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  #61  
Old 01.07.2008, 20:16
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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The younger the better.



That is your problem, not your child's problem. Try reading some of the research available on language for young children - of course they will make mistakes, sometimes they will mix their languages, but you will be amazed at how quickly they sort it out.



At home, speak your native language. the school will ask you to do that and it is important in order to help the children differentiate.



Yes, lots. Go to the local schools and you will see for yourself.
I agree with all your points!!! Well said!!!
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  #62  
Old 01.07.2008, 20:22
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Re: How cruel to send a 14 yr old to Swiss school?

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I understand perfectly what you mean, but if you read my post again, you will see that I am actually not intending moving him again, it will be 9th through 12th grade international school for him. It will be confusing and difficult to make changes once they are in high school. University is planned for the USA or Australia anyway.
For now my debate about schools in CH is over, one can go crazy reading and reading about what other people think. We have made up our minds, and do the best we can. It is too late for the Swiss Schools anyway, take a look at what an 8th grader do in physics, chemistry, math, history ect, ect. and then decide if one wants to do all that in a language that you are not comfortable with.
Many parents with elementary school children might not understand what I mean, but believe me, it gets more difficult, wait and you will see. I would have had no problem with the Swiss schools if my son was younger, btw, my husband went to swiss schools, no problem.
ED
We were in the same situation as you, our daughter was an 8th grader in the USA when we decided upon this move and I would have never put her in the swiss school system at that age. Had she been in elementary, i would have. I have nothing against the schools here, I think they are great, my husband did all his schooling here and wow what a difference from the US systems.
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Old 01.07.2008, 20:32
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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I've read this thread and many other threads about schooling on this forum, but I still cannot make my mind about our particular case. We are relocating to Lausanne from US in summer and currently our plan is to stay for good.

Our son is turning 6 soon, so we are planning to put him in a school. He does not know any French. Our situation is relatively unusual because our son has never attended any school yet. I am working from home with very flexible schedule. When our son was a baby I reasoned that it would be better for him to stay with me, and since then it never changed. He attends soccer/football classes and has some playdates arranged, but has always had a parent (me or my husband) in close vicinity. Other than never attending a school and therefore having any experience of dealing with peers without a back-up of mommy's intervention, our son does not seem to have any special talents and/or abnormalities. He is quite spoiled so his transition to school won't be very easy.

We can afford international or private schools fees. Yet, I still do not know if any of international/private schools make sense in our case. We would certainly prefer him to stay in the same place and make friends for the long-term. Is it realistic in IS or private school? Would you put a 6 y.o. english-speaking kid without any prior schooling or socializing experience into a local school or private/international school, adaptation wise?

Sorry for the long post, i am just agonising over the choices. Thanks to everyone who read it and I would appreciate any input.

Piglet
The swiss children that grow up here, learn swiss german, italian or french. When they begin school, they too don't know the german language. So its not unusual at all. My husbands mother tongue is italian and so he learned german at school and swiss german from his friends. I think it would be great to get your son into a local school. So many opportunities for him.
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Old 09.07.2008, 11:13
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

hello all am a newbie here read a lot of things about the international schools over here...as among one of u all i am too having a lot of doubts regarding my sons admission over here...he is now 10 year old learning in one of the international schools in India bangalore..is it a wise decision to shift him over here for a period of 2 years since my husband is got a contract of 2 years here in lausanne..anyway we have to go back to India after 2 years. Looking out for admissions over here in lausanne or vevey could anyone provide me about the admission procedure and details of some good international bilingual schools out here..i wish to know some good opinions from friends out here...
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  #65  
Old 28.06.2012, 01:51
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

I'd like to know about this too- our son will be 14 in September and is also good academically- we intend to stay in Neuchatel, Switzerland for the rest of his secondary schooling at least but I'm really worried about how he could possibly cope with going into a local school having no French at all to begin with. Does anyone have experience of this?
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  #66  
Old 28.06.2012, 05:15
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Search some of the more recent threads on this subject, it has been discussed a lot recently.

At 14, it will be a difficult age to succeed in the local school system, especially if continuation on towards university is foreseen.
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Old 28.06.2012, 07:42
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

The younger the better really is true.

My daughter is 4 1/2 and picked up Japanese without her even knowing it was happening at 2.


She just picked it up as her Japanese teachers spoke to her over a few months.

So please don't worry about your 3 year old
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  #68  
Old 28.06.2012, 10:36
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

:-( I thought that would be the case, our first choice was an international school but St Georges has closed in Neuchatel. I'm wondering about local school plus tutoring in his good subjects, does anyone know if individual subjects are streamed as he is strongest in maths, science and music where luckily language is not such a barrier.
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  #69  
Old 28.06.2012, 11:21
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

At least give it a try. I started from scratch at 15 and managed to successfully continue through the school system to Uni. If he's good academically I wouldn't lose hope just yet. And languages aren't counted for the first few years, if he's already good in math and science he should do fine.
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:24
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Hi Christabelle,

I just now re-read one of my early posts on this subject from 4 years ago, when my wife and I were seriously considering whether to put our then 14-year old son in a local school. With 4 years of CH under our belts (German-speaking region), I can scarcely believe we would have ever entertained such an ill-advised notion. I have no great bias against CH schools, as my 5-year old (who speaks fluent Swiss German) is very happy at our local pre-school with a lovely teacher. However, 14 is such a critical age, where so much can go so wrong or right, I would not take a gamble on the trauma of a new language / new system. Yes, there are endless tales of kids doing this and coping well, but I guess most of them were out of necessity, i.e. there parents were true economic migrants/refugees so they had no choice but to sink or swim. I think most people on this site do not fall into this category and are here to advance their careers or try out CH. No crime in that (that's what we did / are doing) but its not justification, in my opinion, for exposing your 14-yr old to something like a new school system in a language he doesn't know.

regards, JW
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Old 28.06.2012, 12:56
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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Yes, there are endless tales of kids doing this and coping well, but I guess most of them were out of necessity, i.e. there parents were true economic migrants/refugees so they had no choice but to sink or swim. I think most people on this site do not fall into this category and are here to advance their careers or try out CH. No crime in that (that's what we did / are doing) but its not justification, in my opinion, for exposing your 14-yr old to something like a new school system in a language he doesn't know.

regards, JW
I can see where you're coming from. If someone has the means and a definitive departure date, international school is definitely the way to go. For people who have long-term plans like Uni, however, I would at least give local school a try. Having French under his belt would be extremely beneficial to the kid's future, too.

I think her son should at least be consulted first with the situation explained to him, allowing him to decide whether he's up to the challenge. Completely ignoring the possibility and stunting his linguistic growth may seem like the more stress-free solution in the short term, but I think children that age deserve more credit in what they're capable of. Low expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Last edited by Russkov; 28.06.2012 at 13:09.
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  #72  
Old 28.06.2012, 13:44
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

True, much depends on the kid and the parents' time horizon. Our son had NO interest in CH (I can't say I blame him, being as he was a true London urchin) nor any interest in learning French or German. (Though strangely, he loved Latin!) So it would've been a trauma he did not seek and wanted nothing to do with.
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  #73  
Old 28.06.2012, 15:53
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Thanks for all your excellent replies they sum up the situation exactly, as a teacher I am not willing to risk his education BUT we have long term plans for CH and French is not optional- integrating is very impotant too. I think you're absolutely right that it is up to Conal to decide for himself, I have to give him a lot of credit for being a very sensible young man, he would be as unwilling as I am to go to either a school where he could not thrive or one where he could not be happy. He is very adept socially and not afraid of his own opinion so I suppose the best option will be to fly out early with him to check out both types of schools. He speaks English and Gaelic as he went to a Gaelic primary school and still has a lot of Hungarian from our 3 years there when he was a small child. By comparison to those two unrelated languages French will be easy for him, he can already make vague sense of it written down just by picking out the words that are similar to English. He is also a September child so if he has to repeat a year he will not be much younger than others in his class. This makes the local school- if he's comfortable there and they have an integration plan for him to follow, certainly worth a visit. If he doesn't like it or it's too scary then international it is. I'll keep you posted :-)
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  #74  
Old 28.06.2012, 20:51
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Sounds like you have a good plan in place; I agree that if he's willing, there's nothing to lose by trying it for a year. If it doesn't work out, then at his age along with international schools you could perhaps look into UK boarding schools, which are often much cheaper.

Good luck with your move!
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  #75  
Old 03.12.2012, 06:52
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Hi, all! I'm considering a move to CH from the USA and have a 10-year-old English-speaking-only son (I'm a single mother, FYI) that will be finishing up 5th grade in the States in June 2013, at which point I intend to move to Switzerland and have him begin school there in August. I, too, am earnestly researching, trying to figure out the best choice in schools for him, either a local or international/bilingual school. I haven't seen much on this age in this post, so thought I'd put out these specifics to get your feedback!

I don't know if we will live in CH long-term or short-term--how a potential new job goes will determine that, I suppose. Based on my research so far, however, there is a lot about Switzerland that I like and respect and am excited to see how we mesh into the culture. I wouldn't mind this being a long-term move. My son has even shown enthusiasm in learning different languages and even wants to begin German now so that he's prepared when/if we do make the move. He's an extremely intelligent boy who picks up on new things quickly and is open to trying new things.

With that said, we would most likely be living in Canton Schwyz. I've been trying to research school choice but what I'm finding seems to be encouraging me to put him in an international school. I really want him (and myself) to integrate as quickly as possible so that we can build healthy relationships there, but don't want to "kill" my son and his learning ambitions in the process (scared a local school teaching classes in full German could do that if he can't understand them!). I haven't found too many options in or around Lachen for international schools, either, which is where my job would be located. There was a Bilingual school in Pfaffikon, but that seems to be the closest private school. I should be able to afford private schooling, if necessary.

Thoughts on local versus private for a 10-year-old? Or about any good schools in Canton Schwyz, preferably near Lachen?

Thanks for any and all replies!
V
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  #76  
Old 03.12.2012, 07:18
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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Hi, all! I'm considering a move to CH from the USA and have a 10-year-old English-speaking-only son (I'm a single mother, FYI) that will be finishing up 5th grade in the States in June 2013, at which point I intend to move to Switzerland and have him begin school there in August. I, too, am earnestly researching, trying to figure out the best choice in schools for him, either a local or international/bilingual school. I haven't seen much on this age in this post, so thought I'd put out these specifics to get your feedback!

I don't know if we will live in CH long-term or short-term--how a potential new job goes will determine that, I suppose. Based on my research so far, however, there is a lot about Switzerland that I like and respect and am excited to see how we mesh into the culture. I wouldn't mind this being a long-term move. My son has even shown enthusiasm in learning different languages and even wants to begin German now so that he's prepared when/if we do make the move. He's an extremely intelligent boy who picks up on new things quickly and is open to trying new things.

With that said, we would most likely be living in Canton Schwyz. I've been trying to research school choice but what I'm finding seems to be encouraging me to put him in an international school. I really want him (and myself) to integrate as quickly as possible so that we can build healthy relationships there, but don't want to "kill" my son and his learning ambitions in the process (scared a local school teaching classes in full German could do that if he can't understand them!). I haven't found too many options in or around Lachen for international schools, either, which is where my job would be located. There was a Bilingual school in Pfaffikon, but that seems to be the closest private school. I should be able to afford private schooling, if necessary.

Thoughts on local versus private for a 10-year-old? Or about any good schools in Canton Schwyz, preferably near Lachen?

Thanks for any and all replies!
V
At first glance, the biggest problem for you and local schools may be the school hours. The kids come home at ~noon for lunch - usually the mom is home making the warm meal for the family... Now many places do have Mittagtisch or similar where the child is taken care of for lunch, but as far as I know, they may not have school everyday in the afternoon at that age. Although, my oldest is only in 3rd grade, so I am not 100% sure on that (she has Weds and Fri afternoons free).

It can be done, but will probably require a lot more work than the international school - I think it really depends on the kid. And also you - do you have any German skills? As the work and communicating with the teachers will require it. But for 20-30k for an international school, it can be hard to make things work out-you can be surprised how quickly that nice salary can disappear here!
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Old 03.12.2012, 07:42
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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At first glance, the biggest problem for you and local schools may be the school hours. The kids come home at ~noon for lunch - usually the mom is home making the warm meal for the family... Now many places do have Mittagtisch or similar where the child is taken care of for lunch, but as far as I know, they may not have school everyday in the afternoon at that age. Although, my oldest is only in 3rd grade, so I am not 100% sure on that (she has Weds and Fri afternoons free).

It can be done, but will probably require a lot more work than the international school - I think it really depends on the kid. And also you - do you have any German skills? As the work and communicating with the teachers will require it. But for 20-30k for an international school, it can be hard to make things work out-you can be surprised how quickly that nice salary can disappear here!
Thanks, drmom. If we can live near enough to the school, I would be comfortable with him coming home for a pre-prepared lunch sandwich, etc. He's 10 and fairly mature on these things, so I have confidence he could make the walk alone. I will also have about 2-3 months to practice the walk to/from school before he starts. I would make sure he was comfortable with it before I did that. Of course, if they offer lunch, even better. As for afternoons, the schools I've researched don't have classes on Wednesday afternoons, at which point he could come home those days. I want to find a good school and then determine where to live, while being cognizant that my job would be in Lachen and making sure it's fairly close to there, too.

As for me, I don't know any German at this point, either. Once again, hoping for both he and I to take classes between now and then. Neither of us will be fluent by the time he starts school, but perhaps know enough to get by? I have some more research to do on good German classes here in the States. Yes, the 20k-30k is very expensive. I will require 100k minimum salary for this move, however. From what I've found out there, I could make it work at this salary, even with the school fees. Maybe you could provide further feedback on this? Am I wrong?

What will I face placing a 10-year-old in a public school? Are there any that help with integrating a mostly non-German speaking child? Would getting a tutor be an option to help?

Thanks again!
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Old 04.12.2012, 21:28
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

Wollerau in canton Schwyz has many working mums and they have a "Hort", all-day care connected with the local public school for 5 to 12 year olds. Open from 7 till 18.30, also during school holidays.
It appears to cost 60 Fr per day max. Check it here, or phone them:

http://www.hortplus-wollerau.ch/
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Old 04.12.2012, 21:45
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

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What will I face placing a 10-year-old in a public school? Are there any that help with integrating a mostly non-German speaking child? Would getting a tutor be an option to help?

Thanks again!
Your local authorities cannot refuse a placement of your child in the local school system. Depends on how long you plan to stay, I wouldn't place a kid into an international school since it really defeats the whole "move into a foreign country" thing, kids are amazingly flexible and he will be really ok say in 2/3 years, on a comparable level with local kids (their advantage is local language, his will be his mother tongue). Some communities will provide an extra language help every day, some 2x a week, it depends.

Now, if you are willing to do that, don't waste time there and book yourself an everyday intense, a couple of hours course one-on-one tutoring in your home country, it will speed things up and teachers here will notice. The money you will save on private schooling you can actually use on upping your quality of life here in a big way, traveling, hiring a private tutor on top of the classes canton will provide for your child, etc.

I think, not sure if it is just me speaking as a teacher in the local system, your child will appreciate your decision in terms of local school, since it is a major success to make it happen here, with the local language acquisition on top of that. Having local buddies is also a practical plus. Being exposed to a different culture is irreplaceable for a child and his horizons, for him being open minded and flexible, believing in himself in terms of coping with what life will bring and how he will cope. It can provide an extremely efficient tool for later times, should he ever have to face some culturally challenging situations, etc. I am not sure if the international school environment is as stimulating in that aspect.

There are more single moms out here

Don't worry about your little one. Kids are strong.
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Old 04.12.2012, 21:48
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Re: School for foreign kids - international/private/public?

What I can say about the language is that children in all cantons are given extra language lessons.

Regarding your child learning German in a local school in canton Schwyz, according to this cantonal ruling:
http://www.sz.ch/documents/3_7_010108.pdf

at any age, they are either put in a special class with other incomers and learn German and also start the regular curriculum, and stay there until they are ready to transfer to a regular class

or they join a regular class and also get up to 8 (this is generous, some cantons just do 3) hours a week of pull-out classes for intensive German in a small group, for up to 6 months. Then they get fewer lessons per week for up to 2 years.

See "Going local - your guide to Swiss schooling" to read more about this topic.

http://www.bergli.ch/100/con_liste.a...StartPageNext=
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