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Frequently Asked Questions

The information provided below can help answer some of the most common questions families have about the International School of Berne. If you have any other questions or want to discuss any aspect of the process, please request a consultation by calling +41 31 959 10 00 or emailing admissions@isberne.ch.

Applying to ISBerne

  • Is there a deadline for application?
    No, as we have a rolling admissions policy. We strongly suggest submitting the application as soon as possible to avoid any delays in the admissions process, such as providing additional documents, etc. Learn how to apply.
     
  • Does my child have to join ISBerne on a specific date, for example, the beginning of the school year?
    No. Provided we have space available, your child can begin school as soon as the admissions process is completed and a place has been offered. Learn how to apply.
     
  • Is my child required to take an entrance exam?
    ISBerne does not require students to take a formal entrance exam. However, students applying to Grade 8 and above (and Grade 7 for January-June admission) are required to take an English and Maths assessment during their first week at ISBerne. View our Admissions Policy.
     
  • Are there still spaces available for new students?
    We do have spaces available (for the upcoming school year starting in August) and we would be pleased to receive your child. Please contact us if your family would like to join mid-year. Learn how to apply.
     
  • What is the application procedure?
    After submitting your child/ren’s application, we will check if the application/s is/are complete. If the application/s is/are complete we will pass on the application/s for review to the Programme Coordinator and School Director. After the review, you will receive an email if your child/ren is/are accepted at ISBerne. Learn how to apply.
     
  • Is it possible to enroll my child/ren only for a few months?
    We can only accept students who are enrolled for a minimum period of six months for educational continuity. View our Admissions Policy.
     
  • Is it possible to come and see the school?
    It would be a pleasure to show you our school campus. Please request a tour by completing this online form, emailing admissions@isberne.ch, or calling +41 31 959 10 00 with a couple of dates that work best for you. We will be happy to have a school tour with you and learn about your family’s needs.
     

Tuition and Fees

  • What are the tuition fees?
    Our most current tuition fees can be viewed here.
     
  • Does ISBerne offer a sibling discount?
    ISBerne does not offer a discount on the tuition fees for siblings. The International School of Berne Foundation (ISBerne Foundation) provides money for scholarships to attend the International School of Berne as well as other private schools within Switzerland and for post-secondary education at institutions within and outside of Switzerland. Learn more by visiting the ISBerne Foundation website.
     
  • Is there a possibility to apply for a scholarship?
    Yes, the International School of Berne Foundation (ISBerne Foundation) provides money for scholarships to attend the International School of Berne as well as other private schools within Switzerland and for post-secondary education at institutions within and outside of Switzerland. Learn more by visiting the ISBerne Foundation website.
     
  • Are breakfast and lunch included in the tuition fees?
    Breakfast and lunch are not included in the school fees. Students have to have breakfast at home. For lunch, our cafeteria has these options: Meal Plan for a semester or full year (document will be sent), self-service in the cafeteria (price by weight), pre-ordered lunch for students from Early Learning 1 to Grade 2, packed lunch from home.
     

Languages

  • What is the school language?
    The school language is English, but students will also study French or German. ISBerne offers English support for students in Kindergarten up to Grade 10.
     
  • How will my non-English-speaking child manage in an English-speaking school?
    ISBerne offers a learning environment that enables students, whose primary language is not English, to acquire the social and academic language needed to participate fully in all aspects of school life and to reach their maximum potential. ISBerne offers a comprehensive English as a School Language (ESL) programme throughout the school. Students are assessed on an ongoing basis until they reach the required level to exit the programme. There is no additional cost for participating in the ESL programme.
     

Student Support Services

  • My child has specific learning support needs. How do I know whether these will be met?
    Through our Learning Support Department, we are able to offer support to students with diagnosed mild to moderate learning needs.
     
  • Does ISBerne offer after school care?
    The ISBerne ‘After School Care’ (ASC) programme provides a safe and caring environment, offering a range of active and restful activities for children in ELC 1 – Grade 5. Learn more by visiting the afterschool care webpage.
     
  • How does ISBerne help with the transition of new students?
    Because we welcome many new families every year, the administration, faculty, parents, and students at ISBerne put a great deal of time, planning, and thought into the ways we can help families to become a part of our community. At the beginning of the academic year, each campus holds new student orientation days to help new students become acquainted with their teachers and the school buildings. Arguably, our greatest “transition team” is our student body who naturally reach out to make new students feel welcome. Within only a week or two, new arrivals begin to feel at home.
     

School Life

  • Is there a school uniform?
    There is not a school uniform at ISBerne, but students are required to have an ISBerne sports kit. Information about how to purchase a sports kit will be provided upon enrollment.
     
  • Is there a lunch programme? Does my child need to bring their own meal?
    There is a lunch programme at ISBerne with daily hot meal service in the cafeteria for an additional cost. However, your child is welcome to bring food from home. 
     
  • Does ISBerne offer after school care?
    We offer a wide variety of after school activities as part of the regular school fees and after school care for an additional fee.
     
  • How do students get to and from school?
    Some parents drive their children to school themselves, while others use public transportation as the Gümligen tram stop is close to our school. Bern has one of the world's safest and most reliable public transit systems.

Ski and Skate Fridays

For more than thirty years, 'Ski and Skate Fridays' have been a special tradition at the International School of Berne. Over seven weeks during the Winter, students in all grades participate in skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating.