United Nations International School

The United Nations International School (UNIS) is a private international school in New York City, established in 1947 by families who worked for or were associated with the United Nations. The school was founded to provide an international education, while preserving its students' diverse cultural heritages. Today, UNIS has over 1600 students in two locations, serving the United Nations, international and New York communities. The campus in Jamaica Estates, Queens is a K8 school and the Manhattan campus, overlooking the East River, is K12. The school was originally located on East 70th street, before moving around 1970 into two premises on 51st (the Junior School) and 54th street. The senior school was housed on east 11th Street. The main building on 25th street opened in 1972.

United Nations International School
24-50 FDR Drive

NY 10010

United States
TypeIndependent, International School, Private
DirectorDan Brenner
Enrollmentapprox. 1,600
Color(s)Light Blue & White
AffiliationUnited Nations

UNIS was one of the founding schools of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and was among those awarding the first diplomas. The comprehensive K12 curriculum prepares UNIS students for the IB, and the school's internationally recognized academic standards[1] enables students to go on to study in top colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide.[2]

The main language of instruction is English and all students study French or Spanish, beginning in elementary school. Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian are also taught beginning in the seventh grade at the Manhattan campus. Additional mother tongues may be studied after school.[3]

The school's current Executive Director is Dan Brenner.

UNIS is a member of the Council of International Schools, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the European Council of International Schools, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the College Board and is registered with the New York Board of Regents as an independent, not-for-profit school.


Campuses in New York City

In the formative years, UNIS offers a school-designed curriculum, from Kindergarten to Grade 10. Junior and senior students enroll in the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) or IB Courses, where a wide range of subjects are offered. Within the framework of IB requirements, students have the possibility to choose from over 200 course combinations.[4]

Students are taught in relatively small classes, with averages of 17 children in kindergarten (JA), 17 in grade 1 (J1), 17 in grade 2 (J2), 19 in grades 34 (J3-J4), and 21 in middle and high school (M1-T4).[5] Emphasis is placed on preparation for the IB exams during High School, for which virtually all seniors sit (full Diploma or Certificate). Children whose parents transfer from abroad to work for the United Nations, Missions to the UN, and Consulates enjoy priority in terms of admission, but admission is not necessarily automatic. All children are required to be interviewed and assessed in person at UNIS, in addition to consideration of official school reports.[6]

The AEFE categorizes this school as a French international school.[7]

University and college attendance

Nearly all UNIS graduates matriculate at four-year colleges in the semester following graduation, with a small number choosing a gap year program. A typical year will see 75% to 85% of graduates enrolling at colleges in the United States with remaining graduates attending 20 different universities in thirteen countries outside the U.S.[8]

Top Colleges Attended 2011 -2015[8]
New York University
McGill University
George Washington University
Boston University
Cornell University
Barnard College
Northeastern University
Vassar College
University of Chicago
Fordham University

Events and programs

Each year, high schoolers organize a conference in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations and invite other schools. This activity allows students to improve their public speaking and diplomacy skills. It also allows students to engage with real world issues.[9]

Notable alumni


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  2. United Nations International School - College Counseling Office. "UNIS COLLEGE ATTENDANCE - CLASS OF 2015" (PDF).
  3. "United Nations Intl School: About UNIS". www.unis.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. "United Nations Intl School: The UNIS Curriculum". www.unis.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  5. Archived 1 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Admissions information and procedures". Procedures & Guidelines. United Nations International School. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  7. "École internationale des Nations Unies (UNIS)." AEFE. Retrieved on 2 June 2016.
  8. "United Nations Intl School: College Counseling". www.unis.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.(subscription required)
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  14. "William Leblond Dorothy Bush - Dorothy Bush LeBlond has given up her modest life in Maine and is becoming a presence in Washington society - Baltimore Sun". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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  23. "SARAH KAY IS:". Kay Sarah (sera), About. Sarah Kay. 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  24. Santor, Marc; Gootman, Elissa (30 October 2008). "Political Storm Finds a Columbia Professor". The New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  25. The eyewitness of the sinking elites. Interview for Russian magazine Troickiy variant (in Russian)
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  27. Archived 25 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  28. "1976 interview with Devon Scott (Roberta)!!!! [Archive] - Sitcoms Online Message Boards - Forums". Sitcomsonline.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  29. Yglesias, Linda (8 June 1997). "At Center of Tragedy..." NY Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  30. "Tribal Baroque". Skthoth.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  31. "ЦЕРЕТЕЛИ ВАСИЛИЙ ЗУРАБОВИЧ". Russian Academy of Arts.
  32. "Департамент культуры города Москвы поздравляет Василия Церетели и Михаила Миндлина с награждением французским Орденом Искусств и литературы". Moscow City Government, Department of Culture.
  33. "Milken Archive of Jewish Music - People - John Zorn". Milkenarchive.org. Retrieved 19 May 2015.

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