snow covered mountain with blue sky and reflection in lake
The alpine mountains. Photo  ©

Christophe Schindler used under licence, adapted from the original

Am I eligible for a placement in Switzerland?

To be a Language Assistant in Switzerland, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria 
  • have B1-level German and/or French
  • be aged between 20 and 35.

When will I start my placement?

Posts in Switzerland run from mid-August/early September until end June/early July, depending on the school.

Assistants should arrive in Switzerland in mid- to late August in order to attend a compulsory induction course in Bern, ready to begin their placement soon after.   

Will there be an induction course?

A compulsory induction day will be held in Bern, run by our swift partners, Movetia. This is likely to take place in late August. You will be invited to the induction course by Movetia.

How many hours will I work per week?

You can expect to work approximately 12 hours per week. Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to.  

How many posts are available in Switzerland?

Every year there are approximately 10-20 posts available in Switzerland. We have posts in both French- and German-speaking parts of the country.

Places are extremely competitive and we usually give priority to candidates able to demonstrate significant teaching experience.

What type of institution will I be working in?

Positions are available in upper-secondary schools (you may work in one or two schools).

Assistants in Switzerland operate with a greater degree of independence, both in and out of school, than they do in other European countries. Posts in Switzerland are ideal for candidates with teaching experience or for those who wish to enter a career in teaching.

The education system in Switzerland is ranked as one of the best in Europe, according to the European Commission.

How much will I be paid?

You will be paid a gross salary of around CHF 3,200-3,800 per month (approx. CHF 2,600+ after deductions). There may be variations in salaries depending on school and region.

The allowance for Language Assistants varies from institution to institution and will be confirmed in your contract.

Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of language assistants and this amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

What holidays will I have?

In Switzerland the academic calendar runs from mid-August until end June/early July. Typically, assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution.  

Holidays often vary by region and sometimes institution.

There is only one federal holiday in Switzerland – National Day on 1 August – with each canton designating their own public holidays. All cantons designate eight public holidays in addition to National Day. 

Your institution will give you full details of your term dates when you begin your post.  

For information on the public holidays in the canton you will work in, please visit the Swiss government's website.

Where can I go in Switzerland?

We have posts in both French- and German-speaking parts of the country.

Most posts are in German-speaking cantons (regions), with various posts in rural areas. These may include Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Basel-Stadt, Luzern, Obwalden, St. Gallen, Solothurn, Schwyz, Zug and Zürich.

Placements in larger towns (such as Basel and Zürich) cannot be guaranteed.

A number of posts are offered in the French-speaking cantons. Posts are likely to be in rural areas (Cantons Fribourg/Vaud and Jura).

You should research the various areas of Switzerland thoroughly before applying. Unfortunately, we cannot currently offer placements in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Please note there are also a small number of German-speaking areas of the Italian region of Trentino Alto-Adige. Please see the Italy page for further information. 

I've worked as a Language Assistant in Switzerland – can I apply again?

Assistants currently working in Switzerland can apply for a consecutive year. This must be done through the British Council, so please complete the application form again including any updated information about your current year in Switzerland. A satisfactory reference from your current school(s) is required.

Consecutive year assistants can request to remain at the same school, or request a change. They will not be required to attend the induction course the following year.