Institut Le Rosey

Institut Le Rosey (French pronunciation: [ɛ̃stity lə ʁozɛ]), commonly referred to as Le Rosey or simply Rosey, is a boarding school in Rolle, Switzerland. It was founded by Paul-Émile Carnal in 1880 on the site of the 14th-century Château du Rosey in the town of Rolle in the Canton of Vaud. It is one of the oldest boarding schools in Switzerland. Le Rosey is one of the most expensive schools in the world.

Institut Le Rosey
Cháteau du Rosey

TypePrivate, international boarding school
MottoUne École pour la Vie, A School for Life
AuthorizerNEASC, IBO, CIS, & ECIS
DirectorChristophe Gudin
HeadmistressLaëtitia Peynon-Mudry
HeadmasterKim Kovacevic
Student to teacher ratio5:1
Annual tuitionCHF 130,500 ($136,000) (varies within different age groups, and does not include bonus going up to another CHF 20,000, to a total of CHF 150,500 ($157,000))

The school also owns a campus in the ski resort village of Gstaad in the Canton of Bern, to where the student body, faculty, and staff move during the months of January through March. In 2015, Christophe Gudin, the son of the fourth director of Le Rosey Philippe Gudin, became the fifth one. Kim Kovacevic is the headmaster.[4]

In 2014, Le Rosey inaugurated the Paul & Henri Carnal Hall, an arts and learning centre for Le Rosey and the La Côte region.[5][6] The school is also planning the sale of its Gstaad winter campus, and a move to a location that can accommodate more personnel and students.[7][8]


Le Rosey's (upper) secondary education (Middle and High School) is neither approved as a Gymnasium by the bureau for gymnasial and vocational education MBA (Mittelschul- und Berufsbildungsamt MBA), of the administration for education (Erziehungsdirektion), in the canton of Berne,[9] nor by the Swiss Federal State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).[10]


Le Rosey's philosophy is inspired by what Harvard educationalist Howard Gardner has called "multiple intelligences": "its aim is to develop all Roseans’ talents through academic, sporting and artistic programmes."[11] The school offers a demanding bilingual and bicultural education with the language of instruction being French or English depending on the student's academic program; however, students may take many language classes while at Le Rosey.[12] Students may sit either the International Baccalaureate, the most widely recognized pre-university educational program,[13] or the Francophone-oriented French Baccalaureate. To sustain an international atmosphere at Le Rosey, there exists a quota where no more than 10% of the students may come from a single country. The student body, ages 7 through 18, is composed of pupils from approximately 58 different countries, with 60% of the students being European.[14] The school's current enrollment, over 400 pupils, is equally divided between male and female. The majority of students are between the ages of 14 and 18.[15] The student-teacher ratio is 5:1 with the average class size being fewer than 20 students, and the average teacher's length of stay at Le Rosey is over ten years.[11] Students at Le Rosey are nicknamed "Roséens" (in French) or "Roseans" (in English), and former students are labeled "Les Anciens Roséens".[16][17] The school's campus has 28 hectares (approximately 70 acres) of landscaped grounds. The school's sailing center, the "Fleur d'Eau", is situated along 100 meters of shoreline on Lake Geneva. Le Rosey is reportedly the only boarding school in the world to change campuses seasonally.[18] In spring and autumn, classes are held at the Château du Rosey campus in the village of Rolle in the Canton of Vaud, located between Geneva and Lausanne in southwestern Switzerland. For the winter months of January through March, the entire student body moves to a group of chalets in the ski resort town of Gstaad in the Canton of Berne.

Le Rosey offers a wide range of sports, including: football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, cross-country running, sailing, rowing, competitive swimming, and water skiing during the spring and autumn terms. During the winter term, sports options are skiing, snowboarding, ice-hockey, curling and snowshoeing.[19]


Château du Rosey, a Feudal chateau located on Le Rosey's main campus at Rolle, dates to the Middle Ages and houses Le Rosey's central reception area.[20] In 1880, the site of the Le Rosey campus was chosen by the school's founder, Paul-Emile Carnal, "a lover of nature, history and the countryside". The Le Rosey campus at Rolle is situated adjacent to the famous Lake Geneva. In 1911, the founder passed the ownership of Le Rosey to his son, Henri-Paul Carnal. In 1917, the school began to go to Gstaad in the German-speaking Canton of Berne for the winter months to escape the dense fog that settles in on Lake Geneva.[21] In 1947, the third generation of directors, Louis Johannot and Helen Schaub, assumed ownership of Le Rosey. Under the same ownership, in 1967, Le Rosey admitted girls for the first time and opened a separate girls' campus. In 1980, the current owners, Philippe and Anne Gudin de la Sablonnière, became the fourth generation of Directors at Le Rosey. Louis Johannot, in an interview with Life Magazine in 1965, made a comment that received considerable attention: "The only reason I always try to meet and know the parents better is because it helps me to forgive their children."[22]

Prior to the introduction of the 10% quota, wherein no more than 10% of the student body may come from one country, different nationalities made up the majority of students at Le Rosey.[23] In the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of students were Americans, Italians, and Greeks, in the 1970s came the Arabs and Iranians, in the 1980s came the Japanese and Koreans, and in the 1990s came the Russians.[23] During the 1990s, the children of Russian oligarchs, who made up a third of the student body,[24] gained notoriety for "terrorizing" other students, resulting in the withdrawal of at least one non-Russian student.[23][25]

Academic curriculum

Institut Le Rosey's academic curriculum is designed to "provide education of breadth, depth and quality for an international student body."[26] Le Rosey offers a rigorous bilingual and bicultural education with the principal language of instruction being French or English depending on the student's academic program.[12] Beginning in Class 9 (US 3rd grade) and ending in Class 7 (US 5th grade), Junior students at Le Rosey follow the Primary Bilingual Programme.[27] The Programme follows the French national curriculum for classes taught in French and the British national curriculum for classes taught in English, which are both complemented by the International Primary Curriculum to create an international education.[27][28]

Le Rosey students in Classes 6–2 (US 6th–10th grade) choose their principal language and continue their studies in French or English.[29] If possible, students may study their mother tongue and a third or even a fourth language in addition to their principal language of instruction. Over 20 different languages have been taught at Le Rosey in the past five years.[12] During the Secondary Bilingual Programme, English and French classes are obligatory, and upon entering Class 3 (US 9th grade), students begin the two-year "Pre-Bac" Programme to prepare the students for either the internationally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme or the Francophone-oriented French Baccalaureate.[29] At Le Rosey, the IB Diploma Programme and the French Baccalaureate cover the last two years of schooling (Class 1 and Class t).[30]


Rolle campus

Le Rosey's main campus, near Rolle, is situated on 28 hectares of land adjacent to Lake Geneva. It is divided into two campuses, one for boys situated on the main campus and one for girls called La Combe. The boarding houses contain a total of 179 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, and all together the academic buildings contain: 53 classrooms, 8 science laboratories, 14 specially-equipped rooms, 48 apartments for Le Rosey teachers, 2 infirmaries, a library/media centre with about 20,000 to 30,000 literary and reference works, a theatre, 3 dining rooms and 2 cafeterias, an auditorium, 2 gymnasiums, and an ecumenical chapel. Sports and arts facilities at Le Rosey include: 10 clay Tennis courts, a 25-meter indoor pool and wellness centre, a 25-meter outdoor pool, 3 football pitches, 1 synthetic rugby pitch, 1 wood chip running track, a shooting and archery range, an open-air theatre, and a computer-regulated greenhouse. Off-campus Le Rosey owns: a private Equestrian centre housing 30 horses, 1 indoor riding school, 1 Dressage area, and a clubhouse. Also off-campus is the Le Rosey sailing centre equipped with: 10 dinghies, 3 motorboats, 3 yawls and a 38-foot (12 m) yacht.[31]

Gstaad campus

The school's winter campus, at the ski resort of Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland, is composed of several traditional chalets within the town. The girls' campus, at Schönried, is situated a 10-minute train ride away from Gstaad and is composed of 5 chalets used solely for boarding and dining. The students utilize local facilities, including: swimming pool]]s, fitness centres, tennis courts, ice-hockey rink, a bowling alley, curling, 250 kilometers (approximately 156 miles) of alpine ski slopes and 120 kilometers (approximately 75 miles) of cross-country ski tracks, 65 kilometers of snowshoeing trails, climbing walls, and Via Ferratas.[32]

Tuition fees

As of 2011/12, the annual boarding and academic fees are CHF 125,000 (approximately $133,000 USD), without extra fees such as those for sports, etc.[33] This makes Le Rosey the most expensive school in the world. The Rosey Foundation, which oversees the financing of Le Rosey's Carnal Hall, makes scholarships possible to "particularly deserving" students, and the four-member Rosey Scholarship Committee allots them to the approved students.[34] However, Institut Le Rosey does not directly offer scholarships to any person, as scholarships are only made available through the Rosey Foundation.[3]


L'Association Internationale des Anciens Roséens (AIAR), the International Association of Former Roseans, is Le Rosey's alumni association, the members of which have been major contributors to 20th-century world history.[35][36] The AIAR, a prestigious network of former students, has alumni representatives in most countries and in many major cities across the world. Le Rosey's first alumni association, the "Old Rosey Association", was created on 21 July 1922 by a small group of alumni in the presence of the son of the school's founder, Henri Carnal. In 1926, the "Belgian Old Rosey Association" was founded; however, like the Old Rosey Association, it was declining due to slow international communication between alumni.[37] The current alumni association, the AIAR, was established in 1964. The school's list of alumni is not published and access to AIAR events and meetings is exclusive to former students.[36]

Institut Le Rosey is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the International Baccalaureate, the Ministry of National Education of France and the Council of International Schools.[38] Le Rosey is also a member of the European Council of International Schools.

The Rosey-Abantara Project

In 2004, Institut Le Rosey's Charity Committee undertook a humanitarian program to construct and maintain a private school, the Rosey-Abantara School, in the suburbs of Bamako, the capital city of Mali, in Saharan Africa.[39] Rosey-Abantara is considered the most important charity project in Le Rosey's history. The project is entirely financed by the Le Rosey Charity Committee, with costs amounting to CHF 1,200,000 (approximately $1 million USD). An additional CHF 200,000 (approximately $167,000 USD) will be needed to purchase additional land for sports fields. By the summer of 2007, primary construction work on the school was completed. By autumn of 2007, an estimated 1,500 Mali children will attend Rosey-Abantara. An independent construction report, by Alfrique Expertises, was published in May 2007, with the report finding the Rosey-Abantara school's structure to be solid. Le Rosey students and teachers undertake humanitarian missions throughout the year to the Rosey-Abantara project to teach Malian students.[40]

Notable alumni

Institut Le Rosey, has over 5,000 former students,[23] Le Rosey has educated generations of dynastic families, including Hohenzollern, Cavendish, Rothschilds, Metternichs, Borgheses, Hohenlohes, Rockefellers, Du Ponts and Radziwiłłs.[41] The school has also famously educated royalty and high society from around the world: Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, Edward, Duke of Kent, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty of Egypt, the House of Glücksburg of Greece, and the House of Savoy of Italy.[23] Le Rosey has educated several monarchs, including the Aga Khan IV, King Albert II of Belgium, King Baudouin I of Belgium, King Fuad II of Egypt, King Ntare V of Burundi, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Persia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Eugenio Losa, Princess Ashi Euphelma Choden Wangchuck and Prince Dasho Ugyen Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan, and the future Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume.[17][42] Other alumni include John Lennon's son Sean Lennon, heiress Tatiana Santo Domingo, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr, Tracee Ellis Ross, Princess Fawzia-Latifa of Egypt, Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, and her sisters Pia Getty and Alexandra von Fürstenberg.

In fiction, the school is most commonly mentioned in novels relating to the rich and famous, and usually takes the role of being the choice of education for different characters.[43] Le Rosey has been mentioned in Judith Krantz's novels Princess Daisy (1980) and Till We Meet Again (1988),[44] as well as in several romance novels by Karen Robards.[45] The school is also mentioned in Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel (1975) by Truman Capote,[46] Any Woman's Blues (1990) by Erica Jong,[47] For Love Alone (1992) by Ivana Trump,[48] and What Became of Her (2002) by Marijane Meaker.[49] Similarly, Le Rosey is mentioned in Bret Easton Ellis' novel American Psycho (1991), as the alma mater of Evelyn Williams, who is the protagonist's fiancée for most of the novel. In a 2002 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, affluent character Martha Strick, played by Veanne Cox, says she attended Le Rosey.[50]

In non-fiction, alumni Michael Korda and James Laughlin have written about their experiences and memories at Le Rosey.[51][52] Columnist Taki Theodoracopulos has written extensively on the school and its alumni,[53] and was in the middle of a mild controversy when in 1998 he jokingly wrote in The Spectator that Osama bin Laden had attended Le Rosey.[54][55] The story resulted in an outcry from American readers, inquiries from several magazines, and the school publicly and "vehemently" denying that bin Laden had attended Le Rosey.[54] In 1999, American journalist Paul Klebnikov (murdered in 2004) wrote an exposé on Le Rosey in Forbes magazine detailing the problems the school was experiencing with its majority Russian student body.[56] Richard René Silvin released his book "I survived Swiss Boarding Schools" in 2006 and a second edition in 2018, chronicling his time at Le Rosey in the 50s and 60s.

Plans to leave Gstaad

In January 2008, Swiss economics magazine Bilanz, a subsidiary of Groupe Edipresse, published an interview with Le Rosey Director-General Philippe Gudin that revealed the school is seeking to sell its Gstaad winter campus and build a new campus in another location.[7] Gudin is in negotiations with the local authorities in Schönried, a suburb of Gstaad located a few minutes away, to construct a new main campus on an undeveloped piece of land, but has run into difficulties due to zoning restrictions.[7] Reasons for moving to a new campus, according to the Director-General, include the fact that the school's personnel, who typically live on campus, are at maximum capacity, and that the student body can no longer increase in size due to the lack of space.[7] Gudin stated that for the moment the new winter campus location will be in Switzerland, but he has not ruled out the French Alps.[7] The 100,000m² (approximately 25 acres) of prime real estate that the school occupies on Ried Hill in the centre of Gstaad is estimated to be worth several hundreds of millions of USD, considering the International Herald Tribune reports that the price per square meter in Gstaad starts at 20,000 CHF (19,000 US$) and can rise to 45,000 CHF (43,000 US$). Gudin asserts that the high value of the Gstaad winter campus has nothing to do with its planned sale.[7]

Paul & Henri Carnal Hall

In October 2014, Rosey inaugurated a new a concert hall, the Paul & Henri Carnal Hall, dedicated to classical music. The building, shaped as a dome, was created by the architect Bernard Tschumi using stainless steel and wood. The concert hall is named after the Institut founder Paul-Émile Carnal, and his son and second director Henri Carnal.

See also


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