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Expat Exchange - Educational System in Liechtenstein
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Educational System in Liechtenstein

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: The one tip that you hear expats living in Liechtenstein repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Liechtenstein. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Liechtenstein is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Liechtenstein.

As an expat in Liechtenstein, understanding the local educational system is crucial for your children's academic journey. The education system in Liechtenstein is comprehensive and well-structured, offering a variety of options to cater to different learning needs. This guide will provide you with an overview of the main stages of education, the process of enrolling your children in school, language requirements, the availability of bilingual schools, common types of private schools, and the options for homeschooling and online schooling.

What are the main stages of education in Liechtenstein?

The education system in Liechtenstein is divided into four main stages: Kindergarten, Primary School (Volksschule), Secondary School (Realschule or Oberschule), and Upper Secondary School (Gymnasium or Berufsmittelschule). Each stage is designed to cater to the developmental needs of students at different ages and to prepare them for further education or the workforce.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten in Liechtenstein is for children aged 4 to 6. It focuses on the child's overall development, including social, emotional, physical, and cognitive aspects. It is not compulsory, but it is highly recommended as it prepares children for primary school.

Primary School (Volksschule)

Primary School, or Volksschule, is for children aged 6 to 12. It is compulsory and focuses on basic literacy, numeracy, and other foundational subjects. The curriculum also includes physical education, music, and art to ensure a well-rounded education.

Secondary School (Realschule or Oberschule)

Secondary School in Liechtenstein is divided into Realschule and Oberschule, catering to students aged 12 to 15. The curriculum becomes more subject-specific, and students start to prepare for their future academic or vocational paths.

Upper Secondary School (Gymnasium or Berufsmittelschule)

The Upper Secondary School, either Gymnasium or Berufsmittelschule, is for students aged 15 to 18. The Gymnasium prepares students for university studies, while the Berufsmittelschule provides vocational training.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

To enroll your child in a school in Liechtenstein, you need to contact the school directly. You will be required to provide your child's birth certificate, proof of residence, and vaccination records. If your child has attended school in another country, you should also provide their latest school reports.

My children are still learning German, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning German can enroll in public schools in Liechtenstein. There are German as a Second Language (DaZ) courses available to help non-native speakers catch up with their peers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

There are no public bilingual schools in Liechtenstein. However, some private schools offer bilingual programs, and many schools offer language support for non-German speakers.

What types of private schools are common in Liechtenstein?

Private schools in Liechtenstein include International Schools, Montessori Schools, and Waldorf Schools. These schools often offer a more global curriculum and may provide instruction in English or other languages.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Many expats in Liechtenstein choose to send their children to private schools due to the language support and international curriculum. However, public schools are also a popular choice due to their high quality of education and lower cost.

How expensive are Private schools in Liechtenstein?

The cost of private schools in Liechtenstein varies greatly depending on the school and the specific program. Tuition fees can range from a few thousand to over twenty thousand Swiss Francs per year.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Liechtenstein?

Homeschooling is not common in Liechtenstein and is generally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. If you wish to homeschool your child, you must apply for permission from the Department of Education.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Liechtenstein?

Online schooling is not a common practice in Liechtenstein. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have implemented online learning platforms. If you wish for your child to attend an online school instead of a local school, you should consult with the Department of Education.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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