Message from Samantha

I hope all is well within the H.I.S. community and that the first few weeks of school have been a success. As promised I wanted to send you an update and some photos of our new life in Alsace, France, which we are absolutely loving.
We are temporarily renting a house in a tiny village until we can find something more permanent, so I have included a photo here of the boys outside the front door. The house is 323 years old!
We are slowly exploring the surrounding villages and area, and it is truly a very beautiful part of France that none of us knew before. The history here is incredible and the scenery is breathtaking.
Samantha and Julien with William and Maxence

Lilly and Alessandro

Thank you Rita, for sending us the following message and photo:

“Hope you are all fine and well! We are finally almost settled in Sofia and we are doing pretty well. Lilly and Ale started school and yesterday they were a bit nostalgic, nevertheless they love the new school and also the new disciplines they will study in grade 6 and in grade 8, like socials studies for Ale and creative writing for Lilly.”


Message from former H.I.S. family

Many thanks to this former H.I.S. family who sent us a message. The “gift” referred to is a replacement of their H.I.S. Yearbook, which had been damaged in a rain incident at their house.

“We are forever grateful for the amazing opportunity our kids had – not just learning academics but practicing embracing even more cultures during their time at H.I.S. This gift from you is a reminder of those times that we will cherish forever. Keep up the amazing work and impact kids’ lives from all over the world!”

Paige and Enzo with Evelyn and Elias

(2017-18 & 2018-19)




Interview with H.I.S. graduate Mikkeline

We all expected that the return to school this week would be different and ask more of us than usual.  The staff and faculty at H.I.S. are working diligently so that we can stay safe and able to learn.  We must all work together and be mindful that the caution and guidelines that we follow as a community are for a greater cause as we continue to deal with our present health crisis. The following post serves to challenge all of us to stay vigilant and strive to stay patient as a community.

Over the past months, the country of Denmark has been recognized globally for the solidarity and commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Danes have an interesting word that has been revived there; samfundssind – a combination of the Danish words for society and mind which challenges all to adopt a mindset of setting aside personal interests for the greater public good.

I thought it would be useful to find out more about this word by corresponding with a recent H.I.S. graduate, Mikkeline, who will be studying at Copenhagen University this fall.


“I have heard that the idea of samfundssind worked well because Denmark’s prime minister re-introduced it as a new norm, and the society, which trusted her, embraced it voluntarily.  As a native of Denmark, what was it like to interact with samfundssind as a new norm?”


“Samfundssind in many ways is not a new concept. The word doesn’t have any real definition except samfund “society” and sind “mind”, and is a word that is almost equal to solidarity in the first instance, but it is what lies underneath which turns out to have worked effectively for Denmark. In Denmark, there is a long tradition of helping those in need (which is particularly evident in the social welfare system, universal healthcare and free education) so Danes are pretty trained in trusting that what they put into the system, will eventually benefit them or the wider community. Therefore, there was practically no need for defining the word “samfundssind” when it was used in the context of a pandemic. We trust that the personal sacrifices we make on a daily basis will help those of us, who are most endangered, and trust the experts that our current sacrifices will help our society tackle the virus further into the future.”


“In what ways have you noticed the idea of samfundssind positively inspiring you, your community and/or your friends during the months of the Covid-19 pandemic?”


“The prime minister’s words echoed around conversations, advertising and social media “Stå sammen, ved at holde afstand” (stand together, by distancing). It was inspiring in the sense that everyone was in this together (in the same way that everyone doing the Diploma Programme is in it together…). I noticed that everyone I knew and the strangers in the street too, were devoted to this one cause, which traversed all political, racial, socio-economic boundaries. It was inspiring to see that as soon as we are motivated enough for a cause, the whole nation can mobilize itself.”


“Would you like to share anything with our school community on what has been helpful for you, as our school continues to follow health restrictions here in Germany and find ways to cope with the new norms?”


“Keep in mind that not everyone might be as lucky as you. There are people who are put much at risk by the pandemic, not just through ill health, but also people who cannot afford to be quarantined at home for two weeks. In a more privileged private school institution, many might not see the big picture, see that your actions are impactful and are part of a whole society’s effort that will either accelerate or decelerate covid-19. We cannot afford to cause a second wave through our ignorance, especially when we already in hindsight have seen the devastating impacts of a virus wreaking havoc in many countries.”


“Mikki, I would like to thank you for taking the time to help us all understand this wonderful Danish wordYour perspective is inspiring to hear and I am hopeful that our community can rally around this sort of collective responsibility and spirit so evident in your home country.  On behalf of H.I.S., I wish you a safe and healthy fall semester in Copenhagen.”


“Man Meets Dog”

Konnie is back

Today was not the first day back at school for Konnie, but he certainly celebrated his arrival at school this morning as if it had been his first. He welcomed staff and students and took his time before entering the building and going to his office.

In his book “Man Meets Dog” Nobel Prize winning ethnologist Konrad Lorenz, claims that dogs can smile and even laugh. I am pretty sure that I saw a huge smile on Konnie’s face today! A big thank you to Kate for looking after Konnie so well, he looks very healthy and happy!

Student: “I think we need to think about calling him Konrad from now on – he has grown so much!”

text & photos: AS

Welcome Back At A Distance

And see you soon

Welcome back to the H.I.S. Distance Learning and a very warm welcome to the new parents and students, who have had their first day at H.I.S. yesterday. We look forward to meeting you.

Drop-off time in the morning is still all to quiet…..we miss you!

The Admin Team look forward to welcoming H.I.S. students and their parents back to school. Until then we look forward to your blog contributions about the continued H.I.S. Distance Learning Programme. Please send any text or photos to

Have a great week.


Mannheimer Morgen: Protective Masks Produced in Heidelberg

Tiago & Keno continue to make a difference

Follow this link to the article published in “Mannheimer Morgen”, 14th April:,-fotostrecke-brueder-aus-heidelberg-produzieren-kostenlos-schutzschilde-aus-dem-3d-drucker-_mediagalid,36452.html

photo: Kerstin Beck

R3ality Design

Support Keno's and Tiago's efforts to produce protective masks

Here is a message from H.I.S. Graduates Keno and Tiago (Classes of 2014 and 2015) to the H.I.S. community:

We hope you are doing well in these very challenging and uncertain times and that H.I.S. is coping with the current situation. I am sorry for the IB class that their exams have fallen through. Keno is luckily done with his studies, but mine have been interrupted and I am still uncertain of how they will continue.

Meanwhile I have returned to the safety of Heidelberg and my parents’ house, and am trying to stay on top of my studies and research.

Keno and I decided to try and do more than just stay at home. We want to help with the current crisis – that we expect is still going to get worse before it gets better.

Over the last couple of months, Keno and I have been working on building a small start-up company called R3ality Design specialising in 3D printing solutions for research and home improvement. We have been producing parts for researchers at my university. During the current crisis however, we stopped all other production and have dedicated our efforts to maximising our 2 printers to produce face shields for health care professionals 24/7.

Our latest batch of 15 masks was picked up this morning by the University Clinic Heidelberg who were incredibly grateful, and will be coming by every couple of days for further batches. In between we are bringing masks to our local doctor (Hausarzt) who is in dire need of protective equipment for himself and his staff. We are further putting masks to the side to send to my fellow doctors back in Rotterdam.

The plans for the mask were made available online. Keno and I have been tirelessly calling producers of plastic visors, of plastic filaments for the printers, of rubber headbands and even of zip-lock bag products. While some of these producers replied and generously donated some items, our supplies are going to run out due to the high demand.

At H.I.S. we were always taught the importance of community and I can feel this through the enthusiasm behind the H.I.S. blog (With your current a “blog a day”). In line with the school’s dedication to making a difference, we were wondering if H.I.S. would like to support our efforts with producing protective equipment for the hospitals and clinics in Heidelberg.

We would be grateful for any donations:

Keno and I are currently spreading our message via social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (, Instagram ( and are dedicated to expressing our sincere thanks to all the companies and associations who are supporting this project and the health care professionals.

Take care, stay safe and healthy.

Tiago and Keno