Swiss education system

The education system in Switzerland is, due to federalism , primarily the responsibility of the cantons and municipalities. The federal government is only responsible for certain parts.

Source: Wikipedia

Compulsory education lasts eleven years and is free for all children. It is composed of primary and lower secondary education.

Primary school

The primary level is the first level of compulsory education. The first years of primary school are organized in the form of a two-year kindergarten, which is located in the Canton of St. Gallen and usually starts when a child is 4 years old. The costs for the public kindergartens are borne by the municipality of residence. Usually you will receive an invitation from your municipality of residence to register. Each municipality of residence also provides information about which is the relevant public kindergarten.


The primary level lasts eight years. Children are introduced to the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, acquire working techniques, knowledge and attitudes and consolidate these as they get older. After the 6th grade they progress to secondary school. As part of the transfer process, where the focus is on an overall appraisal of the child and includes a discussion with the parents, the children are assigned to one of three types of school: secondary modern school (Realschule), secondary school (Sekundarschule) or grammar school/cantonal school (Gymnasium/Kantonsschule).

Secondary level

In secondary school, the elementary subjects taught in primary school are continued, with a focus on broad-based general education and an encouragement of independence.


In the 9th grade, the children have the greatest possible choice that includes curricula with suitable combinations and a focus on the future career/vocational training or training at a college of higher education.

Private schools

You will find a list of all private schools in Switzerland here.


International school

There is an international school in Buchs where Hilti employees are granted special terms and conditions. For any additional information contact the school directly:
International School Rheintal (ISR)
Aeulistrasse 10
P.O. Box
CH – 9471 Buchs

Tel. +41 81 750 63 00
For more information please contact Cathy Dietel, SHPRdc

Employment office/career counseling

Prerequisite for receiving financial support from the employment office, as part of unemployment insurance, is to have had a job in Switzerland for at least six months.
The following links are to offices that provide job counseling:
Kanton GR Institutionen


There is a university in Liechtenstein. You can find details of the study program on the website of the University of Liechtenstein
For information on other universities in Switzerland see the Swiss Uni platform.