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Upper School (ages 14-18)


Character that stays with you

We’ll teach you about the part you can play in making a better community and a better world, and give you hands-on experience in how to make it happen.

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The Upper School is a global community where over 500 students from over 55 nations, speaking 45 different languages, can feel at home.

Upper School Principal, David Markus

David Markus
Upper School Principal

We encourage our students to stretch themselves academically, while also stressing the importance of good character, care for others and leadership. We as a community have risen to the challenges of the time and shown great creativity and flexibility as we challenge our students to be resilient, open-minded and compassionate global citizens.

You are unique, with your own strengths, interests, and sense of purpose. That’s why we work with you to chart your own learning journey so you can make the most of the wide variety of academic and co-curricular options available at ZIS.

Academic Challenge

At ZIS, we allow you the freedom to choose your learning path. Our rigorous curriculum is respected by the world’s top universities, but the details are up to you. You can choose International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, or one of our ZIS-developed courses. We give you the opportunity to choose how to make yourself shine brightest.

We develop our Grade 9 and 10 courses to align with international benchmarks. In Grades 11 and 12 you can choose from: 

  • International Baccalaureate courses including the diploma and bilingual diploma
  • Advanced Placement courses
  • ZIS-developed courses

We also make sure that each student gets the unique support they need. That might be:

  • Language support for English language learners
  • Learning support for students with mild to moderate learning challenges

Each student is provided a laptop to support their learning experience.

Learn About our Curriculum

The Good Schools Guide International

"Families looking for academic rigor and choice, with a good dose of healthy competition, will enjoy their time at this school."

Read the full review

School Day

  • Classes start at 08:35 and end at 15:50 (Wednesdays at 14:50)
  • After school activities until 16:30

We serve hot food, available for purchase in the cafeteria, or your child can bring a packed lunch.

Secondary Campus Handbook

ZIS Upper Student student enjoying playing the violin with a big smile on his face

Grow your Passions

The classroom isn’t the only place that learning happens. Our distinctive co-curricular program means you can test out new interests, or practice your passions. There is a lot to choose from with more than 60 activities spanning academics, service learning, STEM, performing arts and athletics.

All of our activities work alongside what you learn in the classroom and prepare you to be a courageous leader by helping you build skills to meet real-world challenges.

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ZIS Upper School teacher and student in the music studio

Purpose-built Facilities

Our Upper School has all the things you need to delve into your subjects, apply your skills, and participate in your co-curricular pursuits. 

Whether creating in our Design Lab and studios, getting physical in our athletic facilities, performing in our theater or eating our prepared food in the cafeteria with your friends – we pride ourselves on setting the scene for you to become whoever you want to be.

Easy access with public transport or our shuttle from Thalwil train station.

Take a Virtual Tour

Upper School University & Careers Counselor helping students with university choices

University and Careers

What about life after ZIS? 98% of ZIS graduates go on to attend university in Switzerland or internationally. Our University and Career Counselors work to guide you and your parents through the application process.

And if university isn’t your next step, our counselors will work with you to find options that best fit your abilities, interests and ambitions. ZIS will help you get ahead no matter what you decide.

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ZIS Upper School students working together on computer

Internship Program

Every employer is looking for candidates with prior work experience. That’s why we designed our thriving Internship Program to help set you up for success. 

In Grade 11 you will get training to write a CV and hone your interview skills. Then you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a summer internship with one of our employer partners in Switzerland.

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Welcome to the Upper School

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Make an Inquiry

ZIS Upper School studio looking back at the camera during music class

We are here if you have questions about ZIS. Contact us to learn more.

Arrange a Visit

Three ZIS students studying together with books and computers

Fill out our Registration of Interest Form to arrange a visit and learn more about how we make learning a joyful and challenging experience.

Joining ZIS

ZIS Teacher and student in choir class laughing with hands up

We have a diverse international community at ZIS. Find out more about what to expect day-to-day.