Schools in Andorra: All About the Education System

One thing every expat parent must consider before taking the leap and moving to Andorra is the quality of the country’s education system. Given its relatively small size and equally small population, schools in Andorra are first class.

In Andorra’s education system, schooling is mandatory between the ages of 6 and 16. Along with two private schools, parents can also choose between three distinctive public school systems for their kids.

Every parish boasts its own primary school. Additionally, most communities have a secondary school. There are also creches for younger children as well as private nurseries. If you’re looking to relocate here, understanding the Andorra education system is a must. In fact, it is paramount to your child’s quality of life.

Ci-dessous, nous vous guidons à travers le système scolaire en Andorre pour vous aider à vous préparer au mieux à ce qui vous attend. Nous comprenons que trouver des écoles en Andorre peut être un exercice de longue haleine. Après tout, vous voulez ce qu'il y a de mieux pour votre enfant, qu'il s'agisse d'une école privée ou d'une option publique. Penchons-nous sur le système éducatif andorran.

Le système scolaire public en Andorre

One thing that makes Andorra such a tempting place to live is that the standard of education is very high. Small countries often get a bad reputation when it comes to schooling, but this certainly isn't the case with Andorra. As a parent, you can expect to choose between three different public school systems:

Spanish

French

Andorran

It's worth noting up front that Andorra's public schools are completely free.

Once you choose an education system, attendance is mandatory until your child is 16. Home-schooling is not currently permitted in Andorra. Regardless of which school system you choose, students will be heavily exposed to English, French, Spanish and the official language of Catalan. 

En outre, vous pouvez retrouver les matières suivantes dans tous les systèmes scolaires d'Andorre. Il s'agit notamment de:

Les sciences

Mathematics

Les lettres

Les langues

Sciences sociales

L'histoire

L'INFORMATIQUE

L'objectif est de former des élèves équilibrés et diversifiés sur le plan linguistique et culturel. D'après notre expérience, l'Andorre fait un excellent travail d'éducation de ses élèves. Il n'est pas étonnant que le taux d'alphabétisation en Andorre soit de 100 %. Peu de pays dans le monde peuvent s'en vanter. En tant que parent, vous pouvez être sûr que vos enfants reçoivent la meilleure éducation possible.

Le système français

As mentioned above, you can choose between three key school systems in Andorra. French is one of the more popular options, with about half of Andorran children attending a school that is part of this education system. Students officially enter the system at 6 years old, though there is a maternal system starting at age 3. There is a focus on literature, music, mathematics, the French language and art.

In the French system, each year will bring an additional subject. That means one more class will be added to the curriculum with each passing year. Upon finishing upper secondary school, children receive a diploma. After that, many take the next step to further their education. Children who complete their studies in the French system can later attend university in France for free.

Le système espagnol

Once one of Andorra's more common education systems, the Spanish system's numbers have dwindled over time. This system is managed by the Spanish government and is a less common option for expat children. The school consists of three disparate levels:

Enseignement élémentaire : de 3 à 6 ans

Enseignement primaire : de 3 à 6 ans ;

Enseignement secondaire : de 12 à 18 ans.

Upon completion of the Spanish schooling system, students can pursue higher education in Spain. This is often appealing to both students and parents. It opens up the opportunity for students to take flight in a larger country, as Spain also has some rather renowned universities. In comparison to Andorra, job opportunities can be plentiful in this region.

Le système andorran

Finally, you have the Andorran schooling system. Given the number of expats in Andorra who are not from Spain or France, this is a popular option. Most expats do place their kids in the Andorran system. Schools in Andorra are committed to teaching French from a very early age. While not commonly spoken abroad, Catalan remains the main language in Andorran schools.

Once students complete secondary school, they receive a certificate that allows them to further their studies in Andorra. However, students are not limited to staying within the principality. Instead, the certificate will allow them to pursue an education in another European country (this includes colleges and universities).

Teacher reading to class of young children

Niveaux d'enseignement en Andorre

Despite its low population and small size, Andorra boasts a very progressive schooling system. Expect frequently updated  curriculums, age-appropriate teaching methods and excellent infrastructure. Just like most other education systems in the world, the Andorran system provides four levels of education:

Maternal

The first level of schooling provides a solid foundation for children aged 3 to 6 years. This level prepares them by inculcating a basic set of skills, including communication, emotional and cognitive development and social skills. It's also non-compulsory.

Le cycle primaire

Primary school is the first formal schooling milestone, beginning at age 6 and continuing untill age 11. The curriculum consists of mathematics, social science, science and technology and physical education.

Le cycle secondaire

Secondary schooling is similar to primary schooling—the main difference being that the curriculum is more comprehensive and includes subjects such as art, music, nature, literature and more.

Upper Secondary

Upper secondary schooling constitutes the final year of formal schooling. It starts at age 16 and concludes when students are 18 years of age. Note that unlike primary and secondary schooling, upper secondary schooling is not mandatory.

Upon completion, upper secondary students are encouraged to apply for a diploma and continue their academic journey.

Écoles privées internationales en Andorre

Many English speaking expat families opt to send their children to a private school. Most private schools offer a multinational, multi-lingual environment. Additionally, most grant access to various winter and summer sports like skiing and golf, as well as other extra-curricular activities. Unlike public schools, these private schools are not free.

L'école internationale Agora

Currently, there’s one key international school known as Agora International. This is a private school located in La Massana. It offers boarding facilities for children between 9 and 18 years.

Agora boasts a four-language curriculum (Catalan, English, French, Spanish). Given how many students are of different nationalities, they are adept at teaching Catalan and making sure all students are well-versed in a variety of tongues.

Annual tuition starts at €7,450.

Le British College d'Andorre

The British College of Andorra is a great option for expats because their core language is English. They also teach and speak a small amount of Catalan. Located in Andorra la Vella, annual tuition is almost €10,000 per annum.

This school takes students aged 3 to 18 where they are taught the British National Curriculum. It is also operated by the team who runs the British College of Gava.

Located at the site of an ex-hostel in La Comella in Andorra la Vella, many parents find the school to be ideally situated for children, with lots of nature nearby. However, it is not exactly centrally located, which can make winter drives a bit of a hassle.

Luckily, there is a bus service to and from the school. This is a great private option for any student whose core language is English, yet wants to learn one (or more) of Andorra's languages.

Two young women studying at university

Université et enseignement supérieur

Though small, Andorra’s education system does offer university and tertiary education. Courses typically last four years. While many students who want to go to university will move to France (Toulouse) or Spain (Barcelona), Andorra does have options.

L'Universitat d'Andorra is a relatively new university, but it is gaining a solid reputation. It is particularly renowned for its computer science, nursing and management degrees. They also offer a highly reputable virtual studies centre, which allows for online courses.

Additionally, students can attend the Universitat Oberta la Salle. As a long distance university, Oberta la Salle offers masters in business and computing. Whatever university students decide to choose, they will get a quality education in Andorra and learn Catalan in the process.

Education in Andorra — What to Expect

How would we rank Andorra's schools? Call us biased, but we believe Andorra has a very advanced and progressive education system. This is particularly true given how small the country is. There is a reason the Andorra literacy rate is an astounding 100%.

Students from all walks of life can expect to learn multiple languages while enjoying plenty of time in the great outdoors. With multiple education systems to choose from, parents can opt for what works best for their child. Whether that's through a down to earth Andorran school, a more formal French school or one of the other private systems. 

If you’re interested in de la vie à plein temps en Andorre, you do not need to be concerned about the schooling system. No  matter which region you call home, you’ll find a great public option offering a comprehensive education that suits the modern world. Pupils are left well equipped for further education or employment. The goal is always to create well-rounded students who become valuable members of society.

Prenez contact avec nous

Still not sure where to start with Andorra’s education system? We can help! Contact us today and we can help you to navigate the many choices you have when it comes to schooling in Andorra. Don’t let the many choices and options overwhelm you, we’re always here to help guide you on your journey to life in Andorra!