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International and foreign-language schools in Budapest

Writers

  • ildi.amon

10/09/2014 2.00am

Budapest has many international schools and kindergartens, local schools with strong language programs, and religious schools offering an international education. While some globe-trotting families may reside in Budapest for just a few years on a work assignment, other families live here permanently but have multicultural and multilingual family members. Some of Budapest's international schools follow internationally recognized curriculums that prepare students for further study in another country, while others follow the Hungarian National Curriculum but have a strong emphasis on foreign languages such as English, German, or French.

With many educational institutions offering a broad spectrum of classes from preschool through secondary school, there are many aspects to consider when choosing where to place your kids: quality of education and teaching staff, types of extracurricular activities, facilities, proximity to home, and costs, just to name a few. With this in mind, here are some of the most popular educational options for international and foreign-language education in Budapest.Preschools and kindergartens

Photo: Happy Kids

Happy Kids Happy Kids International Kindergarten and Nursery offers day care and early education for children aged one to seven. While the school caters to native-English speakers, the qualified English-speaking teachers can help non-English speakers learn the basics. Happy Kids also offers computer basics, nature appreciation, field trips, sports, arts and crafts, and even a road-safety track. It’s located in Buda's District XII.

Kids’ Kiosk Kids’ Kiosk, in Buda’s District II, follows the British Early Years curriculum, and English-speaking teachers offer lessons. It has an on-site pool where swimming lessons are held, and there’s a range of special activities from ballet classes to Russian-language classes. The school also features a playground with a sandbox and outdoor toys, plus a second location called First Steps, which is a converted old house providing a spacious place for children to learn and play.
English-language international schools International School of Budapest

Set in the green, tranquil environment

of the Buda Hills, the
International School of Budapest

is one of the biggest English-Hungarian bilingual international schools in Hungary. It accepts

children aged five

to 14, covering early education through middle school. The International Programme

is

based on the
English National Curriculum

and

is taught solely in English, while there’s also a Bilingual and Advanced Bilingual Programme where classes are taught in a mix of Hungarian and English. Both bilingual programs follow the Hungarian National Curriculum. The school is accredited with the
Cambridge International Exam Group

for entry into universities internationally. There is

also a range of after-school opportunities

such as drama, strategic games, dance, and a cooking club.

The British International School of Budapest

The British International School of Budapest covers early learning through to International Baccalaureate graduation. Its

focus is on academic excellence and fostering

young people to be prepared to thrive in the globally connected future infused with technology. Facilities include

a science lab and a music room with computers to boost

creativity, while other classrooms and shared spaces are equipped with laptops and cameras. Sports facilities include a field, courts, gymnasium, and more. The school's curriculum is a combination of the British National Curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. The multicultural school community has

about 60 nationalities represented.

Photo: Britannica

American International School Of Budapest
Amid a huge modern campus in the hills just beyond Buda's northern border, the American International School

offers services spanning early childhood through

high school, and adopts the American philosophy of education with an emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and inquiry. For

senior year,

students can choose between the
IB diploma program

or the school's

own high school diploma

based on

the specialized

AISB curriculum . While there’s a strong academic focus, it also offers a range of activities such as

choir, cross-country athletics, golf, orphanage aid programs , and so on. In the

high school, it's compulsory

to

complete

the Creativity, Action and Service program. There are also

Fall Trips where high school students embark

on excursions to nearby countries.

Britannica International School

is the oldest British school in Budapest, and offers

classes

for kids from

years 1 to 13 . Its curriculum follows the National Curriculum for England, but is adapted to include learning relevant to Central Europe and international diversity. Although English is the main language,

French, German , and Spanish are also offered as subjects. Students are prepared to take

the University of Cambridge International Examinations at the age of 16, and then continue to the Advanced Level diploma, which is recognized for university entry worldwide. The school is located in Buda, and its facilities include a 300-seat auditorium, a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool, and tennis courts. There’s also a library, art room, science laboratories, and a computer room.

All students at this school wear a compulsory

uniform
.

Photo: Britannica

Photo: Britannica

International schools with lessons in other languagesInternational schools that are focused on languages other than English are also available. They're perfect for learning a specific language that isn't Hungarian or English. For example, the French-based Gustave Eiffel French School of Budapest in Buda’s District II has primary, middle and high schools, with final A-level exams completed under the French system providing a “Baccalauréat” for university entrance. Then there’s The Austrian-Hungarian Europe School, which offers four years of primary education and four years of elementary school. It provides bilingual education in both German and Hungarian. Also in Buda, the German Deuche Schule offers lessons for years 1 through 12, with those graduating high school able to earn certificates in either German and Hungarian, or just German high school accreditation.

Photo: Gustave Eiffel French School

Photo: Gustave Eiffel French School

Local schoolsInternational schools can be excellent for networking, being exposed to people of different cultural backgrounds, and perhaps can be better-suited for shorter stays. But another option could be an internationally-minded local Hungarian school. These follow Hungary's national curriculum but have strong language programs.

These include Lemhenyi Dezso English-Hungarian Bilingual Primary School and the Szabo Magda Bilingual Primary School in Buda's District II, which is an English-Hungarian school.
Orchidea International Schools in Pest offer an English-Hungarian bilingual education from kindergarten through secondary school that follows Hungary's curriculum.Religious schoolsThere are also a number of religious schools around Budapest, such as the Christian Greater Grace International School which offers preschool through secondary school, but with a strong focus on Christian teachings. At this school, Latin is taught from grades 5-10, and students must also wear a uniform. Similarly, the International Christian School of Budapest also has a Christian focus while offering the American-based system of education for kindergarten through high school. The ICSB is located about 15 kilometers from central Budapest, and it focuses on preparing students for entrance into North American colleges and universities.

There is also the Lauder Javne Jewish Community School, which offers education from preschool through high school, as well as a music school. This schools offers a special English Plus program for bilingual students, while French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish lessons are also available.

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