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What Expats Need to Know About The Education System In Monaco

Living as an expat in Monaco can be a rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges. One of the most important considerations for families with children is finding a good school for their kids.

Securing a spot in a reputable school is often a top priority for expat families, as it helps ensure that their children will receive a high-quality education.

This can be especially critical in Monaco, where demand for spots in the best schools typically exceeds availability.

In this article, we explore the particularities of the education system in Monaco, including different schools, foreign language learning, financial costs, and other crucial topics to consider before enrolling your child in a Monégasque school.

How does the education system work in Monaco?

Monaco’s education system follows the French curriculum but with an international focus.

Students learn English from a young age, and subjects such as the history of Monaco and the Monégasque language are included in the curriculum, which is taught to primary and secondary school students. Religious instruction is also part of the curriculum, although it is subject to parental approval.

Monaco’s education system mandates schooling for children between 6 and 16 years old. Early childhood education may begin at age three. Then, the primary school covers grades 1 through 6, while secondary school is divided into two levels: “collège”, which covers grades 7 through 9, and “lycée”, which covers grades 10 through 12.

Monaco’s public and private schools are recognized as French educational institutions abroad, and teaching programs, schedules, and examinations conform to those established by the French national education authority. French is the language of instruction in school classes.

Some schools also teach French as a Foreign Language subject to help non-French speaking students. Despite this, expatriate parents often prefer to send their children to international schools.

What are some characteristics of the education system in Monaco?

Monaco’s education system differs from that of France, particularly in its emphasis on language learning from an early age.

However, if you are considering enrolling your children in a Monégasque school, you should also be aware of the other defining aspects of the education system in Monaco.

  • The English language is taught from Kindergarten (Maternelle) through senior year (Terminale).
  • The Monégasque language is taught in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Non-French-speaking students can benefit from French classes (taught as a foreign language).
  • The school curriculum focuses on reading and promoting national culture.
  • Religious instruction is included among the subjects taught unless parents request otherwise.
  • Students are exposed to culture and the arts through school excursions to venues such as the Opera and Theatre.
  • Most schools collaborate with heritage sites such as the Oceanographic Museum, the Exotic Garden, and the New National Museum of Monaco through established partnerships.
  • Sports are an important part of the school’s curriculum. Physical education and sports classes start as early as the first grade while swimming lessons are provided from kindergarten.

All of these teachings and projects contribute to the excellence of the Monégasque educational system.

What kind of schools are there in Monaco?

Would you prefer your child to complete their entire education in Monaco? Rest assured; it is entirely feasible. The Principality of Monaco provides a range of schools, covering primary through higher education.

Level of educational institution Type of school Institution names
Primary Education State Schools École des Carmes, École du Parc, École Stella, École de Fontvieille, École Saint-Charles, École de la Condamine, École des Révoires.
Primary Education Private Schools Under Contract Cours Saint-Maur, Institution François d’assise – Nicolas Barré.
Primary Education/ Secondary Education (Middle and High School) Independent Private Schooling International School of Monaco
Secondary Education (Middle and High School) State Schools Collège Charles III, Technical and Hotel School of Monaco, Lycée Albert 1er
Secondary Education (Middle and High School) Private Schools Under Contract Institution François d’assise – Nicolas Barré.
Higher Education State School Providing Courses in the Service Industry Lycée Albert 1er
Higher Education State School Providing Courses in Hotel and Catering Technical and Hotel School of Monaco
Higher Education State School Providing Courses in Art Superior School of Plastic Arts of the City of Monaco (Pavillon Bosio)
Higher Education State School Providing Training Courses In Nursing Nurses Training Institute (IFSI) of Monaco
Higher Education Private Higher Education Institutions International University of Monaco (IUM)

Which are the international private schools in Monaco?

In Monaco, many foreign residents find international schools a convenient solution for their children’s education.

International schools located around the world adhere to similar educational standards, allowing students to make an easy transition between schools when the family moves to their home country or a different country.

Until very recently, there was only the International School of Monaco, which is an English-language institution offering a British-based curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.

However, in November 2022, the British School of Monaco opened its doors to students in the Primary years who wish to follow the national curriculum for England in Monaco. Lower secondary classes are planned to open in September 2024.

International schools around Monaco

For new residents of Monaco, there are also well-known international schools in Nice, Valbonne, and Mougins, all within a 45-minute drive from Monaco.

The most prominent ones that Monaco residents tend to attend are the Mougins British International School, the International School of Nice, and the ICS Côte d’Azur.

Are there any institutions for pupils with special educational needs?

Special units/classes are available for children with special needs:

  • School inclusion localized units (“Unités Localisées pour l’Inclusion Scolaire” (ULIS)) in Primary (“ULIS Ecole”) and Secondary Education (“ULIS Collège” and “ULIS Lycée”).
  • Special Needs classes (“Adaptation”) in Primary Education (Year 4 and 5/3rd and 4th grade) and Middle School (until Year 10/9th grade).
  • A General and Vocational Special Needs Program (Year 6 to Year 10 / 5th grade to 9th grade).
  • Vocational Discovery classes (“Découverte Professionnelle” (DP) Years 9 and 10 / 8th and 9th grade).

These programs are aimed at students with cognitive and learning disabilities, who require special pedagogical support. The use of digital tools, workshops, and work placements are just some of the solutions available to help these students build a successful professional future despite their academic difficulties.

Foreign language learning

The demand for English proficiency among recent graduates is growing, and many parents consider mastering a second language to be an undeniable advantage.

Precisely for that reason, the Monégasque education system offers English language training from an early age (3 years old). As early as CE2, pupils can join the intensive English section, and in collège and lycée, a European section and an international section are added to the curriculum.

As for the second foreign language, students can choose to take courses in German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, or Russian.

Financial costs

School tuition fees in Monaco vary according to the type of school (state or private school) and the programs they offer. Here are some approximate ranges:

  • Kindergarten: Approximately €5,000 to €10,000 per year.
  • Primary: Approximately €8,000 to €15,000 per year.
  • Collège: Approximately €12,000 to €20,000 per year.
  • Lycée: Approximately €15,000 to €25,000 per year.

For further details, kindly contact the educational institution of your preference directly.

As far as higher education is concerned, Monaco counts only one university: the International University of Monaco (IUM).

Tuition fees at the IUM are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s degree: €42,250 for 3 years of study.
  • Master’s degree: €14,700 to €35,000.

Study grants are available to help families with education costs. The conditions of these grants can be found on this website.

What should you do first?

Are you considering moving to Monaco with your family? We at MonacoAdvisers are experts in relocations to Monaco and can help you navigate the process of getting a Monegasque residence.

Contact us at [email protected] to discuss your expatriation project.

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Andreu Capmajó

Tax director

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