Montreux might not seem like an obvious choice for international students thinking about where to pursue higher education. It lacks the same instant appeal and glamour as big student cities like Barcelona or Munich. And nearby Geneva, which boasts a distinctly international vibe, might appear more attractive on the surface.
But this charming Swiss town, situated by Lake Geneva and surrounded by the Alps, with a population of just over 25,000 people, has a lot to offer prospective students looking for something a little different.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Montreux, whether you’ve already made your decision to move there or are still thinking about your options.
Why Study in Montreux, Switzerland?
Montreux is ideal for students who want to live in a more homely, relaxed environment while still enjoying their degree years.
Montreux feels a lot like a small city. It’s not as hectic as major European capitals but there’s no shortage of cultural attractions, bars, restaurants and opportunities to explore via a sophisticated and affordable transport system. Montreux is also home to many internationally recognized higher education institutions, including EU Business School.
What’s more, Montreux is situated amid some of the world’s most breathtaking natural scenery. Alpine walking trails are easily accessible by train and you’ll never be far from the tranquil views of Lake Geneva.
1. Gaining a Study Visa for Switzerland Is Usually Very Easy
Before you move to Montreux, you’ll need to take care of your student visa. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases this will be a quick and easy process.
If you are coming from a country in the EU, you don’t need to apply for a visa. You’ll have to register for a residence permit at the local immigration centre for the administrative district or “canton” in which you’ll be living. In the case of Montreux, it will be the “Canton de Vaud”. You will likely need to show your letter of acceptance from your university, sufficient proof of funds and a health insurance certificate.
If you are an international student coming from further afield, you will have to apply for a student visa at the Swiss embassy in your home country before applying for a residence permit. If you’re in any doubt about this process, your university will be able to guide you through the various stages and ensure you have all the relevant paperwork.
2. Montreux Combines a Town Atmosphere With an International Cultural Scene
Montreux appeals to a particular kind of international student. If you’re eager to avoid the bustle of a major city but still want to make the most of your student years, then it could be the ideal place for you. All necessities, including a large shopping mall and grocery store, are within walking or biking distance, and the train station is well-connected for exploring the local area. You can enjoy an assortment of bars, restaurants, museums, heritage sites, lakeside trails and adventure and water sports centres.
Montreux also has one of the world’s most exciting music scenes. It hosts several international festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, Freddie Mercury Day and the Septembre Musical de Montreux, a global event centred around classical music.
3. You Won’t Have Any Trouble Finding Student Accommodation
Because of its large student population, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in Montreux. Your first port of call should be the academic institution at which you’ll be enrolling. They may offer rooms in their own residences, through “hotel university” arrangements or via local associations. If you’re studying with EU Business School, for example, we offer competitively-priced student accommodation through our partners.
The next-best option is a flatshare. While Montreux isn’t as expensive as many other European cities, costs tend to be relatively high in Switzerland. Numerous online services are available for finding like-minded people to share accommodation with, and your university should be able to help you connect with fellow students.
4. Montreux Is an Excellent Base for Exploring Switzerland and Europe
If you’re eager to explore Europe in your time as a student, Montreux is an excellent base. It’s easy to access international transport hubs via the central train station, Gare de Montreux. A one-way ticket to Geneva Airport, which has multiple low-cost carriers with flights to many European destinations, only costs around €10.
You can also take advantage of day trips to the surrounding Alpine countryside and areas around Lake Geneva. Popular excursions include Chateau de Chillon, the villages of St-Saphorin and Gruyeres, known respectively for wine making and cheese production, and Rochers-de-Naye (literally “Rocks of Naye”), an area in the surrounding mountains that provides spectacular views of the French Alps. Don’t forget to buy a “Half Fare Travelcard”, which entitles you to 50% off train fares for a year.
5. You’ll Have Access to Myriad Business and Internship Opportunities
By studying at a Swiss institution, you’ll gain access to some of the world’s leading companies and will be immersed in a vibrant business culture. The nearby city of Geneva is home to many of the world’s best-known brands, including Rolex, Bacardi and Procter & Gamble. What’s more, Swiss cities often host international conferences, business events and workshops with renowned business leaders.
As the graduate of a respected institution, you will also have the chance to take advantage of graduate programs and partnerships with large organizations. Keep in mind that expats fill half of all the top positions at Swiss companies.
Study With EU Business School at Our Campus on Lake Geneva
If the idea of studying for a business degree in Montreux excites you, EU Business School has a beautifully-situated boutique campus on the shore of Lake Geneva. We offer many English-language bachelor’s, master’s and MBA programs, along with several bridging courses. As an international student, you’ll also have access to an experienced student services department that can help ensure a hassle-free move.