If we compare the preparation systems for entering Swiss universities with the preparation systems for entering universities in Germany and Austria, then we can say that in Switzerland there is no Studienkolleg as in Germany or Vorstudienlehrgang as in Austria.
But there is a large combined examination for foreigners to enter universities in Switzerland, which in terms of the amount of preparation can be compared with the preparation that takes place in the Studienkolleg in Germany or in the Vorstudienlehrgang in Austria. The combined exam is passed by far not by all foreign students, but only by those to whom the Swiss university, after checking their documents, prescribes it.
This combined exam is called ECUS (dt. Zentrale Ergänzungsprüfung der schweizerischen Hochschule für Studienbewerber mit einem ausländischen Vorbildungsausweis). The ECUS conified exam consists of the following subjects. Compulsory subjects are - a foreign language: German or French, English, mathematics and world history, which also includes questions on law, as well as geography (part of the questions in this block will be in economics). These subjects are taken by all applicants, regardless of the specialty that the future student is going to study. The applicant chooses two more subjects depending on the specialty that he or she is going to study. Subjects to choose from are physics, chemistry, biology. The exam itself can be taken once a year in August-October. The ECUS combined exam is not easy and the question immediately arises of how to prepare for it, especially considering that this exam is very focused on knowledge about the history, geography, economics, law of Switzerland, and we usually do not know anything about Switzerland. Although, as already mentioned, there are no preparatory departments at Swiss universities in Switzerland, there are private courses that help foreign students prepare for this ECUS exam. Here is a list of these courses:
- . ÈcoleBER, Genève
- EPSU, Genève
- LFMP, Genève
- Examprep, Hochschulvorbereitung Zürich
- Tutorial College Zürich
- Ecole du Flon, Lausanne
- FuturPlus, Lausanne
- Ecole Alphalif, Lausanne
- PrEP, Lausanne
The ECUS combined exam can be taken at two test centers in Switzerland, namely KME Zürich (Kantonale Maturitätsschule für Erwachsen) and COPAD Genève (Collège pour Adultes). As for how to register for this exam, unfortunately you cannot directly register in these centers to take the exam. Registration for the exam takes place only through a Swiss university. That means, at first you submit documents to a Swiss university, and then the university itself, after checking your documents, sends you to take this exam or does not send you and immediately enrolls you in a Swiss university.
Passing exams costs differently. If you are taking the exam at KME Zürich, the exam costs 1050 Fr. (Swiss francs), if you take the exam at COPAD Genève, then the exam costs 870 Fr.