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Switzerland is also known as "Confoederatio Helvetica", therefore the abbreviation CH. "Confoederatio" stands for "confederation", "Helvetica" derives from the Latin word "Helvetier", the name of the people who lived in the area which became later Switzerland.

About two third of the area of Switzerland is covered with forests, lakes and mountains. Since Switzerland has no mineral resources, it must import, process and resell them as products. "Services" are the most important part of the economy. This includes banking, assurances and tourism.

Farming is also an important part of the economy. But the production of the Swiss farmers does not fulfill the needs of all people, so Switzerland must rely on imported goods from other countries.

One of the key features of Switzerland is its cultural diversity. The ancestors of the people how live in this country today have their origins in different cultures. The most obvious result of this cultural variety is the fact, that - even if Switzerland is only a small country - there are as much as four different official languages: German (74%), French (20%), Italian (4%) and Romansh (1%) - the remaining 1% speaks other languages.

Youth Culture And Leisure Time In Switzerland

Young people today are comfortable with prosperity. They search for their place in society and in the working world and enjoy freedom in their free time. As society becomes more prosperous, people in general, and young people in particular, attach more importance to their leisure.

Young Swiss follow the same international trends as anywhere else. Snow-boarding, bungee jumping, mountain climbing and techno are popular among the young people in Switzerland.

Why Study In Switzerland

Overall, Switzerland is a complex and interesting country to study in. Studying Abroad suggests looking very closely at the finances required to study here but also recommends it as a excellent study destination with a difference. It's excellent location in Europe, it marked cultural, political and linguistic differences from Europe make it quite unique. The winter sports scene and opportunities to travel during holidays can't be beaten with access to virtually anywhere in Western Europe.

Switzerland has a trained workforce following high standards, and the Education system is no different. As a European business hub, several courses have links with locally based businesses that cannot be beaten. Special strengths are in banking, machine tool and precision engineering (see the Swatch watch and car, not to mention the cuckoo clock and Swiss Army Knife).

Other strengths include chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, not to mention great hotel education and tourist education departments. The country has been very successful in attracting the investment of foreign multi-nationals and businesses-also one of the reasons for its huge banking sector. The knock-on effect of the wealth results in attracting some of the most respected academics in European universities, attracted by the high wages and the comfortable lifestyle here.

Through the Federal Commission for International Students the Government provides a (small) number of scholarships to foreign postgraduates only. These help students undertake research in fields that the Swiss universities are particularly active in. A special programme also exists providing scholarships to postgraduates from Central and Eastern European countries.

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