Oct 11, 2009 - England, everyday life, Trips    4 Comments

Fall Break (and so on)

Here my school break scheduleAt the moment I am enjoying three weeks of fall break. Two weeks are already over but in those two weeks I spent my days in south Switzerland at our apartment in the mountains. We had a great and really relaxing time up there. At the end of this post I have some pictures with impressions for you guys.

But today I actually want to write about how this all works with school breaks in Switzerland. Well, as most of you probably already know the breaks are much more spread out over the whole year rather than having a huge summer break and a week of spring break. In Switzerland school starts usually at the beginning of august. Then we have seven weeks of school till we get our next break. The fall break, which is three weeks long, is usually around end of september. My birthday (9.25) is usually in the last week of school, which is really uncool because the last week of school is always filled with plenty of test and quizzes. Not a fun time! For some reason every teacher thinks we have to earn every vacation we get.
After those three week of time without school we have school till Christmas. It is always a very long time and at the end I am always feeling that I am done with school for the rest of my life. But after ten days that we get of during new years and Christmas time we already have school again. But the Winter break already comes after six more weeks. It is “only” two weeks long. But it is long enough the go snowboarding in the mountains!
After getting sun burned in the mountains we have the shortest time of school. We only have to work through four weeks of school till we get the next break. It is called spring break. After those two weeks of spring break there is no more mercy and we have school till the beginning of JULY! And if you think that isn’t to bad because of the many holidays, you are wrong. We have around 3 holidays in the entire year!
When we finally reached july we get five weeks summer break. You see, I have a really tough time here in Switzerland since last year I almost had three month of summer break! Just another reason why I love the United States. But I have to say, besides the short summer break, I like the spread out system better. In five weeks free time I usually forget most of what I have learnt in the past school year. So if I would have three month, I think I would be lost and we would need two month of repetition of the last year. And also I think having shorter breaks but more during the year helps to boost your school performance. You can always “recharge” after while.
Which system do you think is better? One huge break in the middle of the year or small breaks spread out during the whole year? Let me know!

Daniel, my Dad, and Jerry getting started for a bike tour.My Dad painting balcony rail (I helped him xD )Don't think this is a typical Swiss roadA valleyBeautiful flower, don't ask how it is called...Hiking signMy mum doesn't like this hatMoonrise view from our apartmentThat's how I usually woke upPlaying billiard (I won all three games and I did not cheat!)Rainbow (again view from our apartment)Another Swiss roadThis is a hotel =DJust a nice pathCarlina acaulisAnother nice view

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  • @lara: I hate how u say not have to wake up at 6am! :D cause i still have to :( but with the rest i agree! AND that is just AWESOME that u can go to Peru during right after Christmas. At my church there is a lady who lives down there, so I have some connection, but i am not sure if she still lives there :D But i remember she always was really cold even when it was 90° F she was wearing a sweater outside!!! :D so you’re gonna have a hot winter break! :D

    @meg: thanks ;)

    @mom: xD yes i do have better pictures of u :D

  • wow those pictures are breathtaking! :o

  • Gosh! When I see this picture a feel like a riverhorse. I like the valley but I NOW YOU HAVE MUCH BETTER PICTURES THAN THAT!!!!! ;-)

  • Wow, your pictures look like they belong in a nature calandar! You should make some money off of those! They’re breathtaking!!!
    Vacation sounds great right now, but honestly the college system is pretty nice. Just like high school, we start in August, but, instead of two weeks, we get a month off for winter break (mid-December through mid-January), and then second semester ends mid-May. Also, unlike Fremd, we finish finals BEFORE winter break. I love having two months off away from school in the summer, not only because of the break, but because of the opportunity to explore a different perspective of the world. Not everything is learned in the classroom. When you have two months off, you have the chance to take on a job/internship and learn skills in a different environment.
    Of course, a lot of kids take “summer school,” which I hear is an American phenomenon. I feel like Americans actually have fewer breaks than Europe and South America. Even though we have an official summer break, realistically, we all have to take summer school. It’s the same mindset in the workplace. Americans work really hard, and it’s not that the Swiss don’t work hard. I just feel like, as you said Raphy, you have a chance to “recharge.” Americans have official vacation days with many companies, but with the constant pressure to fulfill quotas and expectations, nobody can get away from their desks. Our work ethic frowns upon vacation. I think I remember reading somewhere that Italy requires citizens to take three weeks off for the summer. It’s a law. I know that in Chile, traveling is standard in the month of Februrary. In the USA, it’s hard to get Christmas off.
    I like the Swiss system (and the European system in general, including siestas and closed shops on national holidays) because it is more realistic. Human attention spans are finite things. We would all probably be a lot happier if we went to the beach for a week and came back knowing that we would be back in the sun real soon. And, as you said about memory, you would probably have a hard time remembering what you just learned last year after a two month break.
    I guess that’s why I love college so much. Other than the whole not having to wake up at 6AM anymore (AMEN!), I go through the week knowing that I can really relax over the weekend, and that a semester isn’t really that long. I always see light at the end of the tunnel. <–very English phrase. It means that I can see an end to work; I have hope.
    Bummer that you’re almost done with your break, but I bet you feel better, right? Ahhh… I really do love the pictures you took (and thanks for clarifying the sheep in the road shot… I would have thought that that WAS a typical Swiss road xD!)
    Hey Raphy, I’m going to Peru this winter like the day after Christmas! It’s part of a study abroad course that I’m doing. It’s only three weeks (winter break abroad), so it won’t be as intense as your year in the United States, but still. Peru!!! hahahah Send me your mailing address on MSN so I can send you a postcard! xD
    Take Care big guy!
    We miss you!

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