The Cote d’Azur has attracted visitors for centuries. However, never before has the population been so transient and international. Monaco itself has become a hub for business and with that come people from all over the World. Only 19 % of registered citizens in Monaco are Monagasque, and the remaining population consists of over 125 different nationalities.
Diversity is one of the greatest features of Monaco, but one of the greatest dilemmas our global settlers have to make is where to send their children to school. Often, parental preference is to send their offspring to International Schools for the diversity of culture and indeed, language. Therefore, CityOut takes a look at three good options for International Schooling on the Cote d’Azur so you can make an informed choice.
International School of Monaco (ISM), (3-18 years)
The International School of Monaco was originally founded in 1994 with only 34 students. It has now expanded and has over 600. Children start to learn bilingually in the Early Years and then in the Primary School the curriculum is split 50% in English and 50% in French. Once in the Middle School and Senior School, French can be continued as a subject, as can Russian, Italian, Spanish and German and a range of other subjects in the iGCSE and IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma) programme.
The school has good tech infrastructure with iPads, iMacs and MacBooks available for students across the school. It also has some wonderful ‘Learning Hubs’ that encourage collaboration and creativity. However, the location of the school means outdoor facilities are less than ideal as it is located in an old-converted office block. There is only one tiny, on-site playground (which gets removed for the Grand Prix). Lunch breaks and some sports lessons are held on the nearby Fort-Antoine which is a five minute walk from the main school site and is unavailable in June and September due to the Open Air Cinema!
The school has undergone significant restructuring in recent years and has seen many different Principals come and go. It does seem to have finally stabilised and is a decent option within the principality. ISM enjoys full accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS).
Tel: +37 79 32 56 820
International School of Nice (ISN), (3-18 years)
Founded in 1976, the International School of Nice offers an Anglophone education for children aged 3-18. Although French is taught from an early age, ISN is not a bilingual school. The school is split into the Lower School, Middle School and High School where the children go on to study the IGCSE and IB programmes. The children are well prepared for their exams by following the PYP (Primary Years Programme) in the the Lower School, whilst the Middle School offers a balanced learning environment where students explore eight areas of study and hope to find their strengths. The school is attended by over 40 different nationalities and does a good job of offering them a truly international curriculum.
The school has good sporting facilities including a gymnasium, football pitch and basketball court and has been accredited by both the CIS and MSA (Middle States Association of the United States).
Tel: +33 (0) 4 93 21 04 00
Mougins International School, (3-18 years)
55 Kilometres from Monaco lies Mougins International School. Although the distance is significant, some parents believe that the commute is worth it. The school was originally founded in 1964 and moved to the present site in 1987. The school is split into primary and secondary units and currently has 490 students on roll from 42 nationalities. Mougins differs from ISM and ISN in that it offers a British curriculum (albeit with international tweaks) and students will leave with IGCSE’s and AS/A Levels as opposed to the IB.
The school has outstanding facilities and is located on a fantastic, purpose built campus. Students enjoy an outdoor games court, gymnasium, performing arts building and synthetic football pitch.
The school is a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and is fully accredited by the CIS.
Tel: +33 (0) 4 93 90 15 47