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International Schools in Laos

Graduate hat - Fotolia

You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Laos with fee information. The list includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools for you to find the right school to prepare for the International Baccalaureate and other accreditation in Laos. Schools may follow the American, Australian or British curriculums with English speaking program while others run under the French language and system.

Education in Laos

The Buddhist way of teaching was the first form of education in Laos with the ethnic group of Lao Loum creating the first formal system of education. Since that time, the country has implemented many French forms of education. Although originally intended only for the people belonging to the upper classes, the system continues to develop and now includes all citizens.

The academic year is 33 weeks and is conducted in two semesters of 16–17 weeks. Pre-school is optional (with low attendance) with children aged 3 to 5 years old. Primary school starts at the age of 6 and lasts for five years. Secondary school is branched into lower-secondary and upper-secondary. Upper secondary is open to students who pass the lower secondary examinations. Secondary education is legally free-of-charge, though the schools charge a registration fee.

International Schools

International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Laos. International schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam.

There is usually local population, as well as an international student body. Schools may follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, France, etc. Primary instruction may be any language (and multiple languages are usually taught), but it is usually in English. 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

  • Council of International Schools (CoIS) 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.
  • Mekong River International Schools Association (MRISA) enables students to compete in sporting tournaments and cultural exchanges with other international schools in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. Students and parents can be assured that schools accredited by WASC have been reviewed and the educational programs that are offered have been evaluated for quality and currentness.

International Schools in Vientiane

Vientiane International School (VIS)
Address: PO BOX 3180 / Phonesavanh Road
Saphanthong Tai Village, Sisattanak District, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: 856 21 486001
Tuition Rates: US $6,240 - 16,710 per year

An English-language International Baccalaureate World School with all three IB programmes, the PYP for ages 4–10, and MYP for ages 11 – 15, along with the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12. VIS is a member of the MRISA and accredited by CoIS and WASC.

Australian International School (AIS)
Address: Ban Nongduoang Tay
Sikkhotabong Dist, Vientiane Lao PDR
Tel: 856 (0) 21264800
Tuition Rates: US$ 770 - 3,900 per year

This school provides an Australian type Curriculum for the children of Lao and expatriates living in Laos. AIS delivers the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy) annually to all students in year 3, 5, 7, and 9. AIS students study for the HSC (Higher School Certificate) in year 12.

Kiettisack International School (KIS)
Address: Lao-Thai Friendship Road / PO Box 4348
Sokpaluang Village, Sisattanak District, Vientiane LAO PDR
Tel: (856) 21-314979
Tuition Rates: US$ 380 - 600 per month

The school is accredited by Cambridge University to teach the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). In years 11 and 12 students will be studying for their A and AS levels. KIS has a special program for secondary students who wish to complete their secondary Lao syllabus, which parallels the English curriculum. Instruction is in English, with 3 additional languages of Chinese Japanese and French.

Panyathip International School (PIS)
Address: 07/146 P.O. Box 4740, Ban Saphanthong Kang
Sisattanak District Vientiane, Laos
Tel: 856 21 412 825
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Panyathip International School is a private institution consisting of English and Lao instruction from kindergarten to secondary school. It is operated under the regulations of the Ministry of Education, Laos. The primary and secondary schools also offer programs approved by University of Cambridge International Examinations.

Eastern Star Bilingual Schools (ESBS)
Address: Lao - Thai Friendship Road
Watnak Village, Vientiane Lao PDR
Tel: (856 21) 313 718
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

A private educational institute providing education for students from kindergarten to secondary school. It offers bilingual education in English and Lao languages.

Sengdara Elementary School
Address: Vientiane, Laos
Tel: 856 21 315 898
Tuition Rates: US$ 1,450 - 1,950 per year

The school follows international honors curriculum using American, British and Singaporean textbooks. Elementary students also study Lao courses via the national curriculum provided and supervised by the Ministry of Education of Laos.

French International School in Vientiane

Lycée français Josué Hoffet
Address: Route de Thadeua, BP 2526
Vientiane 99241 Laos
Tel: 856 21 260 926
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

French language school caters to Ecole maternelle to Grande section (GS). It offers the National French Curriculum and is part of the worldwide French Schools network.