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    Students in Switzerland...and Other French Things

    Having done a lot of reading of Tim's Dieter story, I have done a lot of thinking about Europe, which means thinking about Switzerland.

    Switzland's main languages are French and German. Do you think Switzerland has it's own magic school, or do you think French-speaking students go to Beauxbatons, while German-speaking students go to a German speaking schools?

    Also, branching off on other topics, how many schools do you think there are in France? Is it just Beauxbatons, or do you think there are others? Maybe Beauxbatons is just for French national students, while there is some other international school in Europe (like Durmstrang) that takes French-speaking students from all over the world.?

    Also, France still has a great deal of territories all over the world. Countries where populations might not be big enough to have their own schools (French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe). Do you think France would take responsibility for these students, or just allow them to go to schools in other countries that would be closer?

    Do you think other countries in Europe might have similar policies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly
    Switzland's main languages are French and German. Do you think Switzerland has it's own magic school, or do you think French-speaking students go to Beauxbatons, while German-speaking students go to a German speaking schools?
    Italian is also spoken in parts of Switzerland, so it's possible that some of these children would go to an Italian school (assuming there is one, which is a strong possibility). I would say that les fils Suisses assististent une école francophone, and die Kinder Schweizer besuchen eine Schulen Deutsch (probably awful German...I'm mega out of practice).

    Also, France still has a great deal of territories all over the world. Countries where populations might not be big enough to have their own schools (French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe). Do you think France would take responsibility for these students, or just allow them to go to schools in other countries that would be closer?
    Just because a tiny island on the other side of the world belongs to France in the Muggle world, that, by no means, dictates that said island belongs to the wizarding French. I would think that the locals on these islands could just go to whatever school is nearest, as their respective local governing bodies would have some agreement worked out with these schools.

    For instance, which school would wizard children from Denmark attend? They are relatively equidistant to Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. I would venture to guess that particular governments make these decisions on their behalf, or else, there probably would have been many more foreign students at Hogwarts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly
    Switzland's main languages are French and German. Do you think Switzerland has it's own magic school, or do you think French-speaking students go to Beauxbatons, while German-speaking students go to a German speaking schools?
    It takes about two hours to drive through the whole of Switzerland by train (that's what my Swiss friend told me, anyways) so I highly doubt they would need their own school. I think it the most likely that they do. However, I think it depends on the relationship between the two countries - I know some Swiss who would reject going to a German school because there is so much from Germany in Switzerland, and they want to be independent. I don't know how it would be in the magical world, it might be the complete opposite.
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    Hmm, I wonder about this too, sometimes!

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Switzland's main languages are French and German. Do you think Switzerland has it's own magic school, or do you think French-speaking students go to Beauxbatons, while German-speaking students go to a German speaking schools?
    I think so much of this depends on how we look at international relations and international borders in the Wizarding world. I know things are different for wizards; countries have different borders and different histories than they do in the Muggle world, but the impression that I get from canon is that on the whole, they resemble the Muggle situation.

    I often fall into the trap, however, of assuming that Muggle sentiments about nationality are shared by wizards, and that national animosities and nationalism are the same. I guess the only time we really saw international relations in canon was at the Quidditch World Cup, where the Irish were very proud of being Irish and the Bulgarians were proud of being Bulgarian.

    I think that it's certainly possible that French and German speaking students attend Beauxbatons and Durmstrang respectively, but I actually love the idea that Switzerland has its own school. According to Wikipedia, the precursor to modern Switzerland, a loose confederation of states was formed at the end of the 13th century. Given the fact that this was so long ago, I can't help feeling that some sort of national identity must have formed amongst the Swiss wizards prompting them to form their own school. Perhaps I'm wrong, but my impression of Switzerland is that it is very much about bringing the different cultures together. An argument could be made that wizards in Switzerland founded a school to acheive this.

    Regarding Danish students, I think culture rather than geography would determine where they went to school. I think that perhaps they might attend a pan-Scandinavian school with Swedes and Norwegians.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Also, branching off on other topics, how many schools do you think there are in France? Is it just Beauxbatons, or do you think there are others? Maybe Beauxbatons is just for French national students, while there is some other international school in Europe (like Durmstrang) that takes French-speaking students from all over the world.?
    For simplicity's sake, I think that Beauxbatons is the only French school. I suppose there could be others (I'm too lazy to look up the French population) but given the fact that France has such a definite national identity, I feel as though it's the sort of country that would want a single message delivered to its young people. (There I go confusing the Muggle world with the Wizarding world again...)

    Durmstrang is an interesting case for me because although I associate it with the Germanic population, in canon it has a bit of a Slavic vibe about it for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Also, France still has a great deal of territories all over the world. Countries where populations might not be big enough to have their own schools (French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe). Do you think France would take responsibility for these students, or just allow them to go to schools in other countries that would be closer?
    I think that if the territory itself didn't have a local school, they would attend school in France.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
    Just because a tiny island on the other side of the world belongs to France in the Muggle world, that, by no means, dictates that said island belongs to the wizarding French. I would think that the locals on these islands could just go to whatever school is nearest, as their respective local governing bodies would have some agreement worked out with these schools.
    I certainly agree that territorial ownership may be different in the Wizarding world, but we just don't know! If you're a wizard and your island is owned by the French it may mean little to you, but perhaps the French wizarding government also has an interest in controlling overseas territory. I keep confusing myself with all of this, because I know that race means nothing in the Potterverse, but I struggle with the idea that nationality means nothing.

    I think in this situation, however, it would depend on language. If you speak French but the nearest large school speaks English and you don't, you're more likely to go to France because then at least you understand what's going on! Although the territory may not be owned by France in the Wizarding world, there may still be significant cultural ties.

    I think I've just confused myself even more after this.

    ~Hannah~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fainting Fancies
    I think that it's certainly possible that French and German speaking students attend Beauxbatons and Durmstrang respectively, but I actually love the idea that Switzerland has its own school.
    Well, Switzerland certainly does seem to be famous for its boarding schools that people from other countries send their children off to. France already has a population equal to Britain, and there are a great many smaller French-speaking countries in Europe and all around the world. Maybe French-speaking students from Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxenburg, and the like go there, along with French-speaking wizarding children from wealthier families outside of Europe.

    A boarding school in Europe seems very ritzy, for Muggles and wizards alike.

    But do you think wizarding countries have as big a 'mine' mentality over their territories as the Muggles seem to? This might play into whether or not they are very possessive of their citizens overseas. Whether the wizarding world recognizes it or not, it depends on whether the wizarding world is terribly possessive over these countries and people as well.

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