Switzerland: Winter Semester Business with ZHAW

This program is for students interested in business and related fields.

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is located in Switzerland which has one of the highest standards of living in the entire world! Zurich can be characterized by its gorgeous lakeside setting, rich culture, and stunning architecture. Zurich is well connected to other parts of Switzerland and Europe, which makes it easy to travel while abroad.

GVSU has been partnered with ZHAW since 2012. The agreement was first established with the School of Engineering, and in 2015 expanded to include the School of Management and Law.  This site offers information for students interested in the School of Management and Law. ZHAW does offer a variety of courses in English. It is strongly recommended that Business students only consider ZHAW for the Winter (ZHAW's spring) semester. Students interested in the fall would be required to stay at ZHAW until the semester ends in mid-late January.

This program offers students a full immersion into a Swiss university. Students will take the majority of their courses with both degree-seeking Swiss students and international exchange students from around the world. Participants will be required to attend an orientation at the start of the semester to get information about important administrative necessities and life in Winterthur.  Also, to assist students in their transition, ZHAW will pair new international students up with a local student who will serve as a "buddy" during the first few weeks. SML has a team of advisors that work directly with all of the international students. Students will have access to a great support team that can assist with the transition to ZHAW and Winterthur. The Winter semester is 18 weeks in duration.

Host University Website

GVSU's partner universities are largely independent programs; prospective participants should carefully consider if this form of study abroad suits their needs before registering. These partnerships allow students to experience a more independent international study abroad, but also require students to have a high level of flexibility and the ability to navigate much of the program independently. Those who prefer additional support may wish to consider other study abroad options such as external study abroad providers and our faculty-led options. 

Image 1 of 3 Switzerland
2.7 GPA Required
No Language
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Winter 2024

Program Dates: February 12, 2024 - June 29, 2024
Application Deadline: September 1, 2023



Courses available to GVSU exchange students at ZHAW in English:

Classes listed as "For Incomings" will typically always have space available. International Management courses may have limited space. Students will register on-site during orientation. Students are allowed to mix and match courses from any of the business programs.

Course Options Use this button to search all available course options and descriptions

Courses in English

Undergraduate courses 2022-2023

Graduate courses 2022-2023

Pre-Approved Courses Note: This course list indicates courses that have been previously approved. It is not a list of available courses on this program.

Course Approval Process Students registering for courses that have not been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions. 

Students interested in satisfying general education courses abroad can find more information on our General Education page.


ZHAW does not offer on-campus housing; however, there are student residences very close to campus which is easy for students to apply for. Students will apply for housing directly to the student residence of their choosing. Additional information on accommodations at ZHAW can be found on the accommodations page of the ZHAW SML website.

SWOWI is often a popular location for international students; however previous participants have recommended the WOKO complex for those looking to be more integrated with ZHAW degree-seeking students. WOKO Burglistrasse is the closest housing unit to the School of Management and Law (SML). Students living here will have about a 10-15 minute walk to campus. The SWOWI Camp Axa and Camp Maximus are a bit further from the SML, but all are still within a 20-25 minute walking distance to campus. Trams and buses are readily available as well. Students can expect to have a shared kitchen, laundry and community area. There are some strict rules that students my obey or risk fines. Also, students are required to give 3 months' notice prior to moving out of their housing unit. Students are allowed to stay in their housing unit for the full 6-month lease if they choose. Students attending ZHAW in the Winter (ZHAW's Spring) semester are advised to look for openings in November when many units will become available. While WOKO is most convenient to the SML buildings, many exchange students live in Camp Axa. This unit may have more openings since many students in other academic areas study at ZHAW just for the Fall semester. These units will be available for the spring semester students.

Meal plans are not common in Switzerland. Students can expect to prepare meals on their own throughout the semester.

Cost and Scholarships


Cost Breakdown SEMESTER

NOTE: "Other Expenses" listed above Cost Breakdown are general cost estimates. Due to COVID-19, costs may increase for basic goods and housing. These estimates are provided as a guide to help students in their planning, but they are subject to change.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or 616-331-3898

Additional Scholarships


Open to students in the Seidman College of Business. 2.7 GPA required

No Covid Restrictions for entry

Additional Information

Host University Website


Google Map

Already Applied

Visa Requirements

Students going to Switzerland for a semester or longer will need to apply for a student visa. This is a lengthy process and takes a minimum of 10 weeks from the date that the Swiss Consulate in New York receives your paperwork. Students are encouraged to start gathering necessary paperwork early to avoid stress at the time of application for the visa. Please consult our student visa guide for additional information. Please note that the Swiss consulate in New York will always have the most up to date information for student visas.

CDC Report

CDC Report

US State Department Information

US State Department Country Information (Switzerland)

US State Department - Students Abroad

US Embassy in Switzerland

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Report - Crime and Safety Report


Application Timeline

ZHAW Fact Sheet 2023-2024

Academic Calendar 2022-2023

Brochure for Incoming Students

Resources for Emergency Situations

Health and Safety Resources

Reporting an Incident

PIC Emergency Procedures

Contact Information

Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
[email protected]

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