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Old 09.04.2007, 20:46
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School at 8 year old

When making a commitment for 5 or more years in Switzerland, would you send you English speaking daughter to local Swiss school or to International school.
Would it make a difference if it was canton Zug or canton Zurich?
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Old 09.04.2007, 21:01
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Re: School at 8 year old

My daughter used to go to a French kindergarten and is now in a Swiss German school. The difference is that now she has friends in the neighbourhood and she can communicate with them. Her German is not as good as theirs but is ok. She's forgotten all her French unfortunately.
I think it is important to go to a local school to become a part of the local community and to have friends who live close by.
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Old 09.04.2007, 21:40
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Re: School at 8 year old

Hi there,

If i was making a long term commitment to staying in CH for 5 or more years I would definetly put my children in the local schools. It will help them to intergrate and learn the language more easily. Since we are not commited to staying long term as yet and dont know how long we will stay we are sending our children to a bilingual school.

Good luck
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Old 09.04.2007, 21:58
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Re: School at 8 year old

We've been here now almost 6 years and both our children went to the local school for integration and language purposes. My husband teaches at Zurich International School and our older son is there now this year in 6th grade for the first time - it is the first year of Middle School and he has always wanted to go to ZIS so this year was a good time as he hadn't had any education in English. Our younger son was in the international school for 2 years for pre-school and pre-K and has been in our local swiss system for 3 years now and is in 1st grade.

Their experiences were VERY different - our older son's was so bad that the Swiss neuropsychologist who tested him for learning differences and ADD (she found neither) recommended that we remove him from the system as his self esteem was so low and that he was giving up and that it was the learning environment in her opinion that was causing the problems. We sent him to the Steiner school for 2 years hoping he would have some positive "Swiss schooling" experiences before moving him to ZIS.

Our younger son has had nothing but wonderful teachers and experiences at his school (we are in a different town now) and he struggles daily with his learning disabilities.

I guess what I am saying is that even though it was so bad for my older son, we gave it a go with my younger son and it has been great. As we are here "permanently" it wasn't a question in our minds that they would go to local schools as that would be the only way for them to have a shot at integration.

I don't know what we would have done if we thought we were here only 5 years. Most likely exactly what we did as we wanted to give them the opportunity to be bilingual. We lived in Norway before here and rather than send my older son to the international school for free for pre-school and pre-K where my husband taught, we paid for him to go to a Norwegian one so he could learn the language and experience the culture. We knew we would only be there for 4 years.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 17.04.2007, 01:30
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Re: School at 8 year old

Here is a Yahoo group with members who have children in state schools throughout Switzerland...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Swiss-Schooling

Here are some general sites...

Education in Switzerland
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/...ch/chwoed.html

The Educational System in Switzerland
http://www.bbw.admin.ch/html/pages/bildung-e.html

The Swiss Education System
http://www2.educa.ch/dyn/129983.asp
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