How to choose the best French school for your kids (Part 2)
In Part 1, we took a look at all the reasons for why you should send your children to France to learn French, but now let’s take a look at your choice of schools there. How do you choose the best French school for your kids to study the language of France once they are ready to use the French language?
Type of School
The type of school to send your child to is something important to consider, and in France there is a range of types of school available. There are state schools, private schools, bilingual schools and international schools to choose from. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that will depend upon your situation and needs.
Most schools in France are state schools, and the country is divided into 28 regions where these schools are located. You need to supply a good reason why your child should attend a state school, and you need permission from the local town hall and schools inspectorate before your son or daughter can be enrolled at one. State schools are a great option if you can get your child into one because they will be taught the French way and will be learning with native French speakers as classmates.
State-contracted private schools (écoles privées) have to be paid, but fees can be as low as €2,250 per year. The lessons and exams are in French, which can be a problem for a child that does not know the language well, however, these schools offer intensive tuition to non-French speaking children, and small class size means pupils get individual attention.
Non-contracted private schools offer a wider range of subjects, including art, culture and sport, as well as religious studies. Many of this type of private school are Catholic schools. Enrolment for private schools is usually done on a first come, first served basis.
Bilingual and International Schools
Bilingual schools teach in French and English, though the curriculum in these is usually tailored in favour of French-speaking children from France.
International schools may offer sections devoted to a nationality of choice. For example, the Lycée International at Saint-Germain-en-Laye (near Paris) has nine sections for nine different nationalities, and teaches children about the language, culture and history of the selected section. The choices offered at this school are American, British, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
International schools are found in Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Cannes, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Nice, as well as in many other locations in France.
There are American and British schools in the Paris region and on the French Riviera. Some schools in France, such as the British School of Paris, follow the UK curriculum.
Demand for admittance to bilingual and international schools is high and there are often tough entry requirements.
Are your kids ready to attend these French schools?
As we have seen in part 1, there are schools where you can send your kids to help them to achieve a good command of the French language in order to attend these French schools. Why not find out more about our Ifalpes School and the General French Courses we offer. You might also be interested in skiing in the French Alps where our school is situated.