mighty oaks from little acorns grow

In 1979, Janet Galli, an entrepreneurial American, founded International School Basel (ISB) with 15 students. Her vision for the creation of a local international school was the beginning of ISB as we know it today.

ISB is a not-for-profit, co-educational day school serving students ages 3 – 19 with the three widely acclaimed programmes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) at three separate campuses. These include the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for ages 3 – 11, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for ages 11 – 16, and the Diploma Programme (DP) for ages 16 – 19.

The administration and faculty are committed to providing a student-centered education that fulfills its Mission: to help our students learn more, in many different ways, and to have fun learning in a safe, caring, and helpful community of teachers and learners. In addition to student learning, growth, and development, the school promotes cultural awareness, respect, and appreciation for people of all nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds.

Since its founding, ISB has welcomed support from the local Swiss community, as well as the diverse industries of the region. As the local demand for international talent continues to grow, and as families from across the globe continue to settle in the Basel region, the school continues to expand. The school benefits from — while at the same time provides — an invaluable service for the global community which calls Basel home. As such, ISB has firmly established itself in both the local and international communities, and is a common ground for local families that want their children to connect with the world, as well as international families that want their children to find a home within the local landscape.

Our History



Founded in 1979, the school began its first day with 15 students and ended the first academic year with a total of 34 students. The vision for the creation of a local international school was the beginning of ISB as we know it today.


1992 – 2001

In 1992, ISB had its first graduation ceremony - with one graduate. In March of 1995, ISB became an IB World School, offering the IB Diploma Programme (DP). In May 1999 the school's name was changed to International School of the Basel Region AG. In 2001, the school extended its scope to include the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).


2002 – 2003

In 2002, the purpose-built campus at Reinach was opened. In 2003, ISB was authorised to deliver the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).


In 2007, ISB opened the Aesch campus, a purpose-built, state-of-the-art building for our younger students. The Aesch campus was designed to take advantage of as much natural light and wide open spaces as possible.


2012 – 2013

In August 2012, Grade 6 students moved to Fiechten, ISB’s newest campus. The following year, in 2013, the Fiechten Campus also housed our Grade 7 students.


Inspired by the words written by one of our students during the ISB Mission review process, our Board launched the new student-centered ISB Mission and Mission Guiding Statements. "Our new Mission, a signpost of shared vision and inclusiveness, positions us well for today and what lies ahead for ISB. It will provide a guide for decision-making and the framework for growth and change." — ISB Board

A Look Back — Celebrating 40 Years!

In 2019, we celebrated 40 years since the first students walked through the doors at International School Basel. We invite you to spend a few minutes to take a Look Back at our history and hear a special message from our founder, Janet Galli.



As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we actively embraced distance learning and used the latest technology to continue our education programmes first remotely and then in hybrid format.



We launched an English-German Dual Language Programme in Junior School, enabling students to develop proficiency in both languages to better integrate with the local community.

ISB continues to grow and expand its academic and extra-curricular offerings. The school is home to more than 1200 students who enjoy modern purpose-built facilities on three campuses.

“We all want to learn more;
 We all do it in different ways;
 We all have fun learning;
 We all help.” - ISB Student