Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  

Learning a national language

Classes in the local language (German, French or Italian) are available in all areas. There is a great variation in the content, method, speed and length of courses and you can study in many private institutions. Ask for a trial lesson to find the course that’s best for you. 

Literacy classes are held for people who do not know the Latin alphabet or who cannot read and write. Many charitable organisations offer these classes:
In some areas, there are courses specifically for women or for mothers, and there may be crèche available. Contact the local integration officer for more information. 
 
Integration classes for adults are offered in some areas. These concentrate on information you need to know to live in Switzerland as well as how to communicate in different situations. 
 
Some universities also organise intensive language courses for people who intend to study in a Swiss university.   
 
Swiss German classes are offered in some language schools, for example l’Ecole Club Migros.
 

Cost

Most language schools are private business and prices can be high.  Compare what is on offer.
 
In addition, local authorities, associations and professional schools offer classes for migrants at a low cost. These receive financial support form the state and so have certain admission criteria. In general, the student must pay for any language course taken; in certain cases social security will cover all or part of the cost.
 
Please note 
If you are out of work, you may be eligible for free language courses, even if you cannot have unemployment payments. You will have to prove that the course will help you find work and that you are actively seeking work. Check with your local unemployment office.

Language courses in your region

In many cantons, the Integration Officer coordinates language classes for migrants and can inform you about what is on offer. Some websites provide local information:
 

Related links: