International College (IC) in Lebanon is one of the largest international schools in the world. With over 3,600 students, the school has evolved throughout its long and rich history, dating back to 1891 in south-west Turkey, to an excellent institution, and one in a truly unique setting in the Middle East region and globally. The highest standards of academic and extra-curricular educational opportunities are consistently adhered to, in line with international accreditations, such as with the Council of International Schools (CIS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE). Chartered in the State of Massachusetts, US, and abiding by the laws of the Lebanese government, IC remains a not-for-profit organization, and one that is proudly independent and non-sectarian. IC’s many notable alumni across the world highlight the school’s success, and, as they often remark, it is what the school offered them as a base for their life journey and career achievements, all encapsulated in the ‘IC Spirit’ both during their school days and right up to the present day.
1891 was the year and Smyrna (now Izmir) was the city that the American Protestant Minister Reverend Alexander Maclachlan established IC in the aptly named neighborhood of Paradise. The school enjoyed four decades of success, providing Turkish and many other nationalities with a strong education, as well as supporting the local community with a balanced and compassionate institution, of particular importance during the difficult times during and after the First World War. In 1936, at the invitation of the American University of Beirut (AUB), Maclachlan accepted an offer to bring IC to Beirut and become the Preparatory school to AUB. Indeed, IC’s location, as it remains to this day, was situated on the neighboring campus of the university, in between the Mediterranean Sea and historic Hamra, nestled into the leafy and vibrant community of Ras Beirut. IC has since gone on to create a second campus away from the coast in the town of Ain Aar in the Metn region, some 20 kilometers northwards from the Lebanese capital.
IC’s academic excellence is evident in a very special offering of programs to the student body. Four academic programs are available in the Secondary school: The International Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, Lebanese Baccalaureate and College Preparatory Program, all of which herald success for our students. IC has a near-100% college acceptance rate to the three leading universities in the country, AUB as well as the Lebanese American University and Saint Joseph University. IC also has a very high college acceptance rate worldwide, with recent graduates taking up their places at Stanford University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Imperial College London, Kings College London, McGill University, and Sciences Po to name just a few.
IC Responsibility is the school’s sustainability educational program, with all activities and events aligned with the UN Sustainable Development 2030 Goals. IC’s commitment to this has seen vast investment in LEED Gold certified new green buildings, in both Ras Beirut and Ain Aar. Indeed, IC was the first educational institution in the Middle East to achieve the US Green Building Council’s Gold standard and the first building of any kind to achieve LEED certification in Lebanon when it opened its doors to the new Ras Beirut Elementary school in 2013. Students are able to participate in several activities at school, not least those provided by the rich community service and service learning programs, as well as of course the 94 athletic sports teams and 96 extra-curricular clubs available. IC supports six libraries across two campuses, with a collection of over 115,000 book titles as well as membership to numerous online resources including the New York Times. IC is also committed to its pioneering STEAM education, providing students with the technology and other resources necessary to engage them in life in 2018 and into the future. It is the mark of a successful college counselling center which has been able to intertwine this STEAM education with possible future education and career opportunities in technology, and many opportunities that didn’t even exist during their parents days.
IC’s very worthwhile Financial Aid program provides 11% of IC families with the support needed during difficult times as well as protecting the diversity of the student body. IC Scholars, those on 100% financial benefits, are at IC from Grade 10 to 12 and, through the success of the Advancement Team’s Annual Fund, can rest assured of their place at the school over the three years as well as benefit from sports or other extra-curricular trips locally and abroad, thanks to all our generous donors.
The school’s investment in the continued development of its Faculty and Staff is a substantial commitment, with over 440 days of professional development administered in the last academic year (2017-18). IC is proud that many professional local and international teachers with great expertise choose the school for their work and career, including 10% of Faculty from America, Canada, France, Belgium and Australia. Continuing the international make-up of the school community, IC’s student body consists of remarkably 52% international and dual national citizens, and successful alumni are found in countries right around the world.
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