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I am planning to move to Switzerland to stay with my partner start of next year, and am trying to identify ways to stay for longer than 3 months. I have Australian citizenship and am under 30. I was initially hopeful that I could get a student visa and study German, but have since been told (by a school, potentially biased) that these are only issued for 'high intensity' study of at least a year, amounting to ~10k CHF or so and a large portion of free time. I've also considered getting one of the "working holiday" visas issued by other Schengen countries, but I gather that these aren't valid for leaving the country of issue?

I have a bachelors and a good deal of experience doing software dev work, and suppose trying to get a job offer and associated visa is an option.

Is there anything else I could try that I've missed? I'm still not confident about the requirements for the student visas, and can't really ascertain whether there exists a way to get an "extended tourism" visa or similar.

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    Have you considered enrolling into a university? It should be feasible with your bachelor degree and will be much cheaper than a private language school. (around 1.2k CHF a year) – drat Oct 28 '14 at 0:00
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I was in a similar situation as yourself; wanting to move to Switzerland to be with partner and had a bachelors.

Have you considered applying for a Masters? Tuition at major universities is around CHF 1000/semester, with programs lasting 2-4 semesters. If you apply and are accepted to Uni, then you can use this to get a 'Student B Permit,' allowing you to stay for the duration of your studies.

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