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?

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