News & Events

As TASIS enters the busy holiday season, below is a schedule and brief description of the many holiday-themed events that will take place at or near campus over the next several weeks.


The Middle School and the High School will have Thanksgiving Family Style Dinners on Wednesday, November 25, and the Elementary School will hold a Thanksgiving Lunch for students on Thursday, November 26.

The lights of a new Family Tree will be lit in front of the Palmer Center on Tuesday, December 1, at a time to be determined. This is a new tradition being established by the TASIS Parent Association (TPA).

The Casa Elisabetta Service Learning Group is collecting Christmas gifts for children in need until December 2 and will present them at a Christmas party on December 9. Unwrapped gifts can be delivered to the reception area in De Nobili. Click here to see a list of requests.

The TPA’s Holiday Market will be held in the Palestra on Friday, December 4, from 13:30–19:00. This popular annual event, which is open to the general public, will feature vendors selling food and hand-crafted items, a craft corner, and a games section for kids.

The Middle School Celebration will begin with a Christmas Dinner in De Nobili on Saturday, December 5, at 18:30. Dinner will be followed by games in the Palestra from 19:45–21:30. 

The TASIS Christmas Service will be held at St. Nicolao della Flüe Church in Lugano-Besso on Sunday, December 6, from 15:30–16:30. The Christmas Service is an annual all-school event that will include performances from TASIS Ensemble players; ES, MS, HS, and Faculty Choirs; and members of La Camerata dei Castelli, a Bellinzona-based orchestra. A reception for parents, friends, and performers will follow.

The High School will hold a Christmas Family Style Dinner for all advisor groups in De Nobili on the evening of Wednesday, December 9.

The Middle School will have a Christmas Dinner for boarding students on December 9 and a Hot Chocolate and Panettone Celebration for all students and faculty on December 16.

The Elementary School will have a Christmas Lunch for students on December 16, and the ES Christmas Concert will be held in the Palestra on Thursday, December 17, at 11:00. Decorations for the event will be created by the ES Art Department.

TASIS faculty and staff will have several opportunities to celebrate the holidays together, including an Egg Nog Party at Casa Fleming on December 11 from 16:30–18:00; the TPA-led Faculty, Staff, and Personale Appreciation Hot Chocolate and Panettone in Casa Fleming on December 15 from 11:30-16:30; and a Christmas Dinner in De Nobili on December 17 at 18:30.

Students aged 4½ to 18 are now invited to apply for TASIS Summer Programs in both Lugano and Château-d’Oex. For dates, prices, course offerings, and additional information about all four programs–Château des Enfants (CDE), Middle School Program (MSP), TASIS Summer Program (TSP), and TASIS French Language Program (TFLP)–visit the TASIS Summer Programs website or view the Summer Programs 2016 catalog and the TFLP 2016 catalog.

Robotics, which was a huge hit with CDE and MSP children last year, will be back this summer. The course was a key part of a new MSP clubs initiative designed to provide students with an opportunity to try something new. Other clubs included photography, filmmaking, and computer programming, and this summer TASIS will continue to offer engaging clubs to nurture students' minds and encourage further exploration.

The TASIS Summer Program will feature an exciting new Italian cooking course, La Cucina Italiana, for students aged 14-18. In addition to mastering traditional recipes, students will study vocabulary to use at local markets, tour Italian food factories, and learn about knife skills and dining etiquette.

High school students looking to gain an edge in the competitive world of college admissions will want to consider two rigorous academic courses that were added to last year’s TSP curriculum: International Baccalaureate Preparation and Academic Writing. Fashion enthusiasts will again have the opportunity to take the TSP’s unique Fashion and Textile Design Course.

The TFLP in Château-d’Oex will take full advantage of its location in the French-speaking part of Switzerland by blending French language immersion with adventure activities that include canyoning down Alpine rivers, rock climbing, and mountain biking. See the video above for highlights from last summer’s program.

The TASIS Summer Programs–which will continue to offer students a number of intensive language programs, many courses in Visual and Performing Arts, and ample travel opportunities–seem to fill up earlier each year, so apply now to ensure a spot for the summer of 2016.

To see photo albums from the summer of 2015, click here.


TASIS Theater, under the management of High School Theater Director Valerie Bijur Carlson, is thrilled to present Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost in the Palmer Center on Thursday, November 12, at 19:30; on Friday, November 13, at 19:30, and on Sunday, November 15, at 14:30.

Audiences can expect a play that sparkles and fizzes like prosecco as its characters romp through a roaring ’20s setting complete with live jazz, physical comedy, and witty word-play. The plot involves letters gone awry, ridiculous pranks, flirting, playing with language, and, ultimately, embracing growing up. The play begins with three young nobles and their king deciding that the best way to become great men is to dedicate themselves to a three-year period of academic scholarship with Spartan living to keep them sharp and the banishment of all women to keep them focused. Complications arise when, after making their vow, they remember that the Princess of France and her companions are due to arrive the next day for an important state visit. Romantic comedy ensues.

Mirroring the laughter, wooing, and banter of the witty nobles are the comic love exploits of a flamboyant Spaniard, a playful jester, and a naïve kitchen maid. Others include a highbrow schoolteacher and minister, a sassy servant, and onstage musicians.

Set in the 1920s, the TASIS production features a cast and crew of nearly 40 students from the High School, with several special guest actors from the Middle School and Faculty. The majority of the cast and crew will be heading to a mansion-hotel in Torino, Italy, for Academic Travel next week for an intensive four days of work on the play's language, character development, and staging. Students will also learn about stage make-up and Lindy Hop dance, and a professional theater artist will come from England to provide training in physical theater techniques.

The play’s content is appropriate for guests of all ages, who can register online now to ensure a seat at one of the highly-entertaining performances. Those unable to make it to TASIS can find information about live-streaming at

Seventeen TASIS students and employees raised more than CHF 1600 for the Mbalame Primary School in rural Malawi through sponsorships for their participation in the Stralugano 10K/30K road race, which was held in Lugano on September 27.

TASIS students worked with the impoverished school, which has 1800 students aged 5-18, during two Global Service Trips to Malawi in 2014. After the second trip, TASIS Science Teacher Dr. Jill Sawyer-Price, leader of the Ethical Food Malawi Global Service Group, approached Mbalame Head Teacher Grevazio Mandaaliza and asked how TASIS might be able to further help the school and community.

Mandaaliza informed Dr. Sawyer-Price that his dream was to provide his school, which lacks electricity, with computers so that students could become computer-literate and have a fighting chance to earn a good job in Malawi’s emerging economy. What followed was the development of a plan to furnish Mbalame with a solar-powered facility and six laptop computers, a project that came with a price tag of CHF 4000. This sum has now been reached by combining the money raised at Stralugano with funds generated by two TASIS fundraisers last year, a donation from Lugano’s Franklin University, and individual donations made by members of the TASIS community.

“It’s amazing that the TASIS community was able to step up and make this school’s dream come true,” said Dr. Sawyer-Price. “The computers will help these children acquire valuable skills and dramatically increase their employment opportunities in the future.”

Professor Armando Zanecchia of Franklin University delivered the funds to Mbalame and oversaw the installation of the solar-powered facility, and the school will receive the computers in the spring. Representatives from Franklin, which has a longstanding relationship with Mbalame, will continue to make regular trips to Malawi to help provide technical support.

After Professor Zanecchia's visit, Daniel Chikuntwe of Mbalame wished to relay the following message to the TASIS community: "The primary school pupils are very happy at last that they will also be able to study electricity under lights. This will motivate them to work hard, especially the girls. I am very happy that we have the first phase of our project in progress. This in indeed a dream come true."

Members of the TASIS faculty and staff put forth an excellent performance in the race itself. Tom Lill and Esteban Torres posted remarkable times of 36:33 and 37:43, respectively, to finish 18th and 30th overall in a 10K field of 1485 male runners, and Dr. Sawyer-Price completed the 10K in 43:16, good for an impressive 15th-place finish out of 653 female racers. Danny Schiff ran the grueling 30K in 2:10.37 to place 79th out of 825 males while Kathleen Walser (51.47) and Thomas Joyce (55:51) posted solid times for TASIS in the 10K. Alec Ogilvie (1:03.49) reached the finish line in his first 10K, and Eric Walser (1:03.15) was the lone Stralugano participant to complete the race while pushing a child in a stroller.

Among TASIS students, Lorin Gogniat ’17 was the top 10K finisher at 43:35. Ethan Frederickson ’18 (48:28), Gabriella Piconi ’16 (55:24), Asia Roveda ’18 (58:52), Mattia Coreno ’16 (59:24), Laura Vecoli ’17 (1:01.51), Hannah Gage ’17 (1:02.15), Raffaella Alencar Barros ’19, and Antonella Piconi ’16 also lent their support to this worthy cause.

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The TASIS Global Service Program was envisioned by Jan Opsahl ’68, the School’s first international student, and is supported by the generous donation of CHF 3,000,000 from the Opsahl family to the TASIS Foundation for the creation of a new, sustaining endowment: the Opsahl Global Service Endowment. Participation in the Global Service Program is a graduation requirement at TASIS.

Click here to read more about this unique program and learn about this year’s Global Service Groups, and contact Global Service Program Director Zach Mulert with any questions.

Finance expert and newly-published author Maria José Pereira will address the TASIS community as part of the Senior Humanities Program on the evening of October 22. Her presentation will take place in the Palmer Center at 19:30 and will be followed by a question-and-answer session in Casa Fleming.

Pereira’s highly-regarded A Banker Reflects on Money, Love and Virtue, published by Triarchy Press in April 2015, is a series of interlinked essays dealing with key themes of money, love, and virtue. The essays are not intended to present in-depth study of the issues, but to encourage deeper thinking about them. The aim of the book is to offer a way to bring qualitative discussion into a material area, so as to allow for construction of a world where money, love, and virtue work together, not in contradiction.

“This book will not be comfortable reading for many in finance today,” wrote John Nugée, retired central banker of the Bank of England and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. “But because of that, and because of finance’s urgent need to rebuild its relationship with society, it is all the more necessary that it be widely read."

Pereira, who is known to many by her married name of Melo Antunes, serves as a Social Responsibility Consultant at Lugano’s Franklin University, and she has given lectures and presentations at different universities and associations in Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most of her working life has been spent in finance, banking, and investment, and her interest in advancing transformation in business and finance to a more sustainable model led her to the Clinton Climate Initiative of the WJ Clinton Foundation, where she promoted clean energy investment.

Prior to banking, Pereira was International Controller for a multinational corporation. Her business experience spans the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, and Asia, and her languages include English, Portuguese, French, and Cantonese, with understanding of Spanish and Italian. She holds a B.S. from University of San Francisco, an MBA from University of California-Berkeley, and an M.S. from Imperial College London.

Pereira will be the second speaker for this year’s Senior Humanities Program (SHP), which first welcomed Barry Iverson on September 28 and will next bring filmmaker Shelley Davies to campus on November 30. The SHP seeks to draw from five defining elements of the TASIS identity–truth, beauty, goodness, international understanding, and humanitarian action–to provide seniors and postgraduates with a signature educational experience that includes a series of discussions, trips, lectures, and tours throughout the year. The SHP Committee selects five speakers each year who embody the pillars of the program.

Pereira’s presentation will be live-streamed and available at this link. Contact Peter Locke, Chair of the Senior Humanities Program, with any questions about the event.

TASIS The American School in Switzerland is pleased to announce that 13 students from the Class of 2015 have earned an AP Scholar Award for their excellent work on Advanced Placement exams last spring.

Six TASIS students received the highest honor, AP Scholar with Distinction, which requires scores of 3 or higher on five or more AP exams with an average score of at least 3.5. (All AP exams are scored from 1-5.) Anton Alyakin, Tomson Carroll, Mindy Chen, Gabriella Cova, Takaaki Ishii, and Peiying Zhu all earned this impressive honor.

Four students–Hailey Hibbard, Sofia Jaramillo, Miller Marcus, and Honor Sargent–were named an AP Scholar with Honor, posting scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams with an average score of at least 3.25.

Sebastian Echeverri, Elizaveta Krikun, and Arthur Pelinson Nordi scored 3 or higher on three or more exams to earn the designation of AP Scholar.

The 13 total AP Scholars and the six AP Scholars with Distinction both represent highs for TASIS in the past five years. (The College Board’s online reports only go back to 2011.)

TASIS At A Glance

  • 67 Nationalities
  • 13 Advanced Placement Scholars
  • 42 Highest IB Score
  • 1st American Boarding School in Europe
  • 35 Different Spoken Languages
  • 25 Buildings Make up our Global Village


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