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Why Should I Consider a Swiss Boarding School?

Why Should I Consider a Swiss Boarding School?

Known for its global outlook and quality of education, Switzerland has always been a popular destination for parents who are considering a boarding school for their child. Many private boarding schools here are multilingual and focus on holistic education. Here is an overview of Swiss boarding schools.

1) Academics:
Many boarding schools in Switzerland are bilingual, however, there are many where the main language of instruction is English. However studying Spanish, German or French is compulsory even in schools where English is the main language of instruction. Most private, international boarding schools have small class sizes and offer either the International Baccalaureate, Swiss Maturité, the French Baccalaureate, Cambridge A levels or some combination of these. There are also some schools, such as Brilliantmont International School or The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) that offer the AP curriculum as well.

2) Educational Requirements: 
Educational requirements are extremely school-specific. To gain admission, your child will require high grades in school in the previous three to four years. Apart from this, it is likely that your child will also have to give an entrance exam, along with an English proficiency test to ensure that they can cope with the school’s curriculum. For example, Aiglon College has an abilities assessment, which is comprised of English, mathematics and general ability tests and aims to find out where your child’s strengths lie and will identify if they need further guidance. 

3) Application Process:
Each boarding school also has its own application form and procedure, so applications are made directly through the school’s website. The application form will require some basic details, such as your family background and details about your child’s current school. Along with this, you will need to send your child’s academic transcripts of the previous three years. In addition, some schools may also require letters of recommendation and an essay or personal statement. Typically, many international schools accept applications throughout the year, however, it is beneficial to apply well in advance.
Once shortlisted, the school may require your family to visit. This is a great opportunity for your child to get to know more about the school and get familiar with the environment. This is also when entrance tests and interviews, if any, are conducted.

4) Fees and Scholarships:
Fees at private Swiss boarding schools are generally on the higher side–approximately CHF 120,000 or more, at some institutions. This fee generally covers your child’s tuition, accommodation, sports facilities, extracurricular activities and dining. There can also be additional costs for school trips, uniforms, private lessons and medical insurance.
Scholarships are rare and as such, they are highly competitive. For example, Institut Le Rosey only grants three to five scholarships a year and these are reserved for students applying to grade 6 onwards. On the other hand, Brillantmont International School only offers scholarships for students in grades 8 and 9.

5) Visa:
To study in Switzerland, your child will likely need a student visa. As soon your child is accepted by a school, you will have to submit a request to the Swiss Embassy for a student visa for your child, with the documents requested. As soon as your child arrives in Switzerland, the school will apply for a Swiss residency permit. 

There are many boarding schools in other parts of Europe, such as Germany, France and Spain, where the language of instruction is English. Other destinations such as Italy and The Netherlands will require your child to know the local language, limiting your options.
As there are a number of factors to consider when deciding what school and country are best for your child, we suggest that you make the most of your
visit to the school and consider all destinations such as the UK, the US and Canada. For any further assistance, get in touch with us. 

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?