Institut Montana - My Place to Grow
1. Please mention about the school and its mission/vision and various infrastructural facilities.
Institut Montana opened its doors to six students on May 3rd, 1926. It would grow into a much-loved Swiss international boarding school.
There are around 330 students aged 6 to 19 from more than 45 countries across our boarding school and day school. It is a supportive environment where we treat each other with fairness and mutual respect.
We have outstanding staff from all over the world and an average class size of around ten students. Teachers who are passionate about their subjects, caring house-parents, counsellors and mentors who support you through life’s challenges, people who keep our school clean, maintain it and prepare our nutritious food – everyone is part of the Montana Family. You are surrounded by companions who are sharing your journey. Some will be friends for life.
We have built on our past. Modern advances in knowledge about learning have shown that educationalists like Pestalozzi were right. Intellectual development is best achieved by attending to each student holistically and as an individual; it all comes together to nourish your mental, emotional and physical health.
We look to the future. The world for which we are educating today’s young people will be very different by the time you graduate. We cannot predict what career opportunities await you, but we can prepare you for a changing world.
Our students will be clear thinkers, problem solvers and able to apply their thinking skills across a wide range of applications. They will be creative lovers of art, music, theatre and film, from the most classical to the most experimental. They will have a sound grounding in scientific method and use of technology. They will understand and appreciate cultural complexity and be able to make a good case for their beliefs. They will be equipped with a moral compass to act as a guide through the ethical questions of tomorrow. They will be generous of spirit. And you can be one of them.
2. Kindly mention about the prominent personality of the school and his/her role in the development of the school.
The founder of Institut Montana, Dr Max Husmann, was ambitious. He dreamed of an international boarding school which would teach young people how to build a peaceful world.
Dr Husmann’s core idea was simple. If young people of many nationalities went to school together, learning to respect different cultural backgrounds, and if they were taught to think clearly, they would grow to be tolerant and fair-minded. War would be history.
He had a clear vision for his international boarding school. It would have natural surroundings and fresh air; it would be a sanctuary and an inspiration. Following the ideas of Swiss educationalist Johann Pestalozzi, it would see each student as a whole person and an individual. It would use the best of modern technology and teaching methods; it would be a caring community. With intelligence, ethics and compassion, these students would help towards the harmony that might, one day, achieve world peace.
Dr Husmann’s ambition to strive for peace was put into action when, in 1945, he helped organise and mediate Operation Sunrise, the secret negotiations that brought the surrender of the German army in Italy and the end of World War II. Then, in 1947, the highly respected graphic artist Hans Tomamichel designed the emblem, with its eloquent representation of healthy growth towards a peaceful world, that we still use today.
3. Kindly describe about the various courses offered by the school and their salient features.
We offer a choice of academic paths, depending on whether your longer-term ambition is to graduate with the Swiss Matura or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Our Swiss programmes, in accordance with the decentralised Swiss education system, are based on the framework provided by the Canton of Zug. We adapt them to the context of our school and offer an international approach that includes bilingual (English and German) tracks.
Our Bilingual Elementary School is for children from age 6. The classroom is bilingual, German and English. Learning a second language at a young age helps cognitive development as well as encouraging understanding in how our world is made up of many different cultures.
At age 12, you can choose between our Swiss Secondary or High School sections, or our international section.
The Bilingual Secondary School follows the newly formulated Swiss school system curriculum, Lehrplan 21. It is designed to keep your options open as your ambitions develop, with the help of personalised academic and linguistic support. From here, you might continue to our Swiss high school, our international high school or work for a secondary school degree to attend a vocational, commercial or upper-secondary specialised college.
Our Swiss High School accepts international as well as Swiss students. They must have good English and some German; the required level can be reached by studying first at the Bilingual Secondary School. The bilingual track offers extra courses in English as well as the possibility to earn an IB English Certificate to support university applications. Your studies will be rewarded by the Swiss Matura. It opens doors to all Swiss universities as well as higher education opportunities around the world. The path towards the Matura you will follow with us is special. It is taught in an international community where you will grow into a global citizen with a prestigious Swiss education.
At our International School your goal is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, highly respected by the world’s leading universities. The IB teaches students how to live well in a multicultural world and to become clear thinkers with a humanitarian outlook. The early grades, starting from grade 6, follow the Cambridge international programme, a strong foundation for a truly international education.
Whatever your ambitions, we will help you achieve them.
4. Please mention what steps are you taking beyond the traditional curriculum to ensure overall development of the students?
We have a variety of extracurricular activities, where every child will be able to find something, depending on what interests them. Those, who are into sports will take advantage of our splendid location on a mountain and can try running, mountain-biking, skiing, swimming, rowing, playing football and tennis in one of our tennis courts. The kids, who want to express their creative side, will profit from such activites as our school theatre, choir, art, cookery club, textile design and chess. We also prepare the future leaders with such activities as our Model United Nations club, entrepreneurship, science and technology.
We have a student council, which meets weekly to discuss school affairs and gets to meet the director once per month.
5. What steps does the school take to motivate and develop the students’ interest towards education?
Our personalised approach puts our students at the centre of everything we do, This means we see all our students as individuals with their own talents. We find their strengths and nurture them.
It means that we see education holistically in the belief that overall well-being enhances academic progress. So, your health and your happiness are of the utmost importance to us.
Below are practical ways we achieve this –
· Small Class Sizes
· Individual Academic Support
· Dedicated Class Advisors
· Supervised Study Time
· Language Support
· College Counselling
· Rewarding Effort
6. What are the career opportunities available to the students after completion of their courses?
Successful completion of our Bilingual Secondary School opens up three possibilities, continuing to study in the Swiss High School, in our International School or , you can use a Secondary School Degree based on the Lehrplan 21 to gain entry to a vocational training programme, commercial or upper-secondary specialised school, after grade 9. A bilingual education will help towards many different career paths. Successful completion of the Swiss High School will be awarded by the Swiss Matura. It opens doors to all Swiss universities as well as higher education opportunities around the world. Our International School opens up two possibilities – either The International Baccalaureate Diploma or a High School Diploma. The International Baccalaureate Diploma is an internationally recognised passport to the world’s top universities. Graduation with a High School Diploma keeps options open for students with diverse paths and academic goals, maybe working towards entrance to US universities or towards vocational training.
7. Please enlighten us about the school’s major awards/achievements, its accomplished/renowned alumni, remarkable collaborations, and major accreditations.
From scientists to politicians, artists to adventurers, our alumni are a lively group of passionate people who share educational values. They stay connected for life.
With over 7000 members, some of our notable alumni include: John F. Kerry, 2004 US Presidential Nominee and 2013-2017 Secretary of State; Nicolas Hayek Jr., CEO of the Swatch Group; Pierre Mirabaud, former President of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA); Willem P.C. Stemmer, Dutch scientist and inventor of biotechnologies, including pioneering contributions to directed evolution that won him the Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2011; Marc Forster, filmmaker known for directing feature movies such as James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland and many more.
As a Swiss International Boarding school, we are accredited by the most important organisations who award their recognition to schools that meet the highest standards. We are an accredited member of the Council of International Schools, member of the International Baccalaureate Organisation and an accredited IB World School since 1987, accredited Cambridge International Examinations Centre. Our Bilingual Elementary School, Secondary School and Swiss High School are recognised by the Canton of Zug.
8. Kindly elaborate about the future plans of the school in the same.
In 2026, Institut Montana will be 100 years old, a milestone to celebrate. It is also a catalyst that inspires our plans for the future of our school. Our centenary will cement our position as one of the most respected Swiss international boarding schools in Switzerland.
We cannot predict where technology will take employment prospects, but we can prepare students, help them develop attributes and strengths that will enable them to succeed intellectually and emotionally. The plans that will take us to our centenary and beyond are shaped by this ambition.