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:
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.
Additionally, you can expect the following subjects to be taught in all schooling systems in Andorra. They include:
The goal is to create well-rounded students who are diverse in language and culture. In our experience, Andorra does a great job of educating its students. No wonder the Andorra literacy rate is 100%. This is a claim few other countries in the world can boast. You can rest assured as a parent that your kids are getting the very best education available.
The French System
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.
The Spanish System
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:
Primary Education: ages 3 through 6
Basic General Education: ages 6 through 12
Baccalaureate program: ages 12 through 18
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.
The Andorran System
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).