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Old 28.02.2018, 20:06
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English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

My husband has applied for a job within his company that would be located in Bern. (We're coming from the US) All members of the family are open to the change, but I'm concerned for my 16 year old daughter. The only school option I can find is the International School- which may not be affordable (unless salaries are higher than I realize). She's bright, but not a highly competitive student (in other words, she doesn't feel the need to be the best in the class, does better in mellow environment, not high pressure) and has a hard time learning languages. It sounds like a local school is not an option... any other ideas? She's open to trying new things, we're just trying to be realistic.

Sorry if I've missed an another appropriate post with answers to this question.
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Old 28.02.2018, 20:17
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

How long will you be here for? If only for a year, you could put her in local school and treat it as a gap year and learning experience just to open her horizons, if you are here longer international school would be the only option I think. Have you thought of maybe having her stay with relatives or friends in the States to complete her schooling, and coming over for holidays?
Also, mandatory schooling ends at age 16 here. Most kids go onto apprenticeships, which would likely be the path she would have taken, had she been schooled here. So she may not even be able to join local school, even if she wanted to, but cannot do an apprenticeship due to language. Tricky situation for you.
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Old 28.02.2018, 20:21
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

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My husband has applied for a job within his company that would be located in Bern. (We're coming from the US) All members of the family are open to the change, but I'm concerned for my 16 year old daughter. The only school option I can find is the International School- which may not be affordable (unless salaries are higher than I realize). She's bright, but not a highly competitive student (in other words, she doesn't feel the need to be the best in the class, does better in mellow environment, not high pressure) and has a hard time learning languages. It sounds like a local school is not an option... any other ideas? She's open to trying new things, we're just trying to be realistic.

Sorry if I've missed an another appropriate post with answers to this question.
Get information about the 10th school-year (Zehntes Schuljahr). It might not be free for you under the circumstances but cheaper than American school.

As I once put a totally uneducated Somali boy into it (in canton Zurich though) who profited in all regards plus learnt German in a speed that rattled me, it should be possible for all foreigners to join.

Now do not misunderstand that: This special case was also a special class of 10th school year. Meaning normally this is for normal-educated (western standard) kids who don't know yet/haven't made up their mind what education they want to chose.
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Old 28.02.2018, 20:37
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Thank you.I hadn't considered a longer-view approach of a 'gap year'. Between 10th and 11th instead of after high school. We don't know yet how long. It's not a temporary job, but the assumption is that after a year or two, we will re-evaluate and come back here if needed.

We also have a 18 year old son that's already on sort of an alternative track with a year or so worth of college credit who would LOVE to learn German and try something new, so I'm not as concerned about him.

I don't think staying here with family would go over well with her. She loves her grandparents and friends, but would hate to miss the experience and we are very close, would be hard to be apart.

It might be that we would come in early summer, in which case, there would be time for some German instruction. I just want a little info mostly so we don't say yes if they offer the job and then find that she's totally stuck.
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Old 28.02.2018, 21:07
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

I, personally, would leave her on her track to uni in the US. If she could get all grades quickly and come in the summer, say for 4 months or so, it could be a good experience, too. Or come for a half year, study at home to complete the exams in the US?

They tend to not place students in the 10th year who are not gearing up to sign the apprenticeship contract at the end of that year. Placing a foreign kid in post-obl school is an exception. Only if they are settling here for long, that option is open for local career searching students.
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Old 28.02.2018, 21:41
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Thank you as well.
Am I correct in finding that the International School is the only English-Speaking option for that grade level?
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Old 01.03.2018, 09:07
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

If I were you, I would be negotiating with the employer as part of the deal of coming here, on paying for international school fees for the 2? years that will be necessary for her to finish her secondary schooling here. As others have said, an international school is probably the best or maybe only option if wanting to continue to university. There may be several options, but I am not familiar with Bern, have a look at the association of private schools to see if one fits better than another. http://www.swiss-schools.ch/en/
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Old 01.03.2018, 09:47
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

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mandatory schooling ends at age 16 here.
Or even 14.

Tom
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Old 01.03.2018, 10:29
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

If she's not good at learning languages, there is zero chance at that age that she will be able to get by in the public system. Even if she were good at learning languages, she'd struggle a fair bit.

So negotiate either for the employer to cover some or all of the cost for an IS for the next two years or so, or let her finish in the US.

I don't think there any other realistic alternatives.
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Old 01.03.2018, 15:46
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Thanks for the realistic assessment, helps to be armed in case we do get the offer.
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Old 01.03.2018, 17:25
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

First time posting here but long time lurker... Also english is not my first language so please excuse any typos...

Now to answer your question, have you consider homeschooling your daughter? The US gives you many options, paid or unpaid that would allow your daughter to finish her high school and get her dipoma, and as the Swiss don't have mandatory school past 16 years old, I believe that would be the best solution for you if you are "short" on money and cannot afford international school.

You could, at the same time enroll your daughter in a language school (Migros is good but there are many other options) to learn the German (swiss) language, and into sports or other kind of activities that interest her, where she would have some interaction with local people

I don't know about you, but this is what I would do...

All the best in your change
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Old 01.03.2018, 17:36
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Thank you, Globewanderer, I have thought of that idea as well. As long as we could find activities to get involved in (and language school!), I'm very open to that option.
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Old 01.03.2018, 18:37
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

If you are considering home schooling, you might want to contact this group:

https://www.bildungzuhause.ch/en/


They seem to be more geared towards homeschooling younger children according to the Swiss system, but they would likely be a starting point for other resources available to you in Switzerland.

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.03.2018 at 19:46.
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Old 01.03.2018, 18:42
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Normally, I am no fan of home schooling, but in this case I agree 100%.

Tom
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Old 01.03.2018, 19:43
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

There lots people of all ages getting high school diplomas online and that might be a solution. I have no idea how much that would cost. If you google a bit you might find something suitable. Maybe her present school could suggest something or even the consulate/embassy.
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Old 01.03.2018, 19:50
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Can't add to what's already been said, but maybe someone knows the answer to this. If she's 16 years old would the canton object to her being home schooled? I ask because I know some cantons don't allow home schooling at all. Not sure if Bern does or not, but if they don't allow it as she's over the mandatory schooling age could the OP home school anyway?
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Old 01.03.2018, 19:57
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

Homeschooling would be fine and dandy but where is the immersion that would be the one big benefit of swapping countries...providing the homeschooling tutor knows what he/she is doing? I am homeschooling an 11yr old after her reg school and gotta say it is already not the easiest thing, it can be challenging, and I am a teacher used to challenges.

Otherwise, I totally support it and love love love parents envolved in teaching their kids. Thumbs up for OP and the youngster, whatever they pick.
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Old 01.03.2018, 20:00
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

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First time posting here but long time lurker... Also english is not my first language so please excuse any typos...

Now to answer your question, have you consider homeschooling your daughter? The US gives you many options, paid or unpaid that would allow your daughter to finish her high school and get her dipoma, and as the Swiss don't have mandatory school past 16 years old, I believe that would be the best solution for you if you are "short" on money and cannot afford international school.

You could, at the same time enroll your daughter in a language school (Migros is good but there are many other options) to learn the German (swiss) language, and into sports or other kind of activities that interest her, where she would have some interaction with local people

I don't know about you, but this is what I would do...

All the best in your change
I was thinking the same. As school won't be mandatory, why not home school or hire a private tutor, and she can just do her GED/high school diploma online. The only downside would be lack of social life/exposure, so you'd have to put some efforts into setting that up.
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Old 01.03.2018, 20:27
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

I lived in Bern in a big house with 12 roommates. Three of them were a family who moved back to Switzerland from Israel. Spoke Swiss German though. The boy went to International School in Bern and was very happy there.

In my opinion, it would not be very good for a 16 -year- old to live in a new country and live like a prisoner ;-)

I'd try and contact: http://www.erz.be.ch/erz/de/index/ki...lksschule.html

and ask If she could enter Sekundarschule anyway or ask what would be the best solution for your daughter. They might come up with something. She'd get extra German lessons and would meet other teenagers and would most likely find friends.

Last edited by marischi; 01.03.2018 at 20:55.
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Old 01.03.2018, 21:17
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Re: English speaking 16 year old - school options in Bern?

And I don't know about Bern as I'm in Geneva, but if it's a bit like Geneva, there will be lots of people speaking english everywhere, so being able to do your normal life, like shopping, seeing physicians, socializing, etc, won't be a problem. Also, when she passes her High School phase certain Universities have english curriculum

In Geneva there are running groups, theater and other activities in English language, that will give her a chance to your daughter to socialize with others.

Check also International Baccalaureate online, just don't know how much it would cost

Like I said before homeschooling (or High school online) plus local language school will give her the best options. Combined with the living experience of living in another country, and learning it's culture, will put her ahead of most of her colleagues
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