Ignite: Switzerland FAQs

Please read the Ignite: Switzerland Handbook, which has links to relevant sites, important contact details, salient advice and pertinent information.

For more information or any other questions about Ignite: Switzerland, please email contact.ignite@dulwich.org with your question. 


Once applications are open, your child will have received a secure Microsoft Forms link in their school email inbox. Should they choose to apply, you will receive a confirmation email when the application has been submitted. 

The application is a series of open-ended personal essay questions for your child to complete. Once the application is submitted, we will submit a reference for your child. Your child’s essay question answers and reference will be sent to the Ignite: Switzerland Selection Committee for consideration. 


HochAlpines Institut Ftan (HIF) 

Address: Chalchera 154, 7551 Ftan, Switzerland

Contact: info@hif.ch 

Website: www.hif.ch

Visit Website

Flights are not included in the fee for Ignite: Switzerland. Parents will need to pay for the flight separately. Your child’s College will organise the flight and invoice you.

Obtaining the appropriate visa is a parental responsibility but your College will give advice. If your child’s passport requires a visa, you will need to apply for the Schengen visa which allows your child to study temporarily in Switzerland and the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

Your child needs a visa if they hold a passport from one of the following nations:

Afghanistan Algeria Angola Armenia
Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Belarus
Belize Benin Bhutan Bolivia
Botswana Burkino Faso Burundi Cabo Verde
Cambodia Cameroon Central African Republic Chad
China Comoros Cote D'ivoire Cuba
Dem. Rep. Of Congo Djibouti Dominican Republic Ecuador
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Eswatini
Ethopia Fiji Gabon Gambia
Ghana Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti
India Indonedia Iran Iraq
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya
Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos
Lebanon LEsotho Liberia Libya
Madagascar Malawi Maldives Mali
Mauritania Mongolia Morocco Mozambique
Myanmar Namibia Nepal Niger
Nigeria North Korea Northern Mariana Islands Oman
Pakistan Palestine Papua New Guinea Philippines
Qatar Republic of the Congo Russia Rwanda
Saudi Arabia Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia
South Africa South Sudan Sri Lanka Suriname
Syria São Tomé and Príncipe Tajikistan Tanzania
Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tonga
Tunisia Turkmenistan Türkiye Uganda
Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam Yemen
Zambia Zimbabwe    


A Short-Term Schengen Visa is recommended. It is an authorization to enter the Schengen territory that permits its holder to stay in the Schengen territory for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. Each Ignite: Switzerland term is 84 days long, including 7 days somewhere else in the Schengen area. You will need to apply for a Short-Stay Student Schengen Visa. However, if that type of visa is unavailable, you will need to apply for a Short-Stay Tourist Schengen Visa.

In short, no. It is very difficult to stay in Switzerland longer than 90 days within a 180 day period. If you are looking for an extension of your child’s Short-Stay Schengen Visa, you will need to prove an extension is required due to extraordinary circumstances. If you are looking for a Long-Stay Swiss Visa, also known as a National Visa or a D-Visa, you must prove that you have direct family already living in Switzerland, or that you have a study offer longer than 90 days. These visas are offered to those looking to study, work or live in Switzerland long-term, after which you must apply for a residence permit.

It is a parental responsibility, to apply for the visa, if applicable.

6 months - 15 days prior to your trip. It is recommended to apply 4 weeks before your trip. Processing times depend on the embassy, consulate or third party that is processing your application. The legal processing time for a Schengen visa is 15 calendar days. In some cases, you can receive an answer earlier. However, in extraordinary cases this period may extend from 30 to 60 days.

Your child will be accompanied by a teaching member of staff from his/her College.

Part of the Ignite: Switzerland programme is a one-week trip to see major sights in Switzerland or the Schengen area.

You must pre-arrange picking up your child with the Global Director of Ignite: Switzerland, Caroline Taylor, who may be contacted at Caroline.Taylor@eimglobal.com. You may holiday in Europe at the end of the 85 days of term, however, the Schengen visa does not permit a stay in the Schengen area for any longer than 90 days within a 180 day period. You will be responsible for calculating the time your child has left on their Schengen visa and you must be careful to comply with the immigration laws in place.

Your child will be accompanied by a teaching member of staff from his/her College.


Your child will be supported upon their return to their College for any catch up that may be necessary. However, the Ignite: Switzerland programme has been designed to cover many of the humanities skills developed in Year 9 and iGCSE, and many of the transferable skills developed through this programme will be useful in other areas of the curriculum.

Your child will be very busy with the Ignite: Switzerland curriculum so there will be no time available for the study of subjects outside this curriculum. The programme has been designed to ensure that students are broadening and deepening the skills required for of Year 9, iGCSEs, and beyond.

Before your child arrives in Switzerland, all information relating to their language ability will be shared. This will enable us to put your child into the right English group. We have a personalised approach so that each child’s learning pathway is paved just right.

Even though your child is only with us for 12 weeks, we will get to know your child well. As this is a boarding environment, staff will get to know your child in the classroom as well as out of it. They will be with your child at weekends, after school and in the dining room. It is important to us that your child will feel completely at home when enjoying the Ignite: Switzerland experience.

Yes, all teaching staff are qualified and experienced. Much of the curriculum taught with Ignite: Switzerland programme is similar to that of your child’s College; iGCSE is currently taught at HochAlpines Institut Ftan so the teachers are fully equipped to support your child’s academic career.

Not only has Ignite: Switzerland paid close attention to building an academic programme that is comparable to the curriculum at your child’s current school but the boarding element of this programme will aid in the development of certain home skills that are conducive to successful academic study. Your child will be required to adhere to a strict time schedule that organises a healthy balance of free time and study time. This environment teaches your child routine and time management.

A boarding environment allows your child to learn beyond the classroom. They will learn to be more independent and responsible. Through following the curated time schedule set out for your child, they will be able to experience a balanced routine of study time and free time. They will need to learn how to time manage wisely with the plethora of curricular and extracurricular activities they have at their disposal. If your child is studying English as a second language, they will be in an environment that exposes them to English inside and outside of the classroom.


Your child will be away from home- they will inevitably get homesick. You can help your child by reassuring them that this is normal. We will have staff on hand to help them through those difficult times. It will be important for you, as parents, to support us in helping your child work through these emotions.

strongly encourage you to have a set time to talk with your child once a week via WhatsApp/WeChat/Facetime. However, your child will be very busy and in order to help them settle into their new environment we suggest calling only once per week. Please consider the time difference and create a schedule with your child.

Parents are asked not to visit whilst their child is at the school as it can be unsettling for the child. Also, part of going away on this experience is to gain independence, self-reliance and resilience. Parents are very welcome to come to the school to collect their child at the end of the 12 weeks however, this must be pre-arranged with the Global Director of Ignite: Switzerland, Caroline Taylor, who may be contacted at Caroline.Taylor@eimglobal.com

If your child’s birthday is during their time on the Ignite: Switzerland programme, it will be celebrated with a cake and we will help them feel special for the day. There is no need for parents to order cakes.

To help you feel connected, we have a dedicated website with photographs and videos of the week’s activities that will be updated regularly for parents to see. We will upload as many photos and videos as possible so you can feel that you are part of the experience too. Please go to https://app.kinteract.co.uk/

You may email internat@hif.ch. All contact details for the school and the staff will be in the Boarding Handbook that will be given to you before your child leaves for Switzerland.


No, you will not need to pay for your child’s place at their College. You will pay fees directly to HIF for your child’s term with Ignite: Switzerland.

No, your child’s place will be kept at their College so they can return to their College after the Ignite: Switzerland experience.

Once your child has completed their application process and been offered a place, you will be given the details of the bank to which you will pay for the Ignite: Switzerland programme.

Yes, they can. Instead of paying school fees to your child’s College, they will pay school fees to HochAlpines Institut Ftan, the school in Switzerland where your child will stay for the term.

Yes, there is a price difference between the Ignite: Switzerland programme fee and the College fee. For the term that your child is with Ignite: Switzerland you will pay for only the Ignite: Switzerland programme; you will not have to pay for the College fee in addition to this.

Whether your company will pay the difference will need to be a conversation between you and your company.

If you attend a Dulwich College International in China you can still benefit from this discount. However, the 5% annual fee discount will not apply outside China.

A credit note will be created by the College for the term that your child is with Ignite: Switzerland. The fee you paid to the College will be refunded to the account through which it was originally paid; your refund will either go directly to your company or to your bank account.

Education, boarding and food is included in the fee. Your child will also have a week’s trip in the Schengen area, which will also be included.


Switzerland is renowned for its excellent medical training and hospitals, utilising the latest technologies, guaranteeing quality care that is recognised throughout the world. We are lucky to work in close proximity with the local doctor, and are able to care for our students in a prompt and timely fashion. The school benefits from a wide network of health specialists (dentists, orthodontists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists and psychologists), helping us provide the best possible care for the students.

We will let you know if your child requires any dental or medical treatment.

Fortunately, Switzerland has an excellent healthcare system so your child will be well looked after. If there is a medical emergency, we will contact you immediately and keep you updated so you know what is happening. Our staff are very experienced and will look after your child.

Your child will have access to the HIF school counsellor.

The school has strict health and hygiene management procedures in place to mitigate the risk that COVID-19 and other illnesses represent. There are of course no guarantees but every step possible is taken to keep your child safe.

All students must be fully vaccinated. All vaccinations are currently recognised, although this could be subject to change.

Security & Insurance

Our primary responsibility is to keep your child safe; as a result, our campus is fitted with a number of CCTV cameras and alarms.

It is mandatory to have travel insurance as this covers health insurance as well. Switzerland has excellent medical care, but it is expensive. Switzerland is part of the Schengen Zone. As such, your travel insurance for Switzerland has to comply with Schengen Visa insurance requirements, meaning:

  • It must cover at least €30,000 for medical treatment and evacuation.
  • It must be valid through the entire Schengen Zone.
  • It must be valid through the entire duration of your trip to Switzerland or the Schengen Zone.



Before your child arrives in Switzerland, you will be asked to provide all important health information for your child. Our chef is used to providing specialist meals for students at the school already. Every care will be taken to meet the needs of your child.

Your child will receive 4 meals a day. Healthy snacks are also available throughout the day.

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