schiller international’s history: a university conceived to learn through global experience

since its foundation, our goal has been to provide you with the highest standards of international education.

the foundations of schiller international university

our institution was founded in 1964 by dr. walter leibrecht for the purpose of providing american students with an educational experience in europe while continuing their studies within the american educational model.

in time, this unique concept was broadened to include students from all over the world seeking an american study program in an international setting. thus, the first semester abroad program evolved into full undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


so how did schiller international get its name? our institution was named after the german philosopher, poet and dramatist, johann christoph friedrich von schiller (1759 – 1805), whose work exemplifies the highest standards of ethics and the ideal of the truly educated, multilingual citizen of the world.

geographically, campuses expanded into europe and america. demographically, over 100 different nationalities experienced dr. leibrecht’s vision of education.

since its founding, the institution’s mission has remained focused on the value of a globalized educational environment, recognizing that international perspectives are crucial to solving contemporary problems and developing a globally literate, intercultural competent citizenry.

the short history of the 21st century confirms the imperative of the schiller international university mission: “to develop international and cross-cultural competencies” in higher education.

we have continuously evolved over the decades, experiencing a growing diversity of the student body and always striving to fulfill its needs.

building our history: the most important milestones of schiller international

1964 - foundation of schiller international

this year dr. walter leibrecht founded and established the first campus of schiller international in kleiningersheim, germany.

1967 - european expansion

we opened two more campuses in europe, located in strategic cities that were (and continue to be) highly beneficial to your professional growth and career: madrid and paris.

1969 - move to the center of germany’s academic landscape

5 years after siu’s foundation, we decided to move to heidelberg, considered one of the most important european cities for scientific research and a technological hub.

1983 - acics recognition

we received us accreditation as an independent college,  validating our educational excellence as an independent and non-public school and career organization both in the us and abroad.

1991 - worldwide presence

we opened our first american campus in tampa bay, a hub for important industries in a great multitude of sectors.

2010 - schiller international is acquired by the palmer group

this important group led by mr. russell palmer former dean of wharton school of business from the university of pennsylvania acquired schiller international university.

2014 - partnership with roehampton

this year, we carried out the dual-degree program agreement with the university of roehampton, london, to offer you an american and european degree in one program.

2016adding up recognitions

schiller international university became the first american university to receive german programmatic accreditation.

the schiller international shield: our roots and values

if you are wondering about schiller’s philosophy, what we represent as an institution and the reason behind the choice of locations for our campuses, you have only to look at our university's coat of arms.

the symbols in the shield were mainly connected to the two initial schiller campuses located in germany:

  • the wings, looking like deer antlers were chosen to symbolize the first campus, kleiningersheim, as well as the anchor, from the crest of the village of ingersheim.
  • the three roses were taken from an eminent 17th-century scholar and ancestor of the leibrecht family.
  • the black cross comes from the coat of arms from the baron von radowitz, from whom our founder bought the castle to house the first campus.
  • the three pine cones represented the palace where the second schiller campus was installed.

furthermore, the pegasus represents the strength of honour of our institution. we want to show that you are coming to the best place to learn, both as a person and as a professional.

the rest of the symbols represent the most recent history of our university and its current values:

  • internationalization 
    each of our campuses has been strategically placed in urban settings that offer you the richness of multicultural diversity. we know that giving you the possibility of studying among others of diverse cultures enriches your learning experience and promotes your personal growth.
  • diversity
    schiller international is an equal opportunity institution and will not discriminate against any applicant os the basis of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, country citizenship or ability/disability. 
    values represented in the phrase "one world, one university".
  • employability
    double degree benefits for students as schiller opens the doors to worldwide employment opportunities.
    our graduates possesses a working level of a foreign language and are fluent in two or more languages, giving them a great advantage and increased opportunities for employment. 
    you will learn how to network proficiently with local and international contacts.
  • academic excellence
    our instructional delivery is focused on quality rather than quantity. therefore, you will learn key concepts in-depth to develop your career by the best professors and experts within each field. 
    our belief of what academic excellence is can be understood in our university’s motto "multum non-multa". this concept reinforces the idea of quality over quantity and represents the positioning of our instructional delivery and individualized learning of each of our students.

our locations, essential building blocks towards your growth

we currently have urban campuses in four strategic locations around the world. you have the opportunity to study in one, several, or all of them without having to make any extra arrangements. you can even carry out your entire program online while visiting any of the campuses. but why did we choose these cities for our campuses?

  • spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world.  
  • one of the most affordable cities in europe.  
  • one of the top 5 centers of commerce in europe

madrid is a vibrant metropolis that immediately accepts you no matter where you are from, making you feel like you belong there. it is a city for you to discover a great mixture of culture, art, history, nature and social life.

  • the 4th largest economy in the us
  • a tourism attraction with close to 100m visitors a gateway to latin america

this semi-tropical area has a thriving hotel and tourism industry. it has a cosmopolitan mixture of inhabitants from all over the us and other parts of the world and is a beautiful beach town with lively activities and a great place for water sports and recreation.

  • a city in the heart of europe
  • recognized as a hub for the latest high-tech industries and scientific research  
  • strategically located between major german centers of finance and manufacturing

international corporations are located in the greater heidelberg area, providing you with a great opportunity to start your career as local corporations and businesses are constantly looking for international and multicultural candidates.

  • the international relations and diplomacy center of europe
  • the world’s fashion capital
  • europe’s largest business district “la defénse”

paris has the sixth-largest world economy and is also the fifth most popular city in europe. several international organizations have their headquarters there, making it a great opportunity for you to immerse yourself in one of the most important political, diplomatic, economic and cultural capitals of the world.

who has been through our classrooms?

a multitude of personalities from all fields are already part of schiller international’s community: politicians, diplomats, cultural figures such as actors, writers, sportspersons... you'll be surprised!

  • sylvester stallone. american actor
  • andy murray. professional tennis player
  • otto sonnenholzner. 50th president of ecuador
  • simon bowthorpe. english entrepreneur and grandson of jack bowthorpe- amy sewell, author and north american filmmaker