Outside of mandatory Physical Education, there are many opportunities for students to get involved in sports throughout the school year. From numerous ski trips to various team and individual sports to connecting students with local instructors, we support and actively encourage our students to have a healthy balance of sports in their lives.

As a member of the Danube Valley Athletic Conference (DVAC), we annually participate in boys’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, and boys’ and girls’ basketball competitions. DVAC also holds events for individual sports such as cross-country running, swimming and tennis.

Founded in 2009, DVAC boasts 13 international schools from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic and is adding more schools almost every year. Since our school is located furthest west, we tend to travel more to competitions than host them, and therefore schedule a cultural tour on the Friday before the event for our players.

We also take full advantage of having the Austrian Alps in our backyard by scheduling an annual 3-day ski excursion and 5+ ski days each winter, all of which are included in the tuition. Students are separated by skill level and enjoy professional instruction for all levels in the morning, and free time to ski with their friends in the afternoon.

In the spring we have two major sporting events, our ‘Boys and Girls Invitational Basketball Jamboree’ and ‘Sports Day’. We have been hosting our annual basketball tournament since 1990, featuring 6 boys and 6 girls teams from international schools in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

In 2016 we held our first ‘Sports Day’, an annual event where the entire student body, administration, faculty and resident staff are divided up into teams to participate in a full day of sporting and fun events. It is probably the highlight of the year and is a great way to celebrate the nice spring weather and a successful year together before final exams and summer departures.

Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Europe with its baroque architecture and beautiful skyline dominated by the Fortress of Hohensalzburg.

As our students claim in this video, for a city of just over 150,000, Salzburg has a big-city feel to it. Probably the biggest case in point is the sole fact that Salzburg is home to FC Red Bull Salzburg, which compete in the UEFA Champions League. Salzburg also has a professional hockey team, which also competes in the Champions League for hockey. The city has countless designer shops and restaurants predominantly on two famous shopping streets, the Getreidegasse and Linzergasse. Students also enjoy two shopping malls totalling over 150 shops featuring many retailer chains.

Surrounded by mountains, Salzburg provides a number of options for students with a flair for the outdoors. Whether it is a day hike with an overnight stay at the top of the Untersberg, a quick one hour drive to the Austrian postcard city of Hallstatt for a salt mine tour or a ski day at one of 60+ ski hills in the nearby Alps, there is plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast. This video was taken in late February 2020 and only shows a glimpse of what Salzburg and the surrounding region have to offer. We hope you enjoy it.

Vida Long has been teaching since 2010 and on the AIS-Salzburg teaching faculty since 2014. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Vida is primarily an English teacher and is also utilized for her fluent German skills as a German 1 instructor. Vida is best known for her ability to teach our senior students the necessary skills to write a college-level paper.

With Austria as one of the world leaders in the fight to rid of the Coronavirus, AIS-Salzburg is in a great position to open it’s doors sooner than most boarding schools around the globe. The video footage below we took yesterday, April 16th, is of Salzburg residents enjoying the sun after the government eased restrictions. 

“We are very optimistic that our summer school will begin in July and that the 2020-2021 school year will commence in September.  There will likely continue to be some restrictions remaining in place, however, we are planning on adjusting our programs in light of these,” said Headmaster McLean from his office on Thursday.  

“We are very optimistic that our summer school will begin in July and that the 2020-2021 school year will commence in September.

Headmaster McLean

AIS-Salzburg acted very early, sending our boarders home as early as March 10th for an early Spring Break.  This provided a much-needed period for our teachers and administrators to prepare effectively for the start of online coursework on the 31st.

“Thankfully, the Austrian government also initiated restrictions and cautionary measures very early as well.  This is now beginning to bear fruit and we are very thankful that our students are safe and sound at home and that they are able to continue their learning online.  The numbers tell a positive tale:  the quick reaction of the government and the cooperation of the citizens has resulted in a significant decline in the number of daily coronavirus cases after a peak in late March that did not threaten the ability to provide full health care for those infected,” added McLean.

“..the quick reaction of the government and the cooperation of the citizens has resulted in a significant decline in the number of daily coronavirus cases..”

Headmaster McLean

In fact, Austria acted so quickly and swiftly, that after only one month of lockdown, the number of daily coronavirus cases dropped below 100 on April 13th for the first time since March 11th. These results have Austria being praised around the globe for it’s quick and efficient action. 

Source: Google.com

Provided the population here doesn’t get too impatient and the necessary social distancing and personal protection measures remain in effect, I think we can realistically begin planning for the summer and fall—provided we prudently and thoroughly consider any and all health implications given most-likely scenarios,” replied McLean when asked about the likelihood of doors opening on schedule.  

With the early spring break imposed by AIS-Salzburg, this provided a two-week window for administration and teachers to prepare for online classes. 

One of the best decisions we made was to host all of our classes on the same platform.  This made the transition to online instruction much more manageable for our students, parents and the teachers themselves,” said McLean when asked about the of the school’s quick implementation virtual learning program.   “Being a small school with a very experienced teaching faculty, we were able to cooperatively set up the program and work out solutions to both potential and actual problems or frustrations.  The experience gained from this online instructional period will serve our staff and students in the future as well.”  

One of the best decisions we made was to host all of our classes on the same platform.  This made the transition to online instruction much more manageable for our students, parents and the teachers themselves.”

Headmaster Mclean

After three weeks of virtual teaching, feedback from teachers of AIS-Salzburg is that they now have significant amounts of instructional material that can be used in the future to supplement instruction, out-of-class assignments and homework, as well as support students who experience extended absentee periods or require tutorial assistance. 

Of course, we would rather be ‘live’ and interacting directly with our students—nothing can replace this aspect of a solid preparatory education—but until that time, we are witnessing very positive, ongoing resultsProbably the best decision we made was to host all of our classes on the same platform. This has made the transition to online learning easier for students, parents and teachers,” said McLean when asked about the of the school’s quick implementation virtual learning program.


The video below presents a few of the highlights from week 2 and 3 of AIS-Salzburg virtual learning via Google Classroom.

All of our teachers use the Google Classroom® platform so that students (and parents) have the advantage of familiarizing themselves with a single program for all courses in their academic schedules.  There will, of course, be some road bumps and frustrations along the way, but by working together and providing immediate feedback to questions, we can adapt well to this unusual situation and move forward full throttle!

What year or years did you attend AIS-Salzburg at what grade levels? 

I first attended AIS-Salzburg as a freshman in 9th grade in 2009 and graduated in 2013.

What is your fondest memory of attending AIS-Salzburg?

I like thinking back to school times, in terms of making international friendships all over the world. Classes with teachers who indeed live their profession and are successful in passing on their joy to their students. Finding out my ambitions for sports like volleyball, climbing and running.

Have you remained in contact with any former AIS-Salzburg classmates?

The first 2 1/2 years, yes, but keeping in touch is quite difficult, even when you are in the same city. However, we are equipped with Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms where we can socialize with each other.

What have you done academically since graduating from AIS-Salzburg? 

I studied Hotel Management in Klessheim, Salzburg. After receiving my diploma in 2015, I decided to take the business license at the WIFI in Salzburg.

How well were you prepared for university?

I was perfectly prepared for college.

What aspects of your education at AIS-Salzburg best assisted you in further academics and/or professionally?

I believe that practice inside-/and outside of class with friends really helped me to improve my level for languages in general. With that progress I felt quite confident in my studies at Klessheim. Since I get to travel a bit for work, I am able to use my knowledge for languages in Italy and France as well.

Are there any personal accomplishments since graduating that you want to share?

I have hobbies like photography, which I can contribute to my work life, that I count as an accomplishment.

Are there particular AIS-Salzburg moments or memories that have stayed with you over the years?

Volleyball tournaments, getting to know my friends for the first time and excursions.

Do you have any advice for students at AIS-Salzburg or applicants to the school?

Use your time for preparation efficiently, have fun with friends and do not stress about growing up, reaching adulthood will come by itself soon enough.

During the Fall Excursion each year, all juniors (those enrolled in the 11th grade) are required to participate in the Junior Community Service Trip which will engage them in service work under the auspices of the Habitat for Humanity Organization. In 2019 our Junior class traveled to Romania to build a house.

The 11th grade precalculus class has been working on a cumulative graphing assignment that tasks them with re-creating an image using the graphs of different types of functions. The 2-week long project allowed students to apply hard-earned knowledge of parent functions and their transformations in a creative and artistic manner. All of the graphs have been entered into the Desmos Math Art Contest

The photo gallery below shows the original images they were attempting to re-create with the graphs. The video at the bottom shows the final graphs without the image in the background.

Students reflected on the assignment afterwards:

It was hard for me to get started because I couldn’t really see which functions I had to use for certain lines, and I was overwhelmed with the volume of work that seemed necessary to create the image. In the end though, I overcame these problems, and learned that the more I did, the easier it got, to the point where I could pretty much do it automatically, without having to pay much attention.”

Anna K.

With this project, we were able to study functions in more detail, their transformations, subtleties, and movements along the coordinate plane, with varying values to make functions fit the picture. In order to use as few functions as possible, we had to carefully select the desired type of function and try to capture as much of the image as possible with it.

Valeriya S.

By a guest writer and AIS-Salzburg colleague of Mr. Burns

Standing an impressive 2m tall and hailing from the wild west coast of Canada, Mr. Burns is a fundamental part of AIS-Salzburg and a consummate sportsman. 

Mr. Burns started at AIS-Salzburg in 2004 as a math teacher and coach and is now in his 16th year at the school. Currently, he is the Athletic Director, the much-loved coach and mentor to the Lady Lions basketball and volleyball teams and the AIS social-media-master, responsible for content and our growing social media presence. Mr. Burns has coached the Lady Lions to several award-winning seasons, most notably three-straight DVAC varsity girls volleyball championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015.  

Every year, everyone looks forward in eager anticipation to Mr. Burns’s presentation at our Trimester Awards Ceremonies where he shows his genuine enthusiasm and passion for what he does. The video below is a flashback to the 2016 winter award ceremony where Mr. Burns got emotional when giving a speech about a mysterious person who he was recognizing for years of hard work and dedication. Everyone was trying to figure out which long-serving player of his was receiving the trophy, when Mr. Burns surprised everyone with the actual recipient…..

Mr. Burns presents himself an award

Whether he is playing on the local baseball team with his son, the local hockey team with his daughter, or coaching the Lady Lions volleyball or basketball teams, he brings enthusiasm, expertise and fun to every sport he engages in.

Highlights from our first week of the transition to online classes during the Coronavirus quarantine.

During which years did you teach at AIS-Salzburg?

I taught full time from 1986 on, with a break of several years in the late 80’s & early 90’s while I had my two daughters. I returned in 1992 and stayed until I retired in June 2017.

What was your role at the school?

My role was that of a German language and literature teacher and also English assistance, mainly grammar and reading.

Where are you from originally?  

I am originally from Austria. I grew up in Linz and studied at the university in Salzburg.

What did you enjoy most about teaching?

I always enjoyed the connection with students from all over the world and their curiosity about learning a foreign language. I also enjoyed teaching small groups. This way I got to know them really well and could do a lot of individual teaching.

Are there any students who you continue to stay in touch with?

I am in touch with many students from many years ago and also some that will graduate this year, e.g. Nici, Maddie, and Helen among several others.

Why would you recommend AIS-Salzburg to prospective students?

I would recommend AIS to all students that want to study in small groups with very dedicated teachers in a wonderful environment.

What do you miss the most about working at AIS-Salzburg?

I miss the close contact with all my students, I miss the literature and language discussions, and I definitely miss my colleagues who have become friends along the way.  

What is your fondest memory from your days at AIS-Salzburg?

My fondest memories are getting all the wonderful remarks and notes from the students at the end of each school year, expressing their appreciation and love.

Ms. Reiter, you made a difference in many students’ lives and are truly missed by all!

Not only is this video super 😎, but it is endearing to hear how excited Mr. Lichty gets about his math! Of all the great things going on with the first day of online classes, this is our favorite!

This past weekend was a painful for AIS-Salzburg Lions Basketball as it was the weekend our 30th Annual Basketball Jamboree was scheduled to take place. However, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and subsequent school losing, the tournament was cancelled.

We had 12 teams that signed up for the event, 6 on the girls’ side and 6 on the boys’ side. Unfortunately, we will have to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the tournament in 2021. Until then, here are some clips from last year’s tournament.

Student Spotlight: Nici C.

Nici is currently a senior at our school and will be graduating in 2020. She has attended AIS-Salzburg since 2014 beginning in the 7th grade.

The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Archimedes’ Principle for an object that is denser than water. Archimedes’ Principle states that an object floating or fully immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. The buoyant force on an object immersed in a liquid can also be determined by weighing an object in air and then in water. The apparent loss of weight of the object is equal to the buoyant force of the water. With this information, the students were able to determine the mass density of the different objects and of the fluids.

What year or years did you attend AIS-Salzburg and at what grade levels? 

My father enrolled me in the Summer English Language program of 2002. I was still too young to attend even Junior High. In 2003, I did another summer language course and consequently began my studies in AIS-Salzburg as a boarding student. In May 2009, I graduated after six years at the Moosstrasse 106.

What is your fondest memory of attending AIS-Salzburg?

The people. All the memories I have at the school are associated first and foremost with the many people I met and made friends with. The diversity that AIS-Salzburg provides, is a rare opportunity to expand your horizons, from a young age, and be able to learn many other values from the different cultures.

Boris in the middle, orange jacket

Have you remained in contact with any former AIS-Salzburg classmates?

Yes, I have done so. Although distances are great, we can be thankful we live in the Information Age, and communicating has never been easier.

What have you done academically since graduating from AIS-Salzburg? 

After AIS, I attended the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. That did not go as planned, but I am glad I learned how to live up north. Next up, Vienna. In the Hauptuni, I did my Bachelors in Politics. After I ended my time in Vienna, I returned to Bulgaria to do my Masters, in Political Security. Through 2018-2019, I managed to complete my Masters, and now I am doing a doctor’s degree, again in Politics – Astropolitics.

What aspects of your education at AIS-Salzburg best assisted you in further academics and/or professionally?

The well-rounded curriculum, the study organization (study hall and etc.) are just a few simple aspects that one never suspects how much, later in life, it prepares him to deal with other institution such as a university.

Are there any personal accomplishments since graduating that you want to share?

I do not know how much of an accomplishment it is, but I have been published twice by different publishing houses, for my work about Astropolitics (link).

Are there particular AIS-Salzburg moments or memories that have stayed with you over the years?

This is a very hard question. Too many memories indeed for the time spent. But, the football tournaments abroad, the ski trips, the yearly trips to different locations in Europe. Those are just some of the many that really stick out in my head. 

Do you have any advice for students at AIS-Salzburg or applicants to the school?

Enjoy your time. Enjoy your time at the school with your schoolmates. Do not hurry to grow up and get out. There are too many things that enter life once you graduate. So enjoy your youth, enjoy your friends, and enjoy life.

Mr. Agardy has been teaching at AIS-Salzburg since 1986 and a recent post on our Facebook page featuring him produced 28 comments and counting. Here are just a few:

“A fantastic person and a great teacher. I had world history, U.S. history and European history with him. I loved every class.”

Monika Anderson Cubellina Lajhner

“Mr. Agardy is a wonderful teacher. I still have a passion for European History after his class in 1990!”

Marianna Zielinski Pink

“Great Teacher! I always enjoyed his class and still enjoy European history today.”

Laura Jurgens

Please enjoy this video interview with Mr. Agardy as he speaks about his role at the school, what he enjoys most about teaching and finishes off with some insight into why graduates of AIS-Salzburg benefit from the AP Program at the school.

The 2019, 29th Annual, AIS-Salzburg Boys & Girls Basketball Jamboree was another success despite our teams falling short of their Jamboree goals.

Given the lack of practical experience, our boys team were the heavy underdogs going into the event. Despite their disadvantage, the boys fought hard and did not give up throughout the tournament, finishing in last place.

Our girls team had higher expectations going into the tournament, with the starting lineup having a combined 18 years of experience playing the game, all at AIS-Salzburg. Unfortunately, the girls were not able to re-gain their form which helped them bring home second place at the DVAC Varsity Girls Basketball Tournament a month earlier. Playing with only 6 players, the girls looked fatigued in the semi-final against a scrappy QSI-Bratislava team whom they narrowly beat the day before.

Congratulations the Townshend International School who in their first Jamboree managed to win the boys championship. Also congratulations to the British International School of Bratislava who won their first ever girls side of Jamboree!

Below are the PDF results and the tournament program which you can flip through.

Jamboree Results 2019

Jamboree 2019 program