Dr. Joachim de Giacomi Foundation at Swiss Academy of Science