Preparatory Years

Preparatory Years students are those who are entering their first two years of high school. At the beginning of their teenage years, Preparatory Years students are in the midst of an important period of self-discovery. LAS seeks to support students during this transitional period of their lives by allowing them to test the waters in new, challenging classes, encouraging them to join teams and take on leadership roles, and exposing them to international cultural experiences. 

Opportunities for introspection and self-discovery extend beyond the classroom. Model United Nations, the Alpine Institute, and Robot Gardening are all examples of interactive, self-regulated learning opportunities that students can take advantage of in order to learn more about themselves, their learning styles, and their interests. 

Preparatory Years in Numbers


Preparatory Years Streams—Mainstream or ESL 


Of LAS students have taken ESL studies 


Average class size 

80 CHF


amount of pocket money per week 


Students in the Preparatory Years program have the option to take either Mainstream or ESL classes. Those who select the Mainstream course of study will have seven classes, matching the number of classes they would have in the IB Programme in grades 11 and 12. Six of their classes will consist of year-long core classes including English Language and Literature, Social Studies, Science, Math, Modern Foreign Languages, and Debate, and one will be a semester-long elective class in either the Arts or Physical Education. 

The ESL course of study uses a sheltered-immersion model designed to meet the individual needs of each student and help them become effective communicators, collaborators, and thinkers. Students in this program will engage in specially-designated ESL classes including Literature and Reading, Skills and Debate, Social Studies, and Science, as well as Mainstream Math and two electives in the Arts or Physical Education. The mix of ESL-focused and integrated classes ensures that students gain the necessary proficiency in English to graduate and continue on to university education. 


Residential Life

At LAS we believe that the more comfortable a student feels with where they are living, the more they will be able to thrive and reach their full potential. The LAS dormitories provide a supportive community and comfortable backdrop as our Preparatory Years students undertake the challenges and transitions that accompany their early high school careers. As they begin to embrace all that comes with young adulthood, Preparatory Years students are also given the chance to exercise a suitable level of independence. This includes learning to set a pocket money budget, laundering their own clothing, maintaining the cleanliness of their room and communal spaces, and the option to cook in the dorm kitchen facilities.

We encourage our students to participate in all facets of LAS life. For Preparatory Years students, this can include working to enhance the dormitory experience. Individuals who wish to take on such a role may apply to become a Student Prefect. Student Prefects help to create a home-like feeling in the dorms, plan and carry out fun activities, and create an environment that encourages friendship-building and camaraderie.

Lifestyle and Fun

All LAS students take part in after school activities Monday through Thursday during Fall and Spring terms. Students are able to choose from a diverse selection of activities which emphasize physical and emotional wellness, team building skills, and community outreach. The availability of activities changes each year based on interest, enrollment, and staffing, but options in the past have included: 

  • Astronomy 
  • Badminton 
  • Indoor & Outdoor Climbing 
  • Computer Coding 
  • Dance 
  • Floor Hockey 
  • Gardening 
  • Horseback Riding 
  • Martial Arts 
  • Yoga 

From January to April, students also have the opportunity to ski or snowboard every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon following their morning classes.