About Us

The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. We offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well.

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What We Do

Launched in 2016, The School of Life Sydney is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture. We address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one's past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand and, where necessary change, the world.

The School of Life was founded in London in 2008 and is now open in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Melbourne, Antwerp, Belgrade, and Istanbul. We offer classes, workshops, retreats, intensives, secular sermons, and therapies in person. We also publish books, film our events and make and sell a range of objects & tools that will assist you in the quest for a more fulfilled life. We also run a consulting and training service for businesses.

The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about central emotional concerns. You will never be cornered by dogma, but we will direct you towards a variety of ideas from the humanities – from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand your mind. You will meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.

Watch our video to find out more. You'll find many more like this if you visit our YouTube channel.

'I started The School of Life from a sense that schools forget to teach you so much of the stuff we need to get by in this world. Where is instruction in relationships, in the management of career, in the raising of children, in the pursuit of friendship, in the wise approach to anxiety and death. All this sort of stuff I craved to learn about when I was a student and down to this day. I wanted to make the school a one-stop shop for information about the area of life I call emotional intelligence. We have been going for several years now and we have done a lot. It’s the thing I’m proudest to have done in my life. We’re trying to bring order and coherence to a confusing part of everyone’s life.'

Alain de Botton - Writer and Founder of The School of Life

Find us in Sydney

The School of Life Sydney is a bookstore and classroom located upstairs at 370 Bourke St, in the heart of the Surry Hills precinct. We are located in the perfect spot for public transport:

Bus: Taylor Square is a 2 minute walk (for buses from the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs and the South). Crown St is also a 2 minute walk (where the 352, 301, 302 & 303 each operate).

Train: Central Station is a 13 minute walk.

Parking: Street parking is available with some free 2 hour spaces nearby, as well as ticketed parking.

Space Hire

The School of Life offers daytime, and occasionally evening and weekend hire of our classroom space, purposefully designed as an intimate and engaging learning environment. We are co-located with not-for-profit restaurant Folonomo with whom we can also offer catering packages. Please enquire here.


The School of Life and Dumbo Feather partner to help realise their joint mission in facilitating meaningful conversations that can guide, console and nurture our communities. Together we run a series of programs themed around impactful storytelling and living with passion and purpose.

Venue Partnerships

Folonomo - Celebrating our country's diverse multiculturalism expressed through the restaurant's lovingly curated menu, Folonomo encourages a spirit of community, collaboration and compassion. Brought to life through engaging events and donating 100% of their profits back to foster change in the world both locally and globally. 

Cake Wines Cellar Door - At the intersection of wine and culture, Cake Wines Cellar Door is a place to enjoy wine, food and a mix of weekly curated experiences across music, art and culture.

Work Club - Work Club creates the conditions for  disruption, innovation and collaboration through uniquely designed work spaces in the heart of Sydney and Melbourne. With the belief that diversity brings creativity, Work Club's members come from a vast collection of industries and backgrounds.