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Spring-Summer 2006

Everything you always wanted to know about Swiss education

True boarders’ stories High schools portraits & universities panorama Heidi’s country from A to Z

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Education makes the difference, a preface

by Dr Charles Kleiber, State Secretary for Education and Research

6 10 12

Swiss Education System: diversified but coherent

Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Piaget were among the great founders of the Swiss educational tradition. They travelled the world to spread their theories on teaching to all corners of the globe. Firmness, discipline and a complete education with a focus on personal, as well as academic development are the foundations of this tradition, which is still practised today.

An overall view to tame its subtleties

Why foreign students are important to Switzerland ? Live news from Hong Kong, with Ambassador François Barras

Prof. Kurt Hostettmann, a vocation for passing on knowledge “It is a vocation of Switzerland to train graduate

students so that they are operational in their own countries”, deems the molecule hunter

16 21 26 35 39

From A to Z: the unofficial glossary of Heidi’s country

40 44

A little history

High Schools and Hotel Schools - Portrait gallery Exclusive private schools’ presentation

Boarders’ Corner Part I The true story about boarding experiences

Boarders’ Corner Part II The true story about boarding experiences

“The right place for serious training” Switzerland comes among the first, points out palace manager Jean-Jacques Gauer

At this time when globalisation and profiteering threaten to take over the humanity, our country continues to offer a first class education throughout both its pre and post university studies to be the leader in scientific research. It is with pleasure that we bring you the first issue of Swiss Learning. This bi-annual review aims to present the view of secondary, university and professional establishments that can guarantee the traditions of Swiss education.

Portfolio XxxXxxxxxxxx

Academic finance on the road to acquiring an international reputation Prof. Rajna Gibson considers that “the key academic places are to be found in the United States and Great Britain although Switzerland is trying to become one today”

This publication would not have been possible without the unconditional support of Mr. Kleiber, State Secretary for Education and Research. A particular recognition also goes to our private partners who have, from the very start, encouraged our initiative.

46 Influence and power in education, by Prof. Hans Weder,

President of University of Zurich

48 53 56

Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences Panorama Exhaustive series of practical sheets for a first contact swissUp Ranking The essential tool to help you choose your alma mater

A region in the limelight: Gstaad

We hope that the articles and presentations of schools, colleges and universities will enable you to discover the excellence of Swiss education, and that you will have pleasure reading this first issue of Swiss Learning.

Chic mountain vibe

Impressum SwissLearning review · Bi-annual publication Editor Swiss Learning · Rue du Rhône 11 1204 Genève Director Dr. Jean-Daniel Clavel Writing Bontron&Co Madeleine von Holzen · Camille Bozonnet

Christophe Xavier Clivaz Design direction and graphic design adb · atelier dominique broillet chatty ecoffey Photographer Claudia Kopitz Illustrator Isabelle Pralong Run 10’000 copies

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Education makes the difference A strategic outlook By Dr Charles Kleiber, State Secretary for Education and Research Swiss Government, Bern From the 1980s onwards, framework conditions have progressed faster than ever and this overwhelming process of change and development goes on. The emergence of new economies, demographic pressures, dynamic R&D processes, as well as the ever-growing demands of industry boost the need for education and training worldwide. New and flexible business strategies, the necessity to improve cooperation among nations, and last but not least, the search for security and better understanding among different cultures continue to place new challenges and open new pathways before the education sector.

Switzerland's uniqueness of its kind Under these circumstances, our world today is confronted with different but complementary tendencies : An overall strong pressure from civil societies and markets aimed at improving basic standards of living, education and professional training worldwide. A steady development of information and communication technologies which spread out globally and expose almost all societies and national economies, shaking or even unsettling those which resist or cannot cope with this new “transparency challenge” while fostering those which are ready to “surf” on the new waves of dialogue and cooperation.

Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

A merciless process of selecting locations — whether countries or universities — offering the best educational facilities and opportunities for future professional activities. And it follows that the best centers for excellence in education (in particular, in scientific fields) normally are directly linked to the best R&D achievements, so that the benefit for those successful locations is double. The emergence of privileged locations for safe and successful education, in particular, universities and institutes enjoying a peaceful climate away from ideological, cultural and religious antagonisms and violence — Switzerland belongs to this category of privileged locations. In no other place, for example, are high school students better placed to benefit from productive interaction in a multicultural, multilingual environment, preparing them for both global competitiveness and success. The emergence of niche markets in specific sectors (essentially in the service sector) and disciplines placing strong emphasis on human relations, intercultural dialogue, communication techniques and psychology, and intergovernmental cooperation. Hospitality and hotel management schools obviously belong to these prosperous markets, an important advantage for such Swiss centers of expertise. While facing these new and strong tendencies in the world’s educational needs and demands, Switzerland’s position in the


global marketplace enjoys specific comparative advantages, such as : Switzerland is a safe, quiet and stable country where cultures, religions and individuals enjoy respect and recognition. Switzerland, located in the heart of Europe, is connected to the whole world thanks to a dense network of international flights, highways and excellent telecommunications. Both Geneva and Zürich host representatives of the world’s foremost companies, banks and financial institutions —indeed, more than 5’000 multinational companies have moved their headquarters to Switzerland.

Swiss education and professional training have been well- known worldwide for more than a century : primary and secondary education, science education (life science, medical science, biotechnology), training in business, trade, investment and financial administration, insurance, as well as in hospitality, enjoy an excellent international reputation. The global concentration of industrial production, the steady development of technologies and the emergence of new dependencies and relationships all reinforce the central role of Switzerland as a key platform for appropriate, global and inter-culturally sustained professional training; The proximity of, and the possibility to get training from, important international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC), among others, reinforces Switzerland’s position for training par excellence.

We appreciate the initiative Swiss Learning, as it looks to promote the best of Swiss education and training, offering to interested scholars and students, as well as to public administrators and business communities worldwide, a comprehensive guide for entering the complex world of higher education in Switzerland. Charles Kleiber | State Secretary

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning

Swiss Education System: diversified but coherent Switzerland is the European country of education. With 21% foreign students and 40% foreign professors the Swiss scientific universities are the most international in Europe. Composed of 26 cantons Switzerland is a federal state in Central Europe. It is a nation shaped by the resolve of its citizens : it is not an ethnic, linguistic or religious entity. The culture of Switzerland, in fact, is characterised by the diversity of its geography, its languages and its religious affiliation. This is reflected in the variety of its literature, art, architecture, music and customs. Switzerland is home to three of Europe’s major languages (German, French and Italian), but apart from Romantsch – spoken by only 0.5% of the population – it has no language of its own. Due to its geographical diversity Switzerland is the ideal country for all sorts of sports such as skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, skating, biking and many more. In Switzerland, as in all democratic countries, citizens elect representatives to act on their behalf. But Switzerland gives its citizens the chance to take a direct part in decision-making as well through the popular initiative and the referendum, two instruments that make the Swiss political system probably the most extensive in the world. Switzerland is a neutral state. The status of neutrality has not only protected Switzerland from war, but has helped prevent the country from being torn apart when its different language communities might have been tempted to side with different belligerents in cases of conflict. Switzerland’s neutrality also allows the country (and its universities) to act as a mediator. Its

Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

diplomats often represent the interests of countries which have no relations with each other. Proud of its humanitarian tradition, Switzerland has long been a place of refuge for those persecuted for political reasons, and has in turn been enriched by the contribution they and their descendents have made to Swiss life. Switzerland is a healthy country both in terms of its inhabitants’ mental and physical health and with respect to its industry, environment and lifestyle. One of the joys in Switzerland is travelling by public transport. It doesn’t matter whether a destination is a major city or a remote village: trains and buses are generally timetabled to meet each other and enable passengers to get from A to B in the least possible time. Studying in four languages and cultures in reachable distance is only possible in Switzerland. Switzerland is internationally recognised as a leading centre for research, and is home to a number of institutes of world-wide importance. The economy in Switzerland is based on a highly qualified labour force performing highly skilled work. The main areas include micro-technology, hi-tech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as banking and insurance know-how. In a league table compiled by the Financial Times in 2001 Switzerland was ranked highest among countries best placed to develop their high-technology industries. Source :


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Very broadly, the Swiss education system may be broken down into three levels : primary, secondary and tertiary. A “pre-school” level can be distinguished as a preparation for primary school. Pre-school is optional, but it offers preparation for compulsory education and is an entitlement enjoyed by children in every canton. For its part, the secondary level is subdivided into two parts, one being compulsory and the other not. Compulsory schooling is the basis of the Swiss education system. It generally lasts nine years, split between the primary and lower secondary levels. In most of the cantons, primary school lasts six years. It is followed by lower secondary school, which often lasts three years. Completion of this stage of education ends the obligation to attend school. Schooling at upper secondary level ordinarily lasts three to four years, with an upper secondary school qualification entitling students to enter tertiary education. Holders of a baccalaureate or maturity certificate (“gymnasiale Matura”) have access to the traditional academic universities, or they may enter a university of applied sciences after completing a one-year internship or work placement. Upon completion of compulsory schooling students can follow an apprenticeship which leads to a professional baccalaureate or professional maturity certificate (“Berufsmaturität”). Holders of this certificate are entitled to study at a university of applied sciences or, after passing a supplementary examination, at a scientific university. Higher education in Switzerland comprises both academic studies at the traditional “scientific” universities and Federal Institutes of Technology and rather more professionally oriented studies at the Universities of Applied Sciences (“Fachhochschulen” / “Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées”). The recent expansion of the Swiss higher education system through the establishment of the



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Universities of Applied Sciences aimed to integrate this new type of university as an equal though different partner of the traditional universities. This modernised system of Swiss higher education – diversified but coherent – is not only better suited to meeting the needs of the students, the scientific community, modern society, and the new economy, it is also more directly compatible with other European educational systems.

Universities Only the 10 official cantonal universities and the 2 federal institutes of technology offer courses according to the Bologna declaration with fully recognized Swiss diplomas and are allowed to confer doctoral and PhD titles. If you want to be sure about the quality of the institution of your choice as one of the twelve Swiss universities, please watch out for their registered trademark:

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Cantonal Universities There are ten cantonal universities in Switzerland: those of Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, St. Gallen, Zurich and Lugano (Italian-speaking Switzerland). Most of them have been evolving over a number of centuries in step with social and economic needs, always in harmony with a humanist ideal. The oldest Swiss university is the one of Basel. It was founded in 1460 and has thus been in existence for over half a millennium. The Universities of Italian-speaking Switzerland and Lucerne are the most recent ones. Although each of these universities has its own characteristics, they all basically have the same structure. They are divided

into faculties or departments, including theology, law, economics and social science, arts, natural science, and medicine (although Fribourg and Neuchâtel offer only basic medical courses). St Gallen specialises in economics, social science, and law; Lucerne in Catholic theology, humanities and law. The Italian-speaking university offers courses in architecture, economics, communication sciences, and informatics. The following are considered as institutions of higher education : the Graduate Institute for International Studies (Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales IUHEI) in Geneva, the Graduate Institute for Advanced Public Administration (Institut de hautes études en administration publique IDHEAP) in Lausanne, and the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (Institut universitaire d’études du développement, IUED) in Geneva.

Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

In addition to the institutes of higher education mentioned above, there are a number of private colleges which offer courses based on the Anglo-Saxon system. The studies and examinations offered by these colleges are not recognized in Switzerland. Some of these colleges may even offer courses which are not serious. We therefore advise anyone interested in following such a course to make careful initial investigations into the problem of recognition.

Federal Institutes of Technology The two Federal Institutes of Technology produce highly qualified engineers, architects and scientists. Since the mid-19th century, the Confederation has played

an active role in national science policy. While it began by creating its own polytechnic in Zurich, the Federal Institutes of Technology now comprises six schools: the two Federal Institutes of Technology, in Lausanne (EPFL) and in Zurich (ETHZ), and four research institutes – the Paul Scherrer Institute, the Federal Institute for Woodland, Snow and Landscape Research, the Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research, and the Federal Institute for Water Supplies, Waste Water Treatment and Water Resources Protection.

Universities of Applied Sciences Switzerland has since 1997 seven universities of applied sciences, which are organised regionally. The missions of the universities of applied sciences (UAS) cover teaching applied research and development, services to third parties and joint


endeavours with other training and research institutions in Switzerland and abroad. They play an active role in the country’s economic and social life by acting as an intermediary in transferring knowledge and technologies. National networks of UAS competencies should give significant impetus to cooperation among them, as well as with universities and the economy. The UAS offer degrees in Engineering and IT; Architecture, Building Engineering and Planning; Chemistry and Life Sciences; Business, Management and Services; Design; Sport; Applied Psychology; Applied Linguistics; Music and Theatre; Arts; Social Work. Each UAS corresponds to a particular region and in fact consolidates a number of previous independent partner institutions. The regional UAS are: Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-SO), Berner Fachhochschule (BFH), Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW), Zürcher Fachhochschule (ZFH), Fachhochschule Zentralschweiz (FHZ), Fachhochschule Ostschweiz (FHO) and Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI).

Universities of teacher education The universities of teacher education are relatively young in Switzerland and most of them are either part of the public cantonal universities or of the universities of applied sciences. For more information on universities of teacher education see



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For more information : Universities :,, For doctoral candidates and researchers : UAS :

How to Proceed When Wishing to Study in Switzerland Contact the university or school of your choice. The pre-application procedure for some universities and schools can be done online. Please check the website of your chosen institution. Immigration Formalities

Foreign school or college certificates

When you have received confirmation of acceptance by a Swiss school or university, please contact the Swiss embassy in your country for information on entry formalities for Switzerland. For more details visit: Special Admission Requirements for Universities

Candidates should possess a state-recognized Swiss matriculation certificate or a foreign certificate recognized by the university as being equivalent. More information on the assessment of your certificate can be found in the list compiled by the Committee for Admissions. These requirements apply to admission to any Bachelor study. As a precondition for admission to Master studies candidates must, in any case, hold a Bachelor degree in the same course of studies. The university itself will inform applicants about further specific admission requirements to Master, PhD or Executive Master Studies.

Language ability A good knowledge of the language of instruction (either German, French, Italian and, for some courses, English) is a pre-requisite for admission to any Swiss university.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Why foreign studeâ&#x20AC;&#x2030; are important to Swiâ&#x20AC;&#x2030;t Switzerland a centre of excellence in education It is a well known fact that studying in a specific country or under the guidance of someone coming from that country usually creates strong emotional bonds lasting for life. In the case of Switzerland this is particularly true because, landlocked and poor in natural resources, it has for a long time been dependent on international connections in order to survive. Several centuries ago already Swiss watchmakers were selling their products as far as Persia and China and Swiss teachers, private tutors and nannies were educating the children of the European aristocracy later founding many of the boarding schools for which the country is still famous. Their former pupils not only maintained close ties with them but later became regular visitors to our cities and resorts and patrons of our nascent tourism, healthcare and banking industries. They also began to send their own children to study in Switzerland contributing to its reputation as a centre of excellence in education.

Our best friends, the alumni Today Switzerland has become prosperous but is as dependent as ever on the outside world. Our economy is based on the export of goods and services as well as on being an international finance, business and tourism centre. In order to maintain and develop our strengths we need friends abroad and our best friends are often the alumni of Swiss universities and schools. As a matter of fact in most capitals they form the nucleus of the network of contacts of embassies and consulates. They have not only studied in Switzerland for several years and are proud of it but have also experienced the life there, know our assets and understand


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

Aiglon College Alumni

our ways and values. Once back in their place of origin they usually occupy executive positions and are then a great source of advice and support to Swiss wishing to develop their activities in that particular country. They are in fact some our best ambassadors throughout the world and that is the reason why in Hong Kong the Consulate General in partnership with UBS has been organizing for the past two years an annual reception to honor alumni living in the city. It is not only a happy occasion to meet schoolmates and to network but a unique opportunity to showcase the value of a Swiss education with a successful alumnus giving the keynote address.

We need to be more aggressive So, for Switzerland, the long term benefits of foreign students studying in our universities and schools are immense. It is also a Mr Jean-Claude Humair, UBS, Le Rosey Alumni: Sir ­Michael D. Kadoorie, President Peninsula Group and key note speaker of the first Hong Kong Swiss Alumni Reception, Mr Jacques Bounin, Director of admissions.



 nts  tzerland ? challenge because today education is an increasingly competitive market and many countries organize fairs and other promotional events in order to enrol top students. In such an environment we need to be even more aggressive in the marketing of our educational services and to let the world know better about the many advantages of an education in Switzerland. Attracting the best foreign students and developing international academic and research exchanges has rightly become one of the priorities of our foreign policy. We do it not only to lend support to an important economic sector but mainly as an essential investment in the future. François Barras

Ambassador François Barras Consul General of Switzerland in Hong Kong Ambassador of Switzerland to Lebanon from March 2006. Born in 1952 in Crans-Montana (VS), Switzerland. Mr Barras is married and father of five children. 1974

Bachelor Degree in Law, University of Geneva


PhD (legal anthropology), University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies)

1983– 1986

Missions with the UNDP and the World Bank in Burundi and in Haiti


Joined the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, training in Bern, Switzerland and Israel

1989– 1994

Counsellor in charge of the Cultural Section, in Washington, USA

1994– 1995

Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland, Mexico-City, Mexico


Head of the Culture and UNESCO Division, Bern, Switzerland

1996– 1999

Adviser for diplomatic affairs, Bern, Switzerland


Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE (United Arab Emirates)

2003–2006 Consul General of Switzerland in Hong Kong

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


A vocation for passing on knowledge “It is a vocation of Switzerland to train graduate students so that they are operational in their own countries”, says Prof. Kurt Hostettmann, molecule hunter By Camille Bozonnet

Professor Kurt Hostettmann is an international hunter of molecules. He concentrates his attention on Swiss and other prey : medicinal plants supposed to contain components that can become drugs. His job in the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, University of Geneva, is to conduct basic research, which inspires the pharmaceutical industry to develop new medications. His team of colleagues and graduate students and himself are now focused on remedies specific to the aging population, such as herbal drugs to cure Alzheimer’s disease, erectile dysfunction or to relieve problems associated with menopause, such as hot flushes and irritability… Meeting with a brilliant enthusiast, who believes in his vocation for passing on knowledge. Anything special you learned in Switzerland, and that you couldn’t have learned elsewhere ? Scientific rigour. It’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned in Neuchâtel where I got my PhD. During my postdoctoral stay at Columbia University, New York, I had


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access to better technology, which was fantastic. This is one of the strong points of the United States. However, the strict training is not only useful but essential to take advantage of. What is the reputation of Swiss education abroad ? I have the feeling it is good. We receive foreigners’ applications two to three times a week, either for a training period or for a PhD under my guidance. I have already had around sixty graduate students, from all over the world : China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Congo, Thailand, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Mali, etc. And regarding Swiss research ? The reputation is excellent in pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biotechnology and physics. One of the best in Europe if not the best. Partly because of the flourishing pharmaceutical industry. Is Geneva seen abroad as a major scientific center ? Actually, my institute was moved to Geneva just one year ago. It is too recent for me to have an overall view. And I cannot

“We receive foreigners’ applications two to three times a week”

speak for all the fields. As far as the School of Pharmacy is concerned, it has a very strong reputation, especially the Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry I manage, and the groups of pharmaceutical technology and medical chemistry. They attract foreign undergraduate and graduate students although the French-only teaching before the thesis is a big limitation. However, language doesn’t matter for the graduate students because they’re given the opportunity to write their doctoral dissertation in one of our three main languages (French, German and Italian) or in English, which increases possibilities and puts students’ minds at ease. It certainly is one of Switzerland’s strengths.

What else can attract foreigners ? First, our reputation for high-level education – we have already mentioned the renowned scientific rigour. Secondly, our top-

level equipment, which definitely is a plus for African, South American and Asian students. Finally, our success stories. It’s fair to say that the most important remedies were discovered in Switzerland.

For example? Everybody has heard of LSD, which was discovered in 1943 in Basel by Albert Hofmann – in the Sandoz laboratories known today as Novartis. Another example, ciclosporine, is also used worldwide as an immunosuppressive drug for organ transplantations. We don’t have any natural resources here. But we do have brains. It’s our unique richness. Foreign students know that. Studying in our laboratories offers them a better chance to return to their country of origin and start a famous academic career. >>>

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Professor Kurt Hostettmann Head, Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Geneva Born in 1944, in Meyriez (FR), Switzerland Married, no children



PhD, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland


Postdoctoral Scholar, Columbia University, New York, USA


Full Professor, University of Lausanne


Head, Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland


Honorary Professor, Chinese Scientific Academy, Shanghai, China


Honorary Professor, University of Panama, Panama


Doctor honoris causa, University of Toulouse, France


Vice-president of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Section, University of Geneva


Honorary Professor, University of Jinan, China


Honorary Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of Phytochemical Analysis


Elected foreign corresponding member of the National Academy of Pharmacy, Paris, France

Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

So, what is your position towards the so-called brain drain, meaning brilliant scientists leaving the country after all the money Switzerland spent on their training ? I think it is a vocation of Switzerland to train graduate students so that they can be operational in their own country, help their people and set up a laboratory without any external help. On the other hand, you have to be slightly opportunist in order to keep some of the best. I’ve had a brilliant Chinese graduate student who occupies now a top position in a major pharmaceutical company. Same with a British guy who eventually stayed with us and has been here for 20 years now. However, we are limited by lack of academic positions. This is sometimes a huge problem.


Claudia’s point of view Miss Claudia Simoes Pires, 26, is one of Prof. Hostettmann’s Brazilian graduate students, and is currently completing a PhD under his guidance. She shares her impressions on her Geneva experience. How did you get to Prof. Hostettmann’s lab in Geneva ? After getting my Pharmacy degree, I started a Masters’ Degree (MD) program on Pharmaceutical Sciences. I was working on a project related to chemical investigation of some Brazilian plants when I ran into Prof. Hostettmann in a congress and joined his team for a training period of 3 months in his laboratory, still located in Lausanne at the time. This experience yielded two further publications on Brazilian plants. After finishing my MD, I applied for the PhD program in Prof. Hostettmann’s current laboratory at the University of Geneva. I have been here for a year, working on plants used as anti-oxidants and for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

good professor generating successful research who gets financial support. And financial support leads to better technology and high quality published papers. Do you consider your thesis in Geneva as a must in your career ? A thesis is an absolute necessity to start an academic career and to aspire to being a full professor, especially of Phytochemistry. Besides, you greatly enhance your chances with a Swiss thesis. It definitely is a plus for my CV, compared to one that is a hundred percent Brazilian. Last but not least, as I’ve said earlier, it is much easier to get papers published when they come from a Swiss university.

“You greatly enhance your chances with a Swiss thesis”

Are you looking for a future job in Switzerland ? Actually, I’m not. I intend to go back to Brazil as I feel indebted to my country. You see, I studied in a public university, my first research works were paid by the government’s money so I’d like to give something back. It will soon be my turn to pass on the knowledge I learnt here.

That is… ? The main objective of my work is to isolate and determine the active compounds present in the extracts. The inter-cultural character of the research group results in a wide range of collaborative research, as we have with universities from Brazil and Thailand. It makes it possible to work with plants from all over the world and gives us access to other fields like pharmacology for instance. Did you follow the Professor or choose Switzerland for your PhD ? Is it possible to distinguish between the two? I don’t think so. I’d say Professor Hostettmann is a renowned professor and researcher, and of course it was his name that brought me to this country. But, renowned professors couldn’t be so, if they haven’t had the financial support to make research in a particular laboratory. Thus, I would say that I have found a perfect combination: a

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Swiss A to Z

The unofficial glossary which immodestly dissects Switzerland. Get through the looking glass and find out through this survey of customs, cultural phenomena and historical anecdotes what really makes this country so unique By Camille Bozonnet

Carnotzet Kind of male chauvinism

Ballenberg/Mario Botta From antique to upper modernity What you may not be familiar with is the history of Swiss architecture. Jump from Ballenberg’s open-air museum to Mario Botta’s works and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the story : from 100 historic farmhouses (16th to 19th century)… to Ticino’s famous contemporary architect/designer’s works found all around the world – and also in Lugano (TI), Neuchâtel (NE), Basel (BS), Cologny (GE)… Don’t miss the opportunity to learn 500 years of building history in just two afternoon trips.

Bank secrecy Nantes Edict — collateral benefit Hard to believe. However, the first “international” clients of the Swiss banks happened to be the French kings, who did not want people to know their sponsors were the so-declared heretical Protestants. Thus, in 1713 the Geneva Grand Council adopted regulations that ruled in favour of bank secrecy… still in force in the 160 different banking institutions spread over the territory. Necessity knows no law, says the French proverb. Is that really so ? !


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

With walls of wood, this cellar from Valais used to be a place strictly reserved for men where they could sip wine, savour the local products (hard cheeses, salted hams, dry pork sausages), smoke and talk. Not anymore. But Valais has many other surprises in store for you : it is Switzerland’s biggest vine-growing district, having the highest European vineyard in Visperterminen (1500m). Note that Switzerland produced 46 million litres of wine in 2004, the equivalent of 6.6 liters per head : it’s not worth fantasizing about what’s going on in a male carnotzet.

Chocolate Deadly sin No. 4 Once upon a time Eve dared to eat the forbidden fruit. She got us chucked out of Paradise and led the way to greediness, one of the seven deadly sins. Swiss people are excellent at succumbing to it, let’s just mention their first place in the worldwide consumption of chocolate, a long way ahead of Belgium, France and the USA. That the 2004 figures are on a spectacular scale shouldn’t come as a surprise – 11.6 kg per head. Fortunately, greed’s price only concerns half the Swiss, the catholic ones, and every sin is said to be forgiven. Is it indeed ?


Fondue/Raclette Bone of contention

Cuckoo clock End of the myth Cuckoo clocks are not originally Swiss. They were invented in 1730 in the Black Forest, Germany, and first made in Bohemia. Franz Anton Keller, wondering how to make the cock crow in Prague’s well known cathedral clock, created the mechanism. Fellows got the idea to use the sentry box as the cuckoo clock’s box and to decorate the gable with greeneries, forest animals, hunting scenes – and the cuckoo clock became a big hit. The Swiss cuckoo clock myth can be accredited to the Helvetian clockmakers who improved the mechanism by replacing the wooden components with iron ones.

Double cream To die for This anti-diet double cream is a typical by-product of the Fribourg cheese commerce. Talking about figures, the 691'000 Swiss cows produced 3.94 million tons of milk in 2004 – that is to say 5'680 kg for each cow. Not bad. Annual consumption equalled 438 kg per head, meaning 1.2 kg per person per day. So much for the Heidi look !

Edelweiss Another trap to fall into Sure, you’d bet edelweiss is Swiss. So do most of us. The alpine summits’ flower known as the emblem of Switzerland and the symbol of countryside preservation actually comes from… Siberia, but immigrated into Europe during the ice age. Obviously a successful integration.

Both Switzerland and Savoy claim paternity. According to the Swiss, raclette, that gave its name to the typical dish, is a cheese from Valais which obtained the label of origin in 2003. Well done. Same for fondue, which was supposedly made up by shepherds from Fribourg to endure the harsh winters in the Alps. But the big issue is: who invented cheese ? It was already mentioned in the Old Testament 3500 years ago. Then later by Pliny the Elder, the Ist century Roman historian, under the name “Caseus Helveticus” – the Helvetian cheese – although this only concerned soft white cheeses… What the rivals need to remember is what a friend we have in cheese. Wherever it originally comes from.

Green fairy The other prohibition July 5, 1908 : following a multiple axe-murder by a chronic absinth– drinker, a popular vote sealed the fate of the 19th century trendy liquor. Rimbaud’s green fairy went underground, especially in the Neuchatel district of Val-de-Travers where it was born a hundred years ago. March 1, 2005 : absinth makes a daring comeback and is sold freely again. Many former secret addicts of “poets’ morphine” now miss the happy-few clandestine way of life. Pity isn’t it ?

Heidi Mickey’s challenger The Graubünden’s blond-and-redcheeked heroin created by Johanna Spyri (1827-1901), is so famous she inspired Heidiland. Not a simple amusement park, but a whole region dedicated to the idyllic image she conveyed, with its Heidiland Card, its Heidi Village – Maienfeld alias Heididorf – Heidi’s water, Heidi’s cheese… The price of fame for two books translated into 40 languages for a global run of more than 20 million copies, seven movies, countless adaptations for the theatre, TV, radio and tons of by-products. Heard about it, J.K.R. ?

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



James Bond Cultural sponsor Certainly, yes indeed, the hero is to be thanked for his indirect cultural benefits. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) contributed to the completion of the cableway leading to the famous Piz Gloria (2970m), the world’s first rotating restaurant overlooking more than 200 summits, from the Titlis to the Mont Blanc – alias evil Blofeld’s den. The filming was authorized in return for financing the cableway. We should add that the producers built neither Lucerne for Goldfinger (1964) nor Verzasca’s dam (TI) for Goldeneye (1995).

Libertines Calvin’s nightmare In 1538, two years after the Réformation was adopted by the Council of Two Hundreds, the Libertines party succeeded in forcing Calvin to flee Geneva. Unfortunately for them, the French theologist was back three years later to set up “Protestant Rome” for which he was the hilarious pastor-king : no ornaments, no luxury, no parties, no music, no theatre, no balls, no society life, no resistance… no-nothing except an inquisitorial excess leading to 58 death sentences and 76 banishments between 1550 and 1555. Power’s requirements.

Neutrality The fastest lesson of experience in history September 13, 1515 : Marignan, the Swiss are defeated by Francis the 1st. First ever defeat. September 14, 1515 (or so) : the Swiss inaugurate their new foreign policy which is just one word long – neutrality. An about-turn à-la-Lucky-Luke. A strategic choice motivated by the hypothetical split of the “Three Switzerlands” and the maintenance of national cohesion. Some might take the concept of cautiousness a few steps too far.


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

All for one and one for all Musketeer’s spirit

What’s the link between D’Artagnan and the Swiss Confederation ? A taste for romantic phrases. Despite the 26 regions and the 4 national languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh), all unite under the national motto that sums up the initial mutual-assistance pact (1291), known as the Grütli Oath. Too good to be true ?

Professor Cuthbert Calculus Swiss direct descendant Cuthbert is Auguste Piccard’s other son. As the inventor of Tintin’s shark-like submarine, he owes everything to his spiritual father, “the archetypal scholarly scientist” according to the author Hergé. The Belgian comic mogul was so impressed by the brilliant Swiss adventurer that he cloned him in his blockbuster. What about Captain Haddock ?

Quartz Trojan horse Inaugurated in the 16th century, the glorious days of Swiss clock-making seemed unending, crowned with the first and only watch on the moon –Buzz Aldrin’s Omega Speedmaster… until the quartz watch was developed in Neuchatel. A huge invention that was ignored by the clock-makers who were focused on luxurious hand-made pieces… A huge mistake. At the dawn of the 80’s, the whole industry was on the verge of collapsing when Nicolas Hayek the knight in shining armour launched his first Swatch – the marketing concept. For its 20th birthday in 2003, Swatch had sold 300 million worldwide and designed 2500 different models. Today, Swiss clock-making represents 1/3 of Swiss exports, that is to say 25 million watches for 7.5 thousand million Euros in 2004. A storybook adventure that might be on top of someone’s “to-do” list.


Röstigraben The Wall A “potato ditc”. An image, if we really think about it. Following the Sarine river which separates the French-speaking Switzerland from the German-speaking one, it is the symbol of the political, linguistic and cultural split between the two regions marching to the beat of their own drum. Although united by the very cloak-and-dagger-novel “all for one and one for all”.

William Tell Peaceful sharpshooter

Swiss Army Knife Pardoned The universal pocket knife, registered in 1897 as the “Original Swiss Army Knife”, has known the darkest moments of its glorious history since 9-11. Suddenly persona non grata in any luggage or on any human daring to enter the USA, the 100 models combining 90 different accessories were getting used to death row. Recently amiably forgiven by the American administration, the pocket knives are making a comeback: 7 million copies produced in 2004, meaning 1'417 an hour. Still ok with the official rehabilitation, Yanks ?

According to legend, he is the guy with two Hollywood-action-movie-like shots. One in the apple on top of his son’s head. And the other one in the chest of evil bailiff Gessler. This heroic act of resistance against the representative of the Habsbourg’s authority is said to be at the origin of the Grütli Oath (1291) that set up the Helvetian Confederation. See you, Robin Hood !

Yodle/Yoodle “Ho-la-da-ï”

Ursula Andress World’s hottest bikini Despite 20 or so movies, the Bernese actress is forever Honey Ryder, the first Bond girl known the world over for her white bikini. So much so that her swimsuit has recently been sold by auction in London for 98'700 CHF : the square centimetre of cotton that charges the highest rates.

When it comes to asking you what the typical Alpine songs and the Swiss search engine ( have in common, it’s a snap : the almost identical name. Good point. But there’s something else. Both are great steps in the epic adventure of communication, from the syllabic sequence that gave shepherds the opportunity for long-distance private calls, to the search engine that offers you the Swiss world within seconds, that is to say 42'201 websites referenced under 15 categories. Choose now between the pygmy-like connexion and up-to-date e-life.

Zolli Gorillas and the City 11 hectares downtown, 11'400 animals or so of 1'108 different species, A-list zoo stars like Goma, Jambo and Achilla, respectively the first European baby gorilla born in captivity, the first baby gorilla born in captivity and raised by his mother and the first “second generation” baby gorilla born in captivity… A glimpse of Basel’s Zoo’s striking records that drive citizens mad about their zolli. Be part of it.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Freedom isn’t knowing your limits, but realising you have none.

Freedom is what makes life worth living. It is being able to lower the roof and let the heavens roll by. With its 6.0 litre V12 engine and rich blend of hand-crafted natural materials, the DB9 provides the perfect way to free the mind, replenish the body and stir the soul. Official fuel consumption for the DB9 (Coupe automatic) liters/100km: Urban 24.9, Extra Urban 11.7, Combined 16.5 CO2 Emissions: 294 g/km

Emil Frey AG – the entire world of cars Whether you are interested in buying a car, a service, a body work, or having your own individual ideas on your car realized – we are your competent partner all around cars! You will discover a wide range of brands with numerous new models and an ongoing choice of more than 2000 used cars-FREY with warranty. Among our brand repair shops, body departments and electronic centres, we are able to fulfil almost any carspecific desires. Alfa Romeo – Aston Martin – BMW – Cadillac – Chevrolet – Chrysler – Corvette – Daihatsu – Dodge – Fiat – Hummer – Jaguar – Jeep – KIA – Lancia – Land Rover – Lexus – MG – MINI – Opel – Rover – Saab – Subaru – Suzuki – Toyota – Volvo


High schools

High schools and hotel schools Portrait gallery

The tradition of Swiss private schools dates back to the end of the 19th century when the first establishments opened their doors on the banks of Lake Geneva. The arrival of the Orient Express in 1880 saw demand for places increase with the influx of a well-to-do clientele to our regions. Following a few days of relaxation, parents would continue their journey onwards to Paris, London or Istanbul, trusting their children to the care of our fine schools. During the 20th century the reputation of private schools was reinforced by their education based on tolerance and respect for others. Cultural diversity makes our schools truly unique. Not only do our students learn basic academics in their classrooms, everyone will get first hand experience as young ambassadors and diplomats, meeting with children of different ethnic, linguistic, religious, family and cultural backgrounds. Everyone is a foreigner. No one nationality is a dominant majority. Friendship is the major currency in this universe. Fluency in more than one language after a few years in our country is highly encouraged and attained.

An extensive offer Currently private day and boarding schools in Switzerland accept students from kindergarten through to grade 12. The majority of these schools offer intensive studies in English or French as a second language enabling all students to quickly integrate into the mainstream programme. The possibility to follow bilingual studies is also a popular attraction of Swiss International Schools. Programmes on offer lead to a range of examinations known throughout the world including the IGCSE, Advanced Placement

(AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), the Swiss Federal Maturity and the French Baccalaureate. These certificates are accepted for entry into Swiss universities and to universities in other countries according to the specific conditions of each institution (check individual websites for their entry requirements). In combination with the development of boarding schools, hotel schools stood as guarantors of the long tradition of Swiss hospitality. The most highly regarded representatives of our great tradition of private education are presented in the following pages. Enjoy the tourâ&#x20AC;&#x2030;! Christophe X. Clivaz

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


High schools

Aiglon College

Educational Excellence in the Swiss Alps Aiglon College is a HMC independent school, accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), Independent Association of Prep Schools, and the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC), and is a member of the Round Square, Council of British Independent Schools in the European Community (COBISEC), Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS), and Association des Directeurs d'Instituts de la Suisse Romande (ADISR) Founded by John Corlette in 1949 Aiglon College is a world renowned school which aims to produce men and women of integrity and citizens of the world. It offers a well-rounded education in the secure and friendly environment of the Swiss Alps. It is an independent, non-profit, co-educational, international boarding school with an enrolment of 350 students from over 60 nationalities.

Academic Aiglon has developed a unique international curriculum which, whilst having its roots in the English national curriculum, offers a breadth and academic rigour which is widely acclaimed. The Junior School offers a balanced programme for 9 to 13 year-olds with a bilingual English/French approach in the first two years. The Junior curriculum is specially designed to lead seamlessly to the Senior School programme. In the Senior School, the students (13-18 year-olds) are prepared for (I)GCSEs and subsequently A(S)levels, SATs and TOEFL. The school offers an ESL (English as a Second Language) programme for all non-English speakers aged 10–16 years. Academic success and personal development is ensured through the individual attention paid by the high number of dedicated staff who seek to develop the full potential of each student. Facilities include a new world languages centre, eight science laboratories, library, outstanding art and music departments, multipurpose sports courts and a state-of-the-art computer network which is linked to all areas. The school is also a centre for the College Board, TOEFL and some AICE exams at subsidiary levels. Students are prepared for entry into the world’s leading universities and alumni have access to an extensive global network.

Boarding & Pastoral Care Academic study is complemented by outstanding pastoral care. Each of the eight boarding houses, organised according to age


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

and gender, have Houseparents and tutors who encourage a supportive, happy and homely environment. The school also has a Health Centre and a Student Welfare Officer.

Sporting Activities Sports and expeditions form an essential component of Aiglon’s approach to the development of the students’ personality and character. The wide range of sports include skiing, basketball, tennis, soccer, athletics, gymnastics, swimming and volleyball. Expeditions take place at weekends and activities include camping, climbing and skiing under expert and qualified supervision. Students are exposed to diverse experiences and are encouraged to achieve their full potential across many different dimensions, academically, physically, spiritually and socially. Service and responsibility are fostered through social service and through the Round Square organisation. The school is also a centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Vacation courses Aiglon also runs short languages courses throughout the year. The Summer School offers a three-week residential language course in English or French combined with an exciting range of sports and activities. In the winter, Aiglon provides a Snowsports and Languages programme which combines expert tuition in either English or French with fun on the slopes.

Aiglon College 1885 Chesieres | Switzerland T + 41(0)24 496 61 61 | F + 41(0)24 496 61 62 |

High schools

In the heart of the Swiss Alps Beau Soleil is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and has been designated an IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) Founded in 1910 Beau Soleil is one of the oldest Swiss establishments of worldwide renown, and is currently owned and run by the third successive generation of the same family. Our students, representing over 40 nationalities, are provided with a complete education – intellectual, physical, emotional and social – in order to develop their sense of values and to show them the importance of personal effort and self-discipline. The three cornerstones of our education are : a balanced and personalised curriculum, a stable family community and an exceptional environment. With this in mind, students are constantly encouraged to meet the following objectives : act responsibly, behave with respect, aim high and do their best.

Educational programme The school sets rigorous expectations of its students in terms of academic commitment. The school’s programme of studies is taught in either French or English. The French section extends from sixième to terminale level, culminating in the French Baccalaureate (L, ES and S branches). The International section comprises classes from 7th to 12th Grade, preparing for IGCSE qualifications at the end of 10th Grade and the challenging International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at the end of 12th Grade. Students may also prepare for SAT, TOEFL and a High School Diploma programme. A college counselling service is available to assist students in their university application process. Considerable emphasis is laid on encouraging students to develop efficient independent study habits.

by putting our students into an environment that challenges them emotionally as well as physically. They have been able to take part, on a voluntary basis, in spectacular and challenging expeditions to summits such as Kilimanjaro in Africa and Cotopaxi in Ecuador. Finally, the art, music and drama department encourages students to develop their artistic talent through drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and ceramics, by learning how to sing and playing various instruments, and by fostering their powers of creative expression.

Summer camps The summer camp is organised every year in July and August and is designed for children from 7 to 16 years old. Its programme includes the learning of languages in the morning – French or English – at six different levels, from beginners to advanced. The maximum number of students per language course is ten in order to offer ideal teaching conditions. The afternoons are dedicated to various sporting or cultural activities, as well as a half-day excursion per week. Students also take part in our theme camps, under canvas or in a mountain hut : Adventure/Mountain Camp, and Lakeside Camp.

Collège Beau Soleil 1884 Villars-sur-Ollon | Switzerland T + 41(0)24 496 26 26 | F + 41(0)24 496 26 27 www. |

Extra-curricular activities The key word in the Beau Soleil curriculum is “balance” : the harmonious equilibrium between studies, physical activity, creativity and leisure. Sports form part of the compulsory programme in each season. In the summer most activities take place outdoors, while in the winter the resort’s 200 kilometres of slopes and runs provide an ideal environment for winter sports. Expeditions provide character-building experiences

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


L’art de l’hospitalité

High schools

In Lausanne, overlooking Lake Geneva Fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Founded in 1882 Brillantmont International School is located in a leafy park in the centre of Lausanne, overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps, just 40 minutes from Geneva International Airport. The school has remained in the same family since its foundation in 1882 but has constantly evolved to best meet the needs of its student population, which represents over 35 different nationalities.

Academic Brillantmont International School is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The school prepares boys and girls aged 13-18 to enter universities throughout the world via either the British Programme which prepares IGCSE and A Level examinations or the American Programme, the completion of which leads to the High School Graduation Diploma. SAT and TOEFL prep are offered and students are closely guided in their future choices by our experienced college counselors. Small class sizes and a strong emphasis on technology in the classroom create an ideal learning environment for our students. Our interactive website facilitates academic contact between all members of the school community – parents, students, teachers and the Direction. Certain programmes are offered to students unable to stay for a complete school year.

Boarding Brillantmont International School welcomes 150 students, of which around 90 are boarders. They are housed in single or twinbedded rooms in the various boarding houses, which are organized according to age and gender. A resident housemaster and housemistress supervise the boarders whilst aiming to maintain a family atmosphere of dialogue and exchange. A nurse looks after our students’ health and organizes regular workshops which deal with their well-being. The recently renovated accommodation is of an excellent standard and areas of relaxation and leisure aim to create a home from home.

Sporting and leisure activities Brillantmont International School is proud to offer a wide range of sporting activities which take full advantage of the local amenities and the seasonal offerings. School teams compete against other nearby schools in beach volleyball, unihockey, basketball, tennis, football and swimming. During the winter, ski trips take place every weekend and a full week of skiing takes place in February. After school clubs are offered to every student, covering a range of activities such as Yearbook, Model United Nations, drama, music, art, photography and students are encouraged to develop their interests by joining the weekly excursions and the regular cultural trips which take place throughout the year.

Summer School Brillantmont International School offers a summer school in July and August for 12-17 year old boys and girls who come for a flexible stay of two to six weeks. French or English classes in the mornings are followed by sports in the afternoons. Round the clock supervision and a clear set of rules ensure that each student is in total security. On the full day excursion on Sundays students can enjoy rock climbing, dirk mountain biking, mountain karting or visit Chillon castle whilst on Wednesday afternoons class excursions allow the students to see the Olympic Museum, a chocolate factory, a watch factory and a cheese factory amongst others.

Brillantmont International School Avenue Secrétan 16 | 1005 Lausanne T + 41(0)21 310 04 00 | F + 41(0)21 320 84 17 www.brillantmont .ch | M. Pasche, Director

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Boarders’ corner An exchange of experiences highlights the benefits of an international education. From one country to another, students reveal their feelings about life as a boarder. Part I By Camille Bozonnet

Christopher-Philipp, 17, from Munich, Germany

Makkiko, 19, from Gifu, Japan

1st and only year at Brillantmont, Lausanne (VD)

2nd and last year at Collège du Léman, Versoix (GE)

Why Switzerland ? My school in Munich offered the possibility to spend one year abroad without, say, losing my time : when I’m back in Germany, I can move into the next higher grade as I keep on studying my old subjects. So, after mature reflection, I seized the occasion to learn English as a first lan-

Why Switzerland ? For several reasons. Firstly, I felt that I needed a new and healthy environment. I could have chosen the States but I did not want to have the freedom of American High School. This is why I chose Switzerland. The rules of Swiss boarding schools are a great help although they are sometimes strict. Secondly, this school is close to Geneva, cosmopolitan city, so that it is good experience for me to be exposed to different people and culture. Finally, I was seeking security. And I joined in the summer school of Collège du Léman and wished to study for a couple of years.

“It’s good for your future professional life if you mix with people earlier.” guage and French as a second one because of the future social, educational and cultural advantages they represent. I joined Brillantmont’s summer camp for a start to get an idea of what it’s like. Even if boarding is not the main reason, I decided to stay because I’ll have so much more to learn here than in any German boarding school where my mother tongue is spoken. What about being a boarder ? It’s no problem. You get used to it and it’s nice because you learn to communicate with other people, to go around with them, to be more open-minded and finally make really close friends. Sure, I cannot always choose when I want some privacy, but actually I find I have enough. I like it as it is. And it’s good for your future professional life if you mix with people earlier.


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

Sophie, 17, from Monaco 7th and last year at Aiglon, Chesières-Villars (VD) Why Switzerland ? I wanted to try out a way of life far different from the one I was following, living in a city. And my parents wanted both my English and French to be of a high standard. There’s no doubt French is better taught in Switzerland than in any English boarding schools. After visiting Aiglon, I was convinced by the setting, the mountains, and the many opportunities for skiing twice a week, enjoying day and week-end outings, and participating in competitive sports. Is boarding an experience you were looking for ? Ever since I was young I wanted to be a boarder. You learn more than in a dayschool. It helps me to be independent, make my own choices, and meet people with various backgrounds who become « friends for life » and part of my network. At first, it was very hard. But it’s easier and more enjoyable as time goes by. After seven years, you aren’t aware you don’t have as much privacy as before.

Do you feel fortunate that there are so many activities available in different fields ? Yes, I do, there is such a large choice. In Japan, we just study only general subjects such as biology, maths, chemistry and so on whereas my idea is not only to study general things but also arts or sports. I’ve played the piano for 10 years, though people there never recognized my artistic ability because the most important thing in Japan is study. Since I came here, I could confident more in myself because they admitted my ability and try to make me improve more and more. Now, I feel better to think both study and my piano. And if I want to do dome sports, I can try and practice anything. So I feel fortunate.


Andrea, 16, from Mexico City, Mexico

Nola, 16, from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

1st and only year at Leysin American School in Switzerland, Leysin (VD)

3rd and last but one year at TASIS, Montagnola (TI)

Why Switzerland ? It’s usual to go to Switzerland when you want to experience one year living alone in Europe. In Mexico City, people consider that Switzerland has the best boarding “This is a kind of schools. I wanted a smaller school in a smaller town than mine at an introduction home. I did not visit Leysin or the to the real world.” school before deciding; I ran the risk of coming, but with my best friend. Is your life in this small community in accordance with what you imagined ? No, but it’s worth it. It’s important for me to take advantage of what I have. Sometimes you have to suffer a little bit to learn things. This experience helps me to open my mind to different people and cultures, to give me more patience with them, to respect them. And you have to respect everybody to live in peace with others and with yourself. This is a kind of an introduction to the real world : making our own decisions at our age, not only helps us figure out, which bridge to cross and which bridge to avoid in the later future, but also teaches us to live life as to draw without an eraser, meaning to live what destiny brings us, without regretting anything.

Why Switzerland ? I wanted a European experience. I wanted to travel. And my family is half Italian. So TASIS was a perfectly located boarding school, in the Italian-speaking area and close to the border although I never got the chance to visit the school before coming. I just had a quick look at the web-site. It was very spontaneous especially since I never really knew what to expect. Is the intermixing of nationalities making you more tolerant of others ? I would not say tolerant. I’d say I’m more aware than I was before, more able to adapt to anybody. But after sharing experiences of “Even though different cultures, you realize we do have diverse they are not completely different. manners and customs, Even though we do have diverse everybody is pretty manners and customs, everybody much the same : is pretty much the same : we are teenagers. I can see it every day we are teenagers.” as I’m now an « older sister in a dorm », a kind of a confidant, second mom and model for the girls. It’s a great role with responsibilities.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Do you miss home, or the way home? We make sure you’ll enjoy your flight to Switzerland as much as you’ll cherish the memories of your visit on your return trip home. You’ll appreciate our typically Swiss hospitality, reliability and attention to detail. After all, we want to turn flying into an unforgettable experience. For bookings, please visit or call your travel agent.

High schools

On the shores of Lake Geneva Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and by the Council of International Schools Founded by Francis A. Clivaz in 1960 Collège du Léman International School is located on an 18-acre campus in Versoix, on the shores of Lake Geneva, about 5 miles from the center of Geneva. It was founded in 1960 by Francis A. Clivaz to help serve the needs of the growing diplomatic and international business community located in the Geneva area.

Academic The School has two academic programs: one with instruction in French, preparing for the French Baccalauréat, the Swiss Federal Maturité, and the bilingual Swiss Federal Maturité; the other with instruction in English, preparing students for entrance into colleges and universities via the International Baccalaureate Program and Advanced Placement examinations. Students are prepared for their college selection and application by a college guidance counselor. One hundred and twentytwo graduates entered universities and colleges in fall 2005, including Queens in Canada; Stanford, Brown, Harvard and Yale in the United States; the London School of Economics, Cambridge and Oxford universities in the United Kingdom; HEC Lausanne and Geneva in Switzerland; as well as many other higher education institutions throughout the world.

Boarding Collège du Léman counts a total of 1800 students of which 220 are boarders. There are six residence facilities to accommodate our boarders. All of these are villas. For the most part, the students live 2 or 3 to a room. Lounges are in each residence; a common area and a snack bar are open during the students’ free time. There is one infirmary for boys and one for girls. Two fulltime nurses are on duty, and a doctor with residence and office facilities adjacent to the campus is on call.

a physical education course, and sports activities are a regular part of the after-class hours. One week of ski classes is scheduled for each grade. In addition, skiing is a regular weekend activity during the winter months.

Summer School We offer co-educational French and English courses in our summer program for students between the ages of eight and eighteen. After a placement test, students follow a personalized program designed not only to meet their ability but to also challenge their motivations. In the afternoon, students are assigned to groups of around ten, according to their age, to take part in supervised activities. A variety of sports with qualified instructors are provided. Security is paramount and supervision of all activities is guaranteed. Switzerland has its own treasures and it is for this reason that each week, a trip is organized to discover our beautiful country. Places of interest, such as Interlaken, Lucerne or even Zermatt to see the Matterhorn, are visited as well as the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the Omega Museum in Bienne and a famous chocolate factory.

Collège du Léman 1290 Versoix Geneva | Switzerland T +41(0)22 775 55 55 | F +41(0)22 775 55 59 |

Sporting activities The School recognizes the importance of physical activity in the overall development of the individual. Considerable emphasis is therefore put on sports. All students are required to follow

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Our performance is a tradition since more than 10 years.

Free number 0800 808 848 Groupe Mutuel, Association dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;assureurs

High schools

Leysin American School

In the Swiss Alps of the Lake Geneva Region Accredited by the Middle States Association and Council of International Schools Certified ISO 9001 Founded by Fred & Sigrid Ott in 1960 | Directors since 1982 : Dr. Steven & Doris Ott The Leysin American School in Switzerland (LAS) is an international American boarding school with 350 students in grades 9 to 12, with a Post-Graduate program. LAS is located in the beautiful alpine village of Leysin about 90 minutes from Geneva. Excellent academics through the International Baccalaureate program (IB), family-like community, and diverse student body from over 50 nations help build a community where students develop into “citizens of the world.” LAS is owned by the Foundation for the Advancement for International Education, a nonfor-profit entity overseen by the Swiss government

Academics LAS believes in realistic, high-quality, and individualized goals. The LAS college-preparatory curriculum meets admission requirements for universities in North America. The IB is recognized by universities throughout the world. New York University, Stanford, and Harvard Universities in the U.S.; and Queens and University of Toronto in Canada are some of the universities LAS graduates are currently enrolled. LAS uses Powerschool, a student information system that provides real-time information for students and parents. It includes grades, attendance records, discipline and health information, financial accounts, and the daily school bulletin. Music and arts are an essential part of the LAS life. LAS Band, String Ensemble, and Choir perform regularly. Students can attend concerts and visit exhibits in nearby cities.

Boarding The school is firmly committed to its “in loco parentis” philosophy. Faculty members reside on campus and supervise evening study halls, sponsor sports, oversee recreational activities, and lead excursions. Two to three students of different nationalities share comfortable rooms with private showers and toilets. Two full-time nurses are on duty, and a doctor in the village is on call.

Extra-curricular Program Students lead a balanced life-style through the extra-curricular program that includes sports, travel, and other activities. During the fall and spring terms, students devote at least two afternoons a week to instructional sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming, and hiking. In the winter, students ski two afternoons a week. The annual educational travel program includes two cultural excursions designed to acquaint students with the history and culture of Switzerland and major European cities. LAS provides leadership opportunities through Student Council, Model United Nations, and global awareness projects such as Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity.

Summer in Switzerland (SIS) SIS offers summer academic enrichment, recreation, and travel programs to students ages 9 to 19. In the mornings, students attend classes (academic and creative & visual arts), while the afternoons are devoted to sports activities and excursions. Weekend excursions permit students to explore cities such as Geneva, Lucerne, and Zermatt. SIS also offers specialized programs for 13 to 19-years-olds: Theatre International, Alpine Chamber Music, Leadership Adventure, English-as-a-SecondLanguage (ESL), and Dyslexia Summer School. The two 3week sessions are divided by the Recreation and Culture week that offers excursions to France, Italy, United Kingdom, and throughout Switzerland.

Leysin American School 1854 Leysin | Switzerland T + 41(0)24 493 37 77 | F + 41(0)24 494 15 85 |

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Institut Le Rosey

High schools

Between the Lake and the Mountains... Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council of International Schools and the International Baccalaureate Organization. It is a member of the Group of French baccalauréat Schools in Switzerland and the Swiss Federation of Private Schools | Founded in 1880 Institut Le Rosey is the most prestigious of Swiss boarding schools with a long tradition of academic and sporting excellence. It is unique in having a two campus system – in autumn and summer, the exceptional facilities of the Rolle campus, and in winter its alpine campus in Gstaad, one of Switzerland’s most beautiful skiing resorts.

Academic English and French are the two academic languages at Le Rosey, and the sophisticated bilingual and bi-cultural system of the middle school years leads to the French Baccalauréat or the International Baccalaureate. With a teacher-student ratio of 1:6, particular attention is paid to the potential and needs of individual students. Le Rosey also offers SAT preparation classes and is a SAT and TOEFL examination centre. Two full-time counselors prepare students for acceptance at competitive universities across the world, including (2005 only) : Princeton, Cornell, Stanford, U. Penn, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Parsons, the LSE, University College and King’s College London, Central St Martin’s, as well as many others in the USA, the UK and across the world.

Boarding and Campus Life Le Rosey is 100% boarding. 370 students are accommodated in purpose-built maisons and mountain chalets. Facilities are of a high standard with usually two students per room, nearly all of which have en-suite bathrooms. Over 50 resident teachers provide pastoral support. Although Le Rosey is completely co-ed with a 50-50 boy-girl ratio, girls are housed on independent campuses. With several languages spoken around the school, pupils are exposed to a rich international atmosphere and develop values of tolerance and solidarity. While the atmosphere of the school is relaxed, a dress code is enforced and students dress more formally for dinner. A full uniform is worn on special occasions.

Sporting Activities Le Rosey has always subscribed to the broader educational and


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character-building benefits of physical exercise, and sport and sporting success are cornerstones of the Rosey spirit. The school offers a particularly wide range of daily activities. In Rolle, a nautical sports centre, riding stables, two gymnasia, a “wellness centre” and two swimming pools complement a large number of soccer and rugby fields and numerous tennis courts. In Gstaad, skiing and snowboarding are the principal winter sports.

Multiple Intelligences Le Rosey’s mission to encourage students to explore all their talents and to realize their full potential does not end with sport. Music, drama and the visual arts are part of the daily schedule. Evening and weekend cultural activities are complemented by excursions and a complete weekend outdoor education and expedition program. A strong commitment to charity work completes the school’s aim to raise happy and independent children with a balanced sense of their own worth and responsibilities.

Summer Camps Le Rosey offers five co-educational summer camps in French and English designed for 9 to 18-year-olds. The Classic Summer Camp offers a wide range of activities, language classes and excursions for nearly 300 students. It is complemented by Mountain, Adventure and Leadership Camps. The Summer School provides school revision and extension courses. All offer the same quality, safety considerations and attention to detail which characterize Le Rosey throughout the year.

Institut Le Rosey Château du Rosey | 1180 Rolle | Switzerland T +41(0)21 822 55 00 | F +41(0)21 822 55 55 Winter Campus (January to March) Chalet Rex | 3780 Gstaad | Switzerland T +41(0)33 748 06 00 | F +41(0)33 748 06 01 |


High schools

The institution is dedicated to expandin of the young people entrusted to its care cross-cultural respect and communic them, surrounding them with beauty and teaching them to love learning and re responsibilities. TASIS is devoted to Celebrating 50 years of excellence in international education virtues, values, and aims: • introducing young people to a bro Founded by Mrs. M. Crist Fleming in 1965 human culture, especially European roots andofoffshoots. Schoolnear is situated on a magnificent 7-acre campus The School is situated on a magnificent 7-acreThe campus • teaching habits conducive to good work (love truth, order, • teaching habits conducive to good near the village of Montagnola overlooking Lake the village of Montagnola overlooking Lake Lugano and just diligence, and service) and friendship (civility, generosity, truth, order, diligence, and service) a Lugano and just from the center of town. 15 minutes from the center of town. The facilities include a 15 minutes hospitality). (civility, generosity, hospitality). The facilities include a combination of historic villas combination of historic villas beautifully restored for school • activating and developing healthy attitudes and and developing habits • activating healthy beautifully restored for school use, and modern purpose use, and modern purpose-built facilities. The 16 buildings on regarding the body (physical fitness, self-cultivation andbody (physical habits regarding the -built facilities. The 16 buildings on campus include campus include dormitories, classrooms, library, science labs, ethical consciousness and competition, cultivation and ethical consciousness dormitories, classrooms, library, science labs, through computerteam-spirit computerlabs, art, photography and dance studios, of expanding one’srooms, physical limits through responsible the joy of ex spirit and competition, labs, art, music photography the andjoy dance studios, music physical limits through responsible ch rooms, fitness center, gymnasium, health center, dining andgymnasium, challenges). fitness hall center, health center, dining hall elicitingaffinity and developing and administrative offices. administrative offices. • eliciting and developing students’• natural for the students’ natu the true, the good, and the beautiful b true, the good, and the beautiful by emphasizing classic classic works, languages, and advance Academic Academic works, languages, and advances in knowledge in curriculum, in curriculum, reciprocity prepares and students to earn the life, and providing inspiring and courtes The academic program prepares students to earnThe the academic Americanprogram reciprocity courtesy in social and providing inspiring and graceful American high diploma and the International high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) di- schooland graceful facilities and surroundings. surroundings. Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, and includes English as a ploma, and includes English as a second language support. All second language support. All TASIS graduates are TASIS graduates are prepared to proceed to colleges and univerThe School takes advantage of its location in takes the heart of of its locati The School advantage prepared to proceed to colleges and universities in the sities in the USA and around the world. TASIS isUSA accredited by Europe to provide an outstanding educational program with an of Europe to provide an outstandin and around the world. TASIS is accredited by the program with an international dim the Council of International Schools (CIS) and theCouncil New England international dimension. The travel program includes 10 days of of International Schools (CIS) and the New travel program includes 10 days of edu Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). England Association educational travel throughout Europe as well as a one-week ski of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). throughout Europe as well as a one-w term, when the School relocates to Crans-Montana. when the School relocates to Crans-Mon Boarding

TASIS, the GlobalTASIS School

The Global School


Summer School The American in Switzerland is an independent, The American School in Switzerland is an independent, co-School Summer School day school, ofcurrently educational boarding and day school, currentlyco-educational enrolling 335 boarding TASIS and offers a variety summer programs on campuses in TASIS offers a variety of summer program enrolling12 335 of more than France, 50 nationalities students of more than 50 nationalities in grades 7 through andstudents England, Spain, Italy, andinSwitzerland for students ages 6 in England, Spain, France, Italy, and S 7 through additional 45 students in its an additional 45 students in its new Kindergartengrades through grade 12 to students ages 6 to 18. new Kindergarten through grade 6 elementary school. 6 elementary school. TASIS is the oldest American boarding Founded in 1956 by Mrs. M. Crist Fleming, TASIS is school in Europe. The School is owned and directed the TASIS thebyoldest American boarding school in Europe. The The American School in Switzerland, The American School in Switzerland, Foundation, a Swiss non-profit educational organization. CH 6926 Montagnola, Collina d’Oro, Switzerla School is owned and directed by the TASIS Foundation, Tel. +41 91 960 5151 - Fax +41 91 994 2364 The institution is dedicated to expanding the horizons of the educational Collina d’Oro | 6926 Montagnola | Switzerland a Swiss non-profit organization. young people entrusted to its care, encouraging cross-cultural T + 41(0)91 960 5151 | F + 41(0)91 994E-mail: 23 64 - respect and communication among them, surrounding them | with beauty and courtesy, and teaching them to love learning and recognize moral responsibilities. TASIS is devoted to the following virtues, values, and aims : • introducing young people to a broad and deep human culture, especially European culture and its roots and offshoots.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Boarders’ corner

An exchange of experiences highlights the benefits of an international education. From one country to another, students reveal their feelings about life as a boarder. Part II By Camille Bozonnet

Marlene, 14, from Mexico City, Mexico 1st year at Beau Soleil, Villars-sur-Ollon (VD) Why Switzerland ? My family thinks it’s good for me to experience other cultures, to learn French and to live amidst people with other upbringings. To be far from home. It’s not too hard. After a while, you realise there is so much to learn that you don’t have time to think about home. And it lasts just one year. Do you feel lucky to study in an international environment ? Yes, I do. It allows me to open my mind and to be aware of our differences. For example, we, Mexicans, sometimes speak a lot and shout. It’s just our way to communicate. On the other hand, French people neither talk a lot nor shout. So we have to pay attention to behave more like French people than like Mexicans. It’s the same with the food. We do like chile in Mexico but this is not true of all my friends here. We share each other’s food, habits and customs : I’m having a very good time here.

Michael, 16, from Abuja, Niger 3rd and last but one year at Le Rosey, Rolle (VD) and Gstaad (BE) Why Switzerland ? Here you get not only the best education but also an international background that offers you more than just single-minded points of view. I visited Le Rosey and liked both the campuses and the many facilities : I’m in the football team, go snowboarding and participate in athletics, play basketball, tennis and table tennis. I found it exciting for a new challenge.

“I found it exciting for a new challenge.”

Is boarding easy to bear ? Quite easy. You always get private space when you want it. It’s a balanced life. The thing is I never thought I would be able to make friends with whom I’ll be k eeping in touch when leaving. Since I arrived, I have changed my mind. I also had different ideas on other communities. Mixing with them, you become more tolerant. When I go back home, I’ll be able to understand more what’s happening in the world. If they can, people should experience boarding school life.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Hotel schools

Become a Leader in the World’s Largest Industry! Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the US and recognized by the Swiss Hotel Association The hospitality industry is the world’s largest employer offering a wide array of employment opportunities including hotels, restaurants, travel, leisure, wellness and many other sectors of the service industry. This sector is expected to keep expanding, thus offering people a wider spectrum of jobs than ever before. Recognized by the Swiss Hotel Association, the body that protects the standards and reputation of the Swiss hotel industry, Les Roches is a world-renowned Hospitality Management institution focussing on educating future leaders of that exciting and growing industry.

Academic For over 25 years, Les Roches has been offering a learning environment which combines sound academic experience with innovative use of craft-based learning (practice) that shapes and opens students’ mind and attitude as well as prepares them to face complex new professional situations with rigour and innovation. Our numerous undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes include: • Swiss Hotel Association Hotel Management “Diplôme” (3 years) • Top-up degree to BBA in International Hotel Management, or with Finance or Marketing (1 year) • Bachelor of Science in Food Services Management (4 years) • Postgraduate studies in Hospitality (6 months up to 2 years) • MBA in Hospitality with Finance or with Marketing through the “Universidad Europea de Madrid” in Spain (1 year) Intakes are twice a year in January or February depending on the programme or in July and August.

Internship / career opportunities Internships are part of the curriculum and students will develop their professional skills through interesting and challenging work experience in Switzerland or abroad. We also have international hotel chains coming each semester to recruit our graduates, thus offering them great opportunities of employment.


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Student Life Located in the charming village of Bluche, and a few minutes drive from the famous resort of Crans-Montana, our international students (over 65 nationalities) live in comfortable residences spread throughout Bluche and a few minutes walk from the main campus. Facilities include a fitness centre, tennis and basketball courts, soccer field, outdoor swimming pool and many other winter and summer activities whether indoor or outdoor.

International transfer programme One of the greatest advantages of choosing Les Roches is the possibility to transfer to / from affiliated institutions. • We have a sister school in Marbella, Spain, that offers a similar curriculum to Les Roches Switzerland with the possibility to follow a bilingual course in English and Spanish for the first two years. • At Les Roches Jin-Jiang in Shanghai, China students follow in English a two year programme that prepares them to join the diploma or degree programme in Switzerland. • We also have a partnership with Kendall College in Chicago, USA where students can undertake the Les Roches Hospitality programme or culinary studies in state-of-the art and brand new facilities.

Les Roches School of Hotel Management Enrolment Management Department Rue du Lac 118 | 1815 Clarens | Switzerland T + 41(0)21 989 26 44 | F + 41(0)21 989 26 45 |

Hotel schools

Leader in Hospitality Education Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (USA) Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) is a private Swiss Institution active in education in the field of Hospitality, Tourism, Sports and Leisure. Comprising of two schools, Glion Hotel School and Glion Sports Management School, it offers various undergraduate, graduate and post graduate programmes up to three and a half years. Located on two different campuses, GIHE has the unique advantage of offering to its international student body, an ideal, safe and multi cultural educational environment.

Academics GIHE offers a wide range of studies from one semester up to 3,5 years of studies including Diploma, Associate and Bachelor Degrees, Postgraduate studies as well as a Master of Education and a MBA in association with Endicott College in the USA. All our academic programmes are divided in three major pathways: professional development, entrepreneurship and general education. These are taught in an environment which encourages critical thinking and develops an aptitude for innovation thus responding to the concrete needs of a demanding industry in constant evolution. We also place considerable emphasis on the commercial responsibility of our students as future managers who will be called upon to develop companies and ensure they are profitable. All courses are available in English and some in French depending on the programme chosen. Classes start in January or in August except for the Master’s programmes which start in June.

Campus Life • Glion Campus Situated above the tourist resort of Montreux, Glion campus offers the most breathtaking view of Lake Geneva and the French and Swiss Alps. Its friendly and intimate atmosphere caters to a healthy and modern lifestyle and is the starting point to all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Leisure and sport activities include a brand new fitness centre, a gymnasium and access to all sorts of outdoor summer and winter sports and activities. • Bulle Campus The university style environment of Bulle campus has been conceived for advanced studies. There, students are more independent and their studies concentrate on the managerial aspect of the industry through specific assignments. Located in the Canton of Fribourg, close to the famous medieval town of Gruyères, Bulle is one of the fastest growing cities in Switzerland and offers many social as well as sports activities.

Glion Institute of Higher Education Enrolment Management Department Rue du Lac 118 | 1815 Clarens | Switzerland T + 41(0)21 989 26 77 | F + 41(0)21 989 26 78 |

A great career ahead When students graduate, they already have plenty of practice through craft-based learning and internships, thus increasing their employability. Internships give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real situation and get a taste for this fascinating industry. Each semester leading international companies come to our campus to interview and recruit our graduates. By the end of their studies, most students have several job offers in hands.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning








“The right place for serious training” Jean-Jacques Gauer, luxury hotel veteran and Alumni of Le Rosey, shares his opinion of Switzerland as a deservedly renowned place for valuable education By Camille Bozonnet Jean-Jacques Gauer is one of the major players in the luxury hotels business. Immersed from a young age in the hotel trade, he’s been managing luxury five star hotels for 27 years now. According to his experience, Switzerland is still a top worldwide competitor, preserving its excellent place equally well in the art of hospitality as in catering to the rich and famous. A straight-to-the-point chat. Any memories of your private boarding school ? Once you have your exams in your pocket, you think, well, I succeeded something in my life. You are an AIAR (Alumni) representative. Do you still take advantage of the network you built at Le Rosey ? I still have some friends that I bump into occasionnally. Living and studying at Le Rosey is an experience we all shared. It definitely is a common spirit that rallies us and it can help in our professional life. Do you feel your stay in a renowned Swiss boarding school was a plus for your CV ? I don’t give much thought to my CV. What I’m interested in is the life experience. Of course, the years I spent at Le Rosey remain a

Jean-Jacques Gauer General Manager of the Lausanne Palace & Spa Born in 1953 in Bern (BE), Switzerland Mr Gauer is married, father of two children and has a Labrador 1964-1970

Education at Le Rosey, Federal Maturity


EHL (Lausanne Hotel School)


Debut at the family palace, the Schweizerhof, Bern, Switzerland


General Manager of the Schweizerhof, Bern, Switzerland


President of the Leading Hotels of the World


General Manager of the Lausanne Palace & Spa, Switzerland

positive memory. I loved the place. But it’s important to keep in mind that if the reputation of any school is good to have, it is still not sufficient per se. For example, if someone went to Harvard, it sounds good a priori. But you have to be aware of what he really did during his stay, which studies he followed, his activities (physical, cultural…), his involvement, the whole process that built his individual experience at Harvard. How would you evaluate the Swiss hospitality education ? Basically, you have five or six good places in the world. Switzerland is one of them, mostly because of the English teaching, the multicultural environment, the practical approach and the training periods abroad. Any advice you’d like to tell a foreigner planning on studying in Switzerland ? If you’re looking for a good bilingual education, a multi-cultural environment and serious training, it’s the right place. It will be a nice way to spend four years in your life.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Claudia Kopitz ( and Barbara Haemmig (, Geneva free-lance photographers, are our first guests in these pages dedicated to art exhibition. Young talent at a glance.


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Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning




Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006


Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Academic finance o to acquiring an inter “A lot can still be done. Finance is a pretty new discipline, even abroad”, says Rajna Gibson-Brandon, pioneering researcher By Camille Bozonnet Rajna Gibson-Brandon is a well-known lady in the world of academic finance. During her many activities balanced between academic and private select circles, she daily juggles with asset pricing, risk management, real options, financial integration and managerial compensation. She also tries to explain what’s going on in the financial world by producing models to which she applies empirical methods to test their validity. Why did you go to a private boarding school ? I think at the time my parents desired a private education for me. I started school at an early age and starting before the others was not really encouraged in the public system. Besides, the international environment that private schools offer represented a considerable advantage. So both demands were a big issue. I have very good memories of my stay at Collège du Léman and this training paid off.

Regarding your academic career ? When I finished my PhD in Economic and Social Sciences in Geneva, I spent three years in the USA as a postdoctoral scholar and one year in France as an assistant professor in Finance. My international background certainly helped me to integrate in those international places. How would you qualify the Swiss academic research on an international level ? A lot of initiatives are taking place in the field of finance. For ten years, Switzerland has been pursuing many efforts to build an effective research network and to promote high level education in finance.

“For ten years, Switzerland has been pursuing many efforts”

As well as ? Initiated by the Swiss Bankers Association, Swiss Finance Institute has decided to put up the money for around twenty five new Finance professors within the next ten years. This is a unique initiative. Do you think the series of measures currently taken are enough ? A lot can still be done. But we have to keep in mind that finance is a pretty new discipline, even abroad. It has been taught for thirty or forty years, not more. Clearly, the key academic places are to be found in the United States and Great Britain although Switzerland is trying to become one today.

University of Zurich


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Where is the utmost urgency ? We don’t have the critical mass in term of professors. Be aware that the total number of Swiss Finance professors is equivalent to a department of Finance at New York University! Even though some fundamental research results are not directly exploitable, high level research of this type is essential to develop excellent


on the road national reputation doctoral and postdoctoral educations and to stay at the leading edge of progress in the financial services industry. What does Switzerland have compared to the Anglo-Saxon giants ? We do have strong abilities in a few « niche disciplines », such as risk management and econometrics applied to finance. We also maintain a close relationship with regular dialogs between the academic and private circles, including multiple conferences and valuable seminar interactions; this is quite unique. And what are our future goals ? Academic finance has to acquire an international reputation as far as fundamental research is concerned. Firstly, we have to increase the number of our researchers’ published papers in high quality international reviews. Secondly, to be able to attract more foreign students. Of course, our doctoral programmes in

Professor Rajna Gibson-Brandon Full Professor of Finance, Swiss Banking Institute, University of Zurich and Honorary Professor at Ecole des HEC, University of Lausanne Born in 1962, in Geneva (GE), Switzerland Married, one child 1979

Baccalaureat, Collège du Léman, Versoix, Switzerland


PhD, summa cum laude, Economic and Social Sciences (Specialization in Finance), University of Geneva, Switzerland


Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Visiting scholar, New York University, USA


Full Professor of Finance, Ecole des HEC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Member of the Swiss Banking Commission


Member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Re


Full Professor of Finance, Swiss Banking Institute, University of Zurich and Honorary Professor at Ecole des HEC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Scientific Director of the Master of Advanced Studies in Finance, University of Zurich and ETHZ, Switzerland

Director of the National Centre of Competence in Research, "Financial Valuation and Risk Management"

Lausanne or Zurich already train foreign students from all over the world. But a good reputation will allow us to raise the prerequisites and the selective entry criteria so that we gradually become a reference in the field. Last but not least, to offer Swiss doctoral graduates the opportunity to start academic careers in Finance abroad in renowned universities such as Harvard or Wharton. Which is not the case at the moment. How do you consider the proportion of women in Swiss research and top positions ? It is true that it is very low. I think things cannot be changed at the academic recruitment level nor at the top level professional positions, but the problem should be tackled at a much earlier stage of the education chain. Also, the problem cannot be entirely blamed on the firms. It‘s mainly due to our cultural and social environment which does not promote womens’ careers in general. In addition, maybe there is a shortage of women motivated by pursuing finance careers.

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Influence and power in education

Prof. Hans Weder, President of the University of Zurich By Hans Weder If one looks at the Greek roots of the word “pedagogy”, it becomes clear that education has something to do with direction, with motivating children. Direction involves power : When teaching their students, the Greek paidagogoi exercised their power in a rather physical way. We have largely abolished the corporal form, but nevertheless power comes into play in our classrooms on a mental level and sometimes cleverly disguised. Being aware of the fact that power plays a role in education we expect a lot from those who teach – we expect them to adopt a humane approach to the power invested in them in their roles as educators. I will give you just some comments on these expectations. Education in its most effective form influences personal development. Most of us are grateful for schooling because it contributed to our personal development. Whoever influences the personal development of others should have an idea of the goal that the process aims to achieve. He or she should be aware of that image of a human being that is worth aspiring to and worth educating towards. Does this image exist ? Is there even consensus about it ? We try to help out with formal concepts like “self-reliant individual” and “self-determined development”. But this begs the question : Is human life ever self-reliant ? Certainly, people have


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freedom to steer their own course. But are they not dependent on the earth that gives them somewhere to move around ? Of course, people have the freedom to live in a self-contained way without relationships. But are relationships not the true wealth in life ? They must be received as gifts; we do not control them. People do not necessarily need others to tell them something, but as beings endowed with language, zoon logon echon, are they not dependent on songs penned by others, on texts they have not created themselves ?

Great Expectations For the sake of clarity, I would like to point out that the image of a self-reliant and free individual is precisely the pedagogical point of departure out of our self-inflicted dependency. My concern is that this self-inflicted dependency may have turned into self-inflicted independence, an abstract notion meaning independence that has abstracted itself, cut itself off from life. Education focused on this objective would detach students from reality. But perhaps there is a third way, one that goes beyond both dependence and independence. Perhaps this way might be man’s dependency on other people as well as on the other givens of life, in contrast to abstract life. This would be life in the context

of nature and culture. If teachers focus on this image of a free yet dependent individual, they influence students on the basis of their voluntary agreement. An unforced “yes” is possible where leeway exists for people to hold their heads up and confidently say “no”. This places high expectations upon teachers.

Professor Hans Weder President of the University of Zurich

The big issue Those who aspire to educate, however, must have the courage to influence other peoples’ development. Students are not helped if they are confronted with an empty void or with arbitrary ideas. Those who strive for voluntary agreement must have the courage to speak out for what they themselves consider reasonable. They must have the courage to challenge their students, especially when the primary goal is to help them develop. This again places a huge demand on teachers. They have to make their convictions plain. They have to work for what they believe to be meaningful and correct while at the same time accepting the fact that the self-same meaningful and correct ideas may be rejected. Those who influence the development of others are required to respect the dignity of others. This means refraining from exercising the power invested in them, even in situations where power may be justified by the very best of ends. This great expectation can only be fulfilled by the educated.

Born in 1946 in Diepoldsau (SG), Switzerland

High School in St Gallen, Switzerland


Studies of Theology, University of Zurich, Switzerland Bachelor Degree in Philosophy, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland


PhD (on the parables of Jesus), University of Zurich, Switzerland Habilitation (on Pauline theology of the cross), University of Zurich, Switzerland


Elected to the chair for New Testament, University of Zurich, Switzerland; focus of academic work : hermeneutics


President of the University of Zurich, Switzerland

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



Higher education The Swiss higher education system provides students with 10 cantonal universities and 2 Federal Institutes of Technology. These institutions are briefly presented below by means of a couple of facts and figures, including the list of faculties or principal areas of activities available in each establishment For further information, you may refer to the official website :

University of Basel

University of Fribourg



Human & Social Sciences Medicine Natural sciences Law Economics Psychology Theology

Literature Economics & Social Sciences Law Sciences Theology

Number of students 9222 Foreign students 20,7 % University of Basel Petersplatz 1 | 4003 Basel | Switzerland T +41(0)61 267 31 11

University of Bern Faculties Arts Human Sciences Economics & Social Sciences Science Medicine Law Teacher Training Veterinary Medicine Theology Number of students 13274 Foreign students 8,4% University of Bern Hochschulstrasse 4 | 3012 Bern | Switzerland T +41(0)31 631 81 11

Number of students 9913 Foreign students 17,9% University of Fribourg Av. Europe 20 | 1700 Fribourg | Switzerland T +41(0)26 300 71 11

University of Geneva Faculties Economics & Social Sciences Arts Psychology & Edu. Sciences Sciences Law Medicine Translation/ Interpretation Architecture European Studies Protestant Theology International Studies (IUHEI) Development Studies (IUED) Ecumenical Centre Number of students 14652 Foreign students 37,9% University of Geneva Rue du Général-Dufour 24 | 1211 Genève 4 | Switzerland T +41(0)22 379 71 11


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University of Lausanne

University of St Gallen



Social & Political Sciences Arts Biology & Medicine Management & Economics Law Earth Sciences & Environment Theology

Business Administration Economics Law International Affairs Number of students 4556 Foreign students 33,5% University of St Gallen Dufourstrasse 50 | 9000 St. Gallen Switzerland T +41(0)71 224 21 11

Number of students 10231 Foreign students 20,7% University of Lausanne Dorigny | 1015 Lausanne Switzerland T +41(0)21 692 11 11

University of Lugano Faculties Communication Sciences Academy of Architecture Economics Informatics

University of Lucerne Faculties Law Human Sciences Theology

Number of students 1856 Foreign students 48,2%

Number of students 1500 Foreign students 9,2 %

University of Lugano Via Lambertenghi 10 | 6904 Lugano Switzerland T +41(0)91 923 81 62

University of Lucerne Pfistergasse 20,22 | 6003 Luzern Switzerland T +41(0)41 228 55 10

University of Neuchatel

Basel Zürich

Faculties Literature & Human Sciences Sciences Economics & Social Sciences Law Theology Number of students 3296 Foreign students 23,5% University of Neuchatel Avenue du 1er-Mars 26 | 2000 Neuchâtel Switzerland T +41(0)32 32 718 10 00



Luzern Bern Fribourg

Lausanne Geneva


Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning



University of Zurich Faculties Literature Law Economics Medicine Mathematics & Sciences Veterinary Medicine Theology Number of students 23395 Foreign students 13,5% University of Zurich Rämistrasse 101 | 8092 Zurich Switzerland T +41(0)44 634 11 11

ETH Zurich Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Faculties Electric and electronic engineering, mechanic engineering, material science and engineering, microtechnics (STI) Environmental services, civil engineering & architecture (ENAC) Informatics, communication systems (IC) Chemistry & chemical engineering, mathematics, physics (SB) Sciences & technologies of livings Management of Tech. (MTE)

Faculties Engineering Sciences Natural Sciences & Mathematics Architecture, Construction & Geomatics System-oriented Sciences Other Sciences & Sports Number of students 12388 Foreign students 21,7 % ETH Zurich Rämistrasse 101 | 8092 Zurich | Switzerland T +41(0)44 632 11 11

Source : Federal Statistical Office, figures for 2004/2005

Number of students 6493 Foreign students 39,8% EPFL 1015 Lausanne | Switzerland T +41(0)21 693 11 11


St-Gallen Zürich


Luzern Bern Fribourg

Lausanne Geneva



Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

Universities of Applied Sciences

The universities of applied sciences The other branch of the Swiss higher education system gathers the Universities of Applied Sciences ("Fachhochschulen"/"Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées"). 9 UAS are spread over the territory, offering diverse fields of professionally oriented studies

1. Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale



Number of students 10894 Foreign students 25,9 % Rue de la Jeunesse 1 | 2800 Delémont | Switzerland T +41(0)32 424 49 00 | F +41(0)32 424 49 01 |



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2. Berner Fachhochschule


Number of students 5921 Foreign students 10,4 % Schwarztorstrasse 36 | 3007 Bern | Switzerland T +41(0)31 370 89 89 | F +41(0)31 370 89 88 |

3. Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz

5. Fachhochschule Zentralschweiz Number of students Foreign students

– –

Fachhochschule Solothurn

Frankenstrasse 9 | 6002 Luzern | Switzerland T +41(0)41 228 42 42 | F +41(0)41 228 42 43 |

Fachhochschule beider Basel

6. Fachhochschule Ostschweiz

Riggenbachstrasse 16 | 4600 Olten | Switzerland T +41(0)848 821 011 |

Gründenstrasse 40 | 4132 Muttenz | Switzerland T +41(0)61 467 42 42

Number of students 3557 Foreign students 10,8 %

Fachhochschule Aargau

Davidstrasse 31 | 9001 St. Gallen | Switzerland T +41(0)71 229 39 42 | F +41(0)71 229 22 85 |

Total number of students 6055 Foreign students 11,3 %

7. Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana

4. Zürcher Fachhochschule

Number of students 1770 Foreign students 19,2 %

Number of students 10104 Foreign students 9,9 %

Le Gerre | 6928 Manno | Swizerland T +41(0)58 666 60 00 | F +41(0)58 666 60 01 |

Klosterzelgstrasse | 4132 5210 Windish | Switzerland T +41(0)56 462 44 11

Walchetor | 8090 Zürich | Switzerland T +41(0)43 259 23 31 | F +41(0)1 259 51 61 |

Source : Federal Statistical Office, figures for 2004/2005

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


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swissUp Ranking The tertiary sector training put under a microcoscope... A whole series of statistical data to help you choose the faculty of your dream with full knowledge of the facts The foundation In 2004, the “Fondation pour l’excellence de la formation en Suisse (FEFS)”, a foundation promoting the quality in Swiss education landscape, took over the activities of swissUp SA, a company whose creation had been driven by the passion and commitment of Daniel Borel, president of Logitech International SA. The FEFS’s support for a variety of activities connected in some way with the key area of training and education underlines its stated objective, to promote and sustain a broadly based debate on the quality of teaching and training in Switzerland. To this end, the FEFS has prioritised investment in the establishment of a system of rankings for public higher education establishments in Switzerland (www.swissupranking. com). The FEFS has also been involved in the setting up of the Student Fair (initiated by swissUp), held at the end of April every year as part of the Geneva Book Fair. The event is organised in cooperation with the weekly magazine L’Hebdo, which took over the editorial side of the website Other projects are at the preparatory stage, including a Student Fair for German-speaking Switzerland, a televisual programme and the creation of scholarships; these will be finalised once sufficient funding is secured.

The swissUp Ranking The FEFS’s principal project is the swissUp Ranking. It has been carried out since 2004 at the behest of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) and the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET). The Ranking is a comparative survey of higher education establishments in three countries, conducted in collaboration with the German Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) and the Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance (AQA). Because of its national

interest, the swissUp Ranking receives financial support from a number of sources, including the Swiss Confederation. The aim of the Ranking is to bring greater transparency to the labyrinthine system of tertiary sector training in Switzerland and in other countries. Intending students therefore have at their fingertips detailed information about educational standards and training facilities, giving them a greater choice for their studies. The ranking therefore promotes a healthy competition among the universities and colleges. It has caused them to cast a critical eye over their respective institutions and thereby to constantly improve their educational standards.

How to use the Ranking Tool : it has been conceived as an aid to reflection and decision making. Anyone can dip into whatever takes their interest, giving them a comparative basis for selecting their dream alma mater. The Ranking is based on statistical data from the universities themselves and the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, as well as data extracted from two surveys carried out among the students and teachers concerned. Unlike the system of rankings in the USA, the swissUp/CHE Ranking does not add up the indicators to work out a mean and to establish the “best” university in the country. It provides instead a series of results, presented in three groups (from green, the best, to red, the not so good). Everyone is free to choose their own criteria, and thus to determine the higher education establishment most appropriate to their own particular objectives. In all, there are more than thirty indicators that can be accessed on the Internet, at www.swissupranking. com. In addition, the website publishes a whole series of factual information (ranging from rents to specific information about faculties), not graded but still very useful. >>>

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Pub Ă venir

University of Geneva

Definition of indicators Opinion of studies (student survey) General opinion of students with regard to their courses of study. Training offered (student survey) Diversity, links with research, international orientation, interaction during courses, interdisciplinarity, teaching methods, group sizes, practice-based seminars. Relevance to practice (student survey) Degree of adequacy between taught material and practice, specific projects, in-service training, teaching by practicing professionals. Quality of supervision (student survey) Quality of supervision by the entire teaching body: availability, counselling and support. Degree of supervision Number of students per teacher. Libraries (student survey) Availability of literature, provision and topicality of books and specialist journals, research facilities, opening times and loan periods, user aids, availability of work spaces, online service. Third-party funds per scientist in CHF Total of third-party research funds per scientist and per year, average 2001-2003 (Swiss National Science Foundation, CTI, European funds, public sector funds and private funds, with the exception of consulting mandates).

Ranking 2006 For the Ranking 2006, eleven fields of study of the exact and natural sciences, together with medicine have been taken into account (Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geosciences, Informatics, Mathematics, Physics, Pharmacy, Human and Dental Medicine). The Universities of Applied Sciences and the Swiss federal Institutes of Technology were also included in this survey for the first time. The results will be published on 6 April 2006 in the Swiss media partners “L’Hebdo” and “Cash” and on the website, where all of the indicators will be available, plus additional information about the pathways concerned. The results for the three countries, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, will be published on 4 May 2006 in the German newspaper “Die Zeit” and at

Scientific publications Number of publications per teacher, 2001-2003. Reputation (survey of teachers) Percentage of teachers recommending the university/college for teaching quality (excluding their own institution).

Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning


Tr a v e l

A region in the limelight : Gstaad

Discover one of the famous places that attracts regulars visitors as as well celebrities and movie stars from all over the world. You'll succumb to its charm too When the Almighty reached forth to create Saanenland, He rested His hand against the ground. The imprint of His palm marks the sites of the villages of Saanen and Gstaad. The curve of His little finger brought forth Kalberhöni, the ring finger carved the valley of Gsteig, the middle finger framed Lauenen and the forefinger Turbachtal. The thumb, it is said, polished the smooth floor of Schönried and Saanenmöser. So says an ancient legend. The first inhabitants of the region were the Ligurnians, the Gauls and the Burgundians. The tribes of the Allemans started moving in during the 8th century AD, their language soon to became common in the region. In 1448, Count Franz von Greyerz offered his subjects the purchase of water-rights and other privileges for the estimated modern sum of about 10 million Swiss francs. From this moment onwards, the people of Saanen became a partially independent community with rights of free trade. In 1555, the last Count of Greyerz became bankrupt and the people of Saanen fell under control of the Bernese. The people of Saanen resisted bitterly, but could not prevent either the advent of religious reformation from Berne, or the extinction of their political community in 1604.

The Flourishing Commerce of the Alps For many centuries, agriculture was the only industry of note in the Saanenland. The cow herds of the area were well known as far back as the 15th century. Some of the herds remain today, with 7000 cows grazing the meadows and about 90 cheese-makers producing the rare and delicate Saanen Hobelkäse (which has recently been protected by the AOC-Label). Many experts disdain modern methods and still produce their cheese following the


Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006

old ways, before an open fire. During the summer months, it is possible to watch the cheese-masters at work and learn about their art. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the advent of a new architectural style placing particular importance on aesthetics. Carved and painted decorations are still much beloved by the building-masters of Saanenland. Another landmark of the region is the large chalets. Seeking to continue the tradition into the

21st century, the local laws decree that any new housing must conform to the old chalet style. The old crafts also survive; the alpenhorn-makers of Gstaad, for example, continue to practice their traditional methods.

400 Years of Tourism The first inn in Saanenland was opened centuries ago, in 1577, in Saanen itself. Among the first tourists were those seeking the

restoration of their health in the mountains. The ice was truly broken by the English, who discovered Switzerland as a country of tourism and popularised the sport of skiing. At present, 90 percent of the population is directly or indirectly employed in the tourism industry. 69 mountain railways, 250 kilometres of ski slopes, 2,700 beds in 47 hotels, 10,500 beds in over 3,000 chalets and holiday apartments, 25 mountain restaurants, various bars and restaurants, galleries, shops, concerts, sports tournaments – in this environment, both time and space can really be appreciated. The peculiar beauty of mountain life here is anything but a facade.

Top Events 2006 04.03.06

Slide Disaster

20 to 25 06.06

Swatch-FIVB World Tour – 1 to 1entergy open The Grand Slam Tournament in Beach-Volleyball

08 to 16.07.06

Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad ATP International Series tennis tournament

16 to 23.07.06

Davidoff Saveurs – Gourmet week

Gstaad Saanenland is located in the Southwest of Switzerland, right on the border of the French-speaking area. The region can be easily reached by train or by car from the Thunersee (Lake of Thun) area or from the Lake Geneva area and also from the region of Gruyere. Direct connections to the European fast trains and to all the International airports of Switzerland guarantee you a time-saving and comfortable journey no matter where you are traveling from. Lausanne

Basel Zurich


Gstaad Montreux


21.07 to 02.09.06 50th Menuhin Festival Gstaad 17 to 20.08.06

Cartier Polo Silver Cup

08 to 10.09.06

Country Night Gstaad


Spring-Summer 2006 | Swiss Learning




Swiss Learning | Spring-Summer 2006




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Swiss Learning Magazine - 1st Edition  

Swiss Learning offers you the first platform for schools, universities and professional establishments in Switzerland. Our objective is to p...