Switzerland Swimsa
German, French, Italian, Romansh
German or French
(GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna
Swiss franc
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Switzerland (swimsa) - Basel
Switzerland (swimsa) - Bern
Switzerland (swimsa) - Geneva
Switzerland (swimsa) - Lausanne
Switzerland (swimsa) - Zurich
Switzerland (swimsa) - Fribourg
Switzerland (swimsa) - Lugano

Daniel Konrad
Aline Pinto Monteiro
Felice Hess
Zuen Phai Nghiem

Grüezi and welcome to Switzerland, the country of cheese, watches, bankers and of course chocolate, lots of chocolate!

This ExPlore page should provide you with the most important informations about a possible professional exchange in Switzerland.

Switzerland is a leading country when it comes to health care. We have one of the highest life expectancies in the world and our university hospitals are uptodate when it comes to research.

A reference in your CV that you spent a month in a hospital in Switzerland will give your job application definitely a boost. So don't miss the chance to learn from one of the best and apply at your NMO.

But before you do so we kindly ask you to study the exchange conditions well! In our program you will be integrated in the team. They depend on you, you will get your hands dirty and not just observe. This means that you need to have basic knowledge about the topic and established knowledge about the language!

Thank you very much for you interest in the exchange program of swimsa!


Our exchange program focuses on your clerkship. You will be fully integraded in the team and you will have direct patient contact. Therefore you need to be able to communicate well with them. Therefore the hospitals request students that are fluent in either German or French. This depends on the region you are applying for. (Please see exchange conditions for detailed information).

We Swiss are very hard working people. Days of around 8 - 10 hours per day in the hospital are normal! Please consider this when you apply. You can discover our cities after work and our beautiful mountains over the weekend when you are off.

During the summer months (July & August) social program is organized on a national level. All incomings will meet in one LC and have a nice day together. The rest of the year the incoming is mostly on his own because not many exchange students are there. The contact person will try her or his best to provide you with information concerning the social life in the city.

Please be aware that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world! Everything is expensive everywhere, especially in the cities.


Healthcare in Switzerland is universal. Health insurance is compulsory for all persons residing in Switzerland.

The whole healthcare system is geared towards the general goals of enhancing general public health and reducing costs while encouraging individual responsibility.

Health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation of the insured. However, the insured person pays part of the cost of treatment. This is done (a) by means of an annual deductible (called the franchise), which ranges from CHF 300 to a maximum of CHF 2,500 for an adult as chosen by the insured person (premiums are adjusted accordingly) and (b) by a charge of 10% of the costs over and above the excess up to a stop-loss amount of CHF 700.

Switzerland has an infant mortality rate of about 3.6 out of 1,000. The general life expectancy in 2019 was 81.9 years for men compared to 85.6 years for women.These are among the world's best figures.


Medical education is provided by six medical faculties (according to the local committees).

The total duration is 12 semesters. 4 preclinical, 6 clinical, 2 practical.

Every year around 4000 high school graduates apply for the around 750 spots. And every year around 600 students finish their studies and get the title practitioner. For the M.D. a dissertation is needed which most of them get during the first year of residency.

The residency goes from 5 - 7 years depending on the specialty.


In Switzerland public transport is the best way to travel! It provides an extensive nework and offeres frequent, safe and punctual connections all over the country.  National connections are mostly covered by train, local transportation is covered by trams, buses and local trains.

In cities, bicycles are a safe and fast way to get around, although consider the hills in some parts of Switzerland! The SBB/CFF offer bicycles for rent at many stations, visit: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/car-bike.html
Some cities also offer cheap or free bicycles for rent, visit: www.schweizrollt.ch
Another cool option are the public bikes, visit: https://www.publibike.ch/en/publibike/ 

Please be aware that travel costs in Switzerland are high. So, plan your budget well! For Incomings who plan to travel a lot, it is worth considering to buy one of the Travel Passes for visitors. Especially the Half Fare Card is very useful. For details, visit:www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/transport-travel/tickets-for-guests-from-abroad.html


July / August: Organized on a national level. One day every two weeks in another LC. (All incoming students have the same programme the same day. They will receive further details during/before his/her clerkship.)

Rest of the year: No specifilly organized social program. The LC will provide information about social activities, night-life and week-end life in the city! The student has to organize most of his/her free time him/herself.


In Switzerland, it is all about mountains. So of course, most of the Must Sees are in the mountain region. However, also the swiss cities and countryside are worth visiting!

The most famous sights are:

  • The Jungfrau-Joch Region ("Top of Europe"): The highest Train station in Europe on 3454m offers spectacular view on the alps with the famous 3 mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
  • The Matterhorn/Zermatt: The funny shape of this mountain inspired the design of Toblerone. But there is much more to do and discover that just chocolate in this area.
  • Swiss National Park in Zermez: The mountains and woodlands offer are home to a great variety of wildlife.
  • Berne: Swiss Capital and UNESCO World Heritage
  • Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus: Beautiful city at the lake with great views on the Alps. Nearby Mt. Pilatus peaks at 2120 m and can be reached by cable car. It offers spectacular views, great hiking option and  a coasting slide.
  • Zürich: Switzerland's biggest city boasts with Shopping and Nightlife options
  • Geneva: Biggest french speaking city at the beautfful lake side, and home of the United Nations european Headquarters

For more Information, visit www.myswitzerland.com


Visiting Switzerland you will realize that some of the clichés are actually true:

  • Multilingualism: In Switzerland there are 4 national languages (German, French, Italian and Rumantsch). Differences betwen the language areas and mentalities are clearly visible and perceptible and contribute substantially to the cultural variety of Switzerland.
  • Punctuality: is very important in Switzerland. Our buses and trains run on the minute and you are expected to do so as well!
  • Cleanliness: Switzerland is a very clean country and Swiss people like it that way. Please contribute and put rubbish in the bins provided and clean up after yourself.
  • Reservation: Swiss people are often reserved and seem a bit unfriendly. Don't be frightened by that, it is nothing personal! Just try to engage a bit harder and you will find the Swiss very welcoming and including!
  • Prices: Switzerland is considered to be a rich country with high salaries. However, living costs and prices are equally high! Please include this into your budget planning!

However, when visiting Switzerland you will discover that we are a culturally very fascinating, diverse and open country and we have far more to offer than the obvious little differences.

- We do not accomodate together couples or groups of any sort.
- It is not allowed to host friends or family during the clerkship.
- The student will be held responsible for any material damage he/she causes. (Get a private liability insurance to prevent any financial loss.)