An international school offers a high standard of learning for students from start to finish. These schools cater to an international student body, often the children of expats, bureaucrats, etc. They are usually more expensive than local schools in Spain, but adhere to a foreign standard that may be preferably to expat families. They are also usually able to offer smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and a wide range of extracurriculars. Many private secondary schools are able to offer a near 100 percent university placement rate.
Many international schools in Spain offer an Internal Baccalaureate or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Schools offer instruction in different languages with the dominant language often different from the dominant language of the area. English is common, with instruction at other schools in Mandarin, Spanish, French, Japanese, German and more.
When looking for a school in Spain, check whether the school is recognized by the proper education authorities and whether it belongs to an accredited organization. Accreditation is usually through the origin of curriculum; for example, most British schools in Spain belong to the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS). The focus on international curriculum can be very beneficial to expat children in an unfamiliar setting in Spain.
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The Good Schools Guide International is a website for Western parents, about schools in Spain in a jumble of cultures. They point out differences in these new places and prepare parents for some of the culture shock in Spain. With subscription, they provide detailed editorial content on schools and advice.