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Old 11.01.2014, 23:10
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

At IB you have to take language A (usually the mother tongue) and language B. Art is one of the option groups and you have to study maths, a humanity and a science too.
So the combination your son want to do might be difficult unless his french or Spanish is good enough to do mother tongue at higher level.

It seems to be difficult for students to come into the IB system at 16 unless they are very motivated and academic (which your son may well be) and arriving in grade 11 can be socially quite tricky too.
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Old 12.01.2014, 02:39
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Over the years I have come across so many families who could not relocate as a family due to their children's educational needs. We were in that situation more than once. After exploring all the options, we found the only solution was for one of us not to move.
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  #23  
Old 12.01.2014, 10:16
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Hulls school in Zürich does A levels. If you are thinking of living in Zürich it might be worth looking at them as they are fairly flexible at offering the subjects you choose.

I would NEVER recommend Hull's School. It is basically a market niche located in office buildings, without school grounds. Although some of the teachers are kind, the overall structure ( at least as I knew it 5 years ago), is not a complete school.

As our son attended Hull's, the students took their breaks outside, on the street, to smoke. It was often NOT tobacco, which they consumed.

Additionally, I discovered, by chance, our son's month long absence. If I had not phoned, would someone had told me??

Granted, it was a bad petiod in our son's life, but Hull's urban open campus only made it worse.
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Old 12.01.2014, 19:04
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Good to know - and we just found out they re having an open evening soon - so hubby will be there!
For an adult returning to school, Hull's is perfect.
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Old 12.01.2014, 21:22
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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I would NEVER recommend Hull's School. It is basically a market niche located in office buildings, without school grounds. Although some of the teachers are kind, the overall structure ( at least as I knew it 5 years ago), is not a complete school.

As our son attended Hull's, the students took their breaks outside, on the street, to smoke. It was often NOT tobacco, which they consumed.

Additionally, I discovered, by chance, our son's month long absence. If I had not phoned, would someone had told me??

Granted, it was a bad petiod in our son's life, but Hull's urban open campus only made it worse.
Wow! good to know...not something we would have found out from the prospectus!* This is why it's so useful to get everyone's views who have "been there and got the t-shirt" as we need to be SO sure when this affects his last 2 years at school (and especially when he is doing so well at his current school -straight A's usually) Maybe my next post will be "How do marriages survive long distance whilst kids complete their education?!?"
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Old 12.01.2014, 22:04
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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As our son attended Hull's, the students took their breaks outside, on the street, to smoke. It was often NOT tobacco, which they consumed.
.
With all due respect, I don't think you can blame you son taking drugs on the school assuming thats what your implying

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Maybe my next post will be "How do marriages survive long distance whilst kids complete their education?!?"
Generally they don't survive.
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Old 12.01.2014, 22:14
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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It was often NOT tobacco, which they consumed.
There is not one single pot-free high school in the world. The question is who and how much, but it's there. Same with sex.
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Old 12.01.2014, 22:53
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Would you consider having him do a year as an "exchange student"?
Lots of high schoolers do a junior year abroad for the cultural experience -- for some it's the highlight of their high school career -- and then go home to do senior year and graduate. In your case the "home" and "away" would be reversed, so that he'd be doing the exchange year would be with you, and the senior year at "home" would be without you. Another way to think of it is that it's kind of like going to college a year early.
The IB requirements might make this harder for you, though. Our exchange student from Germany didn't get any credits for his year with us; still, he considered it worth it.
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Old 12.01.2014, 23:55
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Just wanted to give you some positive input - we moved our 16yr old daughter to come here to do IB diploma at an international school, after 2 yrs doing GCSEs, and she would definitely recommend the experience. (granted, she had been previously in international schools so the system was not altogether new to her). She met a number of other students who arrived also for their last 2 years of school - most of whom thrived on the other opportunities the International schools offer, especially in terms of widening horizons.
You can also ask the schools about Advanced Placement (AP) classes - although not comparable to A levels/IB, UK universities are not unfamiliar with them, and a number of my daughters' friends got good offers from UK universities based on the AP exams.

But to echo what others here have said, the students do need to be very good all rounders to get good IB results, as the diploma requires not just academic application across the broad sweep of subjects, but also an "extended essay" (lengthy research project) and " theory of knowledge" subjects, as well as community service.
Message me if you would like any other information, happy to share with you!
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Old 13.01.2014, 01:13
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Maybe my next post will be "How do marriages survive long distance whilst kids complete their education?!?"
I know of many marriages where couples lived apart so their child(ren) could continue their studies without changing schools. Most of the students I know of were in the final years of high school, and many were not in an IB school.

As for fatmanfilms' comment about long distance marriages.....
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Generally they don't survive.
I don't know where your information is coming from, but I know many couples who lived apart temporarily because of their children's schooling and they coped. The distance between Switzerland and the UK is not so great. I know of more than one father who would travel home to the UK most weekends to see his family. The family also visited here.

There are ways to keep in touch now that didn't exist years ago. Long distance marriage and parenting is not ideal. I know of other families who moved teenage children here to a different school system and it was a disaster.

My advice to the OP is do the research, look at all the options and choose what is in your son's best interest. Now that our kids have all completed their university studies here and are working I know that the sacrifices we as parents made for the benefit of their education were worth it.
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  #31  
Old 13.01.2014, 10:41
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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I know of many marriages where couples lived apart so their child(ren) could continue their studies without changing schools. Most of the students I know of were in the final years of high school, and many were not in an IB school.

As for fatmanfilms' comment about long distance marriages.....


I don't know where your information is coming from, but I know many couples who lived apart temporarily because of their children's schooling and they coped. The distance between Switzerland and the UK is not so great. I know of more than one father who would travel home to the UK most weekends to see his family. The family also visited here.

There are ways to keep in touch now that didn't exist years ago. Long distance marriage and parenting is not ideal. I know of other families who moved teenage children here to a different school system and it was a disaster.

My advice to the OP is do the research, look at all the options and choose what is in your son's best interest. Now that our kids have all completed their university studies here and are working I know that the sacrifices we as parents made for the benefit of their education were worth it.
Thanks for the positive! We'll make it work, whatever decision we take....and skype is a wonderful thing
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Old 13.01.2014, 10:55
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Just wanted to give you some positive input - we moved our 16yr old daughter to come here to do IB diploma at an international school, after 2 yrs doing GCSEs, and she would definitely recommend the experience. (granted, she had been previously in international schools so the system was not altogether new to her). She met a number of other students who arrived also for their last 2 years of school - most of whom thrived on the other opportunities the International schools offer, especially in terms of widening horizons.
You can also ask the schools about Advanced Placement (AP) classes - although not comparable to A levels/IB, UK universities are not unfamiliar with them, and a number of my daughters' friends got good offers from UK universities based on the AP exams.

But to echo what others here have said, the students do need to be very good all rounders to get good IB results, as the diploma requires not just academic application across the broad sweep of subjects, but also an "extended essay" (lengthy research project) and " theory of knowledge" subjects, as well as community service.
Message me if you would like any other information, happy to share with you!
Thanks Scottydog...I'll need to read up on the 'how to' section of the site to 'message you' (PS. I am over 50...so this blogging/posting? business does not come naturally to me ) Meanwhile we'll take on board all the comments we've got when looking at schools
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  #33  
Old 13.01.2014, 13:42
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Maybe my next post will be "How do marriages survive long distance whilst kids complete their education?!?"
Just my 2p/5Rp:

A UK-CH commuter marriage isn't difficult. You can still see each other every weekend. OH could leave his work worries behind in London and spend the weekends hiking Alps or I could leave my everyday cares in Zürich and pop over for a theater break. Win-win, most of the time.

My husband and I have done several stints living in different countries due to family needs and career opportunities not meshing - sometimes that's the best compromise, all things considered. Don't discount this possibility if you think that staying in the UK would be the best solution for your child's education.

BTW, we found that OH could fly to London every Monday morning and back on Friday evening for several years for less than the cost of moving the family to the UK. If you decided that a commuter marriage is a possibility, play with the numbers as your husband negotiates his deal.

Good luck!
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  #34  
Old 13.01.2014, 14:14
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Just my 2p/5Rp:

A UK-CH commuter marriage isn't difficult. You can still see each other every weekend. OH could leave his work worries behind in London and spend the weekends hiking Alps or I could leave my everyday cares in Zürich and pop over for a theater break. Win-win, most of the time.

My husband and I have done several stints living in different countries due to family needs and career opportunities not meshing - sometimes that's the best compromise, all things considered. Don't discount this possibility if you think that staying in the UK would be the best solution for your child's education.

BTW, we found that OH could fly to London every Monday morning and back on Friday evening for several years for less than the cost of moving the family to the UK. If you decided that a commuter marriage is a possibility, play with the numbers as your husband negotiates his deal.

Good luck!
Thanks for the input - hubby is already there and unfortunately we are quite a bit further north than London - so it's a 2 flight commute, so practically (time AND money) means a weekly commute is out of the question...still researching the best/cheapest ways to do this (KLM/BA or Easyjet= 1flight +trains) Booking WELL in advance seems to be the best option so far, but not always possible.
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  #35  
Old 13.01.2014, 23:37
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

[QUOTE=fatmanfilms;2061320]With all due respect, I don't think you can blame you son taking drugs on the school assuming thats what your implying

Indeed, not. However, we personally found the open urban campus to not be age appropriate, nor conducive for healthy behaviour of our child.

I guess the bottom line comes down to expectations. If you expect Happy Days or Hogwarts, it may not be your cup of tea. It has to be a good fit for the child.

Our older children moved seemlesdly between 5 international schools and went on to top universities. ( Oxford) the younger one was not academically successful and needed a more traditional setting.

However, I believe the Swiss students are accustomed to a more open environment, while international students come from closed campuses. Perhaps this is their conflict.
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Old 14.01.2014, 01:50
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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Hi

Never used one of these forums before - so hope this works!

My husband recently started a new job in switzerland and we have a decision as to whether to move my 16 year old son from his (much loved) school in the UK after his GCSE's to an international school in Switzerland to study A levels (or International baccalaureate..of which I know very little).

We could locate to the Zurich or Basel areas but have so many questions and doubts as to how is education would be affected. Where are the best schools? Can he still follow an A level programme ? Would this affect his opportunities for admissions to UK universities? We'd love to hear from anyone out there who has been down this road and could flag up any of the pitfalls (or advantages of a swiss education)...the posts I've read so far mainly concern younger children and a 16/17 year old is a lot trickier to keep happy in my opinion -We dont want to ruin his life!*

So any advice you can give an anxious Mum would be gratefully received
If he loves his school, everything should be done to allow him to stay in that school if possible
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Old 14.01.2014, 02:26
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Assuming that he hasn't started his A-levels....

Then what is the difference in change that he will experience going from GCSEs at school A to IB at school B... To that he'll experience going from A-levels at school A to uni?

Yes it's a different place and a different way of learning, but you adapt quickly. It will probably be good for him, make uni less of a shock!
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Old 14.01.2014, 10:36
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

What does your son want to do?
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  #39  
Old 15.01.2014, 17:30
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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What does your son want to do?
Art, Spanish, French and 1 other subject to be decided (MAYBE psychology? - he's really not sure yet as he doesnt know what he wants to do when he leaves school) So not completely straightforward choices when looking at Zurich/Basel schools
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Old 15.03.2014, 21:52
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Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

It's a really tough decision. Sometimes it is really better for the child to remain at home with one parent and complete their schooling in a familiar environment with friends, familiar culture etc.

Long distance can absolutely work. My partner and I have been doing it for 18 months (Basel - London) we see each other twice a month, SKYPE every night, viber whatsapp etc. In fact somehow, I find the level of communication is higher when you have the daily SKYPE than when we live together and get lost in the TV/own world etc.

So long distance can and does work and can even strengthen relationships.

If your son wants to focus on languages, it may be worth considering Switzerland, simply because the level of immersion in French and German can only help. In particular if he attends a school where Swiss students make up a good percentage of the student body.

Any international school worth their salt should allow a free trial week - so your son can attend, get the feeling of the school, students and teachers and then decide.

I noticed in links and previous responses people talk of smoking pot. It's unfortunately a fact of life, this happens with some students in every school. A school can obviously take tough measures, send kids home and contact parents if this is picked up during school time - but outside school premises it is difficult to police.

I do work at an international school in Basel - feel free to PM if you wish.
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