A timeline of our history


The concept of IST began taking shape as the result of an increased international outlook and an influx of expatriate workers and their families in Dar es Salaam, following Tanganyika’s independence. With the growing international community, several parents began exploring the possibility of founding an international school.

This group of parents, together with the assistance of the then Geneva-based International Schools Association, founded IST in 1963.

The doors of the school opened with 214 elementary-aged pupils and 12 teachers. Those numbers have grown dramatically over time to make the school what it is today: a thriving international school offering its students a rigorous academic programme coupled with a wide range of extra-curricular activities from the young age of three to Grade 12.

The timeline below explores our history in an in-depth way that looks not only at the school community, but also what was happening in Tanzania at the time. Through first-person perspectives of our amazing faculty, parent network, students and influential community members, the picture of IST over its 55 years will become crystal clear.

Over the many dates noted on the timeline, you will find blog posts, audio clips and videos to help you understand our story further. Be sure to click around to find these extra snippets.

Discover our story through our interactive timeline.


We hope you enjoyed taking a trip through time and getting to know the history of IST. Our timeline is a work in progress and we want to share the stories of everyone who played a role in our journey.

Do you have stories or information about how IST came to be the exceptional school it is today? We would love to hear from you and add your stories and photos into the timeline! Email Ismaili Simba to contribute.

We also have a new Alumni Portal which is allowing our IST graduates to reconnect with one another, give back to the school community through student mentorship, expand their professional networks and advance their careers.

Click the link below to find out more!

advertisement to join the IST alumni network