You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in French Polynesiawith fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in French Polynesia. Some schools will follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the French education system.
Education in French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France and its education system is heavily influence by this relationship. The medium of instruction is French. Formal education is mandatory for every child up to the age of fourteen. Primary education begins at five and continues until the age of twelve, when secondary education begins. Public education is financed by the government.
Literacy and the use of the Tahitian language has been a complicated matter in French Polynesia. As late as 1962, almost half of the population claimed that they were able to read and write only in Tahitian. The language was forbidden in schools for both teachers and pupils for some time. Today, a majority of the residents speak both French and Tahitian.
International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in French Polynesia. There may be some local population, but the schools are usually geared for an international student body. Schools usually follow a curriculum model from France. Primary instruction may be any language (and multiple languages are usually taught), but it is usually in English or French. Schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam. Schools also provide internationally accepted accreditation such as the international baccalaureate.
Admission and enrollment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.
Accreditation & Membership
- The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-CASI) is a regional accreditation agency for US based schools.
- Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is an association of evangelical Protestant Christian schools.
- National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance (NPSAA) is a membership organization in the United States.
- International Schools Association (ISA) is a non-governmental international organization for the development of co-operation among its member schools.
- Canadian Education Association (CEA) is dedicated to the improvement of education in Canada. Provides information about its programs, news, research and policy, and publications.
- Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) facilitates global interaction among counselors and institutions.
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) is among the premier accrediting associations in the world.
- New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) is a regional accrediting association which establishes standards for all levels of education, from pre-K to doctoral.
International School in Tahiti
Organized in a Polynesian style house, this school has kindergarten to fifth grade. English is the working language with 7 courses in French and one in Tahitian. Students may take the French Bac, A level, or Bac International.