Program Details: Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Business Track)

Is this program for me?


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.

ZHAW School of Management and Law Homepage

ZHAW SML International Office Website



Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is located in Winterthur which is located about 20 minutes by train to Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland. Winterthur is a very beautiful town with many small shops and restaurants. While students will be close to Zurich, there are plenty of things to do in Winterthur. Students will have easy access to reliable public transportation to get around Winterthur, Zurich, and other parts of the country. Zurich is well-known for being one of the world's largest financial centers with banks that hold a substantial amount of the world's wealth. It is also well-known for its amazing chocolatiers, many museums, clubs, restaurants, and strolls along Lake Zurich. 


2017-2018 Estimated Semester Budget

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's

A PIC Partnership Grant is available ($1,000 each) 2 available per year for this program.

Any student studying abroad for a semester is automatically considered for the Study Abroad Semester Grand, click here for the grant guidelines. 

The cost of any study abroad program depends to a large extent on the participant's personal spending habits and lifestyle.



Visa Information

US citizens will be required to apply for a visa and a residence permit for stays longer than 90 days. The student visa guide provides detailed information regarding the application process and required documents. Please note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information.

Housing and Meals

ZHAW does not offer on-campus housing; however, there are student residences very close to campus which are 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.



Program Dates

Program Options

Winter Semester (ZHAW's Spring): February - end of June  (20 weeks) *recommended semester of participation

Academic Year:  September - June

Fall Semester: September - early February (students must attend for the entire semester. Students are not allowed to return early in order to start Winter semester here at GVSU)

Summer: (see details in next section)

ZHAW SML Academic Calendar 2017-2018

Spring semester is the most feasible semester to study at ZHAW. Fall semester requires students to stay until the end of January. If you are in your final semester at GVSU and would like to consider the Fall semester, please contact Rebecca Hambleton at to explore the feasibility of this option.

MBA Dual Degree

MBA students have the option of applying for this dual degree program. Participants will spend the first year of their MBA studies at GVSU and the 2nd year at ZHAW in Switzerland. Upon completion of the Master's thesis during the 2nd year of study, participants will be eligible to receive the Master of Business Administration (MBA) from GVSU, and Master of Science in International Business from ZHAW.

Program Budget (coming soon)

Dual Degree Plan of Study

Program Dates:  September - April


Swiss Summer Academy

Dates: June 25  - July 6, 2018

Cost: 2800 Swiss Francs (roughly $2,800 USD)  which includes: tuition, course materials, company visits, a Swiss pass (free public transportation), pick-up and transfer to Winterthur, and welcome and farewell events. 

Not included: housing, meals, airfare, living expenses, passport, and IS 380 course fee.

2018 Estimated Summer Budget

Course:  Luxury Management (equivalent to MGT 380 here at GVSU).

Contact Claire Rose in the Seidman College of Business for details on course equivalency.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students.

2018 Program Brochure

Where can you find information? 

ZHAW contact:




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 Offerings in English for 2017-2018 academic year

Course Descriptions for 2017-2018 academic year

How will the courses I take at ZHAW transfer back to my GVSU Transcript?

If the course you wish to take at ZHAW appears on the "Pre-approved Course Equivalencies" site, you do not need to secure course approval for that course. The courses on this list have already been approved by the relevant academic department.

Pre-approved Course Equivalencies

Note: This is not a full list of courses offer at this partner Institution.

ZHAW Guides

Guideline for Incoming Exchange Students (Handbook)

2017-2018 Fact Sheet

ZHAW School of Management and Law - At A Glance

Grading System

ZHAW sets up a Facebook page for each group of incoming students.

Note: Most GVSU students will be required to purchase health insurance through a Swiss insurance company during the week of orientation. Students who already a European Health Insurance Card, can speak with ZHAW about an exemption from this requirement.



ZHAW Application Process

Step 1 - Students must apply and be accepted into the GVSU OASIS application system.

Step 2 - The Padnos International Center will provide all applicants with application instructions after the OASIS priority deadline.

Step 3 - Students must complete all required application materials for ZHAW.

Step 4 - Students receive admission into the program and are provided with additional pre-arrival instructions.


Students will not receive their Acceptance and Welcome packet until after the ZHAW application deadline. For the spring semester, the ZHAW application deadline is September 30.

Campus Information

Winterthur is a small city that is very pedestrian friendly. Students will be able to easily walk to most places such as campus buildings, library, grocery stores, shopping areas, train station, etc. ZHAW has several academic buildings that are in different  areas around town. The School of Management and Law has 3 main buildings that are all in close proximity. Students will also be just a short 10 minute walk to the Library. In Winterthur, students will have an opportunity for full immersion in Swiss life and culture.


Travel Information

Students typically fly into Zurich airport and take the train to Winterthur main station. The train takes about 10 minutes. From the train station, students are a 5 minute walk from ZHAW's School of Management and Law. Get half price on travel in Switzerland with the Halbtax SwissPass. Students will find easy access to trains throughout Switzerland.

Page last modified November 6, 2018