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Jonathan1Jonathan1 Registered User Posts: 5,744 Senior Member
edited December 2011 in Prep School Admissions
Neuchatel Junior College is another alternative to a four-year boarding school. Students from all over the world may apply, however most of the student body is Canadian. It is located in Neuchatel, in French-speaking Switzerland. This school is only for students wishing to spend their senior or PG/gap year abroad.

The most attractive part of this school, for me anyway, is that you are allowed to travel independently three weekends per semester, and even more often with the school. On your own, you may visit cities like Milan, Paris, Geneva, Monaco, Nice, etc. during the weekend. With the school, they take holiday breaks to places such as Athens, Kenya, and Thailand. Twice a yer, they attend a Model UN conference in St. Petersburg and Berlin.

The school also offers an internship the summer following your graduation at the High Commission for Refugees and the Canadian Embassy in Bern.

You guys are probably wondering how I heard of this. Today I met with my grandmother's friend, who is also an academic advisor. Her kids went to Georgetown, Cambridge, and La Sorbonne and she went to Wharton. She told me that attending Ashbury College (prep school in Ottawa) would be a waste of $20,000 per year and it is full of kids who have the holier than thou attitude. My dad, however, disagreed with this because I have many relatives who went there that are not like that. She told me I would be better off going to Lisgar Collegiate, which is one of the best schools in Canada, and they also have a gifted program. I would go to this school for three years, then hopefully go to Neuchetal.

Another advantage of going to school during the school year in Canada is that I would have the opportunity to become a parliamentary page, which is similar to a congressional page in the US. She knows a lot of people high up in the government so she could probably arrange this for me. Working with politics is something I want to do, and I would be so happy if I could do it at such a young age. The only thing to this is is that I would have to be fluent in French. I would be immersed in the language here, so that would be great and hopefully I could learn it within a year.

So anyway, the point of this thread is to give you guys' an alternative to the American boarding school. Neuchetal is an amazing opportunity to travel Europe while being challenged during the school year. It offers over 15 AP courses as well which you can take in your senior/PG year. It costs about the same as a top American prep school, but they have a few bursaries. http://www.njc.ch/home/

Good luck!

P.S. - At this school, you live with a host family and you can only speak French to them. However, fluency in French is not required to attend the school, however you should be proficient. The town of Neuchetal looks so amazing. I saw pictures of it and it looks amazing!
Post edited by Jonathan1 on

Replies to: Neuch

  • suzesuze - Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    Sorry, but this school is full of wealthy Canadian party kids. Wonder why no French is required?
  • Jonathan1Jonathan1 Registered User Posts: 5,744 Senior Member
    Profiency in French is required because you must speak French to your host family.

    How do you know this, suze? What else do you know about it?
  • suzesuze - Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    My boyfriend went to UCC in Toronto. Many we know went over for the party. Not the serious students among us.
  • paleozoicpaleozoic Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    Neuchatel was and probably still is a fine school. It was intended to give a year abroad experience to children from established families who did not want to go to prep school in Canada--UCC/LCC/Trinity etc. It is a different operation entirely from St. Paul's or comparable american prep.

    Lisgar historically was a very fine school. In my day when they still had departmental grade 13 exams I would rate it amongst the very finest Canadian public schools--the new Trier of Canada if you will. It still has a fine gifted programme but it is by no means certain you can get into that. If you can by all means go if you can function in a school where 80% of the students would be decidedly average. Ashbury historically was a fine school and probably still is. A safer bet than Lisgar but it might not be worth the money. As for being a parliamentary page, that only happens at the end of high school and the competition would be quite stiff. Why take a flyer on all this at this stage in the game? You have determined for reasons that seem entirely adequate that Green Hills provides the stretch and structure that you need at this point in your life. It will set you up to mount a serious application to St. Paul's and Exeter next year. Both of these would be better overall for you than either Lisgar or Neuchatel. Why not stay with the programme?
  • Jonathan1Jonathan1 Registered User Posts: 5,744 Senior Member
    I am still applying to Greenhills, of course, but this is just another option. If I like it at Greenhills, then I may want to stay there through my junior year, then I could spend my senior year at Neuchetal or perhaps I could go with SYA during my junior year.
  • sirwinsirwin Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    hello, so I am interested in applying at Neuchatel junior college, but I had a few questions:
    1. How many people attend Neuchatel junior college?
    2. Are Chem and Physics 12 requred courses?
    3. What are the 'required' courses you have to take?
    4. Is it worth the $$$?
    5. What is the community like at Neuchatel?
    6. What are 3 things someone should know before applying/attending?
    7. What is the best feature of this school?

    thanks for your time :)
  • maggaliddymaggaliddy Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm a current student at NJC so I figured I could answer some of your questions.

    This year there are 55 students at NJC, but typically there's many more. It's usually between like 80 and 90 students in a class year, made up of both grade 12 students and students who have already graduated and are taking a gap year.
    The school runs on the Ontario provincial curriculum, so the course requirements are all based on that. For a student who has not yet graduated from high school, the only required course is English. There are a ton of other courses to choose from, and you can pick and choose your classes fairly easily. It's a semester school, so you can take 3-4 classes per semester.
    One of my favourite elements of the school - one that I initially felt a little uneasy about - is the housing situation. Students are assigned to the homes of various pensions, Swiss families who live in the area around Neuchatel. At first I was a bit wary of how this would be, but I've come to love it. My madame is the sweetest lady and I feel like such a part of the family!
    The students also form a bit of a family too. We all become SO close. I feel totally at ease with everyone and would happily spend all day with any of the students. When everyone is in Neuchatel on the weekends, we often go out together.
    I know that NJC has a reputation for being a party school - which is in part true. Because the drinking age is lower and Europeans are generally more relaxed about drinking/partying, we do go out a lot at night and have a good time. That's not the only thing that the school is about though. The students are all extremely motivated and are very intellectual people. They all have a strong desire to learn about the world around them - that's why they come here. The school's independent travel policy is definitely my favourite thing about it. We have such tremendous opportunities to explore the world! Each semester, students are allowed to go away for 3 weekends to various locations on their own (during the 2nd semester, you can actually do 4 depending on how your grades are). It is SO much fun! My friends and I are actually going to Budapest this weekend! We're all so excited!!

    Overall, I would say that it is worth the money - the amount you'll get out of this year is totally worth the price. And if maybe you can't afford all year, you could always come for one semester. Many kids do this, whether it's for financial or personal reasons. I was originally a first-semester-only kid, but I begged my parents to let me stay for the whole year. After the second week I knew this was where I wanted to be for the year - I love it!
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