International Education in Swiss Alps
Switzerland’s reputation for international education stretches back for over a century. From the late 19th century onwards, and especially during the world wars, it was common for affluent families across Europe to send their children to boarding schools in the Swiss Alps. This was not only due to the country’s excellent standards of education, but also because of its political and economic position as a ‘safe haven’. The tradition continues today, and there are several excellent international schools in the Swiss Alps to choose from.
With impeccable facilities, highly experienced teaching staff, and awe-inspiring scenery on the doorstep, an international school in the Swiss Alps is probably the most idyllic setting for your child’s education. However it does come with one significant downside - Switzerland is among the most expensive countries in the world for international education, and fees for the Swiss Alps’ international schools tend to be higher than other regions of the country. This is mostly because they are almost all boarding schools, so your fees include not just education, but accommodation, food, and a more extensive extra curricular program than usual.
International schools can be found across alpine regions in Switzerland - two in the east towards the Austrian/Italian borders, two in the centre between Lucerne and Grindelwald, and several in the west, within a few hours of the French border and the cities of Lausanne and Geneva. The town of Verbier in the southwest corner of the country is home to three different international schools.
In keeping with international schools across Switzerland, schools in the Swiss Alps are usually multilingual teaching English and French or German at a minimum, depending on the region. It is also quite common for schools to offer more than one curriculum, the most popular being the International Baccalaureate (IB), British, and the national Swiss curriculum. Class sizes are small, often with less than 15 students per class.
International schools in the Swiss Alps will be like a second home for your child in many ways. Due to the lower numbers of students and the holistic, hands-on approach that many schools in the region take, close-knit school communities where students, parents, and teachers alike are in close and constant contact are very common. Even your child attends during the day only (several schools do offer this), they will still feel as though they are an integral part of the school ‘family’.
Although small in size, the student body of a typical international school in the Swiss Alps is impressively diverse. Due to their stellar reputation, families from all over the world choose international schools in this region. While you will usually find some local students, many Swiss families opt to enroll their children in the national school system instead of choosing an international school, since the standard of education is equally high and the cost is free.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Swiss Alps. However, there are another 3 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Swiss Alps based on your requirements.