Since 1986, we’ve enriched and challenged high school sophomores during their fall semester.
During your semester abroad, you’ll have experiences and develop friendships which will last a lifetime.
Our professional faculty provide an unparalleled experiential education that takes advantage of our pristine Alpine setting and comprehensive travel.
During field trips around Europe, you may study French in Annecy ... Shakespeare in Venice ... Frankenstein in Chamonix … Giotto in Padua ...
For almost all students, their semester abroad will inspire a personal journey of intellectual growth and emotional maturity that will be lifelong.
Our bright, adventuresome sophomores come from leading independent and public high schools.
Our students will go on to attend some of the most respected colleges and universities.
- Mrs. W.
What is Swiss Semester?
Swiss Semester is an experiential program for high school sophomores located in Zermatt, Switzerland— an outdoor paradise. The fall program offers adventure, challenge, and a temporary change of routine and setting while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum.
Where do you travel?
The program incorporates travel to Italy and France in its academic curriculum. In addition, weekend trips will take students to different parts of Switzerland (biking, hiking, gorging, climbing, etc.).
What classes do you offer?
Students will take geology as their science, art history as their history, English, math (according to home school curriculum), and foreign language (French or Spanish, according to home school curriculum).
How long have you been in operation?
How many students attend?
Roughly 40 students attend Swiss Semester each fall, accompanied by at least 10 teachers. How large are the classes? English, geology, and art history classes are generally ten students while the foreign language and math classes are generally three to seven students depending on the level.
Where do Swiss Semester students come from?
Students come primarily from independent and public schools within the United States; however, students have also come from other countries.
Do I have to be able to hike, ski, and rock climb to attend?
Absolutely not! You just need to enjoy the outdoors and be excited to try new things.
How academically rigorous is the program?
Most of the students attending Swiss Semester are in the top quarter of their home school classes. It is challenging.
Where do your faculty come from?
A number of Swiss Semester faculty return each fall to teach at Swiss Semester, and almost all have higher degrees and many years of teaching experience at the college and/or high school levels.
What is the language of instruction?
All classes (with the exception of foreign languages) are taught in English.
What is the student to teacher ratio?
Approximately four to one.
Where do the faculty stay?
In the “dormitories” with the students.
Is the program expensive?
Unfortunately, yes. Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world and Zermatt because of it’s location, exacerbates the problem. Tuition and fees include travel during the program, most outdoor adventures, and room and board.
Where is the school located?
Swiss Semester class and dorm rooms are located in a four-star hotel in Zermatt an easy three minute walk to the center of town. The school has been located in the same hotel for twenty years.
What are the colleges most attended by Swiss Semester graduates?
In order of attendees: Dartmouth, Middlebury, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Cornell. (see expanded list)
Get a feel for what your semester in Switzerland would be like ...
If you find that an “experience of a lifetime”
appeals to you, contact us and find out more.