institut montana entrance

Our Story

The founder of Institut Montana, Dr Max Husmann, was ambitious. He dreamed of an international boarding school that would teach young people how to build a peaceful world.

Dr Husmann used three important ideas or pillars to define his school:




An integrated, international community

Celebrating cultural diversity

A welcoming haven where we grow to become citizens of the world

The belief that every human matters

Nurturing the talents and the promise of every student

Educating the whole person

“The art of life lies in living harmoniously together” (Max Husmann)

An integrated community needs mutual respect and understanding

We are tolerant, compassionate and thoughtful

We have added a fourth pillar to define our school and its future:


  • Preparing for the changing world
  • Teaching intelligent use of technology and new ideas
  • Education that is always exciting, inspiring and forward-looking

Institut Montana opened its doors to six students on May 3rd, 1926. It would grow into a much-loved Swiss international boarding school. 

Dr Husmann’s core idea was simple. If young people of many nationalities went to school together, learning to respect different cultural backgrounds, and if they were taught to think clearly, they would grow to be tolerant and fair-minded. War would be history. 

He had a clear vision for his international boarding school. It would have natural surroundings and fresh air; it would be a sanctuary and an inspiration. Following the ideas of Swiss educationalist Johann Pestalozzi, it would see each student as a whole person and an individual. It would use the best of modern technology and teaching methods; it would be a caring community. With intelligence, ethics and compassion, these students would help towards the harmony that might, one day, achieve world peace. 

When the Grand Hotel Schoenfels and its beautiful grounds on the Zugerberg mountain were put up for sale, he raised the capital to create his international school. The pre-alpine climate, the space and the forests matched his belief in healthy psychological and physical growth, while still close to the culturally and economically active city of Zurich.  

Dr Husmann’s ambition to strive for peace was put into action when, in 1945, he helped organise and mediate Operation Sunrise, the secret negotiations that brought the surrender of the German army in Italy and the end of World War II. Then, in 1947, the highly respected graphic artist Hans Tomamichel designed the emblem, with its eloquent representation of healthy growth towards a peaceful world, that we still use today.

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