Expat Essentials

Expat Essentials: Dispatches’ 2020 list of international schools in Greece, Pt. 1

(Editor’s note: Most international schools in Greece have pandemic precautions and rules posted on their websites, but most are holding in-person classes. You can jump to Pt. 2 here, which includes international schools teaching in languages other than English.)

Greece has a wide array of quality international schools for expats (and locals) to choose from, and many of these schools have effective language-immersion programs for those who need them.

An international education in Greece is not inexpensive (annual tuition typically ranges from 6,000 euros to 14,000 euros), but families who can afford it will definitely be giving their children a unique opportunity and perspective. Diversity and global outlooks can be found in international classrooms all over Greece, and making friends from different cultures is a profound experience which your children will cherish for life.

Let’s take a look at some of the international schools in Greece which have earned a favorable reputation over the years.

In the northern suburbs of Athens:

Byron College: The British International School

With a student body representing 50-plus countries, Byron is truly an international gem which actively promotes cultural awareness, equality and respect.

The details:

• Students from ages 3 to 18 can attend Byron and, in the early years, the curriculum is based on the UK Key Stages national curriculum.

• In Years 10 and 11, International General Certificate of Secondary Education subjects and exams are the focus, and Years 12 and 13 are centered around AS and A-Level GCE subjects.

• Tuition ranges from 6,450 euros per year for pre-schoolers to 11,550 euros for sixth form. You can see all tuition, fees and transportation costs here.

You can apply here.

International School of Athens (ISA)

Diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness are hallmarks of an education at this school which encourages students to look at each other’s common humanity for the greater good of peace.

The details:

• The child-centered Primary and Middle Years Programmes of the International Baccalaureate Organisation take students through grades 1 through 10.

• High School students (grades 11 and 12) can choose one of two paths: that of the IB Diploma or that of the College Preparatory/ISA High School Diploma (with the option of acquiring IB certificates for certain subjects).

• The most recent tuition schedule available online is for the 2017-2018 school year. Fees ranged from 7,220 euros per year for kindergarten to 14,074 for high school.

The three separate and stunning campuses of ISA (one for nursery, one for kindergarten and one for Grades 1-12) are all located in the quiet leafy suburb of Kifissia, and students can enjoy use of up-to-date computer and science labs, libraries, art studios, a theatre and a music room.

You can apply here.

Campion School

Academic excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, a unique pastoral care system and outstanding teaching staff are all to be found at Campion School, which houses both the Junior and Senior Schools on one lovely site in the countryside on the outskirts of Athens.

In the early years, the school follows an adapted version of the English National Curriculum and, in Years 10 and 11, pupils work towards the IGCSE exams. In Years 12 and 13, the International Baccalaureate Programme is offered to students.

Many students go on to prestigious British universities with their qualifications. A university counselor is available to help young people who wish to apply to colleges and universities in North America.

Tuition ranges from 7,750 euros per year for the nursery to 13,000 euros per year for Years 10 through 13.

You can apply here.

Enrollment is about 600 students.

American Community Schools Athens

From Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12, students at ACS are encouraged to think critically and creatively and to broaden their minds through diverse academic experiences. This student-centered academic institution was founded in 1945 and today represents 63 nationalities. Widely known for its academic success, ACS also encourages students to become well-rounded and responsible global citizens.

The details:

• The school strongly emphasizes intellectual, social and ethical development in addition to academics. American educational philosophy, principles and ideas shape most of the learning, while the International Baccalaureate/Advanced Placement Program is offered in Grades 11 and 12.

• ACS incorporates a significant amount of technology into its instruction, and it also offers a wide variety of cultural, athletic and service opportunities. Its facilities include a professional theater, two libraries and media centers, music and dance studios, a swimming pool and science laboratories, among others.

• The school has about 1,060 students.

• Unlike most of the other schools in Athens, ACS charges 300 euros per half credit, and 600 euros per credit. So the fee for a half-credit class is 300 euros and a full credit class is 600 euros. Consult the website for more information.

St. Catherine’s British School (UK)

St. Catherine’s has a school motto: “Excellence and Happiness,” and the institution has a reputation for achieving a good amount of each. The school also has a brand-new eco-friendly building and school-wide “Go Green” campaign as of this school year (2020-2021).

The details:

• The Lower School (ages 3-11) follows the National Curriculum for England and additionally includes Greek History and Greek Geography as well as Modern Languages. Youngsters enjoy the nurturing and lively environment and theme/topic-based learning which helps them connect their studies to the world around them.

• The 12- to 14-year-olds of St. Catherine’s continue embracing the National Curriculum of England while also exploring Greece through field work and museum visits with the aim of learning all about Greek Classical Civilization.

• The Year 10 students begin to study for their IGCSEs or General Certificates of Secondary Education, which are wrapped up at the end of Year 11, and many students enjoy the school’s debating tradition alongside other extra-curricular activities, which are popular with this age group.

• In their final two years at St. Catherine’s, students join the International Baccalaureate Programme. The vast majority of students gain the full diploma and most enjoy acceptance at their top-choice university.

• The school has about 1,100 students.

There are no tuition or fee rates online, but you can contact the school here.

In the southern suburbs of Athens:

St. Lawrence College

Set in South Athens (specifically, Koropi) in the Greek countryside, but situated within easy reach of both downtown Athens and Piraeus, this school exudes an uncommon air of tranquility. The south of Athens has an ever-growing expat scene, and St. Lawrence College is a hub for a good amount of that activity.

The details:

• The school is a 15-minute drive from the ever-popular coastal suburb of Glyfada and sits on 20 acres of beautiful land.

• Based upon the Key Stages of the National Curriculum for England, a St. Lawrence education school guides students from preschool through Year 13.

• IGCSEs are completed at the end of Year 11 and AS & A-Levels are completed in Years 12 and 13.

• In addition to great educational experiences, students enjoy a full-size football pitch, heated swimming pool and open-air amphitheater, among other amazing facilities.

• Fees at St. Lawrence school range from 7,410 euros per year for preschool to 12,030 for Year 10.

• The school has about 800 students

You can see all the tuition and fees here.

You can get registration info here.

In Thessaloniki:

Pinewood American International School

This day and boarding school offers an American college preparatory program alongside the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program for students of all ages from both the local and international communities.

• The school and its educators aim to bolster students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills as well as their creativity and curiosity, and they provide youngsters with many academic, athletic and cultural opportunities to those ends.

• At the end of high school, Pinewood students can choose one of several tracks: IB, the American High School Honors Diploma, the American High School Diploma or the Greek Diploma Equivalency.

• Tuition ranges from 5,950 euros for pre-K1 to 11,600 euros for grades 6 through 12.

You can apply here.

About the author:

A Pittsburgher by birth, Christina T. Hudson is also half Greek and has – so far – spent most of her life in Athens, the chaotic but captivating capital city of Greece. She studied Language and Literature at Moravian College and has worked as a teacher, an editor, a writer and a photographer.

You can see more of her work here at A Pixel for Your Thoughts.

You can see more of her posts here.

See more about Greece in Dispatches’ archive here. See our Athens archive here

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A Pittsburgher by birth, Christina T. Hudson is also half Greek and has – so far – spent most of her life in Athens, the chaotic but captivating capital city of Greece.

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