International Education in Zurich
Switzerland sets high standards for everything, and international schools are no exception. Multilingual, disciplined and efficient, there’s arguably no better place in Europe to get a top class education for your child.
As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has the biggest choice of international schools in the country. Many of them are situated along the scenic banks of Zurichsee (Lake Zurich), somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The leafy north eastern suburbs, such as Wallisellen and Gockhausen, are home to a selection of international schools also.
The International Baccalaureate originated in Switzerland, and is now offered in thousands of schools in almost every country in the world. So make no mistake, the standard of internatioanl education on offer in Zurich is among the best on the planet, if not THE best. Needless to say, facilities in every international school are also fantastic.
IB is still the most popular curriculum on offer in Swiss international schools, but you can find an impressive variety of other curricula too - everything from Swiss to Japanese is represented.
While the Swiss curriculum has a fantastic reputation worldwide, it’s worth noting that it does differ significantly from others around the world. If you don’t plan on living in Switzerland long-term you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of the Swiss, IB and other curricula before committing. This way you can be sure your child’s progress and educational qualifications will be as consistent as possible, wherever you go.
International schools in Zurich often offer ‘full-day’ schooling. This doesn’t mean your child will be attending lessons from morning to evening. It simply means they provide extracurricular programs before or after lessons, including sports, after-school study time and social clubs.
Switzerland has four national languages to its name, so bilingual and trilingual international schools are par for the course in Zurich. After English, German is the most common language of instruction. Regardless of the curriculum or international school you choose however, your child will be exposed to multiple languages as part of day to day life in Zurich.
Now for the bad news. It’s a well known fact that Switzerland has a high cost of living. You’ll pay more for day to day services and amenities than in many other places in Europe. International education is not immune to this: Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe for international schools.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. Zurich has the highest costs for international schools in Switzerland and in Europe, but it also has the third highest schools fees in the world. Only Beijing and Shanghai are more expensive!
With a high cost of living comes an equally high quality of life, however. With mountains and lakes almost aplenty, fantastic infrastructure, efficiency everywhere you look and a rich culture and history, life in Zurich is most definitely worth the financial cost.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Zurich. However, there are another 13 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 Zurich based on your requirements.