International Schools in Berlin
Germany’s vibrant capital city is home to multicultural residents from countries all around the world, with a wide range of schools catering to a host of different nationalities and backgrounds. When raising a family abroad, one of the most important decisions is which school (and indeed which school system) to choose for your children. Berlin has several private International, American, British and French schools, with different pros and cons for each depending on your child’s unique interests, skills and personality.
Berlin Brandenburg International School provides education in English for 3 to 19 year olds based on all four IB programmes. The school is situated in a leafy, spacious campus with extensive facilities. Berlin Metropolitan School is the oldest international school in the centre of Berlin teaching international and national curriculum programmes leading to IGCSEs and the Mittlere Schulabschluss (MSA) in Grades 9 and 10, followed by the IB Diploma in Grades 11-12.
The Berlin International School in the suburb of Steglitz is run by a private foundation which runs several local schools, and has the feel of an international school without the higher fees of some of the city’s well known establishments. The school follows the Berlin curriculum alongside the IB programme throughout primary school and most teaching is in English. Pupils work towards IGCSEs in grades 9 and 10 followed by the IB Diploma.
American families in Berlin have excellent academic options such as The John F. Kennedy School Berlin, a unique public school dedicated to combining German and American schooling systems to provide pupils with a bi-cultural, bilingual education, with German teachers alongside international native English-speaking staff. Students in grades 11 and 12 can undertake the Abitur programme as well as the US High School Diploma or even the Advanced Placement Programme, which can contribute to future University credits.
British families living in Berlin may opt for The Berlin British School in Charlottenberg, an independent private school which offers a combination of the best of British, international and German education to students aged 2-18 from a variety of different cultures. At secondary school level, the school offers two programmes; the first (‘Internationale Ergänzungsschule’) is based on an international, English only programme where pupils study for IGCSEs, and the second is a bilingual English-German programme (‘the Genehmigte Bilinguale Ersatzschule’) based on a blend of the local Berlin curriculum framework (Berliner Rahmenlehrplan) where pupils sit the German MSA (Mittlerer Schulabschluss) alongside their IGCSEs. The school currently doesn’t offer the Abitur leaving school qualification, so both options lead to the IB Diploma. The BBS shares its campus with the popular Charles Dickens state bilingual primary school (one of the city’s top ‘Europe Schools’ at primary level, as mentioned below).
As well as an array of private international schools, Berlin also has a number of excellent state-run bilingual schools, known as Europe Schools. This model of schooling was specifically created by local authorities to cater to a vast array of language combinations in Berlin, including English, Russian and French options (each running alongside German) and in some cases even Italian, Greek, Turkish, Spanish and more.
Not to be confused with European Schools, which were set up by the EU itself and offer the unique European Baccalaureate, Berlin’s Europe Schools each have a distinct logo and work towards the German Abitur exams. Places are allocated via a lottery system for German students and waiting lists can be extremely long (especially for hugely sought after German-English primary schools such as the Charles-Dickens Elementary School and Quentin Blake Europe School), though children from American, British and other anglophone families can seek priority admission in some cases for these. One of the leading Europe Schools in the German Capital is the Nelson Mandela International School (formerly the State International School).
The Swiss International School SIS Berlin is located within a beautiful campus in Spandau. Their teaching is based on the local Berlin curriculum with aspects of international schooling. Pupils are fully immersed in both English and German and work towards sitting the Abitur exams in their final year, with the option to undertake the International Baccalaureate (IB) in addition to the Abitur. There are also numerous leading French schools in the city, such as the primary school École Voltaire Berlin for students aged 3 to 11 and the Lycée Francais de Berlin for pupils aged 12 to 18.
Whether you are looking for a private international school or a public Europe School with multilingual sections, Berlin has so many wonderful schools to choose between. Below you will find the Mumabroad.com directory of the top schools in the German capital according to local families living in Berlin.