Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Heliotrope
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Heliotrope »

Rhysboy wrote:
> Does this apply to all international schools in Switzerland or just
> boarding schools?

From what I've heard from colleagues who have worked in Switzerland and from what I've read, it only applies to boarding schools. Some of the international schools in Switzerland are top notch, so definitely not unpleasant. Still not a huge savings potential, since while salaries are better, cost of living will still leave you with little, plus these schools are in the cities where there's more to spend money on, as opposed to the boarding schools that are in or near small villages.
Going by the number I've heard and read, you'll save about as much as in some other WE countries.
secondplace
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by secondplace »

It's the rule of 3:

- savings
- lifestyle
- travel

choose two of the above.

Although of course international travel is moot at the moment.
sid
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by sid »

Happy to say I've found 3 of 3 in my current country and the 2 immediately preceding it. In my earlier career, it was 2 of 3, and in my first post, only 1 of 3.
EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by EyEyEy »

Rhysboy wrote:
> Does this apply to all international schools in Switzerland or just
> boarding schools?

Heliotrope said it already but ill repeat: only the boarding schools need to be avoided. The person saying that these are good schools where you can save lots of money is wrong.
The regular non-boarding Swiss int schools are generally high quality except for savings potential.
unsure
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by unsure »

lol - my previous response was deleted as I mentioned some schools by name.

What I said was that there are some notable exceptions to the "avoid Swiss boarding schools" rule. It's true that many of the super expensive schools are shockingly awful babysitting services for the hyper rich. However there are some excellent Swiss boarding schools. Just be very careful when you're accepting a post.
EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by EyEyEy »

unsure wrote:
> What I said was that there are some notable exceptions to the "avoid
> Swiss boarding schools" rule. It's true that many of the super
> expensive schools are shockingly awful babysitting services for the hyper
> rich. However there are some excellent Swiss boarding schools. Just be very
> careful when you're accepting a post.

Since my last comment I've heard one person at my school say there's one boarding school here that isn't awful. You'll still not save anything but at least it's an ok place to work where teachers are respected.
jschott
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:31 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by jschott »

EyEyEy wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Yesterday I talked with an old friend who is also a teacher.
> He said he was applying to a Swiss boarding school because he had read on
> this ISR forum that Swiss boarding schools are good places to work and that
> teachers there can save a lot of money.
> This post is only to tell you that that is NOT TRUE.
> AT ALL.
> I failed to find the post he was referring to so I cant add my warning
> there as a reply so this post will have to do.
>
> I work in Switzerland myself and know a many teachers at many schools here.
> The teachers teaching at boarding schools are generally miserable and they
> save even less than the ones teaching at normal Swiss international
> schools.
> And I am talking about the very fancy boarding schools with the highest
> tuitions in the world.
> You will be happier at the normal international schools and you will save
> more there than at these boarding schools.
>
> Apologies for the negative nature of the post but dont want to risk decent
> teachers being exposed to misinformation.
> This concludes my rant.

Good God. I would never work at a boarding school, even if it were in heaven. For crying out loud: Torture.
Rhysboy
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:43 am

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by Rhysboy »

EyEyEy wrote:
> Rhysboy wrote:
> > Does this apply to all international schools in Switzerland or just
> > boarding schools?
>
> Heliotrope said it already but ill repeat: only the boarding schools need to be
> avoided. The person saying that these are good schools where you can save lots of
> money is wrong.
> The regular non-boarding Swiss int schools are generally high quality except for
> savings potential.

But I’ve heard that teachers salaries are high to offset the cost of living?
unsure
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by unsure »

Rhysboy wrote:
> But I’ve heard that teachers salaries are high to offset the cost of living?

Bare in mind that the monthly minimum wage in Switzerland where these schools are is between 3800 to 4000 Eur ($4500 - $4800) - so many of these 'schools' pay their teachers barely above the minimum wage.

The issue is that most of the bottom tier schools in Switzerland are for profit boarding schools. They charge exorbitant fees (often in the 100s of thousands of US$ / CHF), pay their teachers less than the day schools, and treat the teachers extremely badly. They're often for profit money making machines, that hire semi-qualified teachers, and take on the children of the wealthy that the genuinely good boarding schools around the world don't want. While there are some exceptions to this, it does seem to be a very popular business model in Switzerland.
Last edited by unsure on Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by EyEyEy »

Rhysboy wrote:
> EyEyEy wrote:
> > Rhysboy wrote:
> > > Does this apply to all international schools in Switzerland or just
> > > boarding schools?
> >
> > Heliotrope said it already but ill repeat: only the boarding schools need to be
> > avoided. The person saying that these are good schools where you can save lots
> of
> > money is wrong.
> > The regular non-boarding Swiss int schools are generally high quality except for
> > savings potential.
>
> But I’ve heard that teachers salaries are high to offset the cost of living?

Yes that's why the salaries are so high. I make enough to pay rent groceries etc. But at the end of the month there's not a lot of $ left to save. Every recruitment cycle we get new teachers that were blinded by the salary but they learn about cost of living very quickly. Some are shocked. For some this is reason to leave after contract #1 but plenty stay longer because Switzerland is a nice place to live even if your savings account doesn't grow.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

I dont know who is saying you can save a lot of coin? I cant find that reference in the post. While I dont distinguish boarding ISs from other day ISs or other ISs in general, what I did state is that you can make 6 figures, and I stated that because its true. I realize there are different position on the issue @Sid focuses on cost of living, @Heliotrope focuses on savings, and I focus on salary.

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EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Discussion

Post by EyEyEy »

PsyGuy wrote:
> I dont know who is saying you can save a lot of coin? I cant find that
> reference in the post. While I dont distinguish boarding ISs from other day
> ISs or other ISs in general, what I did state is that you can make 6
> figures, and I stated that because its true. I realize there are different
> position on the issue @Sid focuses on cost of living, @Heliotrope focuses
> on savings, and I focus on salary.

As I said in my original post I couldn't find the post where this was said. I posted this post because my friend said he had read on the ISR forum that Swiss boarding schools are good places to work and that teachers can save a lot of money there.
Since both those things are very wrong I thought to post my warning so others will not walk away from this forum with the same idea.
You can focus on salary all you want but most teachers are interested in what they can save.
At my next school -in SEA, moving this Summer- I will earn only half of what I'm making now BUT I will save at least 3 to 4 times what I can save now. And I'm at one of the best-paying international schools in Switzerland and I have a modest lifestyle.
There are many reasons to come to Switzerland but don't come to Switzerland -or anywhere in WE- to save $.
EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by EyEyEy »

jschott wrote:
> Good God. I would never work at a boarding school, even if it were in heaven. For
> crying out loud: Torture.

Torture sounds accurate.
clarita
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:58 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by clarita »

I spent a while at a Swiss boarding school

Yes, the salary is high. Yes, the cost of living is also very high and means savings are limited.

BUT Switzerland, described above as dull, is absolutely beautiful and if you like the outdoors, walking etc, it's very easy to get around with an excellent network of trains. Yes, it's expensive to do so of course, but for me it was a fantastic experience and I did also manage to save a bit. Also, I was near Geneva which is a hub airport for low cost flights all over Europe.

I think Switzerland might be worth it for those who intend to stay long term - your pension contributions from such a high salary will make a decent pension at the end of it, and you could then live well in a less expensive country.
EyEyEy
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:32 pm

Re: Avoid Swiss boarding schools

Post by EyEyEy »

I agree with Clarita: Switzerland def isn't dull. The cities don't have the most exciting nightlife but there is a lot to do. You won't be bored.
I enjoy life here in Switzerland and my parents live just an hours drive away over the border in France which is hugely convenient.

Also agree with Clarita that you can't save much. But that was kind of why I started this topic to begin with.
The only reason I'm leaving after this academic year is because I now need to start saving some serious $$.

Main message: don't come to Switzerland to save $$, and don't expect the posh boarding schools to be the superb schools some people see to think they are. None of them are great places to work.
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