Switzerland is a popular location for British expats and their families to relocate to. It offers many attractive job opportunities and the potential for career growth, as well as a good balance with family life.
One of the benefits of moving to another country with family is being able to expose children to different cultures, customs and languages. Expat children are often more confident and globally aware because of their experiences. Choosing the right educational establishment is a large part of that and luckily there are some exceptional international schools in Switzerland, mainly centred around Geneva.
While there are many good English schools in the region, it is definitely worth looking at the fantastic bilingual international schools of Switzerland too. Having the opportunity to learn in both English and French helps students to develop important language skills and expand their future prospects, particularly if they choose to stay in the country after school.
There is also some evidence that suggests that learning a topic in different languages helps to develop the ability for a more flexible learning capacity. It can be difficult at first to integrate into a bilingual program, and younger children may find it easier to adapt than older children.
Here we take a look at some of the best international schools in Switzerland that offer a French-English education. It is advisable to visit all schools of interest in person where possible, to get a feel for the school and its teaching methods.
This well-renowned school was the world’s first-ever international school, founded in 1924. It is famed for its diversity, with students from 140 nationalities speaking 80 different languages giving expat children a well-rounded experience. It focuses on core values of inclusiveness, respect and cultural understanding. Students are encouraged to master French as well as English in bilingual lessons, with a choice of recognised educational diplomas and certifications to work towards.
This international and day boarding school is part of the prestigious Nord Anglia Education group of schools, which span 17 countries in North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and encourage global thinking. Lessons are taught in both English and French to help build up students’ proficiency in these key languages, though other languages are also taught as subjects.
This French and English international school teaches in both languages with a strong emphasis on encouraging bilingual communication. It has approximately 1,500 students and prides itself on its warm, family atmosphere. It offers primary to International Baccalaureate level for British expats, so that children leave school with a recognised qualification to enter a good university.
This Catholic school caters for students from primary through to secondary education, and offers bilingual teaching to help British expats master the language. Students can study for the International Baccalaureate, instead of the French Baccalaureate, to suit the large number of international students who go to the school.