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Swiss School in Beijing now open!


CityWise attended the opening of the first Swiss School in Beijing on the 30th October 2017.

Built on the grounds of the Western Academy of Beijing, an international school founded in 1994, the school offers a German-language education based on the Swiss curriculum, according to its president, Barbara Stäuble. The Association Swiss School Beijing is a non-profit organisation registered in Switzerland and established for the purpose of running the Swiss School Beijing .

Beginning in the 2017–18 school year, the Swiss School Beijing will offer a Kindergarten (4 and 5 years old) class and a primary class (Grades 1 and 2), and will subsequently roll out a new class each year, to reach 150 pupils. Classes will initially be taught in German, with French being introduced in the second phase. 

The Swiss curriculum emphasizes a holistic and multilingual education, where children are at the center of the learning process and the focus is on developing academic knowledge as well as creative, sporting and social skills, she said.


Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) has a long tradition of providing Mother Tongue Language Programs. Thanks to the partnership between WAB and the Association Swiss School Beijing, students of WAB now can choose to follow a German-language Swiss curriculum, while benefiting from the multicultural environment, friendly atmosphere and excellent facilities of WAB.

The law (from 2015) on Swiss education abroad dropped a previous requirement that 20% of pupils in a Swiss school must hold a Swiss passport. But there won’t be many locals attending in Beijing because Chinese law states that citizens of China may not go to international schools.

However, around half of the 15 new pupils have a Chinese parent, with the other parent being either Swiss or German, says Stäuble.

“They had to forfeit their Chinese passport but there is still that cultural influence.”

There are also two families sending children to the school, one from the United States and one from Taiwan, who specifically chose a German education to give their children more language experience.




Swiss schools abroad in brief

Currently there are 7,500 students, of which 1,800 are Swiss children, enrolled in Swiss schools abroad.

In all such schools, German is the second language of instruction besides the local language or English. The school in Bogota offers French as well as German.

Pupils can take either a Swiss Baccalaureate (Matura) or International Baccalaureate (IB).

The Swiss government provides 25-30% of the funding, and the rest comes from school fees. For the period 2016-2020, parliament has allocated around CHF21 million ($22 million) a year for Swiss schools abroad.


Find out more on their website!



Rebecca Andresen

Rebecca Andresen

I try to give some practical advice but I also try to dispel some of the myths floating around about expat life. I'm a third culture kid as well so I try to share that experience and how it affects my life as an expat or living overseas.
This is my 14th year of being an expat in China and in all kind of forms - child, teenager, student, spouse and working.
Rebecca Andresen

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