main campus at top-ranked bilingual school Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye American Section Paris area

Authentic American education
within a top French public school,
from pre-K to 12 (MS-Terminale)

recent graduates with OIB, top-ranked bilingual school Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye American Section Paris area

Our graduates attend the world’s
top universities, with 100%
success on the coveted OIB diploma

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Bilingual and bicultural: rigorous
native English instruction
alongside a full French curriculum

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14 international sections in
the French Lycée, creating
friendships to last a lifetime

athletic facilities, sports top-ranked bilingual school Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye American Section Paris area

A full range of co-curriculars and
community service to build
the whole person

An Illustrious History

Creation of the SHAPE School by General Eisenhower

On January 10, 1952, the SHAPE Village School, predecessor of the Lycée International, opened its doors to educate the children of the NATO officers stationed in the area. It was established by the NATO Supreme Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. General Eisenhower entrusted the school’s first Proviseur, Réné Tallard, with creating a school “of international unity, emphasizing individual nationalities, in a spirit of liberty, harmony, and humanism, and open to the inevitable changes that would be shaping the world of the future.” The idea was that children would both follow a common French curriculum and receive instruction in their own language, at native level. By July 1952, there were 150 students.

 
Establishment of the American Section Governing Board

Ten years later, enrollment had reached 1,345 students. Half were the children of military officers or of the foreign civilians who had settled in the area, and the rest were local French children. In 1962 the education ministry decreed that civilians could no longer attend classes that were financed by NATO for liability reasons. American Section civilian parents decided to hire their own teachers, creating the governing association that still exists today.

Designation as a French Public School

When President de Gaulle expelled NATO from France in 1966, hundreds of military children and most of the section teachers, who were military personnel, moved away. The Dutch and German Sections remained, as well as the civilians from the British and American Sections. The Proviseur, Edgar Scherer, convinced the Education Nationale to keep the school open, arguing that bilingual and international families would relocate to the area for the school. The Lycée was soon designated a French public school, officially recognized by the Education Nationale as a mixed educational establishment structured to receive both French and foreign pupils.

Spread of the Lycée International Model

Over the ensuing decades, a network of lycées internationaux, patterned after the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, has grown throughout France. As importantly, the international spirit envisioned by General Eisenhower of cooperation, community and multiculturalism continues to thrive on the site of the SHAPE Village School.

Photo Album

Château d’Hennemont, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The school’s Château d’Hennemont was built in 1907 for Henri Cannone, inventor the Pastille Valda cough drop.

Château d’Hennemont today, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Château d’Hennemont today

Dwight D. Eisenhower visit, SHAPE, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

General Eisenhower commissioned the building of the school. Here he visits the site before construction began.

SHAPE Village, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The SHAPE Village was built to house officers stationed in France after WWII, and the school was created to educate their children. The château mentioned in the article originally housed the officers' club, but was soon converted into the school. 

Magazine Article from 1952, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

An article profiling the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye from Le Patriote Illustré of 1952.

Magazine Article from 1952, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

An article profiling the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye from Le Patriote Illustré of 1952.

SHAPE School Entrance, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye
SHAPE July 1952, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

End-of-year festivities. From an article in Time magazine, July 1952.

SHAPE Visit 1965, History of American Section, Lycée International Saint-Germain-en-Laye

The Supreme Commander of SHAPE visited the school in 1965.