International School Neustadt (ISN) is where teachers, students, and parents work together to engage children in committed and active learning. A significant addition to the educational opportunities available to families in the Rhein-Neckar-Pfalz region, the school focuses on the individual potential and holistic development of each child by offering international programs such as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP). ISN also follows cutting-edge pedagogy developed by the famous Swiss educational group, SBW Haus des Lernens, which includes personalized coaching, autonomous learning, compacting knowledge transfer, and learning strategies.
Located in a picturesque town, near Mannheim—famous for its vineyards, charming old town, and hiking opportunities—Neustadt is known for its wine festivals and nearby medieval castles. This beautiful town of 55,000 inhabitants falls right on the Deutsche Weinstrasse; the town’s name literally translates to “a new town along the route of wine.” Tradition and culture are reflected at numerous wine festivals as well as events such as musical performances, gastronomic extravaganzas, weekly markets, readings, theatre performances, and Germany’s largest winegrower’s procession during the month of October, German Wine Harvest Festival. Neustadt sits on the edge of Palatinate Forest, a paradise for those who enjoy walking, hiking, rock climbing, or cycling. Neustadt is also part of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan (MRN) region, which includes three more major cities, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen (which can be reached in under 30 minutes) and Heidelberg. The MRN boasts two of the world’s leading academic institutions: University of Heidelberg, known for medical research; and the University of Mannheim, known for business.
ISN is located on three campuses, just a couple of minutes’ walk from each other. All three were former winegrower villas, offering a unique atmosphere for students. Campus One is designated solely for Primary Years up to Year 3. Campus Two houses the Primary Years 4–6 and the new Years 7 & 8 block, which is a fully equipped facility. Campus Three houses Years 9-13. The school is 10 minutes away from the city center and is easily accessible by public transportation.
Licensed by the German Ministry of Education, ISN delivers the U.K. curriculum, Years 1–13, in addition to the IGCSE curriculum and the IB Diploma Programme. Currently enrolled are 80 K–12 students, and while 40% of them are from Germany, the student population represents 24 other nationalities: American, Australian, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Pakistani, Portuguese, Saudi Arabian, South African, Spanish, Swiss, Syrian, Turkish and Vietnamese. The teaching staff of 25 includes nine German educators.
ISN believes in student engagement with and connection to their local and international community. As part of the Community, Action, Service (CAS) component, IB Diploma Programme students are required to contribute to projects or organizations dedicated to serve the community. Students have helped a nearby refugee center by organizing two successful clothes drives.
Students and mentors work together at the school’s vineyard as part of the ISN Vineyard Project. They study vineyards in terms of ethics, the arts, history, mathematics as well as the social and natural sciences. CAS students may also get involved in Operation Wallacea, a program in which students take part in environmental studies. Founded in 1995, the program has funded school expeditions in which students join mixed teams of scientists and undergraduates for hands-on activities that allow them to experience the biodiversity of the planet and the threats to it.
Students have raised funds for Baan Phak Phing, an organization in Thailand dedicated to helping abused children, particularly by housing girls between the ages of 6 and 18 who have suffered abuse. The girls get another chance at life by being placed in a safe and healthy environment in which they can receive an education. Some ISN students who have visited the girls’ home in Thailand have decided to continue their support beyond graduation.
CAS students at ISN are eager to launch The Incredible Edibles Project, which involves planting herbs, fruit, and vegetables in public places with a “help yourself” sign in front of them. The Incredible Edible Project, initiated in the U.K. and now worldwide, teaches not only the importance of protecting the environment but also the value and power of small initiatives.
ISN prefers to hire single teachers but would consider interns, couples with non-teaching partners, experienced teachers lacking certification, and newly-certified candidates. Educators need not hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching, and there is no age limit to obtain a work visa.
Benefits include a moving allowance and tuition for dependents, with the stipulation that staff pay taxes on the tuition. Extensive professional development opportunities are provided within the SBW group as well as through official Cambridge workshops.
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