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Old 04.02.2013, 16:23
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School for 16yo in Zurich?

Hello all,
we plan to move to Zurich this year and I want my 16yo daughter to continue her education.
Do you know maybe if it's possible for her to start some secondary school after 'gymnasium' if she speaks German very poor?
Maybe you can advice any English secondary schools that are not very expensive?
Or maybe there are some intensive courses preparing kids (are 16yo ppl still kids?) for exams in German?
She is great at drawing (by hand but also with graphic programs) and we were thinking about some art school but now I'm afraid it's not possible...

Thank you for any advice.
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Old 04.02.2013, 16:34
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Welcome to the Forum.
I suggest that for a start you look at the Sticky at the top of this sub-forum.

There is a great deal of basic information there which will might help you to understand the answers you receive.

Hope you manage to find a satisfactory solution. Sixteen is not an easy age for changing systems and languages.
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Old 04.02.2013, 16:44
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Hi, Longbyt.
Thank you for your reply

Yes, I went through web links and I understand that it will be not possible to get to cantonal school this year (exams in German, in March already!).

I've read also that some of kids take an additional school year after finishing their Secondary I... Maybe this would be a solution? Maybe during such year she'd immerse in German language? Then passing the exam next year should be not very difficult...

It's all so complicated.

Yes, 16 is not easy age for anything.
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Old 04.02.2013, 17:34
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

I personally don't think one year of German in a regular school will suffice to get through the exam for Kantonalschule. We are moving my son at age 12 and even with having 4 years of regular school we are unsure if it will be enough. Those exams are tough! While she may do ok with math, with all the subjects taught in German, getting the marks to even be admitted for the exam will be difficult. Does she know any French? If she doesn't, she will also need to learn French at the same time.

That said my sister did a bridging year at a small private school the year after secondary school to learn French and was then able to attend a Handelsschule (Business school) in Neuchatel in French and did well. (However she already had some French and fluent German before she started). Such schools are however private, and I really don't think there is something as an inexpensive private school in Switzerland .
Still, your best bet is probably an English or bilingual private school, or an intensive German course for a year.
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Old 04.02.2013, 17:36
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Where are you from? What system is she studying in at the moment?
It is definitely possible to study UK & US systems at the international schools. I don't know the cost, but a scholarship may be avail or your employer may contribute if you're being relocated??
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Old 04.02.2013, 18:09
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

We are from Poland and our education system is just like Swiss one I think.
In PL, it's also 6+3+3 and then universities.
The main difference is that we're learning Polish as a 1st language and English/German as a 2nd - not German as a 1st and French/Italian as a 2nd one ;-)

We don't have any exams like those before Kantonschule, because children are having something that we call "small 'matura' " and its grades decide whether it's possible for a kid to start attending the better lycee or rather worse one.

My daughter attended also English private schools to learn this language as well as it's possible in PL and I know she'd be fine in English schools.

The reasons of our moving to Zrh are personal, not business.
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Old 04.02.2013, 18:17
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

@swisscanmom

Yes, I also think that one year intensive German course will be necessary.
I'm starting to think about maybe some apprenticeship for her... when she finish she will be able to start "Maturitatsschule" of two years.

Maybe this would be a best solution. Though not the shortest one.
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Old 04.02.2013, 19:19
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

An apprenticeship would be an option if she could speak German. I think finding a company for an apprenticeship would be difficult without German. However, if she does an extra year of grade 9, she may have enough German to find a placement, plus in grade 9 they generally do a lot of career councelling, so they would help her with figuring out her options.
Also, the shortest option is not necessarily the best, a bit of extra maturity can't really hurt!
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Old 04.02.2013, 19:32
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

This might be true...

Well, for the beginning I've sent an email to this company: http://www.medienformfarbe.ch/Grundb.../#.UQ_dfTf1uFc

Tomorrow I'll try to find more of them.

When I have some replies I will know the possibilities.

Thank you.
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Old 05.02.2013, 19:57
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Another option would be the following path:
10th school year with intensive German followed by:
apprenticeship (3-4 years) with more German, then:
Vocational maturity (1 year)
University of Applied Sciences bachelor's degree in German or English

Then she does not need the Gymnasial Maturity.

An alternative would be to get the vocational maturity and then do the Passerelle (1.5 years) to a traditional university.
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Old 05.02.2013, 20:02
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Even in an international school at that age unless you are already accustomed to the requirements of the IB schooling you will find she struggles as it is rather different to state based systems
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Old 05.02.2013, 20:07
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

Quote:
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This might be true...

Well, for the beginning I've sent an email to this company: http://www.medienformfarbe.ch/Grundb.../#.UQ_dfTf1uFc

Tomorrow I'll try to find more of them.

When I have some replies I will know the possibilities.

Thank you.
This is a school for apprentices, so your daughter would still have to find a placement with a company at the same time. She would work in the company 3 days per week, and go to school 2 days I believe. Hopefully the school can give you some more details though, good luck!
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Old 05.02.2013, 20:22
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

And another option - according to a lady working in one of the medium schools - is to try to get to normal Kantonschule.
If anyone would like to see some old tests (they are the same for all schools), here they are:
http://www.zentraleaufnahmepruefung....-hms-2012.html

In my opinion language tests are not very hard and math is at the level of primary school.

The lady told me that a half-year very intensive German course in Zrh should be enough to pass the exam. (!)

Be careful - they allow to start learning only if a person is not older than 17yo. In our case, my daghter is lucky she was born in June, because required age for 2014 exam is "born after 30. Apr 1997".

Thank you very much for your proposals.
I still don't know what next months will bring to me, I keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 05.02.2013, 20:24
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Re: School for 16yo in Zurich?

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This is a school for apprentices, so your daughter would still have to find a placement with a company at the same time. She would work in the company 3 days per week, and go to school 2 days I believe. Hopefully the school can give you some more details though, good luck!
That's true. I've already got a response from the school.
It's all so alien to me...
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Old 05.02.2013, 20:28
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Quote:
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Another option would be the following path:
10th school year with intensive German followed by:
apprenticeship (3-4 years) with more German, then:
Vocational maturity (1 year)
University of Applied Sciences bachelor's degree in German or English

Then she does not need the Gymnasial Maturity.

An alternative would be to get the vocational maturity and then do the Passerelle (1.5 years) to a traditional university.
This is the most logical way, and it will be most probably suggested to OP's child, should the child show progress in German, academic results and maturity in terms of weighing options career wise.

There is very little chance to hop in the system and try for Maturite, when not at least a decent level of local language at 16. Your child can be 17 or 18, even, to enroll to Gymnase, but needs to write a letter to get an approval.

OP, I found a list of 10th year programs, it depends on the commune and canton if the child will be put in a bienvenue class (boot camp local language), 10th year, or will be lucky enough to repeat 10th year while being reassessed and streamed.

In the list I linked, look at SKDZ Schule für Kunst und Design Zürich, it seems like a place your child would like. I have no idea who pays these 10th years in specialized schools, in our cantons the preproffesional schools with 10th year are canton financed, mostly. You have to contact them and see, contact the cantonal center for post obligatory schooling and discuss your options there. It is a serious thing, you need as much info as you can obtain.

Professional Maturite is in my opinion the best option for your child since it takes longer (is harder but more prestigeous and usable) and your kid will have time to adapt and get good level of local language. When she has that, she can study undergrad and then grad programs, a lot of it is in English these days (undergrad mostly in local language if you want the local public system).

Quote:
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And another option - according to a lady working in one of the medium schools - is to try to get to normal Kantonschule.
If anyone would like to see some old tests (they are the same for all schools), here they are:
http://www.zentraleaufnahmepruefung....-hms-2012.html

In my opinion language tests are not very hard and math is at the level of primary school.

The lady told me that a half-year very intensive German course in Zrh should be enough to pass the exam. (!)

Be careful - they allow to start learning only if a person is not older than 17yo. In our case, my daghter is lucky she was born in June, because required age for 2014 exam is "born after 30. Apr 1997".

Thank you very much for your proposals.
I still don't know what next months will bring to me, I keep my fingers crossed.
Those old tests are only written parts. The student has to pass an oral exam, too, all in the local language (for all the disciplines). Only is she gets 20 points for written exam she will be exempt from orals, last year we had 2 students pass without orals in the entire canton (one was mine, woohooo.....bless you, M).

This is all for the canton Vaud, though.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 05.02.2013 at 20:37. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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