Switzerland is one of the top education hubs among international students, to this regard, the best international schools in Switzerland have been outlined and discussed in this blog post to facilitate students’ admission.
Switzerland is a country in Europe renowned for its mountainous region and numerous lakes which makes it one of the top choices for skiing and hiking. Just like how every country is known for what they do best, that is, the professional fields it is popular for, Switzerland’s key industries are banking and finance, and Swiss watches and chocolates are globally known.
The official languages of Switzerland are Italian, German, French, and Romansh which are spoken in different parts of the country. English is the most common non-national language spoken by 45% of the population and as a foreign student from an English-speaking country, you won’t have too many problems communicating with the locals.
Switzerland is among the top five richest countries in the world and the most expensive to live in and this is because almost everyone in the country is wealthy. In terms of security, the country also ranks among the safest places in Europe and worldwide since most of the population is wealthy, the crime rate is relatively low.
Foreigners going to Switzerland for study purposes will enjoy the security that the country offers but it is really expensive to live in especially in cities like Geneva and Zurich. Nevertheless, students from other countries still flock into the country annually to pursue academic degrees in various study levels.
The education system in Switzerland is globally renowned for its high academic standards, well-regarded research outputs, and student-centered teaching approaches. Her tertiary education follows the Bologna Process which confers the typical degrees – Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate – to graduates. The bachelor’s degree is completed in three years, except for specific programs like medicine or pharmacy that last up to five or six years.
The master’s degree is completed within one or two years of full-time studies while the doctorate is completed between three and five years.
You can find both public and private universities offering a diverse range of programs in fields like economics, mathematics, natural and applied sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The country relies heavily on banking on finance, therefore, getting an MBA is a great study path that will offer you vast career opportunities and an extensive business network whether you are an international or domestic student.
Furthermore, the language of instruction at Switzerland universities depends on the location of the school, which means, it can either be Italian, French, or German. Whichever school you are applying to, you must show proof of language proficiency by taking the appropriate test. The Italian language proficiency test is the CILS or CELI test, the French language is the DELF or DALF test, and for the German language, the OSD, TestDaf, or the Goethe Institut test.
If you get into a university or program whose language of instruction is in English, then you must take one of the widely recognized English language proficiency tests, the TOEFL or IELTS.[lwptoc]
What is an International School in Switzerland?
An international school in Switzerland is a school that promotes international education in a global setting. These international schools in Switzerland usually make use of curriculums such as the International Baccalaureate, Edexcel, Cambridge Assessment International Education, the International Primary Curriculum, or a national curriculum that differs from the traditional Swiss school curriculum.
Requirements to Apply to International Schools in Switzerland
The requirements to apply to international schools in Switzerland vary from school to school, program, and study levels. However, we are still able to provide a general requirement to apply for international schools in Switzerland, reach out to the school to learn more about specific program requirements.
The requirements to apply to international schools in Switzerland are;
- Students applying for the master’s or doctorate program must have completed and earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or four-year college.
- A signed printout of your application form
- Two or more passport photos with a copy of your I.D and a CV or Resume
- Official academic transcripts from previous universities attended
- High school diploma for those applying into an undergraduate program
- Language proficiency test scores
- Evidence of paying the application fee
- Personal essay and letters of recommendation
- Certificates and transcripts that are not in English, French, German, or Italian must be translated into one of the languages but the original copy will also be provided.
These are the requirements and more may be required by some departments which you can find on the web page of a particular school or you can contact the school’s admissions office and request the information you may need. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the list of best international schools in Switzerland.
Best International Schools in Switzerland
Swiss international schools are recognized among the best in the world with a reputation for high teaching standards and strict discipline, they are designed to cater to the academic needs of ex-pat children and international families.
Some international schools provide bilingual or multilingual instruction, as well as international education credentials, allowing your child to continue his or her education at home or another international school overseas. They include elementary and secondary schools, as well as day and boarding schools, and provide a variety of teaching methods such as Montessori and Kumon.
Curricula from around the world, such as international, Swiss, UK, US, Japanese, German, and French education are also offered. There are several foreign international schools in Switzerland, in addition to the British and American schools, that employ curriculum provided by the home country’s education authority as the foundation for their education, with lessons held in the home language plus English, French, or German.
The international schools in Switzerland provide a multicultural learning atmosphere where students from all over the world come together to learn. If your kids have already begun their education in your home country, they may be able to continue with the same curriculum at one of the international schools in Switzerland or study an internationally recognized curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Small class sizes and high educational facility standards characterize the international schools in Switzerland. The IB program is typically offered at these schools or one of the four other IB programs: Primary Years, Middle Years, and Career-related. Many schools also offer the UK national curriculum leading to the International General Certificate Secondary Education (GSCE) and GCE A levels, while some offer the US High School Diploma/Advanced Placement (AP), Swiss Matura/Maturite, the German Abitur, and the French Baccalaureate.
Many international schools in Switzerland offer a combination of the above and few schools offer the national curricula of their home country, for example, the Swedish School.
If you are looking for the best international schools in Switzerland, whether day or boarding, you can browse through the option below to find the right fit for your child. Details of each of these schools have been provided along as well, and you can basic info such as location and overall cost, languages, number of students, extracurricular activities that students can engage in, curriculum, and much more.
- Montreux International School (MIS)
- Ecole D’Humanite
- Copperfield International School
- Academia International School
- College et Lycee Saint Charles
- Aiglon College
- Malvern College Switzerland
- College Alpin International Beau Soleil
- Hull’s School Zurich
- College Champittet
1. Montreux International School (MIS)
MIS is an innovative IB World School and the first fully dedicated IBCP school in Europe dedicated to providing a ground-breaking life-ready education to students from diverse backgrounds. It is a co-educational day and boarding school located at Avenue de Chillon, Territet, Switzerland, and has students from 30 nationalities.
MIS offers IB and Career-related Programme (CP) to students between the ages of 16-19. The language of instruction is English and the foreign languages are French, German, and Mandarin. The student-teacher ratio is 1 to 15 and extracurricular activities include football, tennis, debate classes, charity committee, and more.
2. Ecole D’Humanite
Ecole D’Humanite is one of the best co-educational international schools in Switzerland located in the heart of the Swiss Alps fostering innovation and encourages tolerance and determination among young individuals. It is a diverse, vibrant community of students from more than 20 different countries aged 11 – 20 enrolled in the Advanced Placement (AP), Swiss Maturite, and US High School Diploma programs.
It is a full boarding school with state-of-the-art facilities and sites for extracurricular activities are available for student use to enhance learning.
3. Copperfield International School
Copperfield International School is one of the best all-boys international schools in Switzerland, it enrolls boys aged 3-18 years with both day and boarding school services. It is a diverse environment with students coming from over 18 countries and a teacher-student ratio of 1:2.5.
The academic options are;
- International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme taught to students between the ages of 3 and 12
- Cambridge IGSCE taught to students between the ages of 13 and 16
- IB Diploma Programme taught to students between the ages of 16 and 18.
Students looking to continue within a British system can enroll in the A-level programs. The languages of instruction are French and English and the taught foreign programs are French, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Mandarin. The tuition fee ranges from 30,000 CHF to 40,000 CHF per year.
4. Academia International School
Academia International School is one of the best international schools in Switzerland, it is based in Basel and offers IGCSEs, Cambridge, and A-levels programs. It is a day school that admits both boys and girls aged 13 to 20 years old. The languages of instruction are English and German. Sports and other extracurricular activities are available as well.
5. College et Lycee Saint Charles
Founded in 1897 and currently operating as a day and boarding school, the College et Lycee Saint Charles is a co-educational international school in Switzerland enrolling pupils aged 8 to 19 years. There are students from over 10 countries and teacher to student ratio is 1:12. The annual tuition fee is between 61,400 CHF to 77,000 CHF.
At Saint Charles, the Swiss national curriculum is used for primary and secondary school students while both the Swiss Maturite (French / Bilingual French – English) or an IB pathway curriculum is used for the high school students.
6. Aiglon College
Aiglon College is one of the international schools in Switzerland teaching students aged 9 to 18 in French and English languages. It is a co-educational institution with day and full boarding services. The curriculum here is IB Diploma and IGCSE program. There are sports and extracurricular activities for students to engage in such as music, theatre arts, netball, Frisbee, basketball, table tennis, squash, etc.
7. Malvern College Switzerland
Malvern College is a co-educational day and boarding school enrolling pupils aged 13-18 years. The school is located in Leysin, Switzerland, and is one of the international schools in Switzerland. The students enjoy a stimulating and rigorous academic experience focusing on the British national curriculum.
Malvern’s programs focus on Pre-iGCSEs, iGSCEs, and A-levels. University preparatory courses are also offered to students to prepare them for university life. The tuition fee ranges between 49,995 CHF and 59,995 CHF per year.
8. College Alpin International Beau Soleil
College Alpin offers an excellent full boarding education with extraordinary opportunities for boys and girls aged 11 to 18 years. On campus, more than 55 nationalities are represented which makes it a diverse and vibrant environment that stimulates learning and allows your child to make friends and connections from other countries.
The curriculum is a bilingual program, English national curriculum, French Brevet, high school diploma, IB diploma program, IGCSE, and international middle years curriculum (IMYC). Facilities at the school include a sports hall, climbing wall, film and music studio, football pitch, science labs, art suite, and many more. Students can engage in several extracurricular and sports activities such as debating, swimming, bird watching, tennis, volleyball, mountain biking, snowboarding, and more.
9. Hull’s School Zurich
Hull’s School Zurich is a co-educational (14-19) day school in Zurich, Switzerland, established in 1945 and currently has over 20 nationalities enrolled in its programs. It is the first English college for teenagers in Zurich and ranks among the best international schools in Switzerland. The tuition fee is between 28,200 CHF and 29,400 CHF per year.
The language of instruction is English and programs cover the UK Fifth and Sixth Forms (years 10 to 13) preparing students for IGCSE and A-level examinations.
10. College Champittet
College Champittet is one of the best international schools in Switzerland and offers three diplomas; Swiss Maturite, French Baccalaureate, and the IB, as well as a French-English bilingual program. It is a co-educational school with day, full boarding, and weekly boarding services and enrolls pupils aged 3 to 18 years.
Learning and extracurricular facilities are available for student use, such as football fields, fitness and gym room, science labs, music room, and many more.
These are the top 10 international schools in Switzerland with their respective details giving you more insight on the school that is perfect for your child or ward.
FAQs on International Schools in Switzerland
Are international schools in Switzerland free?
While the public international schools in Switzerland are free of charge the private ones aren’t free.
does Switzerland have English schools?
Yes, Switzerland has English schools and this is because of the number of international students in the country.
How much is an international school in Switzerland?
The cost of attending an international school in Switzerland varies by various factors such as whether you are a day or boarding student, whether you are enrolling as a high school or primary school student, and finally the school you want to enroll into. However the case may be, expect to pay around CHF24,000 to CHF36,000 per year.
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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.
When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.