International School Parent Magazine - Summer 2022

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<strong>Summer</strong> in<br />

Switzerland <strong>2022</strong><br />

Fantastic family outings<br />

this summer<br />

​Should I<br />

take a<br />

Gap Year? ​<br />

The Swiss<br />

Education<br />

System<br />

An Overview



Leysin American <strong>School</strong> in Switzerland is home to exceptional students from around<br />

the world. Our warm community is steeped in tradition, and we provide an outstanding<br />

education in a supportive environment on our beautiful campus in the Swiss Alps.<br />

We encourage our students to be themselves – creative thinkers who aren’t afraid to<br />

take risks and think outside of the box. We provide them with personalized attention<br />

and diverse course offerings within our IB, AP, and ESL programs. LAS graduates<br />

are independent, innovative thinkers who thrive at top universities across the globe.<br />

www.las.ch admissions@las.ch +41 24 493 4888<br />


Welcome to the <strong>Summer</strong><br />

edition of <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> magazine<br />

<strong>Summer</strong>time has arrived! Spring came and went, and time flies so<br />

quickly that it seems like just yesterday I was sitting down with the<br />

team to finish our Spring edition. ​<br />

​It’s safe to say we are on course for a wonderful summer. The<br />

summer edition of <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

brilliantly brings together the latest and greatest happenings in the<br />

international school community!<br />

Contents<br />

06 Meet The Team – Interview With Henri Behar And<br />

Stephanie Walmsley From The JFK <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong>, Switzerland<br />

12 Meet The Head – Interview With Marc Ott From The<br />

Leysin American <strong>School</strong><br />

17 <strong>Parent</strong>ing Through Diversity<br />

20 What <strong>Parent</strong>s Say About Academia <strong>School</strong>s<br />

22 Looking Towards University<br />

24 Switzerland Home Of Innovation<br />

26 “A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships”<br />

29 Improving University Experience, 1% At A Time<br />

32 Share The Dream With The Olympic Museum<br />

34 <strong>Summer</strong> In Switzerland <strong>2022</strong><br />

37 Interlaken <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

38 <strong>Summer</strong> At Schilthorn: Adrenalin And Relaxation<br />

For Families<br />

40 Your Next Colourful Getaway To Southern Switzerland<br />

42 Family Holidays In Liechtenstein: Relaxation And<br />

Adventure Await Here<br />

46 Basel<br />

48 On Top Of Mt. Titlis<br />

49 The Swis Education System – An Overview<br />

53 Is A Gap Year Worth It?<br />

56 Supporting Children Through Relocation<br />

60 The True Nature Of Things: Ecolint’s Forest <strong>School</strong><br />

Programme<br />

64 What Is The US High <strong>School</strong> Diploma Programme?<br />

​Our special recurring Meet the Headteachers interviews are back<br />

this edition and we spoke to Dr Marc Ott from Leysin American<br />

school and Henri Behar from JFK <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>. Both<br />

interviews provide insightful behind-the-scenes commentary on<br />

what parents and students can expect from an education at these<br />

fantastic schools.<br />

This time of year is always a period when older students are looking<br />

forward to an exciting, exam-free summer, but equally many parents<br />

may be wondering how to entertain their children over the long<br />

holidays. Luckily we have an enormous tourism section with local<br />

ideas to explore as a family this summer, from city break ideas<br />

to adventurous walking in Liechtenstein. There are just so many<br />

fantastic places to go in Switzerland, and you can see a lot of them<br />

on foot or by bike for free. ​<br />

​As usual, we have some great articles from educational experts in<br />

areas as diverse as making the most of your university experience, to<br />

gap years, and a look on the Swiss Education System. I would like to<br />

extend our invitation to other specialists in all fields of education to<br />

contact us for writing opportunities. We welcome all enquiries about<br />

being featured in an issue of the magazine.<br />

​We remain committed to the task of helping parents and children<br />

to make the most of the fantastic opportunities an education at an<br />

international school in Switzerland provides. All that remains to<br />

be said is that I hope you have a wonderful end to the term and a<br />

fantastic summer holiday.<br />

Work hard and be the best!<br />

Nick<br />

Nick Gilbert<br />

Editor & Publishing Director<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

Mobile + 41 787 10 80 91<br />

Email nick@internationalschoolparent.com<br />

Website www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

@isparentmag<br />


Liechtenstein –<br />

a family paradise<br />

Located in the four-country corner and only 60 minutes from Zurich by car, the Principality<br />

of Liechtenstein offers an amazing range of family friendly tourism experiences. The small<br />

Alpine monarchy combines everything you need for an unforgettable family holiday: an<br />

impressive mountain world, lively culture, charming villages and excellent gastronomy.<br />

Find out more www.tourismus.li/en<br />

Liechtenstein Marketing<br />

Aeulestrasse 30, 9490 Vaduz,<br />

Phone +423 239 63 63


Interview with Henri Behar and Stephanie Walmsley<br />

from the JFK <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>, Switzerland<br />

A‘Small <strong>School</strong> with a Big Heart,’<br />

the John F. Kennedy <strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>School</strong> is a unique familyorientated<br />

educational environment which<br />

has been providing an excellent education,<br />

to local families and international students,<br />

in the heart of the Swiss Alps since 1971.<br />

Focused on creating a school that makes a<br />

significant difference to the community they<br />

serve, and providing opportunities for all<br />

their pupils and students, JFK <strong>International</strong><br />

is a small but growing campus.<br />

We sat down with <strong>School</strong> Director, Henri<br />

Behar, and the Head of the Middle <strong>School</strong>,<br />

Stephanie Walmsley, to discuss the school,<br />

their educational approaches, and to find<br />

out more about what makes the John F.<br />

Kennedy <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> a worldrenowned<br />

centre for multi-culturalism and<br />

learning.<br />

Tell us a little bit about yourself - what’s<br />

your background, and what made you<br />

choose education as a career?<br />

Henri: I graduated from EPFL in<br />

Lausanne as an Architect and worked as<br />

one for a while in Geneva before moving<br />

into Graphic Design.<br />

Whilst I was a student in College du<br />

Leman (Geneva), I worked with their<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Camps and every holiday I would<br />

take groups over to Spain, or I stayed with<br />

them when I was studying in university.<br />

College du Leman became a bit like my<br />


second home, and I ended up working in<br />

the college when I started my school career.<br />

I was the Head of Boarding, the Head of<br />

Marketing, and the Head of the <strong>Summer</strong><br />

Camp – back and forth, sometimes just in<br />

one role, sometimes in two, or in all three.<br />

I was then offered to come to JFK by Mr.<br />

Philippe Gudin (the owner of Le Rosey,<br />

who had been approached by the Board to<br />

put the school back on the right foot) – he<br />

asked if I would like to work as the Director<br />

of the <strong>School</strong> when there were only 27<br />

students.<br />

I started to build on the atmosphere,<br />

the quality of the teachers, and the level<br />

of education – now we have 130 students,<br />

and we’ll list around a hundred students<br />

throughout the year.<br />

How do your experiences and<br />

philosophies inform your approaches<br />

at JFK?<br />

Henri: I would say the base of the school<br />

is, “Small <strong>School</strong>, Big Heart.”<br />

Being a small school can sometimes<br />

be seen as a negative, but we say this is a<br />

positive – because we’re a small school, we<br />

can pay close, personalised attention and<br />

create a family atmosphere.<br />

We are a small school, and of course<br />

– the big heart – is the part where all this<br />

love and care that everybody gets, comes<br />

together, because it’s one-to-one attention.<br />

There are 16 students maximum per<br />

classroom (with an average of around 12) –<br />

and the idea is that the teachers know every<br />

single student – what their strengths and<br />

weaknesses are.<br />

Keeping the family spirit is one of the<br />

biggest philosophies to keep in the school to<br />

maintain our philosophy of ‘Small <strong>School</strong>,<br />

Big Heart.’<br />

Stephanie: What we’re doing is growing<br />

academically. The Middle <strong>School</strong> has<br />

grown naturally as the school has grown<br />

and we are now increasing and refining<br />

our academic subjects and educational<br />

experiences. The big push on my side has<br />

been to increase the quality in the middle<br />

years program – because we know that,<br />

obviously, our students are going to go<br />

on to local high schools in terms of the<br />

international system in the region.<br />

We want to ensure that what we’re<br />

doing here matches their needs when the<br />

students go to the next high school; so, their<br />

education is on par (if not better) when they<br />

get to where they are going to next. We<br />

are working in close collaboration with the<br />

regional high schools.<br />

What have you learnt from your time<br />

leading an <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>?<br />

Henri: JFK used to be seen as a bit of a<br />

‘fun’ school, where people used to come<br />

and do a lot of skiing, sports, and outdoors<br />

activities, and they’d study when they had<br />

the time, that was 20 years ago when the<br />

attitude was more, “If my kid comes back<br />

home happy, that’s enough for me.”<br />

Since then, things have evolved – parents<br />

are more demanding, and there’s more<br />

competition for children to go on into better<br />

schools and better universities. So of course,<br />

we’ve evolved too with our academics, to<br />

make sure our students are prepared for the<br />

next step – and this is, I would say, one of<br />

the big steps that we will continue to work<br />

with, because it keeps growing.<br />

What’s interesting though, is at the<br />

same time, we take pride in our outdoor<br />

education to create real well-rounded<br />

students, who aren’t only academic - but<br />

also good in sports, appreciating the<br />

outdoor environment and understanding<br />

the importance of that for their own<br />

wellbeing.<br />


Describe the typical JFK <strong>International</strong><br />

student, can you tell us a bit about the<br />

programs at JFK?<br />

Henri: We have a nice mix - the Junior<br />

House (for ages 6-9) currently has 9 students<br />

right now, and they live together with the<br />

House <strong>Parent</strong>s, which helps to develop the<br />

family spirit, the Senior House is more like<br />

a traditional Boarding House and is set up<br />

for the older students (10-14 years).<br />

Our school is for students up to age<br />

fourteen, so we have to prepare them<br />

to move on into other education – and<br />

give them the ability to thrive in different<br />

environments. I would say that our students<br />

are well received in other schools, and well<br />

prepared – they are ready to adapt.<br />

As for the programs, as well as the<br />

academics, we have a tradition here of<br />

having Holiday Camps, and operate an<br />

Outdoor Adventure Camp – the JFK Swiss<br />

Outdoor Camp – it’s all outdoors and is<br />

themed by week; one week it’ll be a ‘Water<br />

week’ with all water activities, another will<br />

be a week on the mountain with hikes and<br />

camping, and then the third week with rock<br />

climbing, making campfires, and benefiting<br />

from outdoor learning.<br />

With the Rock Week, the participants<br />

might be climbing in the morning, then<br />

learning about the rocks and minerals in the<br />

afternoon – why some are different colours,<br />

about the different formations, all these<br />

things. If it’s a water activity, they’ll learn<br />

about the river, the animals that can be<br />

found there, etc.<br />

It’s all attached to learning - everything<br />

is carefully designed to provide a full<br />

adventure camp with activities and action –<br />

but still combine with this learning.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 8<br />

The program runs for six weeks in the<br />

summer, and we run the program twice<br />

(Water / Mountain / Rock), so people can<br />

come in and do 2-3 weeks.<br />

How do you encourage a love of<br />

learning?<br />

Stephanie: I think that it’s really achieved<br />

with our education system, the field work<br />

(particularly with the IMYC being studentcentred),<br />

and with project-based learning.<br />

We want the children to be able to use<br />

critical thinking – to enjoy coming into the<br />

classroom where it’s not purely textbook<br />

based.<br />

Project-based and Inquiry-Based<br />

Learning lends itself very well to the IB,<br />

and a lot of our children will go on into an<br />

IB education system. Our students are going<br />

out and talking about their units of inquiry,

“We want the children to be able<br />

to use critical thinking – to enjoy<br />

coming into the classroom where it’s<br />

not purely textbook based. ”<br />

understanding the links in the real world to<br />

the classroom, understanding their role in<br />

society and getting a different perspective<br />

– we want them to experience the bigger<br />

picture.<br />

Henri: We like to say, “learn how to<br />

learn.” We teach the students not to just be<br />

spoon-fed, but to look for information, and<br />

know how to process it, so they aren’t left<br />

saying, “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it,”<br />

rather they can approach a challenge and<br />

say, “I may not know how to do it but – let’s<br />

go for it!”<br />

What is your favourite thing about the<br />

learning environment that makes JFK<br />

stand out?<br />

Stephanie: One of the big things we’re<br />

involved in is education for sustainability<br />

– and our students are directly involved in<br />

that. We’re working with Votre Cercle de<br />

Vie – they’re a farming family who are now<br />

doing a lot of eco-projects; and one of their<br />

big projects is to build an eco-hotel to be a<br />

global blueprint (there’s never been a hotel<br />

quite like this) – everything in the hotel<br />

will be sustainable – and our students are<br />

directly involved.<br />

We’re upcycling furniture, and the<br />

children are going to be designing the<br />

furniture to go into the hotel; they’re really<br />

learning a lot about the eco-system that<br />

they’re living in and understanding it. It<br />

is an invaluable project to be involved in<br />

because the students are working with the<br />

project and this is also linked to the UN 17<br />

sustainable goals which runs through their<br />

curriculum. It is first hand experience of<br />

seeing how they can make a difference and<br />

develop key competencies for the future.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 9<br />

What do parents of JFK students value<br />

about the school?<br />

Henri: The protective environment.<br />

Not only because we’re in this little town,<br />

but because there’s only a mix of middle<br />

schoolers and primary students. They love<br />

to come to the school and are happy here.<br />

It’s also a big part that the parents and<br />

the community is very close. The school<br />

organises several activities for the parents,<br />

and the PTA is very active. We call it the<br />

JFK Family – and it’s made out of the<br />

parents, the students, and the alumni.<br />

We recently celebrated our 50th<br />

anniversary, and held a couple of big<br />

events – a lot of people attended, there<br />

were around 200 Alumni and parents for a<br />

Fondue Party.<br />

Stephanie: I only started back in August<br />

(2021), but during the 50th celebrations,<br />

all the yearbooks were out from the last 50<br />

years – and it was really nice to see all the<br />

different photographs, and how the school<br />

has evolved over the years – and having the<br />

Alumni talk through their reflections – it<br />

was really special.<br />

The school has grown as a campus<br />

effectively, because there’s the Playschool,<br />

the original building, the Primary <strong>School</strong><br />

building, the Middle <strong>School</strong> building and<br />

the recently acquired Student Support<br />

Services – but we’ve retained the ‘small<br />

school’ feel, and we know everybody, we<br />

know all the students, and all the staff know<br />

the community around us – so it’s a special<br />

place.<br />

What are the main principles and<br />

philosophies you promote?<br />

Stephanie: This year we are introducing<br />

the Design & Technology and improving,<br />

particularly around STEAM education –<br />

which is really important.<br />

We’re trying to move away from highstakes<br />

examinations. If you look at the<br />

21st Century education push at the<br />

moment, it’s about inquiry-based learning<br />

and understanding – so at the moment,<br />

particularly with IMYC, there is a move

away from grades as ‘pure grades’ and<br />

encouraging the students to understand<br />

themselves as learners and how they<br />

learn and why they are learning. Making<br />

connections across the subjects and through<br />

real world experiences.<br />

When it comes to their assessments,<br />

they’re receiving information from the<br />

teachers about how they can improve their<br />

learning, feedback is crucial in developing<br />

these reflective learning skills.<br />

That is what we are fostering in students<br />

– to understand themselves and how they<br />

learn.<br />

Are there any areas that you want to<br />

develop, or that you are developing in<br />

the school?<br />

Henri: We want to continue to focus on<br />

adaptability, as for big projects – we will<br />

rebuild the Pfrundacker Chalet (which<br />

is the original house, where the school<br />

started), and we are having the Playschool<br />

rebuilt completely because we just acquired<br />

the land and the house, and it needs<br />

refurbishing.<br />

This will allow us to put in some more<br />

areas, like a boarding house, where we are<br />

renting at the moment, and containers<br />

for the ski rooms. We may also look at<br />

combining the ski rooms with a little gym,<br />

that will let us have an indoor gym which<br />

we don’t have (we use the local school for<br />

that).<br />

What other extracurricular activities do<br />

the children experience during their time<br />

with you?<br />

Henri: We organise a ski race, the SGIS<br />

race, where 400 students from around 23<br />

different schools come over – we cook, take<br />

pictures, have the teachers doing all the gate<br />

watching – we have everybody in there,<br />

but that’s part of the small school, where<br />

the teachers aren’t just coming in to teach,<br />

but also for break duties, lunch duties,<br />

helping out with bake sales, it’s a really nice<br />


community spirit.<br />

We run ski competitions on the weekend,<br />

so the students are put into a competitive<br />

situation, where they need to learn how to<br />

lose, and how to win – and that’s not always<br />

easy, but I think it’s good for them to start<br />

from a young age.<br />

What do you think will be the major<br />

challenges facing students and education<br />

in the future?<br />

Henri: I would say changes of places,<br />

changes of work, double work, working<br />

from home – these are things children will<br />

need to be prepared for.<br />

It’s always very difficult to see 10 years in<br />

advance, and we have very young ones – so<br />

there’s still a good way to go forward.<br />

What is your vision or ambition for JFK<br />

graduates?<br />

Stephanie: In terms of looking forward<br />

– education itself is evolving massively,<br />

particularly around sustainable goals.<br />

The UN states that education is said to<br />

be the ‘lynchpin’ that drives everything<br />

– and making sure that our students are<br />

prepared, and resilient, for what is to come,<br />

and how quickly the world is evolving and<br />

changing, and the problems we’re facing<br />

now.<br />

I think that we must invest ourselves in an<br />

education system that is forward thinking<br />

and outward looking. It’s taking real life<br />

situations and saying, “Look at what’s<br />

happening at the moment. How would<br />

you broach this? What do you think? How<br />

would you change this? What would you do<br />

differently?”<br />

I think it’s about giving children the<br />

confidence and skills to take what they<br />

know, apply it, test it, refine it, and keep<br />

moving through the whole process as a way<br />

to move forward in each situation.<br />

How do you equip students for success?<br />

Stephanie: It’s all about the key<br />

competency and transdisciplinary skills at<br />

the end of the day. The knowledge we have<br />

now won’t be relevant in five-years, because<br />

the world is moving so fast. Creating<br />

resilience and compassion in students is<br />

essential.<br />

Henri: We already have families that live<br />

very much on the road – two years here,<br />

two years there – that kind of life. It’s a little<br />

bit of what the future brings, we don’t have<br />

that ‘famous’ job where you walk into it at<br />

18 and finish when you’re 65.<br />

Adaptability and resilience are really<br />

important to learn, so you’re ready for<br />

future jobs.<br />

How do you make the best Switzerland<br />

and everything it has to offer; do you<br />

have any hobbies?<br />

Henri: It’s funny, because when I was<br />

living in Geneva, I said, “I’m going to have<br />

to go back every weekend – what am I<br />

going to do here?” but it’s such a wonderful<br />

place for hiking, skiing, or even just having<br />

a coffee at the top of the mountain and<br />

relaxing.<br />

I would say I enjoy more nature-based<br />

activities, it’s about taking a hike, finding a<br />

nice bench, and sitting in front of the river,<br />

listening to all the sounds around it.<br />

I haven’t really been back to Geneva for<br />

about three months already, it’s rare that I<br />

go back down – all traffic jams and speedy,<br />

but when you come up here, you’re able to<br />

go at a little bit on a slower pace, and can<br />

really just relax, take in the surroundings,<br />

and enjoy nature.<br />


John F. Kennedy <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> is home to 95 students (aged 2.5 to 14) and 26<br />

expert faculty and staff — a community representing over 22 different nations. Find out<br />

more: www.jfk.ch<br />



Interview with Marc Ott from the Leysin American <strong>School</strong><br />

Founded in 1960 by Fred and Sigrid<br />

Ott, the Leysin American <strong>School</strong> is<br />

a prestigious international boarding<br />

school located in the stunning natural<br />

beauty of Leysin, Switzerland.<br />

Devoted to developing innovative,<br />

compassionate, and responsible citizens<br />

of the world, with a supportive family<br />

environment, and a guiding set of values<br />

and principles of the highest standard, the<br />

school focuses on university preparation for<br />

Grades 7 -12.<br />

We sat down with Dr. Marc Ott, Head<br />

of <strong>School</strong>, to discuss the school, its history,<br />

the educational structure, and where Leysin<br />

American <strong>School</strong> is headed in the future.<br />

Tell us a bit about yourself, your family<br />

background and what made you choose<br />

education as a career?<br />

Leysin American <strong>School</strong> was founded by<br />

my grandparents at a time just after the war<br />

and then the Cold War, when there was a<br />

permanent presence (primarily American)<br />

in Germany, and then in all the NATO<br />

countries.<br />

My grandfather was asked, because of<br />

his background in education, to open up<br />

Department of Defence schools, but as he<br />

opened these up, he realised that a lot of<br />

them were too small to have high schools<br />

– and that’s where the initial idea for LAS<br />

was born.<br />

My grandmother came over from<br />

America in 1947 and started a <strong>Summer</strong><br />

Program called the <strong>International</strong> Ranger<br />

Camps which was primarily based out of<br />

Switzerland – this was when certain ideals<br />

that still surround the school were formed<br />

– bringing young people and counsellors<br />

together, working to support each other and<br />

leave politics aside.<br />

It was part of the post-war healing<br />

process, emphasising the human aspect of<br />

individuals, rather than labels of nationality.<br />

My grandparents discovered the perfect<br />

buildings to house the campus here in<br />

Leysin. A growing expat community and a<br />

relationship with the American DoD led to<br />

a need for more schooling options here in<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 12<br />

Switzerland, and LAS was born in 1960.<br />

My grandparents ran the school until<br />

the late 1970s, then the Board came to my<br />

father and he and my mother ran the school<br />

until they started retiring about 12-13 years<br />

ago.<br />

So, my background has always been<br />

associated with the school. I went through<br />

the Swiss education system and studied at<br />

the University of St. Gallen before I moved<br />

to the US for a few years where I did my<br />

Doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia<br />

University in Education Leadership –<br />

already I was channelling my energy to take<br />

over the school.<br />

My wife and I came back in 2005, and<br />

it was about a 4-year transition until I fully<br />

took over the position of Head of <strong>School</strong>.<br />

She is a medical doctor and runs her own<br />

private practice in town.<br />

How do your experiences and<br />

philosophies inform your approach as<br />

Head at Leysin American <strong>School</strong>?<br />

We are probably one of a rare few boarding

schools here in Switzerland where the<br />

children have to do their own laundry –<br />

they have to clean their own rooms - it<br />

might sound silly – but these are skills<br />

you need when you’re growing up and<br />

becoming independent. We want to develop<br />

social skills, emotional skills, and coping<br />

skills as part of a great boarding school<br />

education.<br />

We are also very keen to keep the<br />

concept of family values very present<br />

and as dominant as possible, but at<br />

the same time we want to open up the<br />

door to development and advancement<br />

opportunities.<br />

One of the first things I brought in<br />

(back in 2001) was setting up a 501(c)(3)<br />

foundation. US taxpayers can donate to<br />

these organizations and deduct them from<br />

their taxes and this has enabled us to better<br />

manage fundraising and to better support<br />

our students.<br />

We use the funds not just for improving<br />

the quality of the school and expanding<br />

the opportunities we can provide, but to<br />

offer a scholarship fund for students in<br />

disadvantaged areas or situations (such as<br />

refugees or taking on additional students<br />

from Ukraine), and for SUMMIT, our<br />

comprehensive capital campaign which will<br />

be used to build our Innovation, Creativity,<br />

and Entrepreneurship programs and center.<br />

can to connect our students with impactful<br />

experiential learning opportunities so they<br />

can see the practical applications of their<br />

studies at work in the real world.<br />

How do you encourage a love of<br />

learning?<br />

I believe as a boarding school our holistic<br />

education is a tremendous strength. It’s<br />

breaking down what I would call silos in<br />

education. Day schools, unfortunately,<br />

finish at 3:30pm and you go home – the<br />

student is no longer connected or the<br />

school’s concern; but what I find magic with<br />

boarding schools is that we can really do a<br />

lot for the children – we’re not just talking<br />

academically, but in broader education<br />

– that’s why we come have our vision of<br />

working to support the ‘whole’ child.<br />

What is your favourite thing about the<br />

learning environment that makes LAS<br />

stand out?<br />

Obviously, it’s important to have good<br />

facilities, and overall we have really good<br />

facilities. We completely renovated the<br />

athletic centre about 6 years ago, and<br />

we’re doing some work on the dorms and<br />

classrooms – there’s always something<br />

happening. These enhanced spaces provide<br />

an exceptional environment in which our<br />

students can grow and succeed.<br />

But I do think, beyond this, it comes<br />

down to the people – a good school is about<br />

“We want to develop social skills, emotional<br />

skills, and coping skills as part of a great boarding<br />

school education.”<br />

What have you learnt from your time as<br />

the Head of the school?<br />

As an educational institution, innovation<br />

falls very much around creative thinking<br />

and being compassionate – taking the time<br />

to care for others.<br />

Being responsible, learning what those<br />

responsibilities are, and being citizens<br />

of the world – we are here to learn from<br />

the different cultures, backgrounds, and<br />

nationalities.<br />

I have learned that it is essential to<br />

teach students to value the international<br />

dimension and put human beings above the<br />

labels that are created around them.<br />

Describe the typical LAS Student?<br />

Can you tell us a bit about the type of<br />

students you attract?<br />

The LAS student is innovative and<br />

creative—they value the experiential<br />

education that we can give them and they<br />

aren’t afraid to think outside of the box.<br />

Education isn’t limited to the confines of a<br />

classroom. We seek out every chance we<br />


the people, which is why I do think we<br />

attract a lot of families to the location.<br />

The location also, being up in the<br />

mountains, is a huge change for the<br />

majority of our students who grow up in<br />

cities. The quality of life, safety, close access<br />

to major cultural centres – but also having<br />

that connection to nature and not being<br />

disturbed in cities that never sleep.<br />

I think Leysin is very conducive to<br />

learning, and the ability to find an inner<br />

peace, because we’re in such a beautiful<br />

location.<br />

What do parents of LAS students value<br />

about the school?<br />

They value the staff. We follow a triple layer<br />

educational philosophy and boarding school<br />

philosophy, where all our teachers aren’t just<br />

qualified in their subject areas – but they’re<br />

involved in student life (trips, leadership<br />

programs) and residential life. Most of our<br />

teachers live directly in the dormitory and<br />

look after the students, so the holistic policy<br />

extends to not having separate dorm staff<br />

from the teachers – it’s all one; and if a<br />

student is having a rough time, or personal<br />

issues, the teachers are on hand to connect,<br />

and to let the other teachers know so there’s<br />

greater understanding and compassion.<br />

What are the main principles and<br />

philosophies you promote at the school?<br />

The LAS vision essentially focuses around<br />

three pillars.<br />

The first is called ‘Whole Child’. We’re<br />

not just looking at academics – but how we<br />

take care of the students. It includes SEL<br />

(Social Emotional Learning), leadership,<br />

and the growth that students enjoy through<br />

academics, student life activities, schoolsponsored<br />

travel, and residential life (life in<br />

our dorms and on campus).<br />

The second pillar is Attitude<br />

Learning and the curriculum, we call<br />

it ICE (Innovation, Creativity, and<br />

Entrepreneurship). We realised that a lot of<br />

our Alumni are entrepreneurs in their own<br />

right, and we we will continue to focus on<br />

these three areas so that we can support our<br />

students as they develop.<br />

Our third pillar is our ‘Global Family’<br />

which we see at different levels. It’s in-house<br />

with an advisory system for our students<br />

(the Faculty Family), but it’s also external<br />

with our Global Family connected with the<br />

Alumni – building and strengthening those<br />

relationships and family ties there.<br />

We also have the founding family at<br />

governance level, and it plays an important<br />

role in our guiding principles. Our mission<br />

statement is, “Developing innovative,<br />

compassionate, and responsible citizens of<br />

the world.” That’s what we do.<br />

When a new student comes to the school,<br />

how does the process work?<br />

We have a whole Orientation Program. So,<br />

we typically have the Dorm Prefects come<br />

in early, and they help with the new kids<br />

coming in; they’re assigned to help the kids<br />

get around (like a buddy system).<br />

We also have a program for the parents,<br />

because you have to keep in mind that<br />

most parents will come to visit a couple<br />

of times a year, and this is an opportunity<br />

to connect. We let them know who’s who,<br />

and how things work – because I think<br />

in any education, the key aspect and the<br />

partnership between the parents and<br />

students” with “the partnership between<br />

the parents, students, and school is probably<br />

the most important element for a successful<br />

education.<br />

Are there any areas that you want to<br />

develop, or that you are developing in<br />

the school?<br />

We created a program a few years ago<br />

which is called the EDGE Program. This<br />

allows students to merge different aspects<br />

of academics and activities together in a<br />

format. The structure was carefully chosen,<br />

we’re constantly working on the program,<br />

to give the children more opportunities<br />

to be creative and entrepreneurial, and<br />

to develop the skill sets that allow them to<br />

learn from their passions but still balance<br />

that with the needs of the curriculum and<br />

the IBDP.<br />


What do you think will be the major<br />

challenges facing students and education<br />

in the future?<br />

Education needs to focus more on social<br />

emotional research and collaborative<br />

skills and less on content knowledge. We<br />

need to give them better tools to learn<br />

independently.<br />

For example, having the ability to learn<br />

independently and find information –<br />

having the right skill set that allows them to<br />

find a proper source that they can trust the<br />

information or data from.<br />

Students need to balance the basics, but<br />

not get lost in learning details that aren’t<br />

going to relate to their chosen path; for<br />

example – unless you’re really into history<br />

(like me), you may never need to know that<br />

the last war between the UK and the US<br />

was in 1812. I had an interaction with a<br />

former student, and he said that the skills he<br />

really took from LAS were researching and<br />

learning and coping with difficult emotional<br />

issues (such as breaking up with his partner).<br />

Those were the most important parts of his<br />

education, not remembering some details<br />

of the war of 1812 when he took AP US<br />

History 20 years ago.<br />

I think we have to be realistic, and<br />

offer IB and AP Classes and a great<br />

curriculum, but also back these up by<br />


strengthening social, emotional, research,<br />

and collaborative skills.<br />

What is your vision or ambition for LAS<br />

graduates?<br />

We have students who will be graduating<br />

at 18, and generally will start to enter the<br />

labour market within the next 6-7 years if<br />

they go on to graduate school.<br />

We’re focusing more on skills and less on<br />

content knowledge.<br />

So, the question is – what are those skills?<br />

Independence, autonomy, how to learn<br />

independently and find information – these<br />

are the basics they should know.<br />

These are the basics that stay with our<br />

students beyond the content knowledge.<br />

We want to give them what they need to be<br />

successful as they become the global leaders<br />

of tomorrow.<br />

How do you equip students for success?<br />

One approach we’re taking, is that we’ve<br />

essentially dropped CIS as an accreditation<br />

body. We are still members of the CIS,<br />

but we chose to go with the New England<br />

Association of <strong>School</strong>s and Colleges<br />

(NEASC) and have actively started working<br />

on what’s called ACE (Architecture,<br />

Culture, and Ecology).<br />

It’s a transformative approach to learning<br />

that’s based on 10 learning principles that<br />

focus on impact than output, it’s what we’re<br />

engaging in now, to really transform the<br />

education process here at LAS.<br />

How do you make the best of Switzerland<br />

and everything it has to offer - do you<br />

have any hobbies?<br />

Personally, I think there’s a lot of outdoor,<br />

reading, and family time to enjoy. I also<br />

consider myself, even on a professional<br />

level, to be fulfilled – I’m an External Head,<br />

in that I serve on several Boards. I’ve been<br />

on the Board of the Federation of Swiss<br />

Private <strong>School</strong>s (which is essentially a<br />

federal level lobby group) and chaired<br />

the Swiss Group of <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>s<br />

(SGIS) for four years; and I’m also the<br />

Vice-Chair of the Regional Tourist Office<br />

Association.<br />

So, I do different things, which gives<br />

me an opportunity to reach out beyond<br />

my own little bubble and have an outside<br />

perspective.<br />

I also enjoy the multicultural dimension<br />

of switching languages and approaches and<br />

communicating with different people.<br />


With their idyllic campus tucked away in the mountains, and the safe, residential<br />

community spirit of the campus, LAS seeks out every chance to connect their students with<br />

impactful, hands-on learning, that augments traditional classes, and gives their students<br />

a fundamental understanding of vital development skills including teamwork, critical<br />

thinking, and entrepreneurship.<br />

Offering a US High <strong>School</strong> Diploma, <strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement<br />

courses and ELA programs, LAS sees students enjoy a wide range of extracurricular<br />

activities in sports, arts, drama, and music, as well as taking part in cultural travel.<br />

With a focus and emphasis on university counselling, and a family environment, LAS<br />

provides a stable, caring, and supportive structure not only for the students, but for their<br />

families, and alumni as well.<br />


<strong>Parent</strong>ing through<br />

Adversity<br />


Adversity is defined as experiences<br />

that disrupt normal life and create<br />

undesirable outcomes such as<br />

loss of balance, safety, and security. It can<br />

encompass many different things, from<br />

divorce, loss of a loved one, to global issues<br />

such as the Covid-19 pandemic or the war<br />

in Ukraine.<br />

Difficult or unpleasant situations<br />

are part of normal life. Whether we<br />

experience adversity directly or secondhand<br />

via friends, family or even the news,<br />

it is something that we all – including our<br />

children - must deal with in some way or<br />

another.<br />

The way we deal with adversity differs<br />

from person to person. A life altering event<br />

to one person, may be a bump in the road<br />

to another. The point is, there is no right or<br />

wrong way to experience adversity.<br />

In the past three years we have lived<br />

through a pandemic, a number of natural<br />

disasters and now a war. For both adults<br />

and children this could be hard to deal<br />

with and the fear and anxiety could have a<br />

lasting impact on their mental health.<br />

On one hand, adversity can lead to<br />

greater resistance and to being better<br />

equipped to handle difficult situations in the<br />

future. However, it most often brings stress<br />

and anxiety that can manifest in ways such<br />

as poor sleep, lack of concentration, loss of<br />

appetite or being irritable. Over extended<br />

periods of time these effects can have a real<br />

impact on our children’s lives.<br />

Should we be talking to our kids about<br />

adverse situations?<br />

As parents we instinctively want to protect<br />

our children from bad news. However, for<br />

the most part we have no choice but to talk<br />

to them about unpleasant situations and<br />

events. Even if you do your best to shield<br />

your child from news about tragedy, the<br />

media – social or otherwise - or even their<br />

friends will make sure they have some idea<br />

of what is going on.<br />

Consequently, rather than it being a<br />

question of should, it is more a question of<br />

“how”.<br />

So, how do we talk to our children about<br />

adversity?<br />

Children look to their parents to feel safe<br />

and secure, especially when things are<br />

tough. Talking to your child about tragic<br />

world events can be tricky – no one wants<br />

to make their child more anxious. UNICEF<br />

has come up with an eight-point plan for<br />

addressing adversity, which provides sound<br />

advice for parents and caregivers. Let’s<br />

break down these points and what they<br />

mean in <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

1<br />

Find out what your child already<br />

knows<br />

Pick a time when your child is relaxed and<br />

comfortable – preferably not right before<br />

bed. Ask your child about what they have<br />


“Give your child your full attention and be sure to address<br />

only the issues they are concerned about – there is no<br />

need to bring up extra stressors if it is not necessary.”<br />

heard and how they are feeling about<br />

the adverse situation. Perhaps they have<br />

misheard or misinterpreted something –<br />

this is a good opportunity to gently correct<br />

them.<br />

Be reassuring and not dismissive of their<br />

feelings. Give your child your full attention<br />

and be sure to address only the issues they<br />

are concerned about – there is no need to<br />

bring up extra stressors if it is not necessary.<br />

2Be age appropriate<br />

Children process stress in different ways<br />

depending on their age and development.<br />

Make sure you use language they<br />

understand and watch for how your child is<br />

responding. If their anxiety spikes, tone the<br />

conversation down – remember your child<br />

will take their cues from you, so remaining<br />

calm is crucial.<br />

3Be compassionate<br />

It is easy, especially in times of conflict<br />

to be prejudice towards a country, culture,<br />

or its people. It is important that we teach<br />

our children to show compassion for all<br />

people adversely affected by the situation,<br />

regardless of the side they find themselves<br />

on. Tough times call for empathy and it is<br />

our job to set the right example.<br />

4Focus on what is being done to<br />

help<br />

Something that is really reassuring to<br />

children is knowing what people are doing<br />

to help and that at the end, things will<br />

be ok. Using the example of the war in<br />

Ukraine, it could help your child to feel like<br />

they are helping if you allow them to draw<br />

a picture or flag to place in their window.<br />

5Close with care<br />

These conversations can be difficult;<br />

therefore, it is extremely important that<br />

before you finish talking, that you assess<br />

your child’s wellbeing. Be sure to remind<br />

them that they can talk to you anytime and<br />

if they need a hug or gentle transition to a<br />

new topic make sure you give that to them.<br />

6Check in regularly<br />

As situations continue, you must check<br />

in with your child. Children react differently<br />

to adverse events - some more obviously<br />

than others. Look out for signs of stress<br />

and anxiety such as becoming clingier,<br />

grief or even anger. Try to find techniques<br />

for managing these feelings. Breathing<br />

exercises, letter writing and journaling -<br />

depending on the age of your child – are all<br />

good ways to channel their feelings and help<br />

them remain calm.<br />

7Limit exposure<br />

If you have younger children, you may<br />

want to consider switching off the news<br />

when they are around. They do not need<br />

to see every upsetting headline or images<br />

from the frontlines. In the case of older<br />

children, use the opportunity to talk about<br />

fake news and how to get information<br />

from trustworthy sources. It is also a good<br />

time to discuss how much time they spend<br />

consuming news media and can be a<br />

great opportunity to set limits for media<br />

consumption.<br />

8Take care of yourself<br />

If you are struggling, how can you<br />

expect your kids to cope? First and<br />

foremost, we need to take care of ourselves.<br />

Only then will we have the capacity to<br />

properly support our children. Remember<br />

to take time out and reach out to your own<br />

support network if you are not ok. Make<br />

sure you are consuming news from reliable<br />

sources and that you also set yourself limits.<br />

Give yourself time to relax and to process<br />

your own feelings. By looking after yourself,<br />

you are ultimately taking care of your whole<br />

family, so do not neglect this important<br />

aspect.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>ing through adversity requires us<br />

to be prepared to have open and honest<br />

conversations about difficult topics. It also<br />

means being aware of changes in our child’s<br />

behaviour and having tools in our kits for<br />

supporting and reassuring them when<br />

needed. This also means taking care of our<br />

own mental health so that we may be able<br />

to help our children carry their emotional<br />

load.<br />




Modern classrooms allow for<br />

flexible teaching arrangements<br />

What parents say about<br />

Academia <strong>School</strong>s<br />

It all started with the vision of<br />

establishing the best school for children<br />

and young people in Basel. A school<br />

in which students, teachers and staff can<br />

flourish and invest in their strengths.<br />

A place where learning is fun and new<br />

horizons are opened up. A community<br />

in which students, parents, teachers and<br />

staff feel at home – whether they are<br />

permanently based in Switzerland, have<br />

recently immigrated or are only in the city<br />

for a few years.<br />

What started in 2009 with 16 students<br />

at the Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong><br />

Basel is now one of the largest education<br />

providers in Switzerland supporting pupils<br />

from Pre-Kindergarten through to the<br />

end of Secondary <strong>School</strong>. Though we<br />

still strive to improve, testimonies of our<br />

students’ parents show that we are on the<br />

right path to make our vision a reality. One<br />

international family made the following<br />

experience with Academia:<br />

“We joined Academia in Basel from its very<br />

early stages and both our boys stayed for 7 years.<br />

Over the years it was sometimes difficult, but the<br />

school always gave us a good feeling about its<br />

approach and commitment, as well as a philosophy<br />

of creating ownership with the children. Moving<br />

away from Switzerland and into a new school<br />

system was a test of what our boys learned at<br />

Academia. I am pleased to report that our concerns<br />

were unwarranted. Both our boys passed the highest<br />

level of schooling with excellent grades in their first<br />

year back.”<br />

Bilingual Education from Pre-<br />

Kindergarten to Primary <strong>School</strong><br />

Terra Nova Bilingual <strong>School</strong> in Küsnacht<br />

and Academia Bilingual <strong>School</strong> in Basel<br />

and Winterthur offer classes from Pre-<br />

Kindergarten to the end of compulsory<br />

schooling. <strong>Parent</strong>s especially love that<br />

each child can develop at their own<br />

pace and level in a caring and nurturing<br />

environment. As one mother, originally<br />

from Italy, put it:<br />

“We love Academia. Great teachers and staff,<br />

great community. My son has never felt so happy<br />

and supported, appreciated as a student with his<br />

individual needs. He loves to go to school every<br />

single day.”<br />

Moving from an English-speaking<br />

country to Switzerland can be challenging.<br />

For many families, a bilingual education<br />

is thus a soft landing into Swiss life and<br />

education. Our language booster lessons<br />

entail additional support in the second<br />

language to help newcomers commence at<br />

our school. One of our American families<br />

expresses itself as follows:<br />

“We have been very happy with the caring and<br />

nurturing environment provided throughout the whole<br />

school at Terra Nova. Our children received excellent<br />

language support and were proficient in the German<br />

language in a surprisingly short time despite<br />

having joined the school without speaking any<br />

German. The school provides a fun and stimulating<br />

atmosphere in which to learn.”<br />



Each school has its own<br />

characteristics. Academia<br />

Bilingual <strong>School</strong> Basel is located<br />

in a beautiful historical villa in a<br />

large garden with plenty of space<br />

for playing.<br />

Lower Secondary <strong>School</strong> – door opener<br />

to various educational pathways<br />

Lower secondary school (Years 7 to 9)<br />

are offered at our bilingual schools in<br />

Winterthur and Küsnacht and at Academia<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> in Basel and Zurich.<br />

Our teaching at all four locations is based<br />

on the official Swiss curriculum (Lehrplan<br />

21) and the Cambridge <strong>International</strong><br />

Curriculum; this safeguards the option to<br />

continue at a state-run school or further<br />

education institution in Switzerland as well<br />

as abroad. This international mindset is<br />

especially appreciated by expat families,<br />

such as this American mother of two pupils<br />

in Basel:<br />

“We are very grateful for this amazing school.<br />

We just moved to Basel and there was a lot to adapt<br />

to including learning the language. My introverted<br />

kids felt at home from the first day (...). The<br />

teachers, the principal and staff are extremely loving,<br />

welcoming and open-minded. My kids have been to<br />

three schools before this one and it is by far the best.<br />

I cannot recommend this school enough.”<br />

Small by design and innovative by nature<br />

– our IGCSE- and A-Level-programme<br />

At Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> in Basel<br />

and Zurich, students prepare for their<br />

<strong>International</strong> A Levels. These qualifications<br />

are recognised around the world and open<br />

doors to universities across the globe.<br />

<strong>International</strong> A levels allow students<br />

to choose their subjects based on their<br />

individual strengths and interests – one<br />

of the many advantages when studying<br />

at Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>.<br />

One mother appreciates the following<br />

aspects:<br />

“Academia allows our son to study A<br />

Levels according to his interests and to<br />

prepare for them in small classes. The<br />

teachers attach great importance to the fact<br />

that besides specialized knowledge, the young<br />

people learn how these subjects are put into<br />

practice.”<br />

Academia <strong>International</strong> school aims<br />

to provide academic excellence in a cosy,<br />

caring environment. Another father of one<br />

of our A-Level students also confirms that<br />

studying at Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong><br />

is more than learning the subject matter:<br />

“Academia is one of the best schools in the<br />

city of Zurich. The attention to the needs of<br />

individual students and a world-class international<br />

environment are a great benefit. The school provides<br />

a conducive atmosphere to students to explore their<br />

creativity, interests and encourages individual<br />

expression. It helps to develop the self-confidence<br />

of children and prepares them to excel in life. I can<br />

easily recommend the school.”<br />

Our college in Basel receives great<br />

Innovative teaching methods at out college,<br />

e.g., at Academia <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> Basel,<br />

where students express their understanding<br />

of the human heart through art.<br />

feedback, too:<br />

“This school is fantastic. Why? Because we’ve<br />

never experienced such a level of care coupled with<br />

really high-quality teaching. The exam results have<br />

always been outstanding.”<br />

We are proud of what we have achieved<br />

over the last 12 years and grateful to receive<br />

such wonderful feedback from our parents.<br />

Would you like to become part of our<br />

school community? Get in touch with us to<br />

learn more about your schooling options at<br />

Academia.<br />

www.academia-schools.ch<br />


Looking Towards University<br />


Time really flies. One moment you are helping your child<br />

take their first steps, the next they are finishing high school.<br />

At what point should we as parents start planning for our<br />

children’s higher education? Depending on where you live and/<br />

or where your child studies, the cost of tertiary education can vary<br />

wildly – from basically free in most European countries, to costing<br />

in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in the US. Regardless of<br />

your child’s situation, the key to a successful university transition is<br />

preparation.<br />

It’s never too early…<br />

For those of us outside the US, the idea of a ‘college fund’ is<br />

quite foreign. However, given that in many countries, university<br />

is actually quite expensive, starting to save for this early on is not<br />

a silly idea. Small student loans can spiral into much larger sums,<br />

so being able to help your child with this expense gives them a<br />

wonderful head start in adult life.<br />

That aside, high school is the time to really start thinking about<br />

what comes next. Your child may not have all the answers straight<br />

way – high school is about figuring stuff out. When it comes time<br />

to choose elective subjects and activities, ask your child if they have<br />

thought about what they might want to be. Your child may say they<br />

want to be a solicitor or a nurse but may not know what they must<br />

do to get there. Asking early also gives you the chance to do some<br />

googling!<br />

These days most schools have a career or guidance counsellor<br />

who is generally more than happy to provide up-to-date<br />

information about which subjects students should take to get into<br />

a particular field of study. If you do not have one of these advisors<br />

at your disposal, you can contact the university directly and speak<br />

to their admissions counsellors. An added benefit of speaking<br />

to an admissions counsellor is that you are able to ask about<br />

extracurricular subjects and any other activities your child should<br />

get involved in to help them to acquire relevant and useful skills (as<br />

well as looking good on their application).<br />

So many options<br />

Coming from the <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>s sector, being abroad is<br />

likely something your child is accustomed to. It is also possible<br />

that your child will consider institutions in a range of destinations<br />

for their tertiary study. Knowing which country your child would<br />

like to study in, or which universities offer the course that they are<br />

looking for will help you to prepare.<br />

Application deadlines<br />

Perhaps your child has identified universities in a number of<br />

countries. Depending on the country, application deadlines may<br />

be very different. Another important aspect to consider is whether<br />

your child will be an international student. Often the application<br />

deadline for foreign students is weeks – sometimes months - from<br />

that of domestic students.<br />

Although university deadlines vary depending on the course,<br />

institution, and country, most fall somewhere between November<br />

and February for the Autumn semester. Once your child has an<br />

idea of programme and which universities they want to apply<br />

for, the best thing is to double check online the exact cut-off date.<br />


Beware, subjects like medicine, veterinary science and law tend<br />

to have earlier deadlines. This information is usually found in the<br />

Admissions tab/area of the university website.<br />

Make sure your child does not leave it to the last minute.<br />

Sometimes courses require specific testing, motivation letters and<br />

interviews before candidates are accepted. Oxford University<br />

recommends students start preparing their applications in June for<br />

the entry into the Fall semester of the following year. Using this<br />

as a guide would give students ample time to take tests, arrange<br />

references and write motivation letters.<br />

If there is a chance your child may defer entry to their<br />

programme to go on a gap year or similar, make sure this is<br />

possible. There are a number of courses that do not allow differed<br />

entry. Check this up front to avoid disappointment.<br />

In addition to application cut off dates, there are also scholarship<br />

deadlines. Regardless of whether your child is aiming for a partial<br />

or full bursary, know that scholarship deadlines are different<br />

to application deadlines and may require extra written work,<br />

interviews, and preparation in general. There are also a number of<br />

scholarships for international students and students from developing<br />

countries. This information is usually found on the university’s<br />

website or via a scholarship database like scholarshipportal.com.<br />

Which extra curricula activities will benefit your child’s<br />

university application?<br />

When it comes to competitive courses, extracurricular activities can<br />

make all the difference. Sports, clubs, activities, and volunteer work<br />

all help to give the university admissions team a full picture of your<br />

child, their interests and skillset. Depending on the target degree<br />

there are clubs and activities that are more beneficial in terms of<br />

university entry than others. For example, if your child intends to<br />

study politics or law, being on the debate team or Model United<br />

Nations may be a great way to demonstrate their interest, and<br />

practice applicable skills. How do you know which activities could<br />

help your child? You could encourage your child to speak to the<br />

school careers counsellor (if there is one available) or to contact the<br />

university admissions centre. Failing that, you could tap into your<br />

network.<br />

What are Networks for?<br />

Although you shouldn’t rely on your old classmates and business<br />

colleagues to get your child into a particular school or course, there<br />

is nothing wrong with getting some ‘insider’ tips before submitting<br />

an application. Likewise, if your child wants to be an engineer and<br />

you have one in your circle, ask them to have a chat with your child.<br />

Your child may have questions that they are not comfortable asking<br />

in a formal setting, like how much do engineers really get paid and<br />

whether they have to work weekends.<br />

Going to university is one of the most important decisions your<br />

child will ever make. Through being supportive and prepared you<br />

can help them avoid unnecessary stress. Having an overview of<br />

what is needed and what should be submitted or arranged by when,<br />

early on in their secondary education will make sure that they do<br />

not miss or rush towards any deadline. This, combined with a<br />

strong extracurricular resume will give them the greatest chance of<br />

getting into their choice of programme and school.<br />



Switzerland<br />

Home of Innovation<br />

When you think of Switzerland,<br />

you probably think of Alpine<br />

peaks and amazing ski resorts,<br />

together with prestigious international<br />

organizations like the UN. You might also<br />

think of stunning luxury watches, or major<br />

financial institutions. For many people,<br />

Swiss chocolate is their main association!<br />

Innovation, however, is not often the<br />

first thing that comes to mind. And yet,<br />

Switzerland has been ranked the world’s<br />

number one country for innovation for<br />

eleven years running.<br />

Switzerland maintains its position as<br />

innovation world champion, having once<br />

again secured its top spot in the WIPO<br />

global innovation index in 2021. This wellearned<br />

recognition has acted as a magnet<br />

for some of the most established names in<br />

business, with 15 Fortune 500 companies<br />

opting for presence in the country.<br />

Switzerland also boasts one of the world’s<br />

highest concentrations of multinationals<br />

- approximately 25,500 in total. These<br />

companies fuel job creation, and in many<br />

cases are major players in high-risk sectors<br />

such as the food and pharmaceutical<br />

industries. Hoffmann-La Roche, Hewlitt<br />

Packard, Virgin, Deutsche Bank and Nestlé<br />

Nespresso are just some of the multinationals<br />

with presence in Geneva, cementing the<br />

Swiss capital as a site for industrial diversity<br />

and high-quality business services.<br />

Switzerland is also a hub for startups,<br />

frequently ranking among the top choices<br />

for entrepreneurs seeking to set up new<br />

ventures. The country’s success as a new<br />

business incubator is in part thanks to its<br />

advantageous geographical location and<br />

solid infrastructure, together with multiple<br />

seed funding avenues and easy access to the<br />

European market.<br />

Rather than being rendered a grand<br />

prize at the end of graduation, EU believes<br />

that these top class business working<br />

environments and experiences should be<br />

accessible to students throughout the course<br />

of their studies. The school organizes<br />

company visits to a wide range of corporate<br />

and non-corporate organizations, previous<br />

trips have included Swatch, Nestlé, and the<br />

United Nations Office in Geneva.<br />

This immersion forms an essential part<br />

of EU’s hands-on approach to learning,<br />

providing students with the up-to-date<br />

working knowledge and skills required for<br />

success across a range of industries.<br />

By combining classroom theory with<br />

real-world experience, EU students are<br />

encouraged to merge analytical thinking<br />

processes with creativity in order to solve<br />

problems and generate new ideas. This<br />

unique process forms the basis for the<br />

entrepreneurial mindset that will accompany<br />

them throughout their business careers.<br />

In addition to seeing operational<br />

processes in action, having contact with<br />

companies prior to graduation also gives<br />

students a head start on career-essential<br />

interpersonal connections. By interacting<br />

with professionals who are putting their<br />

knowledge into practice, students have the<br />

opportunity to learn from those in the know,<br />

refining and developing their understanding<br />

whilst continually growing their professional<br />

network.<br />

Is there another secret to Switzerland’s<br />

innovation success? The country as a whole<br />



has an inbuilt appreciation for work-life<br />

balance, with a culture that makes room for<br />

relaxation in nature as much as overtime<br />

in the office. Downtime is where some<br />

of our greatest inspiration can surface,<br />

and there are fewer places more suited to<br />

helping a tired mind destress. A wander<br />

around Lake Geneva, a hike in the Alps,<br />

or even a fondue with friends, Switzerland<br />

offers an abundance of options to unwind!<br />

Embracing the same attitude, EU Business<br />

<strong>School</strong> provides a plethora of student clubs<br />

with something to suit every taste. From<br />

kickboxing to chess, social and charity<br />

events, finance clubs and cultural days,<br />

students are guaranteed to find something<br />

to suit their personal interests.<br />

Innovation is the driving force that<br />

forms the pulse of Switzerland’s culture,<br />

work environments, leisure and education.<br />

With programs encompassing fields from<br />

fashion to blockchain management, EU<br />

Business <strong>School</strong> encapsulates the open<br />

entrepreneurial spirit that ensures that<br />

budding entrepreneurs feel right at home!<br />

For further information visit euruni.edu<br />



“A Rising Tide<br />

Lifts All Ships”<br />

Learning is a cultural habit; if teachers and learners alike are both motivated to learn, the<br />

outcomes for children can only improve. Truly successful schools promote a culture of<br />

learning throughout their communities, and the results speak for themselves.<br />

If we think of personal growth, development, and improvement<br />

in a school setting, it is entirely understandable to assume that<br />

the subject of that thought will be young people – students<br />

benefitting from foundational instruction before joining the<br />

adult world. In reality, however, a school should be a place of<br />

learning for any and all that are part of it. Without an attitude<br />

that considers the development and improvement of staff – the<br />

agents of learning in our young people - as central to reaching the<br />

organisation’s goals, a huge opportunity is being missed.<br />

Why staff development matters<br />

The best schools want to attract and retain sector-leading teaching<br />

staff with qualifications, experience, and competencies that would<br />

make them an asset to any learning establishment in the world.<br />

But there are two important questions to consider, here. The<br />

first is to ask how schools can get the best from their staff? The<br />

second is to carefully examine how that translates into learning<br />

and achievement in the classroom? The answer to both lies in the<br />

culture a school is willing and able to create.<br />

In all our professional lives – within and outside the world of<br />

education – the concepts of ‘appraisals’ and ‘performance review’<br />

will not be alien to us. It would be reasonable to presume that such<br />

events (regardless of which ‘side of the table’ one finds oneself)<br />

are unlikely to be calendar highpoints. So how can these ideas be<br />

made positive, rather than mithering or intimidating, in a school<br />

community?<br />

Attitudes to personal development<br />

Effective personal development for teachers stands on three pillars.<br />

The first completely shifts the point of ‘agency’ in the process of<br />

development – from ‘top down’ to ‘self-directed’. By giving staff<br />

the space and tools to self-evaluate and draw up their own plans,<br />

the concept of personal performance becomes constantly owned,<br />

rather than periodically examined by a third party. Self-agency is<br />

key.<br />

Secondly, the strongest teaching units – be that subject faculties<br />

or grade-level staff - will work as teams to achieve the best for their<br />

students. Although introducing self-agency and self-evaluation<br />

“The best teachers teach out of a love for seeing development in young people,<br />

and so hearing feedback coming from those young people will always be the<br />

strongest motivation.”<br />



to individuals will produce improvement, to do so with grade or<br />

subject groups generates even stronger results. Finally, and most<br />

importantly, we have the reason for personal development; how<br />

does everything we do positively affect our students?<br />

Bringing staff and student development together<br />

<strong>School</strong>s must make an attitude to improvement cultural rather<br />

than imposed. For example, if we can take five minutes with<br />

our students, every three-to-four lessons, to ask them how their<br />

learning is going right now, it becomes part of the process.<br />

Equally, we can use senior leadership within the school to conduct<br />

informal interviews with staff and students separately about<br />

learning experiences before triangulating that information so that<br />

both parties can discuss it without fear of minor points being<br />

overexaggerated or legitimate suggestions being ignored. Crucially,<br />

we are setting an example for our students – that learning and<br />

developing is a positive and affirming process.<br />

The involvement of student voice in staff professional<br />

development is not easy - we cannot shy away from that fact –<br />

and it is for that reason that it is not more common. What it can<br />

achieve when done well however, as in our case, is remarkable for<br />

both parties. Students at ICS Zurich are actively given the time<br />

and space to talk about what it is like to learn at our school. This<br />

information is not only invaluable for crafting (self-directed) plans<br />

of personal development amongst staff, it also has far greater<br />

emotive resonance. The best teachers teach out of a love for seeing<br />

development in young people, and so hearing feedback coming<br />

from those young people will always be the strongest motivation.<br />

Self-reflection; a vital future skill for our students<br />

As parents we have perhaps all, at some stage, been met with a<br />

monosyllabic answer to the question of “…how was school today?”.<br />

However, the more that self-evaluation and reflecting on learning<br />

is encouraged culturally, in staff as examples as well as students,<br />

the more we can see metacognition develop in our young people.<br />

This is the single biggest gain from this process, especially for<br />

parents who want to be part of their child’s learning journey. To<br />

hear students tell us that, “I didn’t realise I could talk about my own<br />

learning like this.” is testament to how this culture embeds. To<br />

teach to a high level, all teachers must be superb, but if their own<br />

improvement can benefit the outcomes for their students both<br />

directly and indirectly, everyone stands to gain. The rising tide, in<br />

that sense, lifts all ships.<br />

At ICS Zurich, we believe that learning is cultural, and the ideas<br />

of self-reflection and self-agency in our learners are shown in<br />

the example of our teaching staff. To learn more about how our<br />

‘culture of learning’ creates such superb outcomes for our students,<br />

please contact our Admissions Team via our website, www.icsz.ch.<br />


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Improving University<br />

Experience, 1% at a Time<br />

Making the slightest changes in lifestyle can improve academic results, wellbeing, and fun<br />


University can be the first<br />

significant time fully living away<br />

from home, without the parental<br />

input and usual support structures to guide<br />

you to success. This is an amazingly exciting<br />

change, but can also be a little daunting.<br />

It is a time of steep learning curves,<br />

self-discovery, academic learning, physical<br />

exercise, intense socialising and everything<br />

else. Whether you find university life a<br />

breeze, or an occasional struggle, there are<br />

some very simple things to remember that<br />

make life easy, and help you get even more<br />

out of it.<br />

The theory of making ‘marginal gains’<br />

was adopted by Dave Brailsford, coach of<br />

the British cycling team, in an attempt to<br />

improve their dismal record. At the time<br />

they had never won the Tour de France.<br />

Brailsford believes that improving your<br />

habits even by 1% across a number of<br />

areas from diet to sleep to hygiene, brings<br />

disproportionately enormous improvements<br />

to overall performance. Indeed, by making<br />

a series of very small changes to his team’s<br />

training and lifestyle, Brailsford led them to<br />

a series of awesome wins in international<br />

competitions.<br />

The principle of ‘marginal gains’ is<br />

connected to the idea that we form habits<br />

very easily through repetitive action, and<br />

then the sum of these small, repetitive<br />

actions impacts seriously on long-term<br />

results. This means that bad performance<br />

is not usually because of something that<br />

happened overnight, but more likely<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 29<br />

because we have formed bad habits,<br />

affecting us more than we realise. The<br />

relevance of this to university students<br />

is probably not immediately obvious.<br />

However, just as it led to more gold medals<br />

for the cycling team, this approach over<br />

time can lead to huge improvements for<br />

students in studying, socialising, and state<br />

of mind.<br />

Without making life any less exciting, it is<br />

possible to make yourself as strong, healthy<br />

and happy as possible, so you can get the<br />

most out of what you are doing. If you<br />

focus on improving small habits, as well as<br />

good outcomes, you will get there!<br />

Start small<br />

When trying to make yourself do a tiny bit

etter each week, it helps to start by making<br />

sure you implement all the small lifestylerelated<br />

things that may seem individually<br />

unimportant. Brailsford even concentrated<br />

on his team washing their hands properly<br />

and sleeping with certain pillows. Think<br />

of the value he would see for university<br />

students for example, taking at least two or<br />

three early nights a week; having a healthy<br />

breakfast; drinking two litres of water and<br />

eating the recommended five portions of<br />

vegetables a day; having a swim, run, yoga<br />

or sports session three times a week; or even<br />

just getting enough fresh air. All of these are<br />

easy to implement in the short-term, and<br />

can make a huge difference to feeling good<br />

in the long-term.<br />

Studying: about time<br />

In terms of academic studying, the theory<br />

of marginal gains is equally relevant. In<br />

cycling, the overall aim was to win the Tour<br />

de France, or an Olympic medal, which<br />

probably at times seemed insurmountable,<br />

particularly setting out at the beginning of<br />

training. At university, the goal to achieve<br />

the best academic results may be a few years<br />

away. In both cases, it might be tempting<br />

to put things off ‘til next year’ as the goal<br />

seems far enough in the future. Therefore,<br />

it is easier to focus on the processes you can<br />

improve on each week, a little bit at a time.<br />

Making improvements and goals that are<br />

more near-term can help avoid that niggling<br />

feeling at the very end, that you could have<br />

made life (and exams) easier, by working a<br />

little harder across the years.<br />

Start with the simple things that can<br />

make a huge difference to running your<br />

studying effectively. Many of the things you<br />

need to do each week will be the same as<br />

the previous week, so draw up a timetable<br />

for the term and fill it in with the concrete<br />

work, social and other things you know<br />

you will need to do, which gives automatic<br />

structure to your days and weeks. Put in<br />

everything you can - including any club<br />

nights, sports activities, alongside all the<br />

private study time, lectures, tutorials, and<br />

essay deadlines. If you try and stick to the<br />

timetable, a lot of the effort of trying to<br />

organise yourself and pulling emergency<br />

all-nighters will be removed.<br />

If you have a hobby, keep it up and set<br />

yourself goals to improve a little bit each<br />

week. You may think you don’t have time,<br />

but just one hour a week focused on your<br />

favourite music, dance, yoga, or sport will<br />

bring great results over time. Try and give<br />

yourself some time to discover your new<br />

city - there are likely to be museums, art<br />

galleries, markets, cinemas and parks to go<br />

and hang out in.<br />

A lecture on lectures<br />

It is the most tempting thing in the world<br />

not to go to lectures, but think about it<br />

this way: missing a one hour lecture or<br />

class each week for the whole term equates<br />

to around 10 hours a term, 30 hours an<br />

academic year, and around 90 hours in your<br />

whole degree. So although it might seem<br />

like it won’t make a difference, overall it<br />

adds up to around 4 full days and nights of<br />

teaching time, that you’ll just have to make<br />

up on your own. The same is true if you<br />

even manage an extra 30 minutes of daily<br />

vocab learning, equation revision, or set<br />

text reading - over your degree it will total<br />

hundreds of hours of extra practice.<br />

Make use of ‘free’ resources<br />

Another fairly simple thing to do is to make<br />

sure you know how all the university’s<br />

IT and library systems work - there will<br />

probably be sessions at the start of term or<br />

ask the librarian to go through things with<br />

you. This can help avoid disaster when you<br />

need an urgent book or internet resource<br />

for a deadline, and haven’t got a library<br />

card. The university might also be offering<br />

activities like one-on-one help with tutoring,<br />

classes and clubs.<br />

Finances: every little helps<br />

You have probably come out of school<br />

knowing the ins and outs of photosynthesis,<br />

Pythagoras and algebra, but may not feel<br />

too clued up about personal finances.<br />

Especially in the first term, university is<br />


full of exciting things to spend your money<br />

on. It is unlikely to be a time when you<br />

are making money, rather trying to put in<br />

place a few steps so that you don’t spend<br />

too much. A few things can help avoid hefty<br />

money stress!<br />

Whether it’s in the holidays or during<br />

term time, being able to bring in some<br />

money can give you a sense that you are in<br />

control over your finances. Some people<br />

prefer a regular shift in a restaurant or<br />

bar, whereas others like more ad hoc<br />

arrangements, such as tutoring or brand<br />

agency promotion work. Even if your<br />

university discourages students from having<br />

a job during term time, anything you<br />

can earn in the holidays will be a useful<br />

contribution.<br />

Most recent graduates advise current<br />

students to think twice about getting a<br />

student credit card or overdraft even if<br />

they are interest free - they are notoriously<br />

easy to spend, and hard to pay back once<br />

you have got to the bottom. When you<br />

leave university, many of them cease to be<br />

interest free, so you will start paying interest<br />

until you can repay the debt. This can add<br />

significantly to stress levels when you are<br />

trying to think about work or having fun.<br />

Similarly, store cards are not always the best<br />

idea as it is difficult to keep track of your<br />

spending on them.<br />

Most of all, take advantage of all the<br />

ways you can save money. Have an up to<br />

date student rail card, using loyalty cards<br />

in supermarkets, seek out restaurants with<br />

offers and so on. Every little helps!<br />

In the local town or city, do you know<br />

where things are that will help you be<br />

organised, such as finding your local<br />

bank branch, post office, stationery shop,<br />

pharmacy?<br />

Party time: be smart<br />

At university there are always people to<br />

go out with so if you want to you can find<br />

people to go out with every night of the<br />

week. The feeling that everyone is going out<br />

can make you feel like you have to for fear<br />

of missing out. Actually it is more likely that<br />

it is just not as noticeable when someone<br />

takes themselves off for an evening in with<br />

a film and an early night. The same is true<br />

during the day - people are all going to be<br />

having study breaks at different times, so<br />

it is theoretically possible to spend all day<br />

with different people, feeling like no one is<br />

working. So keep in mind that it is down to<br />

you when you study and when you go out.<br />

Enjoy it!<br />

One of the best parts of university is<br />

learning how to look after yourself and<br />

make the best of things, which inevitably<br />

involves making a few mistakes along the<br />

way. So don’t worry too much, try and do a<br />

little better each day, and have the best time!<br />

“Whether it’s in the holidays or during term time,<br />

being able to bring in some money can give you a<br />

sense that you are in control over your finances.”<br />

Support structures<br />

Just like Brailsford’s cyclists, make sure<br />

you have support structures around you.<br />

At home, these will have probably been<br />

organised for you by parents, teachers and<br />

others, but at university you need to set<br />

them up yourself.<br />

Sign up with your local GP - it’s not a<br />

great idea to wait until you get ill and have<br />

to struggle to find one, as they will need<br />

to transfer your notes from your previous<br />

doctor. Make sure you know where the<br />

university nurse or pastoral care centre is<br />

too.<br />

University gyms and swimming pools<br />

often offer cheap memberships to their<br />

students. It is worth taking them up on this,<br />

even if it eats into your budget for other<br />

things, to try and give your health even a<br />

1% boost each week!<br />


Share the dream with<br />

The Olympic Museum<br />

Have you ever wondered how it<br />

feels to be an Olympic champion?<br />

The rush of adrenalin? The<br />

intensity of crucial moments? Thanks to the<br />

latest computer technology and audiovisual<br />

media, it is now possible at the Olympic<br />

Museum in Lausanne.<br />

The magnificent Museum has over<br />

1500 exhibits, 150 screens, and ultimate<br />

experiences that will leave you with great<br />

stories to tell. Here you can discover the<br />

creativity of previous host cities and get an<br />

insight into the hard work of volunteers<br />

behind the scenes.<br />

The journey at the Olympic Museum<br />

in Lausanne begins with discovering the<br />

newly updated Olympic Park adorned with<br />

impressive sculptures by contemporary<br />

artists and sports installations.<br />

In front of The Museum, the iconic<br />

Olympic fire burns all year round, and<br />

Pierre de Coubertin’s statue greets the<br />

public while the fire burns eternally in its<br />

cauldron. Displayed is the motto (since<br />

1894) ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’, which reminds<br />

us of the Games’ origins and history.<br />

The Olympic World<br />

The first theme presented in the exhibition<br />

is the ever-expanding phenomenon of the<br />

Olympic World. It explores the vision of<br />

its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin and<br />

will teach you how rooted the Olympics<br />

has been in our history since 1894. On the<br />

same floor, you will discover the 50 torches<br />

that have transported the Olympic flame of<br />

all Games since 1936 and go on a journey<br />

of Olympic history with an interactive<br />

timeline.<br />

Today there are 204 National Olympic<br />

Committees worldwide, and an incredible<br />

4 billion people shared the passion for sport<br />

during the last Games as either participants<br />

or spectators.<br />

The Olympic Games<br />

The Museum’s second floor is entirely<br />

devoted to the Olympic Games, which<br />

shapes the heart of every visitor’s<br />

experience. Here, you will learn about the<br />

stories and careers of many Olympians and<br />

the evolution of the sporting disciplines you<br />

know and love today.<br />

There is also the opportunity to view<br />

the Olympic program of the <strong>Summer</strong> and<br />

Winter Games and listen to an introduction<br />

to the birth of the Paralympics and the<br />

Youth Olympic Games.<br />

The Olympic Spirit<br />

How do you become an Olympic<br />

champion? What’s life like under<br />

competition conditions? How does it feel<br />

to win or to lose? On the third floor, the<br />

‘Olympic Spirit’, all these questions are<br />

answered for you.<br />

Through video, memorabilia, and<br />



interactive installations, you immerse<br />

yourself in all aspects of the Olympic<br />

experience, including the joy, drama and<br />

the Olympic village atmosphere where all<br />

nations meet.<br />

Inspired by the daily life of champions,<br />

you can also try fun interactive exercises,<br />

which include balance and agility tests and<br />

challenging mind games.<br />

End your Olympic experience with an<br />

incredible finale presenting the medals in a<br />

180° audiovisual show.<br />

Riding the Olympic Wave<br />

Six new sports and disciplines were recently<br />

added to the programme of the <strong>Summer</strong><br />

Games: 3x3 Basketball, BMX Freestyle,<br />

breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and<br />

surfing. ‘Riding the Olympic Wave’ explores<br />

this evolution and presents these sports and<br />

disciplines with their social, cultural, and<br />

artistic contexts through art installations.<br />

The program is supported by cultural<br />

events, a digital exhibition, and more! Open<br />

until March 2023.<br />

Find out more here: https://olympics.<br />

com/museum/explore/programming/<br />

riding-the-olympic-wave<br />

TOM Café - A café with<br />

breathtaking views<br />

Before leaving the museum, we recommend<br />

grabbing a refreshment at the TOM Café<br />

located on the top floor. This cafe boasts<br />

contemporary and sporty decor inspired<br />

by the Olympic theme, and has one of the<br />

most desirable terraces in Lausanne with<br />

spectacular views over Lake Geneva and<br />

the Alps.<br />

TOM Shop – Nothing usual here!<br />

A great place to start – or end – the<br />

Olympic Museum experience is at the<br />

TOM shop. Offering an exclusive and<br />

unique range of quirky and original<br />

products, you can take a piece of the<br />

Olympic dream home.<br />

Tuesday to Sunday: Open from<br />

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.<br />

Mondays: closed. (except for bank<br />

holidays and special events).<br />

Closed: 24, 25, 31 December, and<br />

1 January.<br />

The Olympic Museum<br />

Quai d’Ouchy 1<br />

1006 Lausanne, Switzerland<br />

+41 (0)21 621 65 11<br />

info.museum@olympic.org<br />

www.olympics.com/museum<br />

Olympic Museum tickets, admission<br />

prices and hours of operation<br />



<strong>Summer</strong> in<br />

Switzerland <strong>2022</strong><br />

© Schweiz Tourismus / Daniel Loosli<br />



<strong>Summer</strong> in Switzerland<br />

offers endless possibilities<br />

for a family holiday. Soak<br />

up nature through the beautiful<br />

landscapes, feel the fresh<br />

mountain streams run over your<br />

toes and relax as children laugh<br />

and explore the many playgrounds<br />

and activities.<br />

Switzerland has numerous<br />

breathtaking regions to discover,<br />

whether you’re looking for a short<br />

break or a summer-long trip.<br />

Hike through enchanting forests,<br />

horse ride over the Jura or capture<br />

panoramic views as you have never<br />

seen before. Many activities are<br />

suitable for children, with fun trails<br />

and playgrounds to enjoy.<br />

Read below for our top familyfriendly<br />

destinations in Switzerland<br />

this summer.<br />

MySwitzerland.com/family<br />

© Switzerland Tourism / Dominik Baur<br />

Eggishorn View Point<br />

From the Eggishorn viewpoint, you get to see it all. Not only<br />

do you have a view of the 20 kilometres long Great Aletsch<br />

Glacier, but also Konkordiaplatz and the Eiger, Mönch and<br />

Jungfrau mountains. On days when there is not a cloud in<br />

sight, you may even spot the famous Matterhorn.<br />

Eggishorn’s viewpoint is easily accessible by cable car from<br />

Fiescheralp, making it a brilliant trip for all the family. Don’t<br />

forget to get your camera out to capture the magnificent<br />

moment!<br />

We also highly recommend the small but exquisite Horli-<br />

Hitta mountain restaurant if you feel hungry on your trip.<br />

© Switzerland Tourism<br />

/ Dominik Baur<br />

Herens cow educational trail<br />

Travel through six stations on the Herens cattle educational trail<br />

and discover the life of the Herens cows and also the people who<br />

live and work in the Nendaz region.<br />

The four-kilometre trail starts at Alpe de Tortin in the middle of<br />

the four Vallées and lasts roughly an hour and a quarter; however,<br />

there is no rush. You can peacefully enjoy all the spectacular<br />

landscapes around you in your own time.<br />

Hiking in the footsteps of the dwarf Bartli<br />

Bartli, the dwarf, lives in the magical Braunwald forest and<br />

emerges from his hut from mid-June to October every year to<br />

welcome families. He wears red trousers and a bright green<br />

jumper, so hopefully, you won’t miss him! Waiting to be discovered<br />

in the forest is eight enchanting places straight from a fairy tale.<br />

The magical places you can explore on your hike include<br />

the dwarf ’s castle, the gemstone cleft, the dwarf ’s cave, the<br />

Rindenhüttli bark hut, the dwarf ’s tower, Tiidi’s house and, finally,<br />

the dwarf ’s bathing spot.<br />

This long trail covers four kilometres with several hiking options<br />

to choose from.<br />

The Toggenburg Sound Trail<br />

Stretching over multiple stages, from Alp Sellamatt to Iltios and as<br />

far as Oberdorf, the Toggenburg Sound Trail is an extraordinary<br />

musical experience with 26 sound stations. Combining all kinds<br />

of curiosities with the most incredible landscapes, this is a thrilling<br />

route for all curious nature lovers.<br />

There are numerous sound-making activities available, such<br />

as forging singing bowls and bells, the alpine horn, yodelling for<br />

beginners and lots more.<br />

Jura - a paradise for horse riding<br />

Whether a novice or highly experienced, the Jura will feel like<br />

paradise if you are a keen horse rider. The gentle, hilly landscapes<br />

and expansive nature areas are captivating and perfect for all types<br />

of horse riding activities.<br />

The Franches-Montagnes is also the home of the horse of the<br />

same name, the only indigenous Swiss breed that lives partly wild<br />

on the Jura mountain range. As you see the horses wandering<br />

happily across the landscape, your surroundings will feel<br />

reminiscent of the Wild West.<br />



The best ideas to enjoy Lausanne this summer<br />

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is THE destination for a weekend getaway this<br />

summer. Check out our helpful tips!<br />

1. LAKE GENEVA<br />

Enjoying drinks right on<br />

the water’s edge,<br />

embarking on a<br />

paddleboard outing, diving<br />

into the lake’s turquoise<br />

waters… Lake Geneva is<br />

absolutely the Lausanners’<br />

favourite spot to make the<br />

most of the summer.<br />

4. LAVAUX<br />

For the most dazzling<br />

landscapes this summer,<br />

head to Lavaux, a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage site. A<br />

unique view over the<br />

vineyards, the lake and<br />

mountains awaits you there.<br />

Welcome to paradise!<br />



After climbing the 151<br />

steps that lead to the top,<br />

you’ll discover the<br />

impressive 360° panorama<br />

over the town. It’s also the<br />

opportunity to see how<br />

green a city Lausanne is,<br />

with nature present<br />

everywhere.<br />

Visiting The Olympic<br />

Museum when you’re in<br />

the Olympic Capital is a<br />

must! After the visit, enjoy<br />

a stroll in the magnificent<br />

park and don’t forget to<br />

take a break on the<br />

panoramic terrace.<br />

5. PLATEFORME 10<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />


YES, the largest European<br />

cultural spot is complete at<br />

last with the arrival of the<br />

Museum of Contemporary<br />

Design and Applied Arts,<br />

and Photo Elysée<br />

dedicated to photography.<br />

Both are joining the Vaud<br />

Museum of Fine Arts on<br />

June 18.<br />

Taste the delicious local products from the market<br />

Admire the view over the town from the<br />

Cathedral’s belfry<br />

Have drinks with a lake view at The Lacustre<br />

Book your Lausanne City Pass<br />

Find more on www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/5-essentials<br />

and follow us @thelausanner <br />

Impressum: pictures from Giglio Pasqua, Laurent Kaczor, Sébastien Closuit, Phillip Waterton, Urs Achermann & Etienne Malapert


Interlaken <strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

This summer, a diverse world of adventure and action<br />

awaits you and your family in the Holiday Region<br />

Interlaken. In the heart of the dramatic mountain range<br />

around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, you will marvel at new<br />

discoveries and make family memories that will last a lifetime.<br />

The region covers everything from impressive mountain<br />

excursions to fascinating museums and action-packed activities.<br />

The unique natural landscape of the Bernese Oberland is a<br />

beautiful family experience and offers an unforgettable holiday in<br />

the heart of Switzerland.<br />

Below, we have shared our favourite summer activities in the<br />

Holiday Region Interlaken.<br />

Ropes Park Interlaken<br />

In the Ropes Park Interlaken, nine courses with different difficulty<br />

levels take you through the forest. Climb high up into the tops<br />

of the trees or fly through the luscious forest on the zip lines.<br />

Wobbling obstacles, thrilling zip lines and exciting swing sets<br />

challenge you and are sure to increase your adrenaline levels. You<br />

will love this day full of fun at the Ropes Park Interlaken.<br />

Lake Thun Canoeing Trail – adventure on the water<br />

Discover Lake Thun’s picturesque shore on your own through the<br />

canoe trail. Five rental stations with canoes and stand-up paddles<br />

are available where you can rent the necessary equipment for your<br />

adventure. With the warm summer sun on your face, paddle across<br />

the glistening fresh water and race your family to the edge of Lake<br />

Thun. Who will win?<br />

Schynige Platte – natural paradise with remarkable views<br />

Board the retro mountain railway at Wilderswil station and prepare<br />

to be overwhelmed by unbelievable views of the Eiger, Mönch<br />

and Jungfrau as well as the surrounding peaks. When you arrive<br />

at 1,967 metres above sea level, don’t forget to soak up the view<br />

dubbed as ‘nature’s cinema’ and get ready for a scenic hike you’ll<br />

never forget. You can also enjoy a walk through the Botanical<br />

Alpine Garden or put your feet up and relax at the 100-yearold<br />

mountain hotel. Children can pass the time in the alpine<br />

playground with Lily the Cow’s carved mascot and solve the new<br />

treasure hunt mysteries to win great prizes.<br />

Ballenberg Open-Air Museum – experience Swiss tradition<br />

The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum is a great way to immerse<br />

yourself in past times and impressive Swiss culture. In just one<br />

day, you can experience all the wonders of Switzerland. Discover<br />

museums, traditional crafts and various centuries-old buildings.<br />

Perfect for the whole family, Ballenberg also boasts a playground,<br />

rides on carousel and a petting zoo for children to enjoy.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 37<br />

The St. Beatus Caves – a natural wonder by Lake Thun<br />

The St. Beatus Caves are one of Lake Thun’s most popular<br />

excursion destinations. The enchanting waters and incredible stone<br />

world take you on a discovery trip through over 1 kilometre of<br />

extensive cave systems. One particular highlight is the impressive<br />

stalactite formations and unique shapes and colours of the<br />

stalagmites and stalactites. A must-visit.

<strong>Summer</strong> at Schilthorn:<br />

Adrenalin and Relaxation for families<br />

View. Thrill. Chill. The Mürren –<br />

Schilthorn is one of Switzerland’s<br />

most spectacular hiking regions<br />

that promises breathtaking vistas,<br />

adrenaline-fuelled experiences and ultimate<br />

relaxation in the enchanting mountain<br />

landscape.<br />

A cable car connects the Lauterbrunnen<br />

Valley from Stechelberg with the<br />

picturesque car-free mountain villages of<br />

Gimmelwald and Mürren, which ascend to<br />

the middle station at Birg that leads to the<br />

2,970-metre-high Schilthorn summit.<br />

VIEW from Schilthorn peak<br />

The Piz Gloria sits 2,970 metres above<br />



sea level, surrounded by more than 200<br />

alpine peaks and embedded in an unspoilt<br />

mountain environment. The instantly<br />

recognisable building takes pride of place<br />

on the Schilthorn summit and offers a<br />

breathtaking 360° view of the Eiger, Mönch<br />

and Jungfrau-peaks, which align with the<br />

Bernese and Valais-Alps.<br />

Enjoy a delicious table-served meal and<br />

panoramic views at the 360°-Restaurant<br />

Piz Gloria as it rotates on its axis in 45<br />

minutes. The culinary delights range from<br />

simple snacks to regional dishes. Particular<br />

highlights include the James Bond Brunch,<br />

which is served daily until 2 pm, the 007<br />

Burger or the Piz Gloria afternoon platter.<br />

On the track of James Bond<br />

Did you know that the Schilthorn was the<br />

main filming location for “On Her Majesty’s<br />

Secret Service” from October 1968 to May<br />

1969? James Bond’s arch-nemesis Blofeld’s<br />

headquarters are located at the revolving<br />

summit restaurant called “Piz Gloria” - a<br />

name the restaurant still carries to this<br />

day. Visitors can dive right into the action<br />

in Bond World, the interactive exhibition<br />

dedicated to the movie. It features seven key<br />

scenes, along with film-related trivia.<br />

A relaxing interlude after the hustle and<br />

bustle of Bond World is available at the<br />

integrated Bond Cinema. In addition to<br />

scenes from the classic James Bond film,<br />

the 12-metre-wide, curved screen shows<br />

aerial footage of the magnificent mountain<br />

landscape.<br />

THRILL – Spine-tingling sensations<br />

at Birg<br />

The Birg station offers the most authentic<br />

thrilling experience; perched majestically<br />

on the rock massif, standing at 2,677 metres<br />

above sea level – around 1,000 metres above<br />

the village of Mürren.<br />

Built as an extension of the spacious<br />

sun terrace, the Skyline Walk observation<br />

deck is suspended over the vertical abyss,<br />

with panoramic vistas and exhilarating<br />

views into the void. Constructed from steel<br />

and reinforced glass with a grated floor, its<br />

angular design blends seamlessly into the<br />

landscape.<br />

On the opposite side of the terrace starts<br />

the Thrill Walk. The steel structure clings<br />

to the rock before swerving under the<br />

observation deck and cableway to end below<br />

the cable car station. There is also a crawlthrough<br />

tunnel, glass-bottomed floor, rope<br />

and cattle grid to add to the spine-tingling<br />

experience.<br />

More THRILL on the via ferrata<br />

Love an adrenaline rush? Don’t miss the<br />

Mürren-Gimmelwald via ferrata. This<br />

excellently secured “iron way” covers a<br />

distance of over 2.2 kilometres. Walk across<br />

a tight rope with rushing water below you,<br />

climb down steep ladders, zip line across a<br />

ravine, and more.<br />

This is an incredible experience and<br />

a great way to discover new heights 600<br />

metres above ground, always secured safely<br />

with a rope.<br />

CHILL-ing family moments on the<br />

Allmendhubel<br />

Those seeking a relaxing holiday in Mürren’s<br />

area will find it on the nearby Allmendhubel<br />

mountain. 1907 metres above sea level,<br />

the top family destination is accessible by<br />

funicular within four minutes. At the cosy<br />

panorama restaurant Allmendhubel with<br />

its spacious sun terrace, adults can tuck into<br />

a delicious meal while children play in the<br />

Flower Park adventure playground.<br />

This expansive play meadow offers a<br />

wealth of facts about the flora and fauna<br />

of the Alpine region. Children can explore<br />

a marmot burrow, fly with butterflies, milk<br />

cows and even make cheese here. Solid<br />

timber structures imitate the shape of giant<br />

flowers and oversized insects. Its colourful and<br />

imaginative design transforms this playground<br />

into a spectacular world of wonders.<br />

Head to the water labyrinth for a fun<br />

and refreshing experience - not just on hot<br />

summer days. Who will reach the finish<br />

line the fastest without getting splashed?<br />

The water is constantly changing direction<br />

making this a challenge only the quickest can<br />

complete!<br />

In addition to the Flower Park, visitors<br />

will find the Flower Trail. This floral-themed<br />

trail winds through Allmendhubel in about<br />

20 minutes along a wide path suitable for<br />

strollers, providing children and adults with<br />

a whimsical introduction to alpine flowers,<br />

meadows, and herbs. Admire over 150<br />

species, including gentians, alpine roses and<br />

edelweiss.<br />



Discover the colour<br />

that best suits your<br />

ideal holiday by<br />

completing this quiz:<br />

© Ticino Turismo, photo by Enrico Pescantini<br />



Your next colourful<br />

getaway to southern<br />

Switzerland<br />

© Ascona-Locarno, photo<br />

by Alessio Pizzicannella<br />

Ticino is a very special Swiss<br />

canton, located entirely to the<br />

south of the Alps it enjoys a<br />

beautiful Mediterranean climate. This<br />

favourable condition makes Ticino a<br />

pleasure to visit whatever the season.<br />

Immerse yourself in nature and<br />

experience the summer colours of Ticino<br />

through the glistening blue waters,<br />

tranquil green valleys, romantic sunsets,<br />

and vibrant array of flowers. There is<br />

also the opportunity to dive into Ticino’s<br />

history through medieval castles or military<br />

fortresses with kilometer-long galleries<br />

under the Gotthard massif.<br />

You deserve to taste the Dolce Vita<br />

Do you love holidays full of surprises and<br />

unique pleasures? Then, you’ll be amazed<br />

by Ticino’s Dolce Vita. Indulge in delicious<br />

coffee in one of Ticino’s most idyllic<br />

squares, stroll along Ascona’s lakeside<br />

promenade under the sun-kissed palms or<br />

unwind at the lido.<br />

There will be plenty of opportunities<br />

to put your feet up and relax with an<br />

aperitivo. All whilst the children play and<br />

laugh on the sandy shore lines.<br />

End your day with a stay at the fivestar<br />

hotel, Castello del Sole in Ascona,<br />

and enjoy a delicious dinner under a sky<br />

of stars. A family holiday in Ticino is<br />

guaranteed to create life-long memories.<br />

What if your family is very dynamic?<br />

Does your vacation need to be actionpacked<br />

with themed itineraries, a vast<br />

range of attractions, large green spaces and<br />

infinite leisure possibilities? Then, don’t<br />

hesitate to discover Ticino and its numerous<br />

family-friendly activities!<br />

One of the most appreciated<br />

attractions by children is undoubtedly<br />

the Swissminiatur in Melide, an open-air<br />

museum where you can admire iconic Swiss<br />

buildings and means of transportation in<br />

the unusual 1:25 scale.<br />

For children keen on the ultimate<br />

adventure, there’s so much to explore!<br />

Play at the Splash & Spa water park near<br />

Lugano, be amazed by the falconry and its<br />

birds of prey in Locarno or journey back in<br />

time at the Fossil Museum near Mendrisio.<br />

But don’t forget to dream about the<br />

adventures of the knights at Bellinzona’s<br />

fortress!<br />

Find out more<br />

about your next<br />

getaway in Ticino.<br />

© Monte Tamaro<br />



Family holidays<br />

in Liechtenstein:<br />

relaxation and adventure await here<br />

Nestled between Switzerland<br />

and Austria, Liechtenstein is a<br />

mountain principality that feels<br />

like something out of a fairy-tale. Cultural,<br />

natural and culinary diversity meet here,<br />

meaning there’s something for all the family<br />

to enjoy.<br />

Liechtenstein promises a world of fun,<br />

whether it’s an exciting trekking tour with<br />

llamas, a spectacular adventure hike or an<br />

adventurous, full moon walk.<br />

Recharge your batteries in the Malbun<br />

family paradise<br />

The idyllic Malbuntal has already received<br />

the “Family Destination” seal of approval<br />

from the Swiss Tourism Association several<br />

times. Not only does the quiet mountain<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 42<br />

village offer relaxation for families, but<br />

the nearby main town of Vaduz and the<br />

surrounding mountains make the side valley<br />

the ideal starting point for numerous sights<br />

in Liechtenstein.<br />

If you want to spend a quiet day away<br />

from the hustle and bustle of the main town,<br />

you will find a place to relax at the nearby<br />

Gänglesee in Steg. Children can splash


around in the cool water or build a reservoir,<br />

and Barbecue areas around the lake also<br />

invite you to eat and unwind together.<br />

Something for everyone<br />

In picturesque Malbun, you will find many<br />

family hotels that offer exciting children’s<br />

playgrounds and wellness areas for every<br />

age. Childcare is also available at the hotels<br />

for parents who want to enjoy some quality<br />

time together.<br />

A holiday to remember: Family<br />

experiences in the valley and<br />

mountain areas<br />

Experiences such as trekking tour with<br />

llamas and alpacas, a trip to the swing and<br />

researcher paths or a spectacular bird of<br />




& BOOKING<br />

Liechtenstein Marketing<br />

info@liechtenstein.li<br />

T +423 239 63 63<br />

www.tourismus.li/en/<br />

“Cultural, natural and culinary diversity<br />

meet here, meaning there’s something for<br />

all the family to enjoy.”<br />

Offer princely summer and<br />

autumn holidays<br />

1 night in a 3-star superior hotel<br />

from CHF 69.50 per person<br />

www.tourismus.li<br />

/famoffers<br />

prey show in Malbun make your family<br />

vacation in the Principality of Liechtenstein<br />

unforgettable.<br />

Nature-loving travellers can learn lots<br />

of interesting facts about the forest on the<br />

forest adventure trail in Vaduzm or enjoy<br />

cheese, wine and coffee on the FoodTrail<br />

from Vaduz to Schaan. The Walser<br />

SagenWeg in Triesenberg, the detective<br />

trails in Malbun and Vaduz or the rope park<br />

in Triesen also offer everything for a perfect<br />

family day in nature.<br />

A real summer highlight in Liechtenstein<br />

is the Grossabünt bathing lake. The freely<br />

accessible leisure facility attracts visitors<br />

with its crystal-clear, refreshing lake and the<br />

soccer field, climbing wall, and slackline.<br />

With the adventure pass, all doors are<br />

open to families.<br />

Would you like a holiday full of activities?<br />

With the adventure pass for the whole<br />

family, you enjoy free travel on all bus routes<br />

and have access to 30 leisure attractions<br />

worth over 300 francs.<br />

These include the high rope park in<br />

Triesen, the exciting Liechtenstein State<br />

Museum, the ceramics workshop in<br />

Nendeln and the chairlift in Malbun. You<br />

can also visit indoor and outdoor pools and<br />

many museums with the adventure pass.<br />

On foot through the whole country on the<br />

Liechtenstein Trail<br />

Mountains up to 2600 meters high and a<br />

network of more than 400 kilometres of<br />

well-developed hiking trails lure people to<br />

hike in the principality. However, if you<br />

want to get to know the country from all<br />

sides, you can embark on the 75-kilometre<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 44<br />

Liechtenstein Trail. The trail journeys<br />

through the local communities, idyllic<br />

nature reserves, vineyards, and blooming<br />

mountain meadows.<br />

It is best for hikers with children to cover<br />

the path in several stages. In addition, the<br />

convenient luggage transport service from<br />

hotel to hotel makes hiking here a more<br />

relaxed experience.<br />

www.tourismus.li/families<br />

Tour de Suisse guest in Liechtenstein<br />

<strong>2022</strong><br />

Follow one of the biggest cycling races<br />

in the world live in Liechtenstein. On<br />

June 18, the Tour de Suisse finishes in the<br />

mountain town of Malbun and on June 19,<br />

the final individual time trial takes place in<br />

Liechtenstein’s main town of Vaduz.<br />



Discover Switzerland<br />

in less than two hours.<br />

swissminiatur.ch<br />

Swissminiatur is Switzerland’s largest open-air miniature museum.<br />

Immerse yourself in the miniature world of railway history and the most<br />

important buildings and monuments in Switzerland. Located in Melide, on<br />

the shores of Lake Lugano, the park is surrounded by majestic mountains<br />

including Monte Generoso, San Salvatore and also San Giorgio, which has<br />

been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.<br />

swissminiatur_paginaufficiale<br />

swissminiatur<br />

Management Swissminiatur SA<br />

CH-6815 Melide Switzerland<br />

T.+41(0)91 640 10 60<br />



©Basel Tourismus, Photo : Teddy Verneuil<br />

Piet Mondrian, Woods near Oele, 1908<br />

Öl auf Leinwand, 128 x 158 cm<br />

Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Den Haag,<br />

Niederlande, Vermächtnis Salomon B. Slijper<br />

BASEL<br />

In Basel, art can be seen wherever you go, whether strolling<br />

through the beautiful Old Town or when visiting one of<br />

the almost 40 museums. With their themed collections,<br />

the museums have something for every taste, and many have<br />

reputations that stretch far beyond the Swiss border.<br />

Discover more with the free BaselCard! When you stay overnight<br />

in Basel, you will benefit from discounts on numerous cultural and<br />

recreational activities and other exclusive advantages.<br />

https://www.basel.com<br />

© 2021 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust<br />

Open Studio<br />

© Photo: Pati Grabowicz<br />

Kunstmuseum Basel<br />

Picasso – El Greco<br />

11.06.–25.09.<strong>2022</strong><br />

In a large special exhibition, the Kunstmuseum illuminates the<br />

encounter of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) with the old master El<br />

Greco (1541–1614), born Doménikos Theotokópoulos in Crete.<br />

Masterworks by both artists are juxtaposed in some forty pairings,<br />

tracing the course of one of the most fascinating dialogues in the<br />

history of art. Prestigious loans from across the globe are assembled<br />

around a core of Picasso masterworks from the museum’s own<br />

collection.<br />

https://kunstmuseumbasel.ch/de/ausstellungen/<strong>2022</strong>/picassoelgreco<br />

Events accompanying the exhibition Picasso – El Greco<br />

Children’s opening: Experiments with Colors, Light and Paper<br />

Friday, 10.6.<strong>2022</strong>, 6-8 pm<br />



© <strong>2022</strong> Museum Tinguely Basel; Photo: Daniel Spehr<br />

Museum Tinguely with<br />

Schwimmwasserplastik by Jean<br />

Tinguely in the Solitude Park<br />

(view from the west)<br />

Pablo Picasso, Self-<br />

Portrait, 1901, Musée<br />

national Picasso, Paris,<br />

Photo: RMN-Grand<br />

Palais/Mathieu Rabeau<br />

© Succession Picasso, <strong>2022</strong> ProLitteris, Zurich<br />

Other family events<br />

Bring your Baby Tour<br />

Enjoy a guided tour of the collections with your baby<br />

Thursday, 23.6.<strong>2022</strong>, 10.15 am<br />

Fondation Beyeler<br />

Mondrian Evolution<br />

5 June – 9 October <strong>2022</strong><br />

Marking the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth, the Fondation<br />

Beyeler will devote an exhibition to the Dutch painter Piet<br />

Mondrian. As one of the most important artists of the avant-garde<br />

movement, Mondrian shaped the evolution of painting from<br />

figuration to abstraction. His early work was influenced not only by<br />

late 19th-century Dutch landscape painting but also by Symbolism<br />

and Cubism.<br />

Family Tour<br />

Sunday, 26.06.<strong>2022</strong>,11 am–12 pm<br />

Tour of the “Mondrian Evolution” exhibition for children aged 6<br />

to 10 accompanied by an adult.<br />

Price: children up to 10 years old: CHF 7.– / adults: admission fee<br />

visit http://fondationbeyeler.ch/tickets for tickets<br />

Workshop for children<br />

Wednesday, 29.06.<strong>2022</strong>, 2–4.30 pm<br />

A tour to discover the exhibition “Mondrian Evolution”, followed<br />

by playful experimentation in the studio. For children aged 6 to 10.<br />

Price: CHF 10.– incl. Materials<br />

visit http://fondationbeyeler.ch/tickets for tickets<br />

Museum Tinguely<br />

BANG BANG – translocal hi:stories of performance art<br />

8 June <strong>2022</strong> – 21 August <strong>2022</strong><br />

Performance will be taking centre stage at Museum Tinguely all<br />

summer long. The show will focus on Swiss art, its stories, and their<br />

many interpreters, while at the same time laying on an exciting,<br />

international programme of happenings. From the spectacular to<br />

the scarcely perceptible, BANG BANG will give the incredibly rich<br />

history of performance art in Switzerland the attention it deserves.<br />

https://www.tinguely.ch/<br />

Other Events at Museum Tinguely<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Party & Opening | BANG BANG - translocal<br />

hi:stories of performance art<br />

Tuesday, 7 June <strong>2022</strong>, 6:30 pm<br />

Costs: free admission, no booking required<br />

Family Sunday<br />

Sunday, 26 June <strong>2022</strong> / Sunday, 11 December <strong>2022</strong>, 11:30 am – 5<br />

pm<br />

A workshop programme for the whole family to enjoy.<br />

Costs: museum admission, no booking required. Family Sundays<br />

are inclusive events<br />

© Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois Basel<br />



ON TOP OF<br />

MT. TITLIS<br />

(3020 metres above sea level)<br />

Experience new glacial heights and<br />

spectacular panoramic views from<br />

the top of Mt.Titlis, 3,020 metres<br />

above sea level. Take the Titlis Xpress cable<br />

car from Engelberg to Stand station in<br />

around 25 minutes, and from Strand, you<br />

can then hop on the Titlis Rotair, which will<br />

carry you up to the top of Titlis in a matter<br />

of minutes.<br />

TITLIS Cliff Walk<br />

The Titlis Cliff Walk is an experience like<br />

no other. This spectacular suspension bridge<br />

high on the summit is 3,041 metres above<br />

sea level, 500 metres off the ground and 150<br />

heart-pounding steps long, making it the<br />

highest suspension bridge in Europe.<br />

A route leads you through the glacier cave<br />

via an underground tunnel and onto the<br />

viewing platform at the south wall window<br />

when you reach the summit. The onemetre-wide<br />

suspension bridge then stretches<br />

to the Ice Flyer glacier chair lift station.<br />

Gaze into the abyss below and soak up the<br />

breathtaking views! An adventure you will<br />

never forget.<br />

Glacier Cave<br />

A magical world of ice awaits you in the<br />

glacier cave. Basked in a subtle turquoise<br />

light, the air here is so cold you will see<br />

tiny white clouds from your breath.<br />

This mystical 5,000-year-old cave is<br />

what forms the frosty heart of Titlis,<br />

with a 150-metre long walkway that<br />

descends 10 metres below the glacier’s<br />

surface.<br />

With easy access from the Titlis Mountain<br />

Station, this is an incredible experience not<br />

to miss.<br />

Trübsee (middle station 1800 metres<br />

above sea level)<br />

Many years ago, a muleteer called Engelbert<br />

and his pack mule Schmuggli would<br />

often undertake the strenuous route from<br />

Engelberg over the Jochpass to Engstlenalp.<br />

They would hide their smuggled goods in<br />

different places around Trübsee, which you<br />

can now hunt for on the trail of Schmuggli.<br />

At each of the six stations around Trübsee<br />

lake, you will find an object with a letter, try<br />

and solve the puzzle to win a prize!<br />

Trübsee Adventure Playground<br />

The Titlis Adventure Park will make all<br />

superhero’s dreams come true. There<br />

are many adventures to enjoy from the<br />

BagJump Tower, Trampoline2Bag or<br />

slackline, all with guided supervision.<br />

Perfect for all ages to practice balance,<br />

concentration and coordination.<br />

Schmuggli’s world of adventure<br />

July <strong>2022</strong> will see the opening of the new<br />

Schmuggli’s Sbrinz Trail. A puzzle trail<br />

on the mountain hike from the Hüethütte<br />

to the Untertrübsee alpine cheese dairy.<br />

Here you can solve tricky riddles during<br />

a 1.5-hour hike and, with a bit of luck,<br />

uncover Schmuggli’s secret writing.<br />

Trübsee Flyer Zipline<br />

Buckle up and take to the air down the<br />

500m Trübsee Flyer zipline. This is a<br />

thrilling way to experience panoramic<br />

views of Trübsee lake. Children aged<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 48<br />

8+ and adults can take the ride, but just be<br />

quick to grab a photo as they fly speedily<br />

down!<br />

Trübsee Lake<br />

Take a trip out onto the lake with your<br />

friends and famlly on one of the six rowing<br />

boats available to hire. Whether you’re a<br />

rowing enthusiast or simply want a relaxed<br />

lake adventure, this is perfect for everyone.<br />

Each boat has space for four people and life<br />

jackets are provided.<br />

Open daily from June to October.<br />

Overnight accommodation<br />

TITLIS Resort<br />

With all the hotel amenities a family could<br />

need, the Titlis resort, set in the heart of<br />

Engelberg, is perfect for a comfortable<br />

stay in beautiful apartments. The Resort<br />

offers a wellness oasis for all guests and has<br />

a range of apartments available with 2-5<br />

rooms, including a unique 3-room family<br />

apartment. www.titlisresort.ch<br />

Trübsee Alpine Lodge<br />

If a mountain view stay is something<br />

you have your heart set on, the Trübsee<br />

Alpine Lodge is the place for you. After<br />

an adventure-packed day, the cosy<br />

rooms promise a dreamy night’s sleep,<br />

and delicious food options await. www.<br />

hoteltruebsee.ch<br />

Hotel Terrace<br />

Hotel Terrace has it covered whether you’re<br />

searching for your next sporting challenge<br />

or want to relax and have a good time. The<br />

hotel is conveniently just a short lift ride<br />

from the village centre, and the bus stop has<br />

a free shuttle to the cable car station. www.<br />



The Swiss<br />

Education System<br />



Swiss education is renowned for being<br />

one of the world’s best. In fact, the<br />

2021 Best Countries Report places<br />

Switzerland sixth overall ahead of Japan,<br />

Sweden, and The Netherlands. The Swiss<br />

education system is largely decentralised.<br />

There are 26 cantons, and each has a<br />

degree of autonomy when it comes to<br />

curriculum development and assessment.<br />

The State Secretariat for Education,<br />

Research, and Innovation (SERI) overseas<br />

the cantons though their role is largely<br />

passive.<br />

In Switzerland, formal education begins<br />

at primary level. However, most children<br />

also attend Kindergarten before starting<br />

school. After primary school comes lower<br />

secondary, which turn is followed by<br />

upper secondary. This sometimes includes<br />

vocational training. At the conclusion of<br />

secondary school, students may apply for<br />

tertiary study at a university or other higher<br />

education institute. On the surface this<br />

may not sound too different to education in<br />

your home country. But when we dig a little<br />

deeper you will see that there are many<br />

nuances unique to the Swiss education<br />

system.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 49<br />

Primary Education<br />

First of all, we must point out that<br />

there are a number of differences in the<br />

structure of primary education between<br />

Switzerland’s three main language groups:<br />

German, French and Italian. These include<br />

aspects such as start age and teaching<br />

methodologies.<br />

Primary education in Switzerland begins<br />

at around six years old and is compulsory.<br />

Children study at primary school for<br />

approximately six years. Generally<br />

speaking, children learn in the language of<br />

their region eg. German, French, Italian, or


Did you know that<br />

in Switzerland<br />

around 45% of<br />

adults obtain a<br />

tertiary degree or<br />

diploma?<br />


Romansh. However, they are expected to<br />

learn a second national language, and also<br />

English. The rest of the curriculum is made<br />

up of mathematics, natural sciences, social<br />

sciences, humanities, music, art, physical<br />

education, and health studies.<br />

Primary school students receive a report<br />

card twice a year and, in some cantons,<br />

even sit small exams. At the end of each<br />

school year children are assessed as to<br />

whether they move on to the next grade.<br />

You also have the option to privately<br />

educate your child at primary level. In<br />

Switzerland there are three types of private<br />

primary schools: <strong>International</strong>, Montessori,<br />

and religious.<br />

Secondary Education<br />

Lower Secondary<br />

As mentioned earlier secondary education<br />

is split into lower and upper schools. Lower<br />

secondary school is attended by children<br />

aged between 11 and 15 and is therefore<br />

compulsory.<br />

Lower secondary school could be<br />

likened to middle school and is known as<br />

Gymnasium or Kantonsschule. Lower<br />

secondary education covers three years;<br />

however, it can last longer depending on<br />

the region and canton.<br />

“Upper secondary education is not compulsory in<br />

Switzerland. However, over 90% of Swiss students<br />

elect to further their secondary education.”<br />

Students at lower secondary school<br />

study the local language, a second national<br />

language, an optional third language,<br />

and English. Additionally, they learn core<br />

subjects such as maths, science, geography,<br />

history, civics, music, art, physical<br />

education, and home economics.<br />

Just like in primary school, the majority<br />

of cantons issue a graded report card twice<br />

per year. Students may also sit exams –<br />

defining whether they progress or should<br />

repeat the year.<br />

Lower secondary schooling finishes at<br />

about 15 years of age. Students may then<br />

choose to continue with their education and<br />

advance to upper secondary school.<br />

Upper Secondary<br />

Upper secondary education is not<br />

compulsory in Switzerland. However, over<br />

90% of Swiss students elect to further their<br />

secondary education.<br />

In Switzerland, upper secondary<br />

education is divided into two areas: general<br />

education and vocational schools. Students<br />

are expected to decide which track to take<br />

and enrol accordingly. For many expats,<br />

this is surprising as 15 seems very young to<br />

make such life-impacting decisions.<br />

Upper secondary schools are overseen by<br />

their canton and the federal government.<br />

This can cause dissimilarities between<br />

different schools and regions; however, all<br />

upper secondary qualifications are valid<br />

across Switzerland.<br />

Upper secondary schools fall into one of<br />

three categories:<br />

Vocational education and training (VET)<br />

schools<br />

These schools are the most popular<br />

choice for Swiss students. Basic vocational<br />

education lasts for two – four years and<br />

provides practical and technical training<br />

and usually includes an apprenticeship. On<br />

completion, students receive a Federal VET<br />

certificate, a Federal VET diploma, or the<br />

Federal vocational baccalaureate which<br />


egular university in that it does not<br />

award doctoral degrees. Another way in<br />

which Fachhochschule are different to<br />

traditional universities, is that their teaching<br />

methodology is heavily practical.<br />

Other types of study<br />

Kindergarten<br />

Kindergarten is compulsory for two years<br />

and begins at around four years of age.<br />

These institutions focus on play-based<br />

learning and creative stimulation. <strong>Parent</strong>s<br />

can choose between public and private<br />

kindergartens – the main difference being<br />

cost. Public kindergartens are free, whereas<br />

private kindergartens can run into the<br />

thousands of euros.<br />

allows them to apply to a university of<br />

applied science.<br />

Baccalaureate schools<br />

It is very important to point out that<br />

this Baccalaureate is different to the<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate Diploma<br />

taught at private (<strong>International</strong>) schools.<br />

About a third of Swiss students choose to<br />

go to baccalaureate schools, where they<br />

receive a more general education.<br />

On average baccalaureate programmes<br />

last for four years, however, they can take<br />

as little as three, or as many as six years<br />

depending on the canton.<br />

The baccalaureate programme is made<br />

up of core subjects, a specialisation, a<br />

secondary specialisation, and a final essay.<br />

Core subjects include up to three languages,<br />

maths, biology, chemistry, physics, history,<br />

geography, visual arts and/or music.<br />

Students also take an introductory course<br />

to economics and law, and are able to select<br />

optional subjects as well.<br />

Grades awarded at the end of the<br />

year determine whether or not a student<br />

progresses. To complete the baccalaureate<br />

programme, students must take – and pass<br />

- exams in at least five subjects and present<br />

a final essay. A baccalaureate certificate<br />

facilitating university entry is awarded to<br />

students that pass the course.<br />

Upper secondary specialised schools<br />

There are public and private upper<br />

secondary specialised schools in 22 cantons<br />

with around 5% of Swiss students in<br />

attendance. These schools provide a general<br />

and professional education and training<br />

(PET) for specific occupations.<br />

Students study core subjects related to<br />

their occupation of interest. As in previous<br />

examples, a student’s performance directly<br />

impacts their advancement to the next year.<br />

Specialised school programmes usually last<br />

for three years and concludes with exams in<br />

six or more subjects.<br />

In some cantons students can take<br />

an additional one-year specialised<br />

baccalaureate course that includes a<br />

traineeship or practical experience.<br />

Students who achieve the specialised<br />

baccalaureate may then apply to a<br />

university of applied science or similar.<br />

Tertiary Education<br />

Tertiary level education comprises a wide<br />

variety of institutions and courses. Did you<br />

know that in Switzerland around 45% of<br />

adults obtain a tertiary degree or diploma?<br />

Switzerland has 12 universities in total,<br />

of which 10 are regulated at canton level.<br />

Swiss universities are known for their BA<br />

and MBA programmes and as a result,<br />

there is a large international student<br />

population.<br />

University of Applied Sciences are also<br />

popular in Switzerland. In total there are<br />

eight public institutions of this kind and<br />

one privately operated. These universities<br />

offer subjects such as engineering or<br />

business.<br />

The final type of tertiary provide is<br />

a Fachhochschule. This differs from a<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 52<br />

Home schooling<br />

Home schooling is rare in Switzerland. As<br />

with other types of education, the rules<br />

surrounding home schooling also vary<br />

wildly from canton to canton. In fact,<br />

the majority of cantons prohibit home<br />

schooling altogether.<br />

In areas where home schooling is<br />

permitted there is a strict framework for<br />

parents to abide by, including annual<br />

registration and monitoring.<br />

Although home schooling is not a<br />

popular option in Switzerland, the<br />

Covid-19 pandemic has seen a shift in the<br />

educational landscape. After long periods<br />

of distance learning, more and more<br />

parents are starting to view home schooling<br />

as a viable alternative to traditional<br />

education.<br />

Special educational needs<br />

By law, children with special educational<br />

needs must be accommodated within the<br />

regular framework and until they are 20,<br />

can access specialist support. On occasion<br />

parents will choose to send their child<br />

to a specialist school. This maybe more<br />

comfortable for the child and may also<br />

offer specialist equipment and training<br />

methods.<br />

Swiss education is held in high regard.<br />

It has long ranked in the global top 10<br />

across all levels and sectors. However,<br />

the decentralised system makes moving<br />

between cantons somewhat tricky – more<br />

so than moving abroad! If you decide<br />

to educate you child in Switzerland, the<br />

prestige that comes with that, will place<br />

them in great stead for further international<br />

education and career.

Is a Gap Year Worth It?<br />


What is a gap year<br />

The idea of a gap year is nothing<br />

new, however its purpose has changed<br />

significantly in the last 20 years. What was<br />

once a year abroad for dropouts, hippies<br />

and ‘save the world’ types, has morphed<br />

into a rite of passage for millennials and<br />

Gen Z.<br />

According to the Gap Year Association,<br />

a gap year is “a semester or year of<br />

experiential learning, typically taken after<br />

high school and prior to career or postsecondary<br />

education, in order to deepen<br />

one’s practical, professional, and personal<br />

awareness.”<br />

That is a pretty academic description of<br />

what in some cases, is simply an extended<br />

holiday. But is it really just an excuse for<br />

parties in exotic locations and shunning<br />

responsibility?<br />

Let’s look at the different types of Gap<br />

Year and what they entail.<br />

Types of gap year<br />

Gap programmes<br />

For people (and parents) who need the<br />

security of a structured programme,<br />

there are a number of organisations that<br />

offer gap years. These range from careerfocussed<br />

domestic internships, ecological<br />

experiences in exotic destinations, sociocultural<br />

volunteering, and skills-based<br />

adventures such a mountaineering and<br />

seamanship.<br />

Many of these gap programmes<br />

also offer university credits and official<br />

endorsements meaning the benefits extend<br />

beyond broadening your perspective and<br />

experience.<br />

Informal Gap Years AKA Taking a<br />

year off<br />

This form of “Gap Year” isn’t structured<br />

or credited towards future study, however<br />

it is often heavy on a broad range of<br />

experiential learning. This type of freerange<br />

gap year (sometimes referred to as<br />

‘free radical’) doesn’t suit everyone.<br />

Some years ago, I embarked on an<br />

informal gap year. I had studied my heart<br />

out in my final year of high school, received<br />

exceptional grades and was accepted into<br />

my ‘dream’ course at university. But I was<br />

burnt out. So, instead of jumping into<br />

tertiary study, I packed my bags and head<br />

overseas. I had a semblance of a plan and<br />

somewhere to stay, but aside from that the<br />

pages were blank.<br />

My gap year did not go to plan. I arrived<br />

at my original destination and within<br />

three months had realised it wasn’t for me.<br />

Perhaps I jumped in too soon? Or perhaps<br />

I found myself at 18 alone in a very foreign<br />

land and that was simply too much for me<br />

to process.<br />

The beauty of an informal gap year is<br />

that you can change and adapt your plans<br />

at any time. I had committed to a year off<br />

and that meant I still had time to re-write<br />

my story. I packed up my things (again) and<br />

embark on a new adventure.<br />

My gap year was spectacular and<br />

although it lacked the structure and support<br />

systems of a Gap Programme, I learnt<br />

more about myself and my place in the<br />

world in those ten months than I could<br />

have ever imagined.<br />

Benefits of a gap year<br />

As there is no single formula, the benefits<br />

are broad and varied. However, in general<br />


“A gap experience provides time<br />

out to evaluate what is important<br />

and how that can be balanced<br />

within a future career.”<br />


terms a gap experience provides:<br />

• Deeper self-understanding and awareness<br />

• Increased maturity and self-reliance<br />

• Expanded world view<br />

• Time out to evaluate what is important<br />

and how that can be balanced within a<br />

future career<br />

• Opportunity to develop relational skills,<br />

both in dealing with other people but<br />

also in how oneself reacts in a variety of<br />

circumstances<br />

• A point of difference when applying for<br />

further study and/or jobs<br />

• Increased earning potential –<br />

international experience – especially if the<br />

Gap Year has included an internship or<br />

similar<br />

• Acquisition of a new language (in some<br />

cases)<br />

• Cultural understanding<br />

• Problem solving skills<br />

• Time to recover after the academic rigors<br />

of the final year of secondary study<br />

Personally, I found the biggest benefits<br />

to be the acquisition of a new language,<br />

international work experience, personal<br />

reflection, and growth, and when applying<br />

for jobs, something that made my resume<br />

stand.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>al Fears<br />

For many parents, the thought of a gap<br />

year is terrifying – one minute you are<br />

picking up socks off the floor and reminding<br />

your child to shower, and then next they<br />

are telling you they want to embark on<br />

adventure. Alone.<br />

But it is not just the fear of whether<br />

your child is ready to tackle a gap year.<br />

It’s also that they will decide not to attend<br />

university at all. It is fear that their intended<br />

destination has an undesirable crime rate<br />

and that they will not come home.<br />

These are very real fears and shouldn’t<br />

be waved away as overprotective or<br />

unreasonable. In my case, my parents were<br />

happy and supportive of my travels. I had<br />

always been a great student and they were<br />

sure that eventually I’d come home and fall<br />

into university life. Had my sister had the<br />

same plan, I’m sure things would have been<br />

quite different. Ask my parents about my<br />

sister and they will tell you that she went<br />

to school to “eat her lunch”. I am quite<br />

sure that had she suggested a gap year my<br />

parents would not have been so agreeable!<br />

Are parental fears founded? Let’s look at<br />

a few stats:<br />

• In the United States, 90% of Gap Year<br />

students go onto enrol in a 4-year degree<br />

course within one year of their return (Hoe,<br />

2016).<br />

• On average, Gappers achieve higher<br />

GPAs and shorter time-to-graduation<br />

ratios than non-Gappers. Students with a<br />

Gap experience need 4 years to complete<br />

a 4-year degree programme. Whereas<br />

students without needed on average 6 years<br />

to complete a 4-year programme (Hoe,<br />

2016).<br />

• Research in 2014 by the UK Government<br />

showed that students who take a gap<br />

year between high school and university<br />

are more likely to take unnecessary risk.<br />

Given that most gappers in this age group<br />

are aged 17 – 19, it begs the question of<br />

whether or not we are mature enough at<br />

that age for such an undertaking?<br />

How to help your child have an incredible<br />

experience<br />

For the most part, the best way to keep your<br />

child safe while on their gap year is to be<br />

involved. Talk to them about the type of<br />

experience they hope to have. Does your<br />

child have a destination in mind, or do<br />

they plan to spend time exploring an entire<br />

region? How long do they want to take<br />

off? Despite the name a gap year doesn’t<br />

necessarily have to be a full 12 months. Ask<br />

them whether they would like a structured<br />

programme or the freedom to roam.<br />

Finally, ask them how you can support<br />

them best.<br />

Gap years are often funded at least in<br />

part by parents. Even if you have the ability<br />

to finance your child’s entire trip, making<br />

them work for a portion of their expenses<br />

will help them value the trip and make<br />

more thoughtful decisions.<br />

Assisting your child in securing visas,<br />

vaccinations and arranging any other<br />

official document or health check is another<br />

way you can help protect them and make<br />

sure they are ready to take on the world!<br />

Lastly, before your child heads off there<br />

are a few difficult conversations that must<br />

be had. You may not want to talk about<br />

safe sex and sexual health, but these<br />

are important things to address before<br />

your child gets on the plane. Similarly,<br />

conversations around drinking, drugs<br />

and what to do when they are in an<br />

uncomfortable (or dangerous) situation are<br />

musts. Help your child to prepare for any<br />

situation, like it or not.<br />

Although there are some risks involved in<br />

taking a gap year, the benefits far outweigh<br />

the drawbacks. My own gap year impacted<br />

me profoundly. It wasn’t always easy – I<br />

cried many tears – but it helped me to<br />

become the strong, independent, and<br />

grounded person I am today. Gap years<br />

may not be for everyone, but they will<br />

change your child’s life.<br />


Supporting children<br />

through relocation<br />


Whether your family has moved abroad for the first time, or whether you are<br />

seasoned expats who have moved multiple times, children’s behaviour can change<br />

as a result of the upheaval.<br />

Resilient, happy, adaptable,<br />

outgoing, open-minded optimistic,<br />

international in outlook. These<br />

are just some of the adjectives that we<br />

hope we can attribute to our kids when we<br />

uproot them and move abroad. We hope<br />

that the long-term benefits of showing them<br />

all the world has to offer will outweigh any<br />

short-term difficulties in settling into a new<br />

school, learning new languages and making<br />

new friends. However, as with everything<br />

related to our children, the ‘settling in’<br />

process can be far from smooth and they all<br />

have their own ways of reacting, particularly<br />

across different age groups. Trying to<br />

support children when you are likely to be<br />

undergoing some similar ups and downs,<br />

supporting your spouse, starting a new<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 56<br />

job, moving house and country is no easy<br />

task. Despite this, parents’ desire to provide<br />

support for all of them at their various<br />

stages and help them make a positive<br />

adjustment to their new life is strong and<br />

understandable. Although children behave<br />

in their own unique ways, luckily there are<br />

some common behavioural traits that they<br />

are likely to exhibit, and that other parents

efore you have also noticed. Being able to<br />

interpret these signs can help you support<br />

your children through the move, know what<br />

to expect, and better understand what they<br />

are experiencing.<br />

Hello, goodbye<br />

Many parents see their children handling<br />

saying hello to new experiences better<br />

than saying goodbye to their old life.<br />

Pre-schoolers tend to identify “home”<br />

wherever their parents are so may notice<br />

the effects of relocation less. Children<br />

between five and ten can develop strong<br />

but flexible attachments to friends and<br />

schools, meaning that if they are prepared<br />

adequately for the move, they can adapt<br />

quite quickly to making new friends and<br />

their new environment. For older children<br />

and teenagers, their largest anxieties are<br />

usually connected to leaving behind their<br />

friends, and a fear of missing out socially.<br />

This means that how you handle the first<br />

stage of the move itself is quite significant.<br />

For children of all ages, it is important to<br />

soften the idea that they must leave behind<br />

everything they know and begin anew.<br />

That is not to say that you should set false<br />

expectations about how quickly they might<br />

move back to their ‘home country’, but it<br />

is possible to relieve some of the upheaval<br />

in a number of practical ways. Before they<br />

leave, make sure they have dates to spend<br />

time with their best friends, and think about<br />

having a leaving party, organising a picnic,<br />

go-karting session, football match or other<br />

event to mark the move as something special<br />

in their lives. Talk with them about the<br />

social side of things, and explain that they<br />

are not losing friends, but how lucky they<br />

are to be gaining more all over the world.<br />

If possible, make sure they have a date in<br />

the diary when they will be able to see their<br />

friends again, so the goodbye is less final.<br />

Moving day<br />

To a lesser extent the idea that they<br />

are leaving familiar surroundings and<br />

possessions can also be unnerving. It is<br />

relatively easy to let them have a hand in<br />

certain areas of the moving process to give<br />

them a sense that they are also in control.<br />

What do they want to bring? Which of<br />

their original belongings do they want in<br />

their new bedroom? Make moving day into<br />

an exciting prospect, with special food and<br />

a sense of teamwork, perhaps with other<br />

family and friends coming over to lend a<br />

hand, and give the children responsibilities<br />

for specific parts of the day. Packing up<br />

and bringing along some of their favourite<br />

things is part of connecting them to the<br />

familiar parts of their old life.<br />

Second wave<br />

If all goes well in the first stage of moving,<br />

children are likely to be carried along by<br />

the initial excitement of everything being<br />

new, exploring their new environment, and<br />

life feeling a bit like an extended holiday. In<br />

the second phase after the first few months,<br />

children may experience a dip in enthusiasm<br />

and motivation, when the reality sets in that<br />

they are here permanently, or at least for<br />

the near future. This can manifest itself<br />

in changes of behaviour such as little acts<br />

of naughtiness and defiance, withdrawing<br />

socially, not wanting to go to school, saying<br />

they miss their friends, or ‘want to go<br />

home’. Firstly dealing with the issue of<br />

timescales can help children process the<br />

new reality. If they see an unending expanse<br />

of future time in front of them when they<br />

will be away from the life they knew before,<br />

it can be daunting for them and they may<br />

feel like giving up. Readjusting their focus<br />

away from this undefined amount of time<br />

can be achieved by setting near-term goals<br />

and events, for example, a trip back to<br />

their ‘home country’, a holiday to a new<br />

place perhaps bringing along their best<br />

friend from home, or a visit from a family<br />

member. By combining things that link your<br />

old environment with your new one, they<br />

will hopefully stop trying to get their head<br />

around the past and future so much. Give<br />

them aims, goals, fun trips and short-term<br />

achievements to work towards.<br />

Natives of two cultures<br />

Some parents notice that they feel<br />

that despite the amazing educational,<br />

developmental, social benefits of moving<br />

your children abroad and integrating into a<br />



new culture, they wrestle with also wanting<br />

their children to grow up with a connection<br />

to their own nationality and heritage. Many<br />

parents say that it is an adjustment to them<br />

personally to understand that their children<br />

essentially need to become natives of two<br />

cultures - absorbing everything the new<br />

culture has to offer at the same time as<br />

keeping the ‘previous’ one alive. For some<br />

families this may be a case of children being<br />

brought up hearing and speaking different<br />

languages inside and outside the home. For<br />

others it may be the food they are brought<br />

up on, the religion they practice, the games<br />

they play or how they are expected to<br />

dress. While this may be the case, the most<br />

positive reaction is to discuss openly all of<br />

these differences, teach children to embrace<br />

the best ones of each culture. As well as<br />

highlighting the contrasts between cultures,<br />

this can also be used to demonstrate to<br />

children the things that bring human beings<br />

of different cultures together, rather than<br />

divide us.<br />

Open communication<br />

Communicating with children throughout<br />

the move can help them settle in and feel<br />

more comfortable. Although setting a<br />

positive, no-nonsense tone, making things<br />

fun and exciting is important, show respect<br />

for their emotions. If children feel they<br />

are listened to, that they understand that<br />

it is perfectly acceptable to feel unsettled<br />

and anxious sometimes, it can help them<br />

to see that with every adventure there is<br />

some element of nervousness. Helping<br />

them to ‘see the flip-side’ of their fears<br />

can help draw out the positive perspective<br />

in the situation. Teenage children usually<br />

need a great deal more empathy, but may<br />

be more difficult as they are not feeling in<br />

a position to ask for it, as they are going<br />

through so many changes themselves. In<br />

many cases it is normal for this to manifest<br />

itself in acts of rebellion and mood swings.<br />

Try not to stress too much if their grades<br />

are suffering, instead think about what<br />

other extra-curricular benefits they can get<br />

from an upbringing in a foreign country<br />

that a conventional education would not<br />

deliver and focus on those. These can be<br />

interpreted as signals that they are finding<br />

things difficult, and may need extra support.<br />

If things get worse, speak to their school, as<br />

they will have seen many cases of children<br />

struggling to settle in.<br />

Resilience in adversity<br />

Although it is obviously necessary to make<br />

the move as comfortable as possible for<br />

children and acknowledge that sometimes<br />

it may be difficult, we often hear the<br />

importance of these big life changes as<br />

opportunities to nurture a certain level of<br />

resilience in them. Psychologists define<br />

resilience as the ability to bounce back<br />

from adversity and setbacks. Studies have<br />

shown that some of the major determinants<br />

in whether our children are resilient are<br />

biological factors such as their personality<br />

and the bond laid down with their parents<br />

in the early years, contributing to a sense<br />


of security and self-confidence. However,<br />

in studies looking at children who have<br />

seemingly begun their lives at a distinct<br />

disadvantage, or have suffered traumatic<br />

events as extreme as living through war,<br />

results have demonstrated that resilience<br />

can be developed and taught through<br />

certain external, ‘environmental’ factors.<br />

Of course moving countries is a lifetime<br />

away from the trauma brought on by a<br />

major humanitarian or natural crisis,<br />

and should be an extremely positive<br />

experience. Even so, psychologists suggest<br />

that it is possible to use the experiences<br />

of how children react to these extreme<br />

situations to point to why some develop<br />

resilience in adversity and others are prone<br />

to crumble.<br />

Problem solving<br />

One of the factors that child psychologists<br />

have found leads to resilience is a child’s<br />

level of self-belief in their own ability to<br />

solve problems they are faced with. If it<br />

seems to them that much of what happens<br />

to them is out of their control, they grow<br />

up to believe that the world depends on<br />

the decisions of others and a great deal of<br />

luck. While this may be true to a certain<br />

extent, children who understand the<br />

importance of how they carry themselves<br />

when a problem situation is thrust upon<br />

them are found to fare better in difficulties.<br />

Children who see their parents and other<br />

role models turning things around for<br />

themselves in a positive way are more likely<br />

to feel they can try sorting things out for<br />

themselves. Similarly, if they sense that the<br />

adults around them believe in their abilities,<br />

this can make an enormous difference in<br />

how they see themselves. The more times<br />

a child is encouraged to use their own<br />

initiative, intelligence, or physical skills to<br />

turn a situation around, the more they will<br />

be encouraged to believe in their ability<br />

to affect outcomes, and take a positive<br />

approach when they are facing a problem.<br />

In particular, when moving countries, many<br />

parents notice that their children may<br />

start to exhibit anxieties in questions and<br />

attitudes along the lines of ‘what’s the point<br />

in investing my efforts here if I feel like<br />

things are semi-permanent, or if the rug<br />

is going to be pulled from under my feet?’.<br />

Encouraging them to see that wherever<br />

you are in the world, you get out what you<br />

put in, even if external factors change,<br />

gives them a very positive message to carry<br />

through life and succeed in whatever they<br />

are doing.<br />

Support structures<br />

Studies have shown that however selfconfident<br />

a person is, they are rarely able<br />

to bounce back without a strong and stable<br />

network of people around them. These<br />

people rely on their personal support<br />

structures, the advice of their peers,<br />

superiors, and even the help of authorities<br />

at some points. They recognise that<br />

although they are in control of their own<br />

lives and actions, they need people to turn<br />

to at certain times. Moreover, they know<br />

how and when to ask for help to get them<br />

where they need to go. One of the of the<br />

major changes when you move abroad is<br />

that previously the support structure was<br />

already in place around you and your<br />

children, in the form of family, neighbours,<br />

friends, colleagues, school teachers, and<br />

babysitters, whereas now it is necessary to<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 59<br />

reconstruct it almost artificially. Previously,<br />

it was easy to meet people and friendships<br />

formed organically. Now, as many expats<br />

describe, everyone in the family needs to<br />

begin a sort of ‘friend dating’, until you<br />

form friendships with a number of likeminded<br />

people. Once this support system<br />

is in place, part of knowing how to make<br />

the most of it is to develop the appropriate<br />

empathy and communication skills to<br />

interact with people. How easily people can<br />

win the support and assistance of others<br />

is a key factor in being able to enlist the<br />

appropriate people at the appropriate time<br />

for support through rocky times.<br />

Distraction tactics<br />

Another of the major factors that helps<br />

children through difficult times is if<br />

they have a talent that they can focus<br />

on, whether sporty, creative, musical or<br />

intellectual. When you think of the skills<br />

needed to become proficient in dance,<br />

sport, music, or anything else, you can see<br />

why this can help build resilience. Often it<br />

can be a no easy task mastering a hobby,<br />

requiring constant improvement, the need<br />

to reflect on and improve weak spots, the<br />

ability to work towards targets, putting<br />

effort in now to receive gratification down<br />

the line, perhaps a degree of teamwork.<br />

All of these factors mean that children<br />

can learn to put themselves aside and<br />

work towards other things, with different<br />

timescales, and see the benefit in something<br />

that may not be immediately easy.<br />

Encouraging your child to find what they<br />

are good at and really enjoy also gives them<br />

an outlet for any frustration or anxiety<br />

they might be feeling and any constructive<br />

results, for example in competitions, will be<br />

immensely satisfying for them. In terms of<br />

helping them through the move, a level of<br />

distraction that these activities provide can<br />

work wonders.<br />

Don’t worry!<br />

Above all, parents find that approaching<br />

the move positively themselves can set the<br />

tone for the rest of the family. A mix of<br />

good communication, understanding and<br />

resilience will improve the kids’ (and your<br />

own!) chances of making a success of the<br />

move, and deal with the upheaval along<br />

the way. Nothing will be perfect, but this is<br />

part of the reason to relocate - to have a big<br />

adventure and get through it together.

The true nature of things:<br />

Ecolint’s Forest<br />

<strong>School</strong> programme<br />



In a small clearing close to Ecolint’s<br />

Campus des Nations Early Years<br />

Centre, two Reception students roll<br />

among the fallen leaves of the forest floor.<br />

Soon enough, they are covered from head<br />

to toe in brambles, earth, dew and a musky<br />

woodland smell. Unwittingly, they have<br />

just engaged in the experiential learning<br />

that Forest <strong>School</strong> provides. Using all their<br />

senses, they have touched, heard, smelled,<br />

and seen the autumn season that permeates<br />

their surroundings.<br />

Taking place in all weather conditions<br />

and throughout the year, Forest <strong>School</strong><br />

has its roots in Scandinavia’s filuftsliv, or<br />

open-air living, a concept encouraging<br />

outdoor activity. These sessions, which can<br />

last anywhere between a week to several<br />

months, are centred on creative aspects,<br />

including tool and rope work, cooking,<br />

and fire lighting. In addition to teaching<br />

core outdoor survival skills, Forest <strong>School</strong><br />

also serves to extend learning beyond the<br />

traditional classroom setting. On each of<br />

Ecolint’s three campuses, students of all<br />

ages - particularly Primary children - engage<br />

in regular sessions of Forest <strong>School</strong>. This<br />

child-centred programme supports play,<br />

exploration and risk-taking through handson<br />

experiences in a natural setting.<br />

Learning from nature<br />

What is a forest? For some, it can be a<br />

place where nature roams free, untethered<br />

by the constraints of society. For others,<br />

it represents life and growth, health and<br />

well-being. At Ecolint, both of the above<br />

are true. But the forest also takes on a life<br />

of its own, for the forest is also a teacher, a<br />

guide for young and old to push themselves<br />

further. “When we take our students to<br />

the forest, we see their independence<br />

and confidence grow,” reports Jennifer<br />

Pasternak, Early Years Vice-Principal at<br />

Ecolint’s Vaud campus of La Châtaigneraie.<br />

“It is a place where they can explore, play,<br />

and be creative in a way that a classroom<br />

does not allow.”<br />

At Ecolint, “the Forest <strong>School</strong> principles<br />

align beautifully with the <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme<br />

(PYP) and the Reggio-Emilia approach<br />

to learning,” explains Jennifer Pasternak.<br />

All three are driven by inquiry and value<br />

students’ ability to guide their learning<br />

with the support of their teachers. This is<br />

taken a step further in the forest, with the<br />

teacher taking on the role of facilitator or<br />

leader who develops and empowers the<br />

forest-goers. Acting as resource providers,<br />

the Forest <strong>School</strong> Leader provides simple<br />

equipment, such as strings and basic<br />

tools, that children can use to explore,<br />

investigate, examine and question their<br />

natural surroundings. They also act as<br />

intermediaries between what the children<br />

learn in class and what they experience in<br />

nature. They encourage students to connect<br />

the dots and use everything available in the<br />

forest to revisit their learning and amplify it.<br />

The SPICES of life<br />

Central to Forest <strong>School</strong> sessions are<br />

the development of multiple skills and<br />

attributes. At Ecolint, these are encapsulated<br />

in an ethos called SPICES: spiritual,<br />

intellectual, communication, emotional<br />

and social skills. Linking up closely with<br />

the IB Learner Profile attributes that shape<br />

students to be knowledgeable, caring and<br />

principled risk-takers, SPICES reinforces<br />

the development of these traits through<br />

holistic, child-centred learning and teaching<br />

that considers children to be competent<br />

and capable learners. For Brooke Bandler,<br />

Primary teacher at La Châtaigneraie,<br />

nature - the forest - is a powerful ally and<br />

co-teacher: “It is the more discreet students<br />

in class who often thrive the most in the<br />

forest. By choosing their activity naturally<br />

based on their interests and skills, Forest<br />

<strong>School</strong> enables children to be risk-takers. By<br />

climbing trees and using new tools, it helps<br />

them develop their creativity, imagination,<br />


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SUMMER <strong>2022</strong> | 62<br />

and collaboration, which boosts each child’s<br />

self-confidence.” Thus, by moving learning<br />

to an entirely new setting, one in which the<br />

possibilities are endless and ever-changing,<br />

students can become well-rounded<br />

individuals who believe in themselves and<br />

others, who are respectful, resilient and<br />

more able to assess risk. These traits are<br />

then carried back into the classroom, and<br />

children are better equipped and more<br />

self-confident in taking on the challenges of<br />

their school journey and later lives.<br />

Fundamentally, children have an innate<br />

desire to connect with nature. Helping<br />

shape them as learners, the fresh air and<br />

open space also provide countless health<br />

benefits, whether cognitive, behavioural,<br />

mental or physical. From increasing<br />

fitness levels to protect against the many<br />

disorders brought about by sedentary<br />

lifestyles, from reducing stress, anxiety and<br />

depression to enhancing social interaction<br />

and improving sleep, contact with nature<br />

through such programmes as Forest <strong>School</strong><br />

also encourages children - and their<br />

accompanying adults - to adopt healthy<br />

and sustainable habits. Most importantly,<br />

it is a time that students and teachers can<br />

thoroughly enjoy and look forward to, and<br />

upon returning to school, they can feel<br />

nourished and content after a healthy dose<br />

of nature.


What is the US High<br />

<strong>School</strong> Diploma<br />

Programme?<br />


The US high school diploma<br />

(HSD) is an exciting alternative<br />

for students wanting to attend<br />

university in the United States, or for those<br />

desiring a foundation in a broader range<br />

of subjects. There are many benefits to<br />

studying the high school diploma, especially<br />

when combined with Advanced Placement.<br />

However, there are also a number of pitfalls<br />

that should be considered before your child<br />

takes the plunge. So, let’s take a look at<br />

all the things you need to know about this<br />

qualification.<br />

Background: US HSD<br />

The US high school diploma is an<br />

academic qualification awarded upon<br />

the completion of a student’s high school<br />

education.<br />

Typically, the high school diploma<br />

is typically awarded after four years of<br />

study, providing the student has met all<br />

requirements. Generally, it takes into<br />

consideration the student’s academic<br />

record, drawn from a mixture of course<br />

work and state examinations, from grades<br />

nine to 12.<br />

In the US, high school diplomas are<br />

granted by the school in accordance<br />

with state or provincial government<br />

requirements. These criteria can vary<br />

between the different jurisdictions.<br />

How is the international HSD different to<br />

the domestic HSD?<br />

In terms of validity, there is no difference<br />

between international and domestic<br />

high school diplomas, as long as the<br />

international diploma is endorsed by an<br />

American accreditation body. However, in<br />

terms of course work and curriculum the<br />

<strong>International</strong> High <strong>School</strong> Diploma is quite<br />

different. Most schools teach diploma and<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate (IB) students<br />

side by side. The only real difference is that<br />

they sit separate exams. It is also possible<br />

for students to take assessments from both<br />

academic tracks if they wish.<br />

What is Advanced Placement and how<br />

does it fit in with the High <strong>School</strong><br />

Diploma?<br />

Advanced Placement or AP is offered as<br />

an extension of the high school diploma<br />

- earning students’ college credit. An AP<br />

course takes roughly eight months to<br />

complete and is usually taken in the last or<br />

second to last year of the HSD.<br />

The AP was designed to act as a<br />

foundation course for university study. In<br />

addition to earning students credit, they<br />

can shave up to one year off their degree.<br />

High school diploma students do not<br />

need to take AP, however electing to do<br />

so helps them to be accepted into the<br />

institution and course of their choice,<br />

as well as preparing them mentally and<br />

emotionally for the rigors of tertiary-level<br />

study.<br />

For more on the AP check out our article.<br />

[https://www.internationalschoolparent.<br />

com/articles/what-is-advanced-placementap/]<br />

What are the benefits of studying<br />

the High <strong>School</strong> Diploma over the<br />

<strong>International</strong> Baccalaureate?<br />

Deciding which programme is more<br />

beneficial depends entirely on your<br />

child’s goals. Here are a few reasons why<br />

someone might choose to study the high<br />

school diploma over the <strong>International</strong><br />

Baccalaureate diploma:<br />

1The US high school diploma offers<br />

more Flexibility. The education system<br />

focuses on developing well-rounded<br />

individuals. This means that your talents<br />

are recognised and nurtured regardless<br />

of whether you are a sports person,<br />

mathematician, or fine artist. Students<br />

can choose from a wide range of subjects,<br />

puzzling together a programme that reflects<br />


their interests and needs.<br />

2This US high school diploma is also<br />

accepted by tertiary providers in<br />

Canada.<br />

3It is a more well-known qualification.<br />

2.8 million students took the Advance<br />

Placement exams in 2019. Whereas only<br />

166,000 took IB exams (Edwards, 2021).<br />

The Pitfalls of studying for the US High<br />

<strong>School</strong> Diploma<br />

For all the benefits of the high school<br />

diploma, there are also a few pitfalls.<br />

Although, the US HSD is becoming<br />

increasingly recognised internationally,<br />

it is still not accepted in all countries. For<br />

example, to study at a German university,<br />

graduates must submit their diploma and<br />

GPA to the Central Office for Foreign<br />

Education (ZAB) for assessment. In some<br />

cases, the High <strong>School</strong> Diploma is enough<br />

for direct entry. However, often applicants<br />

must first enter a foundation or bridging<br />

programme before starting regular course<br />

work. In much the same way, applicants<br />

may be required to sit extra entry tests or<br />

fulfil extra criteria before their application<br />

can be accepted into non-American<br />

universities.<br />

Does my child need to take the SATs?<br />

Although it is not a requirement of the high<br />

school diploma programme, it is certainly<br />

needed for entry into university. Sitting<br />

the SATs and achieving a good score will<br />

increase your child’s chances of entering<br />

the American university of their choice.<br />

However, if your child does not intend to<br />

study in North America, sitting the SATs<br />

in not necessary. Check with your child’s<br />

intended tertiary provider to find out if<br />

the High <strong>School</strong> Diploma is enough on<br />

its own for entry or whether the SATs (or<br />

equivalent exam) are required.<br />

The US high school diploma is a great<br />

alternative to the IB Diploma for students<br />

wishing to study in the United States or<br />

Canada. It is also a wise choice for<br />

students who want an introduction to a<br />

broad range of subjects. Then, via Advance<br />

Placement exams, diploma students<br />

are able to focus on their interests in<br />

preparation for college and tertiary study,<br />

as well as getting a leg-up by earning credits<br />

whilst still at high school. Whether to study<br />

the US HSD or the IB diploma, or even<br />

perhaps both, is a decision that only you<br />

and your child can make.

Write for us<br />

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readers or provide some interesting insights, we want to hear about it.<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> was created to inform, inspire, and engage the<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Community through informative content. We always welcome<br />

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quality content with actionable advice that readers can apply in their own lives.<br />

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the reader can take away from your article.<br />

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