• Application Deadline
  • 21 days
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This online Summer School looks at the development of Switzerland in comparison with other successful small countries. Students will find out how Switzerland became one of the richest and most globalized countries in the world. During the three weeks of the Summer School, you will learn about the country’s roots and how it became an international finance center. We will also study its worldwide successful industries like watchmaking, pharmaceuticals, and food processing, through talking to leading experts.


We will then compare Switzerland to other successful small and open countries in today’s world. Together we will explore their singularities, similarities and remarkable differences. This will help us to understand whether there is one recipe for political survival and economic success, or if there are many different development paths. By doing so, we will examine which historical, sociological, and political factors have to be taken into account when explaining a country’s success. Last but not least, this will also help us to understand why countries react differently to crises such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

3 Key Facts about the University of Zurich: 

  • Rankings: Study at Switzerland's best ranked comprehensive university
  • Exceptional in teaching and research: Profit from the knowledge of world-leading experts
  • Innovation: UZH is among the top 10 of Europe's most innovative universities 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 21 days
  • Credits
    6 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

In this Summer School, you will:
  • Understand the different preconditions and historic experiences in economic development of small countries, based on a comparative, interdisciplinary approach.
  • Analyze the Swiss success stories and identify Switzerland’s singularities and commonalities with other countries.
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the different “national models” and how their elements fit together.
  • Draw conclusions for ongoing debates on the relevant factors for successful economic and crisis management of countries.


2nd or 3rd year Bachelor students and Master students


Prof. Dr. Patrick Ziltener

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

  • Master students or good Bachelor students who have completed their first year of study.
  • Applicants must possess a sufficient command of English (broadly CEFR B2 or equivalent) to be able to actively contribute to classes. This needs to be visible from your motivation letter, previous studies or work experience.

Technological Requirements

The course content will be provided via one learning platform (Microsoft Teams). We will invite you to join this platform before the online summer school starts. Some livestreams might be provided over Zoom. Make sure these applications work on your computer / in your region. (Please note that we cannot provide technical support during the online summer schools.)

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1386 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1386 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 21 days.
  • EU/EEA

    1386 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1386 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 21 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

CHF 1,500  


Generous discounts are available for students from certain partner universities. Once we have received your full application, we will notify you of any potential discounts available to you.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

What Defines a Country’s Success - Switzerland's Experience in Comparison
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