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Schooling Advice

Posted by NeilB - Created: 15 years ago
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6 replies (Showing replies: 11 to 16)

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

some personal experience to be added to previous comments ;

The CIV is not an international school in the true sense of the word.  It is very much a French collège/lycée with 4 language sections implanted, 1 of them being the Anglo/American Section which runs somewhat as an international school mixing all nationalities of anglo teachers. All of these sections prepare the kids for the French Baccalaureate with an "international option".  The CIV also hosts a fully private lycée (Grades 10-12 only) preparing the highly acclaimed International Baccalaureat.  For the mixed private/public collège/lycée, the kids are perfectly integrated into the French system and WILL learn French perfectly, however they are subject to all the emotions/stress/uncertainty of having 2/3 of their teachers being "fonctionnaires" - hence the reference to the strikes - these impact all state paid teachers but not those for whom you pay private fees.   If you are in the one-third/two-thirds private/public system the cost is €1,530 per year in collège and €1,980 in lycée.  If you are in the fully private lycée, the cost is €7,135 per year.    CIV Anglo section has been very good in offering extras like computing and drama and team sports that the French don't offer in collège or lycée.  You pay extra for some of these.  Drama doesn't cost €3,000 as stated earlier - it is €300.  Teaching standards are very high and academic results of the Anglo section at the CIV are consistently in the top 2-percentile in the whole of France (truly amazing record).  This is certainly not a "laid back" international school. Entry requirements at CIV are highly rigorous to say the least which has its plus side as well as its minus side. There is practically zero chance your 13 year old would be accepted until he is 15/16 (possibly for Grade 10 entry).  Your 9 year old could apply for Grade 6 entry for September 2004 but would be in a  highly competitive situation. 

By contrast, ISN offers pre-K all the way to Grade 12.  They too prepare the International Baccalaureat.  ISN is fully private and costs €9,300 for middle school, €10,900 for upper school.  It is very American in flavour although they have several Brits on the staff and the Director is British.  I've personal experience of this school and the atmosphere is good, class sizes are smallish, French language level mastery is not great.  I wouldn't say "laid back" - but definitely a lot lower pressure than the CIV.

This thread is a recent discussion of ISN which itself links off to earlier discussions on international schooling here on the CdA.

This thread is a recent discussion of issues of non-French speaking kids arriving in France.

There are other international schools on the CdA that I know less well - This thread should be the AI factfile listing of all International and bilingual schools here but it sems to be broken right now (Admin: could you please check and correct as necessary?)

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Posted by cheryl-180648 - 15 years ago


Good luck for  moving down here, i'm sure you'll love it!

As for schools, my son has been at the CIV in Sophia Antipolis for 2 years now, but I'm taking him out and moving him to Roland Garros this year.  Why? Because when the teachers are off, which they frequently are, there are no substitutes available, so the children are left with 3 or 4 hours doing nothing until the next lesson. The sports facilities, which were a big selling point of the school, don't amount to much.  If you want to do 'extra' classes such as drama, 1 or 2 hours extra a week it costs 3000 euros!

Yes the academic record is good, but thats because the kids have to be bright to pass the test and get in in the first place.

French schools are good, but very disciplined and again very low on sports and arts.  When they do do sport they wear the same clothes they wear all day - and showers????? forget it!

Where will you be living anyway?


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Posted by mj-185311 - 15 years ago

I've heard that basic tuition fee for one child is about 10,000 euros a year, give or take a thousand depending on the grade. 

Good luck!

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Posted by monique-187849 - 15 years ago

yes, I guess international schools could be fine but how expencive are they. Can one afford it on a regular salary?monica

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Posted by the_geezer - 15 years ago

i went to an 'informal' international school as a nipper and it didn't do me any harm... or did it?

but seriously, i loved it. you want your kids to WANT to go to school don' t you? despite the 'laid back' attitude of some of these schools, their academic records are usually excellent as there aren't 40 kids rammed into one class as is the case in some state schools.

the international nature of these schools also makes for very well rounded kids that graduate.  and yes they will learn french.


The Geezer

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Posted by gold-187699 - 15 years ago

international school in Mougins and Sophia Antipolis. Our friends' kids love it and are getting an optimal education while learning french. They are between the ages of 13-17.GOLD