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International School of Zug and Luzern Switzerland 3 - 18
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International School of Zug and Luzern
6340 Baar
448 pupils, ages 14-18 | Mixed | Day

High School

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Our View

This outdoorsy all-through school in the heart of rural Switzerland offers a finely honed, holistic education to its 1,000-plus pupils, who span some 65 nationalities. Founded in 1961, it’s the only fully accredited, four-programme IB school in the region and is a top choice for expat families. Outdoor learning is an integral part of the curriculum for all ages – the school even has its very own purpose-built chalet in the Swiss Alps where pupils go to ski, hike and explore.

Where?

The school spans two sites 17 km apart. The Riverside Campus in Hünenburg for the high school is a spacious modern building with 20 classrooms, state-of-the-art science labs, a library, large art factory, music rooms and a massive triple gym that divides into three.

Chalet Bergheim, the school’s outdoor education centre, is located in the mountain village of Wengen, which is around 100km away, and is used by the whole school for class trips, winter sports and outdoor learning.

Head

The approachable and hugely experienced director Barry Dequanne oversees the whole school. Originally from Canada, he has worked in schools in Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Swaziland (among other international locations), and he’s also president of the board of directors of the Association of American Schools in South America. At his right hand as deputy director is Maria Voutos, also from Canada, who joined in 2023 from Atlanta International School where she led the IB Primary Years Programme.

Linsey Lawrence has been principal at the high school since 2022. She was previously principal at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, and before that she worked in schools in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand. A teaching principal, she takes pupils for global politics and sociology, history and personal and social education.

Admissions

Pupil intake is fairly fluid, so children can join and leave at any point. Some year groups are oversubscribed, but interested parents should get in touch and arrange an individual tour if they’re moving to the area.

Academics and destinations

In the first two years of high school, pupils follow the IB Middle Years Programme, which sees them studying between eight and nine subjects, including at least two languages. They also complete a long-term project and a planned interdisciplinary unit.

In Grades 11 and 12, they either continue with the IB Diploma Programme or create their own personalised programme. The latter can include Advanced Placement, BTEC or the school’s own bespoke course options. Every path leads to the ISZL High School Diploma. For the IB Diploma, pupils take six subjects, three at standard level and three at higher – and in 2023, the average IB score was 35. This is above the global average despite the school being non-selective.

Leavers head off to a broad range of global universities, which vary every year. In 2023, around a third took up places in the UK, 20 per cent in the Netherlands and 10 per cent in Switzerland. Other destinations include Hong Kong, Greece, Australia and Belgium.

Co-curricular

Sport is a big part of school life. In autumn, pupils take part in football, cross-country and rugby. Winter sees them playing badminton and basketball, as well as having swimming and skiing lessons. Track and field, volleyball and softball are the main sports during the spring and summer. There are regular fixtures against other international and Swiss schools.

Music is a core part of the IB, and the high school’s facilities are impressive; we particularly loved the tech studio, which has its own mixing desk and soundproof studio, as well as space for filming, DJing and podcasting. The art studio is a knockout industrial space where pupils can give free rein to their creativity.

All pupils regularly visit Chalet Bergheim for field trips and musical retreats. Older years often venture to locations in Verbier too.

After-school clubs are plentiful and wide-ranging – everything from theatre production, bouldering and skiing to chess, stop-motion animation and Leadership & Action Club.

The school’s impressive annual Youth Forum Switzerland, set up by pupils seven years ago after they visited the Davos World Economic Forum and decided a student voice was lacking, sees a roster of visiting speakers and students from all over the world gather for two or three days every January. Students lead debates and choose the theme; this year it was ‘Ignite’.

School community

Homeroom teachers are the first port of call for any pastoral concerns that pupils or parents may have. There is also an on-site counselling team with expertise in social and emotional issues, which offers individual, group and family support to the whole ISZL community. A team of qualified nurses are on campus full-time. Learning support is comprehensive, with SEND teachers working alongside classroom teachers to support pupils in situ.

There’s a large international community at ISZL, with many families relocating to and from the area all the time. The school is well liked by expats, who are made to feel very welcome with lots of social activities laid on, from coffee catch-ups to skiing and hiking get-togethers.

And finally....

From its idyllic setting to its on-point academics and superlative outward-bound learning programme, ISZL offers a fantastic education to its international pupil body.

Gallery

International School of Zug and Luzern gallery image
International School of Zug and Luzern gallery image
International School of Zug and Luzern gallery image
  • Academic results

  • Sports

    Athletics
    Badminton
    Basketball
    Climbing
    Cross country
    Golf
    Rugby
    Sailing
    Skiing
    Soccer
    Softball
    Swimming
    Tennis
    Volleyball
  • SEND


    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    All ISZL campuses provide support for students with recognised mild to moderate learning support needs. The school provides in-class or small-group instruction for students with identified learning needs. The amount and type of support are outlined in the Student Support Plan. New students applying to ISZL who have recognised learning support needs are required to submit relevant documentation at time of application, including copies of previous educational psychologist reports and other formal assessments. The ISZL Learning Support Department reviews such applications and, if it is deemed that with the designated periods of support, a student is unable to successfully access the curriculum, then admission to ISZL may be denied.


Essentials

Address
Rothusstrasse 4b, Hünenberg 6330

Contact
admissions@iszl.ch
+41 41 768 29 42

Website
iszl.ch/learning/core/high

Fees

Term Dates

Open Days

Admissions




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