Moving to Switzerland?(13 Posts)
DH has an interview next week for a job in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. If he gets it what do we need to know? Does anyone live there or know anything about what it's like?
We have two DDs, 10 and 7, so need to think about schools as well. I think I am entitled to work but is there anything I could do with rusty GCSE German & French?
Any advice welcome!
Hi I didn`t want your post to go unnoticed. I have been in Switzerland for 11 years now. First question, how long do you think you will be here and are you thinking international or local schools?
The school system here is completely different to the uk and varies from one local area to another enourmously. Do not underestimate this.
Secondly the language in the part you are moving to is swiss german. This is very different from High German. HG is used for official forms etc but the swiss us SG for every day conversations.
You are welcome to pm me.
Oh, thank you for posting. I think we are aiming to stay three years or so. I think international schools might be best as neither daughter speaks German so I think they would struggle. Do you think that's right?
Is there a good place to learn about schools? I haven't found any good expat resources yet.
Would you get a package including schools fees ? International schools are scarily expensive , from around 30k chf last time I looked. Swiss system has an assessment at 11/12 which determines the educational path thereon. Is it a permanent move or will you return to UK in a few years?
I think the 7 year old would have zero difficulty in local school- and it is a super way of integrating too. The ten year old may be trickier. The pupil teacher is very low (12-1 in our Kanton) but not sure what it is officially in Frauenfeld (is that Kanton Zug)
English Forum is pretty good as a resource; alternatively are there other English speakers at your husbands company that can direct you?
Here's some information in English about moving to Canton Thurgau as schooling varies a bit depending on which canton you live in.
Some children find integrating into local schools in Switzerland easier than others. Age plays a part, it is often easier for younger children, but some of my friends with very bright 10 to 12 year olds have found integration less of a problem than for their younger children. I think girls find it easier too as there can be a lot of physical conflict amongst younger boys.
You might find "Going Local" by Margaret Oertig useful for info on schooling.
My DDs attend a local school but they are in a special class for foreign students learning German intensively. They now converse in German and Swiss German with their friends so it all happens quickly (from Feb). They are 9 and 8.
If we go back to the UK and into the national curriculum they would be years behind academically however. Schooling starts later, is slower and very different. Levels catch up obviously through secondary school.
You would be near to Konstanz if you actually lived in Frauenfeld. It is a lovely place to visit and that is probably where you could do all of your shopping as it's so much cheaper.
I've not been here long enough to comment on much. Early days for us
Do you think they would be years behind? My nine year old is in 3rd and her Maths and German are the same/ahead of her U.K. Cousins. Sure there will be variations, but maths and science I would have said is at a good level.
My 9 year old left UK year 4 and is back doing UK equivalent year 1 maths currently. So frustrating.
Is is possible that's the school?
I had a quick look at the year 4 curriculum and it is pretty much what my daughter in 3rd class is doing.
What workbook is your child using?
Which canton are you in Malmo - the maths programme is usually set by the canton so all schools should be at the same level? By year 4 in England the children are learning fractions, decimals and written methods for subtraction and addition. These aren't covered at all until about year 5 in Zurich (and the children are at least a year older in Zurich). Negative numbers are year 7.
One of my DC's is in year 5 in Zurich and I'd say that her maths knowledge is still not as broad as her cousin in year 5 uk, but my DC's mental maths is definitely stronger and some topics, such as converting units of measurement, are harder than the stuff her cousin has covered in the uk. And secondary school maths here gets hard quickly, quite a lot of children need tutoring to keep up. Long term I like the system here, but it may be wise to keep up with the uk curriculum for younger children if you're planning to move back.
Your best option would be a bilingual private school if you can afford it. This means you could keep up with the UK curriculum but also be immersed in the German language should your 3 years turn into something longer. Most local German speaking schools use the klett verlag maths books. Here is a link for them.
Also be aware that the cut off for each year`s intake is different from the UK in local schools. In Basel for my child it is 1 May whereas the UK excluding Scotland is 1st September.
Also, in the Zurich area, entrance to the next local high school at age 12 is by entrance exam. There is quite an industry for coaching. Again this is not the case in other areas and varies by canton.
I have checked the cut off for Thurgau for you and it is 31st July. This means an August born child is the eldest for their school year and a July born child the youngest. see below. Note that private schools may have a different cut off.
Kinder, die bis zum 31. Juli das vierte Altersjahr vollendet haben, haben mit Beginn des neuen Schuljahres (Montag der 33. Kalenderwoche) den Kindergarten zu besuchen (§ 37 VG).
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