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AIS-Salzburg Newsletter

Dear AIS-Salzburg Community,

From 1991 until 2002, the American International School-Salzburg subscribed to the International Baccalaureate® Diploma curriculum at our school.  This was done at a time when many, many international schools were enamoured with the idea of a universal, international secondary-school diploma program.  Our experience with the IB Diploma was not overwhelmingly positive given its grounding in the British secondary school requirements which are somewhat at odds with American pedagogical philosophy (e.g., end examinations that establish the sole criteria for awarding of the diploma).  In 2002, we returned to the offering of Advanced Placement® courses which brought back flexibility, individualization of subject-area focus, and broad, foundational understanding of the material in 38 subject areas.  The IB is often thought to be the only internationally-recognized secondary-school diploma.  This is not at all the case.  A student with the required number of AP Examinations as well as proven linguistic capability can gain entrance to tertiary institutions around the globe.  In fact, the essential truth is that every student who enters and completes an international, independent school secondary curriculum will be able to apply and gain entrance to any university program provided their resume of results and accomplishments matches the requirements of the particular institution.

While the IB Diploma program has recorded a significant downturn in school subscriptions in the past ten years worldwide (except for in the USA, interestingly), many college-preparatory schools are reconsidering a return to offering Advanced Placement coursework and giving the students the choice of how they pursue their interests and gain the necessary qualifications to enter universities of choice.   Many students have found the AP syllabi to be more rigorous, broader in their treatment of the subject matter and more comprehensively preparatory for their further studies as well.  This has been our teaching faculty's experience and general conclusion as well.

We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter and are staying safe and healthy!

Headmaster McLean

Advantages of AIS-Salzburg's Advanced Placement Program


Since 1983, AIS-Salzburg has participated in the Advanced-Placement® Program (AP), allowing students in the 11th and 12th grade to tailor their studies to prepare for and gain acceptance to the universities of choice worldwide. To learn more about the AP program you can visit this page on our website and watch the video below, which outlines it's advantages and compares it to the IB Program. 

Alumna Interview: Karin Avila (1990)

What year or years did you attend AIS-Salzburg at what grade levels?

I attended “SIPS” (now AIS-Salzburg) from 1987 – 1990, grades 10-12, graduating in 1990. 


Have you remained in contact with any former AIS-Salzburg classmates? 

Yes! I’ve been fortunate to reconnect with several classmates on Facebook and other social media. I’ve also kept in touch with close friends over the years, including attending weddings and visiting each other on occasion. Several of us attended a reunion in Salzburg in 2017, and we are planning our next one.  

What have you done academically since graduating from AIS-Salzburg? 


After returning to California, it was less than a year that I began to feel out of place and missed Europe deeply. A friend of mine told me about an English-speaking college in Heidelberg, Germany. I went back to Europe and studied in Germany for two years, and then I returned to California to finish college in San Francisco, graduating with a Bachelor’s in International Relations.

After a few years, I went back to school to earn a Master’s in Environmental Management. I chose to study at the University of San Francisco, in part because it included a study-abroad program. I lived outside Budapest for 10 weeks and did an internship at the REC Regional Environmental Center where I made connections with environmentalists from non-profits in Eastern and Central European. Shortly after graduating, I returned to Romania for two weeks to learn about and help promote eco-tourism. 

Read Full Interview

News & Events

Summer Language Program Session 1 Read To Go!

This weekend 25+ students from around Europe will be welcomed to AIS-Salzburg for the first Summer Language Program session of 2020 starting on Monday. The first session is full of a great number of summer activities and in the first week alone it includes but is not limited to: swimming at Fuschlsee; canyoning one day and rafting another with Crocodile Sports (see video below); hiking Lammerklam Gorge; a day trip to Bad Ischl and a backyard Barbeque with fun games directly at the AIS-Salzburg campus.
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