Diverse. Nurturing. Fun. At CDE, language learning happens through interaction and exploration. Small class sizes allow our dynamic teachers to engage the children through the use of songs, games, and hands-on activities. With a class full of peers from all over the world, it’s bound to be an unforgettable summer!

Morning class time is used for language-intensive instruction while afternoon class time is reserved for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Hour to encourage curiosity and learning across these disciplines. 

Each CDE student enrolls in one primary course that meets for around three hours per day. All students are tested on the first day of classes to ensure they are placed in the class where they will be the most successful.


Play is an integral part of childhood, and we believe in children having a choice of activities. In the morning, students choose from a variety of recreational activities. In the afternoon, they take part in a performing or visual arts course and choose between a number of creative activities, all of which aim to support language learning and expose children to new experiences.

Morning Recreational Activities
Students have the option to partake in a number of daily recreational activities. Sports choices may include soccer, basketball, yoga, hiking, cooperative games, or swimming. Environmental science activities provide students with multiple ways to engage with the ever-present natural world, and robotics lessons introduce students to the exciting world of coding. 

AC Milan Club & Tennis Junior Camp
CDE students may also choose to take part in two intensive, four-day sports programs taught by highly qualified coaches during our morning recreational time: 

  • Milan Academy Scuola Calcio gives children the opportunity to learn from coaches from the distinguished club AC Milan.

  • Tennis Junior Camp helps children improve their tennis skills by working with local professional coaches.

These optional programs must be selected during enrollment and are offered at an additional cost. During the second session, these two programs run concurrently.

Afternoon Fine Arts
We believe that all children are artists at heart. Our afternoon performing and visual arts courses and activities allow students to stretch themselves in creative ways. Students showcase their work at the Summer Arts Festival during the final week of each session. 

Performing arts opportunities include singing, dance, drama, ukulele, percussion, and even performing in an original musical!

Our visual arts teachers allow children to express themselves through a variety of mediums, from painting to photography to ceramics.


Observe the skies at a local planetarium. Hike high above beautiful Lake Lugano. Explore the depths of an ancient cave. Watch Swiss chocolatiers work their magic. Visit the historical Bellinzona castles. CDE gives students the unique opportunity to explore Switzerland while forming strong bonds of friendship with peers from around the world.

Every week, children go on a local excursion with their classmates to experience the delights of Lugano and the surrounding area. This could include a forest nature walk, a trip to the local children’s museum, or riding a pedal boat on Lake Lugano. Boarding students spend their Sundays further afield, visiting the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne, the Parco San Grato botanical gardens in Corona, and, a rainy-day favorite, the Splash and Spa water park in Rivera!

One of the highlights of the summer is a camping trip to a site in the foothills of the Alps, just 25 minutes from campus. The trip helps children build confidence as they help with setting up tents and preparing meals—and even learn to make S’mores by a campfire!