International School of Geneva

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  • International School of Geneva
  • Ecole Internationale de Genève
Ecolint logo.png

TypeDay School
Director-GeneralDr David Hawley
Color(s)Navy Blue and White         
  • Volleyball
  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Skiing
  • Basketball
  • Track and Field
  • Netball
  • Table Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Tennis

The International School of Geneva (in French: Ecole Internationale de Genève), also known as "Ecolint" or "The International School", is a private international school based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1924 in the service of the League of Nations, it is the oldest and largest operating international school in the world.[citation needed] In the mid-1960s, a group of teachers from Ecolint (Campus La Grande Boissière) created the International Schools Examinations Syndicate (ISES), which later became the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and then the International Baccalaureate (IB).[1]

Ecolint is composed of three campuses in and around Geneva, each with its own principal working under the Director General of the Foundation of the International School of Geneva (currently Dr David Hawley) and a Governing Board elected by parents and staff with co-opted members from the UN and Swiss Government.[2] Ecolint is a bilingual school, with instruction primarily in English and French. In addition to the IB, it is a testing centre for the US college boards (SAT and ACT) and the British IGCSE (CIE).[2]

Ecolint is a member of the G30 Schools Group.[3] In 2006, The Guardian newspaper listed Ecolint as one of the best international schools in the world for those seeking a UK-style curriculum (a reference to Campus La Châtaigneraie).[4] According to the Good Schools Guide International, "the International School of Geneva (Ecolint) turns out well-educated, happy students who are comfortable with themselves and ready to move on to tertiary education around the world."[5]



Ecolint's (upper) secondary education (Middle and High School) is not approved as a Mittelschule/Collège/Liceo by the Swiss Federal State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).[6]


Ecolint's various programmes are accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association (MSA).[7][8] The last full accreditation was conducted in 2011, with an interim assessment in 2016.[citation needed]

Ecolint has satisfied the authorization procedures of the International Baccalaureate (IB) to offer the PYP, MYP, IBDP, and IBCP.[9]

Campus La Châtaigneraie is an approved Cambridge Assessment school, offering IGCSEs.


From 1920 to 1921 the League of Nations and the International Labor Office established their headquarters in Geneva. In 1924 the International School of Geneva was founded by senior members of two international organizations, in conjunction with Adolphe Ferrière and Elisabeth Rotten.[2] Ever since its inception, the school has pursued a mission to educate for peace and to inculcate strong humanitarian values of inclusiveness, respect and inter-cultural understanding. As their website states, "Resolutely not-for-profit, mankind is the only beneficiary of our work, not corporate shareholders or private equity firms."

Ferrière housed the first class in his family's chalet. He was also technical adviser to the school from 1924 to 1926. Other prominent individuals involved in the creation of the School were Arthur Sweetser and Dr. Ludwik Rajchman. They were supported by William Rappard, Rector of the University of Geneva and Sir Arthur Salter, a senior official of the League of Nations.

The foundation continued to evolve as it acquired new campuses in the Vaud countryside at La Châtaigneraie (also called "La Chât") near Founex and at Pregny (near the European Headquarters of the United Nations). A sports hall was built in 1977 and a new primary building was built in 2011 on the La Châtaigneraie campus. In 1993 a sciences building was built and in 2002 the old "La Ferme" building, which used to house the girls' boarding lodgings, became the music building. The new multimedia library (known as Multi Media Center or MMC) was finished in September 2001, adding a third floor to what is known as the "New Building" (NB). In September 2008, the new sports hall was opened, replacing the long-defunct swimming pool, the aging "Bubble", which was inflated in 2000 to protect from harsh climates, and the old PTA offices. This was achieved with the financial help of the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. A state of the art primary school building was opened in September 2011, bringing the total capacity of the campus to 1600 students.

The third campus, Campus des Nations has had two beginnings. The first was in the 1940s with Rigot which became Pregny-Rigot, the second in 2005 with the closure of Rigot and the opening of Saconnex. The Pregny-Rigot campus was a pre-K through year 6 school that adopted the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in 2002. This campus had two buildings, Rigot which was an old Swiss farmhouse just off Place des Nations housing the early childhood classes, the other a unique architectural structure up the hill from the United Nations and Red Cross which hosted the primary school and learning center. In 2005, Pregny-Rigot shifted with the opening of a new building, Saconnex, near the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization. The early childhood classes at Rigot were moved to a renovated Pregny and Rigot was returned to the city of Geneva. Years 3-6 were moved from Pregny to the new building, Saconnex, which also opened a secondary school. The Secondary school offers the IB's Middle Years Programme, the IB Diploma and the IB Career Related Programme (IBCP).


La Grande Boissière (also called "LGB") is the oldest and largest of the three. The primary school (beginning from age three) has approximately 550 students, and runs through grade 4. The middle school also has about 550 students, and runs from grade 5 to grade 8. The secondary school has around 800 students, beginning with 9th grade and going to grade 12 or 13. All three stages offer bilingual programmes. The Primary School Principal is Mr Duff Gyr, the Middle School Principal is Ms Shona Wright and the Campus and Secondary School Principal is Dr Conrad Hughes.[citation needed][10] (46°11′55″N 6°10′21″E / 46.19861°N 6.17250°E / 46.19861; 6.17250)

La Châtaigneraie (also called "La Chât") became part of Ecolint in 1971 and is located in the Vaud countryside, near Founex, overlooking the Alps and Lake Léman. It has a primary and a secondary school, and has approximately 1600 students. The oldest building on campus is the main secondary building which was completed in 1908, when La Châtaigneraie first opened. The Primary School Principal is Mrs Jennifer Armstrong and Campus and Secondary School Principal is Mr David Woods.[citation needed] (46°20′23″N 6°10′18″E / 46.33972°N 6.17167°E / 46.33972; 6.17167)

Campus des Nations, (also simply called "Nations") opened in 2005 and operates on two locations in and in the vicinity of Grand Saconnex. It has around 1000 students. Campus des Nations is the only campus to offer all four IB programmes (PYP, MYP, IBDP and IBCP). The Early Years (Pregny) Principal is Ms Isla Gordon, the Primary School Principal is Ms Christelle Lonez and the Secondary School Principal is Mr Jamie Williams:[citation needed]

Notable Alumni[edit]

The International School of Geneva counts with more than a thousand Alumni registered in the School's website.[11] The most notable ones are:

Languages offered[edit]

Ecolint offers its core curriculum in English and French to varying degrees depending on the campus and section.

Ecolint also offers many other modern languages such as German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish as part of its curriculum. Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swahili, Swedish and many other languages are available via private tuition but can be counted towards credits or as IB programmes; this route is often chosen by students who have little other opportunity to formally study their mother tongue.



  1. ^ Elisabeth Fox (2001). "The Emergence of the International Baccalaureate as an Impetus to Curriculum Reform". In Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson (eds.). International Education: Principles and Practice (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 141. ISBN 9780749436162.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ecolint - International School of Geneva". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. ^ "G30 Schools - A gathering of interesting and like-minded school heads". G30 Schools. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  4. ^ A guide to schools abroad that offer a British curriculum, Education Guardian, December 12, 2006
  5. ^ "Geneva international schools: education overview". 7 October 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Maturität - Maturité - Maturità" (official site) (in German, French, and Italian). Berne, Switzerland: Swiss Federal State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, SERI. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  7. ^ "International School of Geneva: Campus des Nations". The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  8. ^ "school profile nations 2014-2015" (PDF).
  9. ^ "International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations". International Baccalaureate®. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  10. ^ "La Grande Boissière". Ecolint | International School of Geneva. 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  11. ^ "Ecolint Alumni Office". Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  12. ^ a b "Search Results - Ecolint Alumni Office". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Adobe Web Photo Gallery". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Souvenirs and vignettes of my Ecolint stay (1939-47) - Ecolint Alumni Office". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Rami G. Khouri". Archived from the original on 2008-09-18. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Riad al Khouri Visiting Scholar, Middle East Center Carnegie Endowment for International Peace". Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Vital Theatre Company". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2007-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ Interview in Télétop Matin magazine (Switzerland), 21 September 2014
  20. ^ "Ecolint Alumni: Maya Stojan". International School of Geneva. Retrieved 2016-09-17.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°11′55″N 6°10′21″E / 46.19861°N 6.17250°E / 46.19861; 6.17250