International Schools in Catalonia
Cosmopolitan Barcelona is home to families from all over the world, with a wealth of different nationalities represented and languages spoken. The city and surrounding areas are home to an impressive array of bilingual or even trilingual schools, following many different national and international curriculums.
Local state schools teach almost entirely in Catalan, with Spanish taught as a second language. This can be problematic for recently arrived families with no Catalan, or those planning a shorter stay in the region who might prefer their children to remain within an international system, or be fully immersed in Spanish for example.
There are plenty of international early years options for little ones in the city, including Montessori based pre-schools and kindergartens in the city centre, Sarrià-St Gervasi and Maresme. Some of the top bilingual and trilingual nurseries and pre-schools include English Kinder with links to the Santa Clara International College for older children, and The English Academy Santa Claus, for pupils aged 3 to 12. St. Patrick’s is another new international school for infant and primary education that comes highly recommended.
Aula Escola Europea is a private multilingual school where pupils attain a high level of spoken and written Catalan, Spanish, English and French. Older pupils study a double curriculum through the local Batxillerat and the International Baccalaureate system, allowing them to apply to universities in Spain and throughout the world. Salesians Sarrià is a private high school in Barcelona for students aged 16 to 18 years old offering a choice between the local Batxillerat or the International Baccalaureate, as well as vocational education and training.
Hamelin-Laie International School in Montgat is an excellent option from nursery up to the end of secondary school (older pupils are prepared for either the Bachillerato or IB Diploma). Agora International School Barcelona is another private school offering either the Spanish Bachillerato or the IB. Moisès Broggi is the only public high school in Barcelona currently offering the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Santa María del Pino is a private school in Alella teaching primarily in Catalan and Spanish, with a recently introduced language project to increasingly integrate teaching in English. The Escola Internacional del Camp in Salou also teaches primarily in Catalan with international influences incorporating English and Spanish teaching.
For British families living in Catalonia, there are many fantastic options all following the British curriculum and offering a mix of GCSEs or IGCSES, AS Levels, A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate, including St. George’s, Kensington School and Oak House School in Sarría.
Along the coast, The British College of Gavà offers a full education for students from 3 to 18 years old. Nearby, The Olive Tree School in Sitges places an emphasis on small class sizes up to age 16, culminating in GCSE exams, then pupils can go on to do A-Levels or IB elsewhere. The English School is an international school for pupils from 3 to 16 years of age, also providing an excellent foundation to go on to take the IB or further exams elsewhere.
The British School of Barcelona is one of the top schools following the British system as well as offering the IB and Spanish Bachillerato. The European International School of Barcelona in Sant Cugat and The International School of Catalunya (ISCAT) in La Garriga both prepare pupils for IGCSEs and A-Levels (with the latter also offering an option for boarding).
American families also have a plethora of options including The American School of Barcelona (ASB), which runs from pre-kindergarten up to the 12th grade. ES International School offers an American elementary, middle, and senior high school programme as well as Gresol International-American School and Benjamin Franklin International School (BFIS) which are both American schools in Barcelona running from nursery to high school.
French families in Barcelona and the surrounding area have numerous great schools to choose from for their children, including The École Française Ferdinand de Lesseps (the oldest French educational establishment in Spain). The private school follows the French syllabus from nursery up to age 11, with Spanish and Catalan included in the curriculum. Most pupils go on to attend the Lycée Français de Barcelone (which goes from nursery up to Baccalauréat and is certified by the French Ministry of Education). Lycée Français Bel Air is another private school from nursery to the end of secondary school, where students can undertake both the French and Spanish national exams. Close to Sitges, the Lycée Français de Gavà Bon Soleil offers French, English, Spanish and Catalan) and students can obtain both French and Spanish baccalaureates.
German families are also well catered for in Barcelona, with several popular German-speaking schools in the city and surrounding region. BCN Kinder Gothic Quarter is a nursery for children aged 1-6 years in the heart of the Barrio Gótico, founded by a group of German and Catalan parents looking for a multilingual option for early years education. The Deutsche Schule Barcelona (DBS) is a private German school from nursery to high school, offering the Abitur in German with additional Spanish, Catalan, English and French available. The Swiss School of Barcelona in Plaça Molina is open to children from 3 to 18 years old from all nationalities and students graduate with a Swiss and Spanish double degree. Zürich Schule Barcelona is a small private school currently teaching in four languages: German, English, Spanish and Catalan.
Other options for multilingual families from different backgrounds include The Scuola Italiana di Barcelona and a Japanese School. The Colegio Japonés de Barcelona follows the national curriculum of Japan; taught in Japanese, core subjects are complemented by traditional studies such as calligraphy, Japanese cooking or practices of the tea ceremony.
For parents looking for English-speaking religious schools in Catalunya, Highlands School Barcelona offers a bilingual Catholic education following the Spanish and British curriculums and Xaloc is a boys-only Catholic school, encouraging pupils to speak their native languages as well as teaching in English and French. Other private faith schools in Barcelona include the German-speaking Mary Ward School of Barcelona for students up to the age of 16 and Hatikva, which provides pupils with a multilingual education in English, Spanish, Catalan and Hebrew.
With such a wide variety of options when it comes to your child’s education, Barcelona is a really fantastic place to raise your family, with the full Mumabroad.com directory of international schools in Catalonia below. Do please get in touch and add comments of your own to a school your child is attending to help other parents make an informed decision for their own families.