Switzerland is a beautiful country and many students dream of studying there. However, it is important to understand what is there to study before making any plans. Recently, Swiss Learning, a Switzerland-based organization that facilitates secondary and higher education, organized an interactive showcase titled ‘Discover the World of Swiss Education’ in Mumbai.
Christophe Clivaz, founder and director of Swiss Learning, talks to Hindustan Times Digital about the quality of education in Switzerland, the curriculum that makes Switzerland an excellent destination to study, the admission process for schools there, fee structure, and much more . Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Can you tell our readers about education in Switzerland, with a special emphasis on Swiss education?
Switzerland has a long history of importance and investment in education. With respected teachers such as Pestalozzi, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Jean Piaget, the country has focused on education to help its citizens flourish in a world with limited raw materials. This commitment has made Switzerland one of the most competitive countries globally. Swiss Learning is an organization that promotes Swiss education excellence. The country’s two educational systems, vocational education and traditional academics contribute to this excellence. About 60% of Swiss citizens pursue vocational education, which includes apprenticeships and extensive training, while the remaining 40% pursue traditional academics.
The vocational education system in Switzerland is particularly strong with close links between industry and schools. This focus on skills education has helped make Switzerland one of the most innovative and competitive countries in the world.
Why should one choose Switzerland as a study destination as compared to other countries with a growing trend in skill education?
Switzerland not only offers a beautiful environment but also an exceptional educational setting. Students in Switzerland experience a unique international environment, as seen in Geneva, where over 50% of the population is foreign. The quality of education, backed by the country’s wealth, ensures excellent infrastructure for learning.
Swiss education stands out because of the uniqueness of each school with different environments and focuses. Families should visit the schools, talk to the teachers, and consider their child’s needs and expectations to find the best fit.
Can you name some discipline areas for which Switzerland is an ideal destination?
Switzerland is ideal for studying:
1. Hospitality and Tourism
2. Banking and Finance
4. Environment and Sustainability
5. Information Technology
6. Artificial Intelligence
What kind of results can be expected from students who graduate from Swiss Learning Schools?
Students in Swiss boarding schools benefit from an international environment, networking opportunities, language learning, understanding of different cultural mindsets and many outdoor activities and sports. Swiss education also fosters qualities such as practical skills, creativity and innovation, independent thinking, a strong work ethic, and cultural awareness. Lastly, Swiss schools excel at developing the soft skills of the students.
Can you name some universities which in your opinion are doing excellent work? Some notable Swiss schools/universities include:
• Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education for Hospitality Management
• Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) for Science and Technology
• University of St. Gallen (HSG) for Business.
It is important to remember that there is no best school, only the right school for each child, and families should visit schools to find the right fit.
How are admissions done in Swiss Learning Schools?
Swiss schools, with their international student bodies, offer rolling admissions throughout the year. Parents can contact Swiss Learning to find the right school and proceed with the application process, which includes placement tests in maths and English, and a review of the child’s previous school reports. Swiss schools often follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, similar to Switzerland’s curriculum.
The admission process usually includes:
1. Research the Schools
2. Submitting an Application
3. Taking Placement Test
4. Interview with the Admissions Staff
5. Awaiting Decision
6. Acceptance and Enrollment
What is the fee structure for schools in Switzerland?
Fees for Swiss schools typically range from around US$70,000 to 120,000 per year, with some schools potentially charging more. Hotel management schools offer a variety of programs, making their fee structures more complex.
Are boarding schools better than other schools? if so, how?
Many argue that boarding schools offer unique advantages over other types of schools. First, living in a community enables students to immerse themselves in an international environment. Teens as young as 14 or 15 may mature faster in boarding schools, as they must take responsibility for daily routines such as waking up on time and doing laundry.
Additionally, boarding school experiences can foster adaptability and ease in a globalized world. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest to the value of attending boarding school, especially when compared to friends who didn’t have this experience. The ability to adapt to different places and cultures can be incredibly beneficial in both personal and professional aspects of life.
Does Swiss Learning Schools provide scholarship to the students?
Regarding scholarships, some schools offer them on a case-by-case basis, usually based on merit. Scholarships may vary from school to school, some offer full scholarships, while others may only offer partial financial aid. The primary goal of these scholarships is to attract students who can make a positive contribution to the school community and promote holistic development.