What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
Most expats send their children to private international schools, but if they intend on staying in France longer, then some consider sending their children to local French schools to be completely immersed in the culture and language. Within a year or two, they are often fully bilingual.
What are some examples of these schools?
Below are examples of private international schools in the Nice/French Riviera area:
- ISN – International School of Nice
- Mougins school
- EBICA (Ecole Bilingue Internationale la Côte d’Azur)
For more information on the schools referenced above, or for assistance on finding the right choice for your child, contact Crown Nice.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Yes, there is competition for open spots. It is recommended that you apply as soon as possible once you have decided on a school. It is also good to be prepared and have all school records handy before applying. For further information, most school websites list the documents required for application. For families with more than one child, spaces are harder to come by, but not impossible.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
Yes, nursery education is available and some international schools have a pre-school program. There are also schools, such as Pain d’Epice in Nice and Pain de Sucre in Cagnes sur Mer, that offer English-speaking nurseries. Also, each town/village or arrondissement (district) has French-speaking daycare centers; lists are available at each mairie (town hall).
How are most kids transported to and from school?
Some of the private schools have a limited bus service, while some of the larger schools have the local bus companies provide for the needs of the students during the school terms. If your child's school does not provide transport, like many parents, you can drive your children back and forth, or form a carpool with other parents.
When does the typical school year start and end?
Typically, the school year begins in late August or early September and ends in late June. School holidays are during the last week of October (ten days), Christmas time (two weeks), the end of February (two weeks) and around Easter (two weeks).
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 Valbonne if you live in Biot, unless you get special permission - "une dérogation" - from the mairie. Places are very limited and there are numerous problems within the system, reflected by teacher strikes. Please note that all instruction at local schools is in French.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.