NJC is a semestered school (September-January & February-June). Students take a minimum of three and a maximum of four courses each semester. The school day is divided into five teaching blocks so students will have one or two spare blocks, plus a lunch break, in addition to their classes.
A few pensions are centrally located within walking distance to the College, but most are located in the outlying villages, where the homes tend to be more spacious. Most students will take a short train, tram or bus ride from their pensions to the College as part of their daily routine. Commute times vary from 5 minutes to 30 minutes with the average being 20 minutes. Transportation passes for travelling to and from school are included in tuition fees. The public transportation system in Switzerland is world-renowned for its efficiency, safety, punctuality and reliability, so students undoubtedly become used to being on time, as is the Swiss custom.
Many students who attend NJC do not speak French fluently beforehand. Some can only say bonjour, while others are already fluent. All students are required to study French while at NJC. Students choose to take either a credit course (Core, Extended or Immersion) or a non-credit French Communication & Culture class (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced). Being immersed in a French environment, our students quickly improve their French language abilities.
Students attend school Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The longer school day is due to the Swiss custom of a longer lunch break (which students spend in Neuchâtel rather than travelling back to their pensions). Trips take place on the weekends, with a Friday or Monday occasionally being added to a school-organized trip when there is a long weekend. Students are not permitted to miss class for the purpose of independent travel.