Every year at LAS, we provide students with a challenging yet rewarding Alpine adventure with unforgettable experiences and lifelong friendships. Students here are shown the whole world from the top of our Magic Mountain through our multicultural student body, experiential academic and extracurricular programs, and many travel opportunities. Now that the academic year has finished and we have said goodbye to our students for the summer, we would like to reflect on the highlights of last semester and remind ourselves of the many achievements and opportunities our students have experienced over the past few months.
The first highlight of last semester was the fantastic ski season and the range of winter sports we offered to our students. Students definitely made the most of the snow this year and enjoyed learning and improving their skills at some of the world’s best ski resorts. Leysin itself offers impressive slopes, and our students were lucky enough to also travel further afield, to Glacier 3000, Saas-Fee, and Verbier, to name a few.
LAS also hosted the annual Cowbell games, which included ski and snowboard races, a slopestyle contest, an Alpage challenge, and a snow sculpture contest! In addition, some of our more experienced skiers and snowboarders competed in various Freeride events at Villars and Verbier, where they placed incredibly well! Other winter activities include ice climbing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, ice-skating, and curling. We are so lucky to be nestled in the Swiss Alps, where so many winter activities are right in our backyard!
Family Winter Week (FWW)
We had such a fantastic week on campus welcoming over a third of our families to Leysin. Every year, FWW allows our community to travel to our stunning Alpine village and experience an infamous Swiss Winter! Families met teachers at Parent-Teacher conferences, enjoyed time on the slopes with their children, and came together as a whole school community at the Winter Soirée. This is always one of our favorite weeks of the year, and this year was no exception.
At LAS, cultural trips provide a wonderful and unique opportunity to experience some of the history, traditions, and cultural customs of different countries around the world. Exploring new countries and making friends along the way is a really enriching experience, and often when discussing their time at LAS, students reflect that their favorite part was the range of unique cultural trips they attended. Last semester, students had the opportunity to travel to a wide range of different countries, from Italy all the way to Zimbabwe! Highlights included cooking classes and bike tours in Sicily, surf lessons in Portugal, and a service trip to Sethule Orphans Trust in Zimbabwe, which has been running for the past decade.
This year, our students played a significant role in the organizing and fundraising element of the Zimbabwe service trip. Leading up to the trip, students helped with the auction and raffle, which raised a record-breaking CHF 25,000, 80% of which went towards Sethule projects. Being involved in the run-up to the trip and learning more about Sethule allowed the whole LAS community to be involved in this project, not just the group traveling. The students spent a week at the Orphans Trust, exchanging different parts of their cultures and engaging with the community through building projects.
We offer a wide range of sports here at LAS, allowing our students to follow their passions and try new things. Our students compete at all abilities, from beginner to competition level, and many have trained extensively this year to achieve some impressive results!
- In February, the Swim team competed in the Zurich International School Invitational, where two students won first place in each event they entered!
- Also in February, LAS hosted four other international schools at the upper sporting center for a tennis tournament. Our players came first and third place in various categories.
- In March, our tennis team also competed at the SGIS Doubles Tennis tournament, where they won the mixed and women’s doubles.
- In April, LAS hosted the SGIS Golf Championships in Aigle, where 48 golfers from international schools all over Switzerland participated. Our LAS golfers placed well and had a great day out!
These are just a few of the amazing sporting achievements our students have accomplished this year. At LAS, we offer a wide range of sports, from soccer and basketball all the way to rock climbing and mountain biking. This allows us to give students the space to experiment and try new things they would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience. We can’t wait to welcome our students back in August and see some more amazing sportsmanship next year!
Tuesday Night Talks
A key component of our residential life curriculum is the Tuesday Night Talks (TNT) series. These talks are a combination of outside experts in specific fields, such as drug and alcohol abuse education, community empowerment and diversity, sexual health, and even how to go from being a gold medal athlete to a successful business person! Other talks are led by our dedicated team of dorm heads and supportive staff from the counseling and health teams. Highlights from last semester include visits from members of our alumni community, Kymani Montgomery '12 and Sarah Wilson '09.
Kymani is the Camp Director and Programs Manager of the Ten Oaks Project in Ottawa, Canada. He strives to help and empower institutions to become more inclusive for children, teenagers, faculty, and staff who are members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Sarah Wilson visited our school in March and is a competitive skier and STEM researcher. Her visit was really interesting, as she conducted practical workshops about the physics of skiing and the importance of Women in STEM fields in addition to her Tuesday Night Talk.
A Comedy of Errors
Our thespians presented a fantastic rendition of the Shakespeare play Comedy of Errors this semester. The production, about mistaken identity, was incredibly entertaining and kept the audience smiling and laughing all evening! LAS provides a rich and supportive arts program for students of all artistic interests and backgrounds. Our arts program and facilities guide and nurture growing student talent and provide the resources students need to pursue their creative passions. We encourage our students to express themselves creatively, and we believe that the arts open up a world of possibilities in which students can think outside the box and express themselves in a gratifying way.
Prom and Graduation
At the end of last semester, our grade 11 and 12 students enjoyed their "Under the Stars" senior prom at the nearby Château d'Aigle, while our grade 7-10 students danced the night away at the "Masquerade" junior prom at the Belle Époque. There was music, food, dancing, chatting, and fun was had by everyone in this end-of-year celebration!
Our Grade 12 students celebrated their achievements in May at the LAS Graduation ceremony. The sun was shining on graduation day this year, and our students all looked so excited in their caps and gowns. We had an exciting schedule awaiting our graduating class and their family members over the weekend, and our students made the most of their last days on campus before becoming permanent members of our alumni community. Congratulations to all our students, and we hope you are all enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation!
Each year, our students have an amazing time meeting people from all over the world and gaining new knowledge through opportunities they would otherwise never have the chance to experience! We can’t wait to be reunited with our returning students in August and meet the new members of our global family!