School History

Originally opened in September 1985 by the Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture as the Yayasan Bali International School, Bali International School (BIS) is an international school located in Sanur, an area of Denpasar, Bali.

In 2014 Bali International School was renamed following the Ministerial Decree of Education 31/2014, requiring all existing international schools in Indonesia to change their name. Thus Bali International School became Bali Island School.

Serving grades Pre-K-12 with over 300 students, its official logo was the frangipani, a well-known Bali flower.

The school remains on its original site in Banjar Taman in Sanur Village, an area known for the high concentration of Brahmana, or priestly caste. Sanur is also a renowned centre of traditional Balinese learning, including Ramayana’s Kakawinan poetry.

As a legal non-profit foundation, BIS was funded and run by parents. The initial student body was only eight primary students and a Canadian couple, Bill and Gundi Robertson, who were responsible for teaching and administration.

By 1992 the enrollment was over 150 primary students from 26 countries. While most were from North America, Europe and Australia, BIS has students from all over the world, including Japan, Korea, Mexico, China/Taiwan, Russia and more and. Many of the children have dual nationalities, often with an Indonesian parent.

BIS became an IB MYP school in 1999, and then became a full IB continuum school in 2004 with the subsequent authorization of the PYP and DP.

The year 2000 marked the BIS CREST competition, where the dragon became the school’s official logo, symbolizing supernatural power, wisdom, strength, and hidden knowledge. As it happened on the Island of the Gods, the BIS community believes the dragon is a Balinese dragon.

A unique status that differentiates BIS from other schools was earned in 2010, when BIS became the only school in the country with accreditation from CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), and authorization for three IB Programme, and links to PYP, MYP and DP. BIS was re-accredited in 2020. 

BIS remains the first choice for internationally minded families in Bali.