institut montana entrance

Our History

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

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. 

  • swiss chalet
  • dining hall
  • students learning
  • students typewriting
  • students sledging

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.
 

Institut Montana was built on three pillars. They remain relevant for now and for tomorrow. 

Internationalism

Individualism

Integration

If young people learn to understand and respect cultures other than their own, the prejudices of nationalism and racism could be eradicated. They could rebuild our world on tolerance and peace. These are the global citizens the world needs.  If young people are treated as valued individuals, if their differences are honoured, their unique talents and strengths are brought to light, they will grow confident and mentally strong. These are the well-rounded individuals the world needs.  If young people grow healthily in a supportive, multi-cultural community, then mutual respect and harmony become attainable. These are the thoughtful, compassionate human beings the world needs. 

“It is all very well to have education for international 

understanding in mind as a beautiful ideal and to think 

of a way to realise it, but it is of more importance to 

have done it for a long time as a daily task.” 

(From an essay by the Montana Board of Governors in the 1950s)

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