Image Credit: HIF/Mayk Wendt

An international boarding school education in Switzerland is a life-transforming experience. The friendships formed on a campus representing more than 30 nations will help shape the rest of a young person’s life. 

School becomes their community, their home away from home. The choice of school therefore must be a family decision and it is a choice inextricably bound up with the question of location and the value it attaches to children’s learning, their well-being and their prospects for the future.

Swiss educationalists were the first to point out that young people learn best when they feel valued and are treated with respect and kindness. Their powerful ideas on holistic education — “head, heart and hand” — have retained their influence until today. 

Many Swiss international schools chose locations in a landscape of mountains, forests, lakes and green alpine pastures based on the conviction that children thrive physically, emotionally and academically when they lead active outdoor lives, when they feel a sense of connectedness with the natural world. 

Swiss schools also encourage sport to develop team spirit, resilience and ambition — all of them qualities which equip young people for the challenges of university and leadership in the working world. Learning is further enriched by programmes to develop creativity and to promote a sense of responsibility in students for their wider communities as local, national and global citizens.

7 reasons to choose an international boarding school in Switzerland

1. It is a beautiful, stable and secure country with one of the highest quality-of-life ratings in the world.

2. The excellent education system and the economic life of the country are closely linked. This raises the employability prospects for school leavers and university graduates.

3. Switzerland is home to some of the world’s top universities and research institutes with more Nobel Prizes per head of population than any other.

4. Swiss boarding schools are genuinely international with students from all over the world studying for the IB Diploma, British A Levels or the Swiss Baccalaureate-Matura. Schools celebrate the cultural diversity of their cosmopolitan communities.

5. Switzerland lies at the cultural heart of Europe with four different language communities: German, French, Italian and Romansh. All international students learn at least one more language.

6. Well-being along with physical fitness and healthy nutrition are held in high regard. Medical services are of the highest standard.

7. All schools in the country are less than two hours’ drive from an international airport. There is much to do in Switzerland, from winter sports in the Alps to visiting the cities of Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich with their cultural and commercial centres. Paris, Venice, Milan and Munich are also just a few hours’ journey away.

Switzerland owes its sustained economic success to its well-educated and hard-working population, most of who are the graduates of a rigorous but fair education system. 

A neutral country, Switzerland has for centuries been at the crossroads of international exchange. It is the European centre of international diplomacy, the headquarters of international humanitarian and sports organisations and of global companies in the fields of finance, insurance, internet services, pharmaceuticals and precision engineering.

For most visitors, however, Switzerland remains the land of the Alps, a haven of peace, order and efficiency and, thus, the ideal place to live, learn and grow. 

The HIF Sports Academy: Arena of champions

Founded in 1793, the Hochalpines Institut Ftan (HIF) Swiss International Boarding School and Sports Academy has been guided throughout its 225-year history by the values of world-renowned Swiss educationalists. 

HIF is an independent, international boarding school with strong local roots, which caters to the specific needs of students of all cultures. Set amid the mountains, HIF is naturally given to promoting sports and extra-curricular activities in a big way.

The HIF Sports Academy allows students with a passion for sport to discover and develop their sporting strengths. One of Switzerland’s leading sports schools and an acclaimed Swiss-Ski Regional High Performance Centre for Alpine Skiing, the HIF has hosted Olympic and World champions as they completed their secondary education while training for their next challenge on the international circuit.

Six HIF alumni were members of the Swiss Olympic team at the Pyeong-Chang Games, South Korea in 2018, two of them winning gold medals in cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Accompanying the Swiss team were three HIF coaches and a former HIF student as physiotherapist. 

The Sports Academy is open to any student with a passion for sport and strong academic ambitions. They can combine competitive or leisure sports with an international academic programme, with a team of teachers, carers and coaches to coordinate their individual training sessions, competition schedules and study plans. For more information visit https://www.sportklasse.ch/en/