Skip to main content

Choosing an International School in Paris Region Step by Step

Choosing an International School in Paris Region Step by Step

If you are planning to move to Paris Region with your family, here are some tips to help you identify the right school that suits both you and your children.

Before choosing a school, it is necessary to consider a few key factors:
For how long are you planning on staying in Paris Region? Would you like your child to follow a curriculum similar to the one offered in your home country? How well can your child currently speak French?

The initial choice of language(s) is obviously a determining factor in the choosing of a school. After all, through language, your children will be learning a different culture and a way of life.

 

Option One: French Public Schools with International or Bilingual Sections

If you are planning a long stay in France, enrolling your children into the French school system is best suited for bilingual children but also for foreign children who wish to become fluent in French and accustomed to the French culture. French schools with international and bilingual sections follow the national French curriculum. Take a look at the different characteristics of each section:
 

 
  International Sections Bilingual Sections (or “Binational“)
Languages Specific courses taught in 17 different
languages (such as geography and history)
3 languages: German, Spanish, Italian
Hours Intensive schooling with a weekly basis of 3 to
10 hours taught in the other language
depending on grade levels.
Intensive schooling with a weekly basis of 6 to 10
hours taught in the other language through a
specific training program developed with the
partnering country.
Grade Levels From kindergarten (3-6 years old) to high
school (15-18 years old)
High school (15-18 years old)
Diplomas Specific exams to be awarded:
- The International Option of the Baccalaureate (OIB) as part of the French School Diploma
- In some sections: the equivalent diploma from the country based on the language chosen.
3 binational sections offering a double diploma:
- ABIBAC (German Abitur + French Baccalaureate)
- BACHIBAC (Spanish Bachillerato + French Baccalaureate)
- ESABAC (Italian Esame di Stato + French Baccalaureate)

Fees and Prices

Regardless of which section you choose, these schools are subsidized, which means most of them are free of charge. Otherwise, the annual fees typically range from €1,000 to €6,000 per year, depending on grade levels. French education is recognized for its excellence and affordability. It is one of the most appreciated advantages for expatriates.

An Extra Choice: The European School

Adding to this international school offer, Paris Region is also home to the European school, which is a public Accredited European School in the business district of La Défense. Founded in 2019, it is an all-through school (providing both primary and secondary education) which offers a multicultural and multilingual education and provides a path to obtain the European Baccalaureate – a qualification recognized by all the member countries of the European Union as well as many others.

The school welcomes children free of charge from kindergarten to high school and provides children whose parents work for EU institutions with an education in their mother tongue. Families who do not belong to European institutions can still apply to the school.

 

Option Two: International Private Schools

If you are planning a short stay in France and intend on returning to your home country or moving abroad again at some point in the future, it may be beneficial to continue with the school program offered in your home country so that your children can easily reintegrate in school when they return. International private schools enable students to continue within an education system they are already familiar with and a curriculum they know that is taught in a language they understand.  
Independent private schools offer a range of international exams such as: Cambridge national examinations, IGCSE, IB, A-Levels, Advanced Placement Programs and many more.

Sending your child to an international school has many advantages: smaller class sizes, excellent facilities, and high educational standards. They follow internationally recognized programs leading to qualifications that are accepted by universities worldwide.


International Private School Fees

These private institutions are not subsidized by the French State; therefore, their annual tuition and fees are quite high, often between €6,000 and €35,000 per year, depending on the school and grade level.

 

Tips to get started


When to Apply?

The enrollment period is generally between October and March preceding the start of the school year in September. While admission procedures vary from school to school, it is recommended to apply as early as you can, as there are often waiting lists. Keep in mind that mid-term admissions are a possibility, as the student population in international schools can be transient.  
Click here for more information on schooling options according to your native country’s community in Paris Region.


School Calendar

The school year starts in early September and ends in late June or early July. You can visit education.gouv.fr for the original release of the 2021-2022 approved calendar. Note that the winter and spring holiday dates released by the Ministry vary as France splits schools into three different regional zones. Paris Region is zone C, so be sure to check the dates accordingly.


Find a School Right Now!

Choose Paris Region helps you find the best international school for your children according to their age and spoken languages. Take a look at our mapping of Paris Region: International education in Paris Region. Our partner, Expat Communication, has also published a booklet to support families in their search by unveiling the different schooling opportunities available in Paris Region. Check it out!

Do you need further practical advice to prepare your relocation in Paris Region? Click here to download our guide.

Choosing a school for your child is a big decision, but whichever one you choose, you can be sure that your child will receive a good education in Paris Region!