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Old 14.04.2015, 17:29
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What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

We're temporarily (3-5 years) moving in the vicinity of Vevey/Montreux/up to Fribourg next year from the USA and all three of my children are involved in extra-curricular activities. Our oldest son(15) is involved in band, tennis, and swimming. My younger son(4) is involved in tennis, soccer, and swimming, and my daughter(2) is in ballet, gymnastics, and swimming. The oldest's activities are mainly supplied through school while the two young ones' are self-paid through businesses/schools within our community. Are extra-curricular activities offered to children at school in Switzerland or is it mostly privately funded by the parents? Are most/not many children involved in them? I know there's probably a cultural difference in this that I don't know about...what is the cultural norm (just so I'm aware)? Are there public pools for the kids to continue swimming?
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Old 14.04.2015, 18:40
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

depends where you live but in my experience schools don't provide much- here in lausanne there is sport passion which is free and you sign the kids up for different sports every 5 or so weeks and it's organized on wednesdays (which is typically a half day of school so kids can have outside activities- that's the idea of half day wednesdays). otherwise there are certainly private businesses that provide dance, karate, etc. we even have baseball here in lausanne! if they go to a private school, there are typically (in the bigger schools) extra-curricular activities available.

i have friends in montreux whose children go to ballet, karate, capoeira, etc. as well as art classes- but it'll be up to you to find these places and organize getting them each to all their activities- which may be a trick on wednesday- good luck!
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Old 14.04.2015, 19:33
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

Winter, i.e. December through April, is devoted to skiing. Every single one of my friends' children, Swiss or otherwise, skis during the week and on the weekend. There are also swim teams for kids at the indoor pools which run all year round. Tennis is also popular because Roger Federer is a national hero. Gymnastics is also popular, at least among the international school crowd.

Once your kids have started going to the local school and have made some friends, you will find out by talking to the other parents what extra-curricular activities, besides skiing, they do in the off months.
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Old 14.04.2015, 21:45
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

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Winter, i.e. December through April, is devoted to skiing. .
Is it better to buy ski gear over there or here? Are season passes available or is it only pay as you go? We don't exactly have a lot of snow in Texas
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Old 15.04.2015, 07:42
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

Drinking Red Bull and smoking is the #1 extra curricular activity amongst native teenagers!

Whatever the activity they are currently pursuing you'll almost certainly find it in Switzerland - except perhaps for Rodeo riding. You'll find local bands, tennis clubs etc - and as the activity if linguistically agnostic - they it will get him into an activity that may help his French.

Remember, everything costs here - often quite a lot more than you hoped.

As for ski stuff, wait until you get here, borrow some kit - let them try it - if they like buy your own, if not there is nothing lost.
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Old 31.05.2019, 05:18
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

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here in lausanne there is sport passion which is free and you sign the kids up for different sports every 5 or so weeks
Please, do you have any more information about sport passion?

I'm planning to be in Zurich for just a year and waffling between putting my Grade 1 son in the public German system (he speaks only English/French) and homeschooling him with assistance from his school back in Canada.

Homeschooling would give us flexibility and time together, but I'm worried about loneliness and getting to know Swiss culture. I'm looking for ideas on how to meet people who live near us and find him activities where he can interact with other children despite the language barrier.

Is there a German program similar to sport passion? Or do you know what words I could use to search for other neighbourhood-based activities? I'd be happy to also volunteer to help.
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Old 31.05.2019, 19:58
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

Most communities have a Turnverein, for kids this is called Jugi. They do multisports usually once a week, with a few weekend events here and there. There is usually a very reasonable membership fee and it is run by trained volunteers. Scouts (Pfadi) is another great activity. There are tons of other Vereine (community clubs) for virtually any sport imaginable, soccer, basket ball, floor hockey, gymnastics etc. Most have youth sections.
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Old 31.05.2019, 23:33
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

Normally I would suggest putting a child at that age into the local public school. But given that you will only be here for a year I think a bilingual one would make more sense. That way he will get some German exposure but schooling will be easier because of the English part. There are several school. Look for the one closest to where you will be living. Good luck with the move
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Old 02.06.2019, 19:07
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

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Most communities have a Turnverein, for kids this is called Jugi. They do multisports usually once a week, with a few weekend events here and there. There is usually a very reasonable membership fee and it is run by trained volunteers. Scouts (Pfadi) is another great activity. There are tons of other Vereine (community clubs) for virtually any sport imaginable, soccer, basket ball, floor hockey, gymnastics etc. Most have youth sections.
This is really helpful! Thank-you so much. I will look these up in our area.
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Old 02.06.2019, 19:11
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Re: What extra-curricular activities are available for children?

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Normally I would suggest putting a child at that age into the local public school. But given that you will only be here for a year I think a bilingual one would make more sense. That way he will get some German exposure but schooling will be easier because of the English part. There are several school. Look for the one closest to where you will be living. Good luck with the move
Thanks, and I know what you mean. If we were staying longer, we would absolutely jump right into the public system. He would learn German and benefit from feeling connected to where he lives.

It's the short term issue that I'm struggling with. Because my husband is going to school, and I'll be on a leave of absence from work, we won't be able to afford a private school. At least not with the tuition I've been seeing so far. My understanding is that all the public schools are fully German. That's correct, isn't it?

I'm still trying to sort out if I would be allowed to work. He'll be on a student visa and I'll be coming through the Swiss family reunification program.
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