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Whether you are a foreigner newly arrived in France or an expat returning to your country of origin, reintroducing your child to school life is not likely to be very easy.
In the first place you need to understand the differences between state and private schools…
State schools are governed by the well-known 'carte scolaire' school mapping changes from one year to another, so nothing can be learnt from that, the most dependable solution being to rely on what is said by the town council and provided the town council gives you the list of schools, it will give you the list of streets, house numbers since this sometimes depends on the house number.
Numbers from 1 to 50 represent one type of school and 50 to 90 another type of school.
The first reaction is to visit the town council of the area where you would like to live and request a list of schools
In France schooling is free in the state sector, but on the other hand, in the semi private sector, where a private establishment is contracted to the state
or in the private sector as is the case all over the world, education must be paid for.
In an establishment contracted to the state, the fees are controlled.
For example, tuition for a child at primary level, from primary to middle school, can cost between 150 and 300-350 euros a month excluding cafeteria and activities
In wholly private establishments, with no contract, and where the education is free, that is to say the curriculum
teachers and everything concerning the school are not funded by the government and the parent pays, the price is not fixed
and may be conditional. There are some establishments where the education costs about 400 euros, and others which charge up to 1000 euros, 1500 euros…
by the month and always excluding the cost of school meals and activity.
Of course resources offered to schools are adapted to meet the needs of foreigners
There are 3 types of school which attract foreigners arriving with their children, First of all, there are, in order of priority, the international schools, such as the British and American Schools in Paris, Marymount and other schools.
There are about 5, highly reputable and truly international in Paris and region.
Therefore, the problem for most foreigners coming to Paris is to find a place for their children,
and the second problem is finance because there are schools guided by the American tariff rather than other tariffs. These are extremely expensive
Another possibility considered by foreign families are the bilingual schools.
There are several in the Paris region as well as private schools which are a good alternative
and yet a third option are the French state schools offering an international section.
The best-known of these is St-Germain-en-Laye, but there is also the Lycée de Sèvres, and, I would say, that more and more schools in the Paris region are offering these international sections.
Children arriving from a foreign country, according to their age and level achieved, therefore take their records to these different establishments
and these establishments depending on the country of the establishment of origin of the pupil, etc., make a fair assessment and accept the pupil based on this record,
or give tests, either at an appropriate level, or in an appropriate language to confirm that the pupil will be comfortably placed in the level at which he/she accepted.
Feeling at ease is, of course, most important and the school routine is at risk of being disrupted for children coming from overseas
indeed France has many holidays although apart from these restful times the routine is fairly hectic!
There are fewer weeks of study in France, 35, against 38 on average in the OECD countries.
Although the French annual school calendar is spread over a smaller number of days, the annual volume of hours is one of the highest in the OECD countries
Consequently, the school day for French pupils of all ages is more concentrated and busier than for most other pupils in the world.
Another possible source of apprehension in many instances …the education system
The classic French education system is different to those other countries.
It is more academic, strict, even rigid, and is not as child-centred as Anglo-Saxon systems, for example.
This often causes children to worry about integration, even if they are French but have been educated overseas
Indeed, the French education system tends to punish mistakes rather than praise effort…
the difference is especially noticeable in those coming from Anglo-Saxon countries,
Nowadays, one question arises when the child is older: is there any conformity between the foreign diplomas?
In fact there are many diplomas which differ, depending on the schools.
These include American Diplomas from the American School, A-levels from the British School, and there is also the widely accepted International Baccalaureate
which is recognised by Geneva, and finally some pupils including those who are fluent French speakers have the classic Baccalaureate, often with a European option,
which allows them to use their languages more intensively than they would have done if following a normal curriculum.
In conclusion, you should prepare your child's education well ahead if you want to choose the state option. It is your localisation which will determine the route.
If you opt for the private system, you will need to spend at least 6 months researching it before your date of arrival
and if you feel that everything has gone as well as possible…here is one last piece of wise advice
In our experience, many parents choose their children's schools based on criteria specific to parents: logistics, fees, etc.
and do not consider the pedagogy and environment of the school. This often creates difficulties for the child.
We therefore advise parents to choose a school according to their child's needs rather than their own.

Video content: Education
Whether you are a foreigner newly arrived in France or an expat returning to your country of origin,
reintroducing your child to school life is not likely to be very easy.
In the first place you need to understand the differences between state and private schools…
State schools are governed by the well-known 'carte scolaire' (school mapping)
school mapping changes from one year to another, so nothing can be learnt from that, the most dependable solution being to rely on what is said by the town council
Danièle Nesjoua - school specialist - Executive Relocations
and provided the town council gives you the list of schools, it will give you the list of streets, house numbers since this sometimes depends on the house number.
Numbers from 1 to 50 represent one type of school and 50 to 90 another type of school.
The first reaction is to visit the town council of the area where you would like to live and request a list of schools
In France schooling is free in the state sector, but on the other hand, in the semi private sector, where a private establishment is contracted to the state
or in the private sector as is the case all over the world, education must be paid for.
In an establishment contracted to the state, the fees are controlled.
For example, tuition for a child at primary level, from primary to middle school, can cost between 150 and 300-350 euros a month excluding cafeteria and activities
Cost of education in semi-private establishments varies from 150 € to 350 € a month excluding cafeteria and school activities
In wholly private establishments, with no contract, and where the education is free, that is to say the curriculum
teachers and everything concerning the school are not funded by the government and the parent pays, the price is not fixed
and may be conditional. There are some establishments where the education costs about 400 euros, and others which charge up to 1000 euros, 1500 euros…
Cost of education in private establishments from 400 € a month to 1500 € a month excluding cafeteria and school activities
by the month and always excluding the cost of school meals and activity.
Of course resources offered to schools are adapted to meet the needs of foreigners
There are 3 types of school which attract foreigners arriving with their children,
Céline Delrue - President - Interdean France
First of all, there are, in order of priority, the international schools, such as the British and American Schools in Paris, Marymount and other schools.
There are about 5, highly reputable and truly international in Paris and region.
Therefore, the problem for most foreigners coming to Paris is to find a place for their children,
and the second problem is finance because there are schools guided by the American tariff rather than other tariffs. These are extremely expensive
Another possibility considered by foreign families are the bilingual schools.
There are several in the Paris region as well as private schools which are a good alternative
and yet a third option are the French state schools offering an international section.
The best-known of these is St-Germain-en-Laye, but there is also the Lycée de Sèvres, and, I would say, that more and more schools in the Paris region are offering these international sections.
Children arriving from a foreign country, according to their age and level achieved, therefore take their records to these different establishments
and these establishments depending on the country of the establishment of origin of the pupil, etc., make a fair assessment and accept the pupil based on this record,
or give tests, either at an appropriate level, or in an appropriate language to confirm that the pupil will be comfortably placed in the level at which he/she accepted.
Feeling at ease is, of course, most important and the school routine is at risk of being disrupted for children coming from overseas
indeed France has many holidays although apart from these restful times the routine is fairly hectic!
There are fewer weeks of study in France, 35, against 38 on average in the OECD countries.
Emmanuel Fayad - Director Open Sky International
Although the French annual school calendar is spread over a smaller number of days, the annual volume of hours is one of the highest in the OECD countries
Consequently, the school day for French pupils of all ages is more concentrated and busier than for most other pupils in the world.
Another possible source of apprehension in many instances …the education system
The classic French education system is different to those other countries.
It is more academic, strict, even rigid, and is not as child-centred as Anglo-Saxon systems, for example.
This often causes children to worry about integration, even if they are French but have been educated overseas
Indeed, the French education system tends to punish mistakes rather than praise effort…
the difference is especially noticeable in those coming from Anglo-Saxon countries,
Nowadays, one question arises when the child is older: is there any conformity between the foreign diplomas?
In fact there are many diplomas which differ, depending on the schools.
Isabelle Maslard- Departmental Director of Global Mobility- Crown Relocations
These include American Diplomas from the American School, A-levels from the British School, and there is also the widely accepted International Baccalaureate
which is recognised by Geneva, and finally some pupils including those who are fluent French speakers have the classic Baccalaureate, often with a European option,
which allows them to use their languages more intensively than they would have done if following a normal curriculum.
In conclusion, you should prepare your child's education well ahead if you want to choose the state option. It is your localisation which will determine the route.
If you opt for the private system, you will need to spend at least 6 months researching it before your date of arrival
and if you feel that everything has gone as well as possible…here is one last piece of wise advice
In our experience, many parents choose their children's schools based on criteria specific to parents: logistics, fees, etc.
and do not consider the pedagogy and environment of the school. This often creates difficulties for the child.
We therefore advise parents to choose a school according to their child's needs rather than their own.

Linked key words: Education

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