Whether you are an educational leader, a teacher, or an investor in schools, you might have dreamt of setting up, owning, or working in an elite international school.

Do you want to set up an elite international school?

Do you want to open an elite international school in Europe?

The most important place to start is understanding the standard already set by the best.

The standard is VERY high!

We have identified the top 10 elite international schools in Europe. They are the most expensive, most famous, and most well-attended by the world’s rich, famous, and influential.

Study them closely and then scroll to the end, and we will tell you how we approach visions for new schools of this standard

1. Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland

elite international schools

Founded in 1910, Collège Alpin Beau Soleil stands out with its engaging extracurricular activities ranging from yoga to ice skating

Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious boarding schools, located in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. Founded in 1910, the school offers a rigorous academic curriculum combined with diverse extracurricular activities in a picturesque alpine setting. Students from over 50 nationalities attend, fostering a multicultural environment. It’s definitely an elite international school!


Established in 1910, Collège Alpin Beau Soleil is one of Switzerland’s longest-standing private boarding schools. Its rich history spans three generations, and it was founded by the De Meyer family. Originally situated in Gstaad, the college relocated to Villars in the early 20th century, a move driven by the desire to capitalize on the abundant sunlight and temperate climate influenced by the proximity of Lake Leman.

Madame Bluette Ferrier, the school’s inaugural director, introduced an educational philosophy that remains integral to Beau Soleil’s identity today. This philosophy emphasizes a comprehensive education that nurtures students’ intellectual and physical aspects. Building upon this enduring legacy, Mr. Pierre de Meyer and his son Jerome left an indelible mark on the institution during their tenures. They oversaw the construction of new facilities and solidified Beau Soleil’s reputation as one of the world’s premier educational institutions.

In 2011, Beau Soleil joined the Nord Anglia Education group, a network of prestigious schools. Despite this change, the school remains committed to its original values of respect, responsibility, ambition, and determination, ensuring its students receive a top-notch education in an elite international school.


Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil is nestled in the stunning Swiss Alps, providing a breathtaking natural backdrop for an exceptional educational experience. Situated in the picturesque town of Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, this school enjoys the benefits of crisp mountain air, pristine landscapes, and a tranquil environment. The proximity to the Swiss Alps offers unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountaineering, fostering physical well-being and a love for nature among students. Moreover, the region’s rich cultural heritage and international flair make it an ideal location for promoting global perspectives and cultural exchange. The majestic Alpine setting and world-class education create an inspiring and nurturing environment that encourages students to excel academically and personally.

Number of Students: 

Approximately 260 students from over 50 countries


Nestled in the majestic Swiss Alps, the Beau Soleil campus seamlessly merges tradition with modernity to provide students with an inspiring living and learning environment. Established in 1910, the school retains its historic main entrance, which serves as a poignant link to its rich heritage. Over the years, the campus has expanded and evolved to incorporate the latest technology in every classroom, exceptional sports facilities, and dedicated spaces for various activities such as design, technology, music, dance, yoga, and theatre. This thoughtful design fosters a close-knit, family-style atmosphere among students, with many essential facilities conveniently located “under one roof.”

Beyond the main campus, students enjoy access to a mountain chalet on the ski slopes and various village amenities, including an ice-skating rink, swimming pool, tennis courts, and more. This lifestyle offers a harmonious blend of academic excellence and recreational opportunities.

In September 2017, the school unveiled a remarkable campus extension featuring expansive sports and study areas, two new boarding houses, a library, science labs, and a state-of-the-art technology and arts centre. This extension, spanning 10,000 square meters, was designed with chalet-style buildings that complement the Alpine village of Villars-sur-Ollon. These buildings house a range of facilities, including a spacious sports hall, yoga room, dance studio, fitness gym, climbing wall, classrooms, a lecture theatre, science labs, a café, and accommodations for 50 students. Panoramic terraces offer breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif.

The new extension, named the Monolithe, is completed. It is a building housing the school’s art center, arts exhibition space, technology and design classrooms, and computer science facilities. This space is also ideal for collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

Sitting at an altitude of 1,300 meters, Collège Beau Soleil comprises seven modernly equipped buildings, including academic buildings, residences, an arts centre, a restaurant, and various sports facilities. The school boasts state-of-the-art technical equipment, including modern laboratories, a library with a computer centre for electronic resource access, a linguistic centre, and a creative studio. Each building offers awe-inspiring views of the Alpine slopes, enhancing the overall learning and living experience. Truly one of the elite international schools.


Yes, both full-time and weekly boarding.


Offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, Cambridge IGCSEs, and French Baccalaureate.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, Collège Alpin Beau Soleil students wake up to breathtaking mountain views. The day starts with a wholesome breakfast followed by classes. During breaks, they can engage in various activities, from ice skating in the winter to bird-watching in the spring. Evenings include recreational activities like horse riding, yoga, and boxing.

2. Institut Le Rosey, Rolle, Switzerland

Institut Le Rosey, Rolle, Switzerland.. elite international school

Château du Rosey is one of the world’s priciest institutions, it has a unique student routine and an enriching learning environment.

Established in 1880 by Paul-Émile Carnal at the location of the 14th-century Château du Rosey in Rolle, Vaud, it stands as one of Switzerland’s most venerable boarding schools. Renowned as one of the world’s most elite international schools and costly institutions, it has earned the moniker “School of Kings.” A quota system ensures that no more than 10 per cent of the student body comes from any country. It is one of the finest and elite international schools.


Château du Rosey, a medieval castle located on the main campus of Le Rosey in Rolle, has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. This impressive castle serves as the school’s central reception area. In 1880, the founder of Le Rosey, Paul-Emile Carnal, who deeply appreciated nature, history, and the countryside, personally selected this picturesque site for the school’s campus. The campus in Rolle is beautifully situated next to the renowned Lake Geneva.

In 1911, Paul-Emile Carnal’s son, Henri-Paul Carnal, took ownership of Le Rosey. Seeking respite from the heavy fog that often enveloped Lake Geneva during winter, the school began visiting Gstaad in the German-speaking canton of Berne in 1917.

In 1931, Lucien Brunel, a former member of the International Red Cross and director of the Grand-Lancy Castle school, became headmaster at Le Rosey, a position he held until 1949. Then, in 1947, the third generation of directors, Louis Johannot and Helen Schaub, assumed the school’s leadership. Under their guidance, Le Rosey made a historic shift by admitting girls for the first time in 1967 and establishing a separate girls’ campus.

In 1980, the school entered its fourth generation of ownership with Philippe and Anne Gudin de la Sablonnière as the Directors of Le Rosey. Louis Johannot, in a notable interview with Life Magazine in 1965, once remarked, “The only reason I always try to meet and know the parents better is because it helps me to forgive their children.”

Before implementing the 10% quota rule, which limited the number of students from any one country to 10% of the student body, Le Rosey boasted a diverse student population with various nationalities. In different decades, most students come from different parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Greece, Arab countries, Iran, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Notably, during the 1990s, the school gained attention as it enrolled many children of Russian oligarchs, who made up a significant portion of the student body. This led to some disputes and controversies, with claims that these Russian students were involved in incidents that affected their peers, resulting in the withdrawal of at least one non-Russian student.

In 2014, Le Rosey inaugurated the Paul & Henri Carnal Hall, an arts and learning centre that serves the school and the La Côte region. This facility represents Le Rosey’s ongoing commitment to providing a well-rounded education and a nurturing environment for its students. The school is well-positioned as one of the most elite international schools.


Institut Le Rosey, nestled in the picturesque town of Rolle, Switzerland, enjoys an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Swiss countryside. This location provides students with a serene and inspiring environment, fostering a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors. The school’s proximity to Lake Geneva allows for various water-based activities and a tranquil atmosphere for contemplation. Additionally, the region’s rich cultural heritage and its proximity to Geneva and Lausanne offer students unique opportunities for cultural exploration and access to international organizations. The combination of natural beauty, cultural richness, and convenient accessibility makes Rolle an ideal location for Institut Le Rosey, enhancing the overall educational experience for its students.

Number of Students: 

Roughly 420


Le Rosey is distinguished by its novel “dual campus” approach. Students split their academic year between the primary campus in Rolle, Switzerland, and the school’s secondary location in Gstaad, Switzerland. Widely regarded as one of the most famous and elite international schools.

Rolle Campus: Situated approximately 30 kilometres from the bustling city of Geneva, Le Rosey’s main campus is a sprawling estate that spans 30 hectares. This campus, which serves as the primary location for boys, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1880 within the Château du Rosey. The historic original building, a medieval castle dating from the 14th century, underwent meticulous renovations, and significant improvements were made to the campus throughout the 20th century.

At the heart of the campus lies the Paul & Henri Carnal Hall, renowned as the school’s Arts & Learning Centre. Students have access to a cooking lab, visual arts and photography rooms, dance studios, theatre spaces, and music studios within this facility. The centrepiece of this building is the Rosey Concert Hall, a grand auditorium with a seating capacity of 900.

The Rolle Campus offers a wide array of school and boarding facilities, including bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, 53 classrooms, 48 apartments for teachers residing in the boarding houses, a theatre, two gymnasiums, and four specially-equipped sports rooms (two fitness rooms, one martial arts room, and one dance studio). Dining options include three dining rooms and two cafeterias, while an industrial laundry service is available for both bed linen and personal laundry. The campus also features two professional kitchens, a graphic arts studio, 12 tennis courts, a synthetic rugby field, a synthetic football field, an outdoor basketball court, beach volleyball, and beach football courts. Moreover, students can enjoy two outdoor pools and one indoor pool.

Le Rosey extends its offerings beyond the campus, owning a private equestrian centre housing 30 horses, an indoor riding school, and a dressage area. Additionally, the school has a private nautical centre equipped with 10 dinghies, three motorboats, three yawls, and a 38-foot yacht named Ipharra. Students can also access a nearby 18-hole golf course with a driving range and a karting track for recreational activities.

Gstaad Mountain Campus: During the summer holidays, Le Rosey’s Schönried campus, located in the picturesque Swiss region of Gstaad, transforms into a haven for summer camp participants. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, Gstaad is renowned for its scenic beauty and is often frequented by world-famous celebrities.

Since 1916, Le Rosey has continued its tradition of moving the entire school to the mountains during winter. This provides students with a term of sun, snow, and winter sports while maintaining their regular academic program.

The Gstaad Mountain Campus offers bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, classrooms, an IT room, well-equipped games rooms, lounges, apartments for teachers residing in the boarding houses, and an infirmary. The region offers various sports facilities, including swimming pools, tennis courts, a bowling alley, zip-lining routes, and cross-country tracks. Students can also enjoy climbing walls and Via Ferratas, which are designed for safe climbing experiences. Additionally, there’s a centre for alpine expeditions, allowing students to explore the stunning alpine landscapes.

Famous Students: 

Kings, politicians, and artists from around the world


Mandatory boarding for all students.


 Offers the International Baccalaureate and French Baccalaureate.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

This elite international school day starts with a nutritious buffet breakfast. By mid-morning, students indulge in a hot chocolate break. Their evenings are marked with a formal dinner, where they don formal outfits. Each table accommodates six to eight students and one or two teachers at dinner. Every student has a designated seat marked by a personal napkin, and they serve the table in turns, overseen by the maître d’hôtel.

Institut Le Rosey, Rolle, Switzerland.. elite international school

3. Aiglon College, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland

Aiglon College, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. elite international school

Aiglon College is known for its challenging expeditions and rigorous academics amid the scenic beauty of the Swiss Alps

Aiglon College is a prestigious international boarding school located in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. Founded in 1949 by John Corlette, it aims to provide a comprehensive education to students worldwide. Aiglon College is situated in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, offering not only one of the most elite international schools, a top-notch academic experience but also a stunning natural environment.


For more than seven decades, Aiglon has thrived under the guidance of its visionary founder, John Corlette, whose blend of classical principles and progressive ideals continues to shape the school’s growth. Since its humble beginnings with just six students, John Corlette has been the creative and unwavering foundation upon which each student’s individual journey has been built.

John Corlette, the man behind this educational legacy, had a unique connection to the students he would eventually teach and the school he would establish. Born in London in 1911, his journey to Switzerland at the age of 16 due to health issues brought him to Alpine College in Arveyes. Much like today’s Aiglon students, he came to appreciate how the mountainous landscape of Villars and its breathtaking views had the potential to not only enrich daily education but also expand global perspectives.

Although he initially pursued a career in architecture, following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Corlette discovered his true passion in nurturing young minds. While teaching at various schools, it was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland that he embraced Kurt Hahn’s experiential education philosophy.

Inspired by his experiences, Mr. Corlette embarked on a mission to create a unique educational institution. He fused Hahn’s innovative educational philosophy with the traditional structure of English boarding schools, all set against the backdrop of a stunning mountain environment. To Mr. Corlette, this was an opportunity to develop an approach that went beyond textbooks while preserving the merits of classical education. His dedication to cultivating students’ inquisitive minds lives on through Aiglon’s commitment to experiential learning, expeditions, and service activities.

One enduring aspect of Mr. Corlette’s legacy at Aiglon is integrating meditation into daily routines. He recognized the significance of personal reflection and the value of using these contemplative moments to explore new horizons and confront internal and external challenges. These moments of quiet contemplation remain central to Aiglon’s life today.

Although the Founder passed away in 1977, his influence permeates every corner of Aiglon today. His unwavering commitment to the holistic development of students is reflected in the core principles that shape life at the school and have enriched the lives of countless alumni. John Corlette championed a dynamic, resilient, and inclusive approach to education, and Aiglon remains steadfast in upholding his vision to this day.


Aiglon College, nestled in the picturesque town of Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, enjoys a stunning location amidst the Swiss Alps. This breathtaking setting provides students with a unique and inspiring learning environment. Surrounded by the natural beauty of mountains, forests, and pristine landscapes, Aiglon College offers a world-class education and an opportunity to develop a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors. The alpine location encourages physical activity, fosters a healthy lifestyle, and offers countless opportunities for outdoor adventures like skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Moreover, the serene and peaceful atmosphere of Villars-sur-Ollon promotes focused and tranquil learning, making it an ideal backdrop for academic excellence and personal growth.

Number of Students: 

Around 365


Aiglon College boasts an expansive campus that spans approximately 60,000 square meters and comprises around 40 different buildings and chalets. Students can access various facilities dedicated to their education, accommodations, and recreational activities within this sprawling campus. Facilities that position it as one of the finest elite international schools.

For academic pursuits, students benefit from modern classrooms and various cutting-edge laboratories that adhere to the latest educational standards. Aiglon College provides students with a computer centre and a well-stocked library to support their research and learning. For creative people, the school offers opportunities to engage in theatre and music through dedicated studios and schools.

The campus also encompasses eight senior boarding houses and two junior houses, providing students with comfortable and nurturing living spaces. Aiglon College ensures the well-being of its students with an on-site medical centre that addresses health concerns promptly.

In addition to academic and residential facilities, Aiglon’s campus includes a sports centre equipped with a swimming pool and fitness room, a skating rink, and a ski slope for winter sports enthusiasts. Tennis courts and fields for playing football or hockey also cater to various sporting interests.

Beyond the campus boundaries, students can access the Villars tennis centre, a local athletics track, an indoor swimming pool, and an ice rink. During the summer months, they can enjoy the nearby Lake Léman. In the winter, the school’s proximity to a local resort offers students opportunities for alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ski touring, and racing, with over 112 kilometres of slopes and glacier skiing available for their enjoyment.

Famous Students: 


Full boarding for all students.


 Provides International Baccalaureate and IGCSE.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

Aiglon College students wake up to the fresh alpine air of the Swiss Alps. Their days are filled with rigorous academic sessions, but they also have mandatory expeditions every term. These expeditions can range from rock climbing to mountaineering, ensuring students are as engaged with nature as they are with their studies. It is a unique and elite international school.

4. Institut auf dem Rosenberg

Institut auf dem Rosenberg elite international schools

Emphasizing personalized education, Institut auf dem Rosenberg is globally recognized for its unparalleled academic diversity

Institut auf dem Rosenberg, commonly known as Rosenberg, is a family-operated elite international boarding school in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Founded in 1889 by Elrich Schmidt as Institut Dr Schmidt, it adopted its present name in the 1930s following the founder’s passing. The school boasts a diverse student body from 50 countries, with an average class size of eight and a notable 1:2 teacher-student ratio.


No two students are alike in the realm of individualized education. Institut auf dem Rosenberg, founded as an international boarding school in 1889, is credited as a trailblazer in this educational approach. This pioneering institution introduced the concept during a period in history when the prevailing trend was to standardize education to fuel industrialization.

Today, the school stands as a modern educational haven, one of the elite international schools, but it stays true to its origins as both an education pioneer and a breeding ground for innovative teaching methods that have left an indelible mark on the entire Swiss private school landscape. Just as in the past, Institut auf dem Rosenberg’s unique educational approach is globally acknowledged and esteemed.

The Gademann Family has owned and managed the school for the fourth consecutive generation. Their unwavering commitment lies in preserving the school’s holistic, individualized, and international legacy while continually evolving to offer the most relevant and forward-thinking educational environment. The ardour for education has been passed down through the generations and is now an integral part of the school’s identity.

For over 130 years, innovation has been at the core of the Rosenberg philosophy, evident in the school’s ongoing development. Consequently, Rosenberg has earned its reputation as one of the world’s oldest and finest boarding schools and a leader in holistic education. It boasts an array of academic choices coupled with top-tier facilities that set unmatched quality and standards in the field of education.


Institut auf dem Rosenberg is nestled in the picturesque town of St. Gallen, Switzerland, offering an idyllic setting for a prestigious school. Located at the foothills of the Swiss Alps, the school enjoys breathtaking views of lush green landscapes and snow-capped peaks, providing an inspiring and tranquil environment for learning. The region’s clean air, pristine natural surroundings, and rich cultural heritage make it an ideal location for fostering academic excellence and personal growth. Students can access various outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and mountain biking, promoting physical well-being and a deep connection with nature. Furthermore, St. Gallen’s close proximity to Zurich and other major European cities enhances students’ exposure to cultural diversity and educational opportunities, making it a prime location for an elite European school.

Number of Students: 

Around 230


The Rosenberg HumaniX Pavilion, which was completed in 2022, represents a sustainable learning space that plays a pivotal role in advancing education at the institution. As part of the Rosenberg |x| Humanix® qualification, students are trained to enhance their cognitive capacities and acquire new literacies by studying human connectives. This prepares them to effectively address the challenges of the 21st century in collaboration with intelligent machines. The innovative Vitra® furniture concept within the HumaniX Pavilion allows for flexible pedagogical architecture, challenging conventional educational norms.

The Rosenberg Creative Lab recognizes the rapid global advancements in digitalization and automation. It is a pioneering space designed to further support students in preparing for the exciting new world ahead. This creative hub is fully equipped and offers dedicated workstations for art, design, and technology, including areas for coding and robotics.

In collaboration with ETH Zurich, Boston Dynamics, SAGA Space Architects, and Yasai, the Rosenberg Future Park is an outdoor playground for students to engage with and shape humanity’s future, both on Earth and beyond. This space resembles the Rosenberg Creative Lab, where art, technology, and design blend to explore experimental extensions of human imagination and creativity.

Students interested in fitness and well-being can join the Rosenberg Health & Fitness Club. Equipped with cutting-edge training equipment from TechnoGym® and SensoPro®, the club offers professional guidance, including health and nutritional advice, provided by a team of expert trainers.

The Multi-Media Centre is a dedicated learning hub with purpose-built workspaces designed for research and self-study. It grants Rosenberg students access to extensive books, e-books, and online publications, including high-quality academic journals and primary sources through JSTOR®.

Named in honour of the Nobel Prize Winner and Rosenberg Alumnus Mario J. Molina, the Mario J. Molina Science Centre is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with a professional laboratory that surpasses typical school standards.

At the heart of the Rosenberg campus, the Golf Training Facility spans 400 square meters and offers a professional multi-hole putting green, hitting mats, and obstacles like a sand bunker. This facility caters to both beginners and advanced players, and a team of professional golf instructors supports it.

Famous Students: 

  • A diverse mix of entrepreneurs, artists, and political figures.


Primarily a boarding school and elite international school.


Offers International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, and the American High School Diploma.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

Students at Rosenberg start their day in an environment that promotes holistic development. With award-winning facilities, students often engage in unique academic workshops in the morning. Afternoons can be spent in one of their many state-of-the-art facilities, from science labs to art studios. The evening dinner is an elegant affair, promoting discussions and bonding.

5. St George’s International School, Switzerland

St George's International School elite international schools

St. George’s International School is known for its emphasis on international-mindedness and respect for diversity, fostering a global perspective in students

St. George’s International School is one of the most elite international schools and the most distinguished private international institution in Montreux, Switzerland. It holds a notable position among the country’s top five International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, embodying a comprehensive educational journey marked by exceptional academic achievements. Situated gracefully in Montreux, the school’s campus finds its home amidst serene lakes and majestic mountains, providing an unparalleled backdrop for students aged 18 months to 18 years to immerse themselves in a progressive and inventive learning venture.


In 1927, Lorna Southwell established a girls’ school in Switzerland. The school commenced its operations under the leadership of Osyth Potts, its inaugural principal. In 1984, they warmly welcomed their first group of junior girls, and by 1993, the school began accepting boys as both day and boarding students.

In the year 2025, the institution became a part of the Inspired Education Group.


St. George’s International School, situated in Montreux, Switzerland, enjoys a location of unparalleled natural beauty and cultural richness. Nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Geneva and framed by the majestic Swiss Alps, the school offers students a truly inspiring learning environment. Montreux’s temperate climate and stunning landscape provide a backdrop that fosters academic focus and outdoor exploration. Additionally, the town’s proximity to Geneva and Lausanne, both hubs of international diplomacy and commerce, ensures students have access to a vibrant global community and various opportunities for cultural enrichment. This unique setting allows St. George’s International School to offer a well-rounded education combining academic excellence, a deep appreciation for nature, and a global perspective.

Number of Students: 

Approximately 400


St. Georges International School in Switzerland is exceptionally well-equipped with modern teaching resources and facilities to support students’ holistic development. The school’s main building complex overlooks the picturesque Lake Geneva and the Chablais Alps on a spacious 45,000-square-meter campus. It is a fine example of an elite international school.

Within this complex, students have access to a diverse range of amenities. These include a library, scientific laboratories, and well-equipped music and dance studios. The school also boasts an art studio, providing a creative space for artistic expression. Purpose-built rooms for information technology, along with general-purpose classrooms, are available to facilitate effective learning.

The sports infrastructure at St. Georges is comprehensive, offering students ample opportunities for physical activity. The campus features a large sports complex with playgrounds for team sports, tennis courts, and an AstroTurf football pitch. Basketball courts and an indoor multi-use sports hall cater to various sporting interests. Moreover, the school includes a fitness centre to promote students’ overall well-being.

St. Georges International School also benefits from its proximity to a public Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, which is just a 5-minute walk from the campus.

The Senior School primarily operates within the main building complex, while the Junior School utilizes the main complex and a beautifully restored Swiss Chalet on the campus grounds. This diversity of spaces supports age-appropriate learning and engagement.

Overall, St. Georges International School offers a comprehensive range of facilities, including art studios, an Astroturf pitch, a gym and fitness centre, an indoor sports hall, a library, music practice rooms, a recording studio, science labs, sports fields, and tennis courts, ensuring a well-rounded and enriching educational experience for its students.

Famous Students: 

  • Jill Hyem, radio/television writer and former actress
  • Christina Onassis, businesswoman, socialite, and heiress to the Onassis fortune
  • Isabel Noboa, Ecuadorian heiress
  • Notable global entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders.


Offers both full-time and weekly boarding.


 Offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

The cosmopolitan environment of St George’s is palpable the moment students enter the premises. They begin their day with a multicultural morning assembly, reflecting the international spirit of the school. As they proceed to classes, they’re exposed to a global curriculum. During breaks, students often share snacks from their native countries. Evenings are reserved for clubs and societies that range from Model United Nations to global arts.

6. Leysin American School, Switzerland

Set amidst the Swiss Alps, Leysin American School offers rigorous academics combined with experiential learning and emphasizes community service

Leysin American School (LAS) is a prominent international boarding school situated in the picturesque Swiss Alps, in the town of Leysin, Switzerland. Founded in 1961, LAS has established itself as a respected institution known for its high-quality education, diverse student body, and stunning natural surroundings.


Leysin American School, often abbreviated as LAS, was founded by Fred and Sigrid Ott in 1960.

A significant milestone occurred on June 13, 2008, when the Leysin American School acquired the Grand Hôtel situated on the upper outskirts of Leysin village. This impressive property, boasting a substantial 10,000 square meters of building space and sprawling across 4.3 hectares of grounds, originated in 1890 during the Belle Époque era. Initially, it served as an opulent hotel and sanatorium clinic catering to the world’s elite families. Following various transformations over the decades in Leysin, shifting from health-focused facilities to educational centres, the complex eventually became the home of the American College of Switzerland in the early 1980s. Substantial renovations established the new LAS IB campus within this historic structure.

In October 2010, Leysin American School commemorated its fiftieth anniversary and officially marked the opening of the extensively renovated Grand Hotel. This magnificent building, originally constructed in 1892, now serves as the residence for IB students.


Leysin American School (LAS), Switzerland, is nestled in the picturesque Swiss Alps, offering an extraordinary educational setting surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Perched at an altitude of 1,260 meters, this location provides students with a unique and enriching environment. The benefits of LAS’s Swiss location extend beyond its awe-inspiring views, with students benefiting from the clean mountain air, a tranquil atmosphere conducive to focused learning, and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. This idyllic backdrop promotes physical well-being and fosters a sense of exploration, adventure, and cultural immersion, making LAS an exceptional choice for an elite international school.

Number of Students: 

Around 300


Leysin American School (LAS), situated in the captivating Swiss Alps within the charming ski village of Leysin, offers students a picturesque and enriching educational experience.

The school’s two campuses provide many facilities to support students’ academic, artistic, and recreational pursuits. These include separate dormitories for boys and girls, ensuring a comfortable and secure living environment.

Leysin American School’s technologically advanced classrooms are equipped to meet modern educational needs, fostering a dynamic and engaging learning atmosphere. Students can also gather in the inviting dining hall, the Grande Salle Concert Hall for cultural events, and the library for research and reading.

The campus offers various amenities for leisure and well-being, including a spacious students’ lounge, fitness room, and art studio for creative expression. The health centre ensures students’ health needs are met promptly.

The presence of a Black Box Theatre provides a space for artistic performances and events, adding a touch of culture to the campus. The Magic Mountain Athletic Centre (MMAC) also promotes physical fitness and sports activities.

The sprawling LAS campus spans a vast territory encompassing 12 buildings, lush green areas, sports fields, and complexes. The buildings’ classic colonial architectural style conceals modern interiors equipped with state-of-the-art technology. This commitment to innovation extends to the classrooms, scientific laboratories, computer facilities, the library, extracurricular spaces, and dormitory rooms, ensuring students can access the latest resources and technology for their educational journey.

Famous Students: 

  • A diverse mix of leaders from various fields worldwide.


Primarily a boarding institution.


American High School Diploma, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

Unique Daily Lifestyle: 

Leysin American School students are greeted with an American-style curriculum amidst the Swiss mountains. Their day commences with a hearty breakfast, followed by a set of intense academic sessions. Lunch breaks involve discussions on global politics, art, and sports. Students get to indulge in skiing or snowboarding during winter, while summers are for hiking and mountain biking. The day ends with community events, fostering American traditions in a Swiss setting.

7. Collège du Léman, Geneva

Collège du Léman, Geneva

Situated near scenic Lake Geneva, Collège du Léman is a hub of internationalism. Its bilingual programs ensure that students receive top-tier education while being deeply immersed in both French and English.

Collège du Léman is a prestigious international boarding and day school located in Geneva, Switzerland. Established in 1960, the school has built a reputation for providing a comprehensive and diverse education to students worldwide. Its prime location in Geneva, a global hub for diplomacy and business, adds to the unique educational experience it offers.


The school’s establishment in 1960 can be attributed to M. Francis Clivaz, who recognized the growing number of affluent expatriates and foreigners settling in the Geneva and Vaud cantons. These individuals were in search of a bilingual educational option for their children. Francis Clivaz chose to establish the school at the location of a former institute on the right bank of Lake Geneva in the town of Versoix.

In 1978, the school achieved its initial accreditation as a bilingual institution from both the European Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Subsequently 1998, it received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

In 2008, Collège du Léman changed ownership, being acquired by Meritas (education), a for-profit school group based in the United States. Later, in 2015, it transitioned to new ownership again, this time under Nord Anglia Education, another for-profit corporation headquartered in London, UK. The role of Director General at the school was held by Mr Thomas Schädler from 2015 until his retirement in July 2019, at which point Mrs Pauline Nord assumed the position from August 2019 onwards.


Collège du Léman is nestled in the picturesque and advantageous location of Versoix, Switzerland, just a stone’s throw away from the stunning shores of Lake Geneva and within close proximity to the vibrant city of Geneva. This idyllic setting combines the natural beauty of the Swiss landscape with the cosmopolitan appeal of a major international city. The school benefits from Switzerland’s renowned commitment to education excellence, providing students with a safe, nurturing, and culturally diverse environment conducive to learning. The proximity to Geneva, a hub for diplomacy, business, and international organizations, offers unparalleled opportunities for students to engage in global networking, cultural enrichment, and experiential learning. The Collège’s location serves as a gateway to the world, fostering an atmosphere of academic and cultural exploration, making it an ideal destination for a school committed to holistic education and international perspectives. It is one of the most elite international schools.

Number of Students:

There are approximately 2,000 students (please note that this number may vary; for the most accurate count, one should consult the school’s official records).


College Du Leman, Switzerland, presents an enticing campus filled with captivating spaces and top-notch facilities designed to enrich its students’ educational experience.

Among the highlights are the impressive Olympus Gymnasium, spanning a vast 5,000 square meters, which buzzes with activity as students engage in various sports, from gymnastics and badminton to basketball and yoga. The all-weather pitch and outdoor multi-sports courts further provide ample opportunities for students to pursue their sporting passions, promoting physical fitness and enhancing their mental well-being. Ambitious athletes find a platform to train and compete, fostering essential skills like teamwork and sportsmanship.

The campus offers modern science labs and classrooms for budding scientists and innovators, fully equipped with cutting-edge resources such as robotics, MacBooks, and 3D printers. In collaboration with MIT, students are encouraged to “invent the future” by exploring science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) subjects.

Creativity and innovation thrive throughout the College Du Leman campus. Performing arts spaces and private practice suites nurture students’ musical and theatrical talents, enabling them to become adept composers, instrumentalists, and actors. The campus, adorned with abundant trees, green spaces, and gardens, provides an ideal backdrop for learning, collaboration, and creative expression outdoors, making the most of the spring and summer seasons.

In addition, the college’s dedicated preschool area boasts cozy classrooms and stimulating playgrounds, ensuring a nurturing environment for the youngest learners.

For boarding students, College Du Leman offers attractive residential villas at the heart of the village campus. These villas are comfortable homes away from home, featuring spacious bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, contemporary communal spaces, and private gardens. Being just moments away from school facilities, boarding students enjoy easy access to a wide range of exciting activities and the opportunity to spend quality time with friends in the beautiful green spaces on campus. This harmonious blend of residential living and campus life creates a welcoming and enriching experience for all.

Famous Students:

  • Daniel Lozakovich, Swedish internationally acclaimed violinist.
  • Marina Rollman, Swiss comedian.
  • Several diplomats, business leaders, and artists from around the world. For a detailed list, refer to the school’s alumni network.


Offers both boarding and day school options.


Provides the Swiss Maturité, the French Baccalauréat, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, the American High School Program, and AP courses.

Unique Daily Lifestyle:

Positioned near the beautiful Lake Geneva, the day at Collège du Léman starts with a serene view. After a nutritious breakfast, students dive into their bilingual classes. The lunch breaks allow students to walk along the lakeside, reflecting and rejuvenating. Evenings have a French flair, with events ranging from wine tasting for older students to cheese-tasting sessions promoting the region’s rich culture. A lifestyle that matches elite international schools.

8. Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland

The Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, often simply referred to as “Zuoz,” is a prestigious international boarding school located in the Engadin Valley of Switzerland. Founded in 1904, the school has a long history of providing a world-class education to students from around the globe.


The Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, which marked its centenary in 2004, originated in 1904 when it was founded as the “Institut Engiadina” by five forward-thinking individuals from the Engadine region. In its inaugural year, the institute, which initially had 22 students, was overseen by a director and two teachers. Over time, it evolved into an international school that prioritised academics and emphasized physical fitness and sports. This commitment to a holistic education gave rise to the enduring motto: “mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body.


The school is situated in the picturesque Engadin Valley in the Swiss Alps. The campus is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, providing an inspiring and tranquil environment for learning. It is one of the world’s elite international schools.

Number of Students

About 220 boarding and 120 day students aged 12 to 19 from over 45 nations 


The school campus is situated in the elevated section of Zuoz village, encompassing an expansive area of 130,000 square meters. This campus comprises a total of 12 buildings, each serving various purposes. These structures encompass accommodation facilities for boarding school students, expansive sports fields, two ice rinks, tennis courts, a golf driving range, a media library, a theatre, specialized art and music rooms, a spacious dining hall, a student cafe, administrative offices, ample parking lots, and outdoor spaces. Moreover, it’s worth noting that the surrounding village of Zuoz boasts five ski lifts and even has its own golf course, further adding to the range of recreational options available.

Famous Students


Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz is primarily a boarding school that offers various types of accommodation, including traditional dormitories and more private rooms. The boarding experience is integral to student life and promotes a strong sense of community.


Lyceum Alpinum offers various academic programs for students:

  1. Swiss Matura: Required for Swiss university admission.
  2. International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
  3. International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP)

Unique Daily Lifestyle

As a student at Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, your day includes early wake-ups, diverse classes, and meals with friends. Afternoons involve sports or extracurricular activities, dinner, and supervised study time. Evenings allow for socializing and free time. Weekends feature excursions, cultural events, and outdoor activities in the Swiss Alps. Your lifestyle blends rigorous academics, active participation in various activities, and a vibrant social life within a beautiful alpine setting.

9. The American School in Switzerland (TASIS)

The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) is a prestigious international boarding and day school in Montagnola, Lugano’s scenic town. Founded in 1956 by M. Crist Fleming, TASIS offers a comprehensive American college-preparatory curriculum alongside International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs. Serving students from Pre-Kindergarten through post-graduate, the school prides itself on fostering a vibrant global community with students representing over 60 nationalities. With a strong emphasis on academic excellence, cultural exchange, and character development, TASIS prepares its students for successful futures in higher education and beyond while instilling a lifelong appreciation for learning and cultural understanding.


The American School in Switzerland (TASIS), founded in 1956 by Mrs. M. Crist Fleming, was Europe’s first American boarding school. She intended to bring the American independent school tradition to Europe’s rich cultural landscape. Since then, TASIS has expanded internationally, with additional schools and summer programs in countries like England, Greece, and Italy.

Over 25,000 students from numerous nations have attended TASIS, learning respect for diverse cultures and developing into moral, responsible individuals. The school emphasizes intellectual virtues such as culture (humanitas), wisdom (sapientia), knowledge (scientia), and truth (veritas). In 1983, the US Secretary of Education honoured Mrs Fleming’s contributions to international education.

Mrs. Fleming’s entrepreneurial spirit fostered a culture of initiative, creativity, and perseverance at TASIS. Her legacy continues through the TASIS Foundation, ensuring the school’s values endure into the 21st century. Her daughter, Lynn Fleming Aeschliman, has been instrumental in this effort, serving as Executive Director and currently chairing the School’s Board of Directors. Mrs. Fleming’s vision and spirit remain a guiding force at TASIS today.


The school is situated in the Swiss Alps, offering breathtaking views and a picturesque natural environment. Its location in the Swiss canton of Vaud provides a tranquil and inspiring setting for learning.

Number of Students

Approximately 765 students from 67 different nationalities


The TASIS campus, perched on the Collina d’Oro (“Hill of Gold”) in Montagnola, offers stunning views of the Swiss mountains and Lake Lugano, embodying the grandeur and beauty of nature. This spectacular setting has earned TASIS a top spot on Architectural Digest Magazine’s list of the most beautiful boarding schools in the world.

Culture, symbolized by the Tower in the TASIS Crest, is a cornerstone of a TASIS education. The campus itself, with its mix of 17th-century relics and state-of-the-art, eco-friendly buildings, reflects the school’s emphasis on art and history. The classic architecture, with its graceful proportions, inspires students to appreciate genuine beauty in their lives.

Mrs. M. Crist Fleming, the founder of TASIS, believed strongly in the importance of beauty, a value reflected in all aspects of life at the school. From the elegant campus architecture and picturesque settings to the emphasis on fine dress, artistic expression, and academic excellence, TASIS nurtures an appreciation for beauty in every form.

Famous Students


Boarding at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) offers a unique and enriching experience set against the picturesque backdrop of Montagnola, overlooking Lake Lugano and the Swiss Alps. This environment provides students with an inspiring setting that promotes both academic excellence and personal growth.

TASIS boarding students come from diverse cultural backgrounds, fostering a global community where students learn to live and collaborate with peers worldwide. This multicultural atmosphere encourages mutual respect, understanding, and lifelong friendships.

The boarding facilities at TASIS are designed to offer comfort, safety, and a sense of home. Students reside in well-appointed dormitories that balance privacy with communal living, ensuring personal space while engaging in a supportive community. Dormitories are supervised by experienced and caring residential staff who provide guidance and support, creating a nurturing environment for students to thrive.

Boarding life at TASIS includes a structured routine that balances academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities. Students have access to various after-school programs, including sports, arts, and various clubs, allowing them to explore their interests and develop new skills. Weekend excursions and cultural trips are also integral to the boarding experience, allowing students to explore Switzerland and other European destinations and enhancing their educational journey.

Meals are provided in the school’s dining facilities, where students enjoy nutritious and diverse cuisine. Shared meals are a time for socializing and building community, further enriching the boarding experience.


The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students for higher education and global citizenship. Serving students from Pre-Kindergarten through high school, TASIS provides a blend of American and International Baccalaureate programs.

College Counseling

Robust college counselling services assist with college selection, application preparation, and standardized test planning.

The TASIS curriculum combines American and international standards, fostering a lifelong love of learning, cultural understanding, and global citizenship.

Unique Daily Lifestyle

One of the world’s most elite international schools, the daily life of a TASIS student is unique. Your day includes early wake-ups, diverse classes, and meals with friends. Afternoons involve sports, arts, or extracurricular activities, dinner, and study time. Evenings offer socializing and free time. Recent graduates describe TASIS as a heartwarming, family-like community where everyone grows as students, athletes, and friends. With over 60 nationalities and 40 languages, TASIS celebrates cultural differences, fostering global citizenship. Varsity sports, fitness activities, and Alpine exploration enhance physical fitness and appreciation for the outdoors.

10. Surval Montreux

Surval Montreux is a prestigious international all-girls boarding school in Montreux, Switzerland. Founded in 1961, it offers a comprehensive and holistic educational experience designed to empower young women academically, socially, and personally.


Founded by Mrs. Georgette-F Andrea in 1961, Surval is an international boarding school for girls that started in a small chalet in Leysin, situated above the valley. The name “Sur-Val” was inspired by this location. In 1998, the school moved to its present location, perched on a hill overlooking Montreux and Lake Geneva, where it has continued flourishing.

Surval has a longstanding reputation as a successful Swiss Finishing School and has remained true to its origins, offering courses in etiquette, international savoir-vivre, and languages. Today, the school is home to up to 60 full boarders from various parts of the world and provides a customized education for girls aged 12 to 19, offering internationally recognized curricula.

In 2012, the school changed its name to Surval Montreux after Bellevue Education’s acquisition. The parent company overseeing Surval Montreux is Bellevue Education International Limited. Bellevue Education’s acquisition of the school was part of a series of acquisitions, largely funded by Tarek Obaid, the founder of the oil company PetroSaudi.

In 2018, GEMS Education acquired Bellevue Education, which became a subsidiary of the GEMS Education Group. GEMS Education, a prominent educational organization with a presence in the UK and Europe, also includes its stake in Bellevue Education. In 2019, CVC acquired a 30% stake in GEMS Education, encompassing its ownership in Bellevue Education.


Surval Montreux is situated in the charming town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. It offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, providing a peaceful and inspiring setting for learning.

Number of Students

Approximately 60 students


Surval Montreux is situated within a historic Art Deco luxury hotel building, adding to its unique charm. The school features a stunning wraparound terrace that provides picturesque views of Lake Léman and the Château de Chillon. Many of the bedrooms have access to spacious balconies, and the school even has private tennis courts, offering students a beautiful and functional environment for their education and recreation. They have an Art Studio, Gym / Fitness Centre, Library, School Dining Room and Catering, Science Labs, and Tennis Courts. 

Famous Students

Not available


Surval Montreux is primarily a boarding school, providing various accommodation options, including dormitories and more private rooms. The boarding experience fosters a sense of community and independence among students.


Surval Montreux (SM) initiates its educational journey with the Foundation Year. Most Foundation students commence this phase at the age of 13, although English language learners can start at age 12 and dedicate a year to enhancing their English proficiency before integrating into the broader school community.

Following the Foundation Year, students at Surval Montreux can opt for one of two academic paths: they can work toward earning an American high school diploma or choose to pursue the IGCSE and A-Levels qualifications.

Additionally, SM offers a pre-university program, the Surval Swiss Gap Experience, designed for students aged 17 to 19.

Unique Daily Lifestyle

As a student at Surval Montreux, your daily life would be vibrant and enriching. Mornings start with breakfast overlooking Lake Geneva, followed by a range of academic classes tailored to your interests, whether you’re pursuing the IGCSE, A-Levels, or the American High School program. Afternoons are filled with diverse activities, including cooking, fashion, leadership workshops, and sports like tennis and skiing. Evenings offer socializing, study time, and cultural events. Weekends might include excursions to nearby cities, cultural activities, and outdoor adventures in the Swiss Alps. The all-girls international environment at Surval Montreux fosters strong bonds, personal growth, and a supportive community where students are encouraged to become confident, globally-minded individuals. One of the world’s most elite international schools.

*Disclaimer: The details about each school have been provided based on what is publicly available.

20 Characteristics Common to Elite International Schools

The most expensive and elite international schools in Europe are renowned for their exclusivity, exceptional educational standards, and a wide array of unique characteristics that set them apart from other institutions. While each school may have its distinct attributes, there are common features that are often associated with these prestigious educational establishments:

Historic Prestige:

Many European elite international schools boast centuries-old histories and traditions, contributing to their prestigious reputations.

Selective Admissions:

These schools have highly competitive admissions processes, accepting only a limited number of students each year based on rigorous criteria.

Global and Diverse Student Body:

Elite European international schools often attract students worldwide, creating a culturally diverse environment.

Top-Notch Faculty:

They employ renowned faculty members who are experts in their respective fields, often with extensive academic and professional backgrounds.

Exceptional Facilities:

These elite international schools typically feature state-of-the-art facilities, including cutting-edge classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and sports facilities.

Personalized Education:

Class sizes are small, allowing for individualized attention and tailored learning experiences.

Multilingual Education:

Many elite international schools in Europe offer bilingual or multilingual education, emphasizing the importance of language proficiency.

International Curriculum:

They often adopt international curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International Examinations, which provide a global perspective.

Extensive Extracurricular Activities:

Elite international schools offer various extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, music, and clubs, fostering holistic development.

Global Networking Opportunities:

Students benefit from extensive networking opportunities with influential alumni and professionals.

Cultural Enrichment:

Elite International Schools frequently organize cultural events, trips, and exchanges to broaden students’ horizons.

Emphasis on Leadership and Character Development:

Leadership programs, character education, and community service are integral to the curriculum.

High Achievements and Scholarships:

Elite international school graduates often excel academically and secure scholarships to prestigious universities worldwide.
Inclusivity and Support Services:

While exclusive, these schools offer comprehensive support services to ensure the well-being and success of all students.

Global Perspective:

They instil a global perspective and encourage students to become responsible global citizens.

Strong Alumni Networks:

Graduates of these elite international schools benefit from strong and influential alumni networks, which can aid in career advancement.

Cultural and Historical Significance:

Many elite international schools in Europe are situated in culturally significant locations, often within historic cities, providing a unique backdrop for learning.

Philanthropic Initiatives:

These schools are often involved in philanthropic activities and community engagement, reinforcing their commitment to social responsibility.

Holistic Education:

Elite international schools emphasize academic excellence, character development, ethics, and values.

High Tuition Fees:

The most distinct characteristic is their exorbitant tuition fees, making them accessible primarily to affluent families.

These common features contribute to the allure and reputation of Europe’s most expensive and elite international schools. They offer a holistic educational experience that goes beyond academic excellence, aiming to prepare students for leadership roles and global citizenship in an ever-changing world.

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Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for education institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.

Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals throughout the world in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start up projects, leadership and curriculum development, has made him a sought after authority in these discipline.

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