The best boarding schools in Switzerland

Schools in Switzerland – education information

The best boarding schools in Switzerland are famous for high academic standards, international orientation and are widely popular among foreigners from all over the world. The parents choose prestigious Swiss boarding schools for studying of their child due to high quality education in multicultural environment. 

The average number of students in the boarding schools in Switzerland is small. These are chamber educational institutions: as a rule, several hundred students study at the school. However, Switzerland is a leader in the number of schools – there are more than 200 of them. Most of the boarding houses are located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in the German and Italian cantons there are significantly fewer of them.

In an effort to find an approach to students, teachers use the world’s best methods – Montessori, Pestalozzi, Steiner, etc. Great attention is paid to the harmonious development of the child: creativity and sport occupy a special place in the curriculum. The fitness centres of the schools are equipped with everything necessary, often there are Olympic-level swimming pools on the territory. In addition to traditional types of physical activity, due to the mountainous landscape of the country, winter sports are widely available to schoolchildren – downhill skiing, snowboarding, and in summer – mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking, rock climbing.

Educational programs in TOP boarding schools in Switzerland

The boarding schools in Switzerland offer the foreign students a wide range of international programs specially created to meet the educational standards of different countries. It is necessary to decide on the program at the stage of enrolment in a school, because the chosen direction will depend on how the educational process will be organized and which country’s universities will then be easier to enrol with a diploma.

The foreign students can choose for studying one of the following programs:

  • Swiss Matura is among the most complicated educational programs, allowing the graduates to successfully enrol in leading European universities. The program includes 13-15 compulsory subjects and three foreign languages. The studying is conducted in German or French.
  • British program (GCSE,A-level) is one of the most popular directions of studying in Switzerland for students aged from 14 to 15 years. Graduates of this program can easily enrol in well-known British universities. The curriculum includes not only the main disciplines, but also several electives, for which it is also necessary to take exams at the end of the year.
  • Diplome National du Brevet, French Baccalaureate consists of two stages: upon completion of the first general education cycle, which lasts from 11 to 16 years, the graduate is issued a certificate (Diplome National du Brevet). After that, the student can continue studying in a specialized program for an additional 3 years in order to subsequently receive the Diplome du Baccalaureate de l’Enseignement du Second Degree.
  • Abitur is designed for students, who plan to enrol in universities of Germany and Austria. This program is offered in the German – speaking part of Switzerland. The studying is conducted in one of the chosen areas: technical, humanitarian or socio-scientific.
  • Esame di Maturity resembles French program and stipulates studying of subjects from various fields of science.
  • High School Diploma, Advanced Placement programs meet the American standards of secondary education and are designed primarily for those wishing to enrol in universities in the USA, Canada and the UK.
  • IGCSE, International Baccalaureate now is offered in many boarding schools in Switzerland and is considered the most complicated program. The studying is conducted in English. The advantage of this program is its recognition in all countries of the world, so graduates with an IB diploma can enrol in the world’s best universities.

Boarding schools in Switzerland fees for foreign students

The tuition fee at a boarding school on campus will be expected to be higher than the price of studying at a similar day school, since it includes the costs of accommodation, meals and student security. The cost usually ranges from 70,000 to 120,000 Swiss francs per year.

Enrolment requirements in international schools in Switzerland

The main documents required for admission to a boarding school in Switzerland should be collected in advance. The list of documents includes the following ones:

  • Copy of passport
  • Medical insurance for travelling abroad
  • Transcript of grades for the last year or 2 and letters of recommendation from teachers or school principal
  • Registration forms and confirmation of payment of the registration fee
  • Motivation letter (not always)
  • Language certificates.

Some schools also conduct Skype or face-to-face interviews with candidates, and may also invite them to take an internal test in core subjects or a foreign language.