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memories SUMMER 2016



adventure AGES 7-11

4 alpine exploration AGES 12-14


alpine challenge AGES 15-18

28 practical information


memories | 2016


alpine adventure AGES 7-11


memories | 2016


Abdulsalam age 11

Nigeria & UK 3rd summer at SIS Alpine Adventure Program


Q: What made you decide to come back?

Q: What activities did you choose?

Q: Have you learned anything really interesting?

A: Because it is fun and I like the trips.

A: Art attack and sports and games. I’m looking forward to Art the most, because I like to draw and color.

A: I’ve learned a little bit about the history of the Olympics. I really liked that.

Q: Who made the decision for you to attend SIS? A: My mom said I should go to SIS again which I was happy about.

Q: What is your favourite meal in the cafeteria? A: I like all the vegetarian meals.

Q: What excursions have you done so far and which was your favorite? A: I’ve visited the Olympic museum, Zermatt, and chocolate factory. The Olympic museum was my favorite because of the games at the end of the museum. I played the digital football.

Q: What do you do during family time? A: Ms. Steph and Ms. Annie are my moms. We have dinner, play games and last night we went shopping in Leysin. I bought some lasers.

Q: What classes do you take each morning? A: English, computers and Maths.

Q: What is your favorite class so far? A: English. Ms. Alex is my teacher, she’s very kind, and we colour during class.

Q: What’s the hardest part about being at SIS? A: Missing my family. It is hard because they’re in Nigeria and I’m all the way in Switzerland.

Q: Do you think you will want to come back to SIS next year? A: Definitely.

Q: What is your biggest camp secret? A: I take showers in morning even though I’m suppose to take them at night after phone time!

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GROUP PHOTOS session 1

session 2


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what did you do

today? Sienn

a, 8

We went to the Aqua Park today! It was really fun because my friend and I went on EVERY slide. I liked the white and pink one the best! It was kind of scary because the tube was really big and the slide was really long, with water coming out from all the sides, nonstop!


N, 11

I had math class where we learned about symmetry, and English class where we played a spelling game, and are learning the past tense. The girls won the spelling game, but we will play it again and have another chance!

Taisuke, 10 We went overnight hiking in the mountains! We made s’mores and barbecued on the camp fire at night, and paddle boarding during the day.

NATE, 11

Well, today is arrivals day. I’ve been here for 4 years now and arrivals day is my favorite because you get to meet all the other kids, see the new faces, and you wonder how camp is going to start.

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n 1986, I stepped off of the cog train from Aigle into the magic of Leysin, excited, nervous and dazzled by the scenery. I was 15, alone in a new country and very unsure of what to expect like countless students with these same emotions as they began a new adventure at Leysin American School. Whether coming as a full-time student or for the Summer In Switzerland program, the initial experience of stepping into a brand new world is life changing. Regardless of how they arrive, students leave with a new sense of self that I am convinced cannot be found anywhere else. Like the students before and after me, I left the mountain with confidence, self-awareness, empathy and a global view that still guides my personal and professional life. Three decades later, I am still drawn to the beauty, the community and the climate of acceptance, growth and learning that Leysin American School embodies. Leysin became my home and the people became my family My situation is unique. My relationship with LAS has truly come full circle from LAS alumna to SIS teacher and now, a parent of SIS students. This past summer I was given the opportunity to teach at SIS and I also had my children in the SIS Alpine Adventure and Alpine Exploration programs. As a teenager being introduced
to Leysin
and the
ways of LAS, my nervous anticipation quickly turned to excitement and happiness. I was immediately accepted


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into an inclusive community but it wasn’t always easy with challenging classes, strict schedules and no familiar faces. We were from all over the world but quickly found common ground as our new “family” brought us together. Our “parents” took us on excursions around Switzerland and most importantly, gave us a feeling of

“THE SMALL VILLAGE ATMOSPHERE COMBINED WITH THE BREATHTAKING MOUNTAINS, BECAME MY DEFINITION OF PARADISE.” home through evenings spent together sharing meals. My favorite was night skiing down the mountain with a torch in my gloved hand, ending with a fondue dinner and skiing became my passion. As an adult, I fully appreciate the global awareness that is such a huge part of me, an awareness that I developed through my time in Leysin. Days were spent exploring, laughing and learning about other cultures through our newfound friendships. That type of personal growth can only occur in environments that foster the positive aspects of diversity and a global perspective. Leaving to attend college was bittersweet but as an 18 year old, I was ready to start my life and spent my undergraduate career at the University of
Puget Sound where I met my
future husband. I decided education was my calling and received my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from University of Colorado Boulder and I’ve now been teaching for twenty-one years and have added three wonderful boys to the family.


Two summers ago, we decided that our boys needed to visit my “home.” I wasn’t sure how it would work out, or if it would at all, but the pieces fell into place perfectly and
I found myself with a teaching position and the opportunity to bring two of my boys, 10 and 12, with me.

Independence Day, was difficult. The fireworks immediately made him miss home. There were tears. If your child is upset, so are you. I worried. My mom instinct wanted to make everything better for him. Luckily, I thought back to my time as a student, and reminded myself, “He will be okay.” Sure enough, his dorm head, Mr. Scott, stepped in and took him under his wing. Soon my son was happily exploring again and spending his days with new friends.


If you are a parent, you know that one of the hardest things to do is to hand your child over to strangers. You hope they will support, care and dry their tears when needed. As a mom, I wanted more than anything for their experience to be nothing less than remarkable. This was our “adventure.” Would they enjoy it? Would it broaden their minds? Would they want to return? As soon as we stepped foot in Leysin,I knew the answer was, “Yes.” My 12-year-old in Alpine Exploration was going into his first extended time away from home. I would be somewhat close by but how would he feel with a roommate and so many new faces? I can honestly say that he thrived and grew in many ways. Was he homesick? I’ll admit that the Fourth of July, US

My job was working directly with the younger children in the Alpine Adventure program. In this case, I was mom and teacher with my 10-year-old in the program with me.
I wasn’t worried about him because I knew I was near but I felt the concern of those parents delivering their children to us. Some students came in ready to tackle anything. Many came in not wanting to leave their families and I felt an instant bond with these kids. I knew how their parents were feeling too and this unique perspective was vital. In particular, two boys had a very hard time the first three days. They missed mom and dad but with the support of other amazing staff, we sat up at night with them, found

some comfort items, and in the end, these boys were two of the happiest most confident boys in the group. The amount of growth in three weeks was
amazing. At SIS, I had the opportunity to focus on math. My students ranged from fluent English speakers to very limited proficiency. The small class size and the combination of languages could have been a difficult challenge but it was an exciting learning opportunity. My teaching style is creative and this worked perfectly for this group! Each day I learned from my students while also teaching them new concepts in math. We used our time to not only work on our math but also to discuss it. These discussions provided students with the chance to use new vocabulary and for me to learn to convey concepts without a common language.

repeatedly with other children too. They found ways to help each other, regardless of their country of origin or language. Day after day, I watched my child grow into a more understanding, creative and compassionate person. A teacher of young children needs to be understanding, creative and compassionate. My profession demands this every minute of the day. That is why I love my job! The learning communities offered by SIS for teachers, and the variety of students, helped me to grow and become a better teacher. I am incredibly fortunate to be connected to LAS and SIS in such a unique way.
As a student and alumna I have always appreciated the values held and taught each day at LAS and now to help share and deliver those same values as a teacher at LAS has been a profound professional experience. The most remarkable part, however, has been to see LAS pass those same values and experiences to my own children.


This growth occurred
with my own son, also. He
tends to be a quiet observer and he was worried
about communicating with children who didn’t speak English.
That worry evaporated on
the first day. He noticed
a boy who spoke very
little English and was having some trouble because of it. Empathy took over and in no time I watched my own child doing all he could to communicate with another child. I saw this happen


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This is the story of my personal journey and the lasting impact LAS has had on my life and that of my family. The specifics of my journey may be unique, but the positive impact of LAS is not unique, it begins every time a young person takes their first steps in Leysin!



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Life as an


Adventure Teacher As parents we want to provide as many experiences

Fast forward through applying to my school board

for growth and challenge for our kids as we can.

a mini Leave of Absence; preparing report cards;

We listen
to our kids and their requests, we do our

parent interviews; day plans for the supply teacher

talk to others who have experienced this ‘thing’

who would cover for me; the usual gathering of travel

that the child wants to do, then we make a decision.

documents, flights etc. and before you knew it arrival

For our family,

at Geneva Airport on June 18th. Friendly faces were there to greet the arriving

participation in Summer

staff including the director

in Switzerland (SIS) was

Mark Kolman. As various

endorsed by some of the

flights arrived so too did

young people in our family.

staff from many countries –

They first heard about Leysin

much like the experience of

American School (LAS) from

our campers a week later.

my niece, Rachele, who came

From the airport we were

as a Coop student from the

transported by comfortable

University of Waterloo in

school coaches to Leysin.

Ontario, Canada in 2011. The

The mountains were under

family all wished Rachele well

cloud for several days

as she set off for LAS and her

after our arrival – the last

work-experience term. We

remnants of what had been,

had checked out the website

a very wet spring. But when

and Leysin travel and wished we were accompanying her. Who was to know that a few years later another branch of the Fischer family would head to LAS for the Summer in Switzerland (SIS) programme. This time it was my oldest daughter, Lyndsay, who joined the Recreation (aka Rec) Staff for the summer of 2015. She had a great experience. Sending skyped and emailed pictures home, recounting tales of campers and experiences she had throughout the SIS programme. She told me that this experience “would be right up your street Mum! You should apply to go.”


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the rain stopped and the clouds cleared what an incredible sight! The vista of the mountains including the Dents Du Midi, was breathtaking. What a backdrop to the place we and our campers would call home. As the days passed in training and preparation for our campers everything that Lyndsay had shared about the school, the Magic Mountain and the people emerged. I consider myself to have been blessed with the beauty of nature surrounding us. One morning during the second session, one of my campers was taking pictures of the


sky on the way to breakfast. I commented on the brilliant

elective activities. AA had outings on Tuesdays and

colour (that appeared practically every day at some point),

Wednesdays and included Zermatt, Montreux, Lausanne,

she told me that she was taking the picture to remind

Gruyère (Nestlé chocolate Factory), Aquaparc, Saillon

herself when she got home of how blue it was. I asked her

Thermal Baths, L’Etivaz Cheese Caves, and the ‘famous’

if she saw skies this blue where she lived and she told me

overnight hike.

“no, we have gray skies and lots of pollution!” So much that many take for granted, the beauty and the clean air not to mention the health benefits and increase in cognitive outcomes. I was one of two ESL (English as a Second Language)

One unique aspect of SIS is family time. All campers, regardless of age, are put into a camp family. In AA, it is no larger than a 7 person family consisting of 2 parents and up to 5 kids. It creates a semblance of life at home and allows staff to get to know kids better. Most

teachers in the Alpine Adventure (AA) program for 7 to

families like to eat together and my two families were no

11 year olds. The days were full but fun. Academic classes

different. My first family had a dad and three sons – one

were in the morning. I used a variety of ways to encourage

each from Italy, Hungary and Russia. My second family

students to participate in class and use existing and newly

had four children, 2 daughters heralding from Spain and

acquired linguistic skills. Some of my students enjoyed

Switzerland and 2 sons one from Saudi Arabia and one

learning about Readers Theatre, creating puppets, writing

from Nigeria. On our first gathering saw us enjoying

scripts and ultimately performing their own Readers

cheese fondue, playing Uno and being introduced to

Theatre plays that were very entertaining. Other students

Speed Stacking – a fun game of hand-eye coordination

created menus and using a restaurant as the basis for

that my own family and students in my school enjoy. I had

creating some of our oral language opportunities. Our

thrown in a couple of sets ‘just in case’....speed stacking

culminating activity was having a mini in-class restaurant

would become one the favourite things to do in our family

complete with real food. That was a big hit.

gatherings which also including playing soccer at the new

Teachers would walk with the students to Savoy to have lunch together. Following lunch our AA students were handed off to the Recreation staff for the afternoon

Athletic Centre, going shopping in the village, playing mini golf, taking the telecabine to the Berneuse, hiking together as a family in Zermatt and eating more Swiss

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inspired food. At the last community circle when everyone

As a parent I enjoyed hearing of the various

was sharing their favourite camp memory, ‘Family Time’

adventures and exploits and seeing pictures or video clips

came up so many times for both camp sessions. I would

to provide the ‘visuals’ both this summer and last summer.

have to agree.
The SIS Staff come from many countries as

Caroline heads off to university this autumn and I know

do our campers. That was fun for me. I live and teach just

that she goes ready and confident to meet new people

outside of Toronto, a very multi-cultural city. Being in this

and participate fully in a variety of activities. I believe

small mountain village of Leysin with so many nationalities

that is true for all of our campers. Some in the younger

represented made the experience that much better.

campers, and the older ones too I imagine, were home-

Kids were proud to share their heritage as was evident

sick, were challenged by their ability to speak English,

the AA Flag Ceremony on the last night. So many

were shy in meeting others and trying new things. Staff

flags, so many campers and staff who claim connections

were there to encourage and to cheer as our campers

to more than one country. This is certainly in keeping with

‘emerged’ and felt success in a variety of ways. What a

the premise of the school and its history of International

privilege for us to share in that growth and be part of a

Ranger Camps begun in 1949 by the school founders,

special summer.

Fred and Sigrid Ott, to help campers discover that no matter where they come from,” that they were really all alike, despite their initial differences”. From time to time throughout the summer I saw

We three, Caroline, Lyndsay and myself enjoyed our time in Switzerland and while we did not participate in various trips and activities together at SIS, we hiked some of the same trails; went to many of the same destinations

my daughter Caroline, who was a camper for both SIS

for day trips and enjoyed Leysin and the surrounding area.

sessions in the Alpine Challenge (AC), the section for 15

Since arriving home we have talked about where we went,

to 18 year olds. Due to both our timetables I did not see

what we did, who was on staff this summer, the new gym,

much of her but when I did, she usually had a smile on

family time, overnight hikes – the whole enchilada.

her face or was tired due to an awesome day or overnight activity. Caroline signed up for the morning French Immersion programme where students sign a contract agreeing to speaking French for the whole morning in support of their own learning. These students went on many field trips and outings to interact with French speaking people whether it was the local goat farmers, grocery store employees, teachers and Rec Staff and so on. Madame Fanny, their teacher, provided them with a journal that they were to write and record what they had done writing ‘en Francaise!’ Caroline kept going even after camp as we continued travelling through Europe after SIS before heading home to Canada. Caroline availed herself of many of the afternoon activities offered including parapenting – twice!, paddleboarding, rock-climbing, over-night hikes; the Swiss Day race to Prafandaz and more. I met all the teachers and Rec Staff that she interacted with. These are dedicated people who enjoy sharing their knowledge and love of what they do with young people both in their care at SIS and in their lives at home. The campers have a wide variety of classes to choose from; activities to enjoy as well as a host of Dorm activities in the evening and family time that for Caroline’s family included laser tag, aquaparc, a visit to Chateau de Chillon, campfire at Prafandaz and Family Olympics – her favorite.


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As an added bonus, Lyndsay and Caroline were able to see and experience more of their Swiss heritage as their grandparents hail from Zurich as well as visiting with relatives after summer camp was over. And so it is not good-bye to SIS but Auf Wiedersehen – until we meet again !


EXCURSION HIGHLIGHT Nestlé-Cailler Chocolate Factory


he Nestlé-Cailler chocolate factory is a regular highlight of Summer in Switzerland. This tour is one of the best we’ve seen and be ready for a surprise right at the beginning. The tour ends in the chocolate tasting room with free samples of a large variety of chocolate. Our mouths are watering just writing about it. Smell, see and taste the delights that go into some of the world’s finest chocolates. Please note that Oompa-Loompa costumes (Google it to find out what we are talking about) are optional, but we are strongly hinting it’s your best chance of being featured in future SIS guides.


Alimentarium, where a large silver fork in Lake Geneva marks its location! SIS sometimes visits the food museum. There is no chocolate there to taste, but they do have some really good meals if you’d like an interesting place to eat while in Vevey.

Milk chocolate was invented in1875 and Cailler

moved the factory to Broc in 1898. The close proximity of the site to some of Switzerland’s finest milk was a key to chocolate’s success. It’s all about the cows, in other words.

In 1929, Cailler merged with one of the worlds

biggest candy makers, Nestlé, hence the Nestlé-Cailler name it has today.

Nestlé-Cailler makes up to 18 million kilograms of

chocolate a year using 11 million liters of milk, the same

François-Louis Cailler opened his first chocolate factory in

weight as more than one hundred 747 passenger planes.

1819, making Cailler the oldest producer of chocolate

In past years, we believe that SIS students and staff have

in Switzerland.

been able to eat about the equivalent of one of those

passenger planes in the sample room.

The Cailler factory was originally opened in Vevey

in the building which is now the food museum, called the

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alpine exploration AGES 12-14


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LUCAS age 13 Switzerland & Philippines

First time at SIS

Alpine EXPLORATION Program

Q: What activities have you done so far? A: I’ve done so many things! I’ve done cooking where we made cookies, which was very stereotypical because the class was full of girls! I’ve also been on family trips like yesterday we went to the military fort, which was super cool. I saw many things like a cable car that they used in WWII. I also played American Football, which was really cool. It’s one of my favorite hobbies! I’ve done so many things this week that it’s hard to remember them all!

Q: Which was your favorite of these? A: My favorite was definitely American Football. The coach is awesome!

Q: Have you gone on any excursions? A: Yes, yesterday to the military fort. Last week we also went to Lucerne, which was awesome! We also went to Chamonix in France! In Chamonix we first arrived in a small mountain town. We then walked down to see the glacier, and take pictures. Then we went back up in the cable car to have some free time in the village. All excursions are structured like this, which is great!

Q: What classes do you take each morning? A: The first class I have is “States of Nature”, which is really fun because you are the President of a country and you have to manage that country. Each day you continue the game and progress by making new things. Next, I have “Titans of Industry”, which is about finance and investments. There, you are either a

buyer, or a seller of oil, and you have to negotiate prices and quantities. This week we play the game on 3 days, and I’m the banker most of the time so people have to take risks on whether or not they buy oil, which becomes really interesting and very similar to real life.

Q: Have you decided what you want to pursue as a career in the future? A: Well, they have attracted me to such things, but I still have a lot of time to decide.

Q: Why did you choose these classes? A: I chose these because I’ve never done anything like them before so wanted to see how I liked something new. Have you learnt something really interesting? Yes, we learnt about debt, financial enterprises, and taking risks. I also take another class called Superhero

Debates, in which each one chooses a superhero and has to debate why his is the best. This teaches you great debating skills without screaming and fighting, which is really important.

Q: What do you think is the hardest part about being in SIS? A: Remembering to check-in at lunch! It’s not a problem at night because you go to your dorm, but at lunch it’s really hard to remember! What’s also difficult is the roommate situation. They can be really nice, but you also have to adapt to their ways of living. Mine wakes up at 6:30 AM every morning so I need to adapt to that.

Q: What do you think could be improved? A: Everything is fine as it is. Q: Would you like to come back next year? A: Oh sure, of course!

HORSEBACK RIDING During afternoon activities students engage in competitive or non-competitive activities, and adventure sports. This helps students exercise their minds as well as their bodies. Students go horseback riding in good weather and may


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choose from football, floor hockey, tennis, basketball, swimming, ice-skating, yoga, climbing, hiking, parapenting, white-water rafting and many more activities!




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a memoir





The day started bright and early as we left the school campus and travelled down the mountain, towards the St. Bernard tunnel to cross into Italy. Stopping for coffee and croissants just before the border, we entered Italy with the sun already high in the sky. Going past Milan and onto Venice, stopping for a picnic near Verona and reaching the bridge to Venice by mid-afternoon. We found the ferry to Lido island where our hotel was situated and were very happy to enter Venice by water. The ferry went past the main island and we were able to admire the spires and domes on the horizon. On Lido island, we quickly found our hotel and settled in before exploring. Our main aim was to find a place to have dinner and how lucky we were to find a wonderful openair restaurant with staff who happily accommodated our group of 19 students and 3 adults. That evening after dinner we ate the first of our many ice creams and walked to the beach discussing our plans for the following day.


After an excellent breakfast we set off to catch the vaperetto (water bus) from Lido to Murano via Venice, changing boats and admiring more of the coastline. In Murano we found the Scuola del Vitro with an exhibition of glass blowing. It was extremely hot and the glass blowers told
us how the temperatures of the smelting went up to 1000 degrees. We watched fascinated as the lumps of molten glass were


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blown and twisted into shapes making vases and delicate glasses, then watched a video, showing the history of glass blowing. After this we caught a vaperetto back to Lido, gave the students their lunch money and arranged to meet them for our afternoon excursion to a mask painting class. The vaperetto went past St. Mark’s Square with throngs of tourists but we did not visit this time because we were off to our class. Masks in Venice are very much part of the culture. Every year before Easter, the Venice Carnival takes place and people have fun dressing up, wearing masks and disguises. The students were able to choose which masks to paint and after a two-hour class some had marvelous examples to take home to show their parents. Back at the hotel on Lido, we went to dinner at the restaurant we had discovered the previous evening. The students tasted new types of pasta and pizza toppings and the evening ended with more ice-cream, watching the sun set over the wonderful Venetian skyline.


Another bright morning, the heat already rising as we took the vaperetto to the Academia museum, which houses a wonderful exhibition of paintings, frescoes, and icons. The students were asked to choose two paintings they liked and to tell us what why they had stood out for them. The result was some fascinating discussions on who had liked what and why!


After an hour in the museum we crossed
the Academia Bridge towards St. Mark’s Square passing the Rialto. The students were excited to wind their way down narrow streets looking at the window displays with every kind of Venetian item for sale. The crowds got thicker and thicker and we had to keep stopping to ensure our group stayed together. When we finally reached St. Mark’s Square we saw that a whole section had been sectioned off for the annual concert which was to be held the following day celebrating Venice’s special feast day. We broke up into groups, some to go into St. Mark’s Cathedral and some to go and have a gondola ride. When we met up later, everyone had enjoyed their experiences despite the heaving crowds and the heat. We went back to Lido and rested before going swimming. The sea was so warm it was like being in a warm bath. Some students bought a beach ball and
a couple of hours passed quickly as they played in the sea. Time for more ice cream before we changed and got ready for our final supper in Venice. Once again we ate well and had a final walk around the area before returning to the hotel to pack for our early start the following day.


With a very early start we took a packed breakfast from the hotel, boarded the ferry and crossed to the mainland. Once
on the autoroute to Florence, we stopped for coffee and a quick lunch, before arriving at the hotel just
after 1pm. Having settled in, we took the students on an orientation walk around the Duomo and showed them the Tower and the Cupola and the Straw Market, then back to the hotel to change for dinner. Several students wanted to go to Mass and so we attended a service in English in the Cathedral and it gave us an opportunity to see the beautifully decorated dome. Dinner that night was at the Ponte Vecchio with a delicious 4-course Italian meal of bruschetta, pasta, meat and finally desert. Once back to the hotel, the group was tired after a long day, and quietly went to bed.

Both the Botticelli and the Michelangelo “Holy Family”pictures were displayed in the long gallery and students had the opportunity to admire these masterpieces. The colors are so vibrant, it is difficult to imagine they had been painted so long ago. After a surfeit of culture, more ice cream with students able
to choose from a huge variety of
flavors, eating them while watching a video on how ice cream was made. That afternoon
after lunch and a rest, the
students went to the Leonardo da
Vinci museum with machines and instruments created by the master. After changing at the hotel we set off across Florence again winding our way down to
the Piazza Strotzi before crossing the Ponte de la Trinita and going to the In Tavola Cookery school. The Master Chef made the students tie up their hair and wash their hands, then showed them how to prepare a delicious meal with special Italian horsd’oevre of bread and tomatoes, followed by fettuccine with sauce and ravioli with sage. The students made the pasta and created a sauce to accompany the dish and panna cotta pudding with chocolate and raspberry. An excellent way, to end our Florentine experience.


After a good night’s rest and an excellent breakfast we walked down to the Uffizi gallery. Despite the early hour the place was already full of tourists. Luckily we had reserved tickets in advance and our group was able to bypass the queues.


A leisurely start saw us finally packing all the belongings and getting into the bus to travel back home to Switzerland. We stopped on the way for one last Italian lunch just after Genoa, then crossed once again through the tunnel and into Switzerland. Not ready for our trip to end, we all ate pizza or pasta and reminisced over all we had seen and heard over the last few, fun packed, days. It was a late night but there was plenty of excitement with everyone packing for the last time for this SIS trip. We would soon be leaving and going to our homes located all over the world. But we’ll be back.

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Giuseppe Verdi

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EXCURSION HIGHLIGHT Lucerne, Switzerland


ucerne is right in the center of Switzerland, nestled on the shores of a beautiful lake. It’s covered bridge is one of the most recognized icons of Switzerland. There are actually two covered bridges which span the Reuss River. Both bridges have unique paintings in the rafters under the roof and these paintings were very popular in medieval times. The Kapellbrücke, or chapel bridge, was built in 1333, was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1993, but has now been restored and in our opinion is probably the more romantic of the two bridges. As the bridges are pretty close to each other we suggest heading to both and making up your own mind.

Both bridges cross the Reuss river. For the Kapellbrücke head to where the river enters the lake, for Spreuerbrücke follow the river a little further into the old town It is worth taking the time to see another icon of Lucerne, known as the Lion of Lucerne. It is a statue carved in stone, about which the famous American author Mark Twain wrote: “The Lion of Lucerne is the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” We think the lion looks a bit like Aslan the Lion in Narnia or the lion in the Lion King. The Lion of Lucerne, however, is actually in remembrance of Swiss Guards who defended the monarchy in the French revolution. The Lion of Lucerne can be found north of the river Reuss close to the Glacier Garden, Denkmalstrasse 6006 Löwenplatz Garde.

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everyone girls

boys 24

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everyone girls

boys memories | 2016


Lausanne, and lots of different people, which is very nice because we went together to Chateau de Chillon, which was really pretty, and we took lots of pictures. Out of all of these, my favorite was Chateau de Chillon, because my first impression of the lake was “OMG this is beautiful!”

Q: What classes do you take each morning? A: ESL 3, 2D art, and Photography. I do 2D-art with Ms. Cassey, and I love all my classes. I think ESL is really cool but 2D art and photography are more interesting because I can be more creative there.

MARIA age 13 Brazil First time at SIS

Q: Why did you choose those classes? A: My parents told me it’s

Alpine EXPLORATION Program


Q: Who made the decision for you to attend SIS? A: I have a friend named Gabriela, who came here with me. She was very eager on going to a summer camp in Switzerland this summer, so she called me asked me to join her. At that point, I didn’t even know this would have been a possibility, but after she told me about it, I spoke to my parents and they decided it was okay for me to come.

Q: What has been your favorite activity? A: I’ve only done 2 so far because we went on a family trip. I did jewel making with Anna, and painting with Hertu. In jewel making she brought lots of stuff and taught how to


memories | 2016

make a friendship bracelet, but let us do whatever we wanted to. I decided to do something a little different, and she said that was okay, as long as I had fun doing it! So I tried making a necklace but it was too short so she gave me the idea that I could tie it on my bag like a chain, so I did that. I also did the cooking workshop today, which was really fun. Cooking is a new thing for me, because I don’t really cook, so I enjoyed it a lot. It was very different for me. The family trip was really cool too, and my family is very diverse. We have some Indian boys, another from Lithuania, and from Russia, and Brazil. We also have Emma from

best to do ESL because I could learn more, but they honestly said I was free to do whatever I want. I like taking photos, and I have a camera back home. So I thought photography would be great for me to practice. I draw as well, but wasn’t going to do 2D art because I didn’t know what it was. Then my friend told me it’s about drawing and painting so I said “I have to take that class!”

Q: Have you learned anything really interesting? A: I’m learning a lot! Every second is different! I’m learning a lot about the world and many different languages from where all my friends here live. When I go home, I’m going to have a totally new and different perspective on everything.


Q: What about your roommate? What did you learn from her? A: I was first scared to have a roommate because I’ve never shared a room with anyone before, but Rebecca is awesome – I love her. I also have another roommate, who is really nice, but keeps to herself more. Rebecca and I help each other for everything, and ask each other lots of questions.

Q: Have you gone on any excursions? A: Not yet, but I know we are going on excursions this weekend, and I’m most excited for that. We are going to France, and Zermatt this weekend, and I’m really excited for that.

Q: What’s the hardest part about being at SIS? A: That you need to rush into everything. Everything is on time. In Brazil you say “Kind of 8pm, not 8pm sharp.” So this was a little hard for me because you don’t really have time to sit back and relax. But still, this is kind of cool too, because I don’t get a chance to do these things in my country. This way, I get the most out of my time here.

Q: Any good stories so far? A: When we are trying to teach each other our languages, it’s so funny. My friend from Iran tries to speak in Portuguese and it’s so hard because of how different our languages are, but we love to try and it’s really funny. I know how to say hello and bye in Bulgarian, and Turkish. Last night my 2D-art teacher also did henna on my hand, which was really fun and was the first time ever for me, which was a dream coming true! On top of this, my English teacher painted my nails, which is such an uncommon thing! I loved this! She was like a friend or an older sister, not my English teacher! I love it here because everyone has breakfast, lunch and dinner together – whether it is staff, students, or the owners. Everybody is friends with everyone! No one is like a teacher, and you don’t have to be very formal with anyone.

Q: What do you think could be improved? A: Everything here is perfect! I have to think about this question – it’s difficult. Until now, I think everything is great.

Q: Do you think you will want to come back to SIS next year? A: Sure, I mean I’m open to new things.

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alpine challenge AGES 15-18


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MARLON age 16 Poland & Germany 3rd time at SIS

Alpine CHALLENGE Program


Q: Who made the decision for you to attend SIS? A: My brother was here 3 years ago, and had decided to come because my parents’ best friends’ sons finished IB here, and we heard about the summer school, so my brother came in 2013. One year after, I came here because he kept saying how amazing it is, and now I feel the same thing. I don’t think it’s just the place that makes it what it is, but more so the people! The school is amazing. I love coming here every year - it’s amazing.

Q: What activities have you done so far? A: Paddle boarding was really cool because it was my first time doing that, despite having been here twice before. It was pretty easy for me, since I surf in Spain.

Q: What city and country do you currently live in? A: Poznan, Poland

Q: What classes do you take each morning? A: I have 2 ESL courses, which are amazing, and then I have 3D Art, and another Art class.

Q: Why did you choose those classes? A: I chose ESL because I came here to improve my English. And Art because I did it last year, and I really love it.

Q: Have you learned anything really interesting? A: How to talk with people. Here you don’t even need ESL class because you can just talk to each other, which you can’t back home. So all these different nationalities and being able to speak to so many people is really interesting.

Q: What’s the hardest part about being at SIS? A:“Time for class guys, let’s go!”

Q: What do you think could be improved? A: Nothing, it’s perfect. It’s just too short. It should be 6 weeks!

Q.Do you think you will want to come back to SIS next year? Of course,

definitely! Even during the school year, I’d come during summer. Every single year is better than the previous.

Q: Have you gone on any excursions? A: This year we went to Besançon, which was new for me, and Lausanne as well. Lausanne was very cool. Besançon was far away but we went to The Caves on the way there, which was the best part of the trip.

Q: Any good stories so far? A: So many! My roommate this year is my best friend from last year, and last year I was with my friend from the year before! This is crazy because I’m assuming this the roommate selection is random! It’s amazing! We’ve been in contact since then too, so it’s lovely. People here are so amazing. Everyone is unique, and amazing.

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One member of our team had never climbed a mountain before, and one had never seen snow!


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‘’Expeditions don’t get much better than the glacier trip to the Oldenhorn. It is really close to the school and a great challenge if you want to achieve something special for your first alpine summit. We travelled from the telecabin at Col du Pillon up to Glacier 3000 and started the long hike up the Oldenhorn. This is located in the Bernese Alps and is the highest peak of three different cantons. The first day was spent travelling roped up across a glacier, making an equipment cache at the Col du Oldenhorn, and taking the challenge to reach the summit. One member of our team had never climbed a mountain before, and one had never seen snow! Everyone successfully made it to the top, and after picking our bags up, eventually arrived at the hut. Alpine huts are a real treat. You stay in a cabin in order to acclimatize properly and enjoy the alpine environment. The next day, everyone had a go at climbing and abseiling, eventually arriving at Gsteig to meet the van which would take us back to LAS.’’

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The French Immersion program of SIS 2016 was energetic, fun and challenging. Students improved their French language skills in both a traditional classroom context and through many exciting and adventurous excursions. The program is a daily, intensive 4-hour course where students develop French language skills while they learn about and experience the local Swiss culture. Our 11 students from countries including Canada, Russia, Costa Rica, Thailand, Venezuela, and Spain worked hard to improve their French language skills in situations as diverse as shopping at the local Leysin supermarkets to exploring nearby summits of 3,000 meters! During Session 1, the course was taught by two experienced teachers, Fanny Gueguen from Paris and an experienced French language teacher at SIS for the second consecutive summer; and Kim Oppenheim, who has taught at Leysin American School for many years and is a local


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resident of Leysin. They both truly love being part of this vibrant program! On the very first day of the program, students signed a “Language Pledge” stating that they would try their best to use only French during all the activities and class-time of this program (and while that was a worthy goal, many of us acquired fairly good Spanish language skills in addition to French skills!). Students also received a FISIS “Swiss Passport” in which they received stamps each week for successfully completing various aspects of the program, such as honoring the Language Pledge, using French with classmates, and participating actively in the excursions and activities. These stamps corresponded to prizes awarded for accomplishing different levels
of aptitude and participation. Two exceptional students, Caroline Fisher and Aleksandra Yurovna Matchina, were awarded the most distinguished prize of colorful Swiss army knives. Others received giant Toblerones and other chocolate prizes, for their progress and high level in French as well as for their enthusiastic participation. A major project of the course is the Dossier Project, in which students recorded their observations, created visuals, and provided their personal feedback on each class-related activity. The Dossier was an excellent and personalized portfolio that allowed students to gauge their own progress in their French language skills, express their ideas candidly, and to record their experiences in a creative format. Because these projects were individualized, students from all levels


of French were able to learn from the experience and take pride in their final product. What sets the French Immersion program apart from most other SIS courses is the fact that the class meets during all four morning class periods. This allows time for academic French language instruction, creative and fun games to review vocabulary and structures, and of course the famous excursions.... The goal of in-class time is to provide you with the essential language tools that you will need in order to be able to experience the local culture through the French language. The in-class games often centered around the

What sets the French Immersion program apart from most other SIS courses is the fact that the class meets during all four morning class periodS. This allows time for academic French language instruction, creative and fun games to review vocabulary and structures, and of course the famous excursions....

chance to interact with local people, learn about local culture, taste local food, and to apply the French language skills they are learning in real-life, fun and stimulating situations. This summer, in addition to
a full-morning treasure hunt around Leysin and other activities, we visited and participated in many local cultural activities. Our first excursion was a guided visit to La Chevrerie, a local organic goat farm. We came face-to-face with goats and chickens, and tasted freshly made milk, cheese, and sausage. Next we visited the Alpage of Temeley, a local mountainside cheese-making operation, where we had a traditional farm-style breakfast of homemade bread, local award-winning cheeses, fresh milk, homemade jams, and a variety of meats. We watched a demonstration
of the production of two different kinds of local cheese, and learned how much labor and love go into each and every cheese! We also enjoyed some high adventure at the ropes course Parc Aventure in Aigle, where the students’ French vocabulary was essential for their survival, or at least it brought the language to life! In addition there was a guided tour of the 15th century castle in Aigle and a visit to the famous Cave of the Fairies but the unanimous favorite was Glacier 3000 in Les Diablerets. Not only is the view absolutely spectacular, but the terrain is unique and the experience offered the class
an opportunity to examine the environmental impact on glaciers and to understand climate issues in a more personal and dynamic context. By the end of the 3-week French Immersion course, Summer In Switzerland welcomed twelve new “Swiss citizens” to our community who not only came away from the program with their red “Swiss passports” but also
with improved skills in both academic and social French language and many fabulous memories of our region of La Suisse!

online competitive Kahoot activities, and many students became genuine Kahoot champions! The most important focus, however, of the FISIS program is the real-life activities and excursions that define the structure of the course. These excursions provide students with a

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how is your summer

so far?

CAROLINE Swiss and Canadian

SIS Staff child

I am having one of the best summers ever! I enjoyed the overnight hike because of the bonding that happened between students that I hadn't yet met and staff. The hike was a unique experience because we were surrounded by mountains. Since we were in the middle of nowhere we had to find ways of entertaining ourselves so some of us decided to go sledding on what you may ask? A garbage bag. We created our own version of pictionary in the evening while we waited for the stars to arrive in the sky and it was the best game of pictionary I had ever played. To be honest I enjoyed the activities more than going to the cities. But if I were to choose my favorite place,


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I would say that Zermatt was my favorite because we got to see the Matterhorn. I loved Glacier 3000 trip and walking across the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two peaks, very cool. From there you could see many well known mountains like Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Eiger. Luzern was a nice city destination, I loved the covered bridge, seeing the lake and also the 'Dying Lion monument'. In French immersion I liked "le dossier" or journal that we worked on because I was able to reflect on all of the really great experiences that I had had in the day. I am going to keep going with it for the rest of our European travels.




icture walking through a market that features all sorts of bohemian goodies, with the good smell of grilled food in the air and street performers playing around every corner. And to top it all off? An ice cream on the beach and maybe a jazz trumpeter from the roof of his pleasure boat. The Monteux Jazz Festival is a cool trip to the shores of Lake Geneva, surrounded by music lovers and stand after stand of food and souvenirs.


Founded in 1967, and first held in the local casino, the Montreux Jazz Festival is one of Europe’s most famous music festivals. Originally only jazz music, the festival opened its doors in the 1970s to a wide range of music

styles, including, for example, music from Brazil. Over 200,000 people attend the festival over a two-week period. SIS makes up over 300 of those visitors. Famous artists who have performed in Montreux include Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Wyclef Jean, Santana, Radiohead, Deep Purple, and Norah Jones. Freddy Mercury of Queen, fell in love with Montreux, saying, “if you want to find peace, go to Montreux.” We don’t know if you’ll find peace, but we’re sure you’ll find the statue of Freddy, very near McDonald’s.

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girls boys






practical information


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summer 2017

calendar & pricing Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

June 24

July 13

Start Date

End Date

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Session 1 (3 weeks) | CHF 6,800

June 24

July 19

Start Date

End Date

Session 1 + Cultural Tour (4 weeks) | CHF 9,800

July 22

August 9

Start Date

End Date

Session 2 (3 weeks) | CHF 6,800

July 22

August 15

Start Date

End Date

Session 2 + Cultural Tour (4 weeks) | CHF 9,800

June 24

August 9

Start Date

End Date

Session 1 + Cultural Tour + Session 2 (7 weeks) | CHF 16,000

June 24

August 15

Start Date

End Date

Session 1 + Cultural Tour + Session 2 + Cultural Tour (8 weeks) | CHF 18,500

Security Deposit

Pocket Money

Remaining Tuition

A security deposit of CHF 2,000 (CHF 1,500 towards tuition and CHF 500 towards pocket money) is due three weeks after submitting the online Supplementary Form.

Pocket Money is in addition to the fees listed above. 3 weeks = CHF 500 4 weeks = CHF 1,000 7 weeks = CHF 1,500 8 weeks = CHF 2,000

Following the payment of the security deposit, the remaining tuition is due by May 15, 2017.

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cultural trips 2017 At SIS, we know the benefits that come from introducing students to the larger world just outside our door. That’s why SIS students have the opportunity to take part in organized European cultural trips. Supervised cultural tours allow students to experience a new country and culture. They also help students to bond more closely, a key goal of SIS. Staff members accompany students on all trips as supervisors and mentors, further promoting that sense of community fostered on campus. As a result of these experiences, SIS students gain a greater awareness of other cultures and a greater understanding of how their participation can make a difference to others.

In 2017, SIS students will have the option of visiting either: Summer in Switzerland 2017 Cultural Tour – Barcelona, Spain


• Group tour of Camp Nou / FC Barcelona

• Explore Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum • Tour de Sagrada Famialia • Trip to North End of the city, Tibidado for sunset • Barcelona aquarium • Beach time: Possible locations include Barceloneta Beach, Saint Miquel Beach, or Somorrostro Beach • La Pedrera guided tour • Shopping time

Summer in Switzerland 2017 Cultural Tour - Cinque Terre, Italy

Italian Riviera

• Group walking tour of Levanto • Tour of Genoa Aquarium • Small group activities including: Pesto making, bike tour, swimming / beach games • Group hike – The Via dell’Amore (Riomaggiore to Manarola) • Boat trip to Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore • Visit Carrara Marble Caves (tour the historic and rugged quarries where Michaelangelo sourced his marble and where scenes from James Bond’s 2008 Quantum of Solace were filmed. • Visit La Spezia • Group hike and tour of Monterosso • Lunch in Aosta Italy (on the way back to Leysin)

SIS reserves the right to change the location of the cultural trip if necessary

What was your best memory of

SIS 2016?

Did you discover a new place? Did you make a new best friend? Are you still in contact with him or her? Did you eat too much chocolate or cheese? Did you learn a new language?

Send in your comments and photos to and we will post them on our Facebook page and feature some of them before SIS 2017.

See you at SIS 2017

Fo llow us!

Summer in Switzerland at Leysin American School Chemin de La Source3, CP 108, 1854 Leysin, Switzerland Reception: + 41 24 493 4888 •

SIS Memory Magazine 2016  
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