In 1993, construction of Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper was started. Expatriates from Canada, Finland, India, Philippines, South Africa and Sweden were hired to put up the mill hand in hand with their Indonesian counterparts. Ms. Rashanta Devanesan was asked to start a school for expatriate children while Sekolah Global Andalan was set up for the Indonesian employees’  children.

The expatriate school began as an informal home schooling group with Ruha Devanesan (now a lawyer in Boston), Arjun Devanesan (now a doctor in London), Kyle Brewis (currently studying production in Canada) and Jessica Brewis (currently doing teacher training in Canada). Manyother pupils joined soon after. By 1996, there were 75 students and it was then decided to formalize the school which then became Global Andalan International School.

In 2003, Sekolah Mutiara Harapan (SMH), a semi-international school, opened its doors for Indonesian students upon over-whelming request from parents.

Aiming to provide higher quality of education, GAIS and SMH were merged by administration of both schools in 2006. Sekolah Mutiara Harapan as the name of the school was carried over. Empowered by this commitment, the school embarked its application to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the  Primary Years Program for Kindergarten and Elementary levels.

With the concerted efforts of administration, teachers, staff, parents and students, SMH became the 3rd IB World School in Sumatera in December 2009, fully authorized to offer the PYP curriculum. On the same year, the Elementary Department was granted a license to be an International School in Indonesia. The Junior High School Department followed a year after. Aside from offering the curriculum which the Ministry requires, Cambridge-enriched and Singapore Curriculum are being followed in the Junior High School Level. In 2013, Senior High School was transferred to a different campus and on the same year, Junior and Senior High School were authorized as Cambridge International School.