Education and Schools in Riyadh

►Buy the Saudi Arabia Guide for Kindle or in PDF format




Schools in Saudi ArabiaAs Saudi Arabia's formal centre of commerce and diplomacy, Riyadh has historically had a large expat community and, as such, the city has a good selection of international schools to serve the needs of this population. 

Expats don't have the option to send their children to public schools in Saudi Arabia as admission into these institutions is restricted to Saudi citizens and naturalised Arabs. This increases demand at international schools, resulting in limited places and often hefty fees. It's therefore important that expats apply to several schools as early as possible.

International schools in Riyadh


The requirements for securing a place at an international school in Riyadh do vary from one institution to the next. Some schools may require written references from a child's previous schools while others require students to sit an entrance examination. While most international schools in Riyadh are not selective, others, such as the British and American schools give preference to students according to the nationality. While it is not necessary for children to attend a school sponsored by their country of origin, the logistical transition between systems tends to be easiest in this sort of situation. 

A non-refundable application fee is a standard procedure, and some schools require parents to pay an extra seat deposit. In addition, parents have to often fork out for uniforms, textbooks and extracurricular activities and therefore it was advisable for expats to negotiate a schooling allowance into their expat relocation packages wherever possible. 
 
The school year in Saudi Arabia runs from September to June, and is normally divided into two or three semesters, depending on the school. The school week is Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. School hours in international schools are usually from 7am to 3.30pm. Schools days are shortened during the holy month of Ramadan.
 

Homeschooling in Riyadh


Homeschooling is not generally recognised in Saudi Arabia and expats living in Riyadh may struggle to find resources. However, it is not illegal, therefore numerous expats do follow this option, even just temporarily until they manage to secure a place for their child at an international school. 

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Expat Arrivals is looking for contributors to make this the ultimate guide for international expats.

If you are an established expat who could make time to write useful information for expats in your city and answering forum questions from new and prospective expats, please contact us.

As our local expert you can have your profile showing on each page you publish, and will have an option to promote your website or blog.

Got a question about your new country?

X
Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)
, after login or registration your account will be connected.