Language assistants at Swiss host schools are placed bilaterally with partner organizations in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria and Spain. Movetia also unilaterally places Italian mother tongue language assistants in Switzerland without a partner organization.
Starting in 2022, in cooperation with educationsuisse, Swiss language assistants will also be placed at Swiss schools abroad in Italy, Spain and Singapore.
Applicants who fulfil the following requirements can take part in the programme.
The applicants speak German, English, French, Italian or Spanish as their mother tongue or to an equivalent standard.
At least four half-year terms or a completed course of studies in the following subject areas:
Knowledge of the regional languages of the host country
Depending on the language region, the candidates must have at least an A2 certificate in German, French, Italian, Spanish or English (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)) or be able to credibly demonstrate that they will be able to make their own way in the host country.
Further admission criteria
A good general education, clear way of speaking in the mother tongue, knowledge of the field of education/teaching and independent work with split classes or groups are required.
As a rule, the participants are aged between 21 and 30 years. From Great Britain and France, candidates from 20 to 35 years of age are also accepted into the programme. Exceptions can also be made in justified cases (e.g. getting married and having a family or doing a second VET or PET). The overriding principle is that participation in the programme should retain the nature of a VET traineeship. Furthermore, attention is paid to ensuring that the age difference between the pupils/students and the language assistants is not too great so that a degree of closeness to the world in which they live is possible. There may be certain age limits for placements at Swiss schools abroad. These age limits are indicated in the programme description for “Language assistant positions abroad”.
The foreign partner organisations of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the UK will make an initial selection of the applications on the basis of the application dossier. In a second step, they consult with Movetia, who tries to consider, as far as possible, the wishes expressed by the host schools.
If necessary, or depending on the agreement made with the partner organisation, Movetia may also accept direct applications from partner countries. Lastly, in a third step, the school administrators then carry out the final examination of the candidates.
Movetia will make an initial selection of the applications on the basis of the application dossier. Movetia tries to the greatest extent possible to comply with the wishes of the host schools.
The school administrators then perform the final review of the candidates in a second step.
Rights and obligations are defined in a contract, decree or agreement that is to be concluded between the language assistant and the educational authorities. Furthermore, the educational authorities will also designate a mentor who is responsible for providing professional and personal support to the language assistant.
Host schools can offer a joint language assistant position, up to a maximum of three schools. In these types of cooperation, a coordinating school must be defined. This school will be responsible for correct processing in the LAP-Admin-tool. Detailed information can be found in the help texts of the LAP-Admin-tool after registration.
As a rule, the period of employment lasts for 10 months (1st September till 30th June). In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, schools also often employ teaching assistants for the whole school year (mid-August till mid-July). The teaching commitment is 12 hours a week (16 lessons of 45 minutes each).
The monthly minimum gross pay, i.e. the amount before any deductions, is CHF 3,200 (net approx. CHF 2,550). This pay is geared to the costs of living for of a single person.
These details are guidelines. The precise number of hours and amount of pay respectively are discussed and laid down by contract beforehand between the canton or the school and the language assistants.
Movetia, for its part, commits to place a language assistant.
Placements at Swiss schools are subject to special conditions. These conditions are indicated in the programme description for “Language assistant positions abroad” and are based on an agreement between Movetia and educationsuisse from 2021.
As a rule, the language assistant is responsible for finding and paying for their own housing.
The language assistant should reside in the host country – preferably in the region where the host school is located (the same canton in Switzerland, the same province abroad) – or in a nearby place.
The language assistant may live elsewhere in the event of familial responsibilities or for other valid reasons. In these cases, the school must determine whether this alternative place of residence will have a negative impact on the issuance of residence and work permits on the part of the immigration authorities.
Language assistants who work at Swiss schools will be prepared for life in Switzerland as well as for their role as language assistants either shortly before or at the beginning of their stay in Switzerland. The one-day seminar is scheduled to coincide with the start of the school year in Switzerland and will take place as close to the start of the school year as possible.
Educational authorities are invited to inform incoming language assistants about the seminar as soon as they notify their selection to the programme, so that the language assistants may plan their arrivals accordingly.
Language assistants who will work at Swiss schools abroad will be prepared for life abroad as well as for their role as language assistants as part of an “outgoing seminar”. The one-day seminar will be held in June.
Country-specific preparations are described in the programme descriptions for “Language assistant positions abroad” and are determined on the basis of an agreement between Movetia and educationsuisse from 2021.
At the end of their stay, the language assistant will receive a survey. This survey is used for quality assurance purposes and to improve the programme in the future.
Additional information on the placement and hiring process is provided in the documents “School guide on the placement process” and "Milestones of the placement process” (see the right-hand column).