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Cost of Living in the UK and Living Expenses for International Students​

Make the most of your money

The cost of living in Switzerland is notoriously high. Switzerland’s idyllic Alpine lifestyle, political and economic stability, superior healthcare, and high quality of living come at a price. Despite Switzerland’s high cost of living, it reportedly remains an attractive destination for foreigners. The Swiss statistics office has also reported that Switzerland’s foreign population hit 2.1 million people, representing almost a quarter (24.9%) of the total population (around 8.4 million people).

Your banking and payments options

The Swiss banking system is renowned for protecting the privacy of transactions, leading to the possession of a ‘Swiss bank account”. According to international law, the Swiss banking system and opening an account as a student are unlikely to be regarded as suspicious. Most banks will be happy to provide you with an account and access to modern services, including international money transfers and ATM withdrawal facilities. Some Swiss banks also offer services designed specifically for students.

What documents are required to open a bank account for a foreigner?

Whether you are in Switzerland or abroad, there are some ground requirements that you will have to meet to settle this. Those being your documentation and eligibility. Like any other bank in the world, Swiss banks require a certain amount of paperwork and documentation.

This serves to verify identity and sources of income; whose purpose is to separate them from any illegal work their potential client might have in their portfolio. If you are looking to open a bank account in Switzerland, the documentation you will need is:

  • A valid passport
  • Verification of the origin of your income (this could be a statement from your last bank)
  • Confirmation of the address you listed (they might choose to send some mail to your address to verify this).

However, if you are looking to open a Swiss account abroad, you will need to get your documents authorized. You can do this by getting notarized copies or an Apostille stamp, or you can visit either a local branch of your Swiss account or the correspondent bank they chose for you.

Getting your phone and internet organized

Landline Telephones

Establishing phone service is becoming less important as more and more people rely on mobile phones. However, setting up a landline is usually simple and may be included with an internet/TV package. There is a wide selection of telephone options.

To set up internet or telephone service you will need:

  • Copy of a residence permit (or another photo ID)
  • One-time connection payment.

Service can usually be installed within a few days. Swisscom is the national telephone supplier and provides land lines under the name Swisscom Fixnet.

Cellular or Mobile Telephones

Most mobile phones brought from other countries will function in Switzerland. Check with your provider about costs. Prepaid local SIM cards are widely available. EU visitors can roam freely using the same package as at home.

Going online in Switzerland

A mobile hotspot is a compact, portable device that provides your Wi-Fi connection. You can access the internet on the go with up to 10 devices at the same time. This is a perfect solution for travelers who want to continue to use their current phone, tablet, or even PC and for travelers traveling in groups.

Making international calls

To call internationally from Switzerland: Dial exit code (00) followed by country code, area code, and number. In some countries, the leading zero of the area codes must not be dialed. For example: 00 + country code + area code + tel number

To call internationally to Switzerland: Dial the number required for an international call, such as 00, then 41 (country code for Switzerland), then the phone number without the leading zero of the former area codes. For example: 0041 44 995 1570

Accessing the internet

There are many internet providers in Switzerland to choose from depending on your needs and canton of residence. A thorough online search well in advance is recommended, as the process can take up to 20 days. Some of Switzerland’s most popular internet providers are Swisscom, Sunrise, Green, UPC, and DFI, the leading provider in Geneva. Whichever you choose, perhaps the most cost-effective thing to do would be to sign up for a TV, telephone, and internet package with a single provider.

Interested in studying abroad with DPIMMI ?​