Choosing the right school in Switzerland is a tough job considering how many options you have available. The articles below aim to explain in plain terms what these options are and why only might suit you and your family.
A quick review of your schooling options in Switzerland
You've come to live in Switzerland and want to send your children to Swiss school, but are not sure how Swiss education system works or which option would work best for you. Or maybe you already live here and have to move, which means changing canton, maybe even language, and you find the new school is apparently nothing like the previous one. What to do? Bilingual education is one option you might have, in addition to Swiss public school and private - monolingual - international schools. Let's quickly review the main pros and cons for each:
Your first thought, especially if you receive education support from your employer, will be do send your kids to an international school, which offers a faster transition experience, and an almost immediate friend and support network, plus a huge range of diverse cultures and languages. As a downside, you'll probably end up in an expat bubble, with no ties to your local environment and you'll completely miss out experiencing the local culture.
As you'll soon find out, however, international schools are either monolingual or bilingual. Which brings us to the golden middle ground of bilingual schooling. Bilingual schooling has numerous cognitive advantages, but also cultural ones, as you'll be much more connected to the local culture, while still having a community of expats around.
Public schooling in Switzerland is an excellent choice, as there is language support available for foreign children, the curriculum is of great quality and it's free. If you're planning to stay long-term in Switzerland, public school is definitely the right way to go to fully learn the local languages and experience the local culture. As downsides, the school schedule does not favour full-time working parents and after-school fees are not cheap. Also, if you've just landed in Switzerland and your kids don't speak a word of German or French, the language barrier will isolate and frustrate them.
Home schooling in Switzerland is not that popular, given that approximately 0.3% young people are home-schooled, compared to 3.3% in the US. This form of schooling is only legally possible in a few Swiss cantons - you can learn which ones upon booking a consultation here.
Let's dive in and find out about what your options are for education in Switzerland. From type of education to the best schools in Switzerland, we've included all the basics you will want to know in these articles:
International versus local schools in Switzerland: what you need to know
International or local, private or public, mononlingual or bilingual? The schooling options for children in Switzerland are numerous and confusing for most foreigners relocating to Switzerland. Let's shed some light on this topic.Read more
Bilingual Schooling in Switzerland: all you need to know
In this article you'll find all the pros and cons of bilingual schooling when compared to monolingual or public schooling in the local Swiss language, and also our recommendations for the best bilingual schools in Switzerland.Read more
What's different about going to school in Switzerland
Let’s take a quick look at the most significant differences and at what makes the Swiss educational system so successful.Read more
How to find childcare in Switzerland
From au pairs to babysitters and granny-nanny, here are your options for childcare in Switzerland.Read more
Do you have questions about the Swiss education system in Switzerland?
Would you like a thorough assessment of your family's needs and understand what might work best for you and your children? Our schooling experts will clarify everything for you in a 1h advisory call.Talk to an education expert