Switzerland is a vibrant country with a phenomenal landscape, athletic scene, culture, and history—all of which are readily available for young boarding students to discover. At Leysin American School in Switzerland, we embrace every opportunity to connect our students with our country and its diverse offerings. Here are our four favourite parts of the Swiss student life experience:
1. Culture and Education
Switzerland has a fascinating history and culture, and there are so many exciting ways for students to learn more about them. Peacebuilding plays a big role in Swiss society and, with Red Cross and UN offices based in Geneva, students can participate in workshops and tours that teach them all about different global humanitarian initiatives. Students who are more enamoured with the sciences can visit CERN in Geneva, and discover just what it takes to work in the field of physics after they graduate. Students with an interest in Swiss history can enjoy one of the many magnificent chateaus dotted around the country; many of them are open for tours and a deep dive into their fascinating pasts. Budding athletes may enjoy a visit to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, which showcases the incredible feats of humankind. There is truly an exhibit, workshop, museum, or tour to suit any interest in Switzerland!
Lastly, there are tons of festivals and markets year-round in Switzerland. In winter, holiday markets pop up around the country with yummy meals, handmade gifts, and amusement rides to be enjoyed. During the summer months, farmers' markets are common, and the perfect place to buy locally-grown produce and goods. The world-famous Montreux Jazz festival also comes to town in the summer, inviting internationally-famous bands to gather and perform in this beautiful lake-front city.
Unsurprisingly, Switzerland is well-known for its adventure activities. Swiss boarding school students can enjoy activities like indoor skydiving and surfing (yes, surfing!) in Sion, parapenting and caving in Leysin, tubing on Lake Geneva, and white water rafting in Chateau D’Oex. No matter the type of adventure that catches a student's fancy—whether on land, sea, or air—chances are, Switzerland has the landscape, facilities, and instructors to make it happen!
The Swiss landscape and weather cater to athletes of all kinds: skiing, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, and even paddleboarding are all possibilities here in the great outdoors. In Leysin, many of these activities are available locally: the lifts of our village ski resort are just down the road from the Belle Epoque Campus, and students get to enjoy skiing and snowboarding every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon in the winter.
During the warmer months, our mountainous slopes become stunning hiking trails with views of the surrounding alps. Students who enjoy water sports can take a short train ride down to Lake Geneva where they can swim and paddleboard to their heart's content.
Other activities students can try their hand at include horseback riding, skating, and even ice climbing! Switzerland is truly a treasure trove for sports and a great place for students to try new things.
4. Shopping and City Life
Switzerland boasts a number of trendy cities where students can enjoy shopping, foods from all over the world, and beautiful cobblestone streets with historical ambiance. Many of Switzerland's best hotspots are also lake-side, which means after a warm summer day spent wandering through the shops, going to the theater, and taking in the culture, students can enjoy a quick swim to cool off.