There are international schools in all major cities. Teaching is in English but there are also schools run by foreign governments teaching in other languages such as French (New Delhi, Mumbai and Pondicherry), German (New Delhi and Mumbai) and Japanese (New Delhi). These schools tend to follow the national curriculum and school year of the country concerned.
There are also international schools that follow the national curriculum of other countries, such as the British School in New Delhi, the Canadian International School in Bangalore and many that follow the US system.
Most expats prefer to send their children to international schools to benefit from their multicultural environment and extra-curricular activities. International schools also have excellent facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and art centres. All international schools offer ESL (English as a Second Language) classes that aim to help integrate students whose mother tongue is not English as quickly as possible.
Most international schools follow the Cambridge IGCSE and IB curricula.
Tuition fees at international schools range from US$5,000 to $22,000 per year depending on the level/class/grade. As this is a significant expense, most expats have their children’s school fees covered in their salary package.
The age at which a child can begin at an international school is three for playschool, four for kindergarten and six for primary school.
Some international schools have a rolling admissions policy throughout the year that allows students to start at any time. Others admit students only at the start of term (August or January).
As part of the admission process, an interview is often required and/or an entry test. Children whose first language is not English will be assessed through a language test.
The documents to be submitted along with the application form and fee vary, but can include the following:
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of passport and visa/residency permit
- Passport-sized photographs
- Questionnaire/evaluation form
- Medical information
- Immunisation records
- School records/report cards
- Letters of recommendation
- Transfer certificate/certificate of good conduct
Many international schools also provide full-time boarding. Extra-curricular and after-school activities are offered by most establishments.