STS High School 14–18 years of age
In the centre of Europe

High School in Switzerland

Age 15-18

Do you love skiing? Then you’ve found the ideal country for your high school exchange. Beautiful Switzerland is often associated with the snow-capped Alps and considered a skier’s paradise.

High School Classic

High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange program, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect program for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Switzerland, from its beautiful cities to the peaks of the majestic Swiss Alps! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the program for you.

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More than skiing

Switzerland has a lot more to offer than well-prepared slopes. For example, world-renowned production of luxurious watches and delicious chocolate. There are modern cities with excellent public transportation. The standard of living is high in this tidy, well organised and culturally diversified country. There are many languages spoken in Switzerland, but you will be living in the German-speaking part.

Small but sweet

It’s a rather small nation, which means that you will have easy access to many parts of the country. Also, it’s perfectly located in the middle of Europe. That means that France, Italy, Germany and Austria are close by and that you could spend some of your school vacations skiing in the Alps or sunbathing on the Riviera.

Population: 8.1 million
Area: 41 285 km2
Capital: Bern
Biggest city: Zürich
Official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh
Highest mountain: Dufourspitze (Monte Rosa), 4 634 m
Currency: Swiss Francs
Country code: +41

Gymnasium in Switzerland

There are different kinds of high schools in Switzerland, following six years of primary school. As an exchange student, you will most likely be placed in the type called Gymnasium or Mittelschule. For Swiss students, this path leads to the exam called Matura, which is required if you want to go to university.

The are four study programmes available on this level: science, modern languages, Latin and classic. The subjects that are included in all programs are German, English, maths, biology, chemistry or physics, history, geography and physical education.

A German school

Switzerland has three different official languages: Italian, French and German. All our students will live in a German family and consequently go to a German school. In order to manage your studies, you need at least two years of previous studies in German. 

Your Swiss family

During your high school exchange in Switzerland, you will be staying in a German-speaking family. To be accepted to a Swiss school, you need two years of previous German studies, and this will of course also help you communicate with the family.

A lot of the conversation at home takes place around the dinner table. Swiss families often eat a lighter dinner around 7pm, when they all sit down and talk about their days. This is where you will get to know the culture, traditions and expressions in an easy and pleasant way.

A family member from the start

Our carefully selected host families will make you feel at home from the start. Young people live a rather free and independent life, deciding themselves what to do after school. This will work out fine, as long as you inform your host parents about your plans. Just like home, you will be expected to help out with chores such as making your bed and cleaning the table after dinner.

Friends of the environment

The Swiss love their beautiful nature; the air is fresh and the water is clean. They are often environmental in their thinking. Don’t be surprised if living with a Swiss family will make you adapt this kind of thinking too.

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–18 years on arrival
  • Departure month: July/January 
  • Language requirements: 2 years of German studies
  • Visa: Yes
  • Prep course: STS Welcome Camp included
  • School year: August–June/July 
  • School day: Usually 08.00–16.30
  • Subjects: Compulsory and optional
  • Trips in the country: Day trips and outings. Additional cost

Leisure on the highest level

In Switzerland the train stations are filled with people going up to the mountains during weekends. If you like skiing and hiking this is paradise. The slopes on higher altitudes are open most of the year and trekking in spring and summer, when the valleys are green, is something out of the ordinary. Note for packing: skis and boots.

Hang out with friends

If you prefer something more physically relaxing you can go to the movies, visit a museum, chill out in a café or go on a shopping spree. Your new friends and your family will be able to show you all the best spots. There will be plenty of things to do and see in your new home town.

If you get the chance, take a train to some of Switzerland’s bigger cities like Zürich, Bern and Geneva. They are all worth a visit!

We will show you around

Our STS staff in Switzerland are looking forward to showing you around and making sure you have a good time. All our exchange students in Switzerland usually meet three to four times per year. We will arrange different day trips and excursions, depending on interest levels. It could be activities such as visiting the theme park Europa Park, ice skating or go sightseeing to famous locations and landmarks. Your local contact person will give you more information on sight.

STS Welcome Camp in Europe

Your exchange begins with our fun Welcome Camp in Europe! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your exchange, and is packed with sightseeing, seminars, new friends and lots of fun.

What's included

  • Journey to host family and back
  • Accommodation in a host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a local high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person in both home and host country
  • STS Welcome Camp 
  • Online pre-departure meeting
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag
  • STS Diploma

Please note that the transport to your destination and back is not included the program fee.


Sales Year
5 months
From 12 050 €
10 months
From 13 050 €
5 months
From 12 050 €
10 months
From 13 050 €
5 months
From 12 050 €


About you/the student