by Sarah Frei, Head of Admissions & External Relations at Brillantmont International School
Switzerland is well-known for many things – mountains, skiing, amazing scenery, watches and of course chocolate! Yet, there is one domain, known to an exclusive elite – boarding schools.
Founded decades ago, they are considered among the best in the world and offer an internationally recognised education, which opens doors worldwide. Switzerland has a long history of hosting students from all over the world in its exceptional private boarding schools. The multicultural landscape, with four official languages – French, German, Italian and Romansch – is conducive to an international community, in which students can live and breathe intercultural understanding on a daily basis. The safety and security, the discretion and the very exclusiveness are all factors which appeal to those families who seek something unique for their child. Switzerland is an amazing place to live and learn.
Brillantmont International School is one such school. It is the oldest school in Switzerland which has been owned by the same family since its foundation, in 1882.
Small private boarding schools ensure that class sizes do not get too big. When your child is living away from home, it is important that they have a sense of family. You want your Swiss boarding school to be a home-away-from-home, your own international family. The smaller schools, like ours, are able to provide this with a lot of close, individualised attention given to each student.
Another great benefit of smaller boarding schools, is that they may have a nationality quota. This means that the number of students from any given country is controlled to provide the maximum amount of diversity at each class level.
The exclusivity of the school is enhanced by this policy, as well as the rich experience that students have. Your child will be paired with a student from another country in the boarding houses and everyone leaves the school with friendships crossing national borders that will last a lifetime.
Academics can also be better tailored according to the needs of the student if the class sizes are small. Teachers are able to give each student their full attention which in turn leads to more confidence on the students’ part and better learning outcomes. If a student is struggling in any particular area, staff and teachers will recognise it right away, before it becomes a bigger issue, and can ensure that the child gets the support they need.
An international network for life
Giving a child exposure to other cultures, customs, and languages at a young age opens their mind up to improved critical thinking, a more open perspective on the world, and a sense of empowerment when it comes to their own culture. Most Swiss boarding schools celebrate their international demographic with annual cultural fairs, cross-cultural international nights, and other ways in which students can share their traditions and customs with those around them.
The long-lasting friendships that are made at boarding school are also one of the big benefits of studying abroad. Having strong connections in the future with ambitious professionals across the globe will be incredibly helpful for students as they grow into their careers. This is increasingly true as the world becomes truly globalised and business often transcends borders and cultural confines. Sending your child to study abroad gives them the tools to face this kind of world.
Growing beyond the classroom
A boarding school experience in Switzerland offers numerous opportunities for growth and learning beyond the classroom, pushing boundaries to take risks and become courageous individuals. This may simply mean stepping out of the comfort zone to try a new activity, to put themselves forward as a Student Leader, to reach out to new friendship groups.
The after-school clubs here at Brillantmont appeal to everyone and offer a full and complete range of interests, from sports, to culture, to creative activities and service learning.
Weekend excursions include outdoor adventures hiking or skiing in the Alps or trips to museums or historical sites across Switzerland. Students also love being able to spend time in the bigger cities such as Zurich or Geneva for shopping, movies, bowling, or other fun activities. Your child will never be bored at boarding school!
Boarding school abroad is an excellent opportunity to build self-confidence. Leaving home is a nerve-racking experience and even more so, when it’s half way across the world and when you may not speak the language!
Swiss boarding schools place a lot of attention on academic excellence but equally on well-being. The careful care that the staff and teachers take with all the students allows every one of them to flourish to the best of their abilities. Being able to explore their talents and abilities in a safe, supportive environment and seeing what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it and have the right support, gives students improved self-esteem and develops confidence.
Independence and responsibility
In addition, boarding school fosters independence in children, as growing confidence favours resilience and autonomy. As students get older at boarding school, they are increasingly given new responsibilities and many take on leadership roles, such as House Leader.
The independence gained from a good boarding school experience is an excellent way to prepare for life at a university. By going through the adjustments of being away from home at a younger age, and with additional support from a boarding school, students feel a lot more prepared and ready to attend university than children who stay home and haven’t had to develop such skills.
These are just a few reasons why a boarding school in Switzerland could be the right choice for your child. There are many more though, so if you’d like to find out more about what Brillantmont can do for your child, why not fix a call now?
Brillantmont International School
Founded in 1882, Brillantmont International School is one of the oldest boarding schools in Switzerland and is still owned and run by the founding family.
The school welcomes boarding and day students, aged 13-18 (Grades 8-12) from over 30 nationalities. Students follow stimulating courses leading to internationally recognised examinations (British IGCSE, A Level; American High School Diploma with SAT and IELTS).