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France: best international schools

Books and apple on table

Yes, you are not alone. There are thousands of expats like you in this same situation.

In this article, I’ll cover all you need to know about the best international schools in France for expats as well as education in France. If this is your first time in France, have no fear cause after reading this guide, you’ll have no problem finding a good educational institution in France. 

Before we go into full details, let us have a brief overview of education in France.

Education In France

The French education system is one of the best in Europe. France has a very developed and organized educational system & programs, which are regulated by the French Ministry of National Education (Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale). 

The French school calendar is the same nationwide for all students in both public, semi-public, private, and subsidized institutions. It runs from September to July. In France, all residents between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school.

French education is divided into 3 major parts, which include: primary level (école), middle/elementary school (collège), and high school (lycée).

International Schools In France

International schools are an excellent choice for ex-pats in France especially if you have a child/children that have already started schooling. They can easily continue their studies in a language that they understand, and a curriculum that they are familiar with.

Although many international schools in France are mainly attended by ex-pats and foreigners, there are educational centers that accept French students. These institutions use the same curriculum stated in the US, UK, or your home country.

As an expat in France, it is imperative to know that there are lots of benefits when you send your child to international educational centers. Usually, these institutions group students in small class sizes so they don’t get picked on or bullied for being “strange” foreigners.

International schools follow an internationally recognized program for admission and graduation that is accepted by universities worldwide. They also come with excellent facilities, high educational standards, and qualified instructors. 

The method for enrollment and admission of students varies depending on the school. However, admission is usually limited as preferential treatment may be given to students of a certain nationality.

Furthermore, these educational institutes teach in different/multiple languages. The primary instructions may be any language but are usually in English, French, Spanish, or German. 

Some Montessori and Steiner-Waldorf schools have been accepted and approved by French education authorities and provide internationally accepted accreditation like the international baccalaureate.

Although enrolling your child/children into a local school in France allows them to learn French and become fluent in it. Also, it also allows them to integrate and understand French society much easier and faster.

Best International Schools In France By Location

You will find a list below that contains some of the most popular international schools for expats in France. They include nursery, primary, and high schools, which will surely prepare your child for International Baccalaureate, or any other diploma in France. 

Some of these institutes follow the American education model, British curriculum, and system with English speaking programs. Others are regulated by the French education system. These are some of the best international schools in France.

woman standing in front of children



  • EPIM (Marseille and Luynes)
  • Centre International Privé pour l’Education et la Culture (CIPEC)
  • Sainte Victoire International School (Fuveau)
  • International Bilingual School (IBS) of Provence


  • Montessori Hossegor
  • Bordeaux International School


  • American School of Grenoble


  • Ecole Jeannine Manuel
  • Ecole Japonaise du Nord-Pas de Calais


  • International School of Lyon
  • Cité Scolaire Internationale de Lyon
  • Ecole Bilingue Greenfield


  • Ecole Privée Bilingue Internationale

Nice and Riviera

  • Mougins School
  • International School of Nice


  • International School of Béarn


  • European Sualchool of Strasbourg
  • Biling International School of Strasbourg


  • International School of Toulouse

If you are new to France, these are some of the best international schools in France. Try to make inquiries or visit the websites of any of these educational institutes to find out extra details like their address, fees, admission requirements, class size, curriculum, and contact.

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