Switzerland is a small, polished gem of a country, with mountains, forests, lakes, and modern cities like Zurich and Geneva. While there are three common languages – German (70%), French (20%), and Italian (10%), you will probably live with a German-speaking host family. Switzerland is said to have one of the world’s best education systems, and most students go to public schools by public transportation.
Family life is important to the Swiss and you'll spend a good amount of time with your host family, taking trips to nearby natural resorts, as well as having healthy meals together. You'll discover a love for the outdoors in Switzerland, since the Swiss greatly enjoy hiking, skiing, and bicycling. No matter where you’re placed, you’ll never be more than 10 miles from one of Switzerland’s 1,500 sparkling lakes.
Discover diversity in a peaceful, collaborative, and idyllic environment when you study abroad in Switzerland!
In Swiss culture, the nuclear family is the most important social unit, and weekends are generally spent together. As lovers of the outdoors, most Swiss spent a great deal of time taking advantage of the mountains, lakes and forests nearby.
Dinner is the main meal of the day and is an opportunity for the family to eat together, exchange views, and make plans. Swiss families tend to care about healthy foods, and Swiss cuisine is mainly a union of French and German alpine cuisine. One famous dish is fondue, in which Emmenthaler and Gruyère cheese is melted with white wine and eaten with bread cubes.
- Immerse yourself in German, French, or Italian – the best way to become fluent.
- Experience Switzerland’s stunning natural landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to crystal-clear lakes.
- Live with a host family to deepen your immersion and connection to Swiss culture. If you’re like most AFSers, you won’t want to leave this second family and home.
- Make connections and memories you'll never forget with other AFS exchange students from all over the world.
- Become a global citizen. Gain intercultural communication skills. Build your college and career resume. Help create a more peaceful, understanding world.
AFS-USA Grants & Scholarships
The opportunity to study abroad should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial means. Annually, we award scholarships to about half of our study abroad students.