The top 10 schools in Switzerland, compiled by Spear’s magazine in association with Carfax Education
Co-ed, Boarding ($65,000, 375 pupils, 9-18
Focus: Balanced development of mind, body and spirit
Curriculums: GCSE, IB
Accessibility: Lausanne; 50 mins/Geneva; 1 hr 30 min
Modelled on a British boarding school (the founder taught at Gordonstoun), L’Aiglon has long been popular with families wanting a British education with the benefits of an international outlook and Alpine activities. Alumni demonstrate the international roots and go on to an extraordinary range of careers. An Aiglon pupil will ‘try new things; they ask probing questions; they dare’.
Brillantmont International School
Co-ed, Boarding & day ($104,500). 80 pupils, 13-18
Focus: Inclusive, international learning
Curriculums: IGCSE, A-level, US
Accessibility: Lausanne; 15 mins, Geneva; 50 mins
This small school, set in a traditional Swiss townhouse and owned by the same family since 1882, offers a home-from-home atmosphere. Centrally located in Lausanne with views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, Brillantmont offers all the classic benefits of a Swiss school, and the international cohort of pupils benefit from a very individualised learning experience.
Collège Alpin Beau Soleil
Co-ed, Boarding ($104,500), 230 pupils, 11-18
Focus: Holistic education
Curriculums: IGCSE, IB, US, French Bac
Accessibility: Lausanne; 50 mins, Geneva; 1 hr 30 mins
Offering parallel French and international systems, this small school attracts pupils of more than 50 nationalities and counts royalty among its alumni, plus well-known names from the film and fashion worlds. It has a global reach, with close ties to MIT and the Juilliard School. A ski chalet and plenty of outdoor challenges support an academically strong curriculum.
Institut Le Rosey
Co-ed, Boarding ($133,000), 420 pupils, 10-18
Focus: A school for life
Curriculums: IB, French Bac,
Accessibility: Geneva; 30 mins
Famous for its illustrious alumni, with kings, princesses, children of famous dynasties and film and pop stars, Le Rosey has a pleasantly understated feel. With its winter campus in Gstaad as well as its stunning facilities closer to Geneva, it delivers on its promise to recognise and develop the talents of all its pupils. It’s a truly cosmopolitan environment – with a long waiting list.
Institut auf dem Rosenberg
Co-ed, Boarding ($138,000), 230 pupils, 6-18
Focus: Holistic learning for future leaders
Curriculums: IGCE, A-level, IB, AP, GIB, DP
Zurich; 50 mins
The art nouveau villas in private parkland and landscaped gardens encourage prospective pupils to see this as a traditional school. But Rosenberg offers a blend of traditional and innovative education across a range of curriculums and takes pupils well beyond academic learning. Each child has an individual development plan, and there is a strong focus on creativity and interpersonal skills.
Intercommunity School, Zurich
Co-ed, Day ($32,000-$39,500), 830 pupils, 1-18
Focus: Cultural diversity
Accessibility: Zurich; 20 mins
‘We must let children fly and set them free from oppression to learn.’ This approach is obviously working for the many nationalities studying here, whether in the English or bilingual German stream. The focus on cultural diversity is emphasised by its membership of Round Square, which promotes the education of courageous and compassionate leaders in international schools.
International School of Geneva (Ecolint)
Co-ed, Day $29,000-$37,500, 4,500 pupils, 3-18
Focus: Inclusivity & innovation
Curriculum: IGCE, French Brevet, IB. US
Accessibility: Geneva; 20 mins
Spread over three campuses in Geneva, this school is a legendary model of educational efficiency, delivering four curriculums simultaneously. It is regarded as the birthplace of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme and the academics are strong – but what leaves the longest legacy with pupils is the school’s mission of educating for peace and inculcating humanitarian values.
La Garenne School
Boarding & day ($38,000-$91,000), 90 pupils, 9-18
Focus: Global citizenship Blended
Curriculums: UK curriculum & IB Co-ed
Accessibility: Geneva; 1 hr 20 mins
Although the curriculum is taught in English, La Garenne takes a bilingual approach for its international community of pupils, with all speaking a high level of French. Pupils thrive in the warm, family atmosphere in chalets nestling in the shadow of Mont Blanc, where they are encouraged to develop a lifelong passion for learning. A senior school is opening in September
Leysin American School
Co-ed, Boarding ($105,000), 320 pupils, 12-18
Focus: Passionate thinkers and leaders Curriculum: US, IB, APs
Accessibility: Lausanne; 50 mins, Geneva; 1 hr 30 mins
Rockefellers and Vanderbilts have been educated here, although Americans form only about 12 per cent of the pupil body. While the curriculum is delivered in English, there is plenty of support for nonnative speakers. The school seeks educational opportunities for its pupils way beyond the classroom, building entrepreneurship and teamwork skills alongside academic achievement.
Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz
Co-ed, Boarding & day ($78,000-$89,000) 300 pupils, 12-18
Focus: Learning for life
Curriculum: IBDP, IBCP, Swiss Matura, German Abitur
Accessibility: Zurich; 2 hrs 40 mins
One of the oldest boarding schools in Switzerland, founded in 1904 and based near St Moritz, Zuoz is home to pupils of more than 30 nationalities. They are attracted by the principles of self-discipline, commitment, fair play and cosmopolitanism, with pupils encouraged to be open-minded citizens of the world. There is even a German-speaking Shakespeare company.
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