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Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Swiss boarding schools are different

TRADITIONAL QUALITIES The private school is a well known and important part of Switzerland's education system, but for prospective students from overseas, they offer quality teaching

By TOSI, based on material from the Brillant mont International

Potential students should aim to visit as many schools as possible in order to find the right environment, which corresponds to their future plans. The renown of Swiss private education is that it is tailor-made. Student programmes are personalized and the small class sizes allow rapid progress to be made and the students to be challenged. Most schools provide varied extra-curricular activities outside the classroom and a range of excursions so as to encourage all-round development. Many students will complete their secondary education in one establishment so the links forged between the student and the school are profound and long-lasting.

Knowing how difficult it could be at the beginning to search for the right school interested parents may contact the Swiss Federation of Private Schools (www.swiss-schools.ch) which provides a full list of all its members. Or as a first port of call, the Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI) in Taipei can offer brochures/information of many of the schools. It can also give details of the agencies with which the schools work, or the student may wish to contact the school direct. Students should inquire about official accreditations of the school, which may facilitate the selection process.

Many schools organise summer schools in July and August, which can provide a taste of boarding school life and most will gladly provide contact details of current or recent students from Taiwan who can be contacted to share their own experiences. One thing is for certain: wherever a student chooses to study, a Swiss private school experience is an education for life and a passport to opportunity.

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