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Old 22.09.2014, 09:40
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Swiss education vs French education system

Hi everybody,
We are family of three with one girl who is five now. We are moving soon to Basel from France permanently. We are neither french nor native english speakers but have dilema if we should stay close to border and continue with french education (our daughter is bit shy and not very keen to speak french as most of her friends speak english at school because she is in international section french/english at french school so she is better with english).
I am not a big fun of french system and heard that swiss system is very friendly and children like the school,as in france even in petite section they are sittng at the table, getting small marks and i am feeling pressure - is it normal? and french bac???
Do you have any clues:french as she has some backgrounds now or switzerland -again new language etc. For us its a permanent move so do not want to change location. We also seen houses in france are more affordable than in Basel so in switzerland we could afford only a flat. Are there any nice primary schools (private?) around french border?

Sorry for loongish post but we are really thinking and thinking and cannot decide what would be the best solution
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Old 22.09.2014, 09:53
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Move to Canton Jura - only 30 mins train ride away from Basel SBB but in the French speaking part of Switzerland so your daughter keeps all the benefits of having already started to learn the language but gets to enjoy the slower start to formal education that they have in Switzerland. Property prices are much much lower and there are far more vacant properties than in Basel area so a bigger choice. In the main town, Delémont, there is a good after school care system run by the town. Most of the people along our street work in Basel (as do I and my OH). Taxes are higher but are more than offset by lower accommodation prices. But it is a largely rural Canton - so bright. Lights and city living it isn't.

Its worth a thought and maybe a look on your next visit ...
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Old 22.09.2014, 09:57
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Thank you Nixi. Will have a look at Delmont, I havent tought that french speaking part of Switzerland is so close.
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Old 22.09.2014, 10:33
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

if it's just about the education system and if you don't plan to go back to France, switch to the Swiss system.
The French system is quite a mess, putting too much emphasis on theoretical topics, considering that math is the only valid selection criteria and leaving many behind.
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Old 22.09.2014, 11:45
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

If you are moving permamently and she is still small I think it's better to switch school, it's not only about the education but also about the whole social part, autonomy, integration with extra-scolastic activities, opportunities, easier access to further local education (you are already in the system) etc. for the future too.
Jura has a swiss latin education system (which i like better but that's up to one's views): http://www.swisscommunity.org/files/...laire_Jura.pdf
Baselland is probably typical germanic system, and basel stadt i don't know.
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Old 22.09.2014, 11:58
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

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If you are moving permamently and she is still small I think it's better to switch school, it's not only about the education but also about the whole social part, autonomy, integration with extra-scolastic activities, opportunities, easier access to further local education (you are already in the system) etc. for the future too.
Jura has a swiss latin education system (which i like better but that's up to one's views): http://www.swisscommunity.org/files/...laire_Jura.pdf
Baselland is probably typical germanic system, and basel stadt i don't know.
Intriguing - because we were 6 yrs in Baselland then moved to Jura and to be honest there weren't huge differences in the school system - beyond the language - oh and the fact that son had already done the Romans and birds and wildlife in years 3 and 4 in BL and he had to repeat them as they do these topics in yr 6 in Jura ...!!

But it is true that at college level the children are all in the same school and just streamed for certain subjects, whereas in BL they were physically separated into different schools for different streams .. But BL is now engaged on the Harmos initiative so it is moving towards Jura ....
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Old 22.09.2014, 13:22
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Thank you for quick replies ecb, Meerkat33 and afreeswiss. Probably we will choose Switzerland finally, its a pity that properties esp. houses are so expensive, however Jura seems to look better on prices.
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Old 22.09.2014, 13:51
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Here in Geneva I hear from people that did both that for primary school the French schools are ahead of the Swiss. Kids who switch to the Swiss system can sometimes skip a year as they learn certain subjects earlier. The French system is a bit more "academic" for primary school. It depends what you are looking for.

But for secondary school I would chose the Swiss system if you can.
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Old 22.09.2014, 14:04
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

I seen Jura recommended as a place to live a few times on this forum, however the fact that less people want to live there surely has a reason? If it were such a good alternative to Basel, why don't more people want to move there?
In my experience, if one area is much cheaper than others, there is a reason for this.
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Old 22.09.2014, 14:17
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

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I seen Jura recommended as a place to live a few times on this forum, however the fact that less people want to live there surely has a reason? If it were such a good alternative to Basel, why don't more people want to move there?
In my experience, if one area is much cheaper than others, there is a reason for this.
Well language for a start - Basel is German speaking and once people have settled into that they usually don't like changing language. Plus commute - it is 30 mins into SBB by train - for those used to a 20 min tram ride from thr BL burbs, getting a train that only goes 2 times an hour is no go. Then finally, Jura is a very small Canton. As I said - city living it isn't. But I grew up in rural Derbyshire, in the UK, and it floats my boat way more than living in a suburb would ever do.

Horses for courses ...
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Old 22.09.2014, 14:55
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

I agree with ecb that Jura is a great place to live if you are looking for a French speaking area. My son just started kindergarten and didn't speak a word of French. Just 5 weeks later and he speaks a little bit and understands a lot.

I love living in Jura. Delémont is a good sized city with most amenities. We frequently take the short train ride into Basel to go to the zoo. It is also only a 40 minute drive if we need to go to ikea or bulk shopping in Germany. Taxes are higher than Basel, but rent/real estate is much cheaper and you get more space. We did the math and it is about the same in the end.
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Old 22.09.2014, 15:21
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Given that you will live in Switzerland permanently and your daughter is very young, I would definitely second the Swiss system. I cannot comment on the French system (although I can say all my French friends are very well educated ), but i don't understand why you would go private in France, when you can get a very good standard here in CH! And it won't cost you (okay, perhaps in hort fees, etc., but that's not much, all things considered).

I would not worry too much about the language issue - my son just started kindergarten (ecole enfantine) and only 3 weeks have passed and he is already communicating with the kids at school. A couple of kids already told their mothers that they can finally understand my son . Plus the benefit of going to the local school is that in the afternoon, your child can carry on playing with her school friends.

Good luck with your move.

CM
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Old 22.09.2014, 16:21
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Thank you everyone for the replies. I love this forum so many useful info here and really kind people
In terms of education I think Switzerland is defenitly a winner. My daughter is quite keen to move to new place so hopefully she will settle down at new school easily. Do you know by chance if childcare during lunchbreaks (either in BL or Jura) is provided or Do I always must take child home?
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Old 22.09.2014, 16:25
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

As an example - for Delémont in Jura look here - http://www.delemont.ch/fr/Administra...l-Enfance.html - it includes a lunchtime service that my eldest goes to.

But no public schools have lunchtime as part of the school day so it very much varies from town to town as to what provision there is. In the little village we lived in previously in BL, there was a lunchtime service just twice a week and nothing after or before school. Generally you will find towns are better for this than villages but places are often tight - I had to wait for 6 months to get the selection of days that I wanted for my eldest son.

If the hort or garde is organised by the town it is usually very reasonable in price and often subsidised depending on your income.
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Old 22.09.2014, 21:19
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

From what i've been told french students go to university one year earlier apparently, i got friends which did a military year between high school and university and ended up with people 2 years younger at first year of uni.

Refectory service for municipal schools is decided by the communes, it largely depends on how much people request it. Specific cantons may have legislation concerning this.

Why is Jura so much cheaper? The average income is 70% of the national income, lot of secondary sector jobs, it's one of the poorest canton and prices drop accordingly, they are on the border but can't compete like basel and geneva. Lot of space available and low density too.
The swiss suburbanite unlike the american one doesn't usually like commuting for more than half an hour.
There's also the already cited language barrier with basel, I think this does a lot. You would be going home to an area where they speak another language, your children will go to school in french, etc. It's not attractive for a Basler imho.
Only 11.8% foreigners which means it's not attractive for immigration (they usually go where there are estabilished communities and job).
It's a rural environment and delemont only has 12'000, if one grows up in a city and is used to trams and all the comforts unless he wants a big house he prefers staying there. Taxes are also higher for higher incomes (for example it's 15% instead of national average of 11% for a 150'000 family income), but that's compensated with low prices i guess.
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Old 22.09.2014, 21:44
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

Just a reminder to be careful with the word 'Jura'. There is a Canton in Switzerland called 'Le Jura', North West Switzerland, with Délémont et Porrentruy as main towns. But there is also a French Departement called 'Le Jura', North West of Geneva. But first and foremost, Le Jura is a long chain of mountains which spans both France and Switzerland from about Geneva to Basel. And it includes the French Départment of Franche-Comté too, and then part of Vaud, Neuchâtel, Bern and Basel...

The Vaud foot of the Jura are actually quite close to Lausanne and Geneva, and of course Yverdon, and the foot of the Jura on the Neuchâtel and Bern side are very close to towns like Neuchâtel, Biel/Bienne, Soleure/Solothurn, etc. The Jura, in one form or the other, encompasses a large part of Romandie and part of German speaking CH- but each area can be very different... and prices too btw. But they all share the concept of getting a lot more space and value for your money- and actually, for investors, much higher returns on property at the moment.
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Old 23.09.2014, 09:21
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Re: Swiss education vs French education system

I speak some french already so language is not such a big problem, also communting as from st louis border area/oberwill BL etc. to basel it would take the same approx. one hour.
Meerkat33 good point as at closer look jura doesnt look so attractive except for more affordable house prices. However basel looks more friendly for foreigners, closer to german border for cheap shopping, big university etc.....so in the end there are pros and cons for both
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