In Pictures: A Sample of Student Life

A Brief History of IST

The concept for IST began taking shape in 1961 as the result of an increased international outlook and an influx of international staff and their families in Dar es Salaam following Tanganyika's (later to join with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania) independence. In 1962, a few parents began exploring the possibility of setting up an international school in Dar es Salaam. Eventually, this group, together with the assistance of the then Geneva-based International Schools Association, was successful in the creation of what has become by all accounts a successful school enroling about 1000 students from over 60 nationalities on two campuses, employing over 100 teachers and several hundred support staff. However, the beginnings were slightly more humble.

When IST opened its doors on what was then called Cameron Road (now United Nations Road) in September of 1963, it had 214 elementary-aged pupils, nine full-time and one part-time teacher, mostly recruited from within Tanzania. At the time, it was also the first international school in this half of Africa. By the end of the year, the school community had grown to 305 pupils and 15 full-time teachers.

Throughout the following years, two flats of teacher housing, a laboratory, a library, a music room, an assembly hall (’66) and the pool (’67) were added. In 1966, more teacher flats were finished and land for a playing field was bought and built.


Pictured above, standing, is Dr. Michael Latham, IST's first Board Chair and "founding father", addressing the audience at IST's opening ceremony, September 20, 1963. To his left is Mr. Desmond Cole-Baker of the International School of Geneva who acted as a visiting consultant during IST's early years.


In 1978, the school made the move to expand to an Upper School, opening with a single block of classrooms and in June 1980, the first IST student sat for a mathematics GCSE exam.

Pictured above, Secondary Campus students planting trees on their new site on the Msasani Peninsula (October 1978).

Continued Construction of Secondary Campus: 1980's

The International Baccalaureate program was introduced in 1983, and has since become the main diploma program at IST. Following years of construction, the secondary campus on the Msasani Peninsula was officially opened on August 30, 1986.

Opening of Science Building, Secondary Campus: 2009

IST continues to focus on campus re-development and the new Science Building is opened in 2009.

Opening of Additional Faculty Housing, Twiga Apartments Blocks A and B: 2010

Twiga Apartments, IST Faculty Housing

Block C of Twiga Apartments: 2012

Block C, an addition to Twiga Apartments

Block of Teachers' Accommodations on Elementary Campus: 2015

The Sportsman Complex was completed in July 2015 and includes several systems installed with the environment in mind. These include

  • biodigesters to break down the biodegradable sewage, producing biogas as a byproduct,
  • water handling systems for gray water,
  • construction designed to maximize the use of natural ventillation, and
  • solar powered water heaters.

Additional Covered Court on Elementary Campus: 2016

An additional covered court was completed in January 2016. The additional covered court provides space for PE classes and after school activities while the planned refurbishments to the PE Hall are underway. A climbing wall is a welcome feature of the new covered court.


Updated School Entrance on Elementary Campus: 2016

The north-east entrance to the Elementary Campus was updated with renovations completed in January 2016.

Refurbished Elementary Multi-purpose Hall: 2016

The refurbished Elementary MPH includes an upgraded audio/visual system, improved stage for performing arts and exceptional space for sports and athletics. The facility opened in December 2016.

New Secondary D and E Block: 2017

The new Secondary D and E Blocks provide for common and collaborative learning areas as well as tech centres and upgraded fine arts classrooms.
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