Gaillet Family Spotlight: A Journey with ISZL

Gaillet Family Spotlight: A Journey with ISZL
Fiona Flintham

When the Gaillet family set foot in Switzerland in September 2004, they planned a three-year adventure. Little did they know, the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) would become a cornerstone of their lives, transforming a short stay into a 20-year journey filled with growth, learning, and memories

When the Gaillet family set foot in Switzerland in September 2004, they planned a three-year adventure. Little did they know, the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) would become a cornerstone of their lives, transforming a short stay into a 20-year journey filled with growth, learning, and unforgettable memories. In fact, the family made career decisions to ensure their stay in Switzerland allowed all four children to make the most of their opportunities at ISZL.

Their four sons - Luke, George, James, and Joey - embraced the student-led learning environment. The boys thrived, and what was meant to be a brief chapter extended indefinitely. Coming from the UK, Amanda and Nick Gaillet said ISZL was a change - but one that worked for their family:

"Student-led learning, an easy relaxed atmosphere, no regular testing, quite different from what we were used to in previous schools! From the very first day, there was never a moment of hesitation on their part, the boys loved it."

Over the years, ISZL evolved alongside the Gaillet boys. As the school changed leadership and curriculum, it remained a nurturing ground for each son to carve out his unique path in life.

Luke's Literary and Educational Pursuits

Luke, influenced by his humanities teachers at ISZL, pursued English and Politics at the University of Exeter, followed by a focus on modern literature at the University of York. His journey into teaching, spurred by his ISZL mentors, led him to discover the challenges and joys of education.

“I started my postgraduate studies at the University of York, where I focused on modern and contemporary literature, before training to be a secondary school English teacher. I quickly discovered how easy my teachers at ISZL made it look when I first got up in front of a class of 30 students at a secondary school in Leeds! “

Luke's passion for music, kindled at ISZL, continues to flourish in Honduras, where he now lives and teaches.

George's Environmental Advocacy

George's decade at ISZL was just the beginning of a colourful journey that took him to Durham University and King's College London, studying environmental politics. From diverse job experiences to becoming a community organiser, George's commitment to societal change is a testament to the values instilled in him during his time at ISZL.

“I work for Citizens UK, the ‘home of community organising’ in the UK. If you’re wondering what community organising actually is, beyond sounding altruistic, it is a tool to bring about change. It’s challenging, but also lots of fun! “

James's Technological Adventures

James, an ISZL lifer from Grade 1 through 12, credits the school for awakening his curiosity and ambition.

“In the early years, what I loved most were the extracurricular activities; the music lessons, the sports day, the school play, the Personal Development Weeks - from Canyoning in Germany to exploring the streets of Kathmandu - there was always something new to experience.

Despite my age I think I always knew that I was experiencing a rare, magical upbringing, and the gratitude this instilled in me became a powerful force which propelled me through high school and remains to this day.”

Having not felt particularly academic through middle school, it was the breadth of IB study - generously imparted by mentors such as Mr Kandelaars or Dr Badcock - that awakened my curiosity and ambition. The International Baccalaureate guided my decision to study management at university.

After a placement at Apple while studying management at university, James now works on the customer experience at Amazon.

Joey's Creative Flourish

Joey's ISZL experience, marked by plays and performances, paved the way for his studies in Drama, Theatre, and Performance. He continues to inspire future generations through teaching and has also ventured into the world of artisan sourdough baking here in Zug, Switzerland.

“When I think of Switzerland, it's not fondue or chocolate I remember, but in fact ISZL. I would not be who I am today if not for the school.

My great grandma always had a saying that ‘people are important’ and this is true of ISZL. I was especially influenced by the teachers and students who became my mentors and friends. ISZL nurtured my performative nature, from my first production in grade 8 as Prince Eric in the Little Mermaid Jr. to my last as Jay Gatsby. “

The Gaillet family's ISZL story is one of gratitude and growth. As they continue to explore new horizons, the lessons and friendships forged at ISZL remain a guiding light in their lives.

 

You can read more about our ISZL Alumni or join our Alumni communities on LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

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