Around the world, there are cities that have more than one international school. Many times there is an American school, a British School, and an international school that uses an international curriculum.
Some cities, though, have MANY international schools! When that is the case, how do the comments about each school compare to each other?
This blog series looks at comparing some of these comments, all coming from international schools in the same city.
Currently, we have 30 schools listed in Switzerland on International School Community.
14 of these schools have had comments submitted on them. Here are a few that have the most submitted comments:
Inter-community School Zurich (61 Total Comments)
International School Basel (41 Total Comments)
International School of Lausanne (19 Total Comments)
International School Zug and Luzern (32 Total Comments)
Leysin American School (69 Total Comments)
John F. Kennedy International School (25 Total Comments)
Obersee Bilingual School AG (22 Total Comments)
TASIS The American School in Switzerland (32 Total Comments)
Zurich International School (25 Total Comments)
“I interviewed with them over Skype about 2 years ago. The administers were really nice and it was more of a dialogue rather than a list of questions. There was an issue with moving my application forward because of the new visa application restrictions imposed on the school. Thus being from the U.S. in this instance was not an advantage in the hiring process. Their follow-up communication was pretty good though; which was done via email.” – Zurich International School
“I was hired through Search Associates. But I’m pretty sure they recruit with other agencies too.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland
“The school does go to the London fairs, but like the previous common mentioned, they do look for teaching couples before hiring single teachers. There are also new visa restrictions underway limiting the number non-EU students and staff that can work at/attend the school.” – Leysin American School
“The High School is on a purpose-built site on a small industrial estate. The Primary School is in an old chalet/convent with some newer buildings added on. The Middle School is on the same campus as the Primary and was purpose-built a few years ago. Surrounding area is open country.” – International School Zug and Luzern
“ISB is split onto two campuses, with pre-K to Grade 5 being on one and Grades 6 to 12 being on another. The school is expanding even further, opening a third campus for Grade 6 next year. The school building is great. New building, large classrooms with beautiful views of the countryside and plenty of whiteboards and interactive boards. The Grade 6 to 12 campus also has a new all weather outdoor soccer field.” – International School Basel
“There are a number of buildings that make up this campus. The buildings were made within the last decade, make mostly of reinforced concrete. The secondary building is pretty nice. There are a number of floors and many classrooms with big windows. It can get a bit noisy in the common areas. The cafeteria is pretty big, where the students eat lunch. That same cafeteria can be divided into a 1/3 for teachers to hold meetings.” – Inter-community School Zurich
“Housing is expensive. Rent, utilities and medical insurance is well over half my salary.” – International School Zug and Luzern
“There is a housing allowance/benefit, but it is taxed. A number of staff live in school owned buildings. If you have friends/family come to visit you, there is a building that can house them for free or for only 10 CHF a night. It is a simple/barebones room “hotel”, but it is nice of the school to offer this benefit. The rooms have heated floors as well.” – Leysin American School
“No housing allowance.” – International School Basel
“Housing options vary but tend to be 1-2 bedroom apartments (some within dorms). Dormitory Parents earn 20,000 CHF additional. Most expats may rent subsidized apartments through the school. These include furnishings, utilities, DSL and cleaning service for on-campus apartments.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland
Health insurance and medical benefits.
“You pay for your own health insurance, and for a family it can be up to 1000 chf per month.” – Inter-community School Zurich
“Health Care is incredibly expensive, because your insurance policy covers nothing under your deductible ($500 for full-time teachers/admin, $600 for kids, and $2500 for traveling spouse/part-time staff. This is after paying almost $600 a month in insurance payments for our family of four.” – TASIS The American School in Switzerland
“Not provided, all out-of-pocket with different levels of insurance available.” – International School Basel
“Health care is very good, but expensive. You could expect to pay between 250 – 450 USD per month insurance. Taxes are low, so this is a factor to consider. All workers in Switzerland are obliged to take out a private insurance, but for the standard package this includes all pre-existing conditions.” – International School Zug and Luzern
(These are just 4 of the 65 different comments topics that on each school profile page on our website.)
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The journey to work is indeed an important one. The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers when they are looking for jobs at schools in cities/countries to which they have never been. So let’s share what we know!
One of our members, who works at the Leysin American School (Leysin, Switzerland), described his way to work there as follows:
I love waking up in the morning here in Leysin. The mountains are always there to greet you, and they are indeed spectacular at which to look. There can be some fog in the morning, but that can dissipate as the day gets warmer. The spring is starting right now, so there can be many days of wonderful, warm sun.
Though many teachers (including myself) can easily walk to school, a number of teachers decide to drive their car on some days because they have other responsibilities after school that requires driving.
If I walk, then I can get to most school buildings within 3-12 minutes. It is not bad at all and it is a good way to get your heart rate up a bit being that everywhere I need to get to is always at an incline. You need to walk up tons of steep driveways and tons of stairs both inside and outside of the school buildings while working at this school.
I love this time of the year. There is still some snow on the ground, but it is melting away pretty fast, since much of Leysin is facing the south. Just a few weeks ago, there was a snow storm that dumped A LOT of snow on the ground. Because of the warm sun, you can see trails of melted ice water going down the streets and into the drains. There is a crisp and fresh feeling in the air when you breathe (and you breathe heavily at times depending on how much you have to climb up and if you are having a chat with a fellow coworker).
This week there was sun every day. The sun is so bright and it feels great on your face. The buildings on campus really light up when the sunlight shines through the windows. I especially like older building on campus, in the main hall. The stained glass windows in the sunlight look so beautiful!
As you walk along the streets that connect all the campus buildings, you need to keep an eye out for cars and buses. There isn’t always a lot of space for pedestrians and the cars can appear fairly quickly around the corner as they jet up and down the mountain side.
In one of the other main buildings, there is a cafeteria that also has a great view of the mountains across the valley. How lucky our students and staff are to have this view while eating their lunch and/or dinner!
As you walk around campus, especially going to work, expect to see many other staff members (and their children) as well as many students. Everyone is usually with a smile on their face though, and kindly greets each other. It is like one big family here sometimes!
Living in Leysin is definitely not for everyone. But when thinking about the journeys to work at other schools I’ve worked at across the globe, Leysin has a pretty easy and beautiful one.
This Journey to School article was submitted to us by guest author and International School Community member.
What to know more what it is like to visit and live in Switzerland? There are 12 international schools in Switzerland that have had comments submitted on them:
International School Zug and Luzern (Baar, Switzerland) – 32 Comments
International School Basel (Basel, Switzerland) – 37 Comments
SIS Swiss International School Basel (Basel, Switzerland) – 11 Comments
Int’l School of Geneva – La Chataigneraie Campus (Founex, Switzerland) – 7 Comments
International School Geneva – Campus des Nations (Geneva, Switzerland) – 17 Comments
International School of Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland) – 19 Comments
Leysin American School (Leysin, Switzerland) – 58 Comments
TASIS The American School in Switzerland (Lugano, Switzerland) – 32 Comments
John F. Kennedy International School (Saanen, Switzerland) – 25 Comments
Inter-community School Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) – 44 Comments
International School (Zurich North) (Zurich, Switzerland) – 5 Comments
Zurich International School (Zurich, Switzerland) – 25 Comments
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