Why Geneva?


Holders of a scholarship awarded by an outside body (i.e. a private enterprise, foundation, foreign institution) may be eligible for fast-track registration at the Academic Exchange Office and for exemption from paying tuition fees, except the fix taxes of 65.- CHF, which should be paid every semester.



  • Be invited by a UNIGE professor
  • Holder of a university degree
  • Scholarship awarded on the basis of scientific merit (rather than, for example, financial need)
  • Short-term studies (more than 3 months  and up to 3 years) at UNIGE, for research purposes or for further academic study
  • The status of Excellence Scholarship Holder precludes undertaking any administrative procedures for another post (i.e. teaching assistantship or internship)
  • To have a good command of French, which is the relevant language at the University of Geneva, even though English can be useful too

Excellence scholarship holders shall automatically have non-degree status. 

The monthly stipend shall amount to at least the minimum required for a single student to support him/herself on in Geneva, currently rated at approximately CHF 2000. The university unit in charge of the scholarship holder may top up the stipend (allocations shall not come from the Geneva department of education [DIP]). The scholarship holder status rules out any salary remuneration.

Excellence scholarship holders may be entitled to bring over family members if they can prove sufficient income as defined by the Cantonal Population Office (Office Cantonal de la Population).

Several documents must be submitted to the Academic Exchange Office as part of the application. For Non EU/EFTA citizens, your application to the Academic Exchange Office must be submitted no later than 3 months before your planned date of arrival in Switzerland.


  1. A copy of the document attesting to the fact that the granting body provides a scholarship stipend to the applicant in which the amount and duration of the stipend, as well as criteria and objectives, are stipulated 
  2. A letter of secondment from the home university
  3. The applicant's CV 
  4. A copy of the last university degree received
  5. A copy of the applicant's passport 
  6. A letter written on University letterhead by the UNIGE professor who will be the scholars’ academic supervisor, in which the professor:


  • Requests that the Academic Exchange Office award the status of Excellence Scholarship Holder to the applicant (providing a brief motivation and omitting terms such as "hiring", "salary" or "internship-traineeship");  
  • Indicates the precise dates and total length of time the student will be spending at UNIGE;  
  • Confirms his/her readiness to be the student’s academic supervisor; 
  • Mentions that the unit where the student will pursue his/her research will, where necessary, apply for a visa and look for appropriate housing for the applicant.


Upon reception of the above documents the Academic Exchange Office shall communicate their decision to the student’s academic supervisor and where applicable shall indicate either the administrative procedure to follow for a fast-track registration or other options to pursue.


The Swiss law requires that anyone who sojourns in Switzerland for more than 3 months must have health and accident insurance.

The Cantonal Health Insurance Service in Geneva (Service de l’assurance maladie) will contact the scholarship holder a few weeks after his/her arrival, asking to justify that he/she has health and accident insurance.

Therefore, the future scholarship holder can already ask his/her insurance company for a certificate confirming that health-accident fees will be covered during their stay in Switzerland (maybe they will be asked to sign up for a complementary insurance). It is also possible to sign up for health-accident insurance in Switzerland for the length of their stay.

In addition, Excellence scholarship holders are not insured for third party liability “Assurance Responsabilité Civile” during their stay at the University of Geneva, and consequently will need to procure one.