Mr. Andrew J. Keleher, Head of School
BA, BEd, MEd
One characteristic of all good students is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Our unique school, perched on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in the beautiful Swiss town of the same name, is ideally suited to students of this kind. Students come to us eager to learn more about the world around them; drawn to change, they sense that the world has more to offer them if they could just step outside the boundaries of their local experiences. Neuchâtel Junior College exists for these types of students at this pivotal time in their lives, and here, they learn about themselves as much as they learn about the world.
In 1956, NJC’s visionary Founder, Leonard Wilde, knew that, “To be a leader today, one must travel the world.” This enduring idea is just as – if not more – relevant today. As much as our students have likely travelled to places with their families before, in most cases, they have not gone on an extended, independent journey. The Neuchâtel experience offers a view to the world beyond childhood borders, and our trips are integrated with the curriculum to make the learning experience richer and fuller. The fact that students have chosen this journey to NJC sets them apart both geographically and personally from where they began, thereby transforming them well beyond the potential of any single school trip experienced before.
Over the course of many months, our students explore centres of Western European civilization, which helped to shape our own culture, giving them knowledge of the past with which to consider the future. They visit unfamiliar and exotic places to gain an insight into the similarities and differences of other cultures in this increasingly global community. Inspired by NJC’s program, our students also learn that they can have a positive impact on each place they visit. This may be through participation in a service rip, involvement in a Model UN activity, or by helping to make our school community a better place through personal character, talent, ideas and leadership. All of this they experience while immersed in their studies, surrounded by inspiring teachers and classmates, and living with a local Swiss, French-speaking family. This formula, unique in the world for over 60 years, consistently opens minds, broadens perspectives, and inspires graduates to make their place in the world more meaningful and purposeful.
Who is best suited to attend Neuchâtel Junior College? I would encourage you to take advantage of this transformational experience if you are willing to meet two very important expectations. You must come prepared to work hard in your academic studies and be curious about the world around you; these are prerequisites so that you will be able to apply your newfound knowledge, confidence, independence and leadership in your chosen university, in the career that you wish to pursue, and throughout your life.
I look forward to meeting you soon. A bientôt!