Switzerland has for many decades, provided top education not only for its Swiss citizens but for the international community as well. The schools are extremely well established with good track records of getting their pupils into universities around the world. This guide outlines some international private schools, but it is important to remember that overall the Swiss state education system is excellent, as we describe further below.
One of a kind education
One of the most beguiling facts about many Swiss schools is that many are family-run. Brillantmont in Lausanne, Le Rosey in Rolle between Geneva and Lausanne have both been in the same families for over a hundred years. The familiarity, pastoral care and ethos of the Swiss school have always been a nurturing one. The boarding dormitories are usually very comfortable (perhaps more so than the reputation of their British counterparts!). Beyond its superb location, Switzerland has a strong reputation a safe and secure country – a factor that is a huge consideration for many families.
Swiss schools are truly international. However, many schools have a strict quota of pupils from any one country. Therefore, the numbers are never weighted too heavily towards one nationality. Pupils are likely to find themselves amongst others who also speak more than one language and whose parents also travel a lot and live similar lifestyles. As a result, the alumni networks of these Swiss schools are unrivalled as they boast a friend in almost every country around the world. Nevermore true is the saying, “the world is a village”.
More than just a classroom
The wide range of curriculum choices in Swiss schools is impressive. From the native Swiss Matura to the British system, US curriculum and the International Baccalaureate; there is something for everyone. Many of the Swiss schools offer more than one curriculum. This allows pupils from a variety of different educational backgrounds to pick the curriculum that suits them the most. If you are determined to go to a British university, then you might be swayed towards the A-Level system. Still, depending on your language abilities, you might choose a different curriculum that is more suited to higher education in your home country.
If you are thinking of relocating to Switzerland, then State education can be a superb route to choose. Each canton (area) has an education department, and they might differ in the languages they wish to teach in, the syllabus they learn and the structure of the school day. This is a significant consideration when choosing which canton to live in as lessons will be in the language of that canton. However, it is a particularly good option for primary age children who would have less experience in another curriculum and, therefore, would find it easier to adapt to both language and syllabus. It certainly immerses a child into Swiss life and culture in the most comprehensive way.
One of the notable benefits of a Swiss education that is deeply appealing to many families is the prospect of enjoying a healthy outdoors life beyond the classroom. While you are less likely to find a cricket match or a rugby tournament, most schools offer an array of international sports such as basketball, tennis and football, and seasonal sports such as skiing, ice hockey and sailing. The proximity to the mountains ensures that the skiing and winter sports opportunities are unmatched.
Several Swiss schools arrange superb summer camps. This can be an excellent opportunity for a pupil to get an authentic taste of life at a Swiss school for a few weeks. There will often be language courses in the mornings with adventures and activities in the afternoon. They are globally representative, just like the school pupil body.
Each school offers something different; be it in the curriculum choice, the language of instruction, the ethos of the school, location or the extra- curricular opportunities. If you would like further information and help in choosing the right school for your child, then Carfax Consultants are on hand to help you make that choice.
If you would to discuss the educational opportunities available at Swiss schools & Swiss summer camps, please click here to book a call with one of our specialised Education Consultants.
Article by Sophie Oakes, Senior Education Consultant at Carfax Education - Recently featured by Knight Frank.