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There are many schools in Buenos Aires and in the surrounding suburbs. Newcomers will have a wide range of options when it comes to their children's education. Nevertheless, expats usually choose to send their children to private or international schools in Buenos Aires. This is mainly because of the language barriers in public schools.
Public schools in Buenos Aires
Although free schooling is provided for all children attending public school, resources are stretched. The system of public education in Buenos Aires is underfunded and the quality of schooling has decreased.
Although expats can take advantage of free education in Buenos Aires, children attending local schools will also have to learn to speak Spanish, as English-speaking teachers are rare. That said, this may assist children in assimilating into the culture and language.
Private schools in Buenos Aires
Many private schools in Buenos Aires provide an excellent bilingual curriculum and cater to expat students. That said, expat parents should note that a bilingual curriculum could lead to a longer school day as classes are typically done in Spanish in the mornings and English in the afternoons.
Most private schools are affiliated with the Catholic church and charge high fees. These schools do not provide extras such as books and stationery, which would be an extra cost parents need to foot. It’s important to note that competition for a place at a private school can be high.
International schools in Buenos Aires
There are also a number of well-respected international schools in Buenos Aires that follow European or American curricula. Some of these also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.
Space can be limited at international schools in Buenos Aires and expat parents need to plan well ahead if wanting a place for their child at the school of their choice. Fees can also be prohibitively expensive. Those moving to the city as part of a corporate relocation should factor this into any contract negotiations before committing to the move.
Special-needs education in Buenos Aires
By federal law, all schools must accept children with disabilities. There’s a new push for inclusion programmes in many schools, trying to incorporate children with all different types of abilities. Unfortunately, many public schools aren’t receptive to accepting children with special needs.
Parents of children with special needs should therefore consider international or private schools, and it's advisable to contact the schools to find out what options are available.
Tutoring in Buenos Aires
Expats can find private home or online tutors for their children through registered online tutor companies. Apprentus and TeacherOn are two such companies. These tutors can help children adjust to the new curriculum, to learning in Spanish, or offer school support for students struggling in any of their classes.
►For more information on schooling see Education and Schools in Argentina.
"There are many schools to choose from and the majority of them are bilingual and bicultural. Although their teaching techniques tend to be more traditional, their globalism and multiculturalism is far better than in the US. My suggestion would be to thoroughly investigate all the school options because there are many. You don’t need to go only to the international school in order to find English speaking friends for your kids. There are many options all over the city." To read about Maggie, an American expat, and her experience of moving to Argentina, see her interview.
Are you an expat living in Buenos Aires?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Buenos Aires. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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