American Boarding Schools in Europe
A while ago, an old colleague of mine who had taught with me at a boarding school in New Hampshire came to see me. He is now the Director of Admission at Leysin American School in Switzerland. Leysin is one of a number of American boarding schools in Europe. He wanted to make sure that I also include Leysin in my list of semester schools when talking to prospective students.
Leysin has students coming from countries throughout the world as well as children of American families who are stationed abroad for employment reasons. Leysin is just one example of American boarding schools in Europe that can function like a semester school. TASIS (The American School in Switzerland) is located in the Italian region of Switzerland. For Middle schoolers, there exists a semester in Lenk, Switzerland called Winter Term- http://www.hohliebi.ch/winterterm/. Some European boarding schools like L’École d’Humanité- https://www.ecole.ch/ offer an American curriculum to accommodate its American population as well. There are many such schools. Most of them, oddly enough, are in Switzerland.
Imagine spending a semester or year in high school high at an American boarding school in Europe. You would learn a second language. At a school like Leysin, you would ski at some of the most famous and quintessentially alpine ski resorts in the world. Your classmates would come from all parts of the globe. As an alumnus, there would be no place on earth you could go and not be able to pick up the phone and call someone. I knew a woman in college who had attended one of these schools. She had nothing but good things to say. She was also one of the most interesting people I met in college.
Due to the transient nature of some of their students, many boarding schools in Europe do offer “abbreviated” enrollment periods. Depending on how the school calendar is structured, student may enroll for a trimester, semester or year.
These unique semester school programs also exist in the US. The list is long. Below are some examples-
City Term- https://www.cityterm.org/
Island School- http://www.islandschool.org/
Once in a lifetime
The market exists because students can have these once in a lifetime experiences with no disruption to their academics. Pam Clarke, Head of Trevor Day School in New York City, says “The main reason to allow your students to go to a semester school is that their experience will be life-transforming and will reﬂect very well on them and on your school. There are few opportunities to change the course of adolescence for the better, and a semester school is one prominent opportunity.”
There is absolutely no reason why boarding schools abroad could not be included on that list of semester schools. Please keep in mind that these schools are also fantastic options as three and four year diploma schools. Families from the US do send their children there to complete high school. If you or anyone you know is interested in such an experience, please investigate. It could be life changing.
School of the Month
School of the Month- Leysin American School in Switzerland- http://www.las.ch/Leysin American School is situated in the French speaking portion of Switzerland near Geneva and Lausanne. LAS is a college preparatory boarding school enrolling about 340 students from over 60 different countries. In addition to 9th-12th grades, it offers an 8th grade as well as a post graduate year.
The Ott family owns Leysin. The Otts founded the school in 1960 and continue to operate it today. The school offers a US diploma as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB). The daily schedule changes throughout the year. When the snow arrives, Tuesdays and Thursdays have abbreviated academic schedules so that students can take advantage of the numerous skiing options that surround the school.
As part of its ‘Travel Curriculum’ during the year, the school sponsors a number of cultural trips within Switzerland and to countries throughout Europe. Some are weekend excursions. Others can last as long as a week. How could you learn about European History without visiting the many historic sites throughout the Continent?
If you would like to find out more about Leysin American School, Please contact Paul Dyer, Director of Admissions, at 305-677-3661 or myself at 508-650-4600. Also for more about American education, go to https://globaledconnector.org/american-education-nurturing-talent/
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