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Swiss schools want more Indian students

By M Saraswathy
December 12, 2014 15:22 IST
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Swiss Learning, an educational body managed by the Heads of Swiss Educational Institutes, has brought representatives from various schools from the country to meet stakeholders, Indian schools and parents of potential students

Swiss Learning is looking to partner with some Indian schools so that students can take part in exchange programmes

On an average, education in Swiss schools costs 70,000-100,000 Swiss Francs (about 45 lakh to 64 lakh INR) a year

Programmes on offer lead to a range of examinations renowned throughout the world. 

Swiss schools attracting Indian studentsSchools from across Switzerland are now reaching out to countries like India, to send students from this country to Swiss secondary schools.

Swiss Learning, an educational body managed by the Heads of Swiss Educational Institutes, has brought representatives from various schools from the country to meet stakeholders, Indian schools and parents of potential students, for the first time in India.

Christophe X Clivaz, director, Swiss Learning said, "Switzerland is a country that prides itself in offering first class education through its pre- and post-university studies, and in being the leader in scientific research. These qualities ensure that pupils are equipped to confront today’s challenges and opportunities of globalisation."

He said while Switzerland offers a range of examinations renowned throughout the world, it also is the headquarters for International Baccalaureate (IB), a premier educational programme gaining  popularity in India.

Beau Soleil College Alpin International is seeing an increasing demand from parents.

Eva Ghewij, director of admissions and marketing at the College Alpin Beau Soleil explained the student-teacher ratio is good, apart from the fact that they pay equal attention to sports and academics.

The school conducts an entrance examination in English and mathematics apart from an interview for students.

"There are different schools to cater to the different needs of children.

Hence, when parents approach us with a specific need for their child, we advise them on which school would be the best for their child," she said. Students of this school also travel to different parts of the world to learn different cultures and undertake projects on the same.

Swiss Learning is also looking to partner with some Indian schools, so that students can take part in exchange programmes at the secondary school level.

Clivaz said Swiss students could come to Indian schools for some weeks and vice-versa through this programme. Several Swiss schools have such arrangements with schools in other countries.

Under Swiss Learning, there are several high schools, including Institut Le Rosey, Brillantmont International School, Institut auf dem Rosenberg, College Champittet, Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz, College Beau Soleil, Aiglon College, TASIS (The American School in Switzerland), Institute Montana Zugerberg, College du Leman and Leysin American School. It also includes Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management.   

On an average, education in these schools would cost 70,000 to 100,000 Swiss Francs (about 45 lakh to 64 lakh INR) a year.

This includes boarding, lodging and trips for educational purposes.

Currently, boarding schools in Switzerland accept students till the 12th grade.

The majority of these schools offer intensive studies in English, French, Italian or German as a second language enabling students to quickly integrate into the mainstream programme.

The option of pursuing bilingual studies is also a popular feature.

Programmes on offer lead to a range of examinations renowned throughout the world.

These include the IGCSE, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), A-Levels, the Swiss Federal Maturity, the French Baccalaureate and the German Abitur.

These certificates are accepted for entry into Swiss universities and to universities in other countries.

The Swiss Learning schools offer a wide range of international summer camps with language courses and extensive sporting activities such as tennis, mountain climbing, rock climbing, rafting, golf academy, horse riding, sailing, basketball, football academy with in conjunction with AC Milan, etc.

Iris Guery, head of admissions and marketing, Lyceum Alpinum, Zuoz said they have about 10 per cent maximum per nation with respect to nationalities and, hence, they have a good mix of students.

Parents have also been happy with their choice.

The parent of an Indian-origin student studying in Switzerland said she had the option to get her son enrolled to schools in the US, but chose Switzerland due to the good academic environment  and excellent extra-curricular activities.

Educational consultants are of the view that emerging destinations like Switzerland have attracted students' fancy.

"Many affluent parents in India are open to sending their children abroad even for school education.

"With good proximity to France, Italy and Germany and higher standard of education, Swiss schools provide a good option though the fee may be higher than IB schools in India," said a Mumbai-based overseas education consultant.

Lead image for representational purposes only

Image courtesy: Sahil Salvi

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M Saraswathy
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