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-   -   Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/71220-advice-pls-education-system-switzerland.html)

muffin 04.01.2010 02:13

Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
Does anyone know where I could find information (in ENGLISH VERSION) about education system in switzerland please? I'm interested in all stages of study from kindergarden, primary, secondary to university, for sake of planning my kids education here.

any chance there's an official website or equivalent to talk about it ?

In case it varies by canton, I'm particulary referring to canton VAUD.

thanks a lot.

kodokan 04.01.2010 02:38

Re: Advice pls- Education System in SW
Hi Muffin

It does vary by canton, and some of it will change over the next few years anyway because of the HarmoS initiative (to harmonise the education systems and curriculums across the cantons).

In answer to your question, the only thing I've ever found in English about the Vaud education system is this document about how children's work is evaluated:


Which probably isn't too much help if your kid(s) aren't even in enfantine yet!

There are also a couple of useful links on this page - the top one ('structure de l'école vaudoise') goes through to a very detailed diagram of the various routes through the whole education system, especially at secondary/tertiary levels, and the list of links at the bottom of that page compares the grade/ year system here to those in other countries (so you can see that Reception in the UK equates to 1st yr enfantine here, and so on).


Do you have any specific questions we could help with? The entire Vaud education system from ages 4 to adulthood distilled into pithy English is a bit of a stretch, and so much of it will depend on individual schools/teachers anyway (example: reading/writing is not on the curriculum until 1st grade, but my 5 yr old in 2nd yr enfantine is very much being taught to read by her marvellously dedicated teachers).


muffin 04.01.2010 16:17

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
thanks a lot.

I do not have specific questions in mind because....i know nothing about the education system here :(

my 2 kids are 2.5yrs old and 4 months. It sounds like a bit too early to think about stages like university but I would like to plan ahead for this as it will affect some of our big family decision like mobility, finance, where to live on a longer term... I don't want to get panic /surprised with unknown when it comes to education for my kid.

any other advice ?

Longbyt 04.01.2010 16:31

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
This Sticky Pre-School Thread has several links which might help you to get an overview. I hope it is up-to-date as quite a bit has changed in the past couple of years but my youngsters are no longer young so I don't keep track of things in this field any more.

This Swissworld Site also has a bit of Info.

runningdeer 05.01.2010 11:25

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland

Here is a link regarding Swiss school system in english:


Here is a link to the page of Canton Vaud schooling, in english (more sub-pages on various topics):


Please note there are significant variations between the cantons (until they ever adopt HarmoS), so what may be true for Vaud, may not be the case for Zurich, etc.

simplon 05.01.2010 11:43

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
Here is a summery about the bernese system.

tiny_tim 05.01.2010 12:01

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland

Good to proactive in any case.

Perhaps you can make a meeting with someone within the school public system that could help you out- face to face. If language is a problem then probably you can find someone within the school admin that speaks English. See if you can get a tour too. I am sure a healthy interest will precipitate a great rapport.

Our 2 kids were schooled all the way through the system here in Lausanne. Apart from some of their classmates cutting up in class, making a bit of hell to the teachers who allowed it (which I am afraid is common no matter where), we feel like they got a top-quality education, complete with German, studies about greater Europe and the world.

Best of luck too.

muffin 05.01.2010 17:28

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
Have browsed a couple of sites suggested above. They're very detailed and descriptive except that I couldn't find any information on COST.

anybody could further gives me a direction? With the high living cost here, I'm actually quite concerned about how much I will have to spend on the education of our kids like tuition fee, books etc..

Others mums could share your experience in the budget too.

kodokan 05.01.2010 18:45

Re: Advice pls- Education System in Switzerland
State education is completely free - you'll have to pay for a few clip folders and the odd excursion, but that's all. The most expensive thing I've paid for so far is my son's class trip to camp for 3 days, which from memory was about 100 chfs.

I'm a way off uni with mine yet, but I understand that it's ludicrously cheap to do a degree course here. I think UNIL up the road from me in Lausanne charges about 900 chfs a year. Or maybe that's each semester; either way, very cheap.

This is not one of life's irrevocable decisions. Go with an option you feel comfortable with emotionally or financially, or that you think works best for your child at this stage. My son's so far been in 4 schools in 2 countries, being schooled in 2 different languages, and he's not yet 10. I couldn't possible pick what he might want to do for secondary specialisation or uni yet, but I will reconsider at each relevant stage whether the Swiss education system/ teaching in French is still the best longterm choice for him, and act accordingly.


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