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International Schools for Expats in Malta

Submitted: November 2013

The education system in Malta offers many attractive options for all including expats. If your child is older, you may be concerned about his/her ability to successfully transition into the state school system, in particular due to the language barrier as Maltese is the main language of instruction. Even transitioning into a private school may be problematic because while classes are taught in English, any national examination that your child is required to sit will be in Maltese. In this regard, parents are presented with the option of international schools.

It must be stated that whilst this type of school is an option, the options available are quite limited. In fact, there are only three coeducational international schools in Malta as well as one international school for boys. These international schools are licensed by the government of Malta.  For a list of the primary and secondary international schools, please refer to the following link:

https://www.education.gov.mt/Page.aspx?pid=514

Parents who are concerned about the quality of the international school that they have selected may find it helpful to ascertain whether the school is a member of an organisation such as the European Council of International Schools (ECIS). These organisations aim to ensure that member schools maintain best practices of international education. Please refer to the following link in order to search for international schools accredited by ECIS in Malta:

https://edmundo.ecis.org/new/search/SearchSchool2.asp

The curricula taught at these international schools vary significantly. One of them, RBSM International Boarding School, has the distinction of being the only school outside of Russia which follows the Russian curriculum. With regards to the other schools, St. Edward’s College mainly follows the British curriculum while another, Verdala International School follows the American curriculum. At the latter, students are prepared to sit examinations including SAT. QSI International School is a non-profit organisation which has established various international schools across the globe. Students are educated in the school’s specifically designed curriculum.

International schools may also prepare students towards obtaining the International Baccalaureate (IB diploma) which is regarded as a recognised qualification for entry into many international universities. There are two schools which offer this option in Malta, St. Edward’s College and Verdala International School, please refer to the following link to search for schools which offer the International Baccalaureate:

https://www.ibo.org/school/search/

One major factor in deciding whether to send your child to an international school is your budget as this option can be quite expensive. Annual fees range from €3,000 to €20,000 at these schools depending on the schooling level (nursery, secondary, etc) and whether the option of boarding is selected. You may be required to pay registration fees in addition to the yearly tuition fees. You may want to speak with your proposed school about any of your concerns particularly with regards to your child’s safety. If you do not select a boarding option, you should have regard to the commute that your child will face from your place of residence to the school, as this may be long and tedious.

Many of these international schools offer a wide range of these activities from fencing to football and these opportunities should not be overlooked by parents who would like their children to be well-rounded. As expected, these activities will attract additional fees so this must be calculated when setting your budget.

In terms of admission, international schools often require the completion of application forms together with your child’s previous school reports and academic qualifications. Depending on your child’s school level, they may need to have a certain level of academic requirements for admittance. Additionally, prospective students may be required to undergo some form of assessment prior to gaining admittance. For an example of the admission process at one of these international schools, please refer to the following link:

https://www.verdala.org/section/?l=Admissions

Please be aware that due to the limited number of places at these schools, admission is competitive. It is highly recommended that you begin making your enquiries well in advance of your arrival in Malta in order to secure a place for your child.

The websites for the four international schools of Malta are listed below:

 

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