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Welcome to KIS!

At Kongsberg International School, students receive so much more than an ordinary education. We pride ourselves on creating a unique, exciting environment that embraces all types of learners and promotes growth both academically and personally. Students and families are welcomed into a dynamic and supportive community.

We invite you to keep exploring our website, and get in touch with questions about our values, academics, community and more.

IB World School logo

Mission Statement

Kongsberg International School is committed to developing reflective, creative, and divergent thinkers in the service of an evolving global society.​

We aspire to excellence, recognizing all stakeholders as lifelong learners. We aim to maximize the potential of each individual, fostering holistic development and leadership. We value the synergy of collaboration as innovators, communicators and conceptual thinkers. We commit to putting learning into responsible action.​

KIS is an IB World School, and our mission is in alignment with the International Baccalaureate Organization mission statement:

"The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right."

For more information, please visit

How it all started

KIS was the brainchild of Kristian Rambjør. He was at the time on the board of the Kongsberg Group (KOG), and he saw that Kongsberg needed an international school to help attract and retain an international workforce, as well as to offer educational continuity for Norwegian families returning from stays abroad.

FMC was in a process of rapid change in Kongsberg and quickly came on board. Then Mayor of Kongsberg, Morten Eriksrød, was also extremely supportive, along with several other companies in Kongsberg and the Chamber of Commerce.

​The seeds that had been sown combined with the considerable support led to the KOG CEO, Jan Erik Korsjøen, giving the go-ahead to the start-up project. Olav Berdal was named the project leader and Michael Embley was then hired as Founding Principal in early 2003. Karin Gauteplass from the Kongsberg Chamber of Commerce was appointed Chair of the Board that year, a suitable site was chosen, and the school worked towards opening in August 2003.

Dyrmyrgata 41 before KIS
Old KIS logo

At the time, there was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the small town of Kongsberg could sustain an international school, but interest was overwhelming. The school was predicted to open with 40 students, but there were actually 65 students enrolled on the opening day. It quickly became clear that the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) philosophy was the one that the school wanted to identify itself with and IB MYP and then PYP authorisation was obtained in record time. Student numbers grew rapidly, and the school soon needed to expand into the neighbouring building (“The Red Building” in 2008). Demand led to considerable waiting lists, but the school chose to remain small and was able to continue to keep its family feel and focus on seeing the individual student. This is perhaps reflected in the school’s logo, which was based on the Hopi Nakwách, a symbol of brotherhood.

The school’s national test results were consistently outstanding, but according to Karin Gauteplass, “the school gives more than just an education: It gave students self-confidence and inner harmony, and made such a difference to their way of thinking. It was built on passion and open-mindedness.”

Projects such as the Kongsberg to Korea (K2K) project have helped grow KIS’ reputation well beyond Kongsberg, giving KIS international recognition from the IB and elsewhere. It can truly be said that KIS today is well established in Kongsberg as a natural part of the education system and as an attractive alternative to the local schools. As Jan Erik Korssjøen puts it: “The school has developed very much in line with the initial thinking.”


August 2019

About the International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an internationally recognized educational framework that supports schools in offering a concept- and inquiry-based program for students ages 3-19. The main goal of the learning is growing internationally-minded students who can apply their understandings to creating a better world.

What are the benefits of an IB education and what makes the IB different? Click the links below to explore these questions on the IB-website:

Benefits for students

Why the IB is different

IB PYP logo
IB MYP logo
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