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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Education section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • Michela Mantani
    Communications Manager at La Côte International School, Michela is passionate about education and the impact that different learning styles can have on a child’s learning journey. She has been researching and writing about the various educational options available in the Lake Léman region since relocating here from London in 2008.

  • Sarah Frei
    Head of Marketing and Communication at Brillantmont International School, Sarah is excited by the opportunities created by technology not only to communicate with the multicultural, far-flung school community but also to share knowledge and experiences about educational practice.
  • Sabine Hutcheson
    Sabine Hutcheson is a British-trained school teacher, with over a decade’s teaching experience in Switzerland, UK and neighbouring France. She has taught a variety of subjects to children from 5 to 18 years old, as well as to adults. After working as an Educational Consultant at TutorsPlus, Sabine is now Head of Sixth Form at the British School of Geneva.

  • Julie Tompkins-Wagner
    Julie Tompkins-Wagner is an active concert pianist, music educator and administrator with over 40 years of experience, 27 of them in the International environment. She is passionate about the benefits of making music, bringing young musicians together and working with young people of all ages in order to help them gain the life skills that they will need for their future.

  • Marianne Salem
    Marianne Salem was the Executive Director of the Lake Leman International School (LLIS) in Morges, Vaud. Founded in 2011, the school offered education to students aged between 3 and 11, with flexible teaching that matched each student's needs and a strong focus on community engagement for both pupils and their families.

  • Sara Dubler is responsible for advertising, digital marketing, and communications at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in St-Légier-La Chiésaz near Vevey and also for developing the alumni network.  She is a marketing enthusiast who is passionate about the digital world and enjoys combining her knowledge and skills to boost the vibrant school community and watch it thrive and develop.

  • Denise Nickerson - Educational Consultant
    Co-author of Know-it-all passport’s Education Guide Switzerland, Denise has been a speaker in over 300 international schools in 30 different countries. Working as a college and university counselor, and as an educational consultant helping families around the world, she also provides training and development for educators in schools and universities, and is passionate about international education!

Books-close-up brillantmont

By Sarah Frei, Brillantmont International School

With examinations looming on the horizon, many students are looking ahead, considering the next stage in their academic life. Many of the international curricula offered in Swiss private schools provide an element of choice with regard to subject combinations  and therein lies the difficulty. If you’re agonising over which course to choose, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Choose subjects you enjoy
Maybe your Dad is an incredible mathematician whilst mum’s a talented biologist. You want to keep them both happy,but what you really enjoy is history and languages. In that case, go for it! For the next two years, you‘ll be devoting a lot of energy and possibly a few sleepless nights to the subjects you choose, so the least you should do is like them! Choosing subjects to please others risks leaving you frustrated, unhappy and quite simply, out of your depth. Similarly, don’t choose a subject just because your best friend has chosen it !

Global-University-Choices infocrop2

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

Are you a parent of a teenager or a high school student? Do you find the thought of applying to universities stressful? It shouldn't be! It can be an exciting and fun experience for your whole family. If you are an international person, knowing how to begin the process is the key. How do you create a reasonable list of universities from literally thousands of global choices? What are the first steps? Some families decide on a country first, others let ambition guide them. I suggest a long first list, including many options that can be investigated - if you have the luxury of time. This info-graphic is designed to help you narrow down your choices without limiting yourself. You will find some tips about circumstantial parameters that ultimately make the choice easier. Enjoy, and give me a call if you'd like more guidance on the way to the right choice for you.

Click on the image if you would like to see a larger version.

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English and International Curricula – leading up to secondary school

In English-speaking classrooms at international schools throughout Switzerland, students will be following the International Baccalaureate curriculum. This begins at age 5, with the IB Curriculum Primary Years Programme (PYP), designed to equip children up to the age of 11 with all they need to begin the Middle Years Programme (MYP).  A large proportion of students continue studying the MYP until the age of 16, when they will have completed their secondary education. Then they will make the decision whether to go on to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB DP) or perhaps to switch to the English curriculum’s A Levels, depending their preferred style of learning.

Secondary school: GCSE or MYP?

Although many students and their parents are aware that there is a choice to be made between the IB DP and A-Levels following secondary school, fewer look critically at the option of MYP versus GCSE. In Switzerland in international schools, many students do continue the MYP until they are 16. However, some students, particularly those looking ahead to a place at an international university, may opt out of the MYP for the more structured iGCSEs.  The choice depends not only on the offering of the school, but the future plans of the student and their ability and study habits. Knowing what kind of student you are dealing with can be the difference between success and failure in choosing which curriculum they should follow.  

certificate transcript

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

It’s December, and for millions of high school seniors, or students in their final year of secondary school, it’s crunch time for college and university applications. Many colleges and universities (and even UCAS, the UK higher education application clearinghouse) have January deadlines for application materials. Before they take their IB, AP, Bac, or Matu exams, they are preparing the first job applications of their lives – applying to become uni students in the fall. For all students, but especially for international students, transcripts are a very important, heavily weighted part of the university application file.

What are transcripts?
Official transcripts are academic records. They are documents issued by a school or university that provide an educational record. They include dates, subjects studied, some kind of indication of how much time was spent studying each subject, and grades or evaluation received for each academic subject. On a transcript, it should be obvious if the student in question successfully completed his courses or not. Academic credit received may also be evident. Transcripts exist in almost every country, and are used by schools and universities all over the world. They cannot be created by a parent or a student, but must be issued, printed, certified or created by an educational institution (a school, college, university, or other professional institute). Report cards or grade reports can be made into transcripts if a school does not have a transcript system in place (usually with stamps and signatures obtained officially at the school).


© Elargis Tes Horizons

By Denise Nickerson, Educational Consultant

On November 16th at Uni Mail in Geneva, nearly 400 girls participated in a day of workshops, interaction with women scientist mentors, a career fair and lunch. The girls, all age 11-14 were enjoying the third Elargis Tes Horizons event to come to Geneva since 2009. Many of them found out about the event through flyers that were distributed to girls in the Geneva area public schools. Girls from other cantons, France, and private schools were also welcomed. Incredibly, this event was entirely free of charge.
35 interactive workshops were offered, all led by women working in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math careers, or STEM careers. Workshops were offered in French and/or English. Each attendee was able to attend two workshops of her choice, and have one workshop period to visit the career fair and talk with professionals working in the sciences. Over 80 volunteers were on hand to help the girls register and find their workshops. Parents were also welcomed to interact with a panel of experts about how to support their daughters in the pursuit of scientific study and professions.