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START! Study – University Integration Program at UZH

Applications are no longer being accepted for the current program (academic year 2021/2022). The application window for the START! Study program of the academic year 2022/23 opens at the beginning of February. Updated information on the 2022/23 program will also be published here in early February. Information sessions on the new program will be held on Thursday, February 10, 2022, 11:00-12:00, and Thursday, February 17, 2022, 16:00-17:30.

START! Study – University Integration Program at UZH is a joint project run by the International Relations Office at UZH and the University of Zurich Student Association (VSUZH). The project is supported by federal funding for integration (State Secretariat for Migration), the Integration Office of the Canton of Zurich and private foundations. By preparing refugees interested in studying in Switzerland for the demands of tertiary level training and continuing education, the program plays its part in integrating refugees into the labor market both sustainably and in line with their potential.

Aims

  • For participants to understand the contents and requirements of a study program at UZH
  • For participants to prepare themselves for tertiary level training and continuing education in terms of language skills, subject knowledge and personal organization
  • For participants to learn what tertiary level training and continuing educational opportunities are available in Switzerland

Content

Academic courses

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  • Up to two academic courses per semester in a subject of choice. Courses are offered by the following faculties:
    • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
    • Faculty of Science
    • Faculty of Theology
    • Faculty of Law
    • Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics
  • Courses at the Faculty of Medicine and the Vetsuisse Faculty cannot be taken.
  • The course catalogue will be announced at the start of the program in August.

Language courses

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  • Two-week German intensive course before the start of the Fall Semester (60 lessons)
  • Two German courses, each comprising two lessons a week during the Fall and Spring Semesters at the Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich
  • If required, an English course comprising two lessons a week during the Fall and Spring Semesters at the Language Center of UZH and ETH Zurich (requirement is assessed at the start of the program)

IT and mathematics courses

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  • IT block courses before the start of the Fall and Spring Semesters
  • If required, two lessons per week in basic mathematics skills during the Spring Semester (requirement is assessed at the start of the program)

Study technique courses

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  • Methodology course to teach study-related skills (approx. 28 lessons)

Special events

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  • Individual counseling and support for questions on training and continuing education at tertiary level
  • Information events on the topic of training and continuing education at tertiary level
  • Mentoring program with the option to organize joint activities
  • Free use of the Self-Access Center of the UZH Language Center
  • One IT course per semester from the range of courses provided by the Central IT at UZH (usually 1-3 days, depending on course choice)
  • Subject tutorials and language tandems
  • Social events

Eligibility

  • Foreign upper secondray school-leaving certificate (e.g. Baccalaureate)
  • If you already started or completed degree studies this would be an advantage
  • Good level of German (at least B1)
  • Residence permit N, F or B (refugee)
  • Residence in Switzerland, ideally in the Zurich region
  • Highly motivated, independent and willing to work hard
  • Agreement of your case management office of social work office (cf. also the declaration of consent (DOCX, 52 KB))

Application Process

  1. Have the declaration of consent (DOCX, 52 KB) signed by your case manager or social services officer.
  2. Fill out the online application form until 15 May.
  3. Your application will be reviewed by the Coordination Office.
  4. A selection of applicants will be invited for a personal interview.
  5. The decision to admit applicants to the START! Study program will be announced by 9 July 2021.

The admission procedure to the START! Study program is not equivalent to an admission examination to a regular study program and does not entitle the applicant to a facilitated admission to a regular study program. Applications for Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree programs must be submitted to the chosen university following the regular admission procedure.

Assessment of Academic Achievement

  • If you attend regularly, a confirmation of participation will be issued upon completion of the program. No degree/diploma is awarded, however.
  • In some of the courses assessment and attendance records will be checked and listed in the confirmation of participation.
  • Program participation does not entitle you to lower admission requirements for a regular Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program.

Costs

  • There will be no program participation fees for the 2021/22 academic year. From the academic year 2022/23 onwards, the responsible municipality (Gemeinde) will pay a contribution toward the cost.
  • Participants may incur costs for books, photocopies or other study materials. Second-hand laptops can be borrowed from the project team if needed.

Funding Partners

START! Study – University Integration Program at UZH is supported by:

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Stiftung Solidaritätsfonds für ausländische Studierende in Zürich