A Growing World-Class International Education Campus in Lisbon

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United Lisbon International School, 4 years on from opening, the international school in the heart of Lisbon’s tech district unveils plans for expansion and significant additional campus facilities and a growing faculty

Founded by Chitra and Roman Stern in September 2020, United Lisbon International School offers a K-12 international education with an innovative approach lead by world class staff amidst world-class facilities.

While Chitra and Roman are better known for their track record as entrepreneurs in the real estate and hospitality sectors with their Martinhal hotels, it is the international school that they started successfully in the middle of a global pandemic and has since grown to more than 600 pupils, that grabs the most attention amongst people.

Less than 4 years on, they are excited with the growth and development of the international school in the Lisbon Oriente area near Parque das Nações and right at the heart of the emerging “technology district” in Lisbon.

Apart from being close to the Parque das Nações where several large technology companies such as Microsoft, Vodafone, Novabase and Feedzai have their headquarters, ULIS is located close to the Beato Creative Hub, where Lisbon City Hall’s exciting initiative, the Lisbon Unicorn Factory, is located, founded by Mayor Carlos Moedas to boost the startup scene in Lisbon.  The Beato Creative Hub is also where several other companies are settling down, such as Factory, Web Summit, Claranet and Microsoft’s latest AI Innovation Factory.

“These are important developments for us at ULIS, as one of the key pillars in our vision for the school is Technology,” says Chitra Stern.  The other 4 pillars upon which ULIS was developed are: Global Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, the Arts and Sports – all to prepare its students for tomorrow’s world.  “Being surrounded by tech companies gives us an advantage into the future to be better connected to them for internships and work projects,” she says.

ULIS has been expanding well since its inception in 2020.  “The student body now comprises well over 600 and the number of nationalities is 52. 20% are local Portuguese, followed by approximately 10% each of American, Russian, Chinese, Ukrainian, then smaller percentages of Brazilian, Angolan, British, French, Spanish to name just a few nationalities represented on the student body. “This is exactly what we set out to achieve, ULIS is a truly international school!” says Chitra Stern.  “This factor, along with a strong Model United Nations club in the school, contributes to our second pillar for the vision of the school – Global Citizenship,” she says. “We named the school “United” as it is only through being united that global problems can be solved”.

As the first cohort of IB graduates prepare for their IBDP exams this year, there is an excitement at ULIS that heralds a new era in its history.  “With nearly 50 children graduating from our first IB class in Grade 12, we are proud of our pioneering IB candidates.  The teachers are working very hard to give them maximum support for this milestone year”.

ULIS was the first international school partner with the Dukes Education Group outside of the United Kingdom.  That first step into Europe with ULIS was the catalyst for further growth in Europe soon after – Dukes has since acquired other schools in Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain and in Central Europe.  They have further plans to build their group in other countries in Europe.

ULIS is now expanding its successful operations into further buildings which the Sterns acquired in 2018 – in renovation and development are a further 7,300 sqm of classrooms, lounges, science laboratories, maker space, sports facilities and a brand new 250-seater auditorium, all to be opened later this year and early next year. A further 1,000 sqm of outdoor sports areas will be added to the already existing 6,500 sqm of outdoor play and sports areas.  These new facilities will help double the areas existing in the current school, making this one of the largest urban international schools in the Lisbon area. Offering unparalleled dedicated outdoor space for children to run around and play is honouring another of the school’s core pillars. Organised sport is a key aspect of the impressive after school clubs. A partnership with Sporting Lisbon offers expert coaching in a range of sports while the school staff offer school teams at a number of age groups.

“The most important thing in education is the teaching faculty and we are also proud to say that we have grown the core teaching team over the last 2 years into a serious body of experts and educators, totaling a teaching body of 84, headed by an experienced and diverse Senior Leadership Team,” brimmed Chitra Stern with pride.

To steer the school onto the next chapter of its exciting story a new leader took up position as the Executive Director. Martin Harris has been a Head for 19 years in the UK and has most recently been working in Lisbon. “This is an exciting time to be starting my time at ULIS, for not only is this the first year that we have students throughout the school but we have new facilities about to open, that will make this a campus to be admired, not just in Lisbon, but around Europe. However, a school is not about the facilities, it is all about the people. If a community is to be judged by how it welcomes new comers, then I feel very lucky to be here, having received a warm welcome from all. We have exciting plans to enhance and widen the curriculum and the extra-curricular programme we offer our students, while fully utilizing some of the amazing opportunities that our location offers.”

United Lisbon International School

Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa, 9

Lisbon 1800-255

Admission enquiries: admissions@unitedlisbon.school

General enquiries: info@unitedlisbon.school

Website: www.unitedlisbon.school

Instagram: @unitedlisbonschool

More information about United Lisbon International School

A member of the Dukes Education family of schools, United Lisbon International School is a modern and innovative school providing education for children to prepare them for the future. Located in central Lisbon, next to the Park of Nations, United Lisbon offers rigorous English-language academic programs for all schooling ages, from Early Childhood (3 years) to Grade 12 (18 years). An education at ULIS culminates in the internationally accredited, university preparatory IB Diploma Program (IBDP), with the first IB students graduating this year in 2024.

The school community now boasts an exceptional multi-cultural faculty that brings years of international education and experience, making the school a vibrant hub where diversity is celebrated, creating an enriching environment for every student to thrive.

As mentioned earlier, Global Citizenship, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Sports, and the Arts are the pillars of a ULIS education, offering education that is inspired by, and fit for, the 21st century.


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