The Swiss Life

Swiss Flag in the Alps

The Swiss Flag in the Alps taken by Bettina Geissbuehler

The Swiss energy saving policies, education system, and culture have made the country strive to become one of the most wanted places to travel and a great place to live. The photograph above also displays the true beauty of Switzerland.

The Swiss government has come up with a heavy regulated and energy policy that is highly concerned with conservation to keep nature intact. Not only are the Swiss concerned about the environment, but also they try to make their education system good by allowing students to work and go to school at the same time. This allows young adults to start their career early and start earning money. The Swiss are also doing their best to keep the typical Swiss culture up by making the country a tourist friendly environment. The Swiss culture is fascinating because it has four different languages and a large variety of historical stories that are interesting for all. By having multiple different languages, it allows tourists who speak those languages feel more at home by knowing the language. Switzerland has become one of the best countries in Europe, if not the world.

The Swiss government and it’s people made a decision to say, “no to nuclear, yes to renewables” when it comes to the energy issue (Presence Switzerland). This decision was thought over after the Japanese earthquake in 2011, and on May 25, 2011, the federal government stated that the nuclear energy in Switzerland would gradually be dismissed. Once all the nuclear energy has been phased out, the Swiss government has a new plan: the sustainable energy system. This system, which was declared by the Federal Council of Switzerland, will come into effect by 2050. In this energy policy, the main idea is the “expansion of hydropower and renewable energy sectors, coupled with more energy-efficient buildings, appliances, and transport” (Presence Switzerland). By taking these steps, Switzerland will become one of the many energy saving countries in the world. This factor only contributes to the reason why Switzerland has become such a great country for the Swiss.

 

The education system in Switzerland is very unique and different from what the education system in America is. There are four stages to Swiss education: “preschool, primary, secondary I, secondary II, tertiary and adult education” (Presence Switzerland). First, the children start off with two years of kindergarten. Children start this level of education when they are about four or five years old. In these two years of kindergarten, children learn a lot about the outdoors and how to interact with others. Swiss schools are much less strict when it comes to safety aspects. The Swiss children are more active in the real outdoors, like the woods. Kindergarten children are often taken on long hikes and are allowed to play outside freely without many strict rules. This way of allowing children to sort of play however allows them to be more free and themselves. It also lets the children figure out for themselves what works and what does not, for example in the safety area. Once a child figures out that something is too dangerous, he or she will learn on its own not to do it again. 

The primary school years, especially the fifth or sixth grade, are very important for a Swiss student. In those final years, a student’s grades will determine which school level they will attend for the next four years. In the video above, Sonja H explains the importance of achieving high performance in the last year of primary school. The three different paths a student can go are attending either the Bezirksschule, Sekundarschule, or the Realschule. The highest level school is the Bezirksschule and the lowest is the Realschule. The only problem with dividing up the students into these three different levels of upper school is that if a student has a bad fifth of sixth year of grade school, their whole future could be messed up.

After attending Bezirks-, Sekundar-, or Realschule, students can either choose to go to Kantonsschule, which is year ten to year thirteen, or they can work and attend school part-time. In Switzerland, an apprenticeship or ‘eine Lehre’ in German, is something very popular. For those students who already know what career path they want to take, this is phenomenal. These students can work in their preferred working environment and learn all the aspects of that job. In addition to that, students would attend school maybe once a week.  This allows students who do not want to attend school for another four years another alternative to pursue their early careers. Those who choose to go to Kantonsschule, will either go to university after the four years or they start a job.

The Swiss Culture published by Alexandre Walen

The Swiss Culture published by Alexandre Walen

Another element that makes Switzerland such an interesting and beautiful country is its culture. In the image above, which was published by Alexandre Walen, depicts some of the many items that contribute to the Swiss culture. On the top left, there is an image of a Cuckoo clock; something that is very popular to have in Switzerland. In the Swiss culture, there are also a lot of old historical stories. In the image, there is a girl which is most likely Heidi. The story of Heidi is one of the oldest and favorable stories. Along with the many historical stories, Switzerland is also very cultural in the sense that the country has four different languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Having several languages allows tourists to feel more comfortable in a country where their language might be spoken.

The Swiss energy savings policy, the unique education system, and the interesting culture all add to the greatness of the country which lies in the midst of Europe. People from Switzerland love their country dearly and tourists are always fascinated by the beauty and life of Switzerland.

Works Cited:

Geissbuehler, Bettina. The Swiss Flag in the Alps. Photograph. March 2013. 3 Dec 2013.

Postulate One. “Sonja H on Swiss Education.” YouTube. 23 Mar 2012. Interview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azNMdLj57vo

Presence Switzerland. Swissworld. Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, General Secretariat, Presence Switzerland. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. http://www.swissworld.org/en/

Walen, Alexandre. “The Swiss Culture.” Collage. Erepublik, 28 July 2008. Web. 3 Dec 2013.

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