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2018-07-30 11:56:57

Secondary education in Switzerland: private schools in Switzerland

Secondary education in Switzerland: private schools in Switzerland

The system of school education in Switzerland almost does not differ from the system in other European countries, schools provide everyone with basic education. There are 4 official languages in the country (German, French, Italian, Romansh), and the subjects of the confederation are responsible for the quality and standards of education (there is no single ministry on these issues). Students from an early age get used to the use of several languages, in schools the learning process often takes place in 2-3 languages.

Secondary education in Switzerland

Secondary education consists of 3 levels, the first two of which are mandatory, and the third comes at will:

  • Primary school (from 6 to 12 years). Includes the identification and development of children's abilities, in-depth study of official languages.
  • Secondary school (12-15 years). Schools have different programs and a different set of courses and disciplines, depending on the institution, the main language of instruction changes. At the end, you can either go to the higher level, or enter a polytechnic school (college).
  • The highest stage of secondary school (16-18 years). The stage for students  going to enter higher education institutions is characterized by high workload and intensive education.

Private boarding schools

Private boarding schools in Switzerland are distinguished by the high quality of the education provided and gladly accept foreign participants. There are preparatory courses where students develop the skills of conversational French and German. Under certain conditions - for example, if there are high achievements in any area - students can be enrolled in independent schools in Switzerland without the necessary level of language proficiency. Educational programs include several different types:

  • Matura (Swiss standard);
  • Abitur (German standard);
  • Baccalaureat (French course);
  • Maturita (Italian High School);
  • Anglo-American system;
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) (international standard).

The advantages of studying in Swiss boarding schools:

  • Exclusive quality of education and a high level of knowledge;
  • Bilingual education (German and French at least);
  • The diploma is highly valued in Europe and the world, graduates easily enter the best universities;
  • Possibility to choose the preferred program, study exclusive courses and additional languages;
  • Sports and creative development;
  • High level of equipment.

Upon graduation, students take a general examination, the result of which is indicated in a specialized matriculation certificate, which is a kind of "pass" to institutions of higher education.

Languages of instruction in Switzerland

Some difficulty for students may become the need to learn and communicate in 2 languages simultaneously (moreover, English is often used in everyday life), but this complexity is solved due to the high qualifications of teachers and the availability of special language classes for foreign students. The earlier a child starts school in a Swiss school, the easier it will be for him to become accustomed to linguistic diversity or you can always attend language school in Switzerland before you start any study in regular school or university.

It can not be said that education in Switzerland is possible only with the knowledge of French and German, however, a low level of ownership can lead to low achievement, alienation and poor adaptation. Therefore, a good level of languages is required for admission to boarding schools. Depending on the level of instruction, the main languages change, for example, in high school in Switzerland, it is possible to learn using one basic language.

Admission to school

For admission to boarding schools, parents must undergo a standard procedure for confirming and filing documents at a certain time before the beginning of the school year. The required minimum set of documents for admission to secondary school consists of:

  • Birth certificates and passports;
  • Medical certificate;
  • Extracts from the personal file from the previous place of study (with marks);
  • Information about the completed preparatory courses;
  • Evidence of the level of language skills;
  • Specialized language education (certificates of courses, attestations, etc.).

The documents must be translated and certified by the local governing bodies or consulate of the country. Schools also have the right to assign additional tests and interviews to identify the level of knowledge.

Tuition fees

Swiss boarding schools are among the most elite and expensive in the world. The cost of education ranges from 30,000 to 120,000 ₣ per year. The minimum price for tuition is taken in lower grades and primary school, the maximum in the most prestigious boarding schools, such as Le Rosey, Beau Soleil, Aiglon College, Collège du Léman.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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