Expat Essentials

Expat Essentials: Dispatches’ guide to international schools in Munich

Beautiful and wealthy, Munich is one of the most desirable assignments for highly skilled internationals. But its popularity makes it a bit tough to find a great school. We’re here to help with our latest guide to international schools in Munich offering curricula in English.

The third largest city in Germany behind Berlin and Hamburg, Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria and one of the most affluent cities in Europe. It’s a center for engineering talent and has one of the world’s top-ranked engineering schools, Technical University of Munich. Due to its wealth, almost unnatural orderliness and pristine setting on the edge of the Alps, Munich consistently ranks atop annual lists of most-liveable cities. 

It was first settled on the banks of the River Isar by Benedictine monks in 1158; its name is derived from Munichen, the Old/Middle High German for “by the monks.” In 1506, it became the capital of the reunified Duchy of Bavaria, then the capital of the new Kingdom of Bavaria 300 years later.

Today, Munich is one of Germany’s financial capitals, powered by biotech, infotech, and publishing. The Beta-plus world city is home to Bavarian Motor Works (a.k.a., BMW), truck builder MAN AG, tech giants Siemens and Rohde & Schwarz, insurance leader Allianz, and a host of European and German headquarters for multinationals like Microsoft and McDonalds.

And of course, Munich is home to brewer Hofbräuhaus and the world’s largest fun fair, Oktoberfest. The city also has its fair share of international schools. While a few of those are bilingual schools (where the language of instruction is in German and another language, such as English), our focus in this and similar guides is on international schools where English is the primary language of instruction.

A word to the wise: It’s a fundamental reality of being an expat: One of the biggest challenges for English-speaking expat families – even for well-paid corporate nomads – is finding satisfactory, English-language international schools.

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, we have a primer for your convenience.

Wherever you’re headed, do not wait to get there before starting the application process with your preferred international school, which can be lengthy.

Bavarian International School: Established in 1990 “to offer an English medium education to children from the international community in the north of Munich,” Bavarian International School has grown to include an additional primary school, which first opened in 2016. The main campus in Haimhausen includes a centuries-old castle as the centerpiece, all surrounded by tonnes of green space.

BIS is an IB World School, offering the full range of programmes for children four through 18, with graduates coming away with the IB Diploma. The school’s mission is to inspire and challenge young minds “as a caring and committed international community,” with the aim of producing lifelong learners who always achieve excellence and assume responsibility in all they do.

  • Fees (2018-19 academic year): N/A; contact school for information
  • Requirements: Complete and submit application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for infomation
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: www.bis-school.com

European School Munich: At the request of the European Patent Office in Munich, European School Munich first opened its doors in 1977 as a Kindergarten and primary school. The school gained a secondary department in 1979, then became one of the first 12 European Schools in 1984. ESM has since continued to grow, with a new primary school and Kindergarten expected to open in 2019.

ESM shares its mission with the other 13 European Schools throughout the continent: to create Europeans who still hold “love and pride” for their homelands, and will “consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.”

The school caters mainly to students whose parents are part of a European organization, while those who work for multinationals can have their tuition paid by their employer (via special agreement). Others can enroll, but will have to pay out-of-pocket.

  • Fees (2018-19 academic year): 3,804.69 euros to 7,133.87 euros annual tuition, depending on grade level; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Parents must be employed by the European Union, or their employer must have and individual agreement with the school; those not fitting either circumstance can apply, but space is limited; full admission criteria here
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for information
  • Contact: Via contact form
  • Website: esmunich.de/en

International School Augsburg: Outside of Munich is International School Augsburg, which first opened its doors in Gersthofen in 2005 with 65 local students. Today, 350 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, representing 30 countries, are enrolled at the fully accredited IB World School.

As ISA itself proclaims, the school is a “happy school,” one that is “uniquely professional and friendly… where everyone is sincerely focused on student learning.” The school offers the IB Diploma and is a testing center for the Cambridge IGCSE.

  • Fees (2018-19 academic year): 11,760 euros – 15,720 euros annual tuition, depending on grade level; 5,000 euros one-time school investment fee; 400 euros registration fee; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Complete and submit online application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for information
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: www.isa-augsburg.com

Munich International School: More than 50 years ago, Munich International School opened its doors in Harlaching, then moved to its current home in Starnberg in 1968.

Today, 1,250 students from 65 nations attend the school’s three IBO programmes, graduates receiving the IB Diploma and/or the MIS High School Diploma.

MIS sets itself apart from other international schools by leveraging “unparalleled expertise” to deliver the IB curricula “within a caring, innovative and healthy environment.” The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Fees (2018-19 academic year): 14,060 euros – 20,750 euros annual tuition fee, depending on grade level; 225 euros non-refundable application fee; 7,240 euros entrance fee for the first year, 3,100 euros for second and third years; 1,550 euros registration fee, 750 euros re-registration fee; full schedule of fees here
  • Requirements: Complete and submit application with application fee and required documentation; undergo placement testing if necessary
  • Application Deadline: N/A; contact school for information
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Website: www.mis-munich.de

St. George’s, Munich: One of the newest schools in Munich, St. George’s opened its Munich branch in 2013, welcoming students from over 30 nations.

From the youngest ones in the nursery programme to the oldest ones pursuing their IB Diplomas, St. George’s believes “learning is the product of investigation and experimentation,” and that every child under their care “deserves individual and personal attention to their academic and pastoral development.”

Like the rest of St. George’s schools in Germany, years 1 through 9 follow the National Curriculum for England, Wales and Northern Ireland; years 10 and 11 obtain the Cambridge IGCSE; and years 12 and 13 graduate with the IB Diploma.

  • Fees (2018-19 academic year): N/A; contact school for information
  • Requirements: Complete and submit application with required documentation
  • Application Deadline: Applications accepted year-round
  • Contact: Via contact form
  • Website: www.stgeorgesschool.com/munich
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Lifestyle journalist. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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