Finding the perfect school in Switzerland: not as easy as it seems
Switzerland has one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world (8.16% in 2020). This is largely due to the country’s excellent educational system. So it can’t be that hard to find a great school for your children, right?
Well, not quite. While great schools are everywhere in Switzerland, it doesn’t mean that every school is right for your children. The first choice you need to make is between public, private, and international education. Then, you need to find a school that matches your child’s personality, language skills, and their plans for the future – will they go to a Swiss university, somewhere else in Europe, or on a different continent.
But before we dig any deeper, let’s take a quick look at the Swiss educational system and your main options.
Public schooling in Switzerland
95% of the Swiss send their children to public schools. This option is 100% free. And, since primary and secondary education are mandatory in Switzerland, your child will be automatically registered to the school closest to your residence upon your arrival.
Excellent as they may be, Swiss public schools come with some challenges for the children of expats. The language barrier is one of them. Most cantons (especially the German-speaking ones) offer free-of-charge language support for foreign children (in the DaZ programme). But what happens if you arrive to Switzerland in the middle of the school year?
This might make your choice even more complicated. One the one hand, public schools offer the best chance at integration in the Swiss culture. On the other hand, your child may not have enough time to learn the local language properly.
This is where the second option comes into play.
Private or international schooling in Switzerland
Private and international schools in Switzerland are either monolingual or bilingual. This means that your children will have the familiarity of English, but they will also learn the local language, so they can integrate faster.
Plus, private schools also have what we call a continuous day, where lunch is provided by the school and the children can spend the afternoon there, too. In public schools, you will have to make child care and lunch arrangements on your own.
However, all these things come at a cost: expect to pay anywhere between CHF 15,000 to CHF 30,000 per year, depending on the school and the services offered. Do take into account the fact that not all schools are truly bilingual. Some simply offer certain classes in English, which means that your child will still have to speed up their local language lessons.
Still not sure what the right option for your child is?
We get it – the system is quite complex. To make things even more complicated, there are significant differences between cantons with respect to the curricula, the languages spoken in school, even the exams children have to take.
Luckily, you don’t have to make this decision all alone.
Why do you need the support of an Education expert?
Most parents start the quest for the perfect school for their children by asking friends and co-workers about their choice. That is a perfectly valid option, but what happens if you need an unbiased opinion and reviews of several schools?
As well-intentioned as they may be, friends and co-workers can only speak about their choice and about what works for their children. Depending on your child’s personality and preferences, as well as their language level (or their knack for languages in general), another option may be the right one for you.
This is where the experts at Packimpex come into play with 100% personalised, unbiased schooling support. The Packimpex service is a consulting call designed for expats who are unfamiliar with the Swiss school system and want to make the right choice for their children from the very beginning.
Here’s what you can expect:
You will learn all about the available options: i.e. public, private & international education.
You will receive personalized advice according to your country of origin, culture & spoken languages.
You will get assistance in identifying the school that best suits the child’s educational needs.
100% unbiased advice: Packimpex doesn’t represent any public or private school, so you won’t hear a sales pitch. You will hear fair, unbiased advice about the best options for your child.
You will be offered the best choices in terms of schooling (public or private) depending on the duration of your stay in Switzerland and countless other factors.
You will benefit from Packimpex’s local knowledge: your schooling adviser won’t just give you generic advice about schools in Switzerland, but specific ones about the canton you live in.
You get to ask any questions you want until you feel 100% confident in your decision. Packimpex can even guide you on the best options if you have a special needs child or a gifted one.
Fee: CHF 150 to learn all you need about your child’s education in Switzerland.
Let’s find the perfect school for your child!Book your call now
Our education experts save you time and money
Instead of putting in hours of research on your own (sometimes on websites in a language that is completely foreign to you), why not speak to a Swiss schooling expert and get all the information you need, without worrying that it’s outdated or biased?
Just like you, Packimpex experts will put your child’s education first! Plus, with this call, you’ll make sure that you don’t miss any registration deadlines and that you know exactly when to sign up for a waiting list (if need be).
The Schooling Support call is a turnkey, 100% personalised offer for parents who know that the success of their children starts with the right education.
Why choose Packimpex for Schooling Support?
Packimpex is Switzerland's relocation market leader and the most awarded international relocation company. With 45 years' experience in relocation, in the last 10 years alone, they have helped over 20,000 customers make Switzerland their home. Over 60 of the Top 100 Swiss companies entrust Packimpex with their key executives’ move – with all that it entails.
We know that relocating to a new country is more than moving your belongings. Finding the perfect school for your children is one of the main concerns of newly arrived expats.
At Packimpex, we take full advantage of our local knowledge to help you find more than a home: we can help your children find the perfect school to help them thrive for the duration of your stay in Switzerland, whether it’s for a few months or forever.Talk to an education expert