Aiglon College actively promotes well-being as a connected discipline through curricular learning, healthy eating, physical exercise and emotional resilience

Aiglon College is a leading, not-for-profit international and co-ed boarding school in Switzerland. For 75 years, the school has offered students a holistic and inspirational experience that pushes the boundaries of traditional education. John Corlette founded the school in 1949 on a distinctive ethos: the balanced development of mind, body, and spirit.

Aiglon ensures this founding ethos continues to underpin the school’s community, both in and beyond the classroom. “The Middle East has supported the school since the early 1960s,” says School Director, Nicola Sparrow. “We have many alumni hailing from the region, and this important connection is still strong today.” The school welcomes students worldwide and is proud to have over 65 nationalities on campus.

Our Middle Eastern students appreciate the close-knit family atmosphere.

- Nicola Sparrow, School Director, Aiglon College

“We have grown into one of the most distinctive and unique boarding schools, and this is thanks to our 6,000-member strong community, including alumni, students and parents.” Aiglon currently has nine students from the UAE and several more from the wider Middle East.

Aiglon accepts students between the ages of 7 and 18. The teacher-to-student ratio is 1:4, and the average class size is 12, ensuring individual attention to each student. The school is divided into four cohorts: Wonder Years (7-10), Discovery Years (11-13), Exploration Years (14-15) and Inspiration Years (16-18), each overseen by an Assistant Head. The journey through the school prioritises holistic education and celebrates creativity.

Aiglon’s latest partnership is in the domain of outdoor education, a longstanding pillar of the school’s holistic education programme, given its stunning location in the Swiss Alps Image Credit:

Every student is assigned a boarding house (two junior houses and eight senior houses) that helps to shape one’s school experience. Aiglon boarding houses include friends from various year groups and nationalities, helping to create a vibrant community.

“Our Middle Eastern students appreciate the close-knit family atmosphere all developed in a unique mountain location and mentored by top educators,” says Sparrow. “Most of our students remain at the school until graduation — a fabulous testament to our culture and learning environment. We have 440 students, small enough for everyone to know each other.”

In February 2024, Aiglon hosted an event in Abu Dhabi to engage their community in the region and to participate in the Abu Dhabi Cup, a football tournament for young people developed through the school’s partnership with Manchester City Football Club. Aiglon is the first and only school in Europe to have such a partnership. Students can begin their football education in the Wonder Years and train throughout their Aiglon career. This programme has appealed to both boys and girls from the Middle East.

In addition to football, Aiglon recently partnered with Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic champion ski racer. Vonn’s collaboration is an exclusive partnership in which she helps to develop the school’s high-performance skiing programmes. Sparrow emphasises Lindsey’s contributions: “She is all about leadership and coaching—the children love to be with her, and the entire community is excited each time she visits.”

Aiglon’s latest partnership is in the domain of outdoor education, a long-standing pillar of the school’s holistic education programme, given its stunning location in the Swiss Alps. Aiglon is now working with Bear Grylls and the Bear Grylls Survival Academy to develop a dedicated Mountain School as part of its Wonder Years cohort. Bear Grylls will work with the youngest students to develop their skills and love for the outdoors. This appeals to families worldwide, especially Middle Eastern families who appreciate the dynamic integration of classroom learning and the alpine environment.

Aiglon’s approach to student wellbeing is deeply influenced by its situation in the Swiss Alps.

The school actively promotes well-being as a connected discipline through curricular learning, healthy eating, physical exercise and emotional resilience. It is this integrated approach that inspired the recent appointment of the school’s new Director of Character Education.

“Our focus on character education and a diverse activities programme helps us capture this magical side of Aiglon,” confirms Sparrow. We have always had this spark, but new leadership in this area inspires us all to further develop and invest in our community and campus. We want Aiglon to lead the way in developing young people of character who have the resilience to tackle the complex issues of today from a unique, grounded perspective.”

As a testament to such investment, Aiglon has embarked on an ambitious building project in the heart of the campus: a new assembly and dining centre. The Moghadam Campus Hub will open in 2025 and is named after Iranian-American business executive and philanthropist Hamid Moghadam. Hamid, an Aiglon alumnus, and his wife Tina have generously donated $6 million toward this new space. “This investment is an amazing endorsement of who the school is and where we are going,” says Sparrow. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to partner with alumni who are willing to support our vision for the next generation of Aiglonians.”

This focus on the next generation includes campus development and mountain landscapes, but it also means a focus on the latest and best IT infrastructure.

Students all over the world are already using ChatGPT, and Aiglon is rethinking its IT education systems to embrace today’s rapid changes. Sparrow explains, “We have gamers and e-sports enthusiasts among our students. We are a cloud-first school; students work on laptops, and fibre optic cabling connects all our buildings. It is invigorating to look at the changes happening in technology and always to be innovating.”

It is not just the academic year students who can benefit from the activities at Aiglon College. Every summer in June and July, students ages 8 to 16 can come to the mountain to participate in Aiglon’s range of Summer School programmes.

In particular, thanks to the collaboration with Manchester City, the new Kick Off football programme is a highlight. Forty countries are represented in the summer school community, and the aim is to provide students with a real Aiglon experience that helps to develop confident, capable young people inspired by the value of international education.