The Canton of Zurich in Switzerland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and historical architecture, a paradise for the expats that reside there. Few realise, however, that the area is also well known for its outstanding educational standards and the wide variety of educational options available to expat children. There are in fact several types of schools to explore, each offering its own, unique advantages for all students, and in particular, those of expatriates.
What are the schooling options?
In Zurich, you can choose from the following schooling options for expat children.
- Private Schools – Some of the best private schools in Switzerland are located in Zurich, and as bilingual schools, they offer lessons taught in German, French or English. The access to so many international tongues is clearly an advantage to students, as is the opportunity to partake in a broad variety of extra-curricular activities, both cultural and sporting within the school and community. The fact that these schools are also attended by local children has the added benefit of allowing expat children to become familiar with local culture and traditions, and gain a colloquial understanding of the German language. The incredibly high standard of the curriculum taught ensures that students attending private schools are receiving a world-class education, with both the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Swiss Curriculum at the forefront in the private school environment.
- Public Schools – With a free education on offer from the ages of 4 to 15, public schools can be a very attractive offer to expatriate parents as an educational option for their children. Furthermore, public schools generally finish lessons during the early afternoon, allowing students to spend the afternoon enjoying extra-curricular activities or family and social time. With German as the language of instruction, expat children have the opportunity to interact in the local tongue and develop their linguistic abilities, whilst also receiving lessons in English and French. This provides a unique advantage, giving them the opportunity to integrate fully into the Swiss culture and quickly solidify roots in their community. The excellent standard of education provided by public schools has made this a very desirable option for many expat parents.
- International Schools in Zurich – The international schools differ from both the public and private school options as the local language barrier is removed and students are taught their core subjects in their home language. These schools are often preferred by expat parents and students as they allow them to form bonds within the expat community itself, whilst maintaining an exceptional standard of education. As with the other schools, a vast array of cultural and sporting extracurricular activities is on offer for students, as well as the opportunity to learn a variety of languages from native speakers. Further to this, most students in these schools quickly learn the native dialect as they still manage to interact with local children on a frequent basis. International schools also allow students who are somewhat international and transient themselves, to maintain a common curriculum, easily transferred should they be required to move in the future. With the A-Level / IGCSE and the IB systems prevalent in these environments, an exceptional education is provided to students with easy university entrance upon completion.
Every schooling option has its own set of pros and cons and it is for you, the parent, to decide which will best suit your children. If you are searching for an exceptional international school in Zurich, then we would love you to consider the International School of Zurich North
(ISZN). Centrally situated and easily accessible on public transport, this school provides an outstanding education for students from the Kindergarten phase through to A-Level, making use of both the IB and Cambridge examination system.