America is home to what many deem the best boarding schools in the world, from Andover to Lawrenceville, the good old U.S. of A. is molding the minds of future world leaders. And they say you can’t put a price on a good education, but these schools are trying. The Lawrenceville School which I just mentioned comes in at nearly $47,000 per year, that’s nearly $188,000 for a high school diploma. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, compares to a boarding school on the far side of the pond.
The Institut Le Rosey is considered to be the most exclusive boarding school in the world, and for good reason. Included among the alumni of Institut Le Rosey are Prince Rainier III of Monaco, King Albert II of Belgium, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, as well as former CIA Directors, US Senators, and other Kings of the world (known as Roseans).
We think that $47,000 a year is expensive? Pfft. Try $120,000 per year after room and board. That’s a number so large I cannot even begin to fathom it, but then again I’m not the sort of aristocratic blue blood who would walk the halls of Institut Le Rosey.
All students are required to live on campus, with no exceptions made. And by ‘on campus’ I of course mean on one of the TWO CAMPUSES, depending upon which season it is.
In Winter students spend their time on the Gstaad campus for their lessons, and during the Spring and Fall they take their classes at the Château du Rosey campus, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, a bastion of old wealth.
The New York Post recently did a large exposé on the Swiss Institut Le Rosey, and my mind is still reeling at how one school can be so ridiculously exclusive that it doesn’t even have a contemporary. There’s not another school in the world that comes anything close to Institut Le Rosey.
The 135-year-old institution not only offers state-of-the art classrooms and gyms but also a shooting range, a 1,000-seat concert hall and an equestrian center complete with around 30 horses.
Lucky students also have access to a 40-foot yacht on Lake Geneva, and a spa where they can kick back and unwind.
According to Institut Le Rosey’s website, only one in three candidates are actually accepted and its roughly 400 students come from more than 60 countries with no more than 10 percent coming from a single nation.
All students are also boarders, returning home to their families during school holidays.
Students must also sit in either the International Baccalaureate (IB) or French baccalauréat and can take subjects in either English or French. They will also have to study up to three other languages.
There are 179 bedrooms (1-3 beds), most of which have an en-suite bathroom. There is also access to several game rooms and fully equipped rooms for uses including orchestra, IT and study halls.
Its library contains its own theater, while outdoorsy students can enjoy access to 10 tennis courts, a 25-meter pool with a wellness center (including a spa and jacuzzi) not to mention an eight-hole golf course with driving range.
Students usually wake at 7 a.m. and enjoy a large buffet breakfast and classes run from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., while activities such as sports and arts take place in the afternoon.
But according to the school’s site, “dinner is a strict affair.”
Students are allocated a specific seat at a dinner table each term. They will spend each evening at a table with between six and eight other students and one or two teachers, and they aren’t allowed to leave until they are told to do so.
The UK’s Telegraph also did a piece on this exclusive institute, citing more of the famous alumni:
Sir Roger Moore and Elizabeth Taylor sent their children there. John Lennon’s son Sean studied there too, as did the Duke of Kent and Winston Spencer Churchill, grandson of the wartime Prime Minister.
But the days when it served an inter-continental upper-class elite are long gone.
“Le Rosey was different in the 1950s when I first came here,” says Taki Theodoracopulos, the Spectator columnist who lives in Gstaad, home to one of Le Rosey’s two campuses. “Then all the kids were upper-class – Rainier and the Shah were looked down upon. It was mostly American. Then the Italians and the French came. And then, in the 1970s, the Arabs arrived.”
As the international mega-rich pour in, the school is losing its Euro-Anglo-American founding ethos.
“That’s why they’re recruiting the British,” says Taki, whose son attended the school. “They want to get some Europeans, and the odd token Briton and American, but they can’t admit it.”
Come on, James Bond’s kids were playing with The Walrus’ kids?!?! How the hell are the rest of us supposed to have a fighting chance in this world when we’re up against that sort of inter-breeding of great families?!
Even after checking out this Wikipedia list of their most notable alumni, I’m still having trouble believing that this place exists. But alas, it does.
I’ll chalk up my complete lack of knowledge about this place to my relative non-existent European travel (save for a few short trips). But if any of our readers have any straight up ‘Skull and Bones’ stories from this school, drop them down below in the comments or hit me up directly!
I refuse to believe that in addition to being the world’s most exclusive boarding school, this isn’t the home to the world’s most exclusive elephant walk. That when they haze the freshmen they make them chug crystal vases half full of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, and half full of piss. That has to be going on behind closed doors, right?????