When the black square hats of the graduates fly for the 20th time – that’s what a school. Especially when it comes to the school that led to the International Abitur for the first time in Berlin. We are talking about the Berlin International School (B.I.S.) in Dahlem, which since it was founded in 1998 has made it easier for mobile families to gain a foothold in the then newly established seat of government: in 1999 the parliament and government moved from the Rhine to the Spree.

It was indeed new territory that school founder Horst Seidel was entering: teachers and managers had to be sought from Berlin worldwide and the experiment had to be dared with them, because the international schools from Bonn did not want to move to Berlin, remembers the long-standing B.I.S. Managing Director Andreas Wegener . Therefore, the need in Berlin was great – so great that the Federal Foreign Office put pressure on the Senate Chancellery. That worked: The education administration asked Seidel, who had been running the private Kant schools with bilingual offers in Berlin for decades, to found another school that led to international degrees: Four months later, the opening was celebrated.

Since 1998, other schools have been added that lead to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP), including the Nelson Mandela State School, the Berlin Cosmopolitan, Berlin Metropolitan and the Berlin British School. “Schools have to develop a curriculum that can be used anywhere in the world,” says Wegener, describing the challenge faced by international institutions. This year alone at the B.I.S. almost 60 so-called graduates from over 30 nations, who were able to take the IB home with them, which is equivalent to the Abitur if the appropriate course is chosen.

In recent years, the rate of passed exams was 98 percent. In addition, the results were so good that many graduates would have had enough points even for Harvard and Yale.

But there are not only the remarkable grades, but also individual success stories. This year’s winner of the Kant Prize, an award given by the Private Kant Schools Foundation for excellent work, had a very special one. Kinza Hasan beat 53,000 applicants for a University of Michigan scholarship and received one of only five scholarships, the school reports.

Kinza Hasan was able to do this thanks to a paper that she – like all her classmates – had to present on a freely chosen topic. The paper was entitled “Analyzing the General Experiment with Galileo Satellites 5

In the four schools of the Private Kant Schools Foundation, a total of 140 graduates qualified for university entrance this year. This means that in addition to the 60 IB diplomas at the B.I.S. 80 regular Abitur were awarded at the other Kant schools.

Incidentally, what very few of these successful graduates are likely to know: the history of their schools began with a tutoring institute that Horst Seidel founded more than 60 years ago. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday with several of the more than 2000 students.