The United Nations International School was established in New York in 1947, initially launched and run by a group of United Nations parents with a desire to provide a multicultural, international education for their children. Initially beginning life as a nursery school with 20 pupils, UNIS expanded vastly over the years to take on additional students in more grades with extra faculty. Today, there are two campuses, with UNIS taking students from pre-kindergarten right through to grade 12. You can find out more about admissions by watching the short video attachment. UNIS alumna Joey Horn, who later studied at Williams College, attended the school from 1982 until 1984.
The Mission of UNIS
The mission of UNIS is to provide students with a rounded education in a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Academic excellence, creativity, innovation and communication across cultural barriers underpin the rigorous international learning programmes at the school. Students are inspired to play an active role in creating a sustainable, compassionate and peaceful future for the world. The spirit of the UN charter is active at UNIS, where students demonstrate their commitment to respecting human rights and equal opportunities, along with developing the skills required to facilitate peaceful conflict resolution. A knowledge of universal ethics is acquired by UNIS students, as is a deep understanding of both individual responsibilities and the relationship between responsibilities and rights. The infographic attachment to this post gives an overview of the UNIS Learning Principles.
An International Education
The curriculum at UNIS has an international basis, beginning in the very earliest years. Pupils entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten have the opportunity to study and play alongside others from diverse cultural backgrounds, taught by a faculty with equally diverse origins. The curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of students and foster an attitude of understanding and inclusivity, while celebrating differences. Students have the freedom to explore and create in a safe, welcoming environment while acquiring new knowledge and skills. In the middle school, this integrated learning is diversified into more independent learning plans that focus more on the identification and pursuit of specific interests and learning styles. You can read more about the IB Learner Profile via the attached PDF document. Once students reach the UNIS high school, the focus shifts again, with academic specialisation across a balanced and broad range of subjects. Students are taught languages, sciences, mathematics, the arts, technology, humanities and physical education, inspired by a variety of global educational cultures, working towards their International Baccalaureate Diploma.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma
The International Baccalaureate diploma programme is the culmination of study at UNIS. During their last two years of secondary school, pupils work towards gaining this internationally-recognised qualification. On a global scale, the IB programme is offered in more than 140 different countries at more than 3,700 participating schools. The qualification is recognised in both the United States and Canada, where most universities offer course credit and advanced placement for applicants with an IB diploma. For the IB course, students typically study six subjects, three at standard level and three at advanced level. Usually, one subject is chosen from each of the core subject groups. These subject groups are:
- First language (language of instruction)
- Second language
- Experimental sciences
- Individuals and societies
- One further subject, either from the arts or a supplementary subject from one of the first four groups
Students also study their CORE, which has three parts: an individual project, which can be a senior project or extended essay; theory of knowledge; and creativity, action, service.
UNIS has been an official participant in the International Baccalaureate programme since 1965.