International schools in Riyadh are diverse and offer a range of curricula to cater to the needs of expat children. Some of the most popular international schools in Riyadh teach the International Baccalaureate (IB), the British system (including the Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels) or the American system, leading to an American High School Diploma.
Parents can expect strong and varied extracurricular programmes at international schools in Riyadh, as well as a focus on the holistic development of students. Parents can expect their children to receive an education that not only focuses on academic excellence but also prepares them for their future roles as responsible citizens of the world.
It is important to note that tuition and admission policies can vary significantly among international schools in Riyadh. Some schools may have long waiting lists or require students to take entrance exams. It is recommended that parents research and contact schools directly to understand their specific policies and requirements.
Here is a list of some of the best international schools Riyadh has to offer:
International schools in Riyadh
American International School – Riyadh
The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) offers an enriched American curriculum that integrates global perspectives and caters to students from Pre-K to Grade 12. AIS-R is also authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
With over 50 nationalities represented, the school fosters a diverse, inclusive community that inspires students to think critically and communicate effectively. AIS-R graduates are accepted to top colleges and universities worldwide. Interested families are encouraged to check the school's admissions page for further details on the application process and criteria.
Curriculum: American and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18
Dome International Schools
Dome International Schools, established in 2016, offers a wide range of standardised and recognised programmes and services for the Riyadh community. With a diverse community of students from more than 36 nationalities worldwide, Dome is Riyadh's largest British Council and College Board Testing Centre partner and an exclusive IELTS preparation and examination centre.
As the largest international school in Riyadh, Dome provides comprehensive curricula for both American and Cambridge education systems, with English as the language of teaching. Incorporating diversity is crucial for Dome's ethos, and its objective is to improve the quality of education by using advanced technologies.
Curriculum: American and British (Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels)
Ages: 5 to 18
Downe House Riyadh
Downe House, with over 100 years of experience, offers a tailored education combining the best of British education with respect for Saudi Arabia's culture and language. The all-female faculty provides a safe and caring environment for pupils aged 3 to 18.
Boys and girls are welcome in Pre-Prep and Lower Prep, while Upper Prep and beyond are reserved for girls. Downe House nurtures children through the core values it calls the "Downe House DNA". The school encourages the development of these skills in every aspect of a student's academic and personal life.
Gender: Co-educational in Pre- and Lower Prep, girls-only from Upper Prep
Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels)
Ages: 3 to 18
MLS International School
Makers Learning School International (MLS) is an international school in Riyadh that offers early childhood and elementary programmes developed using well-researched American curricula that have proven to be successful. The school focuses on literacy growth and project-based learning and provides students with resources and support in the areas of social and emotional development.
MLS embraces its Arab identity by offering a comprehensive Arabic language and culture programme and prepares its students for success in a global context by providing them with a nurturing and creative learning environment.
Ages: 18 months to 14 years
Reigate Grammar School Riyadh
Formerly known as the Multinational School, Reigate Grammar School (RGS) Riyadh is a British international school that teaches students from Kindergarten to Year 13. Although RGS Riyadh is relatively new to the city, having opened in September 2020, it is partnered with the renowned Reigate Grammar School in the UK.
Curriculum: British (National Curriculum for England, Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels)
Ages: 3 to 18
►For more expat schooling options, see Education and Schools in Saudi Arabia
Are you an expat living in Riyadh?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Riyadh. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.