Testimonials

Michiel Doorn, Dipl-Ing. – Change Manager and Environmental Consultant – Joint Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace 2007

The old ISH building in Groß Flottbek was a little like Hogwarts. There were stairwells and corridors; some narrow and others wide and grandiose. All classrooms had different sizes, some with attic beams and others deep down in the cellar. And just as Hogwarts, the place was vibrant with students of different looks and backgrounds. I remember how I arrived with no knowledge of English. Well, I could speak it within a month, and I had made some friends. All of that, while following the regular curriculum. Teachers and students just made it work, and embraced me. It was such a privilege to be part of this community. Learning a new language is not just about new words. With the words come insight and a new perspective. First and foremost, ISH has taught me how thrilling and important it is to stay curious about how others think and make meaning of their world, our world. 

Jakob von Uexküll – Founder of the World Future Council and the Alternative Nobel Prize

“My teen years at the ISH were great and unforgettable, mainly because they shaped my understanding of internationality. This inspired me to branch out globally, be it as an author, parliamentarian or social entrepreneur. Furthermore, I developed the self-confidence to do the things that I felt were right for me, including the founding of the Alternative Nobel Prize and the World Future Council.”

William Shen – CEO, CRE Alliance Hong Kong

“I came to ISH in 1985, clueless as to what I wanted to achieve in life, which college to go to and what profession to pursue.  My 4 years at ISH were a life changing experience and nurtured in me self-discipline, intellectual curiosity, problem solving skills, drive for excellence and confidence to overcome future hurdles and challenges in life. The teachers were inspirational and enduring friendships were forged. After ISH, I graduated Summa Cum Laude at Wharton, joined Bain & Company and got my MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  Looking back,  I am certain I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all these without the ISH experience. I would recommend ISH without any reservation.

Thomas Mirow, Ph.D. – Senator a.D. – Chairman of the Board – HSH Nordbank

“When my daughter Sophie had reached grade 9 we decided that she should leave her German School to attend ISH. We and - what matters more - she never regretted it. ISH was the perfect platform from which to advance to successful studies in Maastricht (Bachelor) and at London's King's College (Master). Coming from a traditional German school this would have been far more difficult. Hence we are grateful and wish ISH, not least in the interest of the City of Hamburg, that it will be able to provide many more young talented people with a solid foundation for an international education and career."

Amba Ayambem, Ph.D. – Global R&D Director – Henry Company

“While my first rate education at ISH prepared me very well for academic challenges ahead, it turns out that it was the unique and largely overlooked ISH experience, namely the proximity to diverse peoples and cultures and the associated cross-continental friendships (which have endured to this day) at such a critical formative stage in my life that instilled in me the people skills that are increasingly advantageous in our rapidly shrinking world. The value? Priceless!”

Giorgios-Stavros Pagonis  – Student  – University of Warwick

“When someone asks me “What does the International School of Hamburg mean to you?” I answer automatically “My second home.” Having been a member of the school for 15 years created me into a strong critical thinker and an open-minded individual. ISH introduced me to cultural diversity and taught me to apply the virtue of determination and enthusiasm to everything I do. I highly recommend the international education at this school as it is run by experienced teachers who undoubtedly constantly extend their passion in teaching, to all students. The fact that the International School of Hamburg additionally extensively focuses on student life makes it even more unique, allowing students to expand their talents in all directions.”

Marlies Overbeeke – R&D Manager Yogurts & Desserts Europe – FrieslandCampina

“People often ask me if it was not difficult growing up abroad but I always find myself replying that I wish I can offer my children the same opportunity. Not only did I receive a fine internationally oriented education at ISH, but with more than fifteen cultures represented in a class of less than forty students, respecting and cherishing cultural differences became natural at a very young age. Possibly this was the best preparation for a career in international business, but more importantly also crucial in making me the person that I am today, a true caring, respecting, global citizen.”

Yuan Fang – Senior Director International Product Management – Citrix

"I arrived in Hamburg in 1989 with my family at age of 15 with broken English and not a word of German. Through a scholarship, I was fortunate to be admitted into ISH. I really enjoyed my two years at ISH before my family moved to Canada in 1991. The staff at ISH were first class educators; I still have fond memories of quite a few of them today. They were very patient and encouraging to students like me who came from a very different school system. ISH was far more than a good education, it offered a great learning environment to interact with students from very different cultural backgrounds. I have benefited greatly from my ISH experience in subsequent studies and life to date.”

Pambos Palas – Director  – Aeguana

“As the son of a diplomat, it wasn’t easy changing schools and adjusting to new environments throughout my childhood. I’m pleased to say that the ISH was a big exception - I have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there. Whether it was the welcoming community, the great long-lasting friendships that were created, the many extra-curricular activities that were available or the encouraging teachers that I had, it all added to an incredible experience there and it offered the best foundations to prepare me for the next stages of my life.”

Marilya Reese - Professor of German - Northern Arizona University

"The ISH on Othmarschen's Waitzstrasse was a new universe for a twelve-year old seventh grade monolingual from a small town in Oklahoma/USA. Looking back after my thirty-three years as a professional in higher education in the USA, I view the three years I spent at ISH between 1972 and 1975 as ideal for the proverbial broadening of horizons. The larger share of our new experiences were provided by the memorable, multi-national ISH teachers, who, though often strict, were nonetheless obviously driven by their collective determination to push  students from (as I recall) some 40 nations further in our education. The community in and outside of school hours was as important as the content of the lessons—my closest friends, from Japan, Iran, Germany, USA, Scotland, & Israel—were the lens that focused my image of global citizenship.  We were more than hybrid, and all languages were encouraged. So German, spoken with any number of accents,  soon became students' secret language. Over forty years later, German defines me as much as English does, both personally and professionally. I don't return to Hamburg as frequently as I would like to, but it is one of my lifetime homes, at least in spirit."