International School Parent Magazine - Spring 2024

Welcome to the first edition of the International School Parent Magazine for 2024. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Spring is a wonderful time – the weather is warmer, and the longer days help to boost our motivation. It is also the perfect time to start thinking about summer camps. We have curated a list of inspiring and interesting programmes and have presented them to you in a special feature beginning on page 40. In this edition we had the pleasure of interviewing both Nicola Sparrow, School Director of Aiglon College, and Andrea Spielmann, the Principal of the new SIS Basel-Allschwil school. In these articles, both these accomplished women share their passion for education and provide insight into the culture and ethos of their respective schools. We also continue our discussion of children’s mental health, drug use, communication, travel, and present many more interesting and topical articles and commentary. Check out the articles about the family activities in Lichtenstein, as well as unusual and exciting things to do in Switzerland, and an introduction to Basel the Swiss capital of culture and architecture. Once again, we are thrilled to present to you a magazine filled with interesting and informative articles, exciting experiences, and practical tips for parents. Have a wonderful spring and we look forward to bringing you more content again in summer.

Welcome to the first edition of the International School Parent Magazine for 2024. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Spring is a wonderful time – the weather is warmer, and the longer days help to boost our motivation. It is also the perfect time to start thinking about summer camps. We have curated a list of inspiring and interesting programmes and have presented them to you in a special feature beginning on page 40.

In this edition we had the pleasure of interviewing both Nicola Sparrow, School Director of Aiglon College, and Andrea Spielmann, the Principal of the new SIS Basel-Allschwil school. In these articles, both these accomplished women share their passion for education and provide insight into the culture and ethos of their respective schools.

We also continue our discussion of children’s mental health, drug use, communication, travel, and present many more interesting and topical articles and commentary.

Check out the articles about the family activities in Lichtenstein, as well as unusual and exciting things to do in Switzerland, and an introduction to Basel the Swiss capital of culture and architecture.

Once again, we are thrilled to present to you a magazine filled with interesting and informative articles, exciting experiences, and practical tips for parents. Have a wonderful spring and we look forward to bringing you more content again in summer.


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

Edition of <strong>International</strong><br />

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

Contents<br />

10 Aiglon College: Meet The Head – Interview<br />

With <strong>School</strong> Director, Nicola Sparrow<br />

18 SIS Basel-Allschwil: Meet The Principal<br />

– Interview With Andrea Spielmann<br />

22 What Makes A Great Boarding Experience?<br />

24 120 Years Of Stories At The Institut<br />

<strong>International</strong> De Lancy<br />

26 Cultivating Possibility In London’s Heart<br />

– How Regent’s University London Stands Out<br />

From The Crowd<br />

28 Family Holidays In Liechtenstein: Relaxation<br />

And Adventure Await You!<br />

30 Wild And Wacky Fun<br />

34 Basel – Switzerland’s Culture Capital And City<br />

Of Architecture<br />

36 Are We Listening? Recognising And Supporting<br />

Children’s Mental Health Needs<br />

38 Education Through Travel: Learning Beyond<br />

The Classroom<br />

40 Super Summer Camps In Europe That Will<br />

Transform Your Child’s Holidays<br />

46 Vaccinations – Protecting Your Child And<br />

Others<br />

50 Getting Kids Out The Door In The Morning<br />

55 Travelling Abroad As An Lgbtq+ Family<br />

58 Moving On: How Families Can Navigate Global<br />

Transitions<br />

62 Different Decade, Different Drug: What <strong>Parent</strong>s<br />

Need To Know About Cannabis In <strong>2024</strong><br />

66 Nurturing Well-Being: Harnessing The Power<br />

Of <strong>Parent</strong>al Mental<br />

Welcome to the first edition of the <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> <strong>Parent</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> for <strong>2024</strong>. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as<br />

we enjoyed putting it together.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> is a wonderful time – the weather is warmer, and the<br />

longer days help to boost our motivation. It is also the perfect<br />

time to start thinking about summer camps. We have curated a list<br />

of inspiring and interesting programmes and have presented them<br />

to you in a special feature beginning on page 40.<br />

In this edition we had the pleasure of interviewing both Nicola<br />

Sparrow, <strong>School</strong> Director of Aiglon College, and Andrea Spielmann,<br />

the Principal of the new SIS Basel-Allschwil school. In these<br />

articles, both these accomplished women share their passion for<br />

education and provide insight into the culture and ethos of their<br />

respective schools.<br />

We also continue our discussion of children’s mental health, drug<br />

use, communication, travel, and present many more interesting<br />

and topical articles and commentary.<br />

Check out the articles about the family activities in Lichtenstein,<br />

as well as unusual and exciting things to do in Switzerland, and an<br />

introduction to Basel the Swiss capital of culture and architecture.<br />

Once again, we are thrilled to present to you a magazine filled<br />

with interesting and informative articles, exciting experiences, and<br />

practical tips for parents. Have a wonderful spring and we look<br />

forward to bringing you more content again in summer.<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 />


Contributors<br />

Cath Brew<br />

Cath Brew is a global LGBTQ+ inclusion consultant<br />

who helps parents, schools, and businesses to see<br />

queerly, and get confident with navigating diverse genders and<br />

sexualities cross culturally.<br />

Martin Coul<br />

Martin is an expert on evidence-based prevention<br />

in the worlds of learning and the workplace. He is<br />

a qualified Mental Health First Aider and equipped to provide<br />

immediate support to those experiencing mental health issues,<br />

whilst his lived experience of witnessing his mother being sectioned<br />

as a child drives his dedication to mental health prevention and<br />

advocacy.<br />

Mariann Csoma<br />

Mariann is a child psychologist with a decade of<br />

practice specialising in children and adolescents.<br />

With an international background, she has pursued studies and<br />

professional work in three different countries. Currently, she holds<br />

the positions of Safeguarding Lead and Head of Pastoral Care<br />

at the British <strong>School</strong> of Geneva. Additionally, she contributes her<br />

expertise to a therapeutic centre dedicated to young people. She<br />

created Metafora®, a communication and therapeutic tool for<br />

mental health practitioners.<br />

Angus Gibson<br />

Angus Gibson leads Carfax Tutors and their renowned<br />

private tutoring programmes. He manages the global<br />

tuition team based in Monaco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London,<br />

Moscow, and Hong Kong.<br />

Angus actively contributes to education associations and media<br />

publications, including a recent feature in Robb Report - sharing<br />

his insights and shaping the future of learning.<br />

His dedication goes beyond the boardroom, aiming to make<br />

quality education accessible globally.<br />

Katie Greeley, LCSW<br />

Katie is a Licensed Therapist and Certified Addiction<br />

Counsellor, a trained Alcohol and Other Drug<br />

Prevention Specialist, and the founder of Weedwise, a service<br />

provided by the global substance use prevention organisation,<br />

Prevention Education Solutions. This organisation adopts a<br />

modern, evidence-based approach to alcohol and other drug<br />

prevention, delivering education to schools globally.<br />

Claire Holmes<br />

Claire is Head of <strong>School</strong> Counselling at Tanglin<br />

Trust <strong>School</strong>, Singapore. Her approach is traumainformed<br />

and strength-based, empowering others to access their<br />

inner wisdom and knowing. As a mindfulness teacher, she weaves<br />

meditation into her work, alongside expressive therapies, and<br />

solution-focused interventions. Having been an Expat for over two<br />

decades, she is passionate about positive transitions and supporting<br />

children and their families in global transition. Her work inspired<br />

the Moving On Series and the forthcoming Staying Well books<br />

to support children with leaving, arriving, and staying when their<br />

close friend leaves. Claire delights in spending time in The Great<br />

Outdoors and is a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide in training.<br />

Mette Theilmann<br />

Mette is a <strong>Parent</strong> Consultant who has supported<br />

parents for over 19 years. Mette helps navigate<br />

parenting with confidence so parents can raise independent and<br />

resilient children who can grow up to become well-adjusted adults.<br />

Mette is also the founder of Predictable <strong>Parent</strong>ing, and the<br />

creator of the <strong>Parent</strong>ing Community app. Her main area of<br />

expertise is consulting schools to create a confident parenting<br />

community based on the school’s budget, values, needs and<br />

challenges, and offering intervention plans for families and parents.<br />

Dr Michelle Wright<br />

Dr Michelle Wright is a British-trained General<br />

Practitioner. Before moving to Switzerland in 2004,<br />

she worked in a busy general practice in London. She continues<br />

her patient contact today, working part-time in the Staff Medical<br />

Service of the <strong>International</strong> Labour Organisation, Geneva.<br />

Passionate about health education, Michelle was one of the<br />

founders of HealthFirst, and now leads the company in delivering<br />

evidence-based health and well-being services meeting Swiss and<br />

international guidelines.<br />

Utilising her skill of making health information easy to<br />

understand and accessible for all, for over 15 years, she has had a<br />

weekly radio show, Health Matters, on World Radio Switzerland. A<br />

believer in health promotion and disease prevention, Michelle has a<br />

diploma in Lifestyle Medicine from the British Society of Lifestyle<br />

Medicine.<br />


The IB Continuum logo<br />

The IB Continuum logo for use by IB World<br />

<strong>School</strong>s offering three or more IB programmes<br />

An IB Continuum logo, with overlapping spheres connecting the<br />

Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP),<br />

Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Programme<br />

(CP), has been developed. This visual represents the alignment<br />

and articulation of IB programmes and the IB’s philosophy of the<br />

continuum of international education.<br />

These are the preferred versions of IB programme<br />

logos to be used by authorized IB World <strong>School</strong>s<br />

To protect our identity and to ensure it is<br />

consistently displayed to best effect, a<br />

‘minimum clear space’ surrounding the<br />

identity should be applied. A means of<br />

determining the minimum clearance is to use<br />

half the height of the IB button as shown<br />

here.<br />

IB World <strong>School</strong> logo Verticle key line IB programme logo<br />

The IB Continuum logo for schools is available in<br />

the following application styles.

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For 75 years Aiglon College has<br />

pushed beyond the boundaries<br />

of traditional education to offer<br />

a holistic and inspirational experience in<br />

the Swiss Alps. From just six students at<br />

its founding, today Aiglon is home to 440<br />

students from 60+ different nationalities<br />

ages 7 - 18. Over 85% of students are fulltime<br />

boarders. Beginning in the <strong>2024</strong>-2025<br />

academic year, Aiglon will also welcome<br />

students from Year 3 to its junior school.<br />

The school’s Guiding Principles - the<br />

balanced development of mind, body<br />

and spirit underpin every aspect of life at<br />

Aiglon.<br />

We had the pleasure of interviewing<br />

<strong>School</strong> Director, Nicola Sparrow, where we<br />

learnt about her experiences as an educator,<br />

her passion for Aiglon, and her vision going<br />

forward.<br />

What inspired you to get into education<br />

and how did that journey lead you to<br />

Aiglon College?<br />

Initially uncertain about what I wanted<br />

to do after finishing school, I decided to<br />

follow my passion for history, which led to<br />

completing a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in<br />

History and Politics and Brunel University<br />

in London. I had plans to continue on to a<br />

PhD, but in the year it took to sort it all out<br />

I was able to have my first experience in<br />

the classroom. I knew in that first moment<br />

as part of my PGCE in History at the<br />

University of Oxford, that I had found my<br />

calling.<br />

I worked for three years in the United<br />

Kingdom before spending a year in the<br />

West Indies. I then had the opportunity<br />

to work as Deputy Head for 13 years at<br />

an international school in Thailand. I<br />


joined Aiglon in 2012 as the deputy head<br />

of academics before being appointed<br />

<strong>School</strong> Director.<br />

You have been away from the UK for a<br />

long time. What has your experience<br />

taught you?<br />

My impression was that teachers who<br />

went to international schools did so for<br />

a few years for an adventure, and then<br />

returned home. Twenty-five years later, my<br />

adventure continues!<br />

I think what’s quite unusual about my<br />

career is the length of time that I’ve spent<br />

at each school. For many international<br />

educators, it’s two or three years here, and<br />

two or three years there - that is the pattern.<br />

In my experience, I believe that you must<br />

really get to know a school –you need to<br />

know the students, you need to know the<br />

staff. Spending these longer periods really<br />

gives me the ability to connect to the<br />

school, to understand its culture and why<br />

that matters.<br />

When you’re not at school what sorts of<br />

things do you do to relax and maintain<br />

work-life balance?<br />

Young people are inspiring, and in<br />

particular, being able to have a real impact<br />

on young lives inspires me to continue in<br />

this work. I have such a fabulous job where<br />

no two days are the same! That might<br />

not be the typical expectation in a world<br />

governed by timetables and school bells, yet<br />

not a single day is alike, and I think this also<br />

helps in the work-life balance.<br />

I also live at the edge of the campus<br />

sandwiched between two senior boys’<br />

boarding houses and two football pitches.<br />

You can hear the vibrant energy of young<br />

people enjoying themselves, playing and<br />

learning which is quite nice. For me, this<br />

proximity to campus actually helps in that<br />

work-life balance. If I hear a football<br />

match outside, I’ll often go out and see<br />

what’s going on. You feel like you are<br />

living life alongside the students; education<br />

is more than just a day job, it’s a way of<br />

life, and I think you can really feel that on<br />

Aiglon’s campus.<br />

I have three children. Two of them<br />

graduated from Aiglon, and the youngest is<br />

here at the school. They live at home, but<br />

it’s almost like they are at boarding school.<br />

They go off in the morning and often don’t<br />

come home until ten at night. This means<br />

the holidays are important for us; we spend<br />


“At Aiglon we are about more than just<br />

academic grades – we nurture well-rounded,<br />

balanced individuals who develop and thrive<br />

across all aspects of life.”<br />

valuable time together as a family outside<br />

the normal school routines.<br />

How does Aiglon College differentiate<br />

itself from the other international<br />

boarding schools, in terms of philosophy<br />

and also overall experience?<br />

Aiglon was founded on the belief that<br />

education extends beyond the classroom.<br />

John Corlette, the school’s founder,<br />

described the goal of education as the<br />

development of the whole person and<br />

understanding one’s true self. For us,<br />

learning remains this balanced development<br />

of mind, body and spirit through challenge,<br />

respect, responsibility, diversity and service.<br />

In our mountain village, there are three<br />

other boarding schools. This means the<br />

question of differentiation is tremendously<br />

important. Part of our distinct character<br />

is rooted in our status as a not-for-profit<br />

educational institution. Aiglon is owned<br />

by its community. This means we have the<br />

freedom to always be investing back into the<br />

lives of our students and the school. Our<br />

scholarship programme is a testament to<br />

this community-focused approach.<br />

I have been in schools that have guiding<br />

principles or a mission statement - it is<br />

there on paper and on the website, but<br />

that is all. At Aiglon the philosophy of<br />

maintaining this balance between the mind,<br />

body, and spirit, is something that we live<br />

by - that goes for students, staff and alumni.<br />

If a decision has to be made, even at a<br />

leadership level, and we are not sure what<br />

to do, we go back to these principles.<br />

The idea of community is something<br />

that’s very important to us, both our<br />

on-campus community and our global<br />

community including our alumni. Keeping<br />

in touch with alumni is crucial. Recently I<br />

participated in regional events with students<br />

who had graduated from Aiglon over many<br />

generations. It’s amazing to see former<br />

students with such diverse experiences be<br />

connected by a common thread. They<br />

share common experiences, they have a<br />

common vocabulary, for example, they<br />

talk about their expeditions, boarding<br />

life and meditations. They have led<br />

very different lives, but all follow a very<br />

distinctive philosophy.<br />

What unique extracurricular activities<br />

do you provide students to enrich their<br />

experience at Aiglon?<br />

Rather than extracurricular activities, we<br />

talk about our co-curricular programme<br />

and character education. We try not to<br />

make a distinction between the value<br />

of the learning that is happening in the<br />

classroom versus learning in the boarding<br />

house or on the mountain. One aspect is<br />

not more important than the other; it’s<br />

this well-rounded approach in everything<br />

from academics to service that develops<br />

young people of character who can make a<br />

difference in the world.<br />

We also start the day in a pretty unique<br />

way. Meditation has resided at the core of<br />

Aiglon’s life since the school’s inception. By<br />

beginning the day with a period of silence<br />

and a thought for the day, this tradition is<br />

a driving aspect of our daily activities and<br />

is rooted in our guiding principles. Four<br />

times a week students come together as a<br />

community, and either a teacher or a senior<br />

student leads a meditation, assembly or<br />

faith group.<br />

This coming together is an important<br />

theme for us that runs through the entire<br />

school year. In addition to these daily<br />

assemblies, we also host an event called The<br />

Gathering, where students and staff come<br />

together to sing, enjoy drama performances<br />

and listen to other student performances.<br />

The event is kind of like a giant talent show,<br />

but one that is rooted in community rather<br />

than the individual. It’s become a really<br />

special time for us.<br />

We also build this camaraderie on the<br />

mountain. Whether it’s ski touring to a<br />

high alpine peak or learning to snowshoe<br />

through one of our magical forests, we<br />

value the inherent learning that happens in<br />

mountain challenges and adventure. While<br />

we know the outdoors aren’t for everyone,<br />

we believe that a connection to this<br />

mountain environment helps you to succeed<br />

and grow across all the other areas of life.<br />

However, we do also leave our mountain.<br />

Cultural learning experiences and service<br />

trips are also core to our programme.<br />

Junior school students travel to Swiss and<br />

European cultural capitals, and in senior<br />

school, students broaden their horizons and<br />

travel to places such as Cambodia, Peru,<br />

Thailand, and Guatemala. Participating<br />

in a service project is an unforgettable<br />

experience for Aiglon students.<br />

There are also many opportunities for<br />

students to pursue their sporting passions.<br />

Students at Aiglon take part in a range<br />

of physical activities, from basketball and<br />

tennis to fitness and alpine running. We<br />

recently established a unique partnership<br />

with Manchester City Football Club that<br />

looks to both improve an individual’s<br />

football skills and instil the wider skills of<br />

team sport, leadership, motivation and<br />


an appreciation of nutrition and personal<br />

development. In parallel, we have launched<br />

a partnership with Lindsey Vonn, the<br />

Olympic champion ski racer, to enhance<br />

our winter ski and ski racing programme.<br />

How does Aiglon College prepare<br />

students for success in higher education<br />

and beyond?<br />

Our success doesn’t come from being in a<br />

high-pressure, purely academically driven<br />

environment. Whether it’s as part of the<br />

IB Diploma or scaling a mountain, we<br />

help students get out of their comfort zone<br />

and challenge themselves; they develop<br />

independence, leadership, and tenacity.<br />

But it’s all done in a safe and supportive<br />

environment where students can trust their<br />

experiences because, without that, you’re<br />

not going to learn.<br />

Boarding also really helps prepare<br />

students for life. They have to be<br />

independent and organised. Of course,<br />

they have houseparents and wellbeing staff<br />

who are always there to help them, but they<br />

learn to take responsibility for themselves.<br />

We have ten boarding houses in total: five<br />

for girls and five for boys, with eight in the<br />

senior school and two in the junior school.<br />

Each term students are assigned to a new<br />

bedroom with a new group of friends.<br />

You must learn how to get on with other<br />

people no matter the personality or cultural<br />

differences, and I think that is unique to the<br />

boarding experience.<br />

After their time at Aiglon, do your<br />

students stay in Switzerland or do they<br />

scatter for tertiary education?<br />

Around 36% of our students head to the<br />

USA, followed by 34% to the UK, 16%<br />

worldwide and then 14% take a gap year.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 13<br />

We consistently have a cohort of students<br />

opting to remain in Switzerland, and I<br />

have observed a discernible trend towards<br />

the Netherlands, indicating its growing<br />

popularity among our student body.<br />

What can students study at Aiglon?<br />

Each year group is part of a cohort that<br />

helps to shape the Aiglon experience.<br />

From junior school through to graduation,<br />

students are on a journey that is exciting<br />

and distinct and yet faithful to a rhythm that<br />

reflects Aiglon’s ethos. The Wonder Years<br />

is for years three to six; for these students,<br />

the new Mountain <strong>School</strong> programme<br />

will play a huge part in their development.<br />

In Discovery (Years 7-9) students follow<br />

a bespoke curriculum designed to offer<br />

a broad range of experiential learning<br />

opportunities framed by exciting trips each<br />

summer term. In Exploration (Years 10-11)

students can follow the IGCSE curriculum<br />

or our special Pre-IB programme designed<br />

to prepare students for the IB. Inspiration<br />

(Years 12-13) is built around the IB<br />

Diploma Programme, but students can also<br />

have the opportunity to follow a passion<br />

pathway allowing them to specialise in<br />

other areas and graduate with the Aiglon<br />

Diploma.<br />

Tell us about your student body…<br />

Over 65 nationalities are represented at<br />

Aiglon. However, we try to avoid talking<br />

just about nationality groups. So many<br />

students have multiple passports or multiple<br />

ethnicities - it’s a difficult question as the<br />

answer can be complex. Instead, we ask<br />

“Which languages do you speak?” We find<br />

this to be a more uniting question.<br />

You have strong community links, how do<br />

you make sure you foster this connection<br />

not just in school, but also in the local<br />

community?<br />

As a school located in a mountain resort,<br />

we value actively engaging with members<br />

of the local community. We have a strong<br />

sense of service and community spirit. We<br />

take pride in receiving positive comments<br />

from the community. Our students are our<br />

best ambassadors. We often get reports from<br />

local shops and people saying “An Aiglon<br />

student helped me with this or that”. It’s<br />

very important that we are well-perceived<br />

within the community.<br />

We hosted an extraordinary event last<br />

year, marking what we plan to be a new<br />

annual tradition, Community Learning<br />

Week. Students from years ten and eleven<br />

- engaged with the community for a whole<br />

week. They supported local farmers to tend<br />

the land and build fences, as well as playing<br />

games of petanque with members of the<br />

local club.<br />

We take every opportunity to be part of<br />

the wider community. All four boarding<br />

schools in the vicinity, host an elderly<br />

lunch where students spend a lunchtime<br />

interacting with local seniors. Each school<br />

organises a delightful lunch event once per<br />

term to ensure that there are regular local<br />

activities taking place.<br />

What is next for Aiglon?<br />

Aiglon is in a transformation phase: from<br />

campus infrastructure, expansion of the<br />

cohorts, partnerships and so much more.<br />

Our challenge is to think about how<br />


we can reimagine education in the digital<br />

age. The discourse surrounding artificial<br />

intelligence (AI) is undeniably intriguing,<br />

presenting us with a unique opportunity<br />

that demands our proactive engagement<br />

instead of outright banning. We have<br />

accepted that young people are going to<br />

use AI and so we need to get the best out<br />

of it. Students will try their hand at using<br />

Chat GPT to do their work, but I think our<br />

classes are small enough and our teachers<br />

know our students well enough to ask<br />

questions when needed.<br />

And, that’s not just within the classroom.<br />

Aiglon has recently stepped into the world<br />

of esports, participating in a Europe-wide<br />

competition organised by Daigon Esports.<br />

In friendly matches, our students faced<br />

teams from Poland in Rocket League and<br />

London in FIFA.<br />

We also have an ambitious campus<br />

master plan. In February 2023, we<br />

completed a brand new boarding house.<br />

Then, in March we broke ground on our<br />

next project, the Moghadam Campus Hub,<br />

which will be unveiled in August 2025.<br />

This project encompasses new dining and<br />

assembly rooms. This is the largest and<br />

most ambitious project in our school’s<br />

history. By keeping the campus and students<br />

in mind, our designs prioritise the unique<br />

needs not just of today’s Aiglon students,<br />

but the next generation.<br />

If we want our students to be ambitious<br />

and to be proactive we need to model this<br />

for them. We try to involve students in the<br />

campus development building process.<br />

They look at the plans and provide input,<br />

particularly for their own boarding houses.<br />

There is nothing more exciting than when a<br />

student makes a suggestion and then sees it<br />

implemented.<br />

You have an exceptional scholarship<br />

programme, could you please tell us a<br />

little about it?<br />

For over 30 years we have been honoured<br />

to welcome scholars. This is again thanks to<br />

our community. In fact, 50% of scholarship<br />

funding comes from philanthropy, while the<br />

remaining half is invested by Aiglon from<br />

its operating surplus since this cause is so<br />

important to us.<br />

Scholarships are awarded to students<br />

of outstanding promise and potential who<br />

would not otherwise have the financial<br />

means to access the world-class education<br />

offered at Aiglon.<br />

“We are well known for skiing and every<br />

student skis twice a week in the winter term.”<br />

Many educational institutions frequently<br />

discuss diversity, often emphasising the<br />

importance of a diverse student body<br />

in terms of nationalities but seldom<br />

is socioeconomic diversity discussed.<br />

Socioeconomic diversity is intrinsic. We<br />

have eighteen scholars this academic year,<br />

and this will grow to twenty scholars next<br />

academic year.<br />

We have links to schools in Bhutan,<br />

Cambodia, Kenya and Somaliland and<br />

an academic programme in Palestine.<br />

However, we have independent scholars as<br />

well. In fact, one of our very first scholars<br />

is now a member of the Aiglon College<br />

Association (ACA) board.<br />

Finding our scholars is a complex process,<br />

and we greatly value the support of our<br />

partner institutions, based across the world<br />

from Asia to Africa, to guide us to the right<br />

candidates.<br />

Aiglon College is a private international boarding school located in Switzerland offering a<br />

distinctive, world class education in a stunning alpine setting. www.aiglon.ch<br />




A safe and comfortable home in the middle<br />

of the Swiss mountains or in the vibrant<br />

city. Our friendly, meritocratic atmosphere<br />

encourages performance with the goal of<br />

IGCSE and <strong>International</strong> A Levels (Year 9<br />

- 12) – the entry ticket to the world’s most<br />

prestigious universities.<br />


Possibility to choose between the<br />

mountain or the city campus<br />

Modern single rooms with en suite<br />

facilities, common rooms and sport<br />

facilities on campus<br />

Sports, arts, life skills as integral<br />

part of the curriculum<br />


Focusing on strengths thanks to<br />

the highly flexible curriculum<br />

World-renowned qualification for<br />

university admission<br />

Individual and holistic support:<br />

personal study coach, careers<br />

advisor<br />

Find out more about your choices at<br />

Swiss Boarding <strong>School</strong>s Disentis & Zurich | www.sbsdz.ch



Established in Basel in 1999, SIS<br />

Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> now has<br />

seven - soon to be eight - locations<br />

across Switzerland, as well as schools in<br />

neighbouring Germany, Italy and as far<br />

afield as Brazil. In close to 25 years SIS<br />

has gone from a single bilingual class to a<br />

network of pioneering bilingual schools<br />

offering immersive education to students<br />

from kindergarten-age through to College.<br />

SIS Basel-Allschwil will open its doors in<br />

the summer of <strong>2024</strong>, becoming the newest<br />

school in the SIS family. The school will<br />

offer bilingual education at kindergarten<br />

and primary school level from the school<br />

year <strong>2024</strong>/25.<br />

Andrea Spielmann, who is presently<br />

Head of Primary <strong>School</strong> 2 to 6 at SIS<br />

Basel, has accepted the role of Principal at<br />

the new school.<br />

We sat down with Andrea to find out<br />

more about who she is, her plans for the<br />

brand-new Basel-Allschwil campus, and<br />

what exciting things lie ahead.<br />

When is SIS Basel-Allschwil set to open?<br />

Our building already exists - the University<br />

of Basel is based there. However, the<br />

interior construction is currently being<br />

completed. They are building our<br />

classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, and so<br />

on. Being able to be part of the planning<br />

and development is a great experience. We<br />

plan to open our doors in August <strong>2024</strong> for<br />

students and their families.<br />

What is your vision for Basel-Allschwil<br />

campus?<br />

The vision for the new school focuses on<br />

the children and their development, which<br />


is really the centrepiece of our educational<br />

and entrepreneurial approach.<br />

At the school’s foundation will<br />

be bilingual learning, as well as the<br />

individual needs of our students which<br />

will be challenged but also supported by<br />

teachers and their social and pedagogical<br />

programmes.<br />

The campus is located within the<br />

Switzerland Innovation Park in Allschwil.<br />

It’s a great area with many international<br />

companies, startups, a daycare and<br />

restaurants. It is a wonderful place for<br />

teachers, students, and parents to meet.<br />

In some cases, parents work within the<br />

Innovation Park so the whole family is in<br />

one place.<br />

SIS has a strong school culture that<br />

extends across all campuses. Are there<br />

any aspects of that culture that you want<br />

to magnify at the new campus?<br />

At SIS, paying attention to an individual’s<br />

needs and strengths is one of our focuses.<br />

This aspect of school culture is very<br />

important to me as well.<br />

Of course, there are more aspects to our<br />

culture than just that. We have developed a<br />

set of values that form the building blocks<br />

for our school. There are four values that<br />

are part of the SIS educational concept and<br />

we seek to instill them in our students:<br />

Honesty<br />

Appreciation<br />

Personal responsibilty<br />

Committment<br />

These four values are crucial to everyone,<br />

and I would like to see them enacted in all<br />

areas of the new school as well. In the end,<br />

our values ensure that staff, students, and<br />

parents all work together as a community<br />

with the same expectations and goals.<br />

Moreover, social, and emotional<br />

learning in general are as much part of the<br />

curriculum as academic education. Because<br />

of this, our values are really deepened and<br />

strengthened through classroom discussions.<br />

We want students to be involved in all<br />

aspects of school life. This includes students<br />

taking on leadership roles at an early<br />

stage. We have sixth graders helping out<br />

in kindergarten or in the playground and<br />

involved during open days.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 19<br />

Have there been any particular<br />

challenges so far and how did you<br />

overcome them?<br />

My new role requires a lot of balance in<br />

many different areas. My degree in business<br />

helps me identify and solve challenges<br />

on the administrative side, whereas my<br />

experience in education as a teacher and as<br />

head of primary (2 - 6) enables me to find<br />

the best solution in terms of educational<br />

challenges.<br />

These different perspectives allow me<br />

to consider what is best for the students,<br />

the parents, and the community, as well as<br />

the teachers’ needs whilst keeping in mind<br />

the business-side of the school. It is always<br />

crucial to respect every student. They all

have their own personal history, and it is a<br />

great responsibility, but also honour, to be<br />

able to accompany them on their journey.<br />

We overcome difficulties together, and of<br />

course also celebrate their success.<br />

I was part of the SIS leadership<br />

programme which helped me deepen<br />

my knowledge and apply it directly into<br />

practice. My personal development and selfreflection<br />

are a big part of my preparations<br />

for my new role and the challenges that lie<br />

ahead. I emphasise innovative approaches<br />

and clear and concise communication. In<br />

my experience, this is how we can overcome<br />

many challenges, build strong relationships,<br />

and achieve success together.<br />

I had a lovely experience once, when I<br />

was in a café and one of my former students<br />

came up to me and said, “Hallo Frau<br />

Spielmann” in perfect German - out of the<br />

blue. That was very nice because he’s at<br />

university now. I was touched that he could<br />

remember things that we did in class. As a<br />

teacher that was very rewarding.<br />

It all comes back to the students again;<br />

the work that we do, the difficulties that<br />

we overcome together. You get a sense for<br />

this years later, when they still talk about<br />

their school days, or take the time to greet<br />

you.<br />

Your professional journey includes time<br />

in Bangkok. How have your international<br />

experiences shaped your philosophy and<br />

leadership?<br />

Bangkok was unforgettable. I often look<br />

back on that time fondly, as I do with the<br />

time I spent in the United States. My time<br />

in Bangkok showed me how different<br />

cultures approach learning and this is very<br />

important in today’s globalised world.<br />

I have seen various parts of the world<br />

and learnt about the challenges and<br />

opportunities of those places. I was also able<br />

to see other ways of teaching, how classes<br />

interact, and the way the classrooms are set<br />

up.<br />

In Thailand we once went on a class trip<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 20<br />

to a National Park in Bangkok where there<br />

were crocodiles and we slept in tents!<br />

My experiences have shown me that<br />

education can be different but also very<br />

much the same. The development of<br />

children is what is crucial and that doesn’t<br />

change whether you are in Thailand or the<br />

United States or Switzerland.<br />

My experiences in Bangkok ultimately<br />

led me to apply to an <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>.<br />

In the end, I accepted the position here at<br />

SIS. I’m still very happy with that decision,<br />

which is why I have stayed here for so long!<br />

Could you tell us about a particularly<br />

impactful project or initiative you’ve led<br />

at SIS Basel that you’d like to replicate or<br />

adapt for the Allschwil campus?<br />

There have been so many projects in my<br />

11+ years. One of my favourites is certainly<br />

the ski camp, which I enjoy organising and<br />

leading. But there is also sports day and<br />

project week - the list is very long.<br />

Furthermore, I love events such as the

“Social, and emotional learning in general are as<br />

much part of the curriculum as academic education.”<br />

poetry slam which unites and celebrates<br />

languages, or the winter/summer festival<br />

where parents, students and teachers come<br />

together.<br />

Not to forget all the holidays we celebrate<br />

throughout the year, e.g. Diwali, Fasnacht,<br />

Chinese New Year, Reading Aloud Day,<br />

Vogel Gryff - it’s especially nice to get<br />

to know and celebrate national and<br />

international holidays and traditions.<br />

You have taught everything from<br />

German to information technology. How<br />

do you balance the idea of having an<br />

interdisciplinary approach with also<br />

needing to be specialised?<br />

It’s very common in Switzerland that you<br />

teach a range of subjects in primary school.<br />

I see it less as a balancing act and more as<br />

a teaching tool. When I teach German for<br />

example, I will make connections to the<br />

current geography topic. Linking different<br />

subjects to each other is very important and<br />

reflects daily life.<br />

At SIS, we also ensure that teachers<br />

attend regular professional trainings. These<br />

trainings help us to deepen a specific subject<br />

or widen our horizons by taking other<br />

courses in different areas.<br />

What inspires you as an educator, and<br />

who are your role models in the field of<br />

education?<br />

Learning inspires me. When you consider<br />

that kindergarten students start with letter<br />

writing and reading and end up being<br />

able to write argumentative texts, interpret<br />

poems and give presentations, being a<br />

teacher is a wonderful profession.<br />

I always wanted to be a teacher. My<br />

primary school teacher at the time inspired<br />

me. He was organised, funny and showed us<br />

what there was to see out there in the world<br />

(excursions, theatre, school trips). I loved<br />

school and still do today.<br />

As I got older, it was my German teacher,<br />

with her loving and warm manner, who I<br />

still see every now and then - usually on her<br />

bike when our paths literally cross.<br />

In secondary school, it was my biology<br />

teacher who captivated us with his passion<br />

for his subject and I still know today why<br />

the slime fish are called what they are.<br />

The fact that you can make a difference<br />

as a teacher and get the best out of students<br />

is what inspires me - teaching is a wonderful<br />

job that I still do with a lot of passion today.<br />

Considering your extensive teaching<br />

history, what changes have you witnessed<br />

in the educational landscape over the<br />

years, and how do you stay adaptable to<br />

these changes?<br />

When I think back to my school days and<br />

my time at university, there have been<br />

many changes, especially the topic of<br />

digitalisation. The opportunities and risks<br />

of working with laptops, the internet and<br />

artificial intelligence are immense and have<br />

been a massive change.<br />

Our cooperation with the Youth and<br />

Prevention Police, who organise courses<br />

within the school classes, as well as the<br />

SIS internal curriculum in the area of IT,<br />

strengthen and support the teachers in their<br />

work.<br />

Technology enriches learning at SIS.<br />

Programming and internet safety are just<br />

as much a part of the curriculum as media<br />

and digital technology. Even at preschool<br />

age, students learn how to use several types<br />

of technology correctly, which is reinforced<br />

at different levels and in a targeted manner.<br />

I like to think back to my 2nd grade class<br />

and our IT lessons. We started with creating<br />

passwords and logging on to the computer,<br />

then moved on to PowerPoint and finally to<br />

programming small robots. This would have<br />

been unimaginable in the past and is now<br />

the SIS standard.<br />

What are some of your favourite aspects<br />

of Swiss life that you enjoy in your free<br />

time, and how do they influence your<br />

approach to education?<br />

When you think of Switzerland, mountain<br />

landscapes and lakes are just as much a part<br />

of it as a delicious raclette or chocolate.<br />

Skiing in the mountains and get-togethers<br />

with my family and friends help me to find<br />

and maintain my balance.<br />

Nature also inspires me. I enjoy spending<br />

time in the garden and am happy when<br />

everything is blooming and thriving.<br />

I love travelling with my partner and<br />

exploring new cultures, countries, and<br />

meeting new people. There are so many<br />

marvelous places in this world that still<br />

need to be discovered. Travelling literally<br />

broadens our horizons.<br />

I always try to pass on this enthusiasm to<br />

our students. As a school, we try to bring the<br />

beautiful landscape of Switzerland closer to<br />

the children with the ski camp for example.<br />

Many of them experience snow for the first<br />

time after coming to Switzerland.<br />

We celebrate diversity, friendship, and<br />

togetherness not only in everyday school<br />

lessons, but also with festivities, musicals,<br />

discos and so on.<br />


SIS Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> operates 17 bilingual, private day schools in Switzerland,<br />

Germany and Brazil. More than 5.000 students attend our classes from kindergarten<br />

through to college. They come from local as well as from international families and learn in<br />

German (or Portuguese) and English. www.swissinternationalschool.ch<br />



What makes<br />

a great<br />

boarding<br />

experience?<br />


Every now and again I have the pleasure of meeting with<br />

boarding alumni, some of whom were boarding at the<br />

school before I was born. I very much enjoy listening to<br />

the stories of their time at the school and how things used to be<br />

in the good old days. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they never seem to<br />

mention the quality education that they received here for several<br />

hours per day over a number of years, nor the soggy porridge, but<br />

they do take great delight in reminiscing about the homely chaos of<br />

twenty students sharing a dorm, battling cold showers in the depths<br />

of winter and recounting various tales of clandestine midnight<br />

mischief.<br />

Times have changed. Legislative standards are constantly<br />

being raised under the umbrella of safeguarding and schools are<br />

evermore on the lookout for an edge within a crowded market. This<br />

has led to increasingly fanciful facilities and blankets of smothering<br />

support whenever a child displays a hint of emotion. I feel sorry<br />

for students opting into new build boarding facilities with their<br />

single bedrooms, kitchenettes, underfloor heating, and all of the<br />

ambience of a Travelodge. They are missing out on the essence of<br />



a great boarding experience, which is communal living and shared<br />

experiences.<br />

Yes, a dorm needs to be clean, safe, and comfortable, but an<br />

espresso machine isn’t going to one day be the best man at your<br />

wedding. Yes, a boarding programme needs to be well organised<br />

and administered, but spreadsheets don’t make you laugh until<br />

you cry (unless you’re a Bursar). Yes, we need to make sure that<br />

safeguarding of students is a priority but keeping them under<br />

constant lock and key is akin to keeping a lion cub in a cage before<br />

releasing her and expecting her to have accumulated the necessary<br />

skills to survive in the wild. The best boarding schools find a<br />

balance between risk and experience in order for young people to<br />

flourish both within school and on into their adult lives.<br />

Communal living creates memories. Investing time and resources<br />

in social events, trips and fun activities is vital and young people will<br />

deposit those memories into a bank that they can draw upon for a<br />

lifetime. Communal living also creates problems for young people<br />

to work through, which is equally as important as what they learn<br />

within the classroom. Ensuring that our boarding students are able<br />

to develop independence and resilience within a highly legislated<br />

environment is complicated. We want students to learn how to<br />

manage their own wellbeing and problem-solve. This sometimes<br />

requires a lighter touch than metaphorically wiping their noses for<br />

them at the first sign of a sniffle.<br />

Ultimately, we want our young boarding students to be happy,<br />

successful and to leave us with a sense of belonging, so that one<br />

day they’ll be the ones returning to campus and reminiscing for all<br />

of the right reasons. My favourite day of the school year is senior<br />

graduation, and that’s not just because it’s the final hurdle before an<br />

epic summer holiday. It’s special because so many of the students<br />

cry their eyes out, because they are sad to be ending a significant<br />

chapter in their young lives. Communal living ensures that this<br />

chapter is not a gray monologue, but a creative collage of shared<br />

experiences. We as boarding schools must never lose that sense of<br />

shared belonging, because that lies at the heart of what we are.<br />



120<br />

years of<br />

stories<br />

at the Institut<br />

<strong>International</strong> de Lancy<br />

Founded in 1903 by the Sisters of Saint<br />

Joseph, the Institut <strong>International</strong> de Lancy<br />

(IIL) recently celebrated its 120th anniversary.<br />

The former Catholic boarding school for girls<br />

has now become a leading international<br />

school, renowned for its academic<br />

excellence, and welcomes more than 1,500<br />

students, aged from 3 to 19 years old.<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 24<br />

Encouraging both academic success and personal<br />

development, the Institut <strong>International</strong> de<br />

Lancy (IIL) has been supporting students in<br />

the creation of their own story for 120 years. Whether<br />

through the arts, sport or even sciences and technology<br />

through the STEAM laboratory, they have made the<br />

development of their students a priority.<br />

Each of their students has a story. Everyone’s journey<br />

is different, and IIL is honoured to be part of it.<br />

Reflecting this, IIL has launched a campaign paying<br />

tribute to, and showcasing stories written by its students<br />

since 1903. These stories form an integral part of IIL’s<br />

own story, illustrating the shared history of students,<br />

teachers, and community past and present.<br />

Since IIL’s foundation, the international school has<br />

continually expanded its campus to provide the everincreasing<br />

number of students with innovative and


state-of-the-art facilities and the resources to fulfil<br />

their potential.<br />

Blending historic buildings with modern and<br />

contemporary architecture, the first extension<br />

was completed in 2010, followed by a further<br />

addition in 2017. Keeping in line with this ambitious<br />

expansion, IIL laid the first stone of its fourth building<br />

in 2023.<br />

This new building is entirely dedicated to the wellbeing<br />

of their students and will include sports facilities,<br />

a learning centre, and a large examination room.<br />

These spaces will encourage innovative projects in a<br />

less academic setting and allow for an even greater<br />

combination of learning and personal development.<br />

We may not yet know what the school of the future<br />

will look like, but there is no doubt that we will still be<br />

talking about IIL in another 120 years’ time!<br />

“I am honoured to celebrate these 120 years of history.<br />

It is a milestone of which we should be proud. It proves<br />

that IIL has successfully grown over the years and<br />

evolved to meet the continuous changes in our world<br />

and society. More than a school, IIL is a community<br />

in which children can flourish, learn, develop their<br />

intellectual curiosity, and thrive in the values of respect<br />

and tolerance that are at the heart of our school. “Work<br />

and succeed together” is the motto that drives our<br />

educational community and accompanies our students<br />

as they write their own story”, - Monique Roiné, General<br />

Director of the Institut <strong>International</strong> de Lancy.<br />






How Regent’s University London<br />

stands out from the crowd<br />

Choosing a university can be a<br />

daunting time for young people<br />

and parents alike. It marks their<br />

first step into adulthood, and brings with it<br />

both excitement and apprehension.<br />

But London punches well above its<br />

weight for university students, with the<br />

chance to gain valuable experiences, build<br />

a network of professional connections,<br />

make friends from all over the world, and<br />

enjoy a thriving social life. No wonder it’s<br />

been named the best city in the world to be<br />

a student for the fourth year in a row [QS<br />

World University Rankings].<br />

Based in in the heart of the city is<br />

Regent’s University London – a unique<br />

institution that reimagines higher education<br />

for today’s generation.<br />

Experience a new way of learning<br />

At Regent’s, education isn’t all about<br />

lecture halls and essay-writing. Instead,<br />

it’s about learning by doing, from some<br />

of the best in the business, through real<br />

challenges, projects and briefs that bring<br />

students’ studies to life. This form of ‘active<br />

learning’ tests their ability to apply their<br />



knowledge to real workplace scenarios and<br />

build relevant, future-ready skills.<br />

The University acknowledges that all<br />

students are unique and offers a flexible<br />

curriculum enabling them to design their<br />

own course – mixing modules across<br />

subject areas to expand their skillset<br />

and deepen their knowledge. They can<br />

combine Business, Sustainability, Finance,<br />

Languages, Theatre, Digital Design and<br />

more – and that’s encouraged, because<br />

experimentation fuels growth.<br />

Build global connections<br />

It’s important to start building connections<br />

and networks from a young age, and<br />

Regent’s can help with both. It attracts<br />

students from over 140+ nationalities,<br />

meaning it’s easy to make friends from all<br />

corners of the globe. Students all form such<br />

deep relationships; they often join forces<br />

to launch brands and businesses, invest in<br />

each other’s start-ups and share advice and<br />

contacts.<br />

In class, teaching staff keep their fingers<br />

on the pulse – building strong bonds<br />

with businesses and brands at the highest<br />

level. Their partnership with Walpole<br />

(the official body for UK luxury) attracts<br />

names like Harrods, Ferrari, McLaren<br />

Automotive, Burberry and Meta, and<br />

offers opportunities to pitch ideas, work on<br />

briefs and build authentic connections with<br />

powerful CEOs and MDs.<br />

Receive tailored support – for life<br />

With a population of under 3000 students,<br />

Regent’s can afford to take a tailored<br />

approach – with learning and support<br />

centred around student’s individual needs<br />

and goals. In their first week, they’ll be<br />

paired with a Personal Tutor and Student<br />

Experience Officer, providing two friendly<br />

faces that they can turn to throughout their<br />

time at university.<br />

Career consultants, academic advisors,<br />

alumni mentors and the Student Union<br />

also offer guidance and support via tutorials<br />

and group workshops – and regularly invite<br />

guest speakers onto campus to share their<br />

insights and experiences. No matter what<br />

challenge your child might face, Regent’s<br />

has someone that can help. Not tomorrow,<br />

not in a week’s time, right now.<br />

And once your child graduates, they’ll be<br />

given an exclusive black card which they<br />

can use to access support services, alumni<br />

networks, expert facilities and campus<br />

events for life.<br />

Work and play in the city<br />

With such a strong reputation and influence<br />

worldwide, studying in the city will be<br />

sure to get your loved one noticed. With<br />

a variety of placements and internship<br />

opportunities on their doorstep, not to<br />

mention museums, libraries, events and<br />

businesses, it’s the place to be to see their<br />

career soar – setting them apart when it’s<br />

time to apply for jobs.<br />

And when they’re not studying, they’ll<br />

have London as their playground – visiting<br />

iconic landmarks and bustling shopping<br />

streets, experiencing café culture and<br />

city nightlife, or travelling further afield:<br />

from the UK’s coastal towns to Europe’s<br />

sun-soaked beaches. The options are<br />

endless!<br />

At Regent’s, we’re cultivating possibility.<br />

Join us: www.regents.ac.uk<br />



Family holidays in<br />

Liechtenstein:<br />

relaxation and adventure await you!<br />

Are you looking for an exciting family holiday? Then you are in the right place! Liechtenstein is culturally, naturally, and<br />

culinarily diverse, meaning that there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it is an exciting trekking tour<br />

with llamas, a spectacular hike, or an adventurous full moon walk - there are a wide range of options awaiting you.<br />

Recharge your batteries in the familyparadise<br />

of Malbun<br />

The idyllic Malbuntal has been awarded<br />

the “Family Destination” seal of quality<br />

from the Swiss Tourism Association several<br />

times. A quiet mountain village sitting<br />

1,600 meters above sea level, Malbun offers<br />

more than just relaxation for traveling<br />

families. Its location near the capital of<br />

Vaduz and the surrounding mountains,<br />

make the valley the ideal starting point for<br />

numerous sights in Liechtenstein. If you<br />

want to spend a quiet day away from the<br />

hustle and bustle of Vaduz, you will find<br />

a peace at the nearby Gänglesee in Steg.<br />

Here children can splash around in the cool<br />

water or play on the shore. The barbecue<br />

areas around the lake also allow you to grill.<br />

Where children can let off steam and<br />

parents can relax<br />

In picturesque Malbun you will find a<br />

wide range of family-friendly hotels.<br />

These family hotels, exciting children’s<br />

playgrounds and wellness areas welcome<br />

a range of visitors. Many hotels also offer<br />



“If you want to get to know the country from all sides, go on the 75-kilometer-long Liechtenstein Trail.”<br />

childcare for when parents want to enjoy<br />

some time together as well.<br />

Unforgettable family experiences in the<br />

valley and mountain areas<br />

Unforgettable experiences such as trekking<br />

with llamas and alpacas, swinging in<br />

beautiful natural settings, experiencing<br />

the exciting Explorer Hike with activities<br />

especially for children, or watching a<br />

spectacular bird of prey show in Malbun<br />

make your family vacation in the<br />

Principality of Liechtenstein a very special<br />

time.<br />

For people passionate about solving<br />

puzzles, Malbun has a special treat for<br />

you! The magical Malbun Portal is a<br />

sophisticated puzzle challenge. Family<br />

members receive a puzzle bag and an<br />

iPad and must solve clues to complete the<br />

mission.<br />

New FURISTO Foxtrail in Vaduz<br />

On the new Foxtrail Furisto the town of<br />

Vaduz becomes an exciting playground for<br />

the whole family. As a team, you search for<br />

hidden messages, solve puzzles, and follow<br />

clues in order not to lose the trail of Fredy<br />

Fox. Nature-loving travelers can find out<br />

more about the forest adventure trail in<br />

Vaduz thanks to 40 information boards<br />

found in the in the Bann-holz/Iragell area.<br />

From the viewing platform on the route,<br />

you can enjoy the panoramic view of the<br />

Rhine Valley. The FoodTrail is an enjoyable<br />

scavenger hunt that leads from Vaduz to<br />

Schaan. Over about four hours, the tour<br />

takes you from one wonderful moment to<br />

the next, with various puzzles to solve along<br />

the way.<br />

The WalserSagenWeg in Triesenberg, the<br />

Detective Trails in Malbun and Vaduz, or<br />

the Rope Park in Triesen offer everything<br />

for a perfect family day in nature.<br />

Make the most of you time with the<br />

Family Adventure Pass<br />

Would you like an action-packed holiday?<br />

With the Family adventure Pass, you not<br />

only enjoy free travel on all bus lines, but<br />

also have access to 30 leisure attractions<br />

worth over 300 francs. These include,<br />

among others, the high ropes park in<br />

Triesen, the exciting Liechtenstein State<br />

Museum, the ceramic workshop in Nendeln<br />

and the chairlift in Malbun. You can also<br />

visit indoor and outdoor pools and many<br />

museums with the Adventure Pass.<br />

Walk the entire country on the<br />

Liechtenstein Trail<br />

Mountains up to 2,600 meters high and a<br />

network of over 400 kilometers of welldeveloped<br />

hiking trails entice you to go<br />

hiking in the principality. If you want to get<br />

to know the country from all sides, go on<br />

the 75-kilometer-long Liechtenstein Trail.<br />

Here you hike through all of the country’s<br />

communities, idyllic nature reserves<br />

and vineyards, past flowering mountain<br />

meadows and numerous sights. It is best<br />

for hikers with children to complete the<br />

route in several stages. With the convenient<br />

luggage transport service from hotel to<br />

hotel, hiking becomes even more relaxing.<br />



Wild and<br />

Wacky Fun<br />

When you think of Switzerland,<br />

you most likely imagine the<br />

Alps. Perhaps, you can see a<br />

few cows with bells around their necks, but<br />

llamas, butterflies and beavers are probably<br />

not the first animals that come to mind.<br />

These ‘unexpected’ animals, as well as a<br />

large number of other creatures are exactly<br />

the focus the three wild and wacky activities<br />

introduced below!<br />

Animal Trail – Braunwald<br />

At different eateries and hotels, patrons<br />

are afforded the opportunity to engage,<br />

observe, and connect with domesticated<br />

animals, ranging from llamas and sheep<br />

to rabbits. Each allocated “animal home”<br />

is furnished with panels containing<br />

compelling information about<br />

the animals residing<br />

there. To validate<br />

their visit, visitors<br />

can record their<br />

experience on a<br />

time card. Those<br />

who venture to<br />

all six designated<br />

locations,<br />

complete their<br />

cards, become<br />

eligible for a<br />

noteworthy reward<br />

accessible at the tourist<br />

office, and qualify for participation in the<br />

Animal Trail lottery.<br />

This initiative not only enhances the<br />

hospitality experience by introducing a<br />

unique and interactive element but also<br />

encourages guests to explore various<br />

locations and learn about diverse<br />

domesticated species, fostering an<br />

appreciation for local fauna. It provides<br />

a multifaceted and engaging activity that<br />

combines education, leisure, and the<br />

chance to receive a special reward, making<br />

it an enticing and memorable offering for<br />

visitors seeking a distinctive experience<br />

during their stay.<br />

Butterflies in the air<br />

The tropical gardens Papiliorama<br />

and Nocturama in Kerzers<br />

are home to plants and<br />

animals from the<br />

tropics. In the<br />

Anthropodarium,<br />

arthropods are<br />

exhibited. The<br />

Swiss Butterfly<br />

Garden is<br />

dedicated to<br />

native butterfly<br />

species.<br />

Day and night the<br />

rainforest is full of life<br />

and activity. Countless<br />

animal species enliven the jungle where a<br />

large variety of plants species can be found.<br />

In the tropical gardens Papiliorama and<br />

Nocturama in Kerzers, visitors discover<br />

the fascinating world of the tropics without<br />

having to fly half around the world.<br />

1000 tropical butterflies and rare<br />

colibris live here. Visitors can make<br />

unusual obervations among the animals<br />

in Nocturama. The roof ’s cupola turns<br />

daylight into a fullmoon night. At night,<br />

large floodlights imitate daylight. This<br />

enables the visitor to observe during<br />

daylight hours the lively play of sloths, bats,<br />

night monkeys and anacondas, who are<br />

active at night.<br />

Jungle Trek experience: tropical forests,<br />

mangrove swamps and orchid ponds<br />

transport visitors to faraway lands in the<br />

company of freely roaming toucans, roseate<br />

spoonbills and iguanas.<br />

Outside area<br />

A wild lakeside habitat:<br />

The Papiliorama foundation strives to raise<br />

awareness among its visitors of local flora<br />



and fauna and the importance of unspoiled<br />

habitats and biodiversity. With this in mind,<br />

the outside area features exclusively native<br />

species of plants, and the foundation is<br />

constantly adding valuable new dry and<br />

wet habitats. Thanks to its efforts, the area<br />

is now home to numerous native species of<br />

plants and animals.<br />

Petting zoo:<br />

Miniature donkeys, miniature goats,<br />

rabbits, ducks and chickens roam freely<br />

among the visitors. They love to be tickled<br />

behind the ears by even the youngest<br />

children and will patiently pose for a family<br />

photo.<br />

Go outside and go wild.<br />

The diverse array of wild animals<br />

inhabiting Switzerland aptly mirrors<br />

the richness of its landscapes. Immerse<br />

yourself in the breathtaking beauty as you<br />

observe majestic ibexes, soaring bearded<br />

vultures, and industrious beavers thriving<br />

in their natural habitats. Professional<br />

guides will accompany you, enhancing<br />

your wildlife encounter with insightful<br />

knowledge. With a plethora of<br />

over 100 one-day packages<br />

at your disposal, you have<br />

the flexibility to curate an<br />

experience tailored to<br />

your preferences.<br />

These wildlife<br />

excursions not only<br />

provide an up-close<br />

glimpse into the<br />

lives of Switzerland’s<br />

captivating creatures but<br />

also offer an opportunity<br />

for an enriching educational<br />

experience. Delve into the<br />

fascinating world of Switzerland’s<br />

major animal species, unraveling the<br />

intricacies of their behavior and ecological<br />

significance. Expert guides will enlighten<br />

you on the nuances of wildlife observation,<br />

ensuring a respectful and non-intrusive<br />

approach.<br />

Embark on a journey of discovery, where<br />

each package promises a unique adventure<br />

amidst the stunning Swiss landscapes.<br />

Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast<br />

or a curious traveler, these experiences<br />

offer a blend of excitement and tranquility.<br />

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders<br />

of Switzerland, forging memories that<br />

resonate with the untamed spirit of its<br />

wildlife.<br />


Bilingual Day <strong>School</strong>s<br />

from Kindergarten to College<br />

Find out more!<br />

At SIS Swiss <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong> we offer bilingual education<br />

from kindergarten through to college. Through bilingual teaching<br />

in English and German, we strive for our students to think and act<br />

as global citizens and to become independent, reflective learners.<br />



BASEL<br />

– Switzerland’s<br />

culture capital and<br />

city of architecture<br />

Basel is a place of exciting contrasts. While classical<br />

modernism and street art may seem like they are worlds<br />

apart, both have a prominent place here. The number<br />

of buildings designed by world-famous architects in such close<br />

proximity is unsurpassed, all in the midst of an architectural setting<br />

that has evolved over centuries. We are in flux, constantly reshaping<br />

ourselves. So every time you come to Basel, you’ll discover<br />

something new.<br />

Basel is the perfect place to embark on a fascinating journey into<br />

the world of art. Around 40 museums, the world’s largest art fair<br />

and a lively, young art scene make Basel a compact city of culture<br />

with an appeal that extends well beyond Europe. The Fondation<br />

Beyeler is one of the most beautiful museums in the world and<br />

is renowned internationally for its prestigious exhibitions, its<br />

important collection of classical modernism and contemporary art<br />

and its ambitious schedule of events. Museum Tinguely houses the<br />

largest collection of works by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, while<br />

the Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the best-known museums of its<br />

kind in the world, is home to the world’s oldest public art collection.<br />



Kunstmuseum Basel<br />

Exhibition: Dan Flavin. Dedications in Lights<br />

(2 March – 18 August <strong>2024</strong>, Neubau)<br />

American artist Dan Flavin (1933–1996) was a pioneer of<br />

Minimal Art. He rose to fame in the 1960s with his work with<br />

industrially manufactured fluorescent tubes, inventing a new art<br />

form and securing his place in art history. The exhibition at the<br />

Kunstmuseum Basel focuses on his works that are dedicated to<br />

other artists or make reference to certain events.<br />

Fondation Beyeler<br />

SUMMER SHOW (19 May – 11 August <strong>2024</strong>)<br />

For the first time in the Fondation Beyeler’s more than 25-<br />

year history, the entire museum and its surrounding park will<br />

be transformed into the site of an experimental presentation<br />

of contemporary art. The Summer Show is conceived as a<br />

“living organism” that changes and transforms throughout its<br />

duration. Connections and interrelationships between individual<br />

works are developed in close dialogue with the artists. This<br />

exchange also extends to works from the in-house collection, which<br />

are an integral part of the project.<br />

Museum Tinguely<br />

Exhibition: Otto Piene. Paths to Paradise<br />

(7 February – 12 May <strong>2024</strong>)<br />

Otto Piene (1928−2014) aimed high with his art: to shape a more<br />

harmonious, peaceful, and sustainable world. His expansive view<br />

explored new media and projected aesthetic forms and experiences<br />

into new spatial realms.<br />

Structured thematically, the monographic exhibition “Otto<br />

Piene: Paths to Paradise” traces his utopian vision as expressed in<br />

works from his most significant series and projects in conversation<br />

with his lifelong practice of sketching.<br />

Street Art in Basel<br />

There is street art everywhere in Basel. Follow in the footsteps of<br />

gifted pros and newcomers to the urban art scene.<br />

ARTour<br />

Art in a new dimension: Discover 10 works of digital art at various<br />

locations around Basel and bring them to life with the ARTour app<br />

and your smartphone’s camera. The ARTour app is available for<br />

free from the App Store and Google Play.<br />


ARE WE<br />


Recognising and<br />

Supporting Children’s<br />

Mental Health Needs<br />


Children’s mental health is pivotal in<br />

shaping their ability to learn, grow,<br />

and navigate their educational and<br />

social journey. It is the foundation upon<br />

which their cognitive, emotional, and social<br />

development is built.<br />

A child’s capacity to regulate emotions,<br />

manage stress, and form healthy<br />

relationships are critical components that<br />

contribute to their overall mental wellbeing.<br />

When these foundational aspects<br />

are nurtured, children are better equipped<br />

to engage in the learning process, handle<br />

challenges, and form positive connections<br />

with peers.<br />

Children can encounter struggles with<br />

their emotional well-being from a very<br />

early age. Recognising early signs of mental<br />

health challenges in children is not only<br />

about preventing their escalation but also<br />

about proactively putting in place the<br />

proper support and implementing effective<br />

strategies.<br />

Silent Struggles<br />

Caregivers and educators play a crucial<br />

role in identifying those early signs,<br />

yet recognising the indicators can be<br />

challenging due to the silent nature of<br />

their internal struggles. Numerous factors<br />

contribute to the fact that children might<br />

struggle to express their feelings and<br />

thoughts verbally:<br />

Children may lack the fully formed<br />

cognitive and verbal skills required to<br />

articulate the complexity of their emotions,<br />

making it challenging for them to vocalise<br />

their mental health challenges.<br />

Beyond linguistic limitations, a fear<br />

of disappointing parents is a significant<br />

communication barrier. Eager for approval,<br />

children may internalise their struggles<br />

rather than burden their caregivers with<br />

worries or concerns, creating a self-imposed<br />

silence to maintain a sense of familial<br />

harmony.<br />

A closely related motive is the instinct to<br />

protect parents from unnecessary distress.<br />

Perceptive to their parents’ emotional<br />

states, children may conceal their difficulties<br />

to shield their loved ones from worry. This<br />

protective instinct arises from a genuine<br />

desire to preserve the happiness of their<br />

family unit, creating a silent struggle within<br />

the child.<br />

Lastly, the fear that expressing their<br />

mental health challenges could alter the<br />

dynamics of the family unit serves as a<br />

powerful deterrent. Children, inherently<br />

sensitive to the emotional atmosphere at<br />

home, may choose silence over disclosure to<br />

maintain stability within the family.<br />

Unspoken signs<br />

These factors underline the critical<br />

importance for caregivers and educators to<br />

remain attuned to subtle, often non-verbal<br />

cues regarding children’s mental well-being.<br />

Recognising the early signs is paramount,<br />

as these issues frequently manifest through<br />

“Understanding and responding to early signs of<br />

mental health struggles in children is paramount.”<br />

sudden or gradual changes in various<br />

aspects of their lives: behavioural shifts,<br />

alterations in social interaction, fluctuations<br />

in academic performance, changes in<br />

mood, and physical well-being.<br />

Observing a once lively and<br />

engaged child undergoing a noticeable<br />

transformation, becoming withdrawn,<br />

and avoiding social interactions raises a<br />

red flag. Conversely, a quiet child may<br />

exhibit irritability, impulsiveness, and<br />

restlessness, indicating potential underlying<br />

challenges. Additionally, children might<br />

resort to coping mechanisms, such as<br />

avoiding specific activities or developing<br />

perfectionistic tendencies, to manage their<br />

emotions.<br />

Children may display ongoing and<br />

excessive concern regarding routine<br />

situations or events. They might display<br />

persistent, intense, or irrational worry<br />

about everyday occurrences or specific<br />

events. Alterations in sleep patterns,<br />

including difficulties falling asleep, staying<br />

asleep, or experiencing nightmares, may<br />

also be observed. Changes in eating habits,<br />

such as an increase or decrease in appetite,<br />

can serve as additional indicators.<br />

Furthermore, a notable loss of interest,<br />

motivation, and persistent feelings of<br />

fatigue represent further warning signs<br />

that caregivers and educators should be<br />

attentive to. Physical complaints, such<br />

as headaches, stomach aches, or muscle<br />

tension, should not be overlooked, as they<br />

can be indicative of underlying mental<br />

health concerns.<br />

It is crucial to recognise that these<br />

behavioural shifts can significantly impact<br />


a child’s concentration and academic<br />

performance and may even contribute to a<br />

heightened risk of school dropout.<br />

Call for help<br />

It’s important to recognise these alterations<br />

as potential calls for help. Children may<br />

not possess the vocabulary to articulate<br />

their inner struggles, but their behaviour<br />

becomes a canvas on which they paint their<br />

emotions. In their unique ways, children<br />

are attempting to express their emotional<br />

needs, seeking assurance and understanding<br />

from the trusted adults in their lives. Taking<br />

these behavioural shifts as potential calls for<br />

support enables caregivers and educators<br />

to create a supportive environment where<br />

children feel safe and encouraged to share<br />

their thoughts and feelings.<br />

Engaging in open conversations, actively<br />

listening, and seeking professional guidance<br />

when needed can be instrumental in<br />

unraveling a child’s underlying challenges.<br />

The importance of early intervention<br />

Understanding and responding to early<br />

signs of mental health struggles in children<br />

is paramount because these challenges<br />

have far-reaching consequences on their<br />

holistic development. The cognitive,<br />

social, and emotional facets of a child’s<br />

growth are deeply interconnected, and<br />

untreated mental health issues can disrupt<br />

this balance. Detecting and addressing<br />

these challenges early on becomes a<br />

preventive measure against potential<br />

long-term consequences. Mental health<br />

struggles, if left unattended, can have a<br />

lasting impact on a child’s adolescence and<br />

significantly shape the person they become<br />

as a young adult. Early intervention fosters<br />

a healthier and more resilient present. It<br />

lays the foundation for a more positive and<br />

well-adjusted future, allowing the child to<br />

navigate life’s complexities more easily and<br />

confidently.<br />

Nurturing open channels of<br />

communication is imperative. Encouraging<br />

an environment where children feel safe<br />

expressing their emotions without fear of<br />

disappointment or upheaval is crucial. By<br />

fostering understanding, empathy, and<br />

support, we empower children to break<br />

the silence surrounding their mental<br />

health challenges, fostering resilience and<br />

emotional well-being in their formative<br />

years.<br />

Finding the right support<br />

The solitary confrontation of parental<br />

challenges in navigating their children’s<br />

struggles can be arduous. Therefore<br />

engaging with professionals for assistance<br />

can significantly contribute to a heightened<br />

understanding of the diverse needs of<br />

children.<br />

Within an educational environment,<br />

parents may establish connections with<br />

the individual overseeing the well-being<br />

of students. Beyond the confines of the<br />

academic setting, initiating contact with<br />

a qualified counselor or mental health<br />

professional holds the potential to furnish<br />

valuable insights and guidance.<br />

Seeking support from others, including<br />

educators, mental health experts, and<br />

healthcare professionals, is key to creating a<br />

robust network that nurtures the emotional<br />

well-being of our children.<br />


Education<br />

Through Travel<br />

Learning beyond the classroom<br />


We’re all familiar with the saying<br />

that travel broadens the mind,<br />

but have you considered the<br />

profound impact experiential learning<br />

through travel can have on a child’s<br />

education? It goes beyond mere sightseeing;<br />

it transforms their understanding of the<br />

world and opens up a myriad of learning<br />

opportunities.<br />

According to a survey conducted by The<br />

Wagner Group 1 , where 400 individuals<br />

were interviewed, the results are compelling:<br />

• Over half of the children who had the<br />

opportunity to travel achieved higher<br />

grades.<br />

• A significant 57% of those who embarked<br />

on childhood travels pursued higher<br />

education opportunities.<br />

• An astonishing 80% believed that<br />

educational travel ignited a deeper interest<br />

in what they were taught in the classroom.<br />

Learning experiences outside the confines<br />


of traditional classrooms are fundamental<br />

in shaping a young person’s development,<br />

regardless of their age. For many, travel<br />

becomes a gateway to discovering new<br />

places and unveiling a world far more<br />

diverse than they could have ever imagined.<br />

In today’s travel market, more families<br />

are recognizing the immense educational<br />

value of travel, otherwise referred to as an<br />

‘edu-vacation’ in a recent article by the New<br />

York Times 2 .<br />

What are the benefits of an ‘edu’vacation’<br />

you ask?<br />

• Cultural immersion and empathy:<br />

One of the greatest gifts of educational<br />

travel is cultural immersion. Stepping<br />

outside one’s comfort zone and engaging<br />

with different cultures fosters empathy,<br />

tolerance, and a broader perspective.<br />

• Language acquisition: Conversing<br />

with locals not only improves language<br />

skills but also provides insights into<br />

the culture and way of life. Students<br />

become true communicators, breaking<br />

down barriers and forming meaningful<br />

connections with people from around the<br />

world.<br />

• Global Citizenship and future<br />

opportunities: As our world becomes<br />

progressively interconnected, global<br />

competency is a coveted skill. Educational<br />

travel arms students with a deeper<br />

understanding of international issues,<br />

cultural sensitivities, and the ability to<br />

adapt to different environments.<br />

• Power of Experimental Learning:<br />

Travel is a living, breathing textbook. It<br />

offers an opportunity to learn by doing,<br />

seeing, and experiencing. Whether<br />

it’s exploring ancient ruins in Greece,<br />

conversing with locals in a bustling market<br />

in Morocco, or studying marine life in<br />

the Galápagos Islands, these real-world<br />

encounters become vivid memories etched<br />

into a student’s mind.<br />

Angus Gibson, Head of Carfax<br />

Tutors, highlights the unique advantages<br />

of learning through travel, stating,<br />

“Educational travel sparks curiosity, fosters<br />

experiential learning, fuels language<br />

acquisition, and immerses students in<br />

different cultures, with no sign of this trend<br />

slowing down.”<br />

By crafting immersive itineraries, and<br />

unforgettable cultural experiences, we can<br />

transform a holiday into a transformative<br />

adventure that will stay with your children<br />

for a lifetime.<br />

1) https://www.wysetc.org/2013/10/travel-improves-educational-attainment-future-success/ 2) https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/15/travel/trends-spring-2022.html<br />


<strong>International</strong> Language<br />

Camps - Megève, France<br />

SUPER<br />


in Europe That Will Transform Your Child’s Holidays<br />

As the anticipation for summer<br />

begins to bubble, it’s time to<br />

consider how your child can make<br />

the most out of their break. Europe’s<br />

summer camps offer more than just a<br />

pastime; they are gateways to new skills,<br />

friendships, and unforgettable memories.<br />

Whether it’s mastering a new language,<br />

embarking on outdoor escapades, or diving<br />

into the creative arts, there’s a camp out<br />

there to ignite every young explorer’s<br />

passion. We’ve selected a bunch of standout<br />

summer camps that exemplify the best of<br />

European experiences. Each one is a unique<br />

blend of culture, learning, and adventure,<br />

ready to deliver the summer of a lifetime.<br />

Language and Learning: Summer Camps<br />

for the Curious Minds<br />

<strong>International</strong> Language Camps -<br />

Megève, France<br />

Located at the foot of Mont Blanc,<br />

<strong>International</strong> Language Camps (ILC) take<br />

place in one of the most beautiful alpine<br />

villages, Megeve. Simply imagine the<br />

rolling hills and picturesque scenery from<br />

Heidi.<br />

The language school, founded in 1996,<br />

has kept its charm, the feeling of being<br />

AT HOME, and excellence in teaching<br />

languages to children.<br />

Half of the campers are French native<br />

speakers and the rest come from all over the<br />

world. ILC goes beyond simply teaching a<br />

new language. They want them to LIVE it!<br />

One of their core objectives is to teach<br />

children about different cultures, respect<br />

and to learn from their differences.<br />

ILC is both child and PARENT<br />

FRIENDLY! <strong>Parent</strong>s can call at any time.<br />

ILC has 1 adult supervisor per 5 children.<br />

Some of their counsellors started attending<br />

the camp at the very early age. They loved<br />

it so much that they come back regularly to<br />

give the same experience to your children.<br />

Each child is picked up at Geneva Airport<br />

(less than an hour away). This an individual<br />

pick up. At departure, ILC waits until their<br />

flight has taken off.<br />


Oxford Royale Summer<br />

<strong>School</strong>s - Oxford, UK<br />

The children stay at a 4-star hotel /chalet<br />

and share rooms with one or two others.<br />

Mornings are for language lessons<br />

where the children are split into levels.<br />

Afternoons they practise sports, divided by<br />

age. Weekends are for excursions in this<br />

extraordinary region.<br />

ILC offers tailored experiences for each<br />

camper because we know every child is<br />

unique.<br />

Oxford Royale Summer <strong>School</strong>s -<br />

Oxford, UK<br />

Oxford Royale provides award winning<br />

academic summer programmes designed to<br />

challenge, inspire, and motivate your child<br />

to help them achieve their full potential.<br />

Our summer schools for ages 13-18 take<br />

place on campus at top universities in<br />

Oxford, Cambridge, London, Yale and<br />

Berkeley.<br />

Your child will spend two weeks<br />

experiencing student life whilst being<br />

taught career-focussed subjects such as<br />

Business, Medicine, Engineering, Law and<br />

Architecture. A Summer with<br />

Oxford Royale will help your child build<br />

confidence and develop a passion for<br />

learning, improve their academic knowledge<br />

and critical thinking skills, and find their<br />

The IBWISE Alpine CAS<br />

Adventure camp<br />

true calling in life.<br />

Students will live, study and socialise<br />

with motivated and ambitious students<br />

from all over the world and gain a global<br />

perspective. Our busy academic timetable is<br />

punctuated with exclusive events,<br />

fascinating excursions, and our courses<br />

culminate in a formal graduation ceremony.<br />

The IBWISE Alpine CAS<br />

Adventure camp<br />

Taking place over six days, in which<br />

students are immersed in the old Austrian<br />

culture & traditions of a mountain<br />

village, are invited to bake their first<br />

brown bread on a traditional farm, learn<br />

about some of Austria’s oldest trades, and<br />


SILC Academy - Switzerland and France<br />

walk breathtaking mountain hikes with a<br />

nature guide. Volunteering opportunities<br />

include working in a kindergarten,<br />

assisting in a traditional Austrian inn, and<br />

helping in the nature park. Participating<br />

in this experience fosters and deepens<br />

each student’s understanding of alpine<br />

ecosystems, flora and fauna, Austrian<br />

mountain village culture, as well as the<br />

IB CORE.<br />

At the end of the CAS trip, each student<br />

receives a CAS certificate including<br />

exact dates, hours, and description of the<br />

accomplished programme and duties.<br />

The IBWISE CAS & Spanish<br />

Immersion camp<br />

Based in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalucia,<br />

the IBWise Spanish Immersion camp runs<br />

for fourteen days. It includes 10 hours<br />

GSD Summer <strong>School</strong> Programme<br />

of classroom Spanish per week, 24/7<br />

immersion in the rich language, culture and<br />

community of the area, and the experience<br />

of living in a lovely Spanish host family.<br />

It also includes 2 hours daily (Monday-<br />

Friday) of voluntary work in environmental<br />

and social areas. Afternoon activities<br />

such as horseback riding, basket weaving,<br />

flamenco dancing, surfing, and swimming<br />

are included.<br />

At the end of the CAS trip, each student<br />

receives a CAS certificate including<br />

exact dates, hours, and description of the<br />

accomplished programme and duties.<br />

Is your child thinking about a career in<br />

the UN, an NGO or Diplomacy?<br />

GSD Summer <strong>School</strong> Programme<br />

Is your child interested in an international<br />

career? Do they want to know more about<br />

SILC Academy - Switzerland and France<br />

<strong>International</strong> Relations and Diplomacy? Do<br />

they want to explore career opportunities<br />

within the UN, private sector, <strong>International</strong><br />

Organisations, and NGOs? Then GSD<br />

Summer <strong>School</strong> certificate is a great option!<br />

GSD Summer <strong>School</strong> is a one-week<br />

immersion programme in international<br />

relations and diplomacy in the most<br />

diplomatic city in the world. This summer<br />

school gives students a taste of foreign<br />

policies and politics, but above all, an<br />

understanding of how they impact our<br />

daily lives. A thorough understanding<br />

of <strong>International</strong> Relations is also a key<br />

to effectiveness and career advancement<br />

in both the public and private sectors.<br />

Students come to the Geneva <strong>School</strong><br />

of Diplomacy from all over the world.<br />

During their stay they will acquire a deeper<br />

understanding of global Diplomacy and<br />

the skills required to find solutions to global<br />

problems.<br />

Adventure and Exploration:<br />

Where Thrills Meet Skills<br />

SILC Academy - Switzerland<br />

and France<br />

Discover the unique summer camps that<br />


SILC Academy has to offer, nestled in the<br />

picturesque landscapes of Switzerland and<br />

France. From the majestic snowy peaks of<br />

the Swiss Alps to the serene shores of Lake<br />

Geneva and the vibrant environment of<br />

the French Riviera, every moment promises<br />

excitement and discovery.<br />

The boutique summer camps, welcoming<br />

students aged 7 to 17, take place in July and<br />

August, offering a diverse range of learning<br />

experiences to everyone. Here, the students<br />

cultivate essential 21st-century skills such<br />

as communication, goal setting, teamwork,<br />

and global citizenship amidst the beauty of<br />

their iconic locations.<br />

Every day brings new adventures and<br />

new memories. Their carefully crafted<br />

summer programmes ensure that learning<br />

is seamlessly woven into every activity,<br />

ensuring that students enjoy every single<br />

moment. With a variety of activities<br />

catering to all interests, from exhilarating<br />

zip lining and river rafting to enriching<br />

city trips and cultural excursions, as well<br />

as stargazing, invigorating hikes, and cosy<br />

campfire gatherings, there’s something for<br />

everyone to enjoy.<br />

Are you ready to join a summer camp<br />

to create unforgettable memories where<br />

education meets exploration in the most<br />

captivating settings you can imagine?<br />

Sign-up today as spots are limited and<br />

fill-up quickly.<br />

Quaystage Summer Sailing Camps<br />

Looking for a summer camp that<br />

combines the thrill of sailing with personal<br />

development? The youth sailing summer<br />

camps empower campers to train social<br />

and leadership skills while exploring their<br />

cultural and marine environment. With a<br />

focus on hands-on learning and discovery,<br />

the programme offers an unforgettable<br />

experience for young sailors. Join Quaystage<br />

for a summer of adventure and growth!<br />

Quaystage Summer Sailing Camps<br />


Les Elfes<br />

<strong>International</strong><br />

<strong>Spring</strong> and<br />

Summer Camps<br />

Les Elfes <strong>International</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> and<br />

Summer Camps<br />

Since 1987, Les Elfes provides all-year<br />

round fully supervised camps that consist<br />

of a mix of sporting activities, language<br />

lessons and excursions for children from 7<br />

to 18 years old from early December to the<br />

end of August. In Les Elfes positive, warm<br />

and international atmosphere, life-long<br />

friendships are forged and children come<br />

back year after year.<br />

Day Camps in Switzerland: Camps that<br />

Connect and Inspire<br />

ISL Holiday Camps - Lausanne,<br />

Switzerland<br />

The ISL Holiday Camps provide an<br />

exciting and memorable experience for<br />

children aged 3 to 16. Their goal is to<br />

provide children with a fun week in the<br />

outdoors, in which they discover new talents<br />

and meet new friends in a safe and secure<br />

environment.<br />

Ecolint Geneva Summer<br />

Camps - Geneva, Switzerland<br />

Les Elfes <strong>International</strong> <strong>Spring</strong><br />

and Summer Camps<br />

Ecolint Geneva Summer Camps -<br />

Geneva, Switzerland<br />

Open to children aged 3 to 16 years old,<br />

they offer fun and action-packed week-long<br />

spring, summer, and autumn camps in<br />

Geneva.<br />

The summer camps available across<br />

Europe afford families and children<br />

the opportunity to create unforgettable<br />

memories, learn new skills, and foster<br />

independence in picturesque settings. From<br />

the sun-drenched shores of Spain to the<br />

rolling hills of the English countryside,<br />

each camp offers its own unique blend<br />

of activities, education, and cultural<br />

immersion. Whether your child is an<br />

aspiring artist, a sports enthusiast,<br />

a budding scientist, or a nature lover, there’s<br />

a European summer camp that caters<br />

to their interests and provides a safe and<br />

nurturing environment for growth and<br />

adventure.<br />

As you consider the options for your<br />

child’s summer experience, reflect on what<br />

they are passionate about and what new<br />

experiences you want them to have. The<br />

camps listed in this article serve as a mere<br />

snapshot of the possibilities that await.<br />

With the right choice, your child will not<br />

only gain a summer of joy and learning but<br />

also friendships and experiences that cross<br />

borders and last a lifetime. Embrace the<br />

adventure, and let this be the summer they<br />

will always remember.<br />


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 45<br />

ISL Holiday Camps -<br />

Lausanne, Switzerland


– protecting your child and others<br />


Since Edward Jenner successfully<br />

vaccinated against smallpox in 1796,<br />

vaccinations have become medicine’s<br />

best way to safely protect your child from<br />

a multitude of infectious diseases and their<br />

possible complications.<br />

Vaccinations work by injecting a small<br />

dose of a weakened or inactive part of a<br />

bacteria or virus (the antigen), or the ‘code’<br />

for producing that antigen. This injection<br />

will not lead to infection or symptoms,<br />

but it will allow the person’s body to make<br />

antibodies and develop an immune reaction<br />

against that infection. If they are exposed<br />

to that bacteria or virus in the future, their<br />

body ‘remembers’ the germ that they were<br />

vaccinated against, and their antibodies<br />

and immune cells are launched to fight it<br />

off. Thus, infection is prevented from taking<br />

hold.<br />

Over the years, vaccinations have<br />

undoubtedly saved countless lives. And<br />

the human body generally reacts very well<br />

towards them - only being recommended<br />

when the benefits of protection against an<br />

infection and its complications significantly<br />

outweigh the potential side effects.<br />

When thinking about vaccinations, it<br />

is also important to consider the concept<br />

of herd immunity. This is a form of<br />

immunity when vaccination of a significant<br />

proportion of a population (a herd) provides<br />

a degree of protection for those people who<br />

are not immune to an infection because<br />

they are unable to be vaccinated – for<br />

example children who are too young,<br />

people with immune deficiency problems,<br />

or people too unwell to receive vaccines.<br />

If a high percentage of a population<br />

is vaccinated, it makes it very difficult for<br />

that germ to spread because there are so<br />

few susceptible people left for it to infect.<br />



“Through the concept of herd<br />

immunity, by vaccinating your child,<br />

you are not only protecting them, but<br />

you are also helping to protect the<br />

whole population.”<br />



On the contrary, when herd immunity is<br />

not sufficient, then outbreaks of infection<br />

can occur, and children and adults may die<br />

unnecessarily.<br />

The evidence for herd immunity can be<br />

demonstrated by the successful eradication<br />

of smallpox worldwide and the eradication<br />

of polio in many regions. Through the<br />

concept of herd immunity, by vaccinating<br />

your child, you are not only protecting<br />

them, but you are also helping to protect<br />

the whole population.<br />

In Switzerland, the Federal Office of<br />

Public Health regularly updates their<br />

vaccination recommendations after<br />

consultation with the Federal Commission<br />

for Vaccination, and in collaboration<br />

with Swissmedic (the Swiss Agency for<br />

Therapeutic Products). Any new available<br />

vaccines, any updates on vaccine safety and<br />

efficacy, any changes in disease outbreaks<br />

and any updates to vaccination guidelines<br />

by the World Health Organisation are all<br />

taken into consideration.<br />

In this country, it is currently<br />

recommended that babies and children<br />

have basic vaccinations against:<br />

• Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (also<br />

known as whooping cough)<br />

• Poliomyelitis (or polio for short)<br />

• Haemophilus influenzae type B (which can<br />

cause meningitis, pneumonia, septicaemia<br />

– generalised blood infection – infections<br />

of the bones, joints, skin and ears, and<br />

epiglottitis – a severe life-threatening<br />

infection of the epiglottis, a flap of tissue<br />

at the back of the throat that closes off the<br />

windpipe while you are eating)<br />

• Hepatitis B<br />

• Pneumococcus (along with Haemophilus<br />

influenzae and meningococcus,<br />

pneumococci are the main cause of<br />

meningitis in children; they can also<br />

cause septicaemia, pneumonia, and ear<br />

infections)<br />

• Measles, mumps, and rubella (also known<br />

as German measles)<br />

• Varicella (or chickenpox)<br />

During the teenage years, vaccination<br />

against the human papillomavirus<br />

(responsible for most cervical cancers) is<br />

recommended. From January <strong>2024</strong>, this<br />

will be offered to all genders as part of the<br />

basic vaccination schedule. Booster doses of<br />

some of the earlier childhood vaccinations<br />

are also advised during adolescence to<br />

“Vaccinations have become medicine’s<br />

best way to safely protect your child from<br />

a multitude of infectious diseases and their<br />

possible complications.”<br />

‘reactivate’ immunity memory.<br />

Additional (or complementary)<br />

vaccinations may be given to children<br />

whose parents wish to protect them against<br />

some other infections that can lead to rare<br />

but potentially fatal illnesses. They include<br />

those against meningitis caused by Neisseria<br />

meningitidis serogroups B and ACWY which<br />

can be given during infancy, with booster<br />

doses during adolescence. From January<br />

<strong>2024</strong>, rotavirus is another complementary<br />

vaccination that can be given between the<br />

ages of 2 and 4 months.<br />

Compulsory health insurance covers the<br />

cost of these vaccinations, except for any<br />

deductibles and co-payment. Vaccinations<br />

against human papillomavirus are free of<br />

charge if carried out as part of cantonal<br />

vaccination programmes.<br />

If you have recently moved from another<br />

country, it is worth checking your child’s<br />

vaccination record and comparing what<br />

vaccines they have already received to those<br />

recommended here in Switzerland. You can<br />

view the 2023 Swiss Vaccination Schedule<br />

here in French, German and Italian. The<br />

updated schedule for <strong>2024</strong> will be available<br />

from the end of March.<br />

If you have any questions, or if you think<br />

your child is missing any vaccinations, then<br />

visit your paediatrician who will be able to<br />

advise you further. There is also a telephone<br />

helpline in Switzerland for vaccination<br />

advice: 0844 448 448. The consultation<br />

is free, but you may need to pay the call<br />

charges. Or you can consult www.infovac.ch<br />

for further information.<br />

Take some important steps today to<br />

protect your child and others.<br />

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and<br />

should not be used for the diagnosis and treatment<br />

of medical conditions. All reasonable care has been<br />

taken in compiling the information but there is no legal<br />

warranty made to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other<br />

healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of<br />

medical conditions. Dr Michelle Wright or HealthFirst<br />

is not responsible or liable, directly, or indirectly, for any<br />

form of damages whatsoever resulting from the use of<br />

the information contained or implied in this article.<br />








Having raised three kids I get it,<br />

getting up, ready and out the<br />

door in the morning can seem<br />

like a military operation. So why not<br />

treat it as such?<br />

The key steps in planning a<br />

military operation include:<br />

• Defining the objective<br />

• Conducting a thorough<br />

assessment<br />

• Developing a plan<br />

• Assessing risks<br />

• Conducting rehearsals<br />

• Executing the plan<br />

• Monitoring, adapting,<br />

debriefing and evaluating<br />

1Let’s start with defining the<br />

objectives<br />

Getting out in the morning will include<br />

a morning ritual which will have habits,<br />

customs and routines. If used properly, the<br />

right actions practised with consistency<br />

could have a major impact on your family<br />

life.<br />

Benefits of having a clear morning<br />

routine: it has the ability to reduce your<br />

negative voice in the house, increase<br />

teamwork, reduce procrastination, boost<br />

confidence, improve overall performance<br />

and happiness of the home and set the day<br />

up on a positive note.<br />

2Conduct a thorough assessment<br />

Ask yourself:<br />

• Why is your current morning operation<br />

not working? Are you yelling, getting up<br />

too late, trying to do too many jobs in the<br />

morning, fighting over getting dressed? Are<br />

the kids tired and maybe you need to work<br />

on your bedtime routine?<br />

• What IS working? If something is<br />

working, you can carry that forward to your<br />

new morning operational plan.<br />

• Did it used to work? Have a think about<br />

whether your morning did work at some<br />

point and what were you doing differently?<br />

Often when I work with parents, they can<br />

remember a point in their family life where<br />

a morning routine was working. So think<br />

about why that was and why you stopped<br />

doing what worked well. What changed?<br />

3Developing a plan<br />

It’s important that you use the whole<br />

team here and don’t just set up a plan alone<br />

and then force it on everyone. In order for<br />

a military operation to go smoothly and<br />

successfully you need the whole team on<br />

your side, working with you in co-operation.<br />

So sit down with your team and talk about<br />

what needs to be done in order for this<br />

operation (morning routine) to go well.<br />

• Talk about what is working well for<br />

the moment.<br />

• Talk about where everyone thinks it<br />

goes wrong.<br />

• Listen to their ideas: listen to<br />

understand, not to talk. Bite your tongue<br />

if you feel you want to interrupt or oppose<br />

their ideas. If you want them to follow the<br />

new routine, this needs to be their operation<br />

too. They need to feel that they have some<br />

level of control.<br />

• Let them have a say: maybe they<br />

want to eat breakfast first and get dressed<br />

afterwards. Trust that they can make good<br />

decisions. Give it a go, you can always<br />

review it later.<br />

• Less is more: maybe they really<br />

don’t have to make their beds, empty the<br />

dishwasher etc. in the morning. Just focus<br />

on the tasks that really matter: get up, get<br />

dressed, eat breakfast and go. This means<br />

there is less to follow up on and therefore<br />

less commands.<br />

• Children are individual: ‘I am a<br />

morning person – or evening person’. We<br />

hear adults saying it, and kids are individual<br />

too so try to think in these lines. I was<br />

working with a dad who said that his son<br />

really wasn’t hungry in the morning. So<br />

they decide to give it and go and that he<br />

could bring his breakfast to school and<br />

eat in there. It worked, and they took out<br />

a major stress factor from the morning<br />

routine. My daughter is not a morning<br />

person so she chooses not to do her<br />

bed and other chores in the morning<br />

but in the afternoon. My son was<br />

a morning person and was up<br />

before everyone else and that is<br />

where he functions best so did<br />

his home work there.<br />

• List all the tasks that are<br />

needed in their morning<br />

routine: get up, get dressed,<br />

eat breakfast, brush teeth,<br />

lunch in the bag, put on coat<br />

and shoes etc. Then add them in<br />

a sequence that suits everyone.<br />

• Make it visual and clear: Once<br />

you have agreed to all the above, write<br />

or draw up the plan. Make sure everyone<br />

signs it and hang it somewhere where<br />

everyone can see.<br />

• A good morning operation starts<br />

the night before: so what can you do<br />

the night before so you have less to do<br />

in the morning? Get clothes ready, pack<br />

school bags and PE kits, set the breakfast<br />

table, have shoes and coat ready etc. And<br />

homework is not for the morning (unless it<br />

works for the individual child)!<br />

4<br />

Assessing risks<br />

So, now you have a plan, will it work?<br />

Is there anything in your plan that might<br />

create risks of failure? For instance:<br />

• You have agreed to get up at 7.30 but<br />

need to be out the door by 8. Is that<br />

realistic, or do you need to get up earlier?<br />

• You have agreed to do the lunches in the<br />

morning. You might see a risk that it will<br />

cause fights and delays so maybe do that the<br />

evening before?<br />

• You know that you are not a morning<br />

person and might be the one that causes<br />

negative tension in the home? So maybe<br />

you need to get up earlier to get some alone<br />

time, meditate, do your chores etc.<br />

Consult the ‘team’ - ask them if there is<br />

anything in the new morning routine that<br />

they think might not work.<br />

5<br />

Conducting rehearsals<br />

Try the morning routine on a weekend<br />

to see if your new operation plan works and<br />

will fall into place once war really breaks<br />

out. This way you have time to adjust the<br />

plan in calm times and not in the heat of<br />

the moment.<br />


6Executing the plan Time to go.<br />

Now you need to trust your team that<br />

you have created a solid morning operation.<br />

Stick to the plan and try not to get<br />

sidetracked by begging, negotiation or your<br />

child’s big emotions.<br />

They might need some time to adjust to<br />

the new routine and even though you have<br />

agreed to it together they can still have big<br />

emotions. Just accept this as normal and<br />

natural and stick to the plan.<br />

Remember you have written it down, so<br />

all you need to do at this stage is refer to the<br />

AGREED plan and send a signal that you<br />

WILL stick to it: you can use sentences such<br />

as, ‘as agreed, you will get dressed before<br />

breakfast’, or ‘as agreed you will brush your<br />

teeth before leaving the house’ etc.<br />

Use praise instead of commanding:<br />

you can use a tool called ‘step-by-step<br />

praise. This is where you see ALL small<br />

improvements towards the desired outcome<br />

as a successful achievement that needs your<br />

“If used properly, the right actions practised with<br />

consistency could have a major impact on your family life.”<br />

full attention. For instance, if they look at<br />

you when you ask them to get dressed, show<br />

that you have noticed it and like it: ‘thank<br />

you for listening to me, I really appreciate<br />

that you are going to get dressed as agreed’.<br />

Or, if they start putting their shoes on, you<br />

can acknowledge that they are doing up<br />

their shoes, that you have noticed it and<br />

like it instead of ruching them to the next<br />

task. You can use words, you can use hugs<br />

or smiles or you can sit with them to show<br />

them that you are part of this process and<br />

take it so seriously that you are also going to<br />

give the task your time.<br />

Monitoring, adapting, debriefing and<br />

7 evaluating<br />

It might be that after a week of trialling<br />

your new morning operation you find that<br />

actually there are a few things that don’t<br />

work. That is OK.<br />

Get together as a team and talk about<br />

what needs to be changed and how to make<br />

your morning routine bulletproof.<br />

You can ask:<br />

• What do you think worked well this week?<br />

• What do you think can be improved?<br />

Then you can adapt the plan as needed.<br />

When you are coming up to holiday time<br />

you can get together and talk about holiday<br />

mornings and what you might want to do<br />

differently.<br />

And once you have set up the above<br />

military operation process you can use it for<br />

anything: bedtime, homework, screen time,<br />

getting dressed, dinner time etc.<br />


your<br />

IS<br />

SCHOOL<br />


www.internationalschoolparent.com<br />

• Talk directly to parents looking to enrol their children<br />

• Showcase your school with a detailed description, video, photos, and inbound<br />

links.<br />

• Access analytics reports to gain valuable insights into your school’s online<br />

performance.<br />

• Keep parents informed by sending school updates<br />

to our extensive database.<br />

• Stay up-to-date by updating your school guide<br />

with the latest information whenever needed.<br />

• Make use of our blog throughout the year,<br />

ensuring your school remains in the limelight.<br />








Travelling with kids can be nervewracking<br />

for any parent. It takes<br />

research, a heap of planning,<br />

and a generous sprinkling of super-human<br />

effort. In fact, as I sit in a café drafting this<br />

article, a woman has just asked me to look<br />

after her child in a highchair, whilst she<br />

ferries all of their stuff down the stairs to<br />

her own mother, who’s waiting with the<br />

other child. When I tell her what I am<br />

writing about, she laughs and says, “Oh it’s<br />

a nightmare!” There. Proof. Travelling with<br />

kids is hard.<br />

For LGBTQ+ families, it can be even<br />

harder.<br />

No place is 100% safe for any family.<br />

Yet, LGBTQ+ parents have additional<br />

considerations to discern, especially in<br />

the context of common heteronormative<br />

expectations.<br />

And for LGBTQ+ parents, who might<br />

have once been able to fly under the<br />

‘heteronormative radar’ as a travelling<br />

individual or couple, the addition of<br />

children to their family changes everything.<br />

Holidays are about connecting as a<br />

family, relaxing together, and absorbing<br />

different experiences. It is normal to want<br />

to protect your family and not expose your<br />

children to homophobia, transphobia, or<br />

biphobia.<br />

So how do you prepare for a LGBTQ+<br />

family holiday abroad?<br />


Top tips<br />

FOR LGBTQ+<br />



ABROAD<br />

Research your<br />

destination<br />

Which countries are safe<br />

for your family? What are<br />

their laws about LGBTQ+<br />

rights? According to the Human Dignity<br />

Trust homosexual activity is illegal in sixtyfive<br />

countries. It is also important to be<br />

aware of how these laws are enforced. For<br />

example, in the Maldives, homosexuality<br />

and same-sex marriage are illegal and<br />

punishable by prison and one hundred<br />

lashes for both gay men and lesbians, but<br />

these laws are largely ignored on the island<br />

resorts where tourists stay. Many LGBTQ+<br />

tourists are happy to enjoy that privilege,<br />

whilst others are not. It is a personal choice.<br />

However, laws are laws and it is important<br />

that you understand what the potential legal<br />

risks are if these laws are enforced.<br />

If you have only ever travelled<br />

domestically with your children, consider<br />

starting small. Get confident, then progress<br />

into more challenging travel. First off, book<br />

an all-inclusive holiday with an LGBTQ+<br />

friendly travel company like Destination<br />

Rainbow or through IGLTA (<strong>International</strong><br />

LGBTQ+ Travel Association), rather than<br />

do independent travel. Alternatively, choose<br />

a country you are already familiar with; one<br />

where you know that the laws and locals are<br />

inclusive.<br />

Transiting through intolerant countries<br />

on route to your destination can add to your<br />

stresses. It may be easier for your nerves to<br />

fly routes that stopover in countries where<br />

LGBTQ+ people are legal. However, if<br />

you find that you need a night in a hotel<br />

between flights, major chain airport hotels<br />

are often a better choice. It all depends on<br />

your safety comfort levels. Do your research<br />

and decide what is right level of safety for<br />

your family.<br />

Select LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation<br />

When my wife and I travel, we tend to stay<br />

in hotels, rather than ‘family-owned’ guest<br />

houses or a Bed and Breakfast in someone’s<br />

private home. It reduces the chance of your<br />

holiday being ruined by a host who reacts<br />

negatively to your family. Search for hotel<br />

chains who are committed to equality in<br />

the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s<br />

Corporate Equality Index (USA based).<br />

It is a benchmarking tool that measures<br />

which companies are best for LGBTQ+<br />

employees. The list includes major hotel<br />

chains, many of which also have hotels<br />

outside of the USA. Equally, search online<br />

to find one of the companies that specialise<br />

in LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation<br />

internationally.<br />

Consider pre booking a car through<br />

your hotel to pick you up from the airport.<br />

When you’re tired after a long flight and<br />

everything is unfamiliar, a hotel car is a<br />

good safer option. Whilst it very much<br />

depends on the country, drivers are<br />

commonly insured, licensed and therefore<br />

accountable, should anything happen.<br />

Again, you might also like to consider an<br />

all-inclusive holiday. With an all-inclusive<br />

you do not have to leave the hotel much<br />

and staff will be more used to international<br />

visitors and LGBTQ+ people.<br />

“If you have only ever travelled domestically with your<br />

children, consider starting small.”<br />

Bring your documentation!<br />

At international borders it is normal to<br />

expect extra levels of scrutiny. Having the<br />


correct paperwork is critical for streamlining<br />

these processes for your family. Imagine,<br />

you are two gay dads travelling with your<br />

young kids, without the right paperwork.<br />

To an official, you are effectively two men<br />

travelling with two young children who do<br />

not share your name. That is certainly going<br />

to raise alarm bells!<br />

Bring proof of adoption (especially if<br />

your kids are young and cannot speak for<br />

themselves). If a parent is not on the birth<br />

certificate, make sure to carry a notarised<br />

letter from the parent who is on the birth<br />

certificate.<br />

In case of emergency, who has rights<br />

of access or making decisions about<br />

medical care? If you are married, carry a<br />

copy of your marriage certificate or civil<br />

partnership with you, in case one of you<br />

ends up in hospital. That way you can<br />

prove you are married and permitted to<br />

visit your husband/wife. Equally, for a<br />

medical emergency with your children,<br />

without proof of being their parent, you<br />

are unlikely to be given permission to go in<br />

the ambulance or stay with them if they are<br />

admitted to hospital. Also make sure too<br />

that your insurance documents include your<br />

name AND your child’s.<br />

“As a foreigner, it is always wise to play it safe and remember that you<br />

are in another country with different laws, cultures, and customs.”<br />

Most of the time you will be fine with<br />

no problems, but it is always a good idea<br />

to have documentation as your back up.<br />

The last thing you want in an emergency, if<br />

scrutinised, is to not be able to prove who<br />

you are and your relationships to each other.<br />

Do not assume either that you will be in<br />

a state to protect your wishes around your<br />

body. As a transgender person, if you have<br />

an accident and are found unconscious, you<br />

may be more vulnerable to discrimination.<br />

Whilst this is an extreme circumstance,<br />

accidents do happen. Imagining a worstcase<br />

scenario may help you to choose which<br />

countries you travel to.<br />

Be prepared to answer questions<br />

We live in a heteronormative society, with<br />

all the expectations and questions that go<br />

with that. Just like when they are at home,<br />

two dads might be asked, “Where’s their<br />

mother?” or one gay dad by the pool, might<br />

get “it’s so nice you’ve taken the kids on<br />

holiday. I bet your wife loves you!”<br />

Most people do not even realise the<br />

mistake they are making in asking. It is<br />

usually innocent ignorance, but how you<br />

answer sets an example to your kids. How<br />

you answer may also change depending<br />

on the country you are in. Before you<br />

travel, give some thought to how you might<br />

answer these types of questions in different<br />

scenarios. That way, you will not be taken<br />

off guard and be grappling to provide an<br />

answer that matches the situation. As a<br />

foreigner, it is always wise to play it safe and<br />

remember that you are in another country<br />

with different laws, cultures, and customs.<br />

What works at home, may not work as well<br />

in your holiday destination. A good rule of<br />

thumb is ‘be polite and more conservative<br />

with your responses if you’re unsure.’<br />

Travelling as an LGBTQ+ family can be<br />

fun, but it does include extra considerations<br />

and planning to ensure you stay safe. Of<br />

course, there are always circumstances you<br />

cannot control, and countries which are<br />

more dangerous to LGBTQ+ families than<br />

others. Yet, with research and using the<br />

LGBTQ+ friendly resources wisely, there is<br />

an awful lot of the world to safely enjoy and<br />

discover!<br />


MOVING ON:<br />

How Families Can Navigate<br />

Global Transitions<br />



At some point, most ex-pat families<br />

are likely to move countries, for<br />

sure, it’s no mean feat relocating<br />

your family to pastures new.<br />

Claire Holmes, Head of <strong>School</strong><br />

Counselling, Tanglin Trust <strong>School</strong>,<br />

Singapore has been an expat for 25 years; in<br />

her professional role she is passionate about<br />

facilitating smooth transitions, helping<br />

young people and their families consider<br />

relocation carefully. Her work inspired the<br />

Moving On Series which comprises of<br />

two activity books, the first, Leaving Well<br />

and the second, Arriving Well, there’s a<br />

Facilitator’s Guide too. In this article Claire<br />

shares some tips for global transitions and<br />

about her new series.<br />

Preparation is key<br />

Once you know you’re uprooting, the key to<br />

a successful move is preparing in advance.<br />

Being intentional about transitioning well<br />

ensures important parts of the moving<br />

process are not forgotten. How we leave a<br />

place greatly impacts how we arrive at the<br />

next. If we leave well, chances are we’ll<br />

arrive well too. Moving is a time when<br />

children feel a lack of control; however, they<br />

feel empowered if they engage with their<br />

leaving process as much as possible.<br />

When should you tell your children about<br />

the move?<br />

A general rule of thumb is, when you know<br />

for sure you are moving, it’s time to tell<br />

your child/ren. It’s vital that children find<br />

out from you first to maintain trust. In your<br />

conversation, let them know why the family<br />

is moving and do your best to answer any<br />

questions. All children react differently<br />

when they receive the news, depending<br />

upon their age and affinity to their current<br />

country; this can vary from excitement to<br />

reluctance and anything in between.<br />

What to bear in mind<br />

You’ll most likely be bombarded with<br />

questions, you may not know the answers<br />

to some, this gives you a chance to research<br />

together or help your child embrace the<br />

unknown. Transitions are a time to boost<br />

listening skills, listen more than you talk,<br />

keep the ‘door open’ for conversations. Take<br />

opportunities to let your child/ren know<br />

what they’re experiencing sounds normal,<br />

you get that it’s tricky, but you know they<br />

can cope and you’re ready to support them.<br />

Give as many choices as possible, about the<br />

move and in general, this is empowering.<br />

Even if you are not totally sure about your<br />

global transition, stay positive but listen<br />

to your child’s perceived challenges too.<br />

Make time for your own self-care, this will<br />

help you be calmer and more measured in<br />

supporting your children.<br />

Leaving well<br />

You and your children will most likely<br />

experience the pre-departure rollercoaster<br />

of emotions, perhaps, feeling both excited<br />

and scared, and other feelings too. On the<br />

right is the acronym GUTS 2 (the 2 indicates<br />

there are two S’ to consider), a checklist of<br />

sorts which provides the nuts and bolts for a<br />

smooth exit, and therefore, a smooth entry.<br />

The Leaving Well Activity Book helps the<br />

‘the leaver’ understand and plan around<br />

these five points.<br />

How to find the GUTS 2 to<br />

leave well<br />

is for Goodbye: plan how to say<br />

G farewell to the four P’s: people,<br />

places, pets, and possessions.<br />

is for Unload Feelings: acknowledge<br />

U and express how you feel about the<br />

move.<br />

is for Thank you: think about how to<br />

T say thank you to people who have<br />

made a difference.<br />

S<br />

S<br />

is for Self-care: look after yourself to<br />

boost wellbeing<br />

is for Say hello: get curious about<br />

your new destination<br />


Top 10 tips to arrive well:<br />

#1 - Be Brave<br />

#2 - Be approachable and smile<br />

#3 - Keep curious<br />

#4 - Be yourself<br />

#5- Be kind<br />

#6 - Be grateful<br />

#7 - Focus on your strengths<br />

#8 - Remember your old place<br />

#9 - Make your bedroom a haven<br />

#10 - Ask for help<br />

Arriving well<br />

On arrival, most of us enter ‘a honeymoon<br />

phase’ where things are exciting and<br />

different but okay. For most of us, at some<br />

point, we take off our metaphorical rosecoloured<br />

glasses and things seem different<br />

but not okay. This is often referred to as<br />

Culture Shock. The good news is that<br />

humans are built for survival, we adapt<br />

to our new environment after a while.<br />

Things like taking time to connect with the<br />

community; taking children to local sports<br />

or cultural events, encouraging friendships,<br />

and getting familiar with the new place will<br />

all help with adjustment. If a new language<br />

is spoken, learn some basic words, this may<br />

be something you do together. Above are<br />

The Moving On Series top tips for arriving<br />

well. These are important things for ‘the<br />

arriver’ to consider and are expanded upon<br />

in The Arriving Well Activity Book.<br />

Strong relationships will get you through<br />

Ups and downs are inevitable. The<br />

bedrock of being able to support fully is<br />

a kind, understanding and ideally playful<br />

relationship. Prioritise time spent with your<br />

child/ren, actively engage in activities and<br />

times of just being, this will help create a<br />

sense of safety. If you feel that your child’s<br />

daily functioning (or your own) is impacted<br />

do seek extra support.<br />

Growing strong<br />

Change is unsettling, yet it is a part of<br />

life, resilience is built when children learn<br />

change is manageable. Global transitions<br />

provide much learning about adapting and<br />

coping, letting go and embracing the new.<br />

This is a time for you and your family to<br />

explore, dream, discover and grow in ways<br />

you never thought possible.<br />

More about the books<br />

The Moving On Series is a<br />

set of 3 books designed for<br />

6–12-year-olds to support<br />

global transitions . There<br />

are two activity books<br />

and a guide. The guide<br />

is designed for the lead<br />

adult to facilitate both<br />

activity books, helping<br />

the child get the most out<br />

of the pages. The activity<br />

books are jam-packed with activities that invite the reader to use<br />

their creativity by annotating and illustrating. This makes the book<br />

unique to each child, helping them be an active participant in the move.<br />

Wellbeing boosting strategies are shared for transition and beyond. It’s<br />

not only for the kids, though, as it’s based on research there’s much<br />

wisdom for adults too!<br />

Book 1 - Leaving Well Activity Book: designed to be given to children<br />

moving to a new country around 8-weeks before departure to help<br />

them leave and arrive well.<br />

Book 2 - Arriving Well<br />

Activity Book: designed<br />

to be given to children on<br />

arrival to help them settle<br />

into their new country.<br />

Book 3 - Moving On<br />

Facilitators Guide:<br />

designed to help a lead<br />

adult support children<br />

navigate Books 1 & 2.<br />

Acclaim for The Moving On Series:<br />

“TCK Pioneer, David Pollock, always said “You have to leave well to<br />

enter well.” This wonderful, practical series give parents, educators,<br />

and counsellors practical tools to help children do just that. The<br />

child friendly activity books give opportunity for children to process<br />

their often-paradoxical feelings during each phase of the move. The<br />

Facilitators Guide is clear on how to<br />

best use the material. This series will<br />

be a most welcome addition to those<br />

seeking to create a smooth transition<br />

for children moving on.” Ruth E Van<br />

Reken. Co-author: Third Culture Kids:<br />

Growing Up Among Worlds.<br />

The Moving On Series is available<br />

from major retailers that include<br />

Amazon UK, Amazon SG, WHSmith<br />

and Waterstones and direct from<br />

the publishers Routledge. Search<br />

for Claire Holmes Moving On and<br />

you’ll see the texts.<br />


“Moving is a time when children feel a lack of control; however, they feel<br />

empowered if they engage with their leaving process as much as possible.”<br />



Different Decade,<br />

Different Drug<br />

What <strong>Parent</strong>s Need to Know<br />

About Cannabis in <strong>2024</strong><br />


Over the past several decades, the<br />

public perception of the risks<br />

associated with cannabis has seen<br />

a marked decline. This shift is largely due<br />

to the increased legalisation for adult use,<br />

the recognition of cannabis’s medicinal<br />

uses, and the development of a wide<br />

array of cannabis products, from edibles<br />

like chocolates and gummies to tinctures.<br />

In major cities, some restaurants have<br />

even begun to offer a complete “cannabis<br />

experience,” serving guests multi-course<br />

meals infused with cannabis, underscoring<br />

just how significantly the world of weed has<br />

transformed.<br />

For parents today, especially those with<br />

teenagers, it’s crucial to understand that<br />

despite these changing social norms and the<br />

decreased perception of risk, the reality of<br />

cannabis use has shifted dramatically. This<br />

evolution isn’t just about the legal status<br />

or the wide variety of products available;<br />

it’s about the fundamental changes in the<br />

potency and composition of cannabis–<br />

and the volume of misinformation that<br />

young people must navigate. With<br />

legalisation, the growing cannabis industry,<br />

and widespread commercial availability,<br />

a significant increase in potency of the<br />

psychoactive ingredient in cannabis,<br />

tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), means more<br />

risks to users than ever before.<br />

The Evolution of Cannabis<br />

To truly capture how cannabis has changed<br />

more in the past 30 years compared to the<br />

thousands of years the plant has existed,<br />

let’s dive into the evolution of cannabis.<br />

Cannabis often evokes images of the<br />

1960s and 1970s counterculture, symbolised<br />

by landmarks such as the Woodstock Music<br />

Festival and the Vietnam War. It was a<br />

period when the cannabis plant was widely<br />

regarded as “all-natural.” During those<br />

decades, THC levels, the psychoactive<br />

component in cannabis, hovered at<br />

only 1%—by today’s standards,<br />

decidedly less potent.<br />

Throughout the 1980s and<br />

1990s, THC levels modestly<br />

increased, ranging from 3-5%.<br />

The 1990s, in particular, saw a<br />

symbiosis between pop culture<br />

with music icons like Nirvana<br />

increasingly embracing and<br />

integrating cannabis culture into<br />

its identity.<br />

This period turned cannabis<br />

from a countercultural symbol to a<br />

mainstream and horticultural product.<br />

This shift was underscored in 1996 when<br />

California led the way in legalising cannabis<br />


for medical purposes, signifying a new era<br />

in cannabis cultivation. By the decade’s<br />

close, the average THC content<br />

in cannabis plants had risen to<br />

approximately 5%.<br />

The trend of increasing<br />

potency continued into<br />

the 2000s and 2010s,<br />

with THC levels<br />

nearly doubling from<br />

5% to 10% between<br />

2000 and 2010.<br />

This surge can<br />

be attributed to a<br />

deeper scientific<br />

understanding<br />

of the plant and<br />

advancements<br />

in cultivation<br />

techniques, marking<br />

a new chapter in the<br />

history of cannabis.<br />

But 2014, was the year<br />

that changed the cannabis<br />

plant and the global supply chain<br />

of the drug forever. Over a decade<br />

later in <strong>2024</strong>, one thing is for certain —<br />

cannabis available is not your grandpa’s<br />

Woodstock weed.<br />

The Green Rush<br />

In 2014, Colorado made history by<br />

becoming the first state in the United<br />

States to legalise cannabis use for adults<br />

over the age of 21. This landmark decision<br />

altered public perception of the safety of<br />

cannabis use and initiated a significant<br />

transformation in the cannabis industry,<br />

particularly concerning THC potency.<br />

Heralded as “The Green Rush,” the<br />

period after 2014 was characterised by<br />

intense competition within the cannabis<br />

market. Legalisation in Colorado effectively<br />

sanctioned a burgeoning billion-dollar<br />

industry, and the main metric of cannabis<br />

quality, and in turn price, became its<br />

potency, primarily measured by the THC<br />

content. The message was clear: the higher<br />

THC level, the higher the quality of the<br />

cannabis, and the greater its potential<br />

market price.<br />

Investment surged into the cannabis<br />

industry, channelling funds into advanced<br />

horticultural techniques and the innovation<br />

of new products such as edibles, THC oil,<br />

and THC wax. This influx of capital also<br />

financed marketing campaigns with budgets<br />

rivalling those of major alcohol and tobacco<br />

corporations.<br />

In 2014, Colorado’s cannabis industry<br />

generated $680 million in revenue. By<br />

2022, this figure had escalated to $1.1<br />

billion annually from sales within the state<br />

of Colorado alone. Furthermore, from the<br />

time cannabis was legalised in Colorado<br />

in 2014 up until September 2023, the total<br />

revenue reached an astounding $15 billion.<br />

So what product are available to young<br />

people today, and how risky is cannabis<br />

actually?<br />

Modern-Day Cannabis<br />

The cannabis industry has diversified<br />

its offerings, introducing a range of new<br />

cannabis products available due to newer<br />

horticultural and laboratory techniques.<br />

The most recognisable form of cannabis,<br />

the cannabis flower, is characterised by its<br />

symbolic leaf. It is primarily cultivated for<br />

its flowers—green, often sticky, and fragrant<br />

“The notion that the cannabis flower remains a purely<br />

natural product is misleading today. ”<br />

buds rich in cannabinoids like THC and<br />

CBD. This form of cannabis, perceived<br />

as “all-natural,” is what many readily<br />

identify.<br />

However, the notion that<br />

the cannabis flower remains<br />

a purely natural product<br />

is misleading today.<br />

Advances in genetic<br />

modification have<br />

significantly boosted<br />

THC potency,<br />

from about 1% in<br />

the ‘60s and ‘70s<br />

to levels that can<br />

reach up to 38% in<br />

today’s most potent<br />

strains.<br />

Edible products<br />

are increasingly<br />

popular, and this<br />

method of consumption<br />

has increased since the<br />

widespread legalisation of<br />

cannabis. Ranging from gummies<br />

and chocolates to mints, edibles<br />

offer a variety of choices. It’s essential to<br />

distinguish between the effects of ingesting<br />

THC through edibles and inhaling it, as<br />

the body processes these forms differently,<br />

presenting unique risks that warrant further<br />

discussion. When inhaled the psychoactive<br />

effects can occur within 1-3 minutes, when<br />

eaten, cannabis can take anywhere from 30-<br />

90 minutes for individuals to feel the effects.<br />

Edibles have not only captivated a<br />

younger demographic with cleverly named<br />

products that look like popular candy<br />

brands like “Stoney Patch Kids” but also<br />

appeal to those seeking a more discreet and<br />

convenient consumption method.<br />

Vaping THC oil is also becoming a<br />

preferred method of cannabis consumption<br />

by teenagers. THC oil, a concentrated<br />

extract from the cannabis flower, is<br />

available in cartridges called “carts” by<br />

young people or available in disposable<br />

pre-filled vaporizers or “vapes.” Its potency<br />

far exceeds that of traditional smoking<br />

methods, contributing to the rising<br />

preference for vaping THC among young<br />

adults, a trend with significant implications<br />

for their health and well-being. THC<br />

potency can range from anywhere between<br />

20-90% THC.<br />

Cannabis concentrates, the most recent<br />

form of the substance, have become more<br />

accessible post-legalisation. These products,<br />


esembling ear wax in appearance and<br />

known as wax, shatter, or dabs, are created<br />

by extracting THC with chemicals to<br />

produce extremely potent concentrates.<br />

With THC levels that can soar to 99%,<br />

concentrates deliver a powerful and rapid<br />

effect, posing a heightened risk of overdose<br />

for those with low THC tolerance.<br />

The Risks<br />

High-potency cannabis, defined as<br />

containing over 20% THC or more than 10<br />

mg of THC per serving, is the new normal.<br />

This shift towards stronger cannabis<br />

products raises significant questions about<br />

its impact and risk, particularly for parents<br />

of teenagers.<br />

Cannabis has emerged as the leading<br />

cause for substance-related treatment<br />

among young people in the United States,<br />

with teenagers being particularly susceptible<br />

to addiction due to their developing brains.<br />

Contrary to the longstanding myth that<br />

cannabis is non-addictive, recent findings<br />

highlight the tangible mental health risks<br />

associated with high-potency cannabis use.<br />

These include:<br />

• A notable rise in addiction rates is<br />

evidenced by a 76% increase in individuals<br />

seeking treatment for cannabis use disorder<br />

in Europe.<br />

• An increased likelihood of experiencing<br />

anxiety and depression later in life.<br />

• A heightened risk of developing<br />

schizophrenia, particularly for<br />

those with a familial history<br />

of psychotic disorders.<br />

• More pronounced<br />

withdrawal symptoms<br />

such as mood and<br />

sleep disturbances<br />

associated with the<br />

cessation of highpotency<br />

cannabis<br />

use.<br />

Ongoing<br />

research continues<br />

to investigate the<br />

long-term effects<br />

of cannabis use<br />

on memory and<br />

cognitive functions,<br />

indicating that our<br />

understanding of these<br />

effects is still evolving.<br />

However, the impact of<br />

cannabis on the developing<br />

adolescent brain is well-known among<br />

“Ongoing research continues to investigate the long-term effects<br />

of cannabis use on memory and cognitive functions, indicating<br />

that our understanding of these effects is still evolving. ”<br />

addiction experts.<br />

Among the notable impacts of highpotency<br />

cannabis on teenagers are a range<br />

of concerning symptoms and potential<br />

long-term consequences. One such<br />

emerging condition is cannabis hyperemesis<br />

syndrome, characterised by episodes of<br />

uncontrollable vomiting as a result of<br />

continued long-time use of the drug.<br />

Additionally, the risk of addiction escalates<br />

with the frequent use of high-potency<br />

cannabis, which can also precipitate<br />

episodes of psychosis. Such episodes<br />

have the potential to evolve into lifelong<br />

psychiatric conditions.<br />

Studies also indicate changes in brain<br />

anatomy and connectivity, alongside<br />

impairments in memory, as potential<br />

outcomes of regular high-potency cannabis<br />

use. Furthermore, there’s an increased<br />

likelihood of teenagers developing<br />

depression and experiencing suicidal<br />

thoughts.<br />

These findings underscore the<br />

importance for parents to be well-informed<br />

about the evolving nature of cannabis and<br />

its amplified risks, particularly in guiding<br />

their teenagers through formative brain<br />

development years.<br />

What <strong>Parent</strong>s Can Do<br />

As cannabis becomes more potent and<br />

its legal status changes, parents play a key<br />

role in guiding their teenagers. Keeping up<br />

with the latest cannabis research and facts<br />

about the substance is crucial. If think your<br />

child is exposed to misinformation about<br />

cannabis, sit down with them and model<br />

media literacy by referencing reputable<br />

sources of information such as your<br />

country’s health ministry website, where you<br />

will be able to access the latest information<br />

on cannabis addiction rates, hospitalisations,<br />

and more. Other excellent resources include<br />

the National Institute on Drug Abuse<br />

(NIDA) or Substance Abuse and Mental<br />

Health Services Administration.<br />

Clear rules about cannabis use at home<br />

are essential. <strong>Parent</strong>s need to be clear<br />

about what is the rules are and what the<br />

consequences of breaking these rules.<br />

Since stress often leads young people to<br />

try substances like alcohol and cannabis<br />

parents need to model healthy ways to deal<br />

with stress and encourage their teenagers<br />

to communicate any mental health<br />

concerns.<br />

Explaining the importance<br />

of delaying the use of<br />

alcohol and other drugs is<br />

crucial, especially since<br />

the teenage brain is<br />

still developing and is<br />

more vulnerable to<br />

their harmful effects.<br />

By encouraging<br />

open conversations,<br />

correcting<br />

misinformation, and<br />

providing accurate<br />

information, parents<br />

can help their teenagers<br />

make informed decisions<br />

about cannabis. This not<br />

only protects the wellbeing<br />

of young people but<br />

also leads to a healthier, more<br />

knowledgeable generation ready to<br />

face the complex and evolving landscape<br />

of cannabis and other drugs.<br />




Harnessing the Power of <strong>Parent</strong>al Mental<br />

Health Literacy in <strong>International</strong> <strong>School</strong>s<br />


Amidst the dynamic blend of<br />

cultures and learning within<br />

international schools, there lies<br />

an invaluable yet often overlooked asset:<br />

equipping parents with the essential tools<br />

of mental health awareness to navigate the<br />

complexities of their children’s emotional<br />

landscapes.<br />

As adolescents traverse the complex<br />

journey of their own well-being, parents<br />

stand as key stakeholders in recognising and<br />

addressing the challenges their<br />

children face.<br />

Mental health literacy is defined as the<br />

knowledge and understanding necessary<br />

to recognise, manage, and prevent mental<br />

health disorders, and it is a cornerstone of<br />

effective support systems.<br />

Mental health literacy can be further<br />

broken down into a few different factors:<br />

• The ability to recognise mental<br />

disorders.<br />

• Knowledge of treatments available.<br />

• Attitudes that promote recognition<br />

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PARENT SPRING <strong>2024</strong> | 66<br />

of mental health problems and<br />

appropriate help-seeking.<br />

• Skills to support others with mental<br />

health problems.<br />

Did you know that research shows that<br />

international students have lower mental<br />

health literacy and help-seeking attitudes<br />

than domestic students?<br />

This highlights the pivotal role of<br />

parental awareness in fostering resilience<br />

and coping mechanisms in adolescents,<br />

correlating heightened parental

“Mental health literacy is defined as the knowledge and understanding<br />

necessary to recognise, manage, and prevent mental health disorders, and it<br />

is a cornerstone of effective support systems.”<br />

understanding with improved mental wellbeing<br />

outcomes.<br />

The age of onset for various mental<br />

health disorders also underscores the<br />

critical importance of early intervention<br />

and awareness. Contrary to popular belief,<br />

mental health concerns can manifest at<br />

remarkably young ages.<br />

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder<br />

(ADHD) and anxiety, for instance, often<br />

rear their heads as early as 5.5 years<br />

old, while disorders such as obsessivecompulsive<br />

disorder (OCD) and eating<br />

disorders become apparent around<br />

14.5 years old.<br />

These findings debunk the notion<br />

that mental health concerns<br />

emerge solely in adulthood,<br />

emphasising the critical role<br />

of parental vigilance during<br />

childhood and adolescence.<br />

Statistics from the National<br />

Alliance on Mental Illness<br />

(NAMI) and the World Health<br />

Organization (WHO) reveal<br />

alarming trends regarding<br />

the prevalence and impact<br />

of mental health disorders<br />

among adolescents.<br />

According to NAMI,<br />

three-quarters of mental<br />

illnesses begin before<br />

the age of 24, with half<br />

emerging by age 14. Similarly,<br />

WHO data highlights the<br />

global burden of mental health<br />

disorders among young people,<br />

with depression being the leading<br />

cause of disability worldwide<br />

among adolescents aged 15 to 19.<br />

By equipping parents with<br />

the knowledge and tools to<br />

understand and manage the<br />

mental health of their children<br />

from an early age, we empower<br />

them to navigate life’s challenges<br />

with resilience and confidence.<br />

Empirical research further highlights<br />

the benefits of early detection and<br />

intervention in mitigating the adverse<br />

effects of mental health disorders.<br />

Studies published in peer-reviewed<br />

journals consistently demonstrate that<br />

timely recognition and support can alleviate<br />

symptoms, improve functioning, and<br />

prevent long-term complications.<br />

Moreover, longitudinal studies<br />

provide compelling evidence of the<br />

enduring benefits of early intervention,<br />

highlighting the potential for positive<br />

outcomes throughout adolescence and into<br />

adulthood.<br />

In the context of international school<br />

communities, the challenges and stressors<br />

associated with migration can compound<br />

the complexities of adolescent mental<br />

health.<br />

The decision to migrate to another<br />

country can introduce a myriad of<br />

opportunities and challenges, with<br />

profound implications for mental health.<br />

While the prospect of cultural immersion<br />

can enrich one’s worldview, it also entails<br />

navigating unfamiliar environments and<br />

coping with the stressors of adaptation.<br />

For children and adolescents and also<br />

their parents, this transition may evoke<br />

feelings of isolation, identity confusion,<br />

or heightened anxiety. Recognising the<br />

potential impact of migration on mental<br />

health underscores the need for<br />

proactive support systems within<br />

international school communities.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>al attitude towards<br />

schooling also influences child<br />

development, and whether a<br />

parent enjoyed school often<br />

then impacts how heavily<br />

they want to be engaged<br />

in their own child’s<br />

education.<br />

It would be ideal for<br />

all parents to want to<br />

be heavily involved in<br />

their child’s education<br />

and, subsequently,<br />

their well-being, but it’s<br />

understandable that some<br />

parents will have negative, and<br />

sometimes even traumatic,<br />

memories of their own time at<br />

school.<br />

If a school has a large<br />

proportion of parents that did<br />

not enjoy their own education,<br />

and this is translating onto the<br />

proportion of parents who are<br />

engaged, it could be important<br />

to find ways to involve parents<br />

in their child’s education in a<br />

non-traditional way.<br />

Tied to this, some parents<br />

might have preconceived ideas<br />

that schools should be purely<br />


for education and not be a place where<br />

children are taught about mental health.<br />

Although it is important to understand<br />

these viewpoints, and these views could<br />

be tied to parents caring more about their<br />

child’s academic performance than their<br />

mental health, the reality is that children<br />

learn about their physical health in school,<br />

and mental health is equally as important<br />

as physical health.<br />

Therefore, instead of accepting this<br />

reluctance to combine education and<br />

mental health support, the school needs<br />

to find a better way to communicate the<br />

benefits of discussing mental health within<br />

schools for their child’s well-being.<br />

Academic success cannot be a<br />

benchmark of fulfilled potential if it comes<br />

at the expense of the child’s well-being.<br />

OTII® for Education offers tailored,<br />

term by term well-being solutions that are<br />

designed to address the specific needs of<br />

each school community.<br />

By using an evidence based-data<br />

approach we focus on promoting ‘whole<br />

school’ well-being, encompassing not only<br />

students from Grade 3 and up, but also<br />

teachers, support staff and naturally the<br />

mental health literacy of parents.<br />

In conclusion, nurturing mental health<br />

literacy among parents is paramount in<br />

safeguarding the<br />

well-being of<br />

adolescents within<br />

international<br />

school settings.<br />

By dispelling<br />

misconceptions,<br />

raising awareness,<br />

and promoting<br />

proactive<br />

intervention,<br />

“<strong>Parent</strong>al attitude towards schooling also<br />

influences child development, and whether a<br />

parent enjoyed school often then impacts how<br />

heavily they want to be engaged in their own<br />

child’s education.”<br />

parents can become invaluable allies in the<br />

journey towards mental fitness.<br />

As we strive to cultivate inclusive and<br />

nurturing educational environments, let us<br />

recognise the profound impact of mental<br />

health literacy in shaping the future of our<br />

children and communities alike.<br />

Join us in our mission to create nurturing<br />

and inclusive educational environments<br />

by prioritising mental well-being for<br />

everyone, every day. Let’s work together<br />

to shape a brighter future for our children<br />

and communities. Reach out to us today<br />

to learn more about how we can support<br />

your school community’s well-being<br />

journey.<br />

OTII® is not another happiness app or work benefit. Our mission to make the worlds of<br />

work and learning better goes deeper. We start by giving you a clear view of wellbeing<br />

in your organisation. Then we help you put happiness and humanity at the<br />

centre.<br />

It’s easy to see the appeal of stress management schemes and weekend<br />

retreats. They seem like an easy way to offset the problems of a highperforming<br />

culture. Stressed? Try yoga. Disillusioned? There’s an app for that.<br />

The truth is you need to embed well-being at the core<br />

of your business or place of learning. Our datadriven<br />

approach gives you the tools you need to<br />

support the mental health of those you have a<br />

duty of care for, not just for now, but for a lifetime.<br />

Discover how OTII® can transform well-being in<br />

your organisation. Visit our website or message<br />

hello@otii.io to learn more.<br />


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