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Our History

The History of International School of Bergen

The story of the International School of Bergen begins with the discovery of oil off the western coast of Norway. Along with this discovery came the realization that the necessary skills and expertise would have to be imported from successful oil producing countries such as the United States.

The International School of Bergen was founded in 1975, then called the American School, as the “Little Red School House on the Fjords” with an enrolment of 17 students from Kindergarten through Grade 3.

By the mid-eighties, the school changed its name to the International School of Bergen and sought and succeeded in gaining international accreditation in order to reflect the more varied student body and the adjustment that had been made to the curriculum to accommodate the needs of the student body.

We now have a school which is very different in just about every way. Our student body has increased ten-fold from 17 to 250 and represents nearly forty nations, not just the United States and the United Kingdom, and their parents represent every walk of life, not just the oil industry.

The school provides a programme of instruction for 1 to 16 year olds. The curriculum is international rather than American. The facilities are located at Sandsli and far larger than those at Brattholmen.

In some ways though, things have not changed. Three main characteristics have been prevalent at all stages of the school’s history: a determination to succeed, a strong community spirit and, last but not least, a pride in the endeavor.

The school still serves its original mission, setting out to provide an internationally accredited education serving the business and Bergen communities. As Bergen and its region develop and evolve, we are as relevant as ever.

As the interest in international education grows in Norway through the establishment of international schools in many locations, we believe that ISB continues to have a potential that can be further explored through local students wishing to prepare for the future through international schooling in an English-speaking environment.

The school has a key role to play in supporting families with expertise brought in from abroad who need an educational consistency of international standards.