Since a quarter of Switzerland’s population is comprised of foreigners, the need for international schools has long arisen. Zurich is Switzerland’s most populous canton with 1.5 million people, 26.9% of which are non-Swiss people from a total of 166 different countries, all of whom help to make up Zurich’s multi-cultural character.
However, this is not to say that international education is only frequented by foreigners; the Swiss are also interested in joining bilingual schools. Here are some Bilingual or International Schools in Zurich, from primary to tertiary education.
Hull’s School Zurich
Hull’s School is the first English college in Zürich for teenagers. They aim to enable students to succeed in a globalized world where English is the lingua franca. Their four-year college programme covers the UK Fifth and Sixth Forms where students are prepared for IGCSE and A-level examinations. 85% of the students are German-speaking while 15% of the students are bilingual (English and German) or speak a language other than German as their mother tongue.
Swiss International School Mannedorf – Zurich
‘More room for bilingual education, more room for the future.’ is their logo. SIS is a private day school for children from kindergarten through to college. Designed to fulfill the educational goals of Swiss as well as internationally mobile families, the SIS programme is centered on consistent bilingual classroom instruction and peer experience in German and English, culminating in a diploma with Swiss and international university entrance qualifications. The yearly fee for SIS students is CHF 25,000.
Inter-Community School Zurich
The Inter-Community School Zurich (ICS) is an accredited international school in Zurich, Switzerland. They are the only school in Zurich offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme for Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Studies. ICS provides a personalised education for students 3 to 18, including a bilingual diploma option. The annual fee is CHF 33,700.
Zurich International School
Zurich International School is where 1,335 students learn and develop in a challenging and nurturing multicultural environment. It is comprised of four campuses and has over 55 nationalities and 40 mother-tongue languages represented in the school community. Founded in 1963, the school has a long history of educational excellence in the Zurich area. The basic annual tuition fee for ZIS students is CHF 36,200.
Zurich North International School
International School – Zurich North is an IB World School and an IGCSE and International A-Level specialist, offering students an international education in the English language and the benefits of living in a multi-cultural environment. This day school educates students aged 3 to 17, thus from nursery to grade 12. It is located in the north-eastern suburbs of Zurich, Switzerland. For the secondary level, the annual fee is CHF 29.000.
Tandem IMS (International Multilingual School)
Tandem IMS is a private international school which has been accredited by the canton of Zurich’s educational authorities. We implement the Zurich cantonal curriculum with the aim to prepare the children for the “Gymnasium” entrance examinations at the end of 6th grade leading to the best schools in Zurich. The structure and philosophies of the Tandem curriculum are closely related to international curricula, especially those currently in use in international schools, and uniquely implements translanguaging and enquiry based learning in its lessons. This ensures easy transfer back to the home countries’ schooling and international schools worldwide.
Lakeside School – Kusnacht
Lakeside School is a private, bilingual day school located on Lake Zurich. Lessons are based on the Canton Zurich curriculum and are combined with inputs from international curricula resulting in a unique Lakeside School curriculum. Their bilingual programme is not limited to listening and speaking but also includes challenging requirements in reading and writing. The annual fee is CHF 12,600.
The Japanese School in Zurich
The educational aim of the Japanese School in Zurich is to provide an environment in which children understand the pleasure of learning and independently develop a high motivation towards learning. Moreover, they aim for students to cultivate love and respect for themselves and others and to be educated to have a creative mind with the ability to be robustly active in the international society. German, English and Japanese classes are taught from the first grade. The full-time school’s monthly fee is 1,000 Swiss francs for one child, while for part-time students it is 400 Swiss francs for one child.
Universities that offer courses and programs in English:
In Switzerland, English-taught modules at the university-level are offered with internationalization goals in mind. By offering courses and programs in an international language universities attract international students, but also prepare local students for future international scenarios and improve their employment chances.
University of Zurich
The University of Zurich is one of the leading research universities in Europe and offers the widest range of study courses in Switzerland, and a number of them are in English, apart from German. With its 26,000 enrolled students, the University of Zurich (UZH) is Switzerland’s largest university.
Made up of seven faculties covering some 100 different subject areas, the University offers a wide variety of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs. In addition, UZH’s continuing education programs offer excellent learning opportunities. The tuition fee is 1,220 CHF per semester.
ETH – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule
ETH’s motto is “Freedom and individual responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and open-mindedness: ETH Zurich stands on a bedrock of true Swiss values.” They do hold Swiss values, however their language of instruction is not only one of their official languages, but an international one such as English, too.
Their Bachelor’s degree programs begin in German, and in the 2nd and 3rd years are mixed with English. As for Master’s degree programs, there are some exclusively in English. The tuition fee per semester is CHF 1,229.
The ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences
At the ZHAW, the language of instruction is usually German, but they do offer students from Switzerland and abroad numerous degree programs and education courses taught in English and focusing on an international perspective. One of their Bachelor’s Degree Programs lectured in English is Business Administration with a Specialization in Banking and Finance, while one of their many Master’s Degree Programs in English is their MSc in Banking and Finance.
The tuition fee for both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs per semester is CHF 720, but for students who are not Swiss residents there’s an additional fee of CHF 500.
Zurich University of the Arts
Since careers in the arts and design are international, ZHdK makes sure that their teaching and research are firmly oriented toward internationalization, which they regard as ‘the vibrant exchange beyond disciplinary and national boundaries’. Due to growing international demand, they now offer Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) completely in English, though candidates may submit seminar papers in either German or English.
The languages of instruction of their other Master programs, such as Composition for Film, Theatre and Media, are both German and English, however they offer language courses of German for ones who don’t speak it. The tuition is CHF 720 per semester.