Why Switzerland is the perfect place to study finance
Switzerland is famous for having one of the world’s biggest banking and finance industries. It is home to global banking giants such as Credit Suisse and UBS, and the industry is responsible for around 10% of the country’s economic output.
But what does this mean for you? Well, the sheer size of Switzerland’s financial industry means there are plenty of job opportunities here. And one way of breaking into this competitive industry is by studying a finance master’s in Switzerland. The country’s universities are globally renowned and often closely linked with these large financial companies.
One example is the Master in Banking and Finance (MBF) at the University of St.Gallen. Zeno Adams is the program’s executive director. He says that the program’s graduates often secure a job at the likes of Credit Suisse, UBS, and Zurich Cantonal Bank. The university actually has a partnership with Credit Suisse, and more of the program’s graduates secure a job there than any other company. The MBF, therefore, represents a route into a crowded industry. (00:29)
However, one issue facing prospective students is that Switzerland has some of the world’s highest living costs and tuition fees. One option to help cover costs is applying for a finance majors fellowship. If you’re unsure what a fellowship is, here’s a quick breakdown.
What is a fellowship?
A fellowship is a merit-based award to help fund graduate studies. Although fellowships are similar to scholarships, there are a few key differences:
- Whereas scholarships can be need-based or merit-based, fellowships are predominantly merit-based. Fellows must generally maintain a high level of academic excellence to continue the fellowship.
- Whereas scholarships always include financial aid, fellowships may not. Instead, they may offer a workspace at a university to conduct research.
- Fellowships often include a stipend to fund postgraduate research projects, rather than just covering tuition fees, accommodation costs, and course materials.
- Fellowships may also require the recipient to attend professional development events such as work conferences, congresses, and training.
Many of the top universities in Switzerland offer fellowships to talented applicants. Businesses and non-profit organizations provide other fellowships as well. Here’s a selection of the finance majors fellowship opportunities available at the University of St.Gallen, one of the leading universities in Switzerland.
Finance majors fellowships at the University of St.Gallen
According to Zeno Adams, the MBF program prepares you to enter a range of related industries after graduating. “You can choose from a large variety of different topics such as corporate finance, financial technology, or sustainable investments,” he says. “You can choose to become an expert in one field but you can also put together your own portfolio of courses in any way you like.” (01:08)
Semester tuition fees for the MBF at St.Gallen are CHF 1,429 ($1,545) for domestic students and CHF 3,329 ($3599) for international students. Including the cost of tuition, the university advises that you should budget between CHF 25,000 ($27,087) and CHF 30,000 ($32,504) for your living costs per year.
To help cover these costs, the university has several fellowships available for students. All applicants to the MBF are automatically considered for an MBF fellowship. These awards amount to CHF8,000 ($8,690) each, which will go a long way towards funding your studies in St.Gallen. The fellowships are awarded to students with “an excellent record in university studies and professional life.”
The MBF program also includes a research-based module that prepares students to move into doctoral studies afterward. Should you wish to go down this route, many fellowships are available.
For instance, the oikos PhD Fellowship Program offers a monthly stipend of CHF 3,000 ($3,257) and a travel and research budget of CHF 3,600 ($3,905) per year. Recipients of this award are expected to conduct their research “on topics related to sustainability in the fields of management or economics.”
The university also offers International Postdoctoral Fellowships (IPF). Recipients of this award can use the school’s research facilities and receive research funding. They also get a “congress subsidy” of CHF2,500 annually to attend conferences and training events.
You can see the full range of funding opportunities for St.Gallen students on the school’s website. A finance majors fellowship could bring a joining master’s program in Switzerland within your reach.
If you’d like to learn more about studying in Switzerland, feel free to reach out to one of our master’s ambassadors.