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Hello, Bonjour, Hola: International Schools in France

France is home to various international schools, offering education in several languages, but catering principally to English-speaking students. International schools also offer internationally recognized qualifications, providing a smooth transition to higher education for expat children.

At a Glance:

  • Children of all ages can attend international schools.
  • Many international schools in France are based in and around Paris.
  • Fees for international schools vary according to a wide range of factors.
  • It is advised that parents apply to international schools as early in advance as possible.

International Schools

International schools in France are available for children of all ages, through nursery, primary and secondary education. Lessons are usually taught in French and English, although schools occasionally teach in other languages.

Many schools for English-speaking expat children are centered around Paris, and there are also schools catering to German, Iraqi, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, and Russian students. In addition to Paris, international schools can be found in cities where large multinational businesses operate, such as Bordeaux and Toulouse.

International schools have a reputation for their high-quality teaching and smaller classes. They also provide children with the opportunity to discover other cultures through their fellow students. The schools offer internationally recognized qualifications as well: this makes for a smoother transition to other schools for those students who often move location with their expat parents.

These qualifications include UK-based iGCSE and GCE A levels, as well as the US high school diploma. There may also be the opportunity to take the International Baccalaureate or the French Option International du Baccalauréat (OIB), which provides admission to higher education in France.

Fees for international schools vary due to a variety of factors, from economic climate to location, so it is best to research your options on the schools’ websites. For example, the Notre-Dame International High School charged an annual 14,990 EUR for tuition fees in 2017. Many international schools also request a registration fee, such as at the Bordeaux International School, who charged 600 EUR for this in 2017.

Finding an International School in France

Prominent international schools in France include:

 

The majority of international schools, however, are based in Paris, and these include:

It is advisable to apply as early as possible to international schools in France, which often have long waiting lists. However, it is possible to apply to join school mid-term, with a higher chance of gaining entry than in standard schools.

Pedagogical Philosophies: International Method Schools in France

Although international schools are useful in providing an international curriculum, some schools prefer to do things their own way. International method schools, such as the famed Montessori and Steiner-Waldorf schools, are open-minded in their teaching styles compared to the more rigid French curriculum; these kinds of schools tend to encourage students to choose their own activities. Nevertheless, the schools are recognized by the French state, with some of these international schools also offering the French baccalauréat.

 

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