Le Rosey, founded in 1880, has become a school of great renown and the creator of an almost mystical emotional bond between thousands of its anciens (or alumni) scattered across the five continents. It is also a school with an air of civilized freedom unusual in an establishment of this type.
Le Rosey, based on solid traditions, dares to innovate, offering an up-to- date, modern education. It has often been emulated in the realm of language learning, bilingual education, the development of all the "intelligences", the integration of sport and the arts into the daily timetable, the motivation of pupils by a system of privileges, and in the promotion of open-mindedness with respect to other cultures and religions – which co-exist harmoniously at Le Rosey thanks to its strict adherence to nationality quotas.
Le Rosey prepares its students for universities worldwide, and the school’s curriculum requires all students to prepare for demanding, well-recognized official external examinations. The objective is to provide all pupils with a sound education, the most effective study and work habits, a taste for the pleasures of work well done, the daily use of two working languages and the mastery of other languages. Particular attention is paid to the home language and culture of each student: Le Rosey has classes in more than 30 languages.
The curriculum is bilingual: pupils take English or French according to their level and, in most other subjects, can choose between the two languages of instruction and thereby absorb the working methods and culture inherent in two educational approaches. For their final two years pupils choose between the French Baccalaureate programme, with its literary, economic or scientific options, and the International Baccalaureate (or IB),
The examinations for which may be taken in either English or French, or in a combination of the two languages. University counsellors guide Roseans to help them establish an academic programme which takes into consideration their own wishes as well as those of their parents, with a view to future university studies. A complete counselling programme is offered during the final two years in order to help Roseans choose – from universities throughout the world – the one most suited to each student’s individual ability and ambitions.
The quality of the academic education stems from a careful selection of pupils and teachers, a teaching team of 120 for 420 students, small class sizes (an average of fewer than 10), constantly evolving teaching aids and methods, and careful monitoring of individual progress.
The study programme includes traditional classes cross-curricular projects, lectures, tutoring, educational trips and visits, homework, tests and examinations. Academic work, overall effort, involvement in arts and sports
activities as well overall attitude are regularly evaluated with grades and comments communicated to parents.
The merits and efforts of each pupil are recognized every six or seven weeks by placing them in “study groups”, some with particular privileges attached, by prizes for effort and for achievement awarded at the end of the year, by the extra intellectual opportunities provided by the “Excellence Challenge” and by the Voyages Honneur (honour Trips) offered to outstanding students.
A Rosey teacher must have an appropriate university qualification enriched by experience and regular professional development; Le Rosey also expects an open mind and the generosity of spirit necessary for the demands of boarding life, where attention to the individual preoccupations of the students is at the centre of pastoral care. Le Rosey teachers are close to their pupils; and this care and concern are seen and felt by the students. Boarding teachers and their families live in the boarding houses where close ties are created.
Thanks to its prestigious reputation, Le Rosey can boast a distinguished body of teachers, particularly attached to their school (half have been at Le Rosey for over ten years and some for as long as forty!) And this is an excellent basis for the successful integration of younger teachers, mainly from Great Britain, Switzerland, and France –many with international experience – although a total of over thirty countries are represented.
Le Rosey employs a very large staff, comprising more than 280 for 420 pupils: this includes teachers of academic subjects, teachers of art and music, sports coaches, a chaplain, a librarian, healthcare assistants, and a full complement of campus and administrative staff.
The Rosey Spirit
It is our tradition to favour freedom of thought and the imagination by not accepting a single mind-set or dogmatic world view; it is to keep all the doors to dialogue open and to limit hierarchy to what is strictly necessary for harmonious community life; it is to promote respect for oneself and others and to learn from the differences between people in everything we do.
Teachers live with their own families in each of the boarding houses where the atmosphere is one of warmth and friendliness between children of a similar age. Celebrations, traditions, rites and competitions bind its members more closely together and generate lifelong friendships. From the eight-year-old Junior to the eighteen–year-old Senior entering into adulthood, all feel part of a reassuring and supportive community where any form of exclusion or harassment is strongly sanctioned. School life is also based on a strict and clear system of discipline. Every Rosean learns to respect the school Codes, which are based on the essential values of Le Rosey: respect for oneself and others, personal commitment, solidarity, and the classic rules of politeness. The sanctions encountered in the case of disobedience are clearly explained.
Parents are always welcome on campus, and Roseans are always particularly happy to introduce them to their friends – one of the advantages of boarding-house life!
During the autumn and spring terms the school is located in the old manorial estate of Le Rosey, with its exceptionally beautiful park extending over seventy-five acres (thirty hectares) and its centuries-old trees surrounding the historic Château du Rosey.
The girls have their own campus sited in very attractive grounds a few hundred metres away from the boys’. All classes and many sports and leisure activities are mixed, but the Rosey girls appreciate the privacy of their own fully equipped campus.
Pupils are housed in comfortable rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms; these are single or double, according to their age or personal preferences.
The Juniors, boys and girls aged from 8 to 12, are housed in a very attractive maison, which constitutes a sort of campus within the campus. Juniors have their own classrooms and arts and sports facilities – not to mention their own kitchen garden and animals. Daily life is adapted to suit the needs of children of their age. Resident teachers are specially selected to live with this Junior family, which comprises about sixty children and a dozen adults. A separate brochure describes the juniors’ campus in detail.
The winter Campus
To escape the winter fog which grips the Lake Geneva area, Le Rosey moves up to Gstaad, the famous ski resort in the Bernese Oberland, each year from January to March. The school has its own chalets there, housing its whole academic and social structure. Gstaad thus becomes one of the world’s largest schools as the whole village constitutes Roseans’ winter campus.
The winter schedule differs from that of the rest of the year, but all classes take place in the same way as in Rolle. In sport, skiing, ice hockey and mountain expeditions naturally take pride of place!
This second winter campus is one of the unique features of Le Rosey. As well as providing the benefits of sunshine and mountain air, Gstaad also allows Roseans to enjoy a remarkably varied school year.
Since the foundation of the school, sport has been an essential part of school life, for it promotes integration into the community, strengthens the body, stimulates the competitive spirit, teaches fair play, and helps to develop a balanced personality.
Sport is taught by qualified teachers who are attentive to the safety of each child. For two hours every day – in a programme that they largely choose at the beginning of the term with the help of sports teachers – Roseans can learn and enjoy a number of sports from beginner to competition level on a fully equipped campus. Le Rosey takes part in all the inter-school competitions in the Suisse Romande region.
More than ever before, leaders need to be creative and imaginative, to be able to find solutions by thinking “outof-the-box” and beyond the limits suffered or chosen by so many of those laden with diplomas. The mission of the Paul and Henri Carnal Hall is to respond to the challenge of stimulating Roseans’ creativity and artistic sensitivity. Its unique structure brings together creative tools under a vast steel dome
Le Rosey Concert Hall
The world’s greatest orchestras, theatre companies and speakers are regularly invited to this exceptional 1000-seater auditorium at the centre of the Paul and Henri Carnal Hall.
The Learning Centre
The classroom is no longer enough! The Learning Centre provides areas for study, communication, open meetings in convivial and modulable spaces, moving from a lively café to a silent library area, the last refuge of good old paper-bound wisdom. In these spaces, bridges, and open terraces, furnished with high and low tables and sofas, is a place for sharing, debating, thinking and dreaming...
The International Association of Roséens (AIAR)
International friendships formed during schooldays at Le Rosey are an invaluable resource: everywhere in the world there is an Ancien Roséen ready to welcome and to help other Roseans. Having remained deeply attached to their school, anciens constitute a powerful network which provides professional contacts of great value.
The AIAR is characterized by extraordinary vitality, with meetings, dinners, and cruises several times a year in various parts of the world. This community of several thousand men and women testifies to the power of the Rosey spirit to transcend the barriers of nationality, race and culture.
Such an exceptional attachment is the inspiration of Le Rosey’s claim to be, perhaps uniquely, “a school for life”.
Applying to Le Rosey: How and Why
The admissions procedure is explained in detail on the Rosey website.
Candidates are always invited to spend a day on campus and to spend a few hours with current Roseans, to take admissions tests and be interviewed. Admission decisions are made by a committee which examines school reports and academic qualifications, entrance test results, the student’s personality, the match between the parents’ wishes and the school’s values, and Le Rosey’s nationality quota system.
The most commonly stated reasons behind choosing Le Rosey are, in no particular order: the range of academic options; the reputation of the IB and french bac and school results; bilingualism in every area; the choice of foreign languages; a vibrant community with a mix of cultures and nationalities and the absence of racism and bullying; the policy of developing all artistic and sporting talents; the safety of Switzerland, its climate and the pure mountain air; the quality of the facilities, the beauty of the Rolle campus and the incredible Gstaad winter term; the commitment of the teachers and the warmth of their relationships with the students; the standard of university admissions; the certainty that they are offering their children a unique experience and a gift for life; the powerful worldwide AIAR network; the highly competitive nature of admissions and the certainty that national quota policies are respected; the natural warmth and friendliness of Roseans, which is immediately noticeable from the moment of arrival on campus.
This table shows the number of Le Rosey students who matriculated (i.e. took up places) at different schools 2010-14 (plus four 2015 early "binding" admissions). Ivy League schools are double asterisked and there is single asterisk next to those which regularly very best in a particular field.
The list contains about 50% of all university destinations and about 40% of Le Rosey graduates from this period. Others schools not listed include: Berkeley, Tufts, Bard, San Diego, Miami, Boston College, Babson, Ringling, Olin, Vanderbilt and many more in the US; and in the UK, many "Russell Group" are omitted. It will be noted that the most popular destinations tend to be cities – London, New York and Montreal in particular. It is also of interest that very few Le Rosey students choose to apply to Harvard or Oxbridge for undergraduate courses.
It should be borne in mind that Le Rosey accepts many students whose first language is not English and although most go on to study in the US or UK, many also return to schools in Spain, France, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, Japan and Mexico (including the Sorbonne, ULB, ICAI-ICADE, Deusto, Tec de Monterrey, Sydney, etc.).
About 10-15% of all students are accepted at one of the eight Ivies, Stanford, MIT or Oxbridge every year. (In 2015 it stands at 14%, with acceptances at Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth (2), Columbia (2), MIT, Penn and Cambridge.) Another 20% or more are accepted at "top" schools (arguably stronger than many Ivies) including LSE, UCL, Duke, UCLA, Berkeley, Chicago, Imperial, McGill, Zurich, etc.