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2020-05-06 00:00:41

The best age to enter a Swiss school for international students

The best age to enter a Swiss school for international students

When is the best time for a child to go to a Swiss school? In high school, to prepare for the prestigious Swiss universities, in elementary or high school, which offers many diverse and balanced programs? Switzerland is one of the top 10 countries in terms of educational services, because many parents want to send their children to study in this country. Swiss schools offer education in many languages, according to traditional and innovative programs, the opportunity to study in a multicultural environment and to obtain a certificate accepted in prestigious universities . In Switzerland, you can choose a school for students of any age - all that remains is to determine which one is right for your family.


When does a child enroll in a day school in Switzerland?

Before enrolling in a Swiss school, it is best for the child and his family to familiarize themselves with the local education system beforehand: Each canton chooses its own education system. While maintaining the overall structure, the local authorities themselves decide what is taught, when and how, so the content varies from school to school.

Education is compulsory for all students in Switzerland, including those without residency status. Compulsory education lasts 9-11 years across the country: it starts at age 4-6, depending on local regulations, and lasts up to 15 years. Specific eligibility requirements are set by local education departments, but the most important thing for foreign elementary/secondary students will be knowledge of the language of instruction.

Public schools accept students of all ages and ability levels. Public education is free, schools do not have uniforms and students pay for school supplies, books and trips. If your child is fluent in the language of instruction of the chosen school (and these may even be different in the same canton!), a public school may be the best solution. Be prepared for the fact that the Swiss public schools have classes in the mornings and then the students study independently at home or attend extra activities.

  1. If you plan to send your child to a Swiss school at the age of 5-7 years, in kindergarten or elementary school, he does not need special academic knowledge or a high level of foreign language skills. At this age, children learn quickly, easily adapt to new circumstances, teacher-advisers help them quickly integrate into the environment and learn the missing knowledge, language skills.
  2. If you decide to send your child to a Swiss school at the age of 14-16 years, you will need to prepare for the choice of a particular curriculum. In Switzerland there are 3 types of programs for high school students:
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools
  • High School Diploma
  • Gym.

If you want a student to get a vocational education after elementary school, by the age of 14-16 they will need to have a thorough knowledge of special subjects in order to know the language of instruction of the future school.

Secondary school programs provide preparation for university. These courses last from 3 to 6 years; admission is based on students' grades, teacher recommendations and/or entrance examinations.

To qualify for admission to a high school, students need advanced foundation studies, excellent language skills, and IELTS/TOEFL or other certificates. This is the most difficult area of study in the Swiss high school, which prepares for entry into elite universities.

Prestigious schools in Switzerland for students aged 14-16 years old offer the International Baccalaureate, Deutsche Abitur, Diploma + Advanced Placement, A-Level, Schweizer Maturitat and others: take a look at St. Georges Montreu x and Leysin American School.

When can I transfer to international private schools in Switzerland?

When is it best for a student to go to international and private Swiss schools? It already depends on the nature of the student himself, his willingness to live away from home, the lifestyle of his family (for example, the need to organize a stable education outside of the constant movements of parents). Requirements may vary, but most boarding schools accept international students on a full board basis from 10-12 years.

Whether you prefer a British school, an American school, or even a Japanese education, schools in Switzerland offer a wide range of languages and study programs for international students, and there are Christian schools in the country.

Most international schools promote a bilingual program; some offer trilingual instruction. Educational institutions use methods from around the world: there is the widest selection of alternative schools (Montessori schools, Waldorf, Reggio approach, etc.).

The requirements for applicants vary, and most private and international centers have waiting lists - be prepared for that.

General requirements for applicants:

  • Report card from previous place of study
  • Residence permit or visa
  • Accident and illness insurance.

Tuition at private / international schools averages around 30,000 ₣ - 40,000 ₣ (may vary depending on the school and age of the child).

Top 7 best international schools, boarding schools in Switzerland:

  • TASIS the American School Switzerland;
  • Surval Montreux;
  • Le Regent College;
  • Institut auf dem Rosenberg;
  • Aiglon College Switzerland;
  • Institut Montana Zugerberg;
  • Institut Monte Rosa.

Language requirements for admission to a Swiss school

If you want to send your child to a Swiss school, choose one of several teaching languages: English, German, French, Italian or Romanian. From the very beginning, students learn one of the official Swiss languages + compulsory English. At the time of enrollment, the child takes a language test or an interview, so many people have to take preparatory courses beforehand. Private schools often offer introductory or intensive language courses to help students reach the level required for regular classes. Language classes for international students usually run concurrently with regular classes.

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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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