Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil

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Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil
"At Beau Soleil, we are of the conviction that a student confronting failure must assume full responsibility and not look for excuses. Students are encouraged to learn and grow from the experience. The real failure is not in slipping, but in failing to pick oneself up."
Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, Avenue Centrale, 1884 Villars-sur-Ollon, Suisse
Vilars-Sur-Ollon, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Type Private, international boarding school
Established 1910[1]
Authorizer NEASC, IBO, CIS, & ECIS
Director Jerome De Meyer
Principal Frances King
Staff 120[2]
Faculty 90[2]
Enrollment ~200[3]
Color(s) Blue, gold, black
Nickname BS
Tuition CHF 115,000 (per annum), (approximately $121,000 USD)
Affiliations Secular
Information (+41) 24 496 26 26

Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil is an private international school founded in 1910 and located 1350m above sea level on the Swiss Alps of Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. It is one of the most expensive schools in the world, with basic fees starting at CHF 120,000 a year. The school was originally known as Institution Beau Soleil.


The student body numbers about 240 students from more than 50 nationalities. The campus is set around one main building dating from the school's founding in 1910, but has been expanded and modified, with now 6 external dorms around the town of Villars.


  • September 1910: founding of the school in a châlet in Gstaad under the direction of Mme Bluette Ferrier.
  • 1920: move of the school to Villars-sur-Ollon.
  • 1958: Pierre de Meyer became the second director. He adopts the name of his wife as his was that of a commoner. Following a hunting accident in the eighties (he shot himself in the foot) the school is run by Mr Ian Lawson who was a former headmaster in Gordonstoun (Scotland) and was also the tutor of Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward of England.
  • 1991: Jérôme de Meyer became the third director.
  • 15 December 2005: ninety students, alumni and teachers unfurled the flag of Beau Soleil on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (at 5895 metres the highest peak in Africa).
  • June 2010: Celebration of the 100th year. New building was finished.
  • September 2013: Frances King becomes Principal of the school.


The average class size is about 7 students. There are more than 50 nationalities in the school, with each nationality not having a bigger percentage than 10% of the student body.

Beau Soleil offers two curricula, French and international, the latter being offered in the English language (with the exception of foreign language instruction). The French Section goes from classe de Sixième to Terminale. It prepares students for the official exams of Brevet des collèges and for the Baccalauréat général in literature, economics and social sciences and science. The International Section goes from 7th grade to 12th grade. It prepares students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exam at the end of 10th grade and the International Baccalaureate or American High School Diploma at the end of 12th grade.

Beau Soleil offers a wide variety of summer and winter sports, such as different team sports in the fall and summer term and skiing and/or snowboarding in the winter term.


Beau Soleil is one of the most expensive schools in the world. Tuition costs at Beau Soleil amount to around CHF 93,000 per year, not including insurance, taxes, residence permit, stationery, expeditions, extra-curricular activities, and the tailored school uniform. This means that the annual school fees can add up to more than CHF 120,000. [4]


Beau Soleil is renowned for its expeditions.[citation needed] Every year, some students climb Kilimanjaro in Africa. There are trips ranging from New Zealand, Morocco, Ghana, India, Tanzania, Uruguay, Japan to Chile and China. On November 27th 2009, 252 people, the students and staff, embarked on a 12-day cruise on the Mediterranean Sea to celebrate 100 years of Beau Soleil.[citation needed] In February, 2013, the whole school went on a trip to Tanzania, where students and staff climbed Kilimanjaro, travelled to Zanzibar on a cultural trip, visited the Ngorongoro conservation Area and helped in the orphanage.


Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil owns orphanages including some in Madagascar, Tanzania, India and Uruguay. The school visits these orphanages as part of humanitarian expeditions.[citation needed]


The school belongs to l'Association vaudoise des écoles privées (AVDEP) and the Fédération suisse des écoles privées (FSEP).

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beau Soleil". 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Essential Character". 2007. 
  3. ^ "Financial Times". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  4. ^ Admission Form & General Conditions [Brochure]. (2013-14). Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland: College International Beau Soleil.
  5. ^ The new Villeneuve: the life of Jacques Villeneuve, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1998 By Timothy Collings, page 79

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°17′58″N 7°03′10″E / 46.29944°N 7.05278°E / 46.29944; 7.05278