The school traces its beginnings to a small school established in 1955 under the patronage of the British, US and Indian Embassies in order to educate about eighty children left without English-language schooling when the army schools close at the end of the allied occupation of Austria.
The rapid growth of the school and the differing qualifications require by the North American and the British school systems lead to its division, into the English School Vienna and the American International School.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is established in Vienna. International businesses find Vienna a convenient base for Eastern Europe. In consequence, the school expands and is obliged to move to a larger building.
Intent on attracting more international organizations to Vienna, the Austrian Government realizes the need for an international school teaching an international curriculum. In September 1978 it is arranged that the English International School should becomes the nucleus of the new Vienna International School (VIS) run by the non-profit Vienna International School Association and starts to prepare candidates for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
The school receives formal recognition from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education and in 1981 the Board of Governors of the school, the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna sign a comprehensive agreement ensuring the stability and further development of the school in meeting the need for international education in Vienna. At this time, the school establishes links with the other UN associated schools in Geneva and New York.
VIS enters its first twelve candidates for the International Baccalaureate (IB) in 1981.
The City of Vienna and the Austrian Republic generously provide fine new installations in the 22nd district, not far from the recently opened UN buildings. These are placed at the disposal of the school rent-free by the Republic of Austria. The then Federal President of Austria, Dr. Rudolf Kirchschläger, formally opens the new school buildings in 1984.
VIS is very touched by this spontaneous statement by the President, as he describes the welcome extended to him by our community. The President thanks the Green Team for their efforts and awards the VIS the 1st and up till now only Eco-School in Austria.
President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen spends nearly two hours touring the School. He is genuinely impressed by the interactions that he has with students and the commitment he oberves to our sustainability agenda.
The morning is a wonderful celebration of student voice and student talent, characteristics of our diverse and nurturing learning community. The only disappointment is that we do not have a bigger space to host the event in so that parents could have experienced the tremendous energy and pride that we all feel.
The President leaves us with a powerful message of support for the work that we do as a community of learners. He genuinely enjoys his visit and will leave with strong and very positive memories.