Head to Switzerland for an academic trip

Switzerland is not just a tourist destination but also an education hub. Prachi Rege speaks to a group of representatives from Swiss schools who are on a visit to lure Indian students to their campuses.

Switzerland has joined the new set of countries that have opened up academic opportunities, for Indian students. Though the country has been quite popular in hotel management training, boarding schools are looking to lure more Indian students to their campus. Right from high school to post graduate study options the picturesque region has a number of programmes that students may want to consider.

Currently boarding schools in Switzerland accept students until class 12. School programmes on offer are affiliated to global boards like IGCSE, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), A-Levels, the Swiss Federal Maturity, the French Baccalaureate and the German Abitur. "Over 50 per cent of our IGCSE students qualify for the Ivy league schools in the US for further studies," says Christophe X Clivaz, director, Swiss Learning, on the success rate of securing an education in Swiss schools. Swiss learning an education body, which is managed by heads of education institutes in the country, has taken the initiative of connecting Indian students and parents with Swiss Educationists. Alumnis of these schools also interacted with the aspiring students to provide first hand information on their life on the campus.

At Swiss schools, students have the option of pursuing bilingual studies. Majority of these offer intensive studies in English, French, Italian or German as a second language. These certificates are accepted for entry into Swiss universities and to universities in other countries according to the specific conditions of each institution. According to Charles H Skipper, headmaster, The American School in Switzerland, one of the advantage of studying in Switzerland at a younger age is the safety quotient. "Though the number of students flocking to the US is high, when it comes to undergraduate or high school study, parents prefer to send their students to a country which is quite safe. Since they are barely 18 years old," he explains.

Speaking on the academic advantage of studying at a boarding school in a European country, the representatives are of the opinion that students learn more langaguges than in any other country. "Since industrial visitis and excrusions are an important part of the curriculum, students can take a weekend trip with the art department to Florence, Itlay or visit a German car factory," says Iris Gurey, head of admissions and marketing, Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz. They imbibe qualities like punctuality in work and discipline in their daily life on a campus away from their home country. Since Swiss education is expensive, and can range anywhere between 70,000 to 100,000 Swiss Francs ( approximatley Rs 45 to 64 lakhs) most schools offer need-based scholarship. Mark Silverstien, director of Marketing, Aiglon College, says, "We provide customised and personalised education, which is suited to the overall development of the child."

Swiss High Schools

  • Institut Le Rosey
  • Brillantmont International School
  • Institut auf dem Rosenberg
  • Collège Champittet
  • Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz
  • Collège Beau Soleil
  • Aiglon College
  • TASIS (The American School in Switzerland)
  • Institute Montana Zugerberg
  • Collège du Léman
  • Leysin American School

(List is indicative)