What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
In Paris, most expats send their children to private international schools.
What are some examples of these schools?
The following are examples of private international schools in Paris:
- Ecole Active Bilingue - part of the UNESCO network, this school has a multicultural environment and offers British and American curricula
- Marymount International School of Paris - Catholic private school from K - Grade 8, offering courses based on the American curriculum
- American School of Paris - caters to 40 different nationalities, with Americans making up approximately 50% of the student body. This school offers many extracurricular activities and spaces are in great demand.
- Eurecole - trilingual European school that offers classes in French, English and German from K - Grade 12. The school offers daily sports and art activities in its three languages.
- Lycee International, St-Germain-en-Laye - founded in 1952 for children of NATO personnel, this school has 10 national sections: American, British, Danish/Norwegian, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Each section provides high-caliber curriculum and strong academic records required at all levels. The school is partly government-run, therefore a bit cheaper than wholly private schools.
- The British School of Paris - offers a British curriculum. An entrance test is required for admission. This school has recently expanded, developing a new campus for primary levels.
- The German School - the only German-speaking school in this region.
- Montessori school - many available in and around Paris.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Yes. It is advisable to apply as early as possible in the school year and have school records prepared before applying. Most school websites list documents required for application. For families with more than one child, spaces are harder, but possible, to find.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
Yes. Montessori education is available and some international schools have a pre-school program
(e.g., Eurécole listed above). Also, each Paris arrondissement (district) has French-speaking day care centers; lists are available at each mairie (town hall).
How are most kids transported to and from school?
The larger international schools such as The American School, The International School, The British
School, the German School and the Lycée International have their own school buses that service the western areas of Paris. Most of the international communities outside Paris are located in those areas.
When does the typical school year start and end?
The school year begins late August or early September and ends in late June. There are holidays during the last week of October (ten days), two weeks at Christmas time, two weeks toward the end of February and two weeks around Easter.
Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
Local schools that depend on government funding are only accessible to families living in the neighborhood where the school is situated. In other words, you can’t enroll a child in a public local school in the 8th district if you live in the 9th district. Places are very limited and there are numerous problems within the system reflected by teacher strikes.
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