Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The most expensive school in the world....in my backyard!

Le Rosey from the other side of the fence
When we moved from the outskirts of Geneva to the little town of Rolle some 30 km away a few months ago, I was excited about everything except the long and rather expensive train commute to work for me and to school for my daughter.

A colleague offered a helpful suggestion ...that I think about transferring her to the very nice English/French school right in my own little town. Excited about the idea of a neighbourhood school even in this small town of less than 6000 people, I explore further. I realise that the school is just a 5 min walk away, almost my backyard.

I download the prospectus. Oh, oh. Like the disclaimers on cigarette packs, it carries a warning "We would advise you to read the financial conditions below before proceeding with the application".

Ah, dreams meet reality. The school fees alone (forget the extras) ...hold your breath ........CHF 99,300 (105,000 dollars) per year ! More expensive than a university education at Harvard or MIT or indeed the most expensive colleges in the world. Even in the land where everything costs more than anywhere else in the world, this seems a bit over the top.

But then, as I discover; Le Rosey is the most expensive and arguably the most elite school in the whole world! Sometimes called the 'school of kings' , its where the Shah of Iran, the King of Belgium, Aga Khan IV, the Rothschilds studied and where the future king of Bhutan, Hollywood star children and I believe Russian millionaires still do ..........   

Befitting royalty I suppose, the school has 10 tennis courts, 3 football pitches, 2 swimming pools, a shooting ring, an archery range, a sailing centre, an 18 hole golf course, an equestrian centre, a circus tent to amuse the little ones  ...I am sure they also have classrooms of course. And if that's not enough, come winter, the whole school moves itself to a winter campus up in the mountains and closer to the ski slopes! 
A momentary glimpse into the elite world
but these gates shall forever remain closed
As my husband and I and the dog walk past the school gates some evenings, the teenagers that seem to emerge in and out at times seem to look like 'normal' teenagers and i suppose they struggle with homework, acne, and teenage angst too   ..........though in my mind its hard to imagine 'normal' in this insulated bubble world.  

As my morning train glides by the football pitches and archery ranges, I feel relived to be a mere plebeian. And the 1,300 francs I pay for an annual train pass for my daughter to commute to her school in Geneva begins to feel like a wonderful bargain after all. 


  1. subtle touch of humor - Bela's trademark in all her blogs continues with this one too.

  2. Amazing. It is funny how the landscape changes when you put it in perspective.

  3. She is presenting everything with an admirable sense of humor.And in spite of all the exotic facilities ,her feeling of being happy with her regular school shows her understanding of real meaning of education .


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