You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Iceland with 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 Iceland. Some schools will follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programmes while other are regulated under the French education system.
Education in Iceland
The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture issues the National Curriculum Guidelines. The system of education in Iceland is divided into four levels:
- Playschool (leikskóli)
- Compulsory (grunnskóli)
- Upper secondary (framhaldsskóli)
- Higher (háskóli)
Education is mandatory for children aged 6–16. Most institutions are funded by the state as there are few private schools in the country.
International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Iceland. There may be some local population, but the schools are usually geared for an international student body. Schools follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, or 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.
- European Council of International Schools (ECIS) is a collaborative network promoting the ideals and best practice of international education.
International School of Iceland (ISI)
Address: v/Sjálandsskóli, Langalina 8
210 Garoabær Iceland
Tel: +354 590-3106
Tuition Rates: US$ 19,240 per year
Opened in 2004, this school offers an international educational program to children in grades Kindergarten - 7th grade. The International Primary Curriculum is provided along with an English-speaking program. ISI also provides a bilingual stream which follows the national curriculum for Icelandic and Icelandic mathematics. Students in the bilingual program study mathematics in both languages and use different materials, depending on the language.
ABC International School
Address: Suoarvogur 3
104 Reykjavik, Iceland
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school
ABC school recently launched an international school. Offering a similar curriculum as the official Iceland system, the international school is taught in English.
Reykjavik International School (RIS)
Address: Dyrhamrar 9, 112 Reykjavik, Iceland
Tel: +354 511 0990
Tuition Rates: Tuition is ISK 2.212.968 per year. For residents of the municipalities in the greater Reykjavík area, the tuition is partly subsidised, with the balance paid by the parents. There is a onetime only registration fee of ISK 15.000 per student.
The Reykjavik International School, RIS, provides an innovative and academically challenging educational programme for pupils in Reykjavik, Iceland, from Years 1-11 or 5-16 years old. RIS is accredited by the Ministry of Education as the only school in Iceland working entirely with an International Curriculum. RIS is furthermore being accredited through the independent accreditation agency New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). RIS is also a member of the Nordic Network of International Schools. The primary language of instruction is English; pupils also study Icelandic, with programmes for both native Icelandic speakers and those acquiring the Icelandic language.