International Students

Health and accident insurance

It is obligatory for everyone living in Switzerland (including foreign students) to adhere to a basic health insurance. The insurance must be acquired within the first three months following your registration with the Foreign Residents’ Office in your Commune of residence.

A foreign student may be dispensed with the obligation to be insured in Switzerland if he can certify that he is covered by an insurance offering the same benefits (the rules governing exemption are very strict).

  • a student from an EU country must present  the Cantonal Health Insurance Office (OCAM) with a certificate of studies as well as a copy of his or her European health insurance card issued by the health insurance fund in his country of origin.
  • a student from a non-EU country with a B or L  permit must fill in the form “Formulaire de contrôle de l’équivalence de l’assurance maladie“ (control of equal health insurance benefits form) which can be downloaded at the address below.  The form must be signed by the health insurance fund in the country of origin and returned to OCAM.

Further information: Office cantonal de l’assurance maladie (OCAM) (in French)

Visa requests

Students from non-EU countries must have a study visa issued by a Swiss embassy or consulate.

The visa must be requested from a diplomatic or consular representative abroad several months prior to commencing studies in Switzerland. In order to obtain the visa, you must present the following documents: a valid passport, enrollment certificate from the University of Neuchatel, proof of sufficient financial means to study in Switzerland.

Foreign students must be in possession of an entry permit for study purposes before coming to Switzerland.


Studying in Switzerland: Universities (CRUS, 2011)