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Global Student Experience

Other Education Options

This page gives you a summary of some of the education opportunities and services available to refugees in Switzerland and abroad. For general information on the Swiss education system on the tertiary level, please refer to FAQ Studying and Education.

Student Initiatives

Other Guest Auditor Projects

The University of Zurich is just one of many Swiss universities offering programs to refugees. The website provides an overview of all such programs in Switzerland.

In Zurich there are several similar programs: ETH Zurich informs intersted refugees about their study possibilities here. Moreover, a group of students organizes a Discovery Semester. The Zurich University of the Arts offers various programs for refugee students too. And finally, the ZHAW Status project advises refugees who are interested in studying at the ZHAW.

Students Across Borders (SAB)

Students Across Borders is a student organization aiming to promote social interaction between people from a refugee background and students of the University of Zurich by organizing various events such as sports afternoons or cooking evenings. Students Across Borders also offers 1:1 German language support for people from a refugee background.


SEET (Support Education, Empower Together) is a program for female refugees wishing to study in Switzerland. A mentoring program helps them to find suitable education possibilities and supports them in their studies once they have been granted admission. More information can be found at

Information Websites

On you get information about the education system in Switzerland, about all fields of study offered at Swiss universities, about all forms of higher education available in Switzerland, about various professions and a lot more. Moreover, you find an overview about all careers advisory services in Switzerland. 

Perspectives – Studies

Perspectives – Studies is a project organized by the Swiss Student Union (VSS) with the aim of improving access to a university education for people from a refugee background. On their website they provide a comprehensive overview of the Swiss education and university system.

Puls Berufe

Are you interested in professions in the health sector? On you get a comprehensive overview about this topic.


swissuniversities is the rector's conference of the Swiss universities and offers various services like recommendations of recognition for foreign higher education qualifications or a summary of the admission requirements for all Swiss universities.

Please take into account that recommendations of recognition for foreign higher education qualifications from swissuniversities help you access the Swiss labour market. However, they are not relevant for the admission to an institute of higher education. In this regard, the institutes of higher education decide in their own authority.

Advisory Centers in the Canton of Zurich

Profession, academic, and career counseling

Migrants find a wide range of counseling and information opportunities at the profession counseling services of the Canton of Zurich. The provision of this information aims to support labor market integration. In addition to information sessions on the Swiss education and vocational system in their own languages, individuals can also participate in informal consultation hours.

If you are looking for a vocational information center near your place of residence, please use this link.


HEKS Mosaik advises particularly migrants from third countries holding a degree on topics such as diploma recognition, refresher training, and recognition of their academic achievements, and helps them draw up plans for how to demonstrate their professional competence or gain an internship.

BNF – National Qualification Program

Through personal counseling, professional networking, and targeted training, the National Qualification Program BNF supports academics at career crossroads, enabling them to successfully apply their qualified expertise and skills in the job market. The target group of the BNF also includes academics with foreign qualifications. The BNF is a organizational unit of the University of Bern, with branches in German-speaking Switzerland in Basel, Bern, and Zurich, and in French-speaking Switzerland in Lausanne.

For more inormation please click here.

Continuing Education Programs

Autonome Schule Zürich

The Autonome Schule Zürich offers free daily classes in German, French, English or Mathematics.


Powercoders is a Coding Academy offering refugees the opportunity to take part in a three-month intensive programming course and to then work as an intern for several months with an IT company.


Capacity is a non-profit association in Zurich offering an entrepreneurship program to people with a refugee or migrant background. A seven-month start-up program gives (future) entrepreneurs assistance in developing social, business and cultural initiatives.


Incluso is a mentoring program from Caritas Zurich, supporting migrants to find an apprenticeship. The migrants are ideally aged 14 to 22 and attended a regular school or integration class in the city of Zurich. 


SINGA in Switzerland runs several complementary programs to support people from refugee and migrant backgrounds who want to launch a business or become self-employed in Switzerland. 

SRK: Perspektive Arbeit

The Swiss Red Cross in the Canton of Zurich supports recognized refugees (B) and temporarily admitted refugees (F) with their project Perspektive Arbeit in their search for a job or a training site.  Participants of the program receive advisory support from volunteers with broad work experience.


VoCHabular is an association for the promotion of German and Swiss German language acquisition. An intercultural group of volunteers works together to create self-teaching materials in form of books and apps, mainly aimed at people with a refugee background. New members are always very welcome!

Welcome to School

Welcome to School offers daily classes to young adults aged 16 to 22 with N-, F- or B-residence status. The program aims at persons whose pre-education does not correspond to compulsory school education in Switzerland. 

German Courses

General Information

The Integration Office of the Canton of Zurich has a database on its website which lists all German courses in the Canton of Zurich. Additionally, lists German courses in various Swiss regions.

Applied Linguistics at ZHAW

As a partner of the Goethe Institut the Department of Applied Linguistics at ZHAW offers exam preparation courses (A1-C2) for Goethe German exams. 


Solinetz Zürich and Solinetz Winterthur offer amongst others various and very popular German courses. It's worth having a look at their website!

Deutsch für alle!

There are German courses for asylum seekers (A1-B1) at PH Zurich's Deutsch für alle! from Monday to Friday. Apart from that, various exciting excursions are organized.

At you can learn German (A1-B2) for free. offers language courses with interactive exercises and audiovisual learning materials, grammar, dictionaries, tests, a media library with authentic texts and audio and video materials and much more. Try it out!

Online Courses

Online IT courses

Would you like to imporve your IT-skills? There are various online courses ranging from introductions on how to use Windows to coding tutorials.

The Powercoders project also provides information on on how to proceed in your IT job search and assists you with specific resources on its information website.

Kiron Open Higher Education 

The non-profit organization Kiron offers a digital learning and support program to refugees wishing to resume their studies. Program participants can take online courses in a range of fields. A German language course is also available.

Saylor Academy

Saylor Academy is a non-profit organization offering free online courses on a wide range of topics. The language of instruction is English. You can find more about the courses on offer at Saylor Academy here


Coursera is one of the largest platforms offering online courses in English. Participation is generally subject to a fee. However, people with a refugee background may benefit from special terms and conditions, check here


edX offers a wide range of online courses in English that are free of charge. For more information, go to the course website.


At FutureLearn you will find several online courses in English. These courses are free of charge. 


The University of Zurich offers its own range of online courses through Coursera. You will find more information on the Massive Open Online Courses at UZH here

Diploma recognition


Swissuniversities provides recommendations of recognition for foreign higher education qualifications. Such a recommendation can help you on the labour market. For more information please visit

Please take into account that recommendations of recognition for foreign higher education qualifications from swissuniversities help you access the Swiss labour market. However, they are not relevant for the admission to an institute of higher education. In this regard, the institutes of higher education decide in their own authority.

European Qualifications Passport for Refugees

The European Quaflifications Passport for Refugees is a project of the Council of Europe. Academic qualifications and professional experience are evaluated and a substitute document is issued for those without access to the original diploma.

Please consider that every institute of higher education decides on its own if it recognizes the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees.

Weiterführende Informationen

SAB Logo

Do you want to improve your German?

The student club «Students Across Borders» offers German tutoring for refugees.

Please find more information on their website.