The relocation of your whole family to Switzerland is quite uncomplicated, as long as you are married to your partner or your partner is a citizen of the EU/ EFTA. In the case of persons from a member state of the EU/EFTA, family reunification is possible for children and grandchildren under 21 years old, for parents and grandparents, and for family members who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state, as long as their maintenance has been paid for and will continue to be paid for. Persons making an application must have at their disposal a dwelling of their own and sufficient financial resources. In the case of persons from states that are not members of the EU/EFTA and who do not have a C-category settlement permit, family reunification is possible for their spouses as well as for their unmarried children under 18 years old. For this purpose, they must prove that they have at their disposal a dwelling appropriate to their needs which is to be shared as such by the family members. It must be proven, moreover, that a sufficient income is available for the whole family.
The family members who have entered the country in a process of family reunification, regardless of their nationality, have the right to carry out a professional activity in Switzerland without restriction, as long as they are not relatives in the ascending line who have entered the country in the context of family reunification.
In Switzerland, the school and training system lies under the sovereignty of the cantons. Differences thus arise – within the framework of key points that are binding across the country – from canton to canton. Education at public schools is free of charge. Compulsory education lasts nine years (primary and lower secondary school).
Before starting compulsory schooling, children have to go through preschool, or kindergarten. More and more often, although not compulsory, children also attend a playgroup, where they learn to play, draw or do handicrafts together with other children. Especially children who speak other language than German can benefit greatly from visiting a playgroup.
Kindergarten is followed by six years of primary school, which prepares pupils for the subsequent lower secondary level. The lower secondary level serves to provide pupils with a basic general education and to prepare them for working life or for the transition to a further level of secondary schooling. Most cantons offer a 10th school year for personal development.
After the three years of the lower secondary level, the transition lies ahead to the upper secondary level. The upper secondary level can be sub-divided into courses of training in either general education or vocational education (the dual education system). Upper secondary schools preparing for the Matura (the school-leaving certificate), and upper-secondary specialised schools, offer courses of training in general education and qualify their school graduates for studying at a university, a teacher training college (a university of teacher education) or an advanced technical college (a university of applied sciences). In the courses of training devoted to vocational education, young people learn a vocation related to services, manual skills, or industry and commerce.
The public school system of Switzerland demonstrates a high standard and enables its pupils to develop themselves in many different directions. Switzerland is one of the few OECD countries in which pupils of public schools are superior, in terms of performance, to pupils of private schools. Private schools do exist in Switzerland and are distinguished, as a rule, by the low level of heterogeneity of their student body.
In Switzerland, you have the possibility of letting specially trained staff take care of your children in nurseries from the age of three months up to four years. The child care ratio – that is, the proportion of childcare personnel to children – is, at 1:3, relatively generous. Each nursery follows a particular pedagogical concept. A childcare place at the standard rate costs, as a rule, up to CHF 100 per day for children who are eighteen months and older, and up to CHF 150 per day for children younger than eighteen months. However, most nurseries also offer rates dependent on income.
The University of St.Gallen is concerned for the well-being of your children. We therefore offer two daycare facilities for children, the Triangle Nursery and the Löwenzahn Nursery, in immediate proximity of the campus. Here you can take advantage of reduced rates. Your children will be given preference in finding a place here.