Ecole d’Humanité

The Ecole d’Humanité is a progressive, international boarding school in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The Ecole offers an American academic program in English, and a Swiss academic program taught in German, to 130 students from some 25 different countries. Our 40-50 staff members live together with students in a dynamic, multilingual community that fosters the discovery and development of individual talents – academic, artistic, practical, athletic, and social. The community atmosphere encourages self-determination, innovation, and acceptance. Ecole students are diverse, independent learners and leaders, who are globally aware and capable of meaningful collaboration with adults and peers.   

The Ecole has a long and proud history in the traditions of the progressive education movement, which still guides our practice today. At the core of our philosophy and mission statement is a belief in the uniqueness of each student, and a commitment to providing an educational experience that enables each student to reach his or her potential. In practice, this philosophy influences everything we do. Student voice permeates all aspects of life at the Ecole – student requests, wishes, interests and plans are the first step of the course planning and term scheduling process. Students choose their own classes and put together their own schedule with assistance from teacher advisors. Student feedback sessions are built into the term schedule, and the weekly school assembly takes a discussion format, where all members of the school community have the opportunity to share their opinions on discussion topics. Student empowerment is a cornerstone of our work, making the Ecole both a challenging and rewarding place to teach and live.

Highlights of working at our unique school include: small classes of 5-12 students, a teaching load of three morning academic classes that meet six days a week, independent student investigations, and the ability for faculty to tailor their own curriculum in accordance with their intellectual passions and expertise. In the afternoons and evenings, teachers lead a variety of enrichment activities (sports, arts, farming, performance, handcrafts, outdoor programs) based on their own talents and interests. Students and teachers make the most of the school’s magnificent alpine location through an extensive outdoor education program, hiking and climbing in the autumn and spring, and skiing or snowboarding in the winter.   

Students live in small “Ecole Family” groups with 2-3 teachers (teachers live in private apartments) for 6-10 young people. There is an emphasis on responsible community living and student involvement in all facets of daily school life, from school upkeep to curriculum planning. Faculty lead weekly activities for the family group, and provided individual social and emotional support.  


Ecole d’Humanité

Location Category:

Europe/Eastern Europe






130 Students 7-13


Advanced Placement (AP), National, United States, Swiss diplomas through Matura


42 faculty members, including 16 host-country nationals, 14 U.S. citizens, 10 third-country nationals, and 2 U.K. citizens


– occupational and non-occupational accident insurance
– ancillary rental expenses covered by employer
– meal allowance
– annual cable car and ski lift pass allowance
– dental treatment contribution
– assistance for families with children (au pair / nanny services)
– home leave travel allowance for non-European teachers (every two years)

School Year:

September – June

Year Founded:


Average Class Size:

Secondary: 6


Badminton, Basketball, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Skiing, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Snowboarding, Climbing, Backpacking, Hiking

Campus Information:

City (or closest city): Lucerne, Location Type: Rural, Campus Size (hectares): 5, No of Buildings: 20, No of Classrooms: 32, No of volumes in Library: 22, 000, No of computer labs: 3, No of instructional computers: 106

Physical Facilities:

Art Room(s): 1, Auditorium(s): 1, Cafeteria(s): 1, Covered play area(s): 2, Gymnasium(s): 1, Playing field(s): 3, Science lab(s): 3, Swimming pool(s): 1, Tennis court(s): 1, Air Conditioning: Yes