Switzerland is a beautiful country and many students dream of studying there. However, it’s crucial to understand what studying there entails before making any plans. Recently, Swiss Learning, an organization based in Switzerland that facilitates secondary and higher education, held an interactive showcase called ‘Discover the World of Swiss Education’ in Mumbai.
Christophe Clivaz, Founder & Director at Swiss Learning, spoke to Hindustan Times digital about the quality of education in Switzerland, the courses that make Switzerland an excellent destination for studying, the admission process for schools there, the fee structure, and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Can you tell our readers about education in Switzerland, with a special emphasis on Swiss learning?
Switzerland has a long history of valuing and investing in education. With esteemed educators like Pestalozzi, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Jean Piaget, the country has focused on education to help its citizens thrive in a world with limited raw materials. This commitment has made Switzerland one of the most competitive nations 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. Approximately 60% of Swiss citizens pursue vocational education, which involves apprenticeships and extensive training, while the remaining 40% pursue traditional academics.
The vocational education system in Switzerland is particularly robust, with close links between industry and schools. This focus on skills education has helped make Switzerland one of the world’s most innovative and competitive countries.
Why should someone choose Switzerland as a study destination over other countries with growing trends in skills education?
Switzerland offers not only a beautiful environment but also an exceptional educational setting. Students in Switzerland experience a unique international environment, as seen in Geneva, where more than 50% of the population are foreigners. The quality of education, supported by the nation’s wealth, ensures excellent infrastructure for learning.
Swiss education stands out due to the distinctiveness of each school, with different environments and focuses. Families must visit schools, speak with educators, and consider their child’s needs and expectations to find the best fit.
Can you name some subject 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 outcomes 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, an understanding of different cultural mindsets, and numerous outdoor activities and sports. Swiss education also fosters qualities like practical skills, creativity and innovation, independent thinking, a strong work ethic, and cultural awareness. Ultimately, Swiss schools excel at developing students’ soft skills.
Can you name a few universities that are doing an excellent job in your opinion? Some notable Swiss schools/universities include:
• Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education for hospitality management
• École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) for science and technology
• University of St. Gallen (HSG) for Business.
It’s essential 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 do admissions take place 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 a placement test in math and English, and a review of the child’s previous school reports. Swiss schools often follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, similar to the curriculum in Switzerland.
The admission process typically involves:
1. Researching schools
2. Submitting an application
3. Taking placement exams
4. Interviewing with admissions staff
5. Awaiting a decision
6. Acceptance and enrollment
What is the fee structure for schools in Switzerland?
Swiss schools’ fees generally range from around 70,000 to 120,000 US dollars per year, with some schools potentially charging more. Hotel management schools offer various programs, making their fee structure more complex.
Are boarding schools superior to other schools? If so, how?
Many people argue that boarding schools offer unique advantages over other types of schools. Firstly, living in a community enables students to immerse themselves in an international environment. Adolescents around the ages of 14 or 15 can mature rapidly 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 a boarding school, especially when compared to friends who did not have this experience. The ability to adapt to different places and cultures can be incredibly beneficial in both personal and professional aspects of life.
Do Swiss learning schools provide scholarships to students?
Regarding scholarships, some schools offer them on a case-by-case basis, typically based on merit. Scholarships can vary from school to school, with some granting full scholarships, while others might only provide partial financial assistance. The primary goal of these scholarships is to attract students who can contribute positively to the school community and promote overall growth.