Private Schools in Geneva

The most frequently asked question about family life is Geneva is inevitably about schools. As an expatriate parent I fully sympathize because this is probably one of the trickiest decisions to handle when moving abroad with your little ones.

If you are looking for more information about private schools in Geneva, here’s an article I wrote some time ago for another expatriate website. Hope it helps!

Private Schools in Geneva

Expats will find a wide range of schools in Geneva which pride themselves on the provision of a high standard of education. Foreigners moving to the area will be faced with a difficult decision when it comes to selecting the best schooling option; however, be it a state-funded school, and therefore free of charge, or a private school, the institution is likely to be excellent.

Important factors in making the right decision for your child and family include considering your child’s age, the length of your stay in Geneva and your family’s budget. Expat parents will also need to determine which teaching language and curriculum would best suit their child’s needs, and which childcare arrangements would work best for their family.

Private schools in Geneva, whether Swiss or international, can offer monolingual (i.e. only in French or only in English) or bilingual teaching streams in French and English, so you will need to visit each school individually and discuss which teaching options are available, and would be best suited to your child.

Each school may prepare students for a different type of diploma: American Advanced Placement, IGCSE, International Baccalaureate Diploma (English or bilingual), Swiss Maturité (French or bilingual), Brevet des Collèges and French Baccalauréat Général.

Most private schools will offer pre-school classes starting from the age of three. School fees usually range between 15,000 CHF and 30,000 CHF per year, and sibling discounts are sometimes available. Expats should keep these high costs in mind when negotiating their salary, or when requesting extras in their employment package.

It is also important to check with each private school to clarify whether a Catholic or Protestant religious education is a compulsory part of the curriculum, as many of the most academically acclaimed private schools in Geneva are openly religious.

Keep in mind that the school’s proximity to your home or workplace is a factor that deserves consideration. School location and rush hour traffic can often make it difficult to be on time for school drop-off and pick-up. Some private schools offer a bus service, but this can be quite expensive.

International schools in Geneva

Geneva is home to a number of excellent private international schools, i.e. schools which use English, or English and French as languages of instruction.

They offer an international curriculum (e.g. IB – DP, MYP, PYP) and internationally recognised accreditations such as, for instance, English language Diplomas (American Advanced Placement, IGCSE), International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), Bilingual Diplomas (Swiss Maturité, International Baccalaureate Diploma) and French Language Diplomas (French Baccalaureate, Swiss Maturité).

Geneva is also the birthplace of the oldest currently operating international school in the world: the International School of Geneva.

The International Baccalaureate was first created in this school. When the League of Nations and the International Labour Office (ILO) established their headquarters in Geneva in 1920, with staff drawn from many countries, the need arose for a school which would cater for students with a diversity of cultures and would prepare them for university education in their home countries.

This is why the International School of Geneva, the first international school in the world, was founded in 1924. The purpose of the school was to provide an international education based on the progressive educational principles of the école nouvelle movement associated with Swiss pedagogues such as as Adolphe Ferrière and Edouard Claparède.

In Geneva, you will also find private schools which follow specific national languages and educational curricula (German, Japanese and Swedish). Some are private and some are funded (fully or partially) by their respective governments. Many expats prefer to send their children to these private schools because they offer students the opportunity to continue with the teaching language and curriculum of their home country, and are truly the best option for those expats relocating to Geneva for a short-term sojourn.

Enrolment and admissions

Timing, a factor often overlooked, is also of vital importance when it comes to securing a school place for your child. Due to the growing influx of foreign workers moving to the area with families and children, you will need to register your child as early as possible. Many of the private schools will have waiting lists, and in order to make sure your child gets a seat, it’s best to register on a number of these as you probably won’t receive a final confirmation of enrolment until the very last minute.

However, please do not lose heart, numerous families relocate frequently within the area and therefore it is very likely that spaces will open up at the last minute. Each private school operates according to their own deadlines, so visit in person and check with each one individually.

Remember that turnover within schools with large international populations can be quite large, and therefore may instigate adjustment issues for expat children who will be enrolled in the school on a long-term basis.

List of schools in Geneva

State-funded Swiss schools

  • Check with each local authority (“commune”) for the list of local schools.

Private Schools

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66 Responses to “Private Schools in Geneva”

  1. Elena says:

    My husband and I are finding it impossible to choose among the many good educational options for our 3-year old in Geneva. Whereas we are here for the long-term, life (and careers) tend to be unpredictable, so we’ve decided that English should be her dominant language, in case we have to move abroad before she finishes secondary education, while also developing strong French (just in case we do stay here). We’ve just turned down IIL because of the one-hour school bus drive required to get there every morning, but we feel sad about it, because it seemed very strong academically. We are now aiming to send her to La Chat, but some of our friends (whose children go to Lancy by the way) have called the school “a playground” and this is a big concern for us. Despite its being perfect on paper, we’ve also heard from alumni that “it’s not what it used to be”. We are interested in academic excellence, not just extra-curricular activities (although they are of course nice to have). Would you have any insights to offer?

    • michela says:

      Dear Elena,
      thank you for your message – I fully understand your position as I had to make the same decision not long ago! I also chose high academic standards over a “playground” school environment and after a few years spent commuting we have now moved close to the school of our choice. I will reply to you personally with information about our personal experience but rest assured that there are very good schools on either side of Geneva/Coppet so you are not left with one single choice! Kindest regards Michela

      • Natalia marques says:

        Hi Mikeala,
        I’m in the same position looking for schools for my son who just turned 3 and we just moved here from USA. It’s a long term stay, I do want my son to learn French and English and I also want high academic standard. I live in Onex and don’t know my way Aylin’s yet but want to get my son in school. Can you email me and help me?
        Thank you
        Natalie

        • Natalia marques says:

          Sorry for the errors, my son just turned 2 and not 3.

        • michela says:

          Hi Nathalie,
          you can look at both local Swiss schools and private schools. Swiss schools have very good academic standards, offer plenty of extra curricular activities and are -of course – the best way for your child to learn the local language and make many new friends living nearby! Take a look at our previous posts for a list of private schools, make sure you book a visit to ask as many questions as you like and assess if that might be the right school for you and your child. Best of luck!

  2. Sahar says:

    We are moving to Geneva soon and have three children 14 years (next academic year would be grade 9), 11 years (will be grade 6) and 7 years (will be grade 3). I am looking for a private school that has a strong academic standards as well as a certified IB program so my older ones can be prepared for. It would be great if I can also find a school that caters for their sports and music skills. It would be best to have the school language in English but would interesting to add French. I can cover the fees but the choices are numerous and do’nt know which to go for and reading contradicting messages? Can you help me please. Thanks.

    • michela says:

      Dear Sahar,
      thank you for your message, I will be sending you soon an email with our personal experience and advice hoping it will be useful. Kindest regards, Michela

      • Coro says:

        Hi Michela!

        Very useful post and site. Thx a lot!
        We have 3 kids, still very young and live in Chamoel. We bith have local contracts and should in principle stay in Geneva for a while.
        We hear very goods things about the public system. However notice that all those
        Who can afford it take their kids to private schools.
        English is a priority for us and we want our kids ro be fluent.
        For the time being, 2 of them aged 4 and 3 go to Mosaic and are picking up French and English well but I am a bit worried about the quality standards…
        We need to live close to the school as we both work and want to simplify logistica so school election is key fot a number of decisions ( where to live, should we buy?, what if we move to France…?
        I would highly appreciate your input given your experience!!!
        Big thank you!!!
        Coro

  3. Su says:

    I moving this summer to Geneva and wondering what is the diff between IIL and the international School of Geneva? Which is academically stronger and if the later which campus is known to be better?? Would greatly appreciate your feedback…

  4. Vikas Verma says:

    Dear Michela,
    I am considering moving to Geneva in a UN organization and I have my son – 15years who will be completing his Sophomore year (10th standard)in American School in Africa. Is there a good American School in Geneva which will allow him to complete his Junior and Senior years for High School (equivalent to 11th and 12th standard) with AP courses.
    I understand there is a good IB option but what about AP course options?

    • michela says:

      Dear Vikas, thank you for your message and congratulations on your imminent post to Geneva! There are various schools that offer AP options such as Collège du Léman in Versoix; the International School of Geneva (3 campuses in Geneva, 1 in Canton Vaud). This link might also be of help: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21984.htm Best of luck on your choice! Kindest regards, Michela

  5. Nabs says:

    Dear Michela,

    this was such a helpful article for us too, thank you. We are moving to Geneva at the end of July with our 5 year old and 2 year old, and are currently looking at school, nursery and house options.

    We’ve decided to go either with the Geneva English School or La Chat and will be visiting both schools this Monday, as well as a couple of nurseries and living options.

    I’d be so grateful if you could share your personal experience if you have any, even anecdotally, about these schools. We’d really appreciate some inside info in addition to the online research we have done and visits to help us make our decision.

    Thanks

    • michela says:

      Dear nabs, thank you for your message. I will send you a private reply so please check your emails, I hope our personal experience can be of help. Thank you again for reading our blog and for contacting us! Kindest regards, Michela

  6. giles says:

    Thank you for this list. I am looking at secondary schools in Geneva, preferably bilingual french-english, with high academic standards and at the same time leaving space to creativity (I have had experience with French state elementary schools which do not enough). We live on the Meyrin side of Geneva. What suggestions do you have? Thanks!

    • michela says:

      Dear Giles,
      thank you for your comment. It is hard to recommend schools because every parent has very different needs and requirements for their child so the best advice is to always visit prospective schools in person and ask them all the necessary questions. Having said that, there are a number of private schools which have a great reputation for academic excellence and nurturing creativity, so you could look at: Champittet (in my opinion, one of the best), La Cote International School, GEMS Academy, International Institute of Lancy, Institut Florimont, International College Lycée Ferney-Voltaire. It’s also a very good idea to join expat parents groups (there are many on facebook) where you can ask honest feedback about various schools, sometimes that is way more telling than a lot of the marketing blurb you often find on schools’ website 🙂 Best of luck, please let us know if you have any feedback on these or other schools in the area!

      • FranChan says:

        Hi Michela.

        Interested in your opinion about Champittet Nyon. Does it balance well academic performance and creativity. These seem to some extent at odds of each other… I have no doubts about academic performance, but would like to get some reassurance on creativity. Also, what is the basis of your opinion on (e.g. are your kids attending this school?)

        Thank you very much

  7. Allen says:

    Dear Michela
    This is very useful and well written. We have a two children (5 and 2 year olds). We would like them to join an international school with British curriculum. However, we are torn between BSG and GES. Are these the only options and what do you recommend?
    Allen

    • michela says:

      Dear Allen,
      thank you for your comment and kind feedback. It depends in which area you live, but you already have 2 great schools following the English curriculum on your list: BSG and GES. On the other side of town there is also the Institut International de Lancy, with high academic standards, and further away La Côte International School (Aubonne, VD), run by Nord Anglia Education – again the standards are great. Best of luck on your search!

  8. Michelle says:

    Hi Michela,

    Thank for the messages above, we are considering moving to Geneva this year form South Africa, I have 3 kids, ages 4, 6,12. We currently looking for private schools for the kids, we prefer to go Bilingual with French -English with high academic standards as a preferred BI Program. We are O! so new , please help.
    Michelle

    • michela says:

      Dear Michelle,
      thanks for your message. Where will you be living? Choosing a school will very much depend on that, as you will be able to fully appreciate and benefit from the best “Swiss quality of life” only if you are reasonably close to where your children’s school will be. Having done that myself, I can assure you that commuting from home to school on the motorway is no fun at all 🙁
      Having said that, here’s the best bilingual schools in our opinion, but what works for us might not work for you, so I suggest you visit each school on your shortlist personally in order to find out if it will be the best school for your children: Champittet & International School La Cote (Nord Anglia Education); Institut International de Lancy; Institut Florimont; Ecole Moser (not IB but bilingual). Best of luck on your search!

  9. michelle says:

    Hi Michela,

    Thank for your advise above, well written, please help me in locating private schools in Geneva. We live in South Africa and seeking private schools Bilingual French-English with BI program. I have 3 kids ages 4, 6,12.

  10. Lex Mal says:

    Dear Michella,
    Thanks for this terrific resource! We are considering a move to Geneva and need to look at international schools ASAP for our children who will be 6 and 3 years when we move. Work is to be on the same side of the lake as the Int`l School of Geneva`s La Grande Boissière campus. Once we find the school, we`ll then search for housing in a family friendly area which would allow for a reasonable commute between work and school.

    We are looking for an institution that is academic while allowing for creativity and balance. Lessons and tips from your own experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance and I shall look forward to your thoughts (via my email address).

    Regards,
    Lex

  11. Olga says:

    Hi Michela,
    Great blog, I am using your tips a lot. We moved to Geneva a year ago from london and chose lancy international school for our 2,5 and 5,5 years old. English is our main language and eldest son could read and write pretty good and this school has similar programme (for example at college du Leman kids are not reading at this age yet). But after a year we have no progress in French at all which was one of the things we expected after moving. So now we are thinking if there is here school which is strong enough academically to give both this languages? Thank you!

    • michela says:

      Hi Olga, thank you for your message and kind feedback. There are some schools that advertise themselves as “bilingual” but have very low academic standards I am sure you wouldn’t be happy with, so beware of “marketing spiel” and always make sure you ask other local mums who really know about the school.
      Your child probably understands French and has acquired a larger vocabulary than you might think, but doesn’t probably use it as much as you would like him to because he has English-speaking friends and his current environment is all focused on that at the moment. Since you seem happy with your current school and I think your child is too (you don’t tell me otherwise in your message) what about moving him into the French-speaking section at the International Institut de Lancy for a couple of years?
      This way he would focus on his French a lot more but without losing touch with all his friends or having to move to a new school, which usually causes a bit of turmoil and might be perceived by him as a “punishment” of some kind, as he’d be separated from his friends.
      Why not have a chat with the teachers at your current school and see if that would be possible? Your son might need a bit of extra work at the beginning but, once he is in a situation where he is required to speak French, it will flow pretty quickly I can assure you! And once that solid base is gained, all you will need to do is maintain it with classes, afternoon courses etc. and you could move him back into the school’s English section, if you feel that’s the best choice for your family and your child.
      Please let me know what you think, best of luck on your future choices!

  12. Paola Bermúdez says:

    Dear Michela… I am doing a very expensive web search related to international schools and found your blog, excellent work! Most likely we will be moving to Geneva this summer. I have twin boys 15 years old who has attend American schools in different places and we have been in NY for the last four years. We already apply to Ecolint but we have no idea between the differences of the campuses and we are also applying to College du Leman. We are looking, as very parent, for a very quality of education not only academically, but in sport and environment. Thanks for your help.

    Paola Bermúdez

    • michela says:

      Dear Paola, thank you for reading our blog and for leaving your comment. If your children are schooled in the American system then the schools you are looking at should fit very well with their schooling so far. The choice of campuses will depend on where you will be living and working as Ecolint main campuses are in Geneva, College du Leman is in Versoix and La Chat Ecolint campus is in Founex (Canton Vaud). They are quite far from one another and it is advisable to find a school near your place of work and your house/flat as school commute can be very time-consuming otherwise! All the best for your future choice and your imminent move to Geneva!

  13. Miguel says:

    Hi Michela

    We just moved to Geneva and we live in Petit Saconnex. We have a daughter that is going to be 5 in July. What school you recommend us by the negihborhood.

    Thank You

    • michela says:

      Dear Miguel,
      thank you for your message. It is hard to recommend schools as every family and every child have different requirements in terms of language, childcare hours etc. The best advice is to look at what schools are available next to your new home and make an appointment to see the headmasters so that you can learn about their methodology, have a look around and – more importantly – have a feel for the one that would be right for you and your child. Recommendations/websites etc. might not cover the points that are important for you and your child, and you are the only person who knows what is best for your daughter. Best of luck on your choice!

  14. María T. says:

    Dear Michela , thank you for the info… We are moving over the summer from Costa Rica to Geneva, I have twin boys age 10 who currently attend 4th grade at an American school here in CR. According to their date of birth December 9, they should be going to 6th grade at Ecolint. So my question is will they be skipping grade 5 ? According to Ecolint cut off date they should go to 6 grade..I am very confuse !!.. Is it true that kindergarten is level 1′ and 1rst grade will be level 2. 2 nd grade level 3….And so on….. We already apply for Ecolint at the campus in Chatagnerie , but we still haven’t heard from the admission office… Are there many expats in that campus? I thank you for your replay..many thanks.

    • michela says:

      Dear Maria, thank you for your message. Your query seems to be a very specific internal one, linked to ECOLINT’s grades and classes so unfortunately we cannot help. It is best, in order to be 100% sure, that you write or call them to ensure your children are registered exactly in the right class and grade for them. Best of luck on your move, your family will love their time in Geneva! Kindest regards, GFD.

  15. Chris says:

    Dear Michela

    I join the club congratulating you for the great guidance you provide through your blog to numerous parents. Well done! I have read your past messages and would also like to have your input if possible. We will be moving soon in Geneva and staying close to Grand Saconnex area (or even on the French side like Ferney Voltaire) and my son will be 3 in September. I see that you recommend a lot IIL and IF which are on the other side…. how about the Bell One nursery or the College du Leman ? His first language is Italian and for the past 1 year he attends English speaking nursery in London so ideally would like to have him either fully in English speaking or Bilingual so he can start learning French as well with either International or British curriculum. Many thanks in advance!

    • michela says:

      Dear Chris,
      thank you for your kind message and feedback about the blog. It is always hard to advise parents about choosing a school for their child because what works for one family doesn’t necessarily work well for another. Is your move going to be long or short term? If long term then yes the best option is to enrol them into a French or French bilingual school where they will make many local friends and integrate more fully into local society.
      Bell One nursery for instance is very popular with expats changing job assignments and countries quite often.

      Also, are you looking for schools that have excellent academic standards? This is also a tricky area as an expensive private school doesn’t always equal a very good school in those terms.
      Have you looked at GES in Genthod for instance? They follow the English curriculum, so only a few hours of French a week and no other foreign languages, but they have a great reputation for academic excellence, pastoral care and a lovely community of families who socialize together, organize events etc.

      State-funded nursery schools in France are very good too (and FREE OF CHARGE!!) so that’s another option if you decide to live in Ferney Voltaire. You could enrol your child in a French nursery so that he/she would be able to benefit from the language “full immersion” experience and – once you have lived here for a while and have been able to get a clearer idea about local schools – you could enrol your child in a private/international school at primary age.

      Collège du Léman has just been acquired by the Nord Anglia Education group so things might change soon, but the fact remains that pre-school classes are located in the school basement, which is such a shame! Little children need as much outdoor time and natural light as they possibly can, so it’s a shame their space has been allocated in the dark basement of such a huge campus.
      Also they often have non-native speakers teaching language lessons, and that is not best practice when it comes to teaching languages to very young children.
      I hope this helps, but I am afraid the only way of choosing what is best for your child is visit each school in person, ask them all the key questions you want answers for and then go with your “gut feeling”. As a parent, you are the only one who knows which school will be best for your child and your family.
      Best of luck, and keep us posted!!

  16. Matt Dawkins-Turner says:

    Hi Michela – great website. Thank you.

    I will be moving to Geneva in the next few months with family to follow soon afterwards. We have a daughter aged 5 and a son aged 9 so are trying to get some more specific insight into the schools in Geneva if possible.

    School websites all look the same so we shall be visiting as many as we can. Probably leaning towards schools with a British-type education, but could be swayed. Most important to us is reputation for broad provision, individual care & good academic reputation. We will be living and working between the airport and the lake and hope that the school run is not too long!

    I suppose what we are looking for is the most up-to-date vibe on the various schools – who’s on the up and which is perhaps less well regarded at present. GEC looks like an obvious contender so any info how the land lies with this school would be really interesting. Many thanks for any help you can give – do send direct to my email address if you prefer.

    Very best wishes.

  17. Julia says:

    Dear Michela,

    I also wanted to join the rest of the community in thanking you for running a wonderful blog, so much useful information! It is very much appreciated in Geneva, where I often struggle to find comprehensive information or reviews. We have recently moved to Geneva and I am now looking for a school for my daughter who is now 1. I think we may move back to UK, however I am not sure whether it will be in 2 years or 5, so I would like her to go to a good bilingual English/ French school with high academic standards, which will allow her to continue her education in a private school in UK. We live in Chmapel, and I know there is a bilingual school mosaic very close by, however I have not seen it in the list of your recommended bilingual schools. Have heard anything about this school? Or would you recommend sending her to IIL or institute Florimont? I would be very grateful for your opinion! Many thanks in advance. Julia

    • michela says:

      Dear Julia,
      thank you so much for your message. We know many families who have their children at Ecole Mosaic and they are all very happy, but they only accept children from the age 2 and a half so by that time, you might already be moving back to the UK? The same goes for IIL and Florimont, so if you are looking for childcare now then you should consider bilingual nurseries. Here’s some you can check out: Kiddieclub http://www.kiddieclub.ch from 8 months; Bell One World nursery school from 2 years;
      Bébébiz in Mies (VD) http://www.bebebiz.ch or Pop & Poppa http://www.popepoppa.ch/en/daycare-centre-les-lionceaux.php
      Best of luck, let us know how it goes!

      • Julia says:

        Thank you very much Michela for your recommendations! I will check them out! I have actually visited Mosaic yesterday and was quite pleased with the school and the teachers. However, just to let you know they are now closing their 2.5 class and will be accepting children only starting from 3.

        • michela says:

          Thank you Julia, your feedback is very useful for us and other expats reading this post so thank you again for sharing :)! best of luck on your search, please let us know if you find a good bilingual nursery! Kindest regards xx

      • Marianne Lewis says:

        I read your blog for all kinds of things and find it super helpful! I am now sifting through all the info about sending my 4yo to state school close by or leave him in Ecole Steiner in Confignon. Be that as it may, I just read this comment and see the Kiddieclub mentioned as an option. I can not recommend it at all. Ms Fehlman hit my boy (aged 2 at the time) on his head to teach him a lesson after he pushed a baby away from interfering with his special stamp&paper activity. I started email correspondence with her about the incident in which she denied “hitting” him. The whole story is worth telling actually. I didn’t want to go back to that class and she refused a refund.

  18. Gabrielle says:

    Nice post! I do not see my son’s school listed here and wanted to offer it as a lovely option. Ecole Nations Montessori, in Petit Sacconnex http://www.ecoledesnations.ch. Age 3-12

  19. anouck says:

    Dear Michela,
    Bravo et merci pour tous ces commentaires!
    We are a French family moving to Geneva in…2 months and looking for a school for our 7 – year old boy. So far we have lived abroad and he was in French schools. Therefore we would like to continue thr French system or a similar system but with intensive English. Our son is a good student and we want a very good school with good results. The extra curriculum activities and fancy facilities are less important for us. However we still want an environment where our son will be comfortable (not to rigid). Is there a school you can recommend based on these criteria? Thank you! ! Best Anouck

    • michela says:

      Dear Anouk,
      thank you for your kind message, it’s always a pleasure to hear from other expat parents planning their move to Geneva! Are you looking to rent a property in Geneva or Canton Vaud? Because if you’re considering living in Canton Vaud (just a short train ride to Geneva) then the perfect school for your child could be Collège Champittet in Nyon – the school’s main campus is in Lausanne but the smaller campus in Nyon is just perfect for primary school children, academic standards are superb and the school is small enough for children to feel safe and at home.
      If you’ll be working in Geneva, they have exceptional pre and after school care from 7.45am to 6.30pm, with supervisors that are very caring and know every single child by name!
      Unfortunately, they don’t have a gym as such although they offer judo and dance classes in situ, but if this is not a deal-breaker for you, then you should really pay them a visit if you can. Here’s their link with specific details of the school’s curriculum—->http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/en/our-schools/champittet/nyon
      If you are renting in Geneva, then Florimont and Lancy are great choices too. They both have high academic standards and offer French/Swiss/international qualifications with bilingual outcome so I suggest you visit both schools to see which one might fit your personal preference best. As well as bilingualism, IILancy offers a choice of foreign languages which include German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.
      Best wishes on your imminent move and your school choice, please keep in touch and let us have your feedback on the schools you visit! Kindest regards Michela

  20. anouck says:

    Sorry me again. What are the main differences between institut florimont and institut international de lancy? Thank you!

  21. anouck says:

    Dear Michela, thank you so much for all your advice and good guidance!! I should visit some schools in the next few weeks and will share my impression! Best Regards, Anouck

  22. Paula says:

    Dear Michela,

    Thanks for keeping this excellent source for parents in Geneva up and alive! As new comers arriving in Geneva, we also face the same problem: finding the “perfect” school for our children! We have three kids (7, 4.5 and 2.5) and we´ve decided to keep the older ones in the community school in French! They will survive and thank us in the future (I hope). The lil one… I don´t know what to do with her. I´m self-employed and I must get back to work. We are searching for houses in the Bellevue and Coppet areas. Would you have any recommendation for an affordable bilingual or english speaking nursery full time in those areas?
    Also, for the bigger ones, I would love to keep their english going… would you happen to know afterschool activities for native speakers in Geneva? Could be sports, music, literacy programs…

    Many thanks and congratulations once again!

    Bests

    Paula

  23. Francesca says:

    Hi Michela, your blog is really a great help for parents facing the hard task of choosing the right school.We are an Italian family and we are living in UK since 5 years. We will be moving to Geneva next summer and I now have to choose a school for my three children 12 years (grade 8 next y) 10 years (grade 6) and 6 years (grade 3). Here in England my children’s are attending a privat English school with very good academic standards and a strong sport department. I am now not sure what to look for, I would like to find a school equally strong academically but a strong sports and maybe also art department would be great
    Also: my kids primary language is English, they speak Italian perfectly but very basic, almost non existing, French therefore I am not sure wether go for a English only school ,or expose them to a mix English French environment.
    We as we are expat the company will cover the fees but the choices are numerous and I am not sure if it would be wiser to move from a British educational system to an international one or stick with the British one instead, even if the GES doesn’t seem to be so appealing, it is so hard to choose I’d be really grateful if you could give me a little help! Many thank you, Francesca

    • michela says:

      Dear Francesca, thank you for your message and kind feedback about the blog! As your children are already well settled and used to working to high academic standards my advice would be to look at schools like Florimont, Lancy and Moser in Geneva and avoid GES/Ecolint and other international schools. International schools and GES here just don’t have the same academic standards as private schools in the UK so it would definitely be a shock for you and the children, even if your husband’s company will be shouldering the school fees. Generally speaking, it would be hard for you to find an English school here that would match the level you are currently used to in London so I would advise you to look at prestigious Swiss/French private schools in Geneva with an English bilingual option. I am sure it won’t be a problem at all for your children as they speak Italian and a bit of French already, so they will be able to catch up very quickly. I am happy to email you a private message in Italian with more info about it all so please check your inbox!
      Kindest regards, Michela.
      http://www.florimont.ch/en/
      http://www.iil.ch/en/
      http://www.ecolemoser.ch/

      • Francesca says:

        thank you so much Michela, I am just moving the first steps into this new experience so any help would be great, and a private message in Italian is more than welcome
        Grazie, a presto Francesca

  24. Wendy says:

    Dear Michela,

    Really appreciate finding your blog, as I keep on going back to it for reference! It is very helpful as it is from parents to parents, as such it has thoughts on distance and atmosphere that I cannot find anywhere else.

    We are currently in the midst of planning a return back to Geneva from Hong Kong. We will be living in Divonne les Bains. My daughter will be 7.5 years old in September 2016. She has been attending Montessori schools in France and Hong Kong, so she is perfectly bilingual in French and English. She has a third language of Chinese.

    We are in dilemma as to whether:
    – to continue her in Montessori (Ecole Nations or Seed of Knowledge nyon): Concerned that it is not truly bilingual, i.e. French is priority. Nations also offer no bussing which makes it complicated. The ease of admission into Normal high school later. Her school in HK is an accredited Montessori school and has very high standard that we’d like to maintain.
    – to continue in International school:
    1. Ecolint La Chat : We heard it is a very good ‘all around’ school. But have also heard that academically it is not as solid though the ECA is super. Cost is prohibitive!
    2. College Champittet : I found it from your blog! Location in Nyon is very close to us, and it seemed to have strong emphasis on education. It is also small enough so it might be less overwhelming and familial/warm. Basically a structure where she can feel comfortable. Cost is reasonable vs. La Chat. I’m wondering though that now it is under Nord Anglia if they will change cost and environment soon. Especially if becoming less academic and more ECA?
    3.Another option is to keep her in local school in Divonne and attending the ENP program run by Lycée Ferney once a week. This will be free and she will get admission to Lycée International Ferney, program International. But my husband is concerned that the French curriculum is still working under,”I teach, students sit and listen” methodology. Less creative and encouraging of students’ ideas.

    I have heard that the International school in Ferney is good, though I’d like to understand how the 3 (Ferney, Ecolint, and Champittet line up for academic excellence, atmosphere and strength of bilingual program). So far I only see Ecolint offering Chinese in serious capacity, though!

    Thanks so much for any insight or advice you may have… and I do apologise for the lengthy query. If only I could be there to do some school visits! But am afraid for Sept 2016 admissions, I’ll need to apply now without visits.

    Thanks again,
    Wendy

    • Wendy says:

      Our move is long term, too.

    • michela says:

      Dear Wendy,
      thank you for your message. It looks like you’ve got it all covered and you have all the information you need to make a very well-informed choice. Champittet will always remain committed to academic excellence, in terms of Chinese lessons, Ecole Moser offers them too but pretty much any private international school will help facilitate extra private lessons for your child at your cost. The best advice would be to visit all these schools in person and ask all the relevant questions. Only you know your child well enough to know what would work best for them and for you all as a family. Best of luck on your choice and imminent move to Geneva! Best regards, Michela

      • Wendy says:

        Thank you Michela! It looks like a visit is in order, and at the end of the day, one thing that resonates in your articles is that, the choice of schools in Geneve is really choosing between the best schools available. They are all very good, just have to find one that is a better suit for the child. Cross fingers! Thank you again!

  25. Charlene says:

    Dear Michela

    we are moving to Geneva and have an 8yr old daughter. We are not sure if we will stay in Geneva permanently at present so are looking for schooling along the English curriculum levels. My daughter does not do well with change and so i would like a school with smaller class numbers no more than 20 ideally. At present we have not decided where to live and she only speaks english. We were considering the BSG and then we did think of ILL but were not sure about the class sizes after seeing it has 1500 students. would be grateful of any advice you could give please.

    • michela says:

      Hello Charlene,
      the best advice is speaking to the schools directly. In terms of class sizes, international private schools very rarely have more than 20 (except Ecolint, with up to 24 kids per class) so you can check with the schools you have shortlisted and raise any concerns you may have. Where it says the school has 1,500 students it is because it covers the entire educational journey until age 18 so the number of children includes primary, middle school and high school. Kindest regards and best of luck on your search.

  26. Alessia says:

    Dear Michela, what a blessing to find your blog!!!
    We will be permanently relocation to GE or neighboring VD during the summer and are very much concerned with finding a good school for our 9 years old daughter.
    She is currently enrolled in a typical Danish primary school (child centered, learning by playing, strong focus on social skills, outdoor activities, …) and is striving from it both socially and academically.
    Languages wise, Danish is her mother tongue, her spoken English and Italian are very good, but her French is inexistent.
    In sum, what we are trying to find is an international school (Bilingual English-French) with a similar approach to the Danish one, with the possibility to meet kids/families that like us plan to stay long term. Does this exist in Geneva or Canton Vaud?
    Thanking you in advance for helping us in our search.
    Grazie, Alessia and co.

    • michela says:

      Ciao Alessia,
      good luck on your imminent move! Take a look at our previous posts and comments about local schools for tips and ideas, there is also a Swedish private school in Geneva if it might be of interest to you. You can also look at the Steiner school, best of luck in your search – you can email us at info@genevafamilydiaries.net if you have more specific questions.

  27. Sol says:

    Hi! I love your blog… such a useful information… We will be relocated to Geneva in a few months… could you sent me an email regarding your particulary choise about the schools?
    The more I read the more confused I am about all the choises!
    Thanks a lot

    • michela says:

      Hello and thank you for your comment! Please feel free to read our posts and comments about local schools, you will find many precious information and advice! Best regards

  28. Meltem says:

    Hi,

    Thank you too much for this great website and an advance sorry for my long message 🙁 We will be moving geneva at November’16, from Turkey. I have two sons, ages 3 and 7. I will give a decision between college du leman and geneva international school, english sections. My younger one has no english and older one has a beginner level. My first priority is the easier adaptaion of them to environment and language. Indeed I would love to choose International school of geneva (preferable LGB campus) but younger guy is not allowablr because of age ( missing it with two months) . We are flexible for the location of house and will decide it after finding school.

    I would be very glad if you comment on below options for my spesific situation

    – Two guys going to college du leman and we can live in a near by area
    – Younger guy going to college du leman and older may go campus des nations and we can live somewhere in the middle
    – Again they go sepetate schools and a year later we can transfer younger guy to campus des nations which may be difficult for younger one ( too much change for him)

    I really need your personal recommendation, you can send me email personally

    Thanks in advance

  29. Anu says:

    Dear Michela,
    Thanks for your wonderful blog, could you please tell me if there are amy international schools or private schools for pursuing education in medical field in Geneva area ( it seems like medical degrees from India are not recognized in Swiss) I would like to know any study or work options for medical related people.
    Thanks
    Anu

    • David says:

      Hello Anu;
      We are conducting research for a Geneva-based private school and we would like to have the perspective from parents who already or would like to send their children (aged 2 to 18) to a prestigious International school in this area.
      The aim is to define your needs and your expectations when it comes to education in a private school.
      First, few questions will be asked on the phone to see if you are eligible to take part in the research.
      Thereafter, a second call will be required and will take about 30 minutes, you will be asked more precise questions regarding your expectations. To thank you for your time we donate $ 130 to a charity (after the second call).
      Please get in touch with me if you are willing to help us to improve the education in Switzerland.

  30. Matthias says:

    Dear Michaela

    I’d be interested in hearing about personal experiences with the Ecole Moser (in Geneva or Nyon), especially academic standards.

    Thank you, Matthias

    • Frank says:

      We are considering Ecole Moser in Nyon (https://www.ecolemoser.ch/nyon/ ) and Institut Mont-Olivet ( http://www.mont-olivet.ch ) in Vich (near Gland).

      I was wondering whether some has any experience in one or both of these schools. It seems both teach essentially in French but include some 25% to 30% in German and some 5% to 10% in English depending on courses and options. Both have similar costs. We appreciated the difference in facilities given their locations (Moser next to Nyon station while Mont-Olivet next to vinyards outskirts of Vich) but have not sufficient inputs regarding education quality and whether this is much different from public schools in the area.

      Any feedback or pointer will be highly appreciated. Relocating this summer and need to make a decision soon.

      Many thanks
      Frank

  31. Ganesh Parkhe says:

    I am coming to Geneva (Switzerland) on work permit visa for 2 years with my family. I am looking English medium school to get my kids School admission in Geneva. We’re coming to Geneva by next month i.e. end September 2017.

    Kindly advise me school admission formalities (required documents for admission) and complete school fees details.

    My kids details as follows.

    1. Daughter
    Date of Birth – 2 October 2003
    Age – 15 Years
    Currently studying in – 9th standard in India
    Medium – English

    2. Son
    Date of Birth – 20 January 2010
    Age – 7.8 Years
    Currently studying in – end standard in India
    Medium – English

    • David says:

      Hello Ganesh;
      We are conducting research for a Geneva-based private school and we would like to have the perspective from parents who already or would like to send their children (aged 2 to 18) to a prestigious International school in this area.
      The aim is to define your needs and your expectations when it comes to education in a private school.
      First, few questions will be asked on the phone to see if you are eligible to take part in the research.
      Thereafter, a second call will be required and will take about 30 minutes, you will be asked more precise questions regarding your expectations. To thank you for your time we donate $ 130 to a charity (after the second call).
      Please get in touch with me if you are willing to help us to improve the education in Switzerland.

  32. David says:

    Hello everyone;
    We are conducting research for a Geneva-based private school and we would like to have the perspective from parents who already or would like to send their children (aged 2 to 18) to a prestigious International school in this area.
    The aim is to define your needs and your expectations when it comes to education in a private school.
    First, few questions will be asked on the phone to see if you are eligible to take part in the research.
    Thereafter, a second call will be required and will take about 30 minutes, you will be asked more precise questions regarding your expectations. To thank you for your time we donate $ 130 to a charity (after the second call).
    Please get in touch with me if you are willing to help us to improve the education in Switzerland.

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