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  #221  
Old 06.12.2009, 21:47
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Re: kids in swiss school

I'm sorry you had these experiences, I know people who I was at school with who also had difficult times, the only difference was we were all Northern English and came from the same backgrounds.

One had a hearing aid, another red hair and a few wore glasses. Children are naturally cruel and need to be taught what's right and wrong.

I still regret to this day as a 9 year old chanting with the rest of the group at Monica Aspinall "adopted adopted your mother didn't want you"

I was a scruff bag the oldest of a large family and could never go on school trips or holidays, I got over it and hopefully so will you.

Try to let go of the negative and remember the good people you told us about.

I wish you well.

Lynn
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  #222  
Old 06.12.2009, 22:31
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Re: kids in swiss school

Hello Hayley,
I live in Horgen, too. I am from Austria though. But I did meet a lot of english speaking mothers who do meet up in turns at each others homes, or dorganize trips together with their kids.I have a son age 2 years and one who just got 5 month.
If you like lets meet up, there are a lot of people here and little friends for your little one.
Don't know either how to send private messages, but if you are interested let me know.
This is my first message in the english forum by the way :-)) Hello!
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  #223  
Old 07.12.2009, 00:53
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Re: kids in swiss school

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I am really keen to hear from other mothers if possible...

My child has gone to kindergartern for the last year and half, she has done amazingly well at learning the language and for a while seemed to be making friends.

However she never seems to be invited over to anyones house, and when I have encouraged her to ask a friend over she comes back saying they said no. When I have manged to invite a kid over, there has never been an invite back. Now at least 4 children who she has been friendly with who are in the same year as her, have had birthdays, and she has not been invited to one party. It makes me so mad.

I have talked to the teacher and she says during class time she gets on well with the other kids.

I am wondering if its becuase at the end of the day, she is a foriegner?

So my poor child is desparetly unhappy and I have no idea where else to find her some friends from!

Also I would love to meet other mothers, but due to situation above and my poor language skills I am not meeting them through the school. Plus even when I try to make conversation I get no where.

Where can I meet other mother with kindergarten age kids? If you send your kid to the international school there is a whole world for you as a parent, but that is not an option for me.

Is there any clubs, societies, coffee mornings for english speaking mums with shcool age children thats not nessecairly connected to the international schools?
There are African, Srilankan, Indian, Brazilian children who have come to Switzerland because their parents relocated here, did not know a single word of German, joined a Swiss school, integrated well and who are happy and have many friends.

My opinion
The "foreigner" aspect could be a problem in some cases just like it has been a problem for some immigrants in England. I suppose it is the duty of the parent to take steps to make sure the child feels at home by learning the local language ASAP. If the child does not know the local language she herself may feel a disconnect and so stay aloof because of this handicap, let alone other children not mingling much with her. So please do take positive steps as a parent to help the child, and possibly facilitate communication between the child and a few classmates. Also in such a circumstance its essential that the parent should know the language to be of help, and so it is their DUTY to learn it as a matter of responsibility.

Adults or children can have a problem with the new environment, and culture. I feel, It takes some effort to integrate, and until we have exhausted all efforts/avenues i dont think we should jump concusions about any phobias(unless we have concrete evidence), BECAUSE such a feeling (if it turns out to be wrong)could become an impediment in our heads to our plans and to a happy integration.

One more thing, it pays to mix as much as possible with the Swiss in your street/community, i am sure if we get try to converse they will reciprocate(i would suggest to anyone who asks me to not even think neighbours as Swiss and different, rather they are simply good neighbours, and this helps). From experience its not necessary to speak in Swiss at first, the people who know a bit of English will try to speak to you in English. Even those who dont know English would show interest to know what you are speaking with the help of others, thats how friendly the Swiss can be actually. I have understood that most are interested in exchanging ideas, and they dont have a fixation about language, but of course knowing the language can help immensely. Once you get close to some neighbours, you naturally get to know more people through them and build up your own network, and it so happens normally their all your children know each other, so whats the problem then in children having friends (you/children get your own "inner circle" blah blah .. ) if they all study at the same school?(this is how i have understood the system works here, i will get some Swiss themselves to confirm this and let you know here). The Swiss love to gossip if you get chatty, try it.

Last edited by Viju; 07.12.2009 at 02:22.
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  #224  
Old 07.12.2009, 01:50
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Re: kids in swiss school

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Hello friends,

I would like to advise anyone with small kids to not move to Switzerland -PLEASE. If you live there already, get out as fast as you can.

My parents moved to Switzerland when I was only 3 years old. We are originally from Iran. The first language I ever learned to speak fluently was swiss german. I have had the most traumatic and painful childhood because of racism and discrimination. I have not had one true friend in all the years that I lived in Switzerland except some minor friendships with other foreigners or other marginalized people. I experienced racism from my first day in Kindergarten. I was happy child and adolescent. I have never wronged anyone. I have always had above average grades in school and today I have a master's degree from a recognized university. I am also physically very pleasing to the eye. I have had only hate and mistrust from swiss children. They discriminate and they are taught by their parents to do so.

Please be advised that not all Swiss people are like this, but the majority definitely is. Some swiss are the exact opposite. They are culture friendly, curious, open minded and very intelligent. The majority, however, are arrogant and mean.

I will never forgive those children for the pain they caused to me. They destroyed my childhood.

I lived in Maennedorf, Uerikon, Zurich and Siebnen.

Shiva
There MIGHT have been some racism, but to the extent of destroying your life?, and you felt the same in all those 4 places you studied?, i dont believe you. There could have been a particular aspect based on which they discriminated, but based on your race/skin colour in all the 4 places, i dont believe you. But thats my personal opionion. There have been many Africans, Turks, Tamils, Southern Italians who came here long ago, and are still living happy lives here to this day.

Generally i believe some people have been working overtime and creating new ID's just to jump in to the conversations with the sole aim of discrediting and attacking Switzerland and the Swiss. Will explain some aspects in appropriate threads. I've seen propaganda being carried out on account of many international issues on blogs worldwide, surely people could attack Switzerland a lot after the vote, such repercussions are normal under such the circumstances.

Last edited by Viju; 07.12.2009 at 02:20.
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  #225  
Old 07.12.2009, 09:20
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Re: kids in swiss school

I think you're right.

btw - I know a Persian family. They've had no problems with their kids being bullied in BS.
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  #226  
Old 07.12.2009, 09:29
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Re: kids in swiss school

Viju, are you aware that hayley made the first post in February 2006? If all went well, her child will be in the 4th year of school now.
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Old 07.12.2009, 10:40
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Re: kids in swiss school

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There MIGHT have been some racism, but to the extent of destroying your life?, and you felt the same in all those 4 places you studied?, i dont believe you. There could have been a particular aspect based on which they discriminated, but based on your race/skin colour in all the 4 places, i dont believe you. But thats my personal opionion. There have been many Africans, Turks, Tamils, Southern Italians who came here long ago, and are still living happy lives here to this day.

Generally i believe some people have been working overtime and creating new ID's just to jump in to the conversations with the sole aim of discrediting and attacking Switzerland and the Swiss. Will explain some aspects in appropriate threads. I've seen propaganda being carried out on account of many international issues on blogs worldwide, surely people could attack Switzerland a lot after the vote, such repercussions are normal under such the circumstances.

My Dear,

I am definitely not inventing anything. Do you want to see my Zeugnis from all 4 places? And yes - they were racist in all 4 places. As I wrote, not all of them were but the majority definitely was. Would you like to speak with one of my former school teachers in Uerikon and ask her if I was running out of the class the instant the bell rang and whether all boys ran after me just to hit me?
My so-called best friend in Maennedord was never allowed to visit me because her mother told her that "iranians are dirty and unhygienic". She told me that herself. I lived there for 12 years and I will never, ever forgive what they put me through. Never. Now you can believe this or not. God will judge them when the day comes.

Shiva
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  #228  
Old 07.12.2009, 11:40
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Re: kids in swiss school

Shiva, you had a crap time in school as a kid well so did a lot of others. You need to get over it and on with your life. You don't live here anymore but felt the need just to join us to post about this so obviously it is still affecting you, get help or move on. Remember the best revenge you can have on those who bullied you is to live your life well.

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My Dear,

I am definitely not inventing anything. Do you want to see my Zeugnis from all 4 places? And yes - they were racist in all 4 places. As I wrote, not all of them were but the majority definitely was. Would you like to speak with one of my former school teachers in Uerikon and ask her if I was running out of the class the instant the bell rang and whether all boys ran after me just to hit me?
My so-called best friend in Maennedord was never allowed to visit me because her mother told her that "iranians are dirty and unhygienic". She told me that herself. I lived there for 12 years and I will never, ever forgive what they put me through. Never. Now you can believe this or not. God will judge them when the day comes.

Shiva
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  #229  
Old 07.12.2009, 12:49
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Re: kids in swiss school

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Shiva, you had a crap time in school as a kid well so did a lot of others. You need to get over it and on with your life. You don't live here anymore but felt the need just to join us to post about this so obviously it is still affecting you, get help or move on. Remember the best revenge you can have on those who bullied you is to live your life well.

Dear Lou,

you are right. I did have a crap time and I do need to get on. In fact I have long time ago. I don't live there anymore but many in my family are there and have become swiss citizens over the years. I visit Switzerland at least twice a year.

If you read my first note you will see that I did state that some swiss families are the exaxt opposite. They are culture friendly, open minded, very warm and welcoming. I am thankful to them of course, without them it would have been unbearable. But generally speaking, growing up as a middle eastern in Switzerland in the early eighties was tough. Another factor was certainly that my two brothers were respectively 5 years and 10 years older than me and thus I didn't have them as a support either.

In all fairness, my brothers were sweared at for the first year as 'Auslaender' and then when they had mastered swiss german they were treated reasonably well.

My uncle and his family didn't get one vote against their citizenship application in Siebnen and they are really well integrated.

I didn't want to seem to harsh in my initial post. I just want to warn parents that this can happen in Switzerland and it is extremely painful for a child to endure hate, discrimination and racism. As a child you just want to play and be accepted. Nothing else.

I have a son myself today. I'd never move to Switzerland because of him.

Shiva
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  #230  
Old 07.12.2009, 13:28
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Re: kids in swiss school

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...
I didn't want to seem to harsh in my initial post. I just want to warn parents that this can happen in Switzerland...
With all due respect, what happened to you, dreadful as it was, was over 20 years ago. The social life of a nation can change quite a lot in 20 years. In that aspect, I don't think your post is helpful.

re: forgiveness. If your enemy doesn't care, then your unforgiveness only hurts you, poisons your relationships, destroys your life. It doesn't harm your enemy at all. In fact, if they really hate you, they'll be glad of your unforgiveness. Get some help - move on.
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  #231  
Old 07.12.2009, 13:45
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Re: kids in swiss school

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Viju, are you aware that hayley made the first post in February 2006? If all went well, her child will be in the 4th year of school now.
RT, Really sorry and thanks for pointing it out, i missed the date and actually thought it was a new thread.
Any way i hope the info would be helpful to people having the same kind of doubts now and in the future.
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  #232  
Old 23.03.2010, 13:53
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Re: kids in swiss school

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Hi,
I feel so bad after reading all these comments. Is there anyone who has a good experience from the public school system. I am currently struggling with a very anxiuos 5 year old who is very nervous and worried about us moving to Switzerland in August this year. (Maybe we shouldn´t have tried to prepare her so early by telling her the news now already...)

The thought of her not being able to make friends and being looked at as a foreigner (we are a Swedish/American family with no home country as we have been on the move since we first met and started a family...) once we get there and school starts makes me feel even worse for her. It can´t be that bad, really! Or?

We really want her to go to the public school as we want her to socialize with the kids (we will live close to Nyon in the French area) in our future neighborhood but if it is going to be as tough as some of you tell by your comments I really have to reconsider the International school alternative to make life easier for her.

Please, share some sunshine stories as well, I have been looking forward to this move so much but now I don´t know anymore...
Annette
Hi Anette, My husband has a job in Lausanne and we are looking for houses now and hoping to move in May. I am from the UK and my husband is South African but my Mum is Swedish so I also speak Swedish as a second language. We have a 4 year old girl, 1 year old boy and newborn baby girl. We have just told our 4 year old she is moving. Maybe we will be able to meet up if we do not live too far from each other.
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  #233  
Old 23.03.2010, 14:38
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Re: kids in swiss school

After reading about the peoples experience from the Swiss School system, here at the English forum, I must say its been painted with a very black brush. I do believe in all your experiences, but all in all I think our kids are safe in Swiss schools.

It will always be difficult to be a foreigner - this is the same all over the world: you will surely experience language difficulties, skepticism from the natives, the challenges to adapt to another culture - It all takes time.

The school system is also slightly different from what we are used to and that naturally scares us . How will our child adapt? how are the teachers? Is the swiss school system really good? And as parents, if we want to put them in public school, we really need to learn the language to be able to help and guide our children. - That is really our responisibility.

My experience with the swiss school system, so far, is a good one. My kids have two hours a week with german lessons (this is compulsory for all foreign kids in Zürich), I get good feedback and I always feel that they are really interested in my kids to progress and to enjoy their time in school.

It is also important to remember that the public swiss school system is one of the best in the world!

I think one should not be so skeptical..lets try it out. If you dont like it you can always change to a private one (if you have the money ).

I am not saying that all is perfect but being an norwegian where everyone attends public school, I have to say that the Swiss school is just as good - if not better!
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  #234  
Old 23.03.2010, 15:00
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Re: kids in swiss school

Have to agree with Anne K there, we have two boys 6 and 8 in the local school, they have been there circa 2 yrs and yes we have had teething problems with other kids, language etc but after 6 months they were flying along.

The most important thing to remember that your attitude is vital to them settling in, I made it a point to try and interract with other parents in their classes, the kids saw that I was making an effort so were not afraid to try themselves. I dont speak the lingo but people were polite enough to get over my ignorance and speak to me in English.

If your anxious, negative or try to force the issue then kids pick up on this very quickly and it becomes a bad experience for them.

I now have swiss german fired at me on daily basis from their friends- no idea what they are saying but its fun.

Good luck and go for it.
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  #235  
Old 23.03.2010, 18:13
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Re: kids in swiss school

Hi

I have lived here for 16 years. My children came up through the swiss school system., My son was 9 years old and my daughter was 6. it was hard for both of them. My daughter came home at lunch often with tears. Interesting that her mother is very Swiss and my daughter has blond hair, could not look any more Swiss but the kids did pick on her. At first she made friends with a girl from Pakistan and then one from Macedonia. She had a great time with these kids and one is still her best friend today. Her boyfriend is very Swiss and she now loves Switzerland.

I often thought that our home was like castle to my daughter, She would come home, cry and talk and then I would send her back to do battle. She survived. Kids are pretty resilient. I often told her that other people who have to put other people down often do not feel good about themselves. She eventually heard this.

My children tend to have friends who are foreigners. There is enough of us around.
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  #236  
Old 23.03.2010, 20:33
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Re: kids in swiss school

We have 2 kids, 10 and 12, and our experience is that the Swiss public school system so far has been excellent. It hasn't been perfect, but in general, a model system. We are an exception. I am American, and my wife British...we speak only English at home. Our kids were born here, speaking only English at home, and German / Swiss-German outside. As toddlers, we hired Swiss-German speaking Tagesmutters to look after them (my wife returned 50% to work after a year) so that they were exposed to the local dialect at a very early age.

The result now: they are both high achievers in school, absolutely fluent in English / German / Swiss German, and now learning French. They can flip in and out of the languages effortlessly. They make me jealous (after 20 yrs. here their German blows mine out of the water, not to mention dialect which for me is a permanent mystery). This coincided with English being introduced as the first foreign language taught (and graded)...their English is better than their teachers!

The only side effect we experienced is that when they were toddlers we had hired a Swiss Tagesmutter who originated from Toggenberg, so the kids actually spoke with a Toggenbureger dialect when they entered Kindergarten (in Zurich!)! We only discovered this afterwards...
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  #237  
Old 26.04.2010, 14:21
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Re: kids in swiss school

My kids, kindergarten and 3rd grade, started in Swiss school 4 months ago and have, thankfully, done well so far.
I am looking for group German lessons for them during the summer break. I am hoping to find something for the month of July and then one week in August working around some pre-scheduled trips. I know Benedict offers some lessons here in Basel, but unfortunately the weeks they offer the courses we will be out of town.
I would appreciate any referrals for courses.
Thanks in advance!
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  #238  
Old 26.04.2010, 14:39
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Re: kids in swiss school

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My kids, kindergarten and 3rd grade, started in Swiss school 4 months ago and have, thankfully, done well so far.
I am looking for group German lessons for them during the summer break. I am hoping to find something for the month of July and then one week in August working around some pre-scheduled trips. I know Benedict offers some lessons here in Basel, but unfortunately the weeks they offer the courses we will be out of town.
I would appreciate any referrals for courses.
Thanks in advance!
I don't think the likes of Benedict take on school children do they?

imo having been through it with our twins I would say leave it - you probably won't help them and you could actually harm the process. Leave it to the school - and give it another 6 months .
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  #239  
Old 27.04.2010, 20:56
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Re: kids in swiss school

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One more thing, it pays to mix as much as possible with the Swiss in your street/community, i am sure if we get try to converse they will reciprocate(i would suggest to anyone who asks me to not even think neighbours as Swiss and different, rather they are simply good neighbours, and this helps). From experience its not necessary to speak in Swiss at first, the people who know a bit of English will try to speak to you in English. Even those who dont know English would show interest to know what you are speaking with the help of others, thats how friendly the Swiss can be actually. I have understood that most are interested in exchanging ideas, and they dont have a fixation about language, but of course knowing the language can help immensely. Once you get close to some neighbours, you naturally get to know more people through them and build up your own network, and it so happens normally their all your children know each other, so whats the problem then in children having friends (you/children get your own "inner circle" blah blah .. ) if they all study at the same school?(this is how i have understood the system works here, i will get some Swiss themselves to confirm this and let you know here). The Swiss love to gossip if you get chatty, try it.
thanks for your input! do most Swiss people knew English? We will live near ETH, not sure about which local elementary school we will be, and how about the kids, parents, if they knew any English
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  #240  
Old 28.04.2010, 04:09
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Re: kids in swiss school

i am concerned about the prospects for our child if we move to switzerland. if we moved, it would be with no intentions of moving back.

although our daughter is half swiss, i am concerned about how she will be treated. she is non-white and i wonder, based on comments in this thread, if she will always be treated as an other. we already speak swiss german to her and because of her young age, i expect that she will achieve perfect fluency in swiss german...

but will that be enough to have friends? to be invited to play? to be treated fairly by her teachers?

this thread has really made my enthusiasm about maybe moving back wane .
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