What makes international schools stand out?

Key differences between international and local schools

What makes international schools stand out?

Many expat families depend on international schools when moving abroad. An easier adaptation process and transferable curricula are usually among the main deciding factors when it comes to choosing a school. However, the following additional factors also set international schools apart from other private and public alternatives.

A welcoming, international community

When arriving in Switzerland, many families find it takes longer than expected to integrate into the local community. That’s why international schools run special activities, enabling newcomers from various countries to get together and share their first experiences of Swiss life. For example, many schools encourage expat families to take part in language exchange groups, cultural and sporting activities, and volunteering initiatives as a way to build up their network of contacts and boost their children’s international exposure.

IB: A gateway to world-class universities

No school can guarantee your child will make it to a top university. International schools are, however, able to provide more personalised learning pathways, which enable individual students to use their unique talents and skills to become successful university graduates. What’s more, learners are informed of what they need to do to reach their goals by qualified university guidance counsellors. Highly regarded by many universities worldwide, the International Baccalaureate programmes offered by most international schools also pave the way for admission into reputed institutions.

State-of-the-art facilities

International schools usually have highly developed teaching facilities and innovative distance learning techniques. For example, Haut-Lac International School ’s outstanding sports facilities enable it to provide flexible IBMYP, IBDP and IBCP programmes for student-athletes, who represent their sport at regional, national or international level.

Extra-curricular activities

Most international schools provide a wide variety of after-school activities. Their modern sports facilities, performance halls and innovation spaces provide children with a safe space in which to grow and move out of their comfort zones. It is common for students to engage in artistic or sporting activities as a part of their weekly routine.


Children living abroad are lucky, as they are exposed to different languages, cultures and environments. However, as enriching as this may be, it usually comes with serious challenges. Teachers from diverse backgrounds, as is the norm in international schools, can help children understand cultural differences and how to make the most of them. In Switzerland, international schools tend to offer classes in both the local language as well as in English. They will usually encourage international students to also learn the local language, while only a few select schools are fully bilingual.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: