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Institut Le Rosey: The World’s Most Expensive Boarding School Par Excellence

BY Namrata Naha October 1, 2018
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Students at Institut Le Rosey

Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the left and his friends from Institut Le Rosey, circa 1931. (Wikimedia Commons)

Institut Le Rosey is famous as the world’s most expensive boarding school. Founded in 1880, it is located in Rolle, a town that is halfway between Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland.

The institute boasts two campuses in different locations Rolle and Gstaad spread over a sprawling and splendid estate park of 28 hectares. This extraordinary ambience is home to the best-in-class educational, artistic, and sporting facilities.

The institute is regarded as the oldest international boarding school in Switzerland. The tuition fee per year costs around $175,000 (1,27,47,875 / A$,2,42,578). This, of course, excludes school excursions and trips. However, the student’s pocket money stipulated by the administration is included in the fee. The pocket money varies with the age of the student.

Prominent alumni

The preeminent alumni of Le Rosey include King Albert II of Belgium, Prince Rainier of Monaco, the Shah of Iran, New York rock band frontman Julian Casablancas, erstwhile CIA director Richard Helms, and King Farouk of Egypt.

Here the families send their children with the sole aim to continue their family’s legacy and unmatchable reputation. The institute enjoys the patronage and association of 5,000-strong alumni worldwide

Campus schedules

Spring-Summer campus

The Spring-Summer campus is situated in Rolle’s beautiful Château du Rosey that dates back to the 14th century. This is the location where the fall, spring, and summer terms are conducted. The playing grounds and the landscape look absolutely breath-taking and gorgeous.

The locale has indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It resembles almost a destination for a family holiday rather than a school. It is during the month of September that students start arriving at the campus. They get breaks for two consecutive months from October to December.

Winter campus

The winter campus is organised in chalets located in a well-known ski resort in the quaint town of Gstaad. It is only after Christmas that students go there for the commencement of the winter session. This tradition is being followed since 1916.

According to the school authorities, the winter term is quite a hectic one. Here the students spend two and a half months amid the cold and chilly climate of the Swiss Alps. Students have the option to ski four times per week. To compensate for this, the students attend extra Saturday morning classes.

The students return to the main campus in April after getting a break in March. The term continues until June beyond which they go for the summer vacation.

Student demography

There are presently 400 students at Institut Le Rosey with ages ranging from 8 to 18. They belong to 67 nations and the school exhibits the ideal gender split. The students are expected to be conversant and fluent in two languages.

At a time, they can study a maximum of four languages that include either Dzongkha or Swahili. They can choose either English or French as their preferred language for having the tuitions.

In spite of the exorbitant tuition fee, Institut Le Rosey attracts nearly four applications for each of its available vacancies. They usually settle on children who are academically brilliant, compelling and demonstrate exemplary growth potentials.

The overall education curriculum is divided into four levels. They are namely juniors, cadets, jeunes seniors, and seniors. The degree, which the high school offers, is either an International Baccalaureate diploma or Baccalauréat Français. The incredibly expansive library owns books in more than 20 different languages.

Accommodation facility

There is in total, 179 bedrooms (1 to 3 beds), and the majority of them have integrated ensuite bathrooms. Two students share a dormitory. They are allowed to change their roommates thrice per year. During their final year, students get to have individual rooms. The students are also permitted to decorate their own room to suit their needs and preference.

The views from some of the rooms are spellbinding. The girl students have their own separated campus that is situated in exquisite parkland. The school is co-educational. Nevertheless, the hostels render an easy-going intimacy and seclusion.

The faculty strength is 150. Around 90 teachers stay with the students. The junior students reside and study in the main campus. The families of the teachers reside with them. They give a lending hand to the day-to-day problems of the students, supervise discipline, maintain cleanliness and well-ordered administration, and track the student’s study time.

A student’s daily life at Institut Le Rosey

The average day of a student at the main campus starts with them being woken up at 7 AM. After cleaning up their rooms and taking a bath, they go straight to have a buffet breakfast.

Classes are conducted between 8 AM and 12:20 PM after which the students take their lunch. Classes resume at 1:30 PM and continue until 3:30 PM. With 150 teachers, the average strength of each class is even less than 10 students. The time between 4 PM and 6 PM is earmarked for arts and sports.

The school’s prime art and learning centre is the Paul and Henri Carnal hall. It comprises of orchestras, choirs, theatre groups, photography studios, and art and dance workshops.

More than 60% of the students engage in creative activities like singing, playing an instrument, and performing as rock bands. The Rosey concert hall has a maximum seating capacity of 600 people. The students are also encouraged to do gardening.

Students do a short study after 6 PM. At 7:30 PM, dinner is served. In-house chefs prepare the meals. The students work as waiters on a rotational basis. The time after dinner is assigned for another study session and homework. Many cultural events, debates, lectures are also performed during this time. Bedtime is between 9 PM and 11 PM. The weekends for students are also scheduled.

Uniform and dress code

During the course of the academic block, students wear the right and comfortable clothing essentials. Shirts should be properly tucked into pants. The girls are instructed to wear dresses that properly cover their shoulders and midriffs or the ones that have a reasonable length. Wearing denim, leather jackets, revealing clothes, high heels are strictly prohibited. Beyond academics and the formal dinner, casual clothes are allowed.

The uniform for boys consists of a blue or white shirt, grey trousers, a navy-blue blazer, black shoes, and a Rosey badge. Girls wear a white dress, scarf, navy-blue blazer, sandals, and a Rosey brooch. Not just amid the school timings, the students also wear the same dress for all formal school activities like parties, conferences etc.

Sports and recreation

Sports play an important and integral part in shaping up the life of every student at Institut Le Rosey. Every year, the school offers more than 25 sports. The campus boasts of some of the best football grounds, rugby pitches, basketball and tennis courts, athletics track, beach volleyball arena, golf course, and two fitness centres.

The school has a private equestrian centre that accommodates around 30 horses. The school also has a nautical hub on the Lake Geneva. It has facilities for sailing, rowing and water-skiing. There is also a spa for the students to relax and unwind. The spa, housing an indoor swimming pool and a sauna room, can be availed by students and teachers alike on Sundays.

Students can indulge in recreational and entertainment activities like going to watch movies, shopping in Geneva, bowling, go-karting when accompanied by their teachers.

Smoking and alcohol restrictions

Students are not permitted to consume alcohol inside the campus or during expeditions. However, wine tasting sessions are allowed in parties especially the ones organised under the supervision of teachers. Smoking is strictly disallowed on and off campus.

Safety and security

The students are extended absolute peace of mind while they study at the two serene campuses. They are protected by comprehensive surveillance mechanisms and security guards who meticulously patrol the premises. Those unlucky in hurting themselves have round-the-clock access to an experienced and expert team of medical professionals.

Charity work

The Swiss school is also involved in various charity and humanitarian pursuits that allow them to work during their holidays to build orphanages or pay donations, visit homes for the aged, hospitals, and other philanthropic undertakings.

The pupils from Le Rosey come from affluent backgrounds. But, the school has always upheld the cause of helping the underprivileged and giving the students an opportunity to have a normal life and upbringing.

Conclusion

It is plain and simple that Institut Le Rosey is substantially more than being just a school. It is the ultimate destination for learning where children become competent to bring to fruition their family’s expectations and responsibilities. There is an element of subtlety in this matter.

In addition, the school teaches its students the art and process of becoming rich, mindful, and independent in an unfair and prejudiced world. In order to achieve that, the students, in essence, are encouraged to believe that they are the creators of their own universe.

Enjoyed this article? Also, check out “Moscow State University: An Architectural Marvel“.


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