International School of Brussels
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International School of Brussels
International School of Brussels
International School of Brussels logo.png

CoordinatesCoordinates: 50°47?20?N 4°25?1?E / 50.78889°N 4.41694°E / 50.78889; 4.41694
TypePrivate school
MottoEveryone Included, Challenged, Successful
Established1951 (1951)
Head teacherJames Macdonald
Number of students1,400
Campus162,134.62 m2 (40.06434 acres)

The International School of Brussels (ISB) is an English-language international school that provides an international education to over 1400 students aged 3 to 18 from over 70 countries.[1] Its 40-acre (16 ha) campus lies in the Brussels commune of Watermael-Boitsfort, about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) southeast of the city centre.[2]


The International School of Brussels opened in October 1951 as the American School of Brussels with four teachers and twenty-seven students between the ages of 5 and 11. It was first founded to accommodate U.S. Department of Defense military personnel and their families living in Brussels.[3] It was located in the Brussels commune of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.[3]

By the end of the 1953 term, the school was home to about one hundred students and had moved to its current location at the Château des Fougères, in the Brussels commune of Watermael-Boitsfort. It changed its name from the American School of Brussels to the International School of Brussels.[4]

In 1966, a new High School is opened, however it later became the Middle School building. In 1967, the currently used Elementary School is opened.

In its early years, the entire school was housed in the old Château des Fougères. ISB became an International Baccalaureate school on 1 January 1977 making it the 50th IB school worldwide.[5] Additionally, the first International Festival was hosted in 1977, a festival which celebrates different cultures in the school. [3]

In February 2006 the school board opted to begin fundraising because it determined that the tuition charged to its students was insufficient for its needs.[6]

Chateau des Fougères

Buildings and campus

ISB is located on a 162,134.6-square-metre (1,745,202 sq ft) wooded campus. Green is the predominant colour on campus. All of the buildings use new 'green' technologies, and trees planted by Middle School students dot the grounds. Surrounding the school is a forest, with entries to the Brussels region's forest trails across the campus.[2]

An outdoor track, performing arts center, two gymnasiums, and 15 hectares (37 acres) of playing fields and woods are located on the campus.[6]

The 19th century building called the "Château" is the school's administration building. Designed with pillars, the building houses a reception area that hosts parents of students.[6] The remaining buildings, which include the Early Childhood Centre (ECC), the Elementary School (ES), the Middle School (MS) and the High School (HS), the Annex, the theatre, the International Community Centre (ICC) and the gymnasiums are scattered throughout the campus, which also has extensive sports fields, covered play areas, a climbing wall, a running track, a fitness centre, and a tennis bubble.[7]

Academic buildings

Most classes at ISB are housed in one of four main buildings.

  • Early Childhood Centre (ECC): students aged 2½ to 8, Head Sasha Marshall
  • Elementary School (ES): students aged 8 to 12, Head Anna Zeiders
  • Middle School (MS): students aged 12 to 15, Head Mike Crowley
  • High School (HS): students aged 15 to 19, Interim Head Steve Kotanen

Additional buildings

  • The Student Activity Centre, or Annex, houses the two gymnasiums, a theatre, and additional high school classrooms which include art rooms and drama rooms.
  • The Metairie houses the music program offered at ISB.
  • The International Community Centre, more commonly known as the ICC hosts the supervision area, a bike room, cooking rooms, dance rooms, digital music rooms, and extra classrooms.


ISB offers the four core courses - Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. In addition, ISB students take either French, English Language Development, or Study Skills. High School Students at ISB are offered either the International Baccalaureate or a combination of International Baccalaureate certificate courses and ISB courses both of which routes lead to a US High School Diploma accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The most recent reaccreditation occurred in 2019. The school itself offers two tiers of diplomas. Unique among many international schools, ISB also offers a Special Education Diploma. ISB also offers courses in a varied selection of other languages.

A total of 45 IB courses are offered.[5]


As of 2020 it had 1,365 students ranging in age from 2 to 18. The students originate from 62 countries.[6]

As of 2012 most high school-aged Japanese residents of Brussels attend ISB.[8] The Japanese companies employing the parents of these children subsidize their tuition.[9]

Pang Ching-lin (, Pinyin: Péng Jìnglián), author of Negotiating Identity In Contemporary Japan: The Case of Kikokushijo, wrote that due to a language barrier and different after-school social life many Japanese students felt isolated from Anglophone student groups such as the Americans and Swedes and often clustered together.[10] Japanese students are enrolled in an English as a second language programme which has a different curriculum than the regular programme. Students who succeed in English ability move on to the regular programme. The Japanese students made their friends within the ESL programme and continued to socialize with these friends even after they graduate to the English-medium courses.[9] Japanese students did participate in after-school activities depending on the gender.[10] Pang wrote that the ESL program for Japanese students "is often referred to both by school administrators, parents and youngsters as one of the major reasons for the rather insular character of the Japanese in the overall school environment."[9]

Pang wrote that many Japanese students had difficulties in writing and speaking English, and he added that because they translated their thoughts from Japanese to English, many "did not succeed in producing an essay in Standard English".[11] Pang added that there were some Japanese students who had previously lived in English-speaking countries and had gained proficiency or mastery in English.[11]

Tuition and Finance

The tuition for students ranges from EUR18,310 to EUR39,515 depending mainly on age. [12]

  • Preschool: 18,310 Euro
  • Pre-Kindergarten: 20,285 Euro
  • Kindergarten: 30,605 Euro
  • Grades 1 & 2: 32,960 Euro
  • Grades 3-6: 33,560 Euro
  • Grades 7-9: 37,220 Euro
  • Grades 10-12 (13): 39,515 Euro

Intensive Learning Support (ILS) is an extra 20,090 euros on top of the grade level fee. Revenue in 2018-2019 school year, the school's revenue was 50,210,656 euros and their expenses being 50,735,742 euros.[13]


ISB's athletic program offers more than 50 individual and team sports over a three-season year. These include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, swimming, American football, football, volleyball, field hockey, tennis, softball, and track and field. ISB is one of the few international schools in the world which offers American football as a sport. [14] These U12, U14, junior varsity, and varsity sports compete in both the International School Sports Tournament (ISST) and Sports Council of International School (SCIS). Non-competitive and intramural programs are also offered for younger children.

ISB has a range of sports facilities. There is an outdoor grass field, and two full-size artificial ones as well as a track for running and field events. There are two indoor tennis courts, two large gymnasiums, and an Outdoor Education Centre.


ISBPlus is an extra-curricular programme at ISB that offers students opportunities for extended learning in areas that interest them.[15]


  • Pang, Ching-Lin. Negotiating Identity In Contemporary Japan: The Case of Kikokushijo. Routledge, October 2, 2012. ISBN 1136178120, 9781136178122.
  • Pang, Ching Lin (Catholic University of Leuven Department of Anthropology). "Controlled internationalization: The case of kikokushijo from Belgium." International Journal of Educational Research. Volume 23, Issue 1, 1995, Pages 45-56. Available online 20 January 2000. DOI 10.1016/0883-0355(95)93534-3. - Discusses Japanese students at ISB
  • "Private PreK-12 School in Belgium: International School of Brussels." Private PreK-12 School in Belgium | International School of Brussels,


  1. ^ "What Should School Be For? 2018-2019 Annual Report" (PDF). ISB.
  2. ^ a b "Our Campus". ISB.
  3. ^ a b c "Our Legacy". ISB.
  4. ^ Ibid
  5. ^ a b "International School of Brussels".
  6. ^ a b c d Conlin, Jennifer. "International schools get serious on funds." International Herald Tribune at The New York Times. Monday October 16, 2006. Retrieved on January 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Facilities". ISB.
  8. ^ Pang, Negotiating Identity In Contemporary Japan, p. 249.
  9. ^ a b c Pang, "Controlled internationalization: The case of kikokushijo from Belgium," p. 51.
  10. ^ a b Pang, Negotiating Identity In Contemporary Japan, p. 254.
  11. ^ a b Pang, Negotiating Identity In Contemporary Japan: The Case of Kikokushijo, p. 256.
  12. ^ "Tuition Fees - International School of Brussels".
  13. ^
  14. ^ "American Football". ISB.
  15. ^ "Co-curricular - International School of Brussels". Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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