Founded in 1856, the Lycée Français Notre-Dame de Sion is a private secondary school, affiliated to the Turkish school system. Located in the historic centre of the city, NDS Istanbul offers a high-level academic and cultural programme. The school’s entire curriculum has been awarded the FrancEducation label of excellence, and its diploma also provides direct access to higher education in France.
The sisters of Notre-Dame de Sion founded the school to take in young girls from the minorities of the Empire, and it has evolved throughout its history to become a secular, co-educational high school open to all. True to its tradition, it is open to the outside world, but is also a small world in itself: a microcosm that reflects the diversity of Türkiye in both its staff and pupils and, above all, seeks to achieve a sense of harmony based on the shared ambition of excellence.
As the first modern educational establishment for girls in Türkiye, the Lycée has always sought to enable its pupils to develop their intelligence and talents so that they can take an active role in society. In the early years of the Republic, a large number of former students made their mark, particularly in scientific fields, such as medicine, engineering and architecture. Even today, NDS counts among its alumni prominent members of Turkish society: members of parliament, musicians, scientists, doctors, writers, scholars and artists, many of whom have become leaders in their respective fields in Türkiye and abroad.
NDS Istanbul follows the Turkish national curriculum through bilingual education in French and Turkish. Turkish language, literature and history are taught in Turkish, as well as geography and philosophy. Other social sciences and physical education are taught in both languages.
NDS Istanbul believes that social service is an essential part of education. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in charitable and social activities. NDS Istanbul has ongoing projects such as contributing to the development of schools and villages in disadvantaged areas of Türkiye, and helping people with disabilities.
“I feel free to express myself without being judged.”
Işık Ayda Şenel, 17 years old