International Schools in Strasbourg

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International Schools in Strasbourg

With our eldest fast approaching school age (3 years old) we’ve been doing some research into international schooling options in Strasbourg. ‘International’ meaning bi- or multi-lingual schooling.

You only qualify for international schooling if your child’s ‘langue maternale’ (mother tongue) is something other than French, so the ream of schools offering bi-linguilism do so only to foreigners, immigrants and mixed-origin families; much to the chagrin of local all-French families, because it is reputed that international schooling is far better than regular state schooling.

Nonetheless this doesn’t stop countless competitive French parents from applying … hoping that their claims to bilingualism will be believed.

Fees and main teaching language are the other big questions. With regards to fees, rarely is it a matter of affordability, as private schools here cost approximately half that of those in the UK. The question is whether you want to pay at all. And as for main teaching language it usually comes down to mother tongue or French.

So here are our options in a nutshell:

  1. Strasbourg International School | up to 12,000 EUR per year | main language: English (now closed)
  2. Strasbourg European School (opening Sept 2008) | no fees | main language: English
  3. Bilingual International School of Strasbourg (BISS) at Lucie Berger | up to 6000 EUR per year | main language: English
  4. Robert Schuman International School / Conseil de Quinze International School | no fees | main language: French

If your child’s mother tongue is German however – there are many, many more options.

When you compare our situation with that of our counterparts back in Britain – there are almost no parallels. Here we have real choice, not just over the school, but the type of school too. Here, we are automatically eligible for some of the best state schools in the country. Here, our children can benefit from multi-lingual teaching from age three.

Can anyone give me a better reason not to move back to the UK?

[comments are now closed – for a more up to date discussion read the latest post]

By | 2008-01-31T13:51:51+00:00 January 31st, 2008|raising bilingual children, Strasbourg|27 Comments

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27 Comments

  1. Tony Rutt February 11, 2008 at 10:30 am

    The Playgroup at The Meinau
    http://www.playgroup.fr/index.php
    is great for English speaking pre-schoolers.
    We sent our first boy there. Unfortunately we couldn’t send the second one due to job changes and consequent logistics reasons. Now, at 5, he definitely needs a lot more support from me with the Britspeak. If any extra-curricular English-speaking pre-school kids groups exist in Strasbourg, I’m interested. Tony

  2. Jessica February 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

    FYI – if you haven’t heard yet – Strasbourg INternational School has gone bankrupt. As of now, it is closed. Much to the sadness and frustration of parents who have children attending! We are in the middle of looking for schools for our 10 and 13 year old Anglo Canadian kids. Lucie Berger is most likely where our youngest will go, but our older son has fewer choices.

  3. Bart February 25, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I had heard rumours of the closure. Was there an explanation given for the bankruptcy? Too few students? Wages too high? Building costs …?

  4. Jessica March 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    The reasons we got for the closure were that there were never enough students to make it work and that it had never made enough to cover all the costs.

  5. William May 21, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Has anyone heard about the opening of Schola Europaea in Strasbourg in Sept 2008?

    Also, what are the options in Strasbourg for 6 and 10 year old native English speakers with no other language skills?

    Thanks

  6. Bart May 21, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Yes William – that would be point 2 above. I’ve added a link that goes to the official SE website, unfortunately though this will offer you precisely no insight – as the SE Strasbourg is in a bit of a mix up at the moment.

    I believe they are still finding teachers, pupils and space to get the school off of the ground.

    Since the international school closed the only other option now is BISS at Lucy Berger.

    If you want to talk to someone or sign-up to the SE – I believe this is the best place to start http://www.ac-strasbourg.fr which is effectively the educational clearing house for the region. Good luck!

  7. lecuyer francoise December 24, 2008 at 9:27 am

    For any information on schooling, please do not hesitate to contact me, I am quite involved in these matters for nearly 20 years and if I can be of any help, this is with great pleasure.
    Francoise Lécuyer

  8. Marianne Black January 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I am a highly experienced music and drama specialist (primary and secondary) and professional choral conductor seeking work in an english-speaking international school in Strasbourg or environs. I am currently at the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, UAE. What opportunities exist for me and my two english speaking children (7,8), all of whom are studying French? What is the best avenue to apply to schools? I’d appreciate any advice.

  9. Bart January 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Marianne, I hear you need a French qualification to teach English in a French school. Crazy I know, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an English teacher with a BEd in English from England … unless you have the French bit of paper then you’re a bit stuffed. That’s certainly the case for schools in the state sector, I have no idea about the private sector.
    A good place to start might be the international school at Lucy Berger or the International school in Karlsruhe, Germany – where they are much more likely to be able to take a non-francophone english teacher.
    Anyone else have any ideas?

  10. Marianne Black January 17, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Thanks so much for your advice Howard. We’ll look further into it and any advice would be helpful.
    I don’t seem to be able to find any useful sites on the Schola Europoea opening in Sept 09. Any advice?

  11. Marianne Black January 19, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Bonjour Francoise, If you are still happy to help with information on the French and International education systems in Strasbourg I’d be very happy for your advice.
    My email is philandmarianne@internode.on.net.

    Sorry Howard re the wrong date for Schola Europoea. Has it opened? – Not listed on their official site yet…!

    • Bart January 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm

      It opened in September 2008 – they’re not very good at websites in france, so don’t expect to see one any time soon.

  12. Marianne Black January 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for your response. Ditto in the UAE re websites!!

  13. biff January 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    MArianne, do you particularly want to be in Strasburg? HOw about not too far away in Switzerland? BAsel has 2-3 INternational Schools. Several staff mambers actually live across the border adn have their children in the Fr education (if that is the aim with your children.) ALternatively, there are the INt. school sin French speaking parts of Switz, such as Geneva.
    Smiles, Biff (teaching in Switzerland)

  14. Marianne Black January 30, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Thanks Biff. Yes French and Swiss-French friends here have recommended the same thing and I will certainly look into it.
    Any other advice appreciated again.
    Regards, Marianne

  15. Simone February 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    what education is available for a 13 year old that only speaks english no french at this stage. If you live in switzerland how far would that be to strasbourg if you live in strasbourg

  16. Bart February 16, 2009 at 9:19 am
  17. Bart March 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

    There’s a School Talk / Coffee Morning this month being held by the AIA (Americans in Alsace). Here are the details

    Tuesday, March 10th from 9:30 – 11:30 AM at Le Jardin de L’Orangerie at the Parc de l’Orangerie for a discussion on schools in the area.

    Martine Muller, the conseillère pédogique pour l’enseignement des langues, will speak about the French public school system. We will also have parents sharing their own experiences at schools such as Ecole Internationale Robert Schuman, Bilingual International School of Strasbourg at Lucie Berger, The European School in Strasbourg and The European School in Karlsruhe. There will be a time for question and answer too.

    It will be located in the same complex as the Bowling Alley. Parking is plentiful and it is easily accessible by public transport. Enter via the glass doors on the lake side. The fee is 6 € per person which includes the venue and a continental breakfast, young children are free.

    We welcome all, including those with small children and non-AIA members so bring a friend or neighbour. Parents bring your child’s favourite toy to play with. If you are interested in joining us please RSVP to Kathleen Reynolds at kathleenmreynolds@yahoo.com or 03 88 16 09 41 no later than Friday, March 6th.

  18. Christine April 20, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Francois Lecuyer, and onyone else,

    We are an American/French family and will be moving to the German side of Strasbourg (about 15km)between September and December this year. We have 3 children (will be entering CM1, 6eme et 5eme). Our kids follow the USA curriculeum. They all speak French and read pretty well in French but have very little writing.
    What advise would you have for us when looking at international school and which one(s) would you recommend. I have been visiting the sites myself but being so far away is not easy!
    Thanks for your answer(s)
    Christine

  19. Chris Blizzard November 26, 2009 at 4:34 am

    If you would like to top up yours or your child’s English learning with some private English tuition by native speakers at an affordable price, and in your own home, please consider us!

  20. malak February 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    We are a Libyan family and will be moving to the Strasbourg at the end of this year my husband will study at Strasbourg university for 3 years
    We have 3 children they studied at Uppsala International School, Kvarngardesskolan (2007-2008)
    What advise would you have for us when looking for international school
    Malak

  21. Bart February 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Hi Malak,

    If your children are aged 10 or under my advice is to contact the Academy as soon as possible. Applications for the 2010-2011 academic year are open now – and you only have a couple of weeks left to get your application in.

    See this page on the Academy website – you need to follow either the link to the European School or International Schools application section.

    As a non-EU citizen you are more likely to be accepted into the international schools here.

    If your children are over ten – then … welll you have a choice between here and here.

    Note that entrance to elementary, college and lycee will carry an entrance exam in the language you have chosen.

    Good Luck

  22. malak February 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for your response

  23. Anila March 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Hello Francoise, you helped me years ago when I was hired by Geoffrey to teach at SIS . Could you please e-mail me.
    thanks!

  24. Anila Hyder March 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    hi francoise,
    my prior email was incorrect.
    please contact me via e-mail.
    thanks

  25. Anila Hyder March 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Francoise, you halped me relocate years ago when i was offered and accepted a teaching position at SIS with geoffrey tomlinson. Please e-mail me. thanks

  26. Anila Hyder March 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    francoise,
    my e-mail is ahgteaches@gmail.com
    anila

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