Academic constraints

The timetable consists per week of around:

  • 32 hours of lectures, exercise classes and practical work
  • 15-20 hours for personal study (without counting exam preparation)

With a weekly schedule of 50-60 hours, it is difficult to reconcile studying and working.

If you wish to work anyway, please find below some useful information.

The “police cantonale des étrangers” authorise foreign students to work:

  • 15 hours per week during semesters
  • Full-time during the academic holiday

European students

Autorisation given as soon as they arrive in Switzerland.

Non-european students

Autorisation given only 6 months after their arrival in Switzerland. Exception is given to student assistants employed in research in connection with their field of study. See article 9 of  4.7.1 Terms of employment of student assistants

In case of regular paid work

For all regular paid work, students holding a B permit must:

1. Ask their future employer to fill in a form for employment. This document must be provided even if the work is lasting less than 3 months. List of EU/EFTA countries.

  • Application forms for EU/EFTA students and third states students available on this page.  (under points 2 and 3)

2. Go to the student desk and present the form. A certificate will be delivered only if the number of hours do not exceed:

  • 15 hours per week during semesters
  • Full-time during the academic holiday

3. Submit both documents to the competent office (address written on the document) Failure to comply with these rules may result in refusal to extend the residence permit.

Information provided by the population office

Population office

Certain grants may restrict employment opportunities.

Please find out what restrictions apply from the body which issued the grant.

It would be a shame to lose your grant for a few hours’ work in a hamburger factory…

Foreign students with a B permit have their taxes directly deducted from their salary. The employer has an obligation to notify the authorities concerning the employee and will deduct tax from their wages.

Foreign students working in Switzerland who have their taxes directly deducted from their salary and an annual income that does not exceed CHF 28’800, can ask for a tax refund to their Canton of residence. Tax refunds can be reclaimed between 1st January and 31th March of each year. 

Applications for refunds should be sent in writing to this address:

For the canton de Vaud :

Administration cantonale vaudoise des impôts – Section de l’impôt à la source

Together with the following documents:

  • salary statements provided by the employer for the given tax year
  • copy of the residence permit
  • copy of the EPFL registration certificate
  • your bank or postal account number for reimbursement

Provided by Junior Entreprise EPFL:, and under Junior Entreprise Jobs on the application EPFL Campus 

To get an idea of the different rates, we advise you to look up the UNIL website.

Looking to hire a student?

The AGEPOLY – general association of students provides MYJOB.