Why Choose Neuchâtel?
Welcome to the Neuchâtel Junior College website. Perhaps you are a student, wondering if you should apply to NJC. Here you will find a close-knit community of 50 to 90 students, who share your love of travel and your interest in international affairs. Since 1956, NJC has been offering experiential education in the French-speaking city of Neuchâtel, which was founded in the 11th century. Our campus is on a hill overlooking Lake Neuchâtel and the snow-covered Alps, opposite the train station, and just steps away from the cafés, shops and restaurants of this typically European city. Soon you will know this place as well as you know your own neighbourhood, and for the rest of your life, Neuchâtel will be your second home.
NJC is unique in many ways. Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of being here is the opportunity to live with a local French-speaking family, rather than in a student residence. You do not have to be fluent in French to attend NJC, as our classes are taught in English, but this is a marvelous chance for you to improve your French, and our expectation is that you will try to do so. Many of our homestay boarding or ‘pension’ families have been working with NJC for more than a decade, offering a welcoming home environment for our students, who become completely immersed in European life and often form lifelong friendships with their host families.
With your home base settled, you will feel comfortable exploring the history, art and culture of Europe as you travel with your classmates and teachers. What’s more, if you prove yourself to be a responsible and conscientious student, you will be given permission to travel independently on weekends to nearby cities like Vienna, Venice, Barcelona, Budapest and so on. We also offer the option of travelling further afield on volunteer service trips to Africa and Asia to work on projects with NGOs like Free the Children and Habitat for Humanity.
You and your classmates will collaborate on projects inside and outside the classroom. Opportunities abound – participate in Model United Nations and European school competitions such as NESDA (New European Speech, Debate and Acting), volunteer for the Yearbook or Foyer committees, become active in the drama club or sports. You will make friendships that will last a lifetime, discover strengths you may not have known you had, and leave us with more clarity about what you want to do with the rest of your life. NJC graduates go on to study at university and many have careers that have earned them international acclaim.
Perhaps you are a parent, reading this and wondering if NJC is right for your son or daughter. As a father myself, I know that you are concerned about preparing your child for university and for life. What NJC offers is the opportunity to have some independence and explore the world, and do so within an academically-focused, safe and nurturing environment. What’s more, we welcome and encourage your involvement. NJC offers a parents’ weekend in the first semester, and a family ski week in Zermatt at the end of January. Some families also choose to go on the Free the Children trip to Kenya during the December break. Parents often form lasting friendships with one another, and become part of the extended NJC family.
Explore our website and please get in touch if you have questions or would like to visit our campus. I am sure you will soon discover why so many of our alumni say their time at NJC was the best year of their lives!
Head of School