Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision. It goes beyond looking at a school's academic reputation. It is also important to consider the social and extracurricular opportunities available to every student. This will enable you to see what an ISK experience means for your whole family.
That's what we're here for - to help you determine if ISK is the best fit for you and your family and then to help you successfully become part of the ISK family.
Kenya boasts a magnificent coastline, the second highest mountain in Africa, and a spectacular variety of wildlife in its enormous game parks. The cultural diversity is unparalleled.
Kenya sits astride the equator, and the landscape ranges from tropical forests along the coast to glaciers in the mountains. The country contains a large number of lakes, both freshwater and saline and a great variety of plant-life from semi-desert to mangroves and swamp. The Great Rift Valley is less than one hour's drive northwest from the school.
A significant percentage of the land in Kenya is set aside for national parks and national reserves. You can visit the parks in first class style, staying in one of the many luxury lodges, or you can be economical and camp out. Whichever you may choose, the wildlife is abundant and watching it gives many hours of pleasure. There are over 1,600 species in Africa, and Kenya is home to 1,200. Approximately 200 have been spotted here on the school grounds!
Kenya is a diverse country. Notable peoples include the swahili on the coast, pastoralist communities in the north, and several different communities in the central and western regions.
Nairobi National Park is a favorite spot for after work and on the weekends. Rhinos and leopards will occasionally allow themselves to be seen along with the "usual" residents such as zebras, giraffes, lions, ostriches, gazelles and wildebeest.
Mombasa and the coast are a six-hour drive from Nairobi and very popular tourist spots. The history, seafood, sport fishing, wind surfing, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, sunbathing and peace and quiet are all first rate.
And that's just the beginning.
For more information, please visit the following links:
There's a lot you can learn online and via email, but the very best way to learn about us is to schedule a visit to ISK. We look forward to walking you around campus, answering your questions, and helping you to navigate the admissions process.
If you are coming from an International or American school, the feel of our campus and classrooms will seem very familiar. You'll also see how fortunate we are to be here in Nairobi, and why we work so hard to provide a learning environment that highlights our rich international culture.
ISK is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our community. We are following and using guidelines from the Ministry of Health, WHO and CDC in order to inform our practices.
Please adhere to ISK’s 4W’s for safety when on campus:
- Wear your mask
- Watch your distance
- Wash your hands
- Work together
We are excited to welcome you on campus and to better acquaint you with ISK. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit.
The Parent Teacher Organization is made up of volunteer parents whose main aim is to support staff in the many extra-curricular activities that take place during the school year. Our exciting programs and events are designed to enable you to get more involved in school activities, to provide support to the teachers and other staff who are involved in extra-curricular activities and to enhance your family's experience of school life.
The PTO is also entirely responsible for several major annual events including:
- Major art exhibition, organized by Friends of the Arts, a PTO group
- School picnic
- Staff appreciation lunch
- Bus tours and visits to specific places in Nairobi
- Welcome teas for new parents
- Taste of Nations on International Day
- Costume Party
- Holiday Bazaar
The PTO Shop is an important part of our connection to the broader community. It is stocked with many craft items made by community self-help groups, and has a range of stationery for students, as well as products made by parents.
Through the shop and other activities, we usually raise enough money each year to provide small grants to community groups who need financial help. These groups are those that the school has built up a relationship with through the Community Service Programme as well as groups connected to us through the shop and our members.
The success of the PTO depends on volunteer parents and their active involvement. Parents can be as involved as they would like to be. We meet regularly, once a month in a friendly atmosphere that gives everyone the chance to meet friends and get to know one another.
If you join the ISK Community, please contribute your time, knowledge and ideas to the PTO!
- Ilana Sumka
- Josh Mott
- Angela Lee
- Roopal Thaker
- Long Westerlund
- Laura Schlesinger Minor
- Prashant Soergaard
- Soha Ehsani
- Warren Buford
- Aziz Meruani
Spending four years at ISK was like being a full-time student in the United Nations. My entire view on life was transformed and expanded to include people from every part of the world.
I loved being in small classes with people from across the globe. When an event happened on an international level, we would bring it into our daily lives over lunch-time conversations, engaging in serious conversations ranging from the first Gulf War to the fall of the Soviet Union.
Now I work in the field of conflict transformation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I have ISK to thank for providing a solid foundation for seeking understanding and bridge-building across diverse cultures and communities.
Class of 1993
I attended the International School of Kenya from 1978-1980. I was in 5th and 6th grades, and although it was only a brief time, these were without question my favorite years of primary school. My ongoing interests in international health were of course were stimulated by my childhood years in Nigeria and Kenya, and by the rich mix of friends that I made at ISK. I am still in contact with several of my ISK friends, and one of the persons who attended ISK when I did now actually works with me at WHO-Europe!
Attended 1979 – 1980
I attended ISK from 1977-1989 - that's Grades 1-12! Not too many can claim that distinction. I graduated valedictorian with both the high school diploma and IB.
My father had a permanent contract with UNEP, so while all my classmates traipsed the world with their diplomat parents, the world traipsed to me! Not that I didn't also travel - our family went on home leave every two years to China.
Having all the travel and intercultural experience was a definite boost to getting into college. I went to Yale, majoring in Biology. The IB diploma gave me a few credits head start. I then did two years of cell biology research before discovering my true passion - Chinese medicine. I finished my Master's in Oriental Medicine, and have been practicing as an acupuncturist/herbalist/taichi instructor in White Plains, NY for 12 years.
My intercultural experiences as well as a background in both Chinese culture and Western science, have all served me very well in my chosen profession.
Thanks to ISK for a fantastic grounding in academic and life skills!
Class of 1989
|In 2008, on a beautiful lakeshore high in the Karakoram Mountains near the borders of China, Afghanistan and Pakistan, I found myself reflecting on my ISK experience. I was in the midst of a year of solo travel through Asia, making my way through a dozen countries on a small budget and doing my utmost to stay off the beaten track. I realized that ISK had helped to facilitate many of my most incredible, fulfilling life experiences.|
ISK opened my eyes to global diversity and the unity of humanity. The school helped me develop my passion for social justice and gain knowledge of local and global issues. ISK’s academic curriculum provided the foundation for my future career as a policy analyst committed to professional excellence and effective solutions to public problems. My teachers often became friends and mentors, challenging me to aim high and not be discouraged by life’s obstacles. Some of my strongest lifelong friendships were forged through cafeteria lunches, IB homework, after school activities, and field trips to communities across Kenya. As I made my way through Asia, I was constantly struck by how those relationships simply picked up where they left off as I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in 10 to 15 years. To steal a quote from my French teacher, thank you ISK for helping me become “une citoyenne du monde!”
Class of 1993
The education I received at ISK added immeasurably to my development, both personally and professionally. ISK builds leaders and concentrates confidence by pushing the edges of a student's capabilities. I had an IB art class with Liza Mackay, and she would always challenge me "show me something new" every single day. The gauntlet was always there -- innovate, bring your genius, be your best.
This type of training prepared me for a career in law, in software engineering, in finance, in management consulting. Year's later, when I was leading software teams, I would repeat the same mantra, "show me something new." The faculty is world-class, acclimating me to the academic rigors I would later face at the College of William and Mary and Duke's Fuqua School of Business. The general learning environment is simply first class -- the student lives, breathes and becomes the lesson. To prospective students, I would say, if you are lucky enough to attend, Go...and show me something new.
Class of 1988
Independent Management Consultant
I entered the American Community School because my mother worked there. My sisters and I had attended Kenyan schools when we first arrived. After graduating from Standard 7 at Kilimani School, I didn't want to go to a girls high school. The Community School had just started offering teacher-led high school classes. The upper classes were still all offered by correspondence.
I had 4 1/2 of the best years of my life at NIS. I made lifelong friends from around the world and my commitment to teaching cultural competence and experiencing different cultures stems from those days. I have memories of school trips which were terrific (senior class trip to Mombasa on the school bus stands out). I loved Serendipity Days - offered once a quarter. The day was broken into learning segments with guest speakers, films, trips and more and we chose our schedule. The education was top notch although the individual attention did not prepare me for computer-graded classes at a university with 200 or more students in a single class. The school has a rich history and hundreds of alums who remember it fondly.
Class of 1973
Historical Note: ISK was founded in 1967 as the American Community School. It became Nairobi International School (NIS) in 1970 and then changed its name again to International School of Kenya (ISK) in 1976.
Looking back, my time at ISK is definitely one of the most memorable periods in my life. ISK allowed me to see how I can interact in a global environment with people from all over the world and create impact.
I still remember the small insightful remarks that my teachers used to tell me, such as the importance of culture or the context of the economic system world we live in. I started realizing my leadership potential, and how I can succeed in what I set my mind to.
I didn't reflect so much about it at the time, but looking back I can say it was really insightful and the learning I will keep for the rest of my life. I can say that ISK for me was both about learning relevant academics that were highly relevant to be successful in university and in my further career, but more importantly it was a great life-learning for me to become more confident and clear about my future. It was a unique experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
Class of 2006
Some of my fondest memories are from ISK - the friends, activities and classes made the experience more than just a high school. I still refer to our field trips to Loita Hills as the richest cultural experience of my lifetime so far. The rigorous and engaging curriculum helped me understand analytic frameworks that I still use in my professional career - I know this is true for my peers, which is pleasantly surprising considering the variety of life choices that each of us have made.
As an alumnus of ISK, I have a global network of friends, all of whom are borne from the same fabric weaved from threads of ethics, appreciation for cultural diversity and passion to perform as leaders in a global village.
Class of 2004
ISK changed my life forever. I feel lucky to have attended and graduated from there. The combination of a diverse and smart student body, a beautiful campus in a fascinating and emerging country, and dedicated and passionate teachers who have traveled the world makes for an unforgettable educational experience. It was also ISK's emphasis on community in all senses of the word that left an impression.
There was as much learning inside the classroom as outside, whether through unforgettable field trips like Mt Kenya, service within Nairobi and across Africa, extracurricular activities such as sports and MUN, or social interaction and probing conversation with interesting classmates and teachers. I look back on my time at ISK with tremendous pride.
|I attended ISK from grade 1 to 12, following in my brother Amyn's footsteps and leaving a trail for my sister, Raana. We have 36 collective years of ISK education! The ability to quickly make friends was a norm as many classmates were only there for two years and then off to wherever their parents took them. The teachers were more permanent as were a few other classmates that completed 12 years at ISK. The three of us even had the same teachers throughout our time at ISK.|
The ISK experience was rounded out by the annual class trips. Whether sitting on the beach in Mombasa, drinking fresh cows blood at a Masai boma or struggling to climb Mt. Kenya at 4am with mediocre boots and clothing, every trip made for a lifetime of memories.
I have more contact with friends from ISK than any other part of my life. With the help of my fellow classmates, Lars Eriksen and David Wolf, we started an e-mail newsletter and then later a web site, rafiki.org to keep alumni in touch. Now there are sites like Classmates.com, Facebook, Google Groups, LinkedIn, etc. and of course ISK's own alumni portal to keep us all connected.
The campus evolved over the years too. Buildings were added, fields were groomed from the coffee plantation, fences and gates were installed, buses were added, computers were upgraded, etc. Despite all the physical changes, I am certain the ISK Lion's spirit lives on. I look forward to visiting to see all the changes, and possibly offering the same experience to my children.
ISK Class of 1990