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International Schools in Nice, France

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South of France has always been a very popular for relocation. This text will provide a few good primary and secondary schools for those who wish to relocate and have kids. The region itself is very international and I think the selection is quite good.

Vieux Nice by Sylvain Leprovost

The International School of Nice is a co-educational school accepting students from preschool up to grade 12. Graduating from ISN will reward you with an International Baccalaureate diploma, recognized throughout the world. For the very young children wanting to attend ISN there is also the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) which functions as an introductory program.

ISN was first started in 1976, so it has quite some years of history and generally has a good reputation in the region and among universities. It’s also accredited by the European Council for International Schools and the Middle States Association of the United States. The school currently hosts students from all over the world; over 42 nationalities are represented of which the largest groups are French, German, Dutch, Italian, Scandinavian, English and American. Currently there are around 350 students enrolled. ISN is located not far from the airport. Tuitions fees as ISN range from 10.000 Euros to 15.000 Euros per year depending on what grade your child is in.

More information about ISN and the preschool primary school and secondary school on their website.

Another alternative is Mougins School. Unfortunately this one is quite a bit further away from Nice than ISN, namely in Mougins Cedex. Driving from Nice centre with a car will take you around 30-35 minutes and by bus a little bit longer. But don’t let the distance scare you away as Mougins School is at least as good as ISN academically and offers an abundance of facilities and recreational areas for the pupils. Unlike ISN, graduates from Mougins School obtain a British diploma. The curriculum is entirely derived from the UK National Curriculum and during the last years of study in secondary school students are obliged to take at least eight examinations from external sources.

The externalities are administered by the International General Certificates in Education, or the IGCE from the UK. Scoring at least five grades of A – C on these examinations allows the pupil to undertake the Advanced International Program and preparing or the externally administered AS and A levels. Mougins was founded in 1967 and out of almost 450 students 35 nationalities are represented, which makes this school a good foundation cultural experiences and understanding of ditto.  Furthermore Mougins School is member of the Council Of British International Schools in the European Communities (COBIS) and is a recognized Examination Centre for LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Drama). Lastly, despite its very British orientation, the school doesn’t require pupils to wear uniforms. Annual tuition fees: from 4.500 to 14.800 Euros depending on the grade.
More information about preschool, primary school and secondary school here.

Nice by Allen Sheffield

Thirdly there is the École Bilingue Internationale or EBICA. This school is exactly what it sounds like: bilingual. Just like the previous schools on this list there are facilities from preschool/kindergarten up to secondary school. Being bilingual it starts already on a preschool level with 50% of classes being taught in French and 50% in English. In subsequent levels the French curriculum prevails slightly with 70% against the English 30%. Supposing your child stays in EBICA from preschool or primary school up until secondary school.

There are two divisions to choose from: French (following the national French curriculum) and the English (quote from their site “A combination of the International Primary Curriculum and other traditional educational materials from England and the USA”). The secondary school continues with the French and English divisions. The English section uses American and British standards to prepare students for the IGCSE exams. Unfortunately EBICA suffers from the same problem as Mougins School, it’s quite far away. EBICA is located in Sophia Antipolis near Valbonne which isn’t really that big a distance from Nice. It will take you around 25 minutes to go there by car from Nice centre. Nevertheless this is a good school, so the transportation time is worth it just as it is worth Mougins School. Annual tuition fees range from 7.500 Euros to 11.000 Euros depending on what grade your child is in. Rule of thumb: the higher the class the higher the cost.
You can find more information about EBICA’s preschool, primary school and secondary school here.

Another alternative also functioning as a boarding school (located in Grasse quite far away from Nice, at least to drive this distance four times per day) is The Fénelon Institute. Just like the previous schools covered this school is from preschool to secondary school. It was started in the early 1900’s as a catholic school but nowadays little of its catholic heritage remains. The school is under French school jurisdiction which means that students have to follow the same curriculum and take the same exams as in a public French school. Tuitions fees are fixed at 525 Euros per quarter.
For more information I’d recommend contacting the administration here as the website could be better.

If you don’t want to go outside of Nice there is the ABC School in the centre. This school has three divisions: nursery, primary and secondary. Older students are required to take the Cambridge ESOL exam according to their level of study. Fees range from 300 to over 600 Euros per month in tuition, again depending on what level your child is in. So if you live in the city and prefer your children to remain there as well, navigate to their website and see for yourself. There are even picture galleries of each respective division in order for you to receive a bigger picture.

Nice port by Pascal Blachier

Again in Sophia Antipolis there is a bilingual Montessori school by the name of Les Colibris. This school is focused on smaller children (preschool) up to 12 years of age and it applies a bilingual approach in combination with the famous Montessori concept. On their website you can read more about student-to-teacher ratio, testimonials, the school in the news etc. If your child is in this age group I think this is definitely a good alternative to consider.

Lastly there is the International School of Monaco. Yes this one is in Monaco and is aimed at children between the ages of 2-18. Students here obtain the IB Diploma and take The University of Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations at the end of year 11. Their IB success rate is usually around 99%, compared to the world average of 84%. The student demographics are as follows (copied from their website)
“ISM has a truly multicultural student population with 525 students from thirty five different nationalities: 21% UK + Ireland
15% Italian
10% Russian
9% German
9% American and Canadian
8% Scandinavian
3% Swiss
25% all other
58% girls and 42% boys”
If you live in or near Monaco this might be a good alternative to consider. You can read more on their website.

As you can see most schools listed in this text are not exactly in Nice. It certainly looks like a prevailing trend to place international schools in calm and green areas outside of the city. From the research I’ve carried out most schools within the actual city limits of Nice are purely French. The abovementioned schools are all of good quality and if you live in our outside Nice don’t be scared away by the distance, the 30 minute car ride is worth good education.

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