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Old 29.05.2019, 03:36
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Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

Hello,

I read a lot but not able to find an answer.

In August, I will be moving with my family to the Lausanne area. Currently, I live in New York City.

My 2 daughters (11 and 14 years old) are fluent in English, we speak French at home. We'd like them to keep being fluent in English.

I've read a lot about the public schools in Switzerland and they seem very good but I'm wondering if a public school in Switzerland is good enough to keep my 2 daughters fluent in English? Should we try a private school? Also, I was told Lausanne is an international city.

Thanks a lot for your answers.
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Old 29.05.2019, 07:33
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

Depends if you can afford a private school really. You're probably looking at around CHF20,000 to CHF25,000 per child per year.
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Old 29.05.2019, 09:13
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

Have they ever been schooled in French? While speaking at home is an advantage, it is still quite another thing to have it as an academic language especially as teens, late teens, where if they joined the local school they would have to have had all the grammar, rules, conjugaison etc. It could be a very steep learning curve especially for the 14 year old, who's classes now would be more into literature and passed the basic grammar phase.

Also the 14 year old is at the age where compulsory schooling in the Swiss system is finished. Having not gone through the earlier steaming at 12, it could be difficult if not impossible to join the matura stream at this age. Is higher education planned? Most likely she could be put in the non-academic stream but now is the time for apprenticeship. If they make her do the external test to enter the matura stream it will most likely be impossible for her having had no previous schooling in Switzerland. Near perfect German is expected at that age in the tests as well as French for matura stream.

If in the public school, they will have English, and they will be at the top of the class most likely, but probably won't be challenged much.
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Old 29.05.2019, 16:14
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

Thanks for your reply.

Both (12 and 14 years old) went to a French school in the US, meaning they're fluent in French and English. And they both don't speak a word of German.

Yes, higher education is planned.

Do you mean the older one won't be able to follow a higher education path?
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Old 29.05.2019, 16:17
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

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Do you mean the older one won't be able to follow a higher education path?
It's more complicated in Switzerland, but one can always follow a higher education path here.

Meanwhile, the US (for example) accepts a Swiss apprenticeship diploma as equivalent to a US high-school diploma.

Tom
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Old 29.05.2019, 16:38
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

Assuming you can read french, here is the info from Canton Vaud. If arriving from outside Canton in secondary, they would be automatically put in the general stream (leading to apprenticeship at about 14/15). To enter the matura/gymnase stream they would need to take a test.

Probably best to speak to the school district where moving to, to see if they have suggestions. Probably they would recommend repeating a year for the 14 year old as she would be coming in the last year of obligatory schooling. Maybe she could do the raccord repeat year and get into the gymnase a year or so later. Entering directly via the test will be hard with no previous swiss schooling experience and no german.

https://www.vd.ch/themes/formation/s...oire/#c2026046

At the bottom of the page here, is the description of the test.

https://www.vd.ch/fileadmin/user_upl..._admission.pdf

As you can see, german figures prominently, as does one of the "specific options". These specific options are per the swiss school system and in my experience would be difficult if no previous swiss schooling, unless fluent in Italien for example. On the other hand, the subparts of the test in french and english should be easy for them.

If the younger one is actually 12 and not 11, she may also have to take the test to enter matura stream depending on birthday. As the streaming is done at end of primary.

Last edited by runningdeer; 29.05.2019 at 16:50.
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Old 29.05.2019, 18:29
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Re: Public vs Private schools in Lausanne for English speakers

If you have the financial means you would be better off enrolling them in a bilingual private school due to their ages.

In public school they will be obliged to catch up German (starts in 4th grade) as it is mandatory to have two national languages should they wish to achieve a Swiss Maturité.

In private school they can either take Italian (also a national language) or German and will receive tutoring to catch up should they wish to sit the Maturité.

In private school they also have the option of taking the bilingual International Baccalaureate where French and English will be sufficient.


You'll find many options on http://swiss-schools.ch/en/

Champittet, International School of Lausanne, Lemania, Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande are all excellent schools. So is Moser in Nyon.

Best wishes
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