International School of Kenya: Inside Kenya’s Most Expensive School Charging Up To Ksh3.8 Million Per year

International School of Kenya: Inside Kenya's Most Expensive School Charging Up To Ksh3.8 Million Per year
A collage image of the International School of Kenya (ISK). |Photo| Courtesy|

The International School of Kenya(ISK) is a private, non-profit co-educational day school that offers a pre-kindergarten to grade 12 educational program and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program to students both local and international.

According to the school’s website, it was established in 1976 by the U.S. and Canadian governments. It is governed by a seven-member Board of Governors and a nine-member Board of Directors. The sponsoring embassies appoint three members of the Board of Directors, four are elected, and the board itself selects two. The Board of Governors consists of seven people who are all appointed. The U.S. Embassy is represented by four members, while three members represent the Canadian High Commission.

Number of Students And Staff

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As of the 2021-2022 academic year, the school indicated that it has 1,055 learners (PreK-grade 5: 433; grades 6-8: 261; and grades 9-12: 361.) from over 65 different nationalities.

The school year is divided into two semesters, one lasting from early August to December and the other from January to early June.

In the same academic year, ISK revealed that it has a total of 421 total staff, 129 of whom are full-time teachers. The school’s faculty and staff represents 17 nationalities, namely American, Kenyan, Belgian, British, Canadian, Cameroonian, Australian, French, South African, Dutch, Mexican, Spanish, Albanian, German, Italian, Vietnamese, and Venezuelan. from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Ghana, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Romania, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.

International School of Kenya: Inside Kenya's Most Expensive School Charging Up To Ksh3.8 Million Per year
File image of the International School of Kenya (ISK). |Photo| Courtesy|

Teachers at the school are required to have a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject, teacher certification from an accredited university or college and a minimum of two years’ relevant experience.


ISK rests on 40 acres of land in the leafy Kitisuru estate in Nairobi. The land was initially a coffee plantation. The compound has since been maintained to ensure a serene environment for learning.

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The institution boasts several state-of-the-art facilities including an arts center, a 547-seat theatre, an amphitheatre, a clay work area, a library, a media centre, design and fabrication technology labs, four computer labs and eight mobile computer laboratories, 1-to-1 devices from grades 3-8, and other iPad carts to support curriculum in different areas.

Other facilities include; a gymnasium, science laboratories, a cafeteria, a solar-heated swimming pool, five tennis courts, two large playing fields, state-of-the-art classrooms, a multi-sports court, and a health office.

In 2011, the school invested $40 million in facilities expansion which included; a new elementary school which was opened in 2015. The school built a new covered basketball court, the Lions’ Den, with changing rooms and offices in the 2018-2019 school year.

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In January 2021, the school completed the construction of a new 14,000 square meter middle school building and high school science labs. According to the school, it will be able to accommodate approximately 1,200 students in the next few years following the completion of a few other facilities.

ISK has an on-campus cafeteria that provides a variety of healthy and tasty foods for students and parents. A majority of the items available in the cafeteria are homemade while others are hand-prepared by experienced staff at the facility.

Foods available at the cafeteria include; beef stroganoff, pasta carbonara vegetarian, roast chicken drumsticks curry, sautéed vegetables, paneer jalfrezi among other international cuisines.

There are two main serving stations for lunch with one catering to the elementary school and the other to the middle school, high school, parents and staff. ISK also has a sandwich bar, salad bar, high school snack canteen as well as a coffee shop with an in-house barista.

Fee Structure

ISK is funded almost entirely by tuition and capital fees. For the 2021-2022 school year, annual tuition rates are: Pre-Kindergarten: $16,804 (Ksh1,985,152); Kindergarten: $26,601 (Ksh3,142,528); grades 1-5: $28,067 (Ksh3,315,715); grades 6-8: $29,329 (Ksh3,464,803); grades 9-10: $30,985 (Ksh3,660,435); and grades 11-12: $32,218 (Ksh3,806,097).

The school charges $2,200 (Ksh259,898) for bus fees. The application fee is $400 (Ksh47,254). There is a one-time capital levy fee of $10,000 (Ksh1,181,357) and an annual capital levy fee of $1,400 (Ksh165,390).

ISK increased its tuition fees in 2022 by KSh670,441 translating to Sh3.4 million annually for children in Grade One to Grade Five. This sees the fees going up by 25 percent. Kindergarten children are forking ksh3.25 million per year, an increase of kshs633,123.

ISK was nominated for the International Schools Awards 2022.

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