International School of Kuala Lumpur

The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL; Malay: Sekolah Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur[2]) is an American non-profit school in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area, Malaysia. It is accredited by the United States-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges and internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS). It has three divisions: elementary school, middle school and high school. The high school and middle school occupy the same property in Ampang, while the elementary school is hosted at a separate campus at Melawati.[3][4][5]

The International School of Kuala Lumpur
Ampang Hilir Campus
2, Lorong Kelab Polo Di Raja
55000 Kuala Lumpur

TypePrivate, Day
International school
Age3 to 18/19

New campus

[6][7] The campus, which opened in August 2018, is set on approximately 25.7 acres of land in Ampang Hilir and is designed to create the most advanced learning environment featuring academic, arts, and athletic resources. This includes world-class science labs and classrooms with flexible teaching spaces, two libraries, gymnasiums, competition swimming facilities, regulation track and playing fields as well as a performing arts center. ISKL’s ‘green’ facility will be the first Malaysian school designed to achieve platinum Green Building Index (GBI) status with environmentally sustainable concepts


Established in 1965, the ISKL was the first school with an American curriculum in Malaysia. It was also the first fully accredited international school in Malaysia. The curriculum is US-based, and offers students the chance to earn a High School Diploma, an International Baccalaureate diploma (or certificates), and to attend Advanced Placement programs. The majority of students are from expatriate families seeking a western school system for their children while living abroad, while Malaysians seeking an American-based education may also attend the school. While the school focuses on a western education system, it also maintains and encourages cultural relations with its host country, giving students the opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities. The school also employs the national and compulsory law of enforcing school uniforms.

As of 2012, there are approximately 1600 students from more than 65 countries, with the most common nationalities being Americans, (South) Koreans, Malaysians, Chinese, and Indians. Other well-represented nationalities included are British, French, Canadians, Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese, Australian, Indonesian, Argentine, Colombian, and Pakistani. A majority of students have parents working for oil companies or embassies, as ISKL has very strong ties with the embassies in Kuala Lumpur, especially the United States embassy.

ISKL’s teaching faculty comprises individuals from the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, France, Germany, Chile, and Malaysia; with over 75% of them holding degrees at Masters or Doctorate level.

Media coverage

As a large and well known international school in Malaysia, ISKL is often in the news.[8][9]

In terms of private school fees in Malaysia, ISKL is often interviewed or referenced, in part because it one of the country's most expensive schools.[10][11][12] The school is also in the news because of falling enrollment due to the decline in the number of expatriates working in the oil and gas sectors due to the recent fall in oil prices.[13]

In terms of the school's charity work, an examples is its outreach to poorer children in Klang Valley.[14][15]

Governance & Leadership

The school is parent owned and parent governed and every year a Board of Directors is elected by all parents (members of ISKL). Parents serve on the board for 2 years. The current board comprises Kelly O'Hale - Board Chair, Leesa Hannah - Vice-Chair, David Thomas - Treasurer, Radhika Savant Mohit - Secretary, John Beattie, François Bogacz, Andrew Davis, Amber Dossey, Matthew Keene, Keith Kuchner, Toshi Saito, Lin Ting (Dominic), Dean Thompson and Jay Woo. Past board members have included Martin Rushworth, Valerie Scane, Dominic Silva and Nigel Cumberland.[16][17]

The School's Head of School (equivalent of Headmaster or CEO) is Dr. Norma J. Hudson.[18][19][20]

The Head of School is supported by an Assistant Head of School (Operations), a role currently occupied by Jim Griffin.


ISKL's flagship high school program is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a rigorous two-year curriculum for 16- to 19-year-old students, culminating in exams in six subjects (three higher level and three standard level). ISKL boasts a 98% pass rate for the IB Diploma, and the program is not geared towards any specific nationality. Additionally, the Advanced Placement (AP) program is offered for students who wish to pursue colleges in the United States, although this is slowly being phased out and more students are encouraged to pursue the IB program.

Extracurricular Activities and Athletics

ISKL is a part of several international and local leagues, promoting competition between both Malaysian and international schools:

  • IASAS: Formed in 1982, the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools (IASAS) includes varsity-level competition among schools in Jakarta, Indonesia (JIS), Bangkok, Thailand (ISB), Taipei, Taiwan (TAS), Singapore (SAS) and Manila, Philippines (ISM) in sports, fine and performing arts and Model United Nations.
  • ISAC: International Schools Athletic Conference
  • ISAKL: International School Association of Kuala Lumpur
  • SEA Forensics: The largest community outreach program, speech, debate and acting tournament in February of each year is a massive undertaking that requires the volunteer effort of coaches, teachers and parents

Fine Arts at ISKL: The Arts occupy a central position at ISKL and each student is strongly encouraged to participate in some form. The school offers a multitude of opportunities for artistic expression throughout the entire school year, designed to challenge all ability levels.

  • Music Programs include Instrumental Music, IASAS Music, ISKL Choir, Jazz/Concert Band, the ISKL Singers (a cappella), and the Tri-M Music Society
  • Dance and Theatre Programs include Dance Troupe, One Acts, Solo/Duet Acting, Improv Club, IASAS Dance, and the ISTA Theater Festival. ISKL also participates in the IASAS Visual Arts competition annually.

Athletics at ISKL:

  • Athletics are an integral part of the ISKL experience, and the school offers a variety of sports at a multitude of levels. These sports compete at the local and international level.
  • High School Varsity Sports include: Football (soccer), Cross Country Running, Volleyball, Basketball, Swimming, Tennis, Rugby, Touch Rugby, Track & Field, Badminton, and Golf

Campus Facilities

The Ampang campus has athletic facilities which include two fields, an outdoor 25-meter swimming pool, basketball gym, multipurpose outdoor court, fitness center, tennis courts and an outdoor climbing wall. It also has a two-story auditorium (Robert B. Gaw Theatre), drama studio, dance studio, cafeteria, and library.

The Melawati campus has an indoor theater/auditorium, a library and computer lab. Athletic facilities include an indoor gym, a covered outdoor 25-meter pool, recreational field, outdoor basketball court and 2 playgrounds.


In accordance with the national law of Malaysia, ISKL institutes a mandatory uniform policy. The uniform consists of a blue or white collar shirt with the school logo on the front, and boys have the option to pair it shorts and pants in dark blue and white, whereas girls have the option to wear shorts, skirts or pants in the same dark blue or white colours. When wearing outer layers, students are encouraged to purchase them in dark blue or white as part of the uniform. Students also have the option to buy pants or shorts from other companies that are similar to the school wear.

See also


  2. "Senarai Semak Permohonan." International School of Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved on November 15, 2018.
  • International School of Kuala Lumpur website
  • US State Department website page on International School of Kuala Lumpur
  • "International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)". Architect Magazine.

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