Expat Essentials

Expat Essentials: Dispatches’ guide to international schools in Paris (updated)

(Editor’s note: This guide to Paris’ international schools has been updated with current information about International School of Paris.)

One of the bigger challenges for English-speaking expat families – even for well-paid corporate nomads – is finding a satisfactory, English-language international school.

Such schools cater to expat students, with curricula tied to the host nation in question, or an international education organization such as Edexcel, Cambridge International Examinations, and International Baccalaureate; if you’re curious about the International Baccalaureate program, by the by, Dispatches Europe has a primer for your convenience.

3_16_16_upton_paris_720_405_s_c1_c_cWherever you’re headed, do not wait to get there before starting the application process with your preferred international school, which can be lengthy. Especially in Paris, which has some of the most exclusive international schools in Europe. Those schools have produced some headline alums including movie stars, ambassadors and royalty.

Paris. The City of Light. The city who is so above all others, only Rome is worthy enough to be its sister (and vice versa). Fashion, culture, cuisine, commerce, art, music, theatre, revolution, history … Paris is the gleaming city of dreams.

The world city derives its name from the Celtic tribe Parisii, who founded the legend in the 3rd century BC. The Romans took her for their own in 52 BC, followed by the Cross of Christianity in the 3rd century AD, the English between 1420 and 1436, Napolean, Napolean III, the Prussians, and the Germans (once or twice).

Through it all, Paris grew from a small tribal village on the Île de la Cité, to the largest and most influential city in all of France, to one of the cornerstones of Western civilization. Multinationals Total S.A., AXA, and BNP Paribas are but three who call Paris home, while La Défense and the QCA serve as the world city’s two largest economic engines.

And let’s never forget monuments and attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, and the historic axis from the museum to the Tuileries Garden. Paris has so much to offer, it would need its own set of guides.

Lucky for you, we have one for its international schools:

vignette-defile-asp_02American School of Paris: Founded in 1946, the American School of Paris is one of the oldest international schools in Europe and remains the only American school in Paris. It is one of the founding International Baccalaureate schools, and offers both IB and Advanced Placement programs to its 700-plus students from over 64 nations.

ASP is organized into three divisions covering elementary, middle and high school students, and is committed to “inspire and prepare every student to achieve personal and academic excellence as an engaged global citizen by providing a challenging, innovative program within a compassionate environment.” Interesting fact: ASP is located on the site of a former U.S. Department of Defense Dependents Schools, abandoned when U.S. forces left France in 1966. The school has a 10-acre campus … one of the larger international schools in Europe. (To be clear here, we’re not including English or Swiss boarding schools.)

  • Famous alums: French actress Eva Green; retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, former commanding officer of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe and U.S. National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, and Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi, grandson of actress Grace Kelly and son of Princess Caroline of Monaco.
  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €1,250 application fee per child; €17,500 to €31,870 annual tuition, depending on grade level; €11,350 one-time capital assessment fee per child; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Complete and submit all required paperwork and documentation; sign and submit registration contract within seven days of issue date
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for information
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: asparis.org

555B2CC9736F4B21911A01D1EB34B833The British School of Paris: The Union Jack flies alongside the Tricolore at the British School of Paris, where more than 750 students from more than 50 nationalities attend. BSP uses the National Curriculum for England and Wales, which is paired with the pastoral care system – a “holistic approach to address the personal, emotional, social, intellectual and moral needs” of every student – to help “enable its pupils to become good citizens and to lead fulfilling lives.” A Level, General Certificate of Education, Extended Project Qualification, Foundation, and Sixth Form programmes are available at the senior level.

  • Famous alumnus: Yann Marte, Man Booker prize-winning author of  “Life of Pi,” Jochen Paesen, creative director at BWM and TV and film director Barnaby Southcombe, son of Charlotte Rampling.
  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €1,500 registration fee; €7,000 development fund contribution; €17,381 to €28,094 annual tuition, depending on grade level; full schedule of fees here; scholarships also available
  • Requirements: Complete and submit application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: Rolling deadline; new students start each Monday of the academic year
  • Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Website: britishschool.fr

Marymount1Marymount International School, Paris:

Marymount International School, Paris began as a study-abroad extention programme in 1923 for Marymount’s college students in Tarrytown, New York. Seven years later, it became a French school, then transformed into an international primary school in 1972. Around 360 students between the ages of 3 and 14 from over 45 nations attend Marymount. All faiths and backgrounds are welcome to attend the Cathloic school, which is acredited by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association, and whose mission is to educate “the ‘whole child’ so students develop the acumen, intelligence and leadership skills they need for the future.”

  • Famous grads: New York Knicks player Joakim Noah, Anna-Catherine Hartley (also known as Uffie), singer on the French label Ed Banger Records and James Thiérrée (actor, performer, artist and grandson of Charlie Chaplin).
  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €1,000 non-refundable application fee; €10,000 one-time capital assessment fee; €750 re-enrollment fee; €13,000 to €35,000 annual tution, depending on grade level; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Contact school directly for application (2-year old programme); download, complete and submit application with required documentation for appropriate programme level (all other programmes)
  • Application Deadline: Rolling deadline
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: marymount.fr


International School of Paris: The International School of Paris has as its mission to prepare students to engage with and succeed in a complex world. The student body is diverse, with more than 700 students hailing from more than 60 nations. The school began as a non-profit organization in 1964, and remains one today.

The school is led by a board of trustees, composed of volunteers who are also the parents of ISP students. ISP is the only international school in France to offer the complete International Baccalaureate program to its students, from the Primary Years programme for the littlest ones, to the IB Diploma for those preparing to meet the challenges of an interconnected and rapidly changing world.

  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €900 non-refundable application fee; €9,00 one-time entry fee; €24,400 to €32,400 annual tuition, depending on grade level; full fee schedule here.
  • Requirements: Complete and submit appropriate application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions process, applications accepted at any moment during the year
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: isparis.edu

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 8.17.15 PMEcole active Bilingue – Victor Hugo Campus:

Ecole active Bilingue – Victor Hugo Campus is one of four Ecole international Bilingue schools in France, and the only one among the group to cover students from their early years through graduation into university. Students from more than 70 nations attend Victor Hugo in the 15th arrondissement, receiving daily French language lessons alongside their English language education. Victor Hugo offers students the IB Diploma and the University of Cambridge International IGCSE exams.

  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €600 one-time application and placement fee; €700 registration fee; €1,500 refundable deposit; €750 excellence fund fee (new students); €15,850 to €20,250 annual tuition, depending on grade level; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Complete and submit appropriate application with required documentation, depending on grade level
  • Application Deadline: Rolling deadline; six-month lead time ahead of student’s arrival suggested
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: eab.fr/index.cfm/?lng=en&

S_xPue37Kingsworth International School: Forty-one nationalities are represented evenly among the student body of Kingsworth International School in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The school, following “the thoughts of the great American anthropologist Margaret Mead,” aims to cross “boundary and culture” to ensure “caring, thoughtful, knowledgeable children” from its primary and secondary programmes leave its doors to make the world a better place. Kingsworth is accredited with the University of Cambridge, Edexcel and ASDAN.

  • Fees (2016-17 academic year): €500 non-refundable one-time registration fee; €12,500 to €20,263 annual tuition fee, depending on grade level
  • Requirements: Complete and submit application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for information
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: kingsworth.fr
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Lifestyle journalist. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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