Swiss schools abroad

The Swiss schools abroad are non-denominational, non-profit, private educational institutions. They are well established and have an excellent reputation in their respective host countries. The association Educationsuisse represents the interests of the Swiss schools before the authorities in Switzerland as well as providing information on all international schools supported by the Swiss government.

A child in a classroom concentrating on his work, surrounded by other children.
Multilingualism is one of the pillars of education in the Swiss schools abroad. © Unsplash

It was founded as a committee in 1942 to provide assistance to the Swiss schools abroad. In January 2014, Educationsuisse merged with Ajas (an association promoting education for young Swiss people living abroad founded in 1962) in order to combine strengths and resources.

The association aims to foster relations between Swiss people living abroad as well as with Switzerland and to promote Swiss education abroad. To this end it supports the Swiss schools abroad that are recognised and subsidised by the Swiss government as well as other forms of disseminating Swiss education. It also advises and assists graduates of these schools and young Swiss people living abroad on continuing their education in Switzerland.

There are 18 Swiss schools abroad that meet the requirements set out in the Swiss Schools Act and Ordinance and are therefore recognised by the Swiss government. The Commission for the Dissemination of Swiss Education Abroad plays an advisory role. These schools guarantee the same level of teaching as in Switzerland and are supported by different cantons, which provide pedagogical supervision. They also allow pupils to integrate easily into the education system in Switzerland or in the host country, and offer the opportunity to complete an International Baccalaureate or study programme with a federally-recognised school-leaving certificate (Matura).

Multilingualism (German, French, English and national language of the respective host country) is the trademark of the Swiss schools abroad, which offer at least two languages of instruction. Because of the high quality teaching in these schools, they attract not only Swiss pupils but children from the host country and third countries as well, which further bolsters the multicultural environment at the schools.

Educationsuisse also supports the establishment of new Swiss schools abroad, which receive financial support from the Swiss government. In addition, it provides advice to young Swiss people living abroad and graduates of the Swiss schools abroad on applying for cantonal scholarships, conducts outreach activities, liaises between educational institutions in Switzerland and the Swiss schools abroad, and offers career talks together with the career information centre (BIZ) for Bern-Mittelland. 

Parent associations initiating Swiss education opportunities

For Swiss children living abroad who do not live near a Swiss school, the following requests may be made:

  • Swiss government funding for a Swiss-trained teacher at a non-Swiss school abroad,
  • Swiss government funding to conduct courses in Swiss culture and history and in the Swiss national languages,
  • Support in procuring Swiss education materials.

Only a Swiss parents' association or a Swiss organisation is eligible to initiate such an action or apply for funding or support. Please address any questions to the Federal Office of Culture. 

Last update 20.12.2022


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