Are you thinking about moving to Spain? The rich culture, gorgeous food, and attractive cost of living are all great reasons to spend time in this lovely country.
But if you have children, you have to think about their education.
The great thing is that there are lots of options. Your children can receive a high level of education, from several different sources.
Education in Spain can be an exciting opportunity for your children. They don't necessarily have to speak Spanish. But, rest assured, they will learn! That's just one of the benefits.
Let's take a look at these 4 facts about studying in Spain.
1. Compulsory Education
Under Spanish law, all children living in Spain between the ages of 6 and 16 must be receiving an education. The Spanish educational system encompasses 6 years of primary education followed by 4 years of secondary.
Preschools are available for children under the age of 6 but are not compulsory. And of course, university education is available but also is not compulsory.
2. Local vs International
As a foreigner living in Spain, you may wish to choose an international school. The main benefit of this is that your child would continue learning in English.
This is a great option if you don't plan to stay in Spain for a long time and/or your kids are older and the transition would be really rough. The downside is that international schools are more expensive.
If you plan to stay a while in Spain, a local school may be a better choice. Especially if your kids are young, immersing them in a new language and culture won't be such a shock. They'll soak up Spanish like a sponge and be chatting with their friends faster than you can keep up!
3. State vs Private
The local schools that we mentioned are all handled by the state. This is the most economical option, although parents may still need to buy books and/or other supplies.
In Spain, even many of the private schools are partially funded or subsidised by the state. As such, they tend to teach in Spanish and adhere to the same curriculum as the local schools. The main difference is that they are usually Catholic.
International or bilingual schools tend to be fully independent, although some are subsidized. This makes them more expensive, but they have perks like smaller class sizes and education in English.
4. Terms and Holidays
Kids in Spain enjoy long breaks. The school year runs from mid-September to mid-June. It is broken up into 3 terms of about 11 weeks each.
Spanish residents observe several holidays throughout the year and kids get to enjoy these as breaks from school. They also get a generous 2 weeks for Christmas and Easter and 10-11 weeks in the summer.
Some schools offer an extra week or 2 of summer vacation to kids moving from primary to secondary. Often this even includes a class trip abroad.
Education in Spain: Is It Right for Your Kids?
Only you can decide if education in Spain is the right step for you. It will most often depend on your child's age and the amount of time you plan to spend in Spain.
There are many great schools in Spain. Homeschooling is legal in Spain so if you prefer to keep up your kids' education at home, that's also an option.
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