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International schools in Rio de Janeiro are the ideal choice for many expat families. The familiar language and curriculum that international schools offer, along with the generally high standards, give parents peace of mind that their children are given the best environment possible to adjust to life in Brazil.
This also mitigates the effects of culture shock, as children are able to learn a familiar curriculum while making friends with other children who have similar experiences and integrating into a school community in their new home. Another drawcard of international schools in Rio de Janeiro is that the top international schools will typically offer excellent facilities and the best teaching standards.
The best international schools in the city usually boast STEM labs, manicured sports facilities and a range of extra-curricular activities, including music and art. All of this will come at a cost though, and parents are encouraged to negotiate an education allowance into their employment package to help cover some of these costs.
Most international schools in Rio de Janeiro follow the British curriculum, including IGCSE and A-levels, or the American curriculum. Many international schools also offer the International Baccalaureate, which is well respected and taught around the world, potentially making future school transfers easier.
Expat parents moving to Rio with children will need to consider the areas and suburbs they choose to base themselves in the city, as traffic congestion in Rio can make for long commutes. Some international schools offer transport at an additional fee to help parents mitigate this issue.
Below is a list of the top international schools in Rio de Janeiro.
International schools in Rio de Janeiro
Escola Americana of Rio de Janeiro
Offering the IB Diploma Programme since 1982, Escola Americana of Rio de Janeiro is located in Barra da Tijuca and offers its more than 1,275 students a world-class education. More than 55 percent of Escola Americana of Rio de Janeiro's educators hold advanced degrees, and the school prides itself on offering students an option for bilingual education.
Curriculum: American, International Baccalaureate and Brazilian
Ages: 3 to 18
British School of Rio de Janeiro
The British School of Rio de Janeiro is a non-profit and independent international school with three campuses across the city. As one of the top international schools in Rio, the British School strives to build a caring community where academic excellence thrives.
Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum and Cambridge IGCSE), International Baccalaureate and Brazilian
Ages: 2 to 18
Deutsche Schule Rio de Janeiro
Encouraging cultural exchange between Germany and Brazil, Deutsche Schule Rio de Janeiro offers the rigorous German diploma alongside the Brazilian curriculum. Deutsche Schule Rio de Janeiro is an award-winning international school offering its 1,200 students bilingual education in an environment that promotes arts and culture as well as academic excellence.
Curriculum: German and Brazilian
Ages: 3 to 18
Lycée Molière de Rio de Janeiro
Lycée Molière is a top French international school in Rio de Janeiro that offers bilingual instruction. Students at Lycée Molière graduate with the French Baccalaureate and have access to a range of extra-curricular activities, including football, judo and theatre.
Ages: 3 to 18
Swiss International School Brazil
The Swiss International School Brazil is one of the top international schools in Rio de Janeiro, thanks to its bilingual educational concept. The school teaches in both English and Portuguese, allowing its students to become fluent speakers of both languages. The Swiss International School Brazil prides itself on empowering students to achieve academic excellence while leading their learning process.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate and Brazilian
Ages: 3 to 18
►For more on the city's education system, see Education and Schools in Rio de Janeiro
"Brazil has notoriously bad public schools, so families of means send their children to English schools or private, Catholic schools." Read more of Jennifer's expat interview.
Are you an expat living in Rio de Janeiro?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Rio de Janeiro. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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