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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:

  • Local Teacher Bloggers

    Instead of asking teachers or staff from one particular school in the area, we've decided to host all of them under one heading. We expect great things to happen on this page, so make sure to check often to read their stories, insights, explanations, and thoughts on education for children, adults, special needs, or extra-curricular.

  • Philippa Dobree-Carey is an adept project manager for an international organization in Geneva. Author of the award-winning student guide "From High School to Uni", Philippa successfully steers students step-by-step through the process of packing, preparing for and thriving in the university environment. This firsthand perspective has driven her to create a library of well-defined, pragmatic resources aimed at facilitating the transition to university life. Discover a treasure trove of invaluable resources by visiting her website www.fromhighschooltouni.com.
  • Trudi Hayes
    She is the Director of Swiss Language Group in Geneva, which comprises of three schools. Wall Street English, Swiss French School and Ecole Suisse d’Allemand. Trudi has a background in client relationship and service management and is a qualified English teacher. She and her team of language consultants help students find the best language courses for them, according to their individual objectives and requirements.
  • Sandra Steiger
    TutorsPlus Academic support manager, Sandra and has over 10 years’ experience teaching English at various schools in Switzerland. During her 6 years at the International School of Geneva, she was also the Service Learning programme Coordinator, Homeroom Mentor and Head of Year 8. Now she helps parents and students get the academic support they need.
  • 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.

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Photo credit ©Lisa Cirieco Swiss Change

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

The first question every parent asks me, an experienced mum whose children have successfully navigated university with no student debt, is “how do you create a budget”?

A survey conducted amongst students in 2020 revealed that over 70% of them worried about making ends meet, and yet at least 10% of students had never even attempted to compile a budget.

If you don’t know how or where to start, read on. By following these tips and using the interactive budget calculator on my website, you will be able to calculate what works best for you, within your means, and learn how to budget successfully.

Why do you need a budget?

If you’re going to be receiving a scholarship or student loan – that means you have a bottomless pit of funds, right? WRONG! You need to make your finances stretch to cover all essentials, from rent to food, to mobile phone costs to socializing. It may be fun to have a night out clubbing, but if that means eating crackers and drinking water for the rest of the month, was it worth splurging on alcohol, or could you budget appropriately to make sure you know how much your social funds can cover?

Typical uni room

A typical student bedroom with desk chair and bed

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

Moving into University Halls of Residence is a huge adventure for Freshers - perhaps their first taste of independence! First time managing a budget, first time cooking for themselves, first time organizing their lives with no assistance from parents. In addition, their new life may be in another country, with a different culture and customs, a new space with complete strangers, and it will take some time to adjust to the new environment.

To make this process less daunting, and help make the experience moving into Halls enjoyable, follow these tips below:

DO pack your suitcases efficiently. Before you leave home, organise your belongings into categories (like clothes, desk stuff, bathroom toiletries, shoes, etc.). This will make it so much easier to unpack efficiently and organise your room quickly.

DON’T lock yourself in your room whilst unpacking. Wedge your bedroom door open to say hi to other residents and get a chance to talk with your new flat mates immediately. The sooner you start chatting, the sooner you will start to make friends.

DO unpack your room straightaway as soon as you have picked up your key or badge from the University admin office. You will feel more settled and comfortable once you have your own space sorted.

DON’T drag out the goodbyes with your parents if they have dropped you off. It's normal to feel emotional when they leave, but don't let that stop you from enjoying your new independence!

DO be friendly and supportive getting to know your flat mates who may be shy. Invite them to join you for an exploratory walk around the university campus or go have lunch or dinner together in town.

DON’T isolate in your room. Whilst it is tempting to just curl up by yourself and watch Netflix, go out and get to know your flat mates. This is an exciting time - embrace the challenge!

moving in

By Philippa Dobree-Carey, From High School to Uni

It’s crunch time. The clock is ticking in these last few weeks of sunshine and summer before your high school graduate heads off to college or university.

So what can you do in the meantime to prepare for departure?

One of my annual summer activities is to go through my children’s cupboards and declutter clothes, equipment, toys or schoolbooks and papers that are no longer needed. A quick trip to the recycling centre and you’ve gained some much-needed cupboard space, while feeling good about ticking this task off your list.

You can also give clothes to your neighbors, friends, or your next child, and recycle files and folders with new labels for use at home, or for university, if needed. Scan any documents or artwork you wish to retain as keepsakes, and carefully file them with a memorable name.

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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

By Sabine Hutcheson

In the wake of travel restrictions and uncertainty linked to a now two-year long pandemic, international families settled in the Geneva area may have come to question how far they are willing to send their children to university. Amongst the expat community and the international schools of Geneva, Switzerland did not feature high as a choice for university destination compared to the UK and North America. However, Swiss universities have become an increasingly attractive prospect. 

With 7 of the 12 Swiss public universities ranking in the world top 100, the case for an academic choice with real prospects of employment is obvious. Moreover, the mere CHF 1000.- annual fee makes one wonder about the post-Brexit cost of UK universities, especially for institutions that do not even make the top 200. Fees for EU/CH residents, which used to be around £9,000 annually now range from £15,000 to £40,000. Yet there hasn’t been a significant surge in applications at local public universities. So what’s the catch?

Language can clearly be a barrier. Anglophone students who have not had the chance to learn French will struggle to reach the required B2 level for entry at university. Language learning and integration is, therefore, something to factor in for newly arrived families, as early as possible in a child’s life. Public schools in Geneva and Vaud present a complex structure of a variety of academic levels which can seem daunting but once in the system, there are many possible routes towards higher education, including via vocational training. For students who arrived in the area in their teens, an emerging number of courses are available in English, such as the Bachelor’s in Economics and Management at the University of Geneva or the Bachelor’s in International Business at the Haute Ecole de Gestion. The International University in Geneva offers many English-speaking possibilities.

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By Trudi Hayes, Swiss Language Centre

We are super happy to have Trudi Hayes as one of our new bloggers. To get her started, she has introduced the company she is working for and her blogs will be centered around Languages and Learning

Why learning a new language is a necessity

The current pandemic has nudged people to research and try out new activities to ‘mentally escape’ the day-to-day monotony we can sometimes feel during these restrictive covid times.

It has given some people the chance to finally tackle lifelong goals or has made others recognize the value in growing and improving themselves, and in giving themselves new opportunities that will help them succeed both during and after these times of uncertainty.

One of the most popular activities has been learning a new language, with mobile apps reporting huge increases in users, and schools dealing with unprecedented demand.

But why would language lessons suddenly become so important?

It basically comes down to the fact that being able to converse in and understand a foreign language helps in both your personal and professional development.

As Manager of a Swiss Language Centre in Geneva (Ecole Suisse d’Allemand, Swiss French School and Wall Street English), I have seen large numbers of students who are now “reinventing” themselves.

They are reconsidering (by choice or by force) their professional or academic plans and they understand now just how important mastering a new language can be.