Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Elegant Academy: Finishing School

The legendary Castle of Chillon at the placid Lake Geneva and against the backdrop of the breathtaking Alps. Switzerland is famous not only for chocolates and jewelry, but also for its elegant  finishing schools for girls. 

Let's have a taste of grandeur and elegance with the sophisticated world of finishing schools and travel to the fascinating country of Switzerland!

Switzerland, a small country in Western Europe between France and Italy, has long been renowned for its extremely gorgeous and clean environment, from its rocky regions to its captivating countryside, the country is endowed with magical scenery and relaxing countryside. 

Switzerland is not only for tourists but also for individuals who want to enhance their learning on social and cultural subjects through its world-famous finishing schools. The country is very popular among the rich and the famous due to the high quality of learning provided by its schools. 

Physicists Albert Einstein and Wilhelm Roentgen were just few of the people of learned science that obtained their college diploma at one of the schools in Switzerland. Both graduated from mathematics and physics at the renowned Polytechnic Institute in Zurich. 

Swiss culinary schools are also praised as "exceptional" compared to other culinary schools in other parts of the world. In the last decades, however, Switzerland earned another accolade  of being the venue of elegant learning, this time about finishing school. No other country in the world offers the best school for character refinement and etiquette than Switzerland.

Finishing school is a private school for girls with strong emphasis on social, cultural and etiquette subjects. The concept of a finishing school is to prepare the girls for a role in the business world and society by refining their character and social skills, not so much rigorous academics but more on correct manners and self-development.

Due to its highly expensive tuition fees, finishing schools are mostly for wealthy girls. Most daughters of European royals and aristocrats attended finishing schools in Switzerland. Diana, Princess of Wales had once  attended Institut Alpin Videmanette and Queen Anna Marie of Greece went to Institut Le Mesnil. Today, only one Swiss finishing school had survived, the Institut Villa Pierrefeu.

This highly glamorous and very exclusive finishing school is located in Glion, a village in the French-speaking municipality of Montreux around Lake Geneva. Its location exudes serenity and relaxation, clean air and invigorating scenery surrounded with the breathtaking Alps. 
  
But Swiss finishing schools served teenage girls and adult women aged 16 years and above only and not so much on children. The purpose is to provide them with lectures on social and cultural etiquette and graces, art, creative development and home management.

In other parts of the world, finishing school is not a trend as education is mostly defined as predominantly academics but in today's globally competitive society, multinational corporations began to look on the other aspect of personality of their prospective employees and a person's emotional quotient is more valued than intelligence quotient, this is because, a well-motivated and correctly mannered person is more effective than a person with a high IQ. At finishing school EQ is given enough attention.

The trouble with the education system, (particularly in the Philippines) at most pre-school, children are submitted right away to rigorous academics and not so much on the basic essential of manners and etiquette, art and self-development, thus most of these tots grow up with the kind of childhood orientation they received.

Since the world is now becoming so eccentric and weird, maybe it's high time to enforce or at least introduce finishing schools at pre-school years, parents may take an option to home school their toddlers before going to elementary school using the concept of a finishing school focusing more on character refinement, social etiquette and self improvement and on how to be correctly mannered in dealing with different people in the society. If this will be introduced to children at such a young age or at their formative years, there's no doubt why the world would not have charming and well-mannered inhabitants in the future.

Finishing school's curriculum is mostly consists of the following:
  • Social and cultural etiquette
  • International etiquette and protocol
  • Home management
  • Art and languages

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