TASIS of Switzerland
About UsWelcome to the website of TASIS, The American School in Switzerland. This site helps to tell the story of what makes this a special school, unrivaled in location, mission, and programs. The story began over a half-century ago, when M. Crist Fleming fulfilled her dream of establishing an American boarding school in the heart of Europe, designed to prepare students for American colleges and universities and to introduce them to European culture and languages. Today, our academic programs allow students to earn the American high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, providing access to colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Accredited by both the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), today we accommodate over 700 students between our day students (grades Pre K–12 and Post-Graduate) and our boarding students (grades 7–Post-Graduate). Our enviable location—perched on a hillside in sunny southern Switzerland that commands views of snow-capped mountains to the north, and palms trees, lake, and the Italian border to the south—makes possible an impressive travel program. Travel experiences throughout the year bring students face-to-face with the rich cultural heritage of Europe and the spectacular natural beauty of the Alps and beyond. Our school is distinguished by both its diversity and its unity: students representing 50 nationalities with outstanding teachers who—as called for in our Mission Statement—help direct students to know “the creations, achievements, traditions, and ideals from the past that offer purpose in the present and hope for the future.”
The CampusThe TASIS campus stands on the Collina d’Oro (“hill of gold”) in Montagnola, a little village overlooking Lugano, Switzerland. The spectacular setting, with the Swiss mountains above and Lake Lugano below, is a constant reminder of the grandeur of nature. The historic campus buildings suggest the nobility toward which humans can aspire. The value of culture is no afterthought or byproduct at TASIS. Symbolized in the TASIS Crest as the Tower, culture is central to a TASIS education; the emphasis on art and history starts with the campus itself. The most magnificent campus building is Villa de Nobili, a 17th-century mansion that still contains the suits of armor placed there when the building was a national museum. Now, it provides a fascinating setting for a dormitory, science classrooms, administrative offices, and the School’s dining room. Other beautiful campus buildings provide classrooms, dormitories, computer labs, an elegant 30,000-volume library, art studios, photo labs, music rooms, and a sports facility with its handsome multi-purpose basketball court, dance room, fitness center, snack bar and student common room. The classic architecture of the campus buildings, with their graceful, humane proportions, helps to focus TASIS students on a significant purpose of their education: to value genuine beauty in their own lives.
AcademicsThe Academic Program at TASIS is structured by the fundamental ideas expressed in the TASIS Mission Statement. At all grade levels students are challenged to develop a passion for excellence, a respect and understanding of others, and the personal values of responsibility, civility, compassion, justice, and honesty. The content of courses is strongly oriented towards the classical liberal arts tradition as it is expressed in the heritage of Western civilization and world cultures. In addition to the immediate classroom experience, TASIS also makes great use of its location in the heart of Europe to visit many of the sites where this long-standing cultural heritage is displayed, and to bring to campus artists and speakers who can enhance and complement the curriculum. In order to implement these goals, TASIS draws on the strengths of the Core Knowledge, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate programs. While English is the primary language of instruction, there is also a comprehensive English-as-an-Additional Language (EAL) program in place throughout the curriculum. Fluent English-speaking students at all grade levels are required to study at least one modern language in addition to their native language. In Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8, all students are taught in a parallel English & Italian language program. This strong emphasis on language acquisition continues through the IB Diploma Program, where TASIS teaches four primary A1 languages (English, Italian, German, & Russian), and supports a variety of Self-taught languages. One-half TASIS IB Diploma candidates receive a bilingual IB diploma.
Community LifeAs a boarding school which draws students from across the globe, community life is especially interesting at TASIS. Students and faculty work together in a variety of ways outside of academic life to build the close relationships that are central to developing and nurturing the community. Through the many nonacademic activities offered at the School, students have the opportunity to develop and explore other talents and interests as well as experiencing the fun and difficulties of growing up in company with others their own age. TASIS is, however, more than teaching traditions and developing cultural understanding. When young people from different backgrounds really get to know each other, as they do at TASIS, something marvelous happens: prejudices break down, barriers of ignorance are crossed, and a community that transcends political and national boundaries is formed.
AthleticsSports are required for all students at least two afternoons per week and include competitive team sports such as:
- Varsity and Jr. Soccer: girls and boys
- Volleyball: girls and boys
- Varsity and Jr. Varsity Basketball: girls and boys
- Badminton: girls and boys
- Swimming: girls and boys
- Tennis: girls and boys
- Lacrosse: boys
- Track and Field: girls and boys
- Cross Country: girls and boys
- Zumba, Bodytoning, and Yoga
- Fitness classes
- Recreational tennis and flag football
- Recreational lacrosse
- Recreational swimming
- Personal Fitness
- Horseback Riding
- Running and walking
- Non-competitive soccer, volleyball, and basketball are also offered.
Fine ArtsTASIS emphasizes the Arts as a way to strive for wisdom. Works of art surround students on the campus and are the subject of many Academic Travel trips. Our Fine Arts program is extensive and includes courses in Drama, Music, and the Visual Arts. Opportunities for extra-curricular artistic exhibitions, musical performances, and dramatic productions abound. The Spring Arts Festival is an annual celebration of student artwork of all kinds along with displays and performance by well-known artists and musicians outside TASIS community.