Chesières Villars-sur-Ollon Switzerland
La Garenne School

Thank you for your great interest towards La Garenne International School. We will contact you very shortly.

With our kindest regards from the Swiss Alps, 

Céline Gelli
Director of Admissions


Ever since the foundation in 1947, La Garenne International School has been one of the leading boarding schools in Switzerland and the world. More than 120 students from over 35 nations are welcomed each year on our campus located in the charming alpine French speaking ski resort of Villars which provides a secure environment and an extraordinary education to boarding and day students from 5 years old. Our philosophy is based on providing individual attention to each and every student, encouraging a passion for learning, developing international mindedness and ensuring the holistic development of all of the young people in our care both academically, socially and emotionally.  

La Garenne prides itself on its long and rich history as a bilingual place of learning. While the main language of academic subjects is English, we believe that language learning is vitally important and students are encouraged to develop a mastery of the French Language in addition to encouraging the study of a student's native language. In the Primary School (ages 5-10), students follow the International Primary Curriculum, which prepares them well to enter the Secondary School where they will study the highly regarded International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (ages 11 - 16). Upon completion of the MYP, our students will start their studies for the world renowned IB Diploma Programme. Our students will enter their final year of schooling in 2022, just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of La Garenne.

In addition to our full-time academic curriculum, students may also choose to join La Garenne as part of our 'Integration Programme'. it offers them a unique taste of academic and boarding life over a shorter period, after which some may choose to join us at a later stage for the full academic year. 

Furthermore, in summer, we offer residential and day camps with a well-balanced programme consisting of language courses in French or English in the morning (from beginner to advanced level) followed by sports, cultural and leisure activities in the afternoon. In winter, students may participate in the Integration Programme and enjoy snow activities including skiing/snowboarding several times a week.

Whether during the school year or during our camps, we provide wonderful opportunities (languages, challenges, expeditions, charity projects and school trips around the world) that stimulate young people's natural curiosity and teach them valuable life skills.

La Garenne is also a CIS fully accredited school (Council of International Schools) and a Cambridge/ DELF-DALF Preparation Centre.

At La Garenne we have adopted the phrase “Be Happy and Never, Never, Never Give Up” as our motto, to encourage wellbeing, effort and resilience in all aspects of life and for all members of the school community.

  • Day school tuition $36000 - $57000 USD
  • Grades for day school Kindergarten/Year 1 -
    12th Grade/Year 13
  • Scholarships Available No
  • Number of Students 140
  • Year founded 1947
  • Boarding school tuition $71000 - $86000 USD
  • Grades for boarding school Kindergarten/Year 1 -
    12th Grade/Year 13
  • Curricula IB Diploma, IB Middle Years, Cambridge Primary, Cambridge Secondary, International Middle Years, International Primary
  • Type Co-ed


CIS, BSA, SGIS, Cambridge, DELF, Pro Cert, Swiss Boarding Schools Association, FSEP, AVDEP


SCHOOL FEES INCLUDE: Full board and lodging, tuition and supervised studies, loan of text books and some class materials, ski pass (boarders only), ski locker, use of school laundry (boarders only), use of school library and computer network, sports activities, cultural activities and short expeditions in Switzerland only, on-site healthcare, transport to and from Geneva airport (only within the official dates and times), various taxes and VAT.

SCHOOL FEES DO NOT INCLUDE: Extra Costs Health and accident insurance, medications, private lessons, learning support, stationery, ski equipment hire, ski uniform hire (jacket and pants), official exams e.g. Cambridge and Delf, pocket money, birthdays, photo option, health package, any extra expenses e.g. hairdresser, dentist, dry cleaning, postage etc. and mandatory school trips. Please see the list of Extra Costs: For day students, ski pass, day trips, uniform, laundry, expeditions, and health insurance are all excluded

Admissions Information

Admissions Process


Please contact the Director of Admissions or call +41 (0)24 495 24 53 to enquire about available places, and if you have any questions about the application process.


You are strongly advised to accompany your child on a school visit. This will enable you to appreciate the various aspects of our organisation and discover more about school life. Depending on the nature of your visit, your child(ren) may be interviewed or sit exams.


  • Send scanned copies of grading reports for the last two years to (These must include the annual report for the previous academic year and the most recent report)
  • Send scanned copies of the child’s passport and vaccination records
  • Parents should provide a short motivation letter explaining to us what they like to share as a family
  • “Express yourself”: The candidate must provide either a short presentation/video/photos and letter demonstrating his/her passion in life
  • Placement tests must be completed for children applying from Year 3 class. The Admissions Office will organise testing at La Garenne or the tests may be sent to the current school. Tests conducted outside La Garenne must take place under exam conditions
  • The candidates for the Senior School will be interviewed personally or using Skype by a member of the academic staff and/or the General Director. This is obligatory for Senior School candidates (14 to 18 years old).

The Admissions Committee will consider the completed file and make a decision. The family will be advised of the outcome within 10 days. The three types of decisions are:

  • Accepted

  • Waiting List

  • Not Accepted or Declined


If the Admissions Office confirms enrolment of the candidate, an official communication along with an invoice will be sent to the family. These fees (enrolment and development fund) will have to be settled within 1 week to guarantee the place of the child. This payment is non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

  • First application deadline None, first come first served basis
  • Students can join after the academic year begins Yes
  • Waiting List Yes
  • Application fee (domestic) $2000 USD
  • Application fee (international) $2000 USD

Waiting List

We may have a waiting list as we do respect a 10% maximum quota per nationality and a 15% quota per native speaking language.


  • Assigns homework Yes
  • Use of technology in the classroom Yes
  • Language of instruction English, French
  • ELL support No
  • Teacher/Student ratio 1-2
  • Gifted and talented student support Yes
  • Learning support Yes
  • Native English teachers Yes
  • Languages taught English, French
  • Number of teaching staff 32
  • Examinations available Cambridge Checkpoint - CHECKPOINT, International Baccalaureate Diploma - IB Dip, MYP Certificate - MYP

Learning Support

EAL / ESL, PIE (Programme of Intensive English) and Special Needs

Languages Taught

We do also teach Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin) in Language Clubs and "One to One" private lessons

Examinations Available

DELF, Cambridge Certificates (KET, PET, FCE, Advanced)

School Life

  • Bus service Yes
  • Sports teams available Yes
  • Pastoral Care Yes
  • Do students practice religion at the school No
  • School start time 08h00
  • School end time 16h00 or 16h30 depending on the year groups. ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) are then offered from 17h00 to 18h30.
  • Most common nationality Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Nigerian and Spanish (max. 10% per nationality quota)
  • Max class size 16
  • School provides lunch Yes
  • Supervised care before or after school Yes
  • Uniform required Yes
  • Access to an educational psychologist Yes
  • Student nationalities 35
  • Average class size 12

Living Accommodations

La Garenne Campus welcomes Piccolos and Minis (4 kids per room with bathroom on floor level) / Juniors (4 kids per room with private bathroom in the rooms). Le Roc Campus (opening January 2021): Seniors are provided double bedrooms with a private bathroom.

Schools Facilities

La Garenne Campus Virtual Tour

Le Roc Senior Campus

School Lunch

Our catering at La Garenne is managed by the renowned company Eldora with whom we work very closely. Our chef provides a wide variety of nourishing meals and snacks for the children throughout the day.

He places a great emphasis on well-balanced and nutritional food, paying attention to any food restrictions and allergies the children may have, as well as taking into account any cultural needs.

All meals are cooked here in our kitchens and we aim to use locally sourced products wherever possible. Our newly refurbished dining room offers spectacular views over the Alps and is a warm and friendly place to eat. The children are seated in different places at each meal, which encourages them to mix and make new friends.

All meals are supervised by adults and the Director also eats with the children. As well as providing three cooked meals each day, the children are offered snacks at morning and afternoon break-time and these are adapted according to the activities that the children are doing. We encourage the children to have an open mind to food and so from time to time we offer themed meals and international flavours. We also encourage the children to develop their passion for food through our famous cooking club. Birthdays are special occasions and at La Garenne these are celebrated with a cake shared with friends.


Sports Teams

Basketball, Football & Ski Academies

A healthy body and mind is key to a child’s success both within and outside the classroom. Here at La Garenne the children participate in timetabled sports activities for an hour-and-a-half per day, which is an unusually high commitment. Whilst enjoying the various sports, the children learn about fair play, team building and develop leadership skills.

Our qualified and highly motivated sports staff plans and delivers an extensive indoor and outdoor programme. Indoor sports include football, basketball, volleyball, hockey and other team games, climbing, aerobics, squash, tennis volleyball, badminton, athletics, swimming and karate. Outdoors, the children participate in mountain biking, kayaking, cycling, skiing, cross country skiing, camping, hill-walking, running, golf and orienteering - to name but a few.

The ages and abilities of the children are taken into account, with safety of paramount importance. All members of sports staff receive First Aid training annually and have BLS and AED Swiss certification. The programme allows younger students to focus on team sports, where they learn about being a team member whilst improving their physical strength and ability. As they get older, greater emphasis is placed on personal development including leadership skills.

At La Garenne we recognise the importance of helping each child fulfil his/her own personal goals. 



Pastoral Care

Our core values and philosophy are embedded within the pastoral care and each student is treated as an individual. Home activities such as baking, games evenings, dinner together and even the traditional annual outing to choose a Christmas tree and drink hot chocolate are organised to build a sense of belonging. The opportunity to make new friends from around the globe and to share experiences and lifestyles in our multilingual environment strengthens characters and develops social skills. With a strong team of educators comprising teachers, house parents, monitors and house staff, the students receive the care and attention we hope equals that of their own home environment.

Religion at School

All religions are respected as long as their practice does not interfere with the school organisation.
Church mass may be attended on Sunday upon request.

Extracurricular Activities

Complementing the academic programme and after-school clubs, we dedicate the weekends to relaxation, friendships, discovery, and organised leisure activities. We take the time to listen to the children, devising a dynamic programme in response to their wishes.

University Relations

  • University counseling Yes
  • Percent that pursue university ALL

University Destinations

Diploma Handbook

University Counseling

We aim to ensure that La Garenne students have access to a range of university options upon graduation including the most prestigious universities in the world and our students will receive close support, advice and guidance at each step of the process. Students will be encouraged to visit universities and will be given opportunities to speak to representatives of different universities regarding their applications and courses of interest.

The academic leadership team at La Garenne have several years experience of guiding students towards university study in addition to assisting students with the range of application processes that can be found in differing university systems around the globe.

Owing to the small class sizes and depth of specialist experience of our staff, the Diploma Programme students at La Garenne will receive the close support and personalised guidance needed to ensure they have the strongest possible application to their university of choice.

What is the English level required to join La Garenne School ?

All students are welcome to apply to La Garenne. If their level of English is low in comparison with their peer group, additional lessons will be organised and the family informed in regards to the schedule and additional fees.

What extracurricular activities are on offer ?

Almost thirty after-school Clubs are offered. These include sports appropriate to the seasons, arts and languages. For example: football, karaté, yoga, ballet, modern jazz, cooking, singing, photography, chess, cross-running, school show, drama and public speaking. Some activities incur an extra cost. Please see the extracurricular activities information.

What are the nationalities at the school ?

There are more than 30 nationalities from around the world. We also uphold a balance between the languages spoken.

We respect 12% maximum quota per nationality over the student body and 15% for students sharing the same mother tongue.