The American International School – Vienna has a long history of shaping tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and artists.

Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer and Jane Lauder

are the granddaughters of Estée and Joseph Lauder, founders of the cosmetics giant Estée Lauder. In the 1980s, the sisters attended AIS – with Aerin graduating in 1988 – as their family moved to Vienna as a results of their father’s Ambassadorship to Austria. Afterward, Aerin studied at the Annenberg School for Communication and Jane graduated from Stanford University. Jane now manages several major Lauder-owned brands, while Aerin serves as the company’s style and image director. Vienna appears to have left an impression on their family. Her father co-founded New York’s Neue Galerie, and Aerin, too, has never been shy to profess her love for Vienna.

Lucija Stojevic

is an emerging director and producer who was part of AIS’ Class of 1999. The young filmmaker had her big break in 2017 with the critically acclaimed documentary “La Chana,” which follows the legendary flamenco dancer and received the audience award at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. The fluent German speaker has been working in film for over a decade and has produced a number of short documentaries for The New York Times and The Guardian.

Nathan Meltzer

became the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Windsor Festival International String Competition in 2017 at only 17 years of age. The young American, who also picked up that year’s audience prize, is considered to be one of the world’s leading violinists. And while he now studies at Juilliard Pre-College under the esteemed Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin, Meltzer’s passion for performing started in second-grade orchestra class in AIS.

Thomas G. Stemberg

a pioneering businessman who co-founded Staples Inc., was perhaps one of the earliest success stories to emerge from AIS. Born in New Jersey to Austrian parents, Stemberg returned to his Viennese roots as a teenager and attended AIS from 1962 to 1967. In a New York Times article, he looked back fondly at his time at AIS, expressing his belief that it made the difference in getting accepted to his preferred colleges. Armed with a Harvard Business School degree, Stemberg started his career at Jewel Companies, the first chain to offer a line of generic food. He then developed the “office superstore” concept and revolutionized the retail world with Staples, a wildly successful office supply wholesaler.

Princess Kiko

The wife of Prince Fumihito of Japan, attended high school at AIS and became fluent in German and English in the process. A member of the class of 1984, she spent her formative years in Vienna as her father was a senior researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg. Upon her return to Tokyo, the future princess attained advanced degrees in psychology. Princess Kiko is also known for her commitment to raising awareness of deaf culture and serves as a sign language interpreter.

Established in 1959, The American International School (AIS) – Vienna prides itself on offering comprehensive learning opportunities for students from across the globe. Its beautiful campus near the Vienna Woods enhances the unique experience for the diverse student population from over 50 countries. Surrounded by nature yet close to the cultural riches of Vienna, students can enjoy the best of both worlds. Certainly, the world-class standards-based curriculum attracts the brightest students, and the school’s faculty and staff challenge each individual student to strive for excellence and to discover their strengths and passions. Within a nurturing environment that fosters respects, students are able to harness their potential while embracing diverse values.

AIS focuses on intellectual and intercultural development, inspiring the next generation to forge their own paths. The school continues to be a fertile ground for tomorrow’s leaders, whether in business, humanitarian aid, medicine or music. Since its founding almost six decades ago, many of them have gone on to excel in their fields. These are a few of the former students and alumni who have made the school proud.

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This was written by the Metropole editorial Team. Sometimes its an expat, sometimes a native, most of the time the lines are blurred, and sometimes we're sharing someone else's content, but we always say so. Oh yeah, and buy our magazine! Thanks.