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Lindenschule - information for student or staff exchanges

Adress of school:

Lindenschule, Halde, CH-6208 Oberkirch, Switzerland
Contact: Florence Emmenegger, +41 41 922 10 33,info@lindenschule.ch;
www.lindenschule.ch

Number of students and staff; age range:

Actually (2012) 21 children between 4 and 15, and 5 adults

Describe the location/surroundings:

Oberkirch is a village beside the small town Sursee in a rural surrounding along Lake Sempach about 20 km in the north of Lucerne in the central part of Switzerland (see www.sursee-mittelland.ch ).
The railway station of Sursee is at the line Germany/France – Basel – Lucerne – Gotthard – Italy.
The motorway A2 passes Sursee as well. The airports Zurich and Basel have good train connections to Sursee/Oberkirch (appr. 2 hours).

The setting of the school is exceptional: Lindenschule is situated on a certified organic farm with a forest and brook nearby. Living in the midst of a productive farm, with animals and surrounded by nature, the children are immersed in the cycles of the season. In the school’s small garden, children help to plant, tend, and harvest produce, which they then use for their own lunch. In this way, each child comes to understand, first hand, organic agricultural production. Here, then, the children have an environment in which to
move as they wish, live out their adventures, and be creative in all they do.

Description of school's concept:

Children, starting in the 1st class, attend school four days a week, living working and learning together as a family. School attendance is required from Monday to Thursday between 9 AM and 5 PM, with additional supervision provided starting at 7:30 AM and ending at 6 PM. It is possible to take individually days and weeks of.

In weekly group meetings, the students discuss current activities and interests, reflect on and work to address conflicts, and plan for group activities. Additionally, the children talk about and define their individual study goals, assisted by one of the coaching adults.

The daily routines and freedom enable the children to put down their roots as they
choose. Working, playing, and exploring with other children allows each to discover his or her individuality and core values, which then can be developed within the mindful school community. The children work efficiently and in a concentrated manner on their individual study goals, which they set for themselves with help from a staff person. At the same time, they learn to recognize their rhythms and own ways of working and to adjust
their actions as they work toward their goals.

Learning in such a close community and with daily contact with nature, students develop mindfulness and respect for how everything and everyone is connected, and they are motivated to contribute to this whole. They develop confidence in their own abilities and experience the contribution that every individual brings to something, be it a project, a conversation, or a game.

An American-Indian tipi and a Mongolian yurt are used as classrooms in addition to several traditional inside rooms. The school provides these various learning spaces – from inside rooms to farm fields, stalls, and natural environments – with the hope that this is an ideal setting for developing personal human diversity. Our goal is that each student will be motivated from within to recognize, develop, and live his or her full potential and in turn contribute valuably to the human and natural world.

Who decides wheter or not a student can come for exchange:

The general decision is made in the team and discussed in the school meeting.

Contact person:

Florence Emmenegger, info at lindenschule.ch; Tel. +41 41 922 10 33

How many students could you host:

1 to 2

For what duration:

To be discussed in each individual case

What age-range would you welcome:

Appr. 10 to 16

Do you have host-families:

Probably yes.

What is the main/only language spoken at your school; what other languages are spoken:

Swiss German and German. Some lectures in French and English. Adults of the team speak German, English, French and/or Italian. The children speak (Swiss) German and learn English and French.
Introduction courses: Has to be answered at the time of application.

Would the exchange student have to pay tuition; could tuition be exchanged for a free exchange opportunity for students of your school at the school of your guest?:

There should be a common sense in EUDEC. At least, the direct expenses per child as for food at school, travel expenses, etc. should be covered, especially if it’s a longer stay.
At Lindenschule, these expenses are included in the monthly fee.

Are there any expenses for staying in the host family:

This is probably dependent on the duration of the stay.

Can you provide basic info on daily expenses (food, transportation) in your city:

Approximately CHF 15-30 (Euro 10-25)

Have you had previous experiences with student exchanges or hosting a student? what was positive/negative?:

No

Do you have experience with raising funds for travel expenses?:

No

Can you put down a holiday schedule for your school? are there times when you wouldn't welcome students:

See www.lindenschule.ch.

We have 7 weeks holydays per year:
1 week Christmas / New Year
2 weeks in May
4 weeks in August

Short stays should not be at the beginning of the new school year (in September)

Are you also interested in staff exchange? what are your ideas for such an exchange?:

Why not. Has not yet priority.