International School of Kuala Lumpur

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The International School of Kuala Lumpur
International School of Kuala Lumpur Logo
Ampang Hilir Campus
2, Lorong Kelab Polo Di Raja
55000 Kuala Lumpur

TypePrivate, day,
international school
Age3 to 18/19

The Ampang campus of the International School of Kuala Lumpur

The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL; Malay: Sekolah Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur[2]) is an American non-profit school in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area, Malaysia. It is accredited by the United States-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges and internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS). It has three divisions: elementary school, middle school and high school. The high school and middle school occupy the same property in Ampang, while the elementary school is hosted at a separate campus at Melawati.[3][4][5]

New campus[edit]

View of ISKL's new campus under construction in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, scheduled to be completed by mid-2018[6][7]

The new campus, which opened in August 2018, is set on approximately 25.7 acres of land in Ampang Hilir. It is designed to create the most advanced learning environment featuring academic, arts, and athletic resources. This includes world-class science labs and classrooms with flexible teaching spaces, two libraries, gymnasiums, competition swimming facilities, regulation track and playing fields as well as a performing arts center. ISKL’s ‘green’ facility will be the first Malaysian school designed to achieve platinum Green Building Index (GBI) status with environmentally sustainable concepts.[citation needed]

The International School of Kuala Lumpur held a ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the newly built campus (2019).


Established in 1965, the ISKL was the first school with an American curriculum in Malaysia. It was also the first fully accredited international school in Malaysia. The curriculum is US-based, and offers students the chance to earn a High School Diploma, an International Baccalaureate diploma (or certificates), and to attend Advanced Placement programs. The majority of students are from expatriate families seeking a western school system for their children while living abroad. At the same time, there are many Malaysians seeking an American-based education who also attend the school. While the school focuses on a western education system, it also maintains and encourages cultural relations with its host country, giving students the opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities. The school also employs the national and compulsory law of enforcing school uniforms.

As of 2012, there are approximately 1600 students from more than 65 countries, with the most common nationalities being Americans, (South) Koreans, Malaysians, Chinese, and Indians. Other well-represented nationalities included are British, French, Canadians, Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese, Australian, Indonesian, Argentine, Colombian, and Pakistani. A majority of students have parents working for oil companies or embassies, as ISKL has very strong ties with the embassies in Kuala Lumpur, especially the United States embassy.

ISKL's teaching faculty comprises individuals from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, France, Germany, Chile, and Malaysia. Over 75% of them hold degrees at the master's or doctorate level.

Media coverage[edit]

As a large and well known international school in Malaysia, ISKL is often in the news.[8][9]

Rob Thompson, ISKL's former Assistant Head of School (Operations), Lyn Thompson, retired ISKL elementary teacher & Nigel Cumberland, ex-ISKL Treasurer and board member

In terms of private school fees in Malaysia, ISKL is often interviewed or referenced, in part because it one of the country's most expensive schools.[10][11][12][13]

In terms of the school's charity work, an example is its outreach to poorer children in Klang Valley.[14][15]

Governance and leadership[edit]

The school is parent owned and parent governed. Every year a Board of Directors is elected by all parents (members of ISKL). Parents serve on the board for two years. The current[when?] board comprises Board Chair Kelly O'Hale, Vice-Chair Leesa Hannah, Treasurer David Thomas, Secretary Radhika Savant Mohit, John Beattie, François Bogacz, Andrew Davis, Amber Dossey, Matthew Keene, Keith Kuchner, Toshi Saito, Lin Ting (Dominic), Dean Thompson and Jay Woo. Past board members have included Martin Rushworth, Valerie Scane, Dominic Silva and Nigel Cumberland.[16][17]

The Head of School (equivalent of headmaster or CEO) is Dr. Norma J. Hudson.[18][19][20] She is supported by an Assistant Head of School (Operations), a role currently occupied by Jim Griffin.


ISKL's flagship high school program is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a rigorous two-year curriculum for 16- to 19-year-old students, culminating in exams in six subjects (three higher level and three standard level). ISKL boasts a 98% pass rate for the IB Diploma, and the program is not geared towards any specific nationality. Additionally, the Advanced Placement (AP) program is offered for students who wish to pursue colleges in the United States, although this is slowly being phased out and more students are encouraged to pursue the IB program.

Extracurricular activities and athletics[edit]

ISKL students in sports action, in this instance in the elementary school swim squad in about 2009

ISKL is a part of several international and local leagues, promoting competition between both Malaysian and international schools:

  • IASAS: Formed in 1982, the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools (IASAS) includes varsity-level competition among schools in Jakarta, Indonesia (JIS), Bangkok, Thailand (ISB), Taipei, Taiwan (TAS), Singapore (SAS) and Manila, Philippines (ISM) in sports, fine and performing arts and Model United Nations.
  • ISAC: International Schools Athletic Conference
  • ISAKL: International School Association of Kuala Lumpur
  • SEA Forensics: The largest community outreach program, speech, debate and acting tournament in February of each year is a massive undertaking that requires the volunteer effort of coaches, teachers and parents

Fine arts: The arts occupy a central position at ISKL and each student is strongly encouraged to participate in some form. The school offers a multitude of opportunities for artistic expression throughout the entire school year, designed to challenge all ability levels.

  • Music Programs include Instrumental Music, IASAS Music, ISKL Choir, Jazz/Concert Band, the ISKL Singers (a cappella), and the Tri-M Music Society
  • Dance and Theatre Programs include Dance Troupe, One Acts, Solo/Duet Acting, Improv Club, IASAS Dance, and the ISTA Theater Festival. ISKL participates in the IASAS Visual Arts competition annually.


  • Athletics are an integral part of the ISKL experience, and the school offers a variety of sports at a multitude of levels. These sports compete at the local and international level.
  • High school varsity sports include football (soccer), cross country running, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, rugby, touch rugby, track & field, badminton, and golf.

Campus facilities[edit]

The Ampang campus has athletic facilities which include two fields, an outdoor 25-meter swimming pool, basketball gym, multipurpose outdoor court, fitness center, tennis courts and an outdoor climbing wall. It also has a two-story auditorium (Robert B. Gaw Theatre), drama studio, dance studio, cafeteria, and library.

The Melawati campus has an indoor theater/auditorium, a library and computer lab. Athletic facilities include an indoor gym, a covered outdoor 25-meter pool, recreational field, outdoor basketball court and two playgrounds.


In accordance with the national law of Malaysia, ISKL institutes a mandatory uniform policy. The uniform consists of a collared shirt with the school logo on the front in different colours for each division of the school. Elementary School has royal blue shirts, Middle School has light blue shirts and High School has navy blue and white shirts. [21] Boys may pair this with shorts and pants in dark blue, while girls may wear shorts, skirts or pants in the same dark blue. When wearing outer layers, students are encouraged to purchase them in dark blue or white as part of the uniform. They also may buy pants or shorts from other companies that are similar to the school wear.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Creative, ExpatGo; Creative, ExpatGo (16 May 2016). "The International School of Kuala Lumpur".
  2. ^ "Senarai Semak Permohonan." International School of Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved on 15 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "An Expat Parent Reviews Iskl (International School of Kuala lumpur in kuala lumpur, Malaysia | Expat Exchange". ExpatExchange.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "SunCon bags RM268mil contract to build ISKL's new campus | The Star".
  7. ^ " - Your favorite newspapers and magazines".
  8. ^ "School's international fest | The Star".
  9. ^ "Malaysian team crowned Asian World Schools Debating champs | The Star".
  10. ^ "Malaysian parents pinched by rising international school fees". TODAYonline.
  11. ^ Vijaindren, Audrey (23 April 2017). "International Schools: A costly yet worthwhile investment | New Straits Times". NST Online.
  12. ^ Chi, Melissa. "What price, international school education? | Malay Mail".
  13. ^ News, The PIE. "International Education News l The PIE News l International schools hit by oil & gas crash, says ISC".
  14. ^ "Celebrity couple join in visit to lift spirits of young patients | The Star".
  15. ^ Babulal, Veena (4 February 2016). "Walk for Children charity walkathon held at Perdana Botanical Garden on Feb 13 | New Straits Times". NST Online.
  16. ^ "Board of Directors - The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)".
  17. ^ "ISKL 2010-2011 Annual Report". Issuu.
  18. ^ "Dr Norma Hudson :: IPSEF".
  19. ^ "Articles". School Advisor.
  20. ^ "- Key Personnels -".
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°09′42″N 101°45′21″E / 3.16167°N 101.75583°E / 3.16167; 101.75583