Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Introductions
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09.01.2014, 22:49
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brugg
Posts: 40
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
still game has no particular reputation at present
Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09.01.2014, 23:11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich
Posts: 163
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 104 Times in 69 Posts
Heather4 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Hi, I would suggest you contact a couple of schools and ask to speak to them.
The admissions teams are usually pretty knowledgeable. Zurich International School springs to mind. If they can't answer your questions then ask to speak to the principal. They can also give you advice about waiting lists.
Also come and visit the schools yourself, it costs nothing ( well apart from a plane ticket!) to visit the schools and ask lots of questions. As well you can both get a feel for the atmosphere of the schools.
A friend of mine had a similar dilemma with her son. In the end they decided, after visiting a couple of schools, that boarding in the Uk and coming out in the school holidays to visit, was a better option for him. He finished his A levels at a great school in the UK and is now happily at Univesity.
There is also a yahoo group Swiss schooling and also families in Zurich which you can join.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Heather4 for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 09.01.2014, 23:13
Wallabies's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 3,201
Groaned at 317 Times in 182 Posts
Thanked 3,293 Times in 1,565 Posts
Wallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Age is going to be a huge challenge in your case.

You will find transitioning to a swiss school almost impossible at that age, transitioning to an IB school is an option but that also will not be without challenge. The baccalaureate is bloody tough to enter at that age and get up to speed unless he is extremely committed and already has strong academic performance. He will also need to do a foreign language most likely german so if he doesnt already have this then that is a consideration. Even students used to the IB system find the baccalaureate a massive step up from the middle years and there is no time allowed to get up to speed and students are assessed over the full 2 years.

The best option would be study A levels at a international school,that offers it or to have him stay in the UK to do it. Note not all international schools here offer it so you would need to enquire.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Wallabies for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 09.01.2014, 23:18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Basel/Valais
Posts: 293
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 326 Times in 129 Posts
annie has an excellent reputationannie has an excellent reputationannie has an excellent reputationannie has an excellent reputation
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Is your son an all rounder or would he be best specialising in 3 subjects at A level? A key question to answer. Here is a starting point but expect the IB to include a language, math and English. The ISB website in Basel gives a good explanation of what is involved. In total the student studies 6 topics. half of which I believe are at the higher level (do check on this fact)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...-any-good.html
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09.01.2014, 23:27
Wallabies's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 3,201
Groaned at 317 Times in 182 Posts
Thanked 3,293 Times in 1,565 Posts
Wallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

This link gives you a good overview

http://tutorblog.co.uk/2013/01/the-i...levels-debate/

Per the previous post you are required to do 6 subjects of which 3 must be HL. The article gives some indiction when it compares the GCSE to A levels as being a big step up well the IB is an even bigger step in terms of workload and difficulty.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Wallabies for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 10.01.2014, 01:15
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: AG
Posts: 5,403
Groaned at 149 Times in 107 Posts
Thanked 6,123 Times in 2,899 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

When I first saw the thread title I associated Swiss school with local public schools, not international schools.

What you are asking is should you move your son to an international school in Switzerland.

Academics aside, relocating a 16 year old is extremely difficult socially and emotionally. Sometimes there aren't any other options but if there are, I think you need to explore these and talk to your son to see what he wants to do.

And yes, he may indeed tell you that you are ruining his life.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mrs. Doolittle for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 10.01.2014, 07:50
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 2,364
Groaned at 26 Times in 18 Posts
Thanked 2,426 Times in 1,164 Posts
biff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Quote:
View Post

Academics aside, relocating a 16 year old is extremely difficult socially and emotionally. Sometimes there aren't any other options but if there are, I think you need to explore these and talk to your son to see what he wants to do.

And yes, he may indeed tell you that you are ruining his life.
From what I have seen (Switzerland and several other countries) transferring between or to an INternational school is a relatively transition (contrasting witha "local" school anywhere. This is because of the large number of students from all over the world and with a culture of students coming and going. A newbie is not an unusual outsider.

OP, take a look at the International schools in both Basel and Zurich, and read some of the literature regarding the philosophy and curriculum of the IB. It is well recognised in top UK universities. You may also like to see how it works at some of the schools in the UK as well. Kings College in London is one of the better known "traditional" schools that has been offering the IB for the past ten years.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10.01.2014, 07:52
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 8,988
Groaned at 140 Times in 122 Posts
Thanked 12,275 Times in 5,017 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Academia in Basel offer A-levels.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 10.01.2014, 08:33
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,552
Groaned at 171 Times in 135 Posts
Thanked 9,676 Times in 5,522 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

You also need to think about the cost, especially if your husband's employer isn't contributing to this expense. ZIS for example is around CHF32,000 to CHF35,000 a year.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 10.01.2014, 09:02
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: AG
Posts: 5,403
Groaned at 149 Times in 107 Posts
Thanked 6,123 Times in 2,899 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Quote:
View Post
You also need to think about the cost, especially if your husband's employer isn't contributing to this expense. ZIS for example is around CHF32,000 to CHF35,000 a year.
There may be tax implications if the employer is contributing to school fees.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Mrs. Doolittle for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 10.01.2014, 12:48
Pepper's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 312
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 113 Times in 92 Posts
Pepper is considered knowledgeablePepper is considered knowledgeablePepper is considered knowledgeable
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

If your son stays in the UK does he have family that he can stay with to complete his A-Levels or are you talking about moving him to another school for boarding? You mention he loves the school he is at, if he has to move school either way that is a consideration.

My personal opinion would be to let him stay in the UK and do his A-levels, either staying with family or at a boarding school. The IB is a very different system and international schools, while very good, take a bit of getting used to as it's a very different environment.
__________________
For information about children's workshops or tutoring in English click here.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Pepper for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 10.01.2014, 14:03
Dack Rambo's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,439
Groaned at 178 Times in 105 Posts
Thanked 1,551 Times in 765 Posts
Dack Rambo has earned the respect of manyDack Rambo has earned the respect of manyDack Rambo has earned the respect of many
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

I think boarding school is a much better option, both socially and academically. If he wants to go to a UK university at 18 then there is no point in coming here for 2 years.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Dack Rambo for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 10.01.2014, 14:29
Taty99's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Zollikerberg
Posts: 141
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 55 Times in 33 Posts
Taty99 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

My son came here 2 years ago, (we came from the UK too) he was 8, and we are still considering whether we should go back to the UK when he's 12 for him to finish there.. he's doing well in the Local school but the system is pretty complicated..

not sure yet what we will do but I've been to see one International School in Zurich and a few bilingual, and I personally don't want him to go there... I don't hate it, I just prefer the local school but that's because he started there at 8 and speaks German now and has local friends and I think the teachers are excellent..

It's such a personal thing..

a friend of mine, who's kids are 8 and 6, they came last year and are relocating back because they don't think the schools are right for them ..

...
If I had to take a decision I've probably leave my son in the UK tbh..
as someone else said in here..

good luck!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Taty99 for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 10.01.2014, 22:45
smackerjack's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: U.K/VAUD
Posts: 2,063
Groaned at 14 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 2,262 Times in 984 Posts
smackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond reputesmackerjack has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

My daughter was 16 years old and had taken her GCSEs when we moved to Switzerland. It was a few years ago and maybe things have changed but in the end she went back to the UK. However she was not at an International school and there were not the chances to take A levels.

She wanted to go to University in the UK so after a year studying in Geneva we decided it would be better for her to continue her education in the UK.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank smackerjack for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 11.01.2014, 21:59
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brugg
Posts: 40
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
still game has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Thanks to everyone who has replied and for all your advice...we have contacted a couple of schools already and my husband (who works in Switzerland now) plans to visit them soon. I am in the UK with our children [ ages 16 and 18yrs old incidentally] 18 yr old goes to Uni this year - so not a big problem with her plans.

We ARE looking at International schools (not local swiss schools - sorry for confusion) and prepared to pay the fees as we already pay for private education in the UK. My son is very academic and plans to study Art, French, Spanish and 1 other subject ( yet to be decided) at A level. He doesnt know yet what he wants to do with his life yet but is an excellent linguist so far.

So I suppose I'm beginning to answer my own question here ...but if Basel or Zurich schools dont do all these subjects at A level (Or IB)..then he will feel we are ruining his life!

Boarding schools are not an option (its just something we would never consider for our 'kids'..I know for some people they are great- but its not for us) Living with family members isnt practical either....anyway we'd miss him

I think from your posts you can appreciate it is a difficult age to be switching schools let alone countries! And I'll keep checking the site for any other useful tips /advice/warnings you can give. Thanks again...I'll be following up on some of that advice
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank still game for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 11.01.2014, 22:09
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 210 Times in 135 Posts
Thanked 6,404 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Be careful with IB about the two foreign languages. Make it a clear point when you talk to the school because the IB system is set up for one foreign language, the second one must be in the option group, and every schoolis free to offer what they want in there. If they don't offer an extra language there, two foreign languages become impossible.
On top of that, Arts will be in the option group too, so that you probably can take either arts or a second foreign language.
The number of schools offering A levels in Swiss big cities is not large, so good luck to find one in your city of your liking...
__________________
Es wird nichts ausgelassen, um mich hier herauszuekeln. Ein Lehrbuch. False accusations and attacks continue. There is no stopping righteous people when they are wrong.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Faltrad for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 11.01.2014, 22:17
Nixi's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GR & ZH
Posts: 349
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 226 Times in 131 Posts
Nixi is considered knowledgeableNixi is considered knowledgeableNixi is considered knowledgeable
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

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.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11.01.2014, 22:40
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brugg
Posts: 40
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
still game has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Really useful link - thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11.01.2014, 22:49
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brugg
Posts: 40
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
still game has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Quote:
View Post
Be careful with IB about the two foreign languages. Make it a clear point when you talk to the school because the IB system is set up for one foreign language, the second one must be in the option group, and every schoolis free to offer what they want in there. If they don't offer an extra language there, two foreign languages become impossible.
On top of that, Arts will be in the option group too, so that you probably can take either arts or a second foreign language.
The number of schools offering A levels in Swiss big cities is not large, so good luck to find one in your city of your liking...
We'll bear this all in mind - thanks
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11.01.2014, 22:52
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Brugg
Posts: 40
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts
still game has no particular reputation at present
Re: Should we move our 16 year old to a Swiss school?

Quote:
View Post
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.
Good to know - and we just found out they re having an open evening soon - so hubby will be there!
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! Our daughter is in her final year of Primary School - what do we do? swisspea Family matters/health 17 01.11.2013 08:31
Should we move our startup to Zurich or Geneva? itsnotmyfault Business & entrepreneur 29 21.01.2012 05:48
Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland Twickers Daily life 39 28.07.2011 11:04
Four year old bored in Swiss school telandy Family matters/health 69 09.09.2010 14:31
what should we do when we change our universities and cantons? nillyBL125 Permits/visas/government 0 11.02.2010 18:26


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 20:39.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0