There is an assortment of bilingual and international schools in Barcelona. In fact, international educational standards are so commonplace that many of the schools that teach British, International Baccalaureate, French and American curricula have a student body predominantly made up of Spanish pupils.
International schools in Spain are legally obliged to teach either Spanish or a co-official regional language. In Catalonia, the best international schools in Barcelona will teach both Spanish and Catalan, as well as give additional focus to local content in subjects such as history and geography.
This gives expat children an opportunity to quickly overcome culture shock and fully immerse themselves in their new community while also engaging in cultural exchange. Most of the best international schools in Barcelona are located in affluent areas and suburbs. International schools in Barcelona are typically quite pricey, but parents will be delighted to know that these institutions offer excellent facilities, including STEM labs and a wide range of extracurricular activities to engage children.
Listed below are some of the best international schools in Barcelona.
International schools in Barcelona
Hamelin-Laie International School
Part of the Nord Anglia Education group, Hamelin-Laie International School is one of Barcelona's top international schools offering trilingual instruction and the globally recognised International Baccalaureate and Spanish curricula. Hamelin-Laie International School prides itself on enabling its students to achieve academic excellence while developing into creative, confident and resilient global citizens. Read more
Ages: 4 months to 18
Curriculum: Spanish and International Baccalaureate
American School of Barcelona
The American School of Barcelona (ASB) prides itself on providing quality education and focusing on the holistic development of children. Founded in 1962, ASB was one of the first international schools in Spain to offer the International Baccalaureate qualification along with the US High School Diploma.
Ages: 3 to 18
Curriculum: American and International Baccalaureate
Barcelona High School
Barcelona High School officially opened its doors at the height of the pandemic in 2020 with a strong focus on student-centred learning rather than archaic teaching methods. The school has developed an engaging and innovative digital learning platform to ensure learning flexibility and quality education for the leaders of tomorrow.
Ages: 12 to 18
Curriculum: American (including Advanced Placement)
Benjamin Franklin International School
The Benjamin Franklin International School's mission is to ensure success for all students by offering differentiated curricula. As one of the best international schools in Barcelona, Benjamin Franklin International School offers a truly international and welcoming school community that drives academic excellence.
Ages: 3 to 18
Curriculum: American, Spanish and International Baccalaureate
British School of Barcelona
With more than 65 nationalities and four campuses across Barcelona, Sitges and Castelldefels, the British School of Barcelona (BSB) is home to excellent learning and sporting facilities. BSB aims to foster a love for lifelong learning and academic excellence through its rigorous British and International Baccalaureate curricula.
Ages: 3 to 18
Curriculum: British (Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels) and International Baccalaureate
Colegio Akua is an accredited and trilingual Montessori school that provides personalised education. The school's curriculum integrates the educational philosophies of María Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Pestalozzi while developing multiple intelligences and emotional awareness in students.
Ages: 3 to 12
European International School of Barcelona
Catering to more than 1,400 students, the European International School of Barcelona's educational programme focuses on three pillars: language proficiency, education in values and academic excellence. The school offers instruction in English, French, German and Chinese.
Ages: 1 to 18
Curriculum: Spanish and British
International School of Catalunya
Located in La Garriga, the International School of Catalunya aims to develop students who are independent thinkers while optimising student-teacher relationships through small-group learning.
Ages: 3 to 18
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate and British (Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels)
Oak House School
Oak House School combines the British, Spanish and International Baccalaureate curricula, along with a variety of subjects, to offer students a holistic education. Oak House School also has a forest school, allowing students to connect with nature and learn more about the environment.
Ages: 3 to 18
Curriculum: British (Cambridge IGCSE), International Baccalaureate and Spanish
SEK Catalunya International School
SEK Catalunya International School is a place where students of different nationalities come together in a cultural exchange environment while learning the three International Baccalaureate programmes and achieving academic excellence. The school offers a renowned music programme as well as outdoor and mountain activities.
Ages: 2 to 18 years
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
St. George's British School
Students at St. George's British School follow the full British curriculum and learn English from native Teachers. The school boasts specialised music, art and computer classrooms and laboratories and also focuses on differentiating learning in line with students' unique abilities and interests.
Ages: 2 to 18
Curriculum: British (Cambridge IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate
►Education and Schools in Barcelona gives information on schooling in the Catalan capital
►Expat parents looking for employment in the city should read Working in Barcelona
"There is a magnitude of excellent schools here, both private and public. For children up to age 10 I would suggest a half private or local school, this way the children learn Spanish quickly and become ‘native’. Then, for senior school, perhaps a private school and studying for English grades."
Read our interview with British expat Chris to learn more about living in Barcelona with children.
Are you an expat living in Barcelona?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Barcelona. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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