Universität Freiburg/Université de Fribourg (University of Freiburg), Switzerland

The University of Fribourg is Switzerland’s only bilingual university, offering a full academic curriculum both in French and German. The University places scientific research at the heart of its activity.

University of Fribourg website

Who can go?

Postgraduate research students in the School of Philosophy.

There is currently a limit of one student per academic year who can attend this programme.

How to apply

Interested students will require the approval of their supervisor and will be selected on the basis of subject suitability with their own research programme.

Please contact the School of Philosophy at philosophy@st-andrews.ac.uk for more information.

Current students can contact study abroad coordinators to find out more. 

Your studies

The academic year at the University of Fribourg is split into two semesters:

  • Semester 1 runs from mid-September to mid-December
  • Semester 2 runs from mid-February to late May.

To see the full academic calendar please visit the University of Fribourg website.

Some modules are available in English, especially research seminars for doctoral students. However, there are various forms of linguistic support, such as language courses. During the semester, the University language centre offers free courses in French, German and Italian at levels A1 to C2. Before the semester, intensive language courses in French (and sometimes in German) are also available. These pre-semester courses include cultural and sporting activities. The cost is usually around 200-400 CHF, depending on the course chosen.

The University’s Bachelor programme in Philosophy is structured around two main areas: History of Philosophy and Systematic Philosophy.

History of Philosophy includes antique, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophy and introduces students to the main authors, texts and currents of Western philosophy.

Systematic Philosophy comprises complementary disciplines, such as:

  • philosophy of language, of the mind and of human sciences
  • epistemology and metaphysics
  • ethics and political philosophy
  • philosophy of culture and aesthetics.

Systematic Philosophy introduces students to the themes and questions inherent to present philosophical debate.

Passports and visas

If you are a student from the European Economic Area, you do not need to apply for a residence permit, and should be able to enter Switzerland with your passport or national identity card. Students from outside the European Economic Area will need to apply for a residence permit and visa if applicable. Please visit the University’s website for more information on entry to Switzerland.

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are a European Union national, you will not require a visa and may enter the European Union countries with your passport or national identity card. Please note that you may have to comply with legal obligations, such as registering your address with the local authorities.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing advint@st-andrews.ac.uk. You can also check the passports and visas page for further information.

About the University

Over 10,000 students and more than 200 professors from all over the world come together at the University of Fribourg.

A number of Masters programmes are taught in English and the University offers a wide range of opportunities for PhD and doctoral studies as well as international Exchange and Summer School programmes.


As an exchange student, you will not pay tuition fees to your host university, and will only be liable for your normal St Andrews tuition fees.

Research Council students should make sure that they have their funding body’s permission to study abroad, notifying them particularly for any mobility grants that they may be receiving.

Unlike most European countries, Switzerland does not use the Euro as their currency and instead use the Swiss Franc, CHF. For 2021-2022, students going to Switzerland will be eligible for the Swiss European Mobility Programme (SEMP), funded by Switzerland. The sum is paid by the University of Fribourg at the start of each semester. Students from the UK receive 1900 CHF for a single semester exchange, or two payments of 1900 CHF for an exchange lasting two semesters. You will need to open a bank account in Switzerland to receive the money. The University of Fribourg works with a bank that is used to setting up these accounts. To receive the grant, you must study at Fribourg for at least three months and follow Fribourg’s terms and conditions.


The University of St Andrews does not guarantee housing at the University of Fribourg. However, the Fribourg International Office can support incoming students before arrival.

Find out more about finding housing in Fribourg.

Travel and transport

The University of Fribourg is served by three Swiss airports: Zurich, Basel EuroAirport and Geneva Airport. Geneva Airport is the closest to the University. A train line, which runs directly from the airport to Fribourg takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Alternatively, students can arrive at either Zurich or Basel EuroAirport. These airports are less than two hours away from Fribourg by train, however you may be required to change trains.

The city of Fribourg has several bus lines which connect the city and the surrounding areas. Taxis are also available, however they are relatively expensive even for short distances.


Global Office
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245
Email: studyabroad@st-andrews.ac.uk