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  #141  
Old 17.01.2012, 13:07
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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I'm sorry, I have to disagree. Our girls, now 9 and (almost) 11 have been in the Swiss school system from day 1 and are doing very well thank you very much. Having said that, they were born here and have grown up complately French-English bilingual. Some of the teachers they have are excellent and the curriculum is very streamlined, meaning they could switch schools with virtually no disruption to their education. They are not discriminated against, abused, criticised or insulted at all.
I'm sorry that you have a bad experience of the Swiss public school system, maybe that's unique to the schooling in your canton, but ours is very positive.

I also have to disagree. We moved here 6 months ago from England and have put our 10 year old daughter into our local swiss school and have nothing but huge positive feedback and encouragement from the entire school, teachers and pupils. Our daughter is extremley happy and is learning the Swiss German so well she has been moved up out of the integration class into a 'typical class' with no problems at all. Its the best thing we did by putting our child into the local school rather than an international school. Could not be happier. We all love Switzerland. Im so sorry you have had a very sad and bad experience, but like the previous quote, maybe its the canton in which you live. Wish you all the best.
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  #142  
Old 17.01.2012, 14:40
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I got called worse in England an I'm Scottish! Only to be ezpected i suppose! Anyway. We have had a very positive experience with the local school and our son has made lots of friends even though he initially spoke no French (he has been there 4 months so far and loves it) he says the teachers are more patient and the kids are not mean. The English school he went to before was not nearly as good as this one.
Of course all the information is in French or German youre in switzerland! You wouldnt expect school newsletters in the uk to be in every language just to suit a few parents! But google translate is designed for that.
It seems you are not happy, so change things. You've already made a massive move coming here shifting schools around won't be as hard as what you have already done.
Chin up. 😊
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  #143  
Old 17.01.2012, 14:40
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Expected. 😜
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  #144  
Old 17.01.2012, 19:22
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I have two children ages 6and 9 that have attended both Swiss and American schools.The Swiss education system routinely looks at the American educational system for its failures and successes interms of intergrating foreigners into their educational system without the billions of dollars thrown at early education with the American system.As my Swiss wife reminds me that immigration in mass amounts of people did not occur until the late 80s early 90s,so as you see their education system must adapt to a fast learning curve which absolutely overwhelmed the school system.As for the British expats i was in and around london in 1978 with my soccer club for friendly matches and met many islander immigrants that spoke english from the get go.Those children suffered abuse that reminded me of the southern united states of that time.The swiss are in no uncertain terms as neglectful of children of immigrants as many other systems.
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  #145  
Old 17.01.2012, 21:05
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Hi

I moved to the Aarau area when I was 13. Personally I wouldn't be too worried. There are plenty of foreigners around here and whatever town you choose will definitely have experience of kids moving here from abroad. Personally I had just German for 4-5 months before gradually moving into the normal classes.

There is also quite a few portuguese around Aarau. I've even saw there's a portuguese football club around 20 min away from Aarau in Aarburg. http://www.desportivo.ch/

Maybe they can point you towards some portuguese communities around Aarau and give you some tips towards villages which have quite a few portuguese which you can maybe turn to for help if you have any problems.

I don't see your son having any long term problems though. It took me around 2 years to learn pretty good German and that's at 13. At 5 he'll learn it even faster and he'll still only be going to kindergarden until he's 7 or 8 so I think he'll probably be pretty good in German by the time he starts school and he'll have 5 years primary school before they get divided into different levels for secondary school. Plus remember school is mostly in high german which isn't the mother tongue of the Swiss children either.

Of course there's no 100% guarantee. One can always end up with a stupid teacher one or two bullies in the class but that's the case anywhere. If that's the case you can always move villages and he'll have a new class.....

YJT Thank you, you made me feel so much better, Portuguese, English communities would make it easier I agree but I want to be part of the local life and learn from them also, so where ever I end up I am sure to make the most of it. I am so excited about going which I now know will be March., thank you again for you kind advice you have no idea how much it helps.
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  #146  
Old 24.01.2012, 20:10
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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I'm sorry, I have to disagree. Our girls, now 9 and (almost) 11 have been in the Swiss school system from day 1 and are doing very well thank you very much. Having said that, they were born here and have grown up complately French-English bilingual. Some of the teachers they have are excellent and the curriculum is very streamlined, meaning they could switch schools with virtually no disruption to their education. They are not discriminated against, abused, criticised or insulted at all.
I'm sorry that you have a bad experience of the Swiss public school system, maybe that's unique to the schooling in your canton, but ours is very positive.
you are saying that your kids are bilingual...her kids sounds like they have landed in Switzerland are struggling to be integrated and school doesn't help.
Language is a barrier and you need adults around you willing to help otherwise is an uphill battle...
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  #147  
Old 24.01.2012, 20:52
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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I have two children ages 6and 9 that have attended both Swiss and American schools.The Swiss education system routinely looks at the American educational system for its failures and successes interms of intergrating foreigners into their educational system without the billions of dollars thrown at early education with the American system.As my Swiss wife reminds me that immigration in mass amounts of people did not occur until the late 80s early 90s,so as you see their education system must adapt to a fast learning curve which absolutely overwhelmed the school system.As for the British expats i was in and around london in 1978 with my soccer club for friendly matches and met many islander immigrants that spoke english from the get go.Those children suffered abuse that reminded me of the southern united states of that time.The swiss are in no uncertain terms as neglectful of children of immigrants as many other systems.

I find the Swiss school system to be good. My (half) swiss child is in a Swiss school. I can go around any time, call he Swiss Kindergarten teacher anytime for an update, meeting, etc. Perhaps I may find it more challenging later when my child is not in kindergarten but when a teacher will decide if my children can go to gymnasium or not...
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  #148  
Old 25.01.2012, 00:06
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Delita, you are obviously a loving mum who wants the best for her little one, but it sounds like you are creating a problem in your own mind before one even exists. When parents have feelings of worry and concern, those are easily picked up by children; this could result in your son entering class in Switzerland already convinced that the transition will be fraught with problems and troubles.

My suggestion is that you take the good advice that you have received here and get your son in German classes as soon as possible. Why don't you begin learning German yourself so that you will be better prepared to help him? Invest in some DVD's in German that are geared for his age and watch them together. Speak positively about his entering school here and the changes that will come about.

When the time comes for him to go to school, keep those lines of communication open, and don't just assume that there will be problems. Go forward on a positive note, assuming that you and your son's experience will be a positive one similar to the many positive stories relayed here! Devote your mental/emotional energy to helping prepare him for success in Switzerland rather than preparing him for negative issues, and just maybe there won't be any significant ones!

All the best for your transition!
Textoch, You are quite right and your not the first person that has told me the same, I have send for DVDīs for him (pitt panda- German for children) and have been in touch with a lady who will be coming to the house twice a week to give lessons to al 3 of us, It is the language barrier that is worrying me so I think getting some knowledge of it before we move over will help immensely, thank you for the advise.
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  #149  
Old 27.01.2012, 13:24
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

My dear:
I'm from Taiwan and my husband is from Switzerland.
All my four children has booth country passports (Taiwan & Swiss).
We are just back in Switzerland for one and half year.
We got also some troube with the public school but we have some experience that we would like to share.
If you are interested, please contact us
With kind regards

Last edited by Longbyt; 06.02.2012 at 21:25. Reason: no email addresses permitted in this section.
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  #150  
Old 06.02.2012, 21:03
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Very happy to be a parent of a child enrolled in an international school. I do not feel like she is missing language, they offer French and German. I love knowing that she can seemlessly transition to any international school in the world.
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  #151  
Old 07.02.2012, 20:34
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Dear Judith
I'm sorry you have had to experience such problems with swiss schools, I feel like apologizing for anyone that has offended you and your kids in such awful ways. It is absolutely inacceptable and there are no excuses for such profanity.
I'm swiss, I have lived in the geneva surroundings all my childhood and I have seen certain families and children go through similar experiences than you have. Some people never experience it, others do, it is unjust but I believe it all depends on who you have to deal with. All I can say is that racist people should have no place in any part of this world and I can assure you: they are unhappy,frustrated and closed people who will get all the "bad" they put onto others back on them one day.
Despite the frustration this has caused, I really hope you don't lose complete hope in swiss people and institutions, as I promise they are not all the same and you will eventually meet teachers/people that will be caring and "normal".I really hope you will soon, you deserve it just like anyone out there.
In my coaching practice I mostly work with people from all over the world, who have different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures.I truly believe in all of my clients, as what makes them special is to be different and to be who you really are.Believing and respecting one another is what makes life worth while and we should be the first ones to act in that way.Even if these teachers behaved in such ugly way,you will be better off approaching other people who are better and continue to be open to meet new people. You will eventually meet better schools (there are great ones in Switzerland) with a more open door for international people.
I send you all the courage, happiness and joy for you and your family,hoping you will soon feel better about everything.

Last edited by Longbyt; 07.02.2012 at 22:09. Reason: Advertising matter removed.
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  #152  
Old 07.02.2012, 20:40
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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you are saying that your kids are bilingual...her kids sounds like they have landed in Switzerland are struggling to be integrated and school doesn't help.
Language is a barrier and you need adults around you willing to help otherwise is an uphill battle...

This is so so true Kaminari- but parents have a huge place to play here too. A positive attitude from the parents towards the new culture and language plays an enormous role. If the children hear negative comments and feel negative vibes from home- it really does make positive inclusion very difficult.

Last edited by Odile; 07.02.2012 at 21:34.
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  #153  
Old 12.02.2012, 13:37
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

We have two children aged 6 & 9 and they are currently at an international school but we feel the level of education they are getting is very poor and opportunities to do things like skiing, swimming etc are very limited. We are from the UK and have been here 9months and we are now seriously thinking about sending them into the Swiss system. Reading some of these posts has worried me does anyone live in the st gallen area and has had good experiences?
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  #154  
Old 27.02.2012, 08:44
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

Sorry my Spanish is not sufficient to answer you in your language.
I know of a Spanish speaking daycare in Luzern, but this doesn't help if your child needs to go to the Kindergarten.

If you plan to stay here longer I'd rather send both of your kids to local schools/playgroups/daycares.
Teachers are trained and used to have foreign kids in their classes. Also there are professional interpreters available if problems arise. Of course there are more and less skilled teachers be it in private or public schools. It is something you can't avoid.

Here is some information about Kindergarten in Zug:
http://www.kita-arcoiris.ch/Spanisch...hilosophie.htm Maybe it helps to lose some of your fear.
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  #155  
Old 27.02.2012, 17:13
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

oops I just realized I added the wrong link to the information about the Kindergarten in Zug And I can't edit it - so here is the right link, hopefully
http://www.stadtschulenzug.ch/dl.php...nisch_2009.pdf
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  #156  
Old 28.02.2012, 14:13
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I'll add my 2 cents to this.

We brought our 7 year old daughter here, prior to arriving we tried to teach her as much French as possible, but to be honest it was like water of a ducks back.

We enrolled her in the local school (we didnt get a choice, its the commune school), she was placed in the second year (which is correct for her age). Each week (during school time) she receives 3 x 1 hour 1 to 1 tuition in French supplied by the School/Commune free of charge. Yes she gets additional homework from her French tutor but that was to be expected and we find it works better for her as its not set by Mum & Dad.

Outside of this, she is not allowed to watch TV in English - this includes things like DVD's etc where there is a French option. Indeed her tutor loaned her Disney DVD's to be watched in French. You've never seen someone so keen to do her homework.

Within the school itself she has two form teachers - neither speak much English, she is not assessed (formally) on the work she does until they percieve her language skills are competant. This is still the case for her French language work, but her maths is now assessed (this she finds easy as the Swiss start school a year later, so technically she is just repeating her maths from last year). All tests etc undertaken at school have to be brought home and signed by one of us (they are marked out of 6 - think ice skating scores), else she will be punished (lines etc) also she has a homework diary to keep up to date - homework is about 30-40mins per night + her French. We found that the range of subjects taught are less than in the UK. For example as far as we know there has been no lessons in religion or science - but she does get a lot more P.E., music and art/crafts time. I would also add that (IMO) if you have special religious needs (outside of Roman Catholic) don't expect it to be met (but I may well be doing them a diservice) as they are staunchly RC here.

In case newbies to Swiss are reading. At the moment school times are 9 -11:30, 13:15 - 16:00. Children are not at school druring the lunch breaks and it is normal they go home for lunch. Two days a week she starts at 8:00am (this is the standard for year 3) so that a small group (class size is small - 15) of 5 can have specialist 1:1 tuition. Also Wednesdays she finishes at 11:00am for the day. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for birthday parties, sports clubs etc. You will also get a fairly substantial shopping list from the school detailling all stationary etc needed for the year + associated odds and sods. Shortly afterwards you get a bill for additional materials supplied by the school. Think for us it will be about CHF100 for the year.

What have we found as parents so far? The standard required of the childs work is far higher than in the UK. If the work is not produced in a neat and tidy form and on time it will be rejected. Punishments are meated out on a regular basis, this is not physical, but will be in the form of lines or standing in front of the class and explaining why you are late, havent done your homework etc. Some may argue this is a bit much for a 7/8 year old, but this is the system here and we have to adapt to it. We also noted the lack of "permission requests". Gone are the slips of paper asking if your child can go on a trip to... you just get a slip saying "we are going to..... please have your child at this place at this time". Lastly when we went to the first parents evening (about 2 weeks into the first term) it was explained to us all precisely what was expected of us - let alone our child.

We now have a fairly bi-lingual child (just got to improve her reading/writing) who has generally had a good experience at school. Yes there have been occasions of bullying - similar to what others have posted - dumb english seems to be quite common, (but would this have happened in the UK?) and I'm still not convinced the schools take it seriously (as they do in the UK) on more than one occasion I have dropped my daughter off to see 2 or 3 boys picking on a younger one whilst the parents stand around gossiping.... (kids do seem to be allowed to run riot here - more than in the UK?) She has made friends, but there does still seem to be a reluctance for them to come and play or ask her to go and play at there house. This may be a language thing again (as in they dont want a child at there house that they can't talk to) - but we don't truely know.

To the OP, I would say this, for an unknown reason, Chinese does seem to be a very large source of amusement. Even to just mention the word can reduce local children to laughing hyena's - I don't know why and no its not right but like many things Swiss they do seem to be stuck in the England of the 70's / 80's

TL;DR It's not been an easy ride, but, its not anywhere near as bad as we feared. If we'd have known how our only daughter would have integrated / adapted we'd have come here with only a fraction of the stress.
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  #157  
Old 28.02.2012, 14:38
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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In case newbies to Swiss are reading. At the moment school times are 9 -11:30, 13:15 - 16:00. Children are not at school druring the lunch breaks and it is normal they go home for lunch. Two days a week she starts at 8:00am (this is the standard for year 3) so that a small group (class size is small - 15) of 5 can have specialist 1:1 tuition. Also Wednesdays she finishes at 11:00am for the day. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for birthday parties, sports clubs etc. You will also get a fairly substantial shopping list from the school detailling all stationary etc needed for the year + associated odds and sods. Shortly afterwards you get a bill for additional materials supplied by the school. Think for us it will be about CHF100 for the year.
A very nice detailed post, but I wanted to add some differences where we are.

My 2nd grader goes every day from 8:05 - 11:45. Then on Mondays and Tuesdays she returns in the afternoon from 2-3:40 pm. Also, the school has provided almost all the school supplies - we just needed to send her with a filled Etui (pencils, etc.), house shoes, and maybe an art smock. Although I think I live in a higher tax area, perhaps?

Just to let you know that things very from canton to canton, town to town.
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Old 28.02.2012, 15:14
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Re: Foreign Children is Swiss Public Schools

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US, UK Finland and China
I heard that in Finland the school level is the best in Europe.
In Switzerland every canton is another country with another school system. The foreigners (especially English speakers) choose generally a private school. There is a lot in Lausanne and in Geneva. They are bilingual or only English-speaking schools.
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Old 28.02.2012, 15:27
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

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Very happy to be a parent of a child enrolled in an international school. I do not feel like she is missing language, they offer French and German. I love knowing that she can seemlessly transition to any international school in the world.
That's a good argument if you often change country
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Old 04.03.2012, 12:06
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Re: Foreign Children in Swiss Public Schools

I know this is a very lengthly forum, however I have to comment after running into an interesting complaint conversation with my swiss husbands father just the other day.

He is a public school teacher in Switzerland and was complaining about all of the immigrants in the schools, and specifically in his class. How all of the teachers are having to deal with it. As if it is a huge pain. He said the non-swiss students are all behind and it messes up his classroom.

Being from Ontario Canada where every 1/4 people is speaking another language other than english or french I have grown up in a very multi cultural environment.

I do not have kids yet, but do kind of agree with the very first post in this forum, that there is concern here. I always hear people badmouthing immigrants in Switzerland in the smaller village where my husband was born. This actually hugely impacted our reasons for moving to Zurich. A lot of people here may not be as used to multi cultural life as others.
Switzerland is a very small country and I think they like to keep it as Swiss as possible, but there are defiantly less open minded areas in this country than I have ever experienced in my life.

NO real conclusion to what I am saying... But the fact is if you live in a small area in Switzerland and your children were not born here and do not speak any of the languages there could be issues when moving to a country which in my opinion isn't the most culturally open I have experienced.
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