Switzerland - the most prestigious boarding schools.03.10.17
Switzerland - the most comfortable country for children to study abroad
I guess I have visited a lot of countries! After 50 countries, I lost count of how many. But there are favorite countries that I come back to every year, no matter how much I travel. One of the most popular is, of course, Switzerland. For me, everything is the best here: climate, nature, architecture, people, cuisine.
This list can be developed indefinitely, describing the wonderful scenery, warm and Sunny summers, snowy mountains, welcoming hotels, world best watches, chocolate, and much more. To come here as a tourist - very comfortable but, most of all, expensive. To be born and live in this country is insanely comfortable. And exactly the same feedback I get from children and students who are fortunate enough to go to Switzerland for training - high quality, beautiful and insanely comfortable.
Like many of you, for me, Switzerland - the pinnacle of all dreams. This small tour of the country will tell you that, from my point of view, makes Switzerland so special, and Swiss education is exceptional.
The French-speaking part of Switzerland: a journey through the coastal cities of Lake Geneva
Traveling to Switzerland from France, the starting point and the first city in Geneva. Although the city is the capital of the eponymous Swiss Canton with a population of less than 200 thousand, Geneva is, of course, a very small town.
At the same time, a small Geneva – a major player in the arena of world business, Finance, and politics: where is located the headquarters of the European office of the United Nations, the red cross, the World Health Organization, and other international organizations and companies.
The Sunny summer weather on the Wharf is going all of the tourists who want to explore the lake by boat and to approach the famous 147-metre fountain Jet d'Eau.
Your stay in the city should not end without an evening promenade along the embankment of Mont Blanc, where you can admire a unique game of neon lighting in the vast expanse of Lake Geneva. Be sure to check out for dinner in some cozy Swiss restaurant located along the seafront overlooking lake Geneva to eat Swiss cuisine and local drinks.
The road from Geneva to Lausanne will not tire you: the distance between the cities is only 65 km away, Choosing travel by car or train, the road passes along the Northern shore of Lake Geneva. It takes your breath away from the local species, and it is sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from the car window.
The resort town of Montreux is located further along the northern shore of Lake Geneva. The city belongs to the part of the Swiss Riviera. Like Lausanne, Montreux belongs to the French-speaking canton of Vaud. The region is a major tourist center, but also a large part of agriculture: Vaud is the second-largest wine-producing region in Switzerland. There, on the slopes of the lake, are the famous terraced vineyards of Lavaux - one of the oldest wine regions in the world, which is located between Lausanne and Montreux.
Montreux always has a mild climate and many warm days a year, so don't be surprised by the city's abundant tropical plants. It is not surprising that Montreux is so popular for holidays among wealthy Europeans, which underlines its status as a bohemian resort. Most of the hotels are located here.
The embankment, which stretches for as much as 15 km, is always filled with tourists who slowly take their walk because the entire first line along the lake is occupied by hotels and, world-famous, hotel business schools. Even if you are in the city for only a day, passing through, you will forever leave in your memory the snow-capped peaks of the Alps and their highest point in Europe, Mont Blanc, rising from the other side of Lake Geneva. Among the iconic tourist attractions, there is a monument to the legendary British performer, lead singer of the Queen group - Freddie Mercury, who considered Montreux his favorite city in Switzerland.
Chillon Castle is located 3 km outside the city: it rises above Lake Geneva and is connected to the coast through a bridge. It was the combination of natural conditions and features of the building that allowed the castle to take control of the strategically important road that passed between the lake and the mountains. The castle served as the residence of the Counts of Savoy, and from the 16th century, it was used as a state prison. The castle itself is a structure of 25 buildings, in which each room hides a part of its centuries-old history. Tourists can look at the rich reception rooms, enter the chambers of the counts and princes, or descend into the prison rooms in the basements.
Secondary education in French-speaking Switzerland: the private schools of the Swiss Riviera
The Swiss Riviera region is home to some of the world's most prestigious boarding schools. Children of wealthy businessmen, politicians, and other influential personas study here. Since most schools are focused on foreign students, education is conducted here in two languages: English and French, which allows each school to teach several programs at once. These can be English A-Level, French Baccalaureate, American Advanced Placement, Swiss Federal Maturite, or International Baccalaureate program.
Let's start with Geneva, in the suburbs of which the private school College du Leman was built. The school is not without merit called one of the most prestigious schools in Switzerland. A truly international school: College du Leman is home to over 100 nationalities. The infrastructure of the school is one of the most modern, and living on the school's campus is possible from the age of 6! During the winter holidays in February and the summer holidays in mid-summer, the school offers vacation programs with the study of English and French, while the winter program includes active winter sports with or without language lessons.
Lausanne is home to several private schools that are strong in their curriculum. Lemania College is a small Swiss school with over 100 years of history, with a campus in the center of Lausanne. Children study diploma programs in English or French and live in residences overlooking Lake Geneva.
The best traditions of Swiss education are continued by the private school Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, which was founded at the beginning of the last century. In this school, foreign students can graduate from school with a Swiss diploma, or enroll in the International Baccalaureate program.
The private school Monte Rosa is located in its own mansion right on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux.
If you are looking for a path to prestigious business education for your child, then Institute Monte Rosa specializes in this, teaching students in the Anglo-American system. In addition, Monte Rosa has the longest season of summer and winter vacation programs operating on its boarding school campus. At the same time, in winter, children attending vacation programs will be able not only to learn foreign languages and see how high school students live and study but also be actively engage in winter sports. 5 days a week, the school takes children to nearby ski resorts, where children can practice English or French skiing in groups under the supervision of instructors.
Lucerne is one of those cities worth visiting when traveling through the German cantons of Switzerland. Most city tours start from the Kapellbrücke bridge, which I myself visit every time I come to Lucerne. Kapellbrücke is the longest and oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, built in the 14th century to connect the old and new town, separated by the Reis river. Today, the old town is entirely a pedestrian area, where buildings from the Middle Ages have survived, including the Knight's Palace.
Between Lucerne and Zurich, on a hill by the shores of Lake Zug, is located the campus of the school Institut Montana. At this international school, you can meet children from more than 40 countries who receive here not only international or Swiss diplomas but can also graduate from school with an American high school diploma. Active summer and winter camps are also offered here.
The elite school Institut auf dem Rosenberg is located in the central part of cozy St. Gallen, the highest city in Switzerland, which is located near Lake Constance on the border with Germany. Founded in the late 19th century, the school is considered one of the oldest in Switzerland. As is typical for Swiss schools, the school is multilingual: within the walls of the Institut auf dem Rosenberg, students study in one of three languages according to one of five school programs. In summer and winter, the school accepts children to study English, Italian or German, while in winter the school accepts children from 6 years old to the language camp and organizes skiing.
Italian Switzerland: the region with echoes of Italian culture
Moving to the south of Switzerland, you will find yourself in the smallest Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland, Ticino. Its inhabitants make up about 6% of all inhabitants of the country and speak the dialect of the Italian language. The province has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Bellinzona Castle Group and Mount San Giorgio.
Little Bellinzona, with a population of less than 18,000, attracts tourists from all over the world due to its excellent location (an hour's drive from Milan), natural beauty, and beautifully preserved architectural monuments. Bellinzona's three castles, built in the 1st century BC, were the only fortifications on the way from Italy to the strategic Saint Gotthard Pass. On the southeast side of the city, on a rocky hill, is the newest of the three castles of Bellinzona Sasso Corbaro. When I visited Bellinzona, on the Swiss Independence Day, the rock and the castle were decorated with national red ribbons.
Secondary education in Italian-speaking Canton of Switzerland
The Tasis School has been operating in the city of Lugano for more than 60 years, which has come true in the dream of its founders to open an American boarding school in the heart of Europe. Now, the students of the school, and there are more than 720 of them in all academic programs, are being prepared for admission to colleges and universities in the United States, adopting all the best from European culture and studying European languages. At the same time, the summer school Tasis School is the most popular language camp in Switzerland for children around the world, where places for the next summer are closed in October-November of the previous year.
The campus consists of 25 buildings, the oldest of which dates back to the 17th century. The campus is located on the so-called "Golden Hills" in Montagnola - a small village, above which the Swiss mountains stretch, and below - the city of Lugano with its famous lake. The city of Lugano is located near the border of Italy and Switzerland, so it has an inherent Italian culture.
Ski resorts in Switzerland: breathtaking scenery and premium service
Ski enthusiasts visit the cantons of German-speaking Switzerland during the winter season, enjoying the magnificent scenery of the Alps. Winter resorts in the Alps always offer excellent service, comfortable accommodation and modern ski slopes. One of the most expensive resorts in Switzerland, Zermatt is located in the south of the country, near the border with Italy. The surrounding nature is protected to such an extent that travel by car is prohibited 5 km from the resort itself.
Gstaad is a renowned ski resort in Saanen, which resembles a village in the Alps with neat chalet houses. Here, every corner keeps something interesting: whether it be elite restaurants, a fashionable street with expensive shops, or just the landscapes of a Swiss village. And amidst the purest alpine air you feel as refreshed and full of energy as never before. On the outskirts of Gstaad is one of the most active secondary schools in Switzerland, John F Kennedy School, with only 80 students. But all the students of this school must go downhill skiing and are brought up in unity with nature. Despite such a small number of students, the school occupies a large area of 20 hectares and all buildings of the school are made in the style of wooden chalets typical for the resort. The school accepts foreign students living on campus from the age of 10 and you can study here until the end of the British IGCSE high school program. In addition, the school has a summer and winter camp with an active program of sports and outdoor activities.
Verbier, part of the Four Valleys region and the fourth largest resort in the world, has ski slopes that both professionals and beginners will enjoy. In Verbier, the largest camp in terms of the number of foreign students accepted by foreign students is Les Elfes, where children are engaged in active sports for half a day according to the season, and in the second half they study English, Spanish, French or German and have fun. The camp accepts children from 8 to 18 years old almost all year round and closes only in the fall.
By the way, parents who want to put their children on skis will not find a more suitable place to train their little ones. Therefore, so many language camps in Switzerland run their winter programs in ski resorts. The level of safety and comfort that Switzerland's primary school children have to offer has been trusted by thousands of parents across Europe.
Language learning in Switzerland
Many European languages can be studied in Switzerland. At the same time, for adults over 18 years old, one can get a long-term visa for courses of that foreign language, which is considered official in this canton. That is, German can be studied in Zurich, Bern, Lucerne. French - in Geneva, Montreux, Lausanne. Italian in Locarno and Lugano. English can be studied everywhere, as in multilingual Switzerland English is the language of business and everyone speaks it fluently. At the same time, a visa can be issued for no more than a 4-week language course.
Summer camps for children can be offered with the study of English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and even Chinese. At the same time, you can book the course of two languages, then one will be the main one and will be studied, for example, 4 hours 5 days a week, and the second language will be studied 2 times a week for 2 hours.
Boarding school in Switzerland. My personal experience
Probably, parents who have decided to teach their children in Switzerland do not wait for anyone's recommendations, because, as a rule, the decision was made on the basis of advice from friends or business colleagues whose children study in Switzerland. Yes, of course, it is from them that you can learn firsthand how the life of children goes behind the closed doors of elite Swiss schools. But, nevertheless, they also need an expert's opinion, because we travel and look at schools around the world and can compare the comfort and results of Swiss schools with elite schools in other countries.
I will not reveal all the subtleties, since you can find out all this during a personal consultation, but still I will express my general opinion about the country and schools.
Switzerland is the safest country, and not only in the sense that nothing threatens your child's safety there, but also in terms of information - no one will ever know which school your child is at, unless of course you tell someone yourself. In all boarding schools around the world, according to safety rules, no one can enter the school territory. No one will ever post a photo of your child without your consent in the media. At the same time, in Switzerland, this law is respected absolutely.
Switzerland is the most comfortable country. Your child will not only live in a comfortable room, eat healthy and tasty food, breathe the freshest air, and, if necessary, be served in the most modern clinics. In Swiss schools, programs for the education and development of children are built as comfortably as possible. Since there are always several programs offered in private schools and each of them involves teaching a different number of compulsory subjects, then it is easiest to choose a program and subjects in which the child will definitely succeed.
And finally, Swiss education is the most prestigious in the world. And this does not literally say that it is prestigious, because it is expensive. But this follows from the fact that Swiss schools are so expensive. This means that the child of a family that can afford to pay for school in Switzerland will find himself surrounded by his own kind and at a very early age will make friends who, by their marital status, will be successful politicians and businessmen. And this friendship, made at a trusting young age, will last for life.
In my opinion, children who study in private schools in Switzerland are doomed to success.