Cheaper english speaking school in Belgium?

I'm 14 and I'm probably going to move to Brussels (or outskirts) this year but I can't find a school as I probably need to go to an english speaking school but all of them are really expensive and we can't afford them. The ideal one is British school of Brussels but it's really expensive, is there a chance of getting any bursary? Do you know any public or cheaper english speaking schools? I don't think I'll be able to catch up in a local french school as I'm starting to prepare for GCSEs and barely know any french (even though i'm learning). Please help

Sadly I dont think there is The Dutch and French schools of Brussels are normally the only pubic schools and rest are private I think the one in Ghent may be cheaper but its not as good so i have heard and i think it may only go up to 12

Thanks for your reply, I really don't know what to do... I don't think I would be able to catch up if I go to a local one speaking french :(

Well in Brussels they speak Dutch and French So you may find if you go to a Dutch school they will be a mix of dutch and french people speaking around the school and In a french school the same the same for your daily life(one of the reasons i moved away from Bru only one language to learn) Why is it your moving

Also have you done any french in school atlest it may be a start. I moved in Ghent with no Dutch. Ok I cant go to school or work but i am taking language classes and i can get by doing day to day things

Here is a map of all private schools in Belgium with prices. The only school under €10k per year partially in English is BICS and the secondary is so small, there are only about 60 in it, 2 years in each class of around 20 according to the last child I know who was pulled out of the school … 91ceee1066

The largest bursary available (normally only for students already at the school whose company sponsorship has been pulled on them) at BSB is 30% off, it's usually less than that offered.

You can do GCSEs at BSB as an external candidate.

There is a French school in Wavre called Le Verseau and on that map which does English at native level for 4 hours a week. It is a normal French school in the rest of the curriculum, but it also has a few children who arrive  age 14 with no French. It's 25km from Brussels. Fees approx 4.5k per year, semi-private school.

I'd really not recommend schooling for a 14 year old in French school in Brussels, unless the 14 year old has a lot of determination, is happy with a very negative way of teaching and negative system, the very high chance of being held back at least 1 school year, if not 2.

Thank you for information, Le Verseau school has secondary as well? My dad decided to put me into a public french school... any suggestions which ones? somewhere outside brussels would be ideal and how is belgian, french curriculum different from english? Is there something like GCSEs where you get to choose options? and also are there any secondary schools that specialise in arts?
I'm originally chinese but born and grew up in Slovakia (so my mother toungue is slovak) and i moved to england when i was 12 so i can speak 3 languages fluently and now learning french and german (i like french more) so we're moving to belgium because of multilingual environment to improve my french and also because it's easier for my dad as he is a tour guide so it'll be much easier to get to paris and netherlands. I'm not sure if I'll be able to pick things up but I'll try as I've done it when I came to england.
What pros and cons are there in living and education in belgium? and where would be the best places to live outside brussels? (french speaking areas) thanks

Yes Le Verseau is marked on the map as secondary, the website is also linked to from the map.

I really really would NOT recommend going in to a public French school at age 14, unless you are ready to be failed your first year and possibly again the year after. 50% of children who have gone through the Belgian system are failed at least one year, your chances increase dramatically if you haven't got any French and start in the system late.

There is no equivalent of GCSEs or A levels. At age 14, that's 3rd secondary, you choose your school according to the options available there, IF you can find a place. The system is much less flexible than GCSEs. You will also have 4 hours a week of Dutch, I'm not sure how you'd manage considering children start Dutch at age 8 at the latest here. You will be obliged to study X number of hours of French, X number of hours of Maths, 2 hours of religion, X number of hours of geography and history, X number of hours of PE, options would be Latin, Greek, varied hours of Science, Economics, varied hours of English.

There is a single school in Brussels which specialises in Arts and you'd have to audition to get a place.

How is the French curriculum different from English? Well you'll be given work which is beyond your ability which you'll fail in the first term of the year, then you'll get used to it and might do a bit better at the next assessment in the year, then if you're lucky you might just scrape through. Can you take criticism and a lot of it?

There are about 100 secondaries in Brussels. You choose according to the curriculum and according to where you live. … fba03921b2

Brussels might be 92% French / 8% Dutch in the Belgian population, but it is surrounded by Dutch areas. You need to go 20km south of Brussels, past the Dutch area, for it to become French again, like where le Verseau is.

Le Verseau is semi-public or semi-private, depending on how you look at it. 28 out of 32 hours are in French, 4 hours in mother tongue English, for which you pay the 4.5k fees per year. The major advantage is that Le Verseau has a roughly 40% English speaking mother tongue student body, so the school is used to children speaking French as a second language. There are no GCSEs or A levels there.

If you wished to live outside Brussels, you'd have to research where you want to live, realise you might the only English speaker in the school (with the exception of le Verseau) and one of the few non Belgians in a school.

I really couldn't think of a single French school in Brussels where I'd recommend putting a 14 year old without French.

thanks a lot, I don't know because it seems like a lot and I love the fact about GCSEs that we get to choose what we actually want to learn.I think I won't be able to handle it as I break down easily.
But I've just looked at the brussels international catholic school which isn't that expensive. What is that one like? It has GCSEs so that's really good but what about the rest? Would I be able to get in if i'm not religious?

Remember you can do GCSEs as an external candidate through BSB so do not choose a school because that school offers a limited GCSE programme!

But I still don't have a choice.Either to go to an international school which is way too expensive as my dad doesn't have a job currently or go to a public school that i don't like because of the curriculum... what would you do if you were in my place?

I would say to your dad he is being very selfish in not considering your education which is YOUR future.

Look up UK state boarding schools. IF your dad was willing to pay 7000 euro for BICS, he should be willing to pay 8000 or 9000£ for a full boarding state school in the UK. There are 2 state boarding schools in East Kent, very convenient for Belgium, Sir Roger Manwood's School and Duke of York's Royal Military school.

I don't think that he would put me in a boarding school, but I want to go to Belgium or France or somewhere to improve my languages because it'll be helpful, I just can't find a school...which sucks

It would cost less to go to a state boarding school in the UK than to go as a day pupil to BICS in Brussels.

You might improve your French by living here, but the risk of ruining your education in the years here is very high. The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.

There are state schools in Paris with a bilingual curriculum. They cost no more than €4k per year, but are very very difficult to get places at. The cost of living in Paris is also much higher in the city than in Brussels and Belgium. There are over half a million French nationals living in Belgium, essentially for financial reasons and quality of life.

Also the standard the expect in Belgium is very heigh compared to the UK. A lot of stuff they learn here i never saw in school in UK

To be honest if it were me. Id go my schooling in Uk take french lessions at the same time or even use Rosetta stone program and then you can practice your french during school holidays with your family. They are stay in school until they are 18 here. I have a friend who is a teacher in Brussels in the Dutch part of the school. She gets kids age 6ish. Coming in not knowing dutch but there parents wish to put them into a dutch school even through they are French speaking. Most of them get kept back a year and even moved back into the french side because they cant handle it.

To give you an idea about how different education is here.... can you name the main bones in your body (well maybe you can if you're doing GCSE Biology or love anatomy)? Our 7 year old has just learned by heart all these bones, about 30 different bones. She could also tell you the 3 main rivers of Belgium and the major tributaries, our 11 year old could tell you all of these in Dutch too!

Wow that's kind of like in Slovakia, they're learning all these hard stuff so when i came to england 2 years ago i was quite surprised especially at maths, maths in england is so easy...

Yep I did gcses etc all that and the 11 year old is better that maths than me and shes not good at it. Language wise. I came here thinking that i could learn dutch in a year and resutdy childcare. Ive been here learning dutch for 20 months and still not enough to do a simple 6 month course.

EAB Monceau in Paris is not the best school (well on bac results) but it would possibly consider a 14 year old without much French. The French schools are divided into college 11-15 then lycee 15-18, so you'd have to change to lycee EAB Etoile after a year, that's if you pass the year! It's just under 5k per year. It's the MOST EXPENSIVE part of Paris, only millionaires live around this school (ok might be exagerating here but it's very rich in that area).

You know that Belgium is not multi-lingual across the country. The most multi-lingual Belgians are the ones who are Dutch speaking in Brussels and surrounded by the 92% French speakers, meaning they end up with a high level of French just to be able to live, then there is a movement of the French ambitious parents sending their children to Dutch language schools in Brussels, so that French speakers make up typically 70% or more of a Dutch school, for those French speakers who succeed in the Dutch schools, then yes they end up French-Dutch speakers at fluent level too, then there is a pocket of German speakers surrounded by French speakers, nearly all the German speakers are bilingual French-German. But for the majority of the Belgian population, they speak varying degrees of French or Dutch. It's very much the minority of the overall population who speak French and Dutch fluently.

wow this was great to read. Thanks for all the posts. I am an American mom of twin girls 13 year old coming from a British School in Middle East planning to move to either Belgium or Luxembourg. By the things written here, I am terrified to come anywhere near Brussles!!! Now if I may ask? for kids that have French background (have been taking french but not speaking fluently yet) do you recommend going to French speaking parts of Belgium such as Arlon and Liege?

Is there a reason why you'd want to live in Arlon or Liege? Your girls would really struggle in a local school there, they would most likely be the only English speakers in the school, Brussels is a far better option.

Wow, thanks for all the replies on the above topic. My family might be moving to Brussels from France. I am looking for a English school in Brussels and happen to see all the posts. It enlightened me enormously. It is rather difficult to find a English school which is not too expensive in Brussels.  :(

Cheapest decent English school in Brussels will cost you over 15k, not worth spending less. French and Dutch are the languages of Brussels, local schools are excellent.

If English is a must, you can also consider Bi-Lingual schools in walloon, which are much cheaper than English/International schools. for example.

Except the above linked school is not bilingual and only started doing English . Part time immersion with 4 year olds 18 months ago

Thanks Terveruner for clarifying..

Your replies are very very useful.. Many thanks..

There are NO public or semi-public schools in Belgium which are bilingual. There are a few that do limited English immersion, this would not help an English speaker, none of them located in Brussels region, all located in Wallonie and a minimum of 25km travelling from Brussels region, plus 1 single semi-public school in Wallonie which offers 4/5 hours of mother tongue English a week which with the extra fees adds up to over 40 euro an hour (you could pay a private tutor and have 1-2-1 for less than that).

If you are looking for a bilingual school, you need to go private and for long term education, I'd say you MUST look only at the ones costing over 15k per year. The only except is the lycee francais which is very hard to get in to if not priority or a French national and it's not bilingual really, it does English immersion designed for French speakers!

well, having read the posts above and having visited the schools myself I don't have much hope...... I know there is bsb (costs a fortune! especially for three kids) or isb (again fortune x 3) or nothing around brussels which would offer education in english or bilingual (french). My three kids are trilingual (well, bit of overstatement for the littlest one ;-), go to the european school in strasbourg and we plan to move to brussels this summer. I hoped for the normal family life (after 7 years of living separated between paris and strasbourg) but what if we cannot afford to pay 75k for school and if I don't want my husband to leave house before 7am in order to avoid the huge traffic jams???? I don't want my kids in a typical french school, I know this system and truly dislike it..... please, tell me something positive about belgium, brussels etc.

Hı can you teach English

I suggest you forget your prejudices , this is Belgium not France, go spend a few weeks with people less fortunate than yourself. For 11 million Belgian residents, local schooling is fine. As for traffic jams, I assume you are well off enough to have a car? What do those without cars do? Or what do those who choose no car do? They live within their means, send their children local school, find somewhere within means to live and use public transport.

tervurener, I don't know what I did to deserve such an aggressive replay (have seen the version before you've edited it) - you don't know who I am, what my experience is, how rich (or poor) I am....... Yes, I got spoiled in Strasbourg - no traffic jams, nice green city, good public school offering education in english (working according to the curriculum of european schools which means different than the normal french school - we were very lucky to get there!) but it still doesn't mean I deserve being attacked like this. I do know what it means to wait for a bus to come (or not) in -20 degrees, what it means to work full time during my studies to be able to finance it or to eat only bread with "frischkäse" etc.
I have no prejudices towards Belgium, Brussels or people living there - rather the opposite, I was happy to finally be able to live with my husband, only the question of schooling kind of cut my luck-wings off....... Why the german school for 10 yrs old costs 10k and english 30k? Well, we'll see ;-)

You are comparing French schooling but this is Belgium so you need to look at Belgium schooling. And the only editing was to add the last sentence. So forget everything you know about French schooling as that is another system. Look at the Belgium system. There are a few similarities, ie language of tuition in francophone schools. The division of school years is different, the wednesday afternoon off countrywide is different, the school hours are different, the options even between Brussels region and Wallonia are different for Dutch - Englsh. The secondaire options are not at all alike, with an obligatory first 2 years which don't differ much at all, then division of curriculum really starts for last 4 years of secondaire.

The schooling system here has loads of faults, what school system can cater for all? But take a look. If you bring with you ideas about a foreign school system to Belgium, you'll get nowhere.Equally, if you expect (and I doubt it applies to you) a schooling system  to bend and compromise to you like many people arriving who've only had experience of one system and expect a Belgian school to cater for what they are used to, it will get nowhere - actually this is where Belgian schools COULD do much much better as a generalisation, but sadly the don't and many expats find that quite hard, no compromise attitude, no listening to "other ways" of doing things attitude.

Perhaps the German school is subsidised by the German government? I have no idea, but it might be the reason for the big difference in price, just like LF is under 6k per year, because the French government subsidize it. At ISB and BSB and St john's or the smaller schools like BJAB, BISB, BEPS, there are no subsidies from other countries, the charge according to their facilities - the big 3 are overflowing with facilities, the smaller ones not so much, but they still have a good to excellent standard for academics and pastoral care.

The European schools here are actually heavily criticized by parents, the ones in Brussels, not Mol. They aren't like the Strasbourg one, due to the SWALS children, the oversized classes usually bigger than free Belgian schools, meaning many children who could go to them don't, great for the EEEBs really as they would be even fuller!

There are no traffic jams around where I live, public transport into the city in less than 30 minutes. You could look at Braine l'Alleud, train into Brussels centre in 20 minutes. There really is no need to sit in traffic. Take public transport, cycle, walk. It's possible. Don't use the car and sit in jams, just don't do it. There are houses and apartments at different price ranges. I have no idea where you think you have to sit in jams is from.

It's not the end of the world to not be able to afford 15k + for private schools. Few people in Belgium have salaries to pay the private school fees. You really aren't going to have a hard time because you cannot afford it. 11 million residents of Belgium have "normal" family lives without the luxury of private schooling. The king's children are at a public school, only his brother's kids are at private school.

If you really want English, well you'll have to live in Wallonie, there are no bilingual schools but a few that do immersion for French speakers, not designed for mother tongue English speakers, with the exception of Le Verseau and for 4 hours a week, are the fees worth it? There are more schools which teacher English 4 hours a week from 1st secondaire.

In Brussels there are heaps of activities in English attended frequently by anglophone children who are in local schools. You'll find many of them can read and write quite competently in English, without having attended a private English medium school here.

Be brave and go and look at local schools. They are not French, they are Belgian.

I love the last sentence of you post ;-) or actually both last sentences :-)
I have experience with three national school systems + american attitude to kids + european school in strasbourg. The french system is the one I dislike the most, together with the polish one. And it's not about organization etc., more about the attitude towards the kids. I've seen my child changing from a normal one into a "hunted animal" :-( that's why there is clear "no go" for us for the LF, even though we have priority. We'll stay in Belgium for two or three years, that's the reason I wanted to continue the education in English and not to throw them into fully French or Dutch environment. Especially as they'll continue with their polish school....... And once I started to look for schools I got a very cold shower :-/

The unofficial motto of the LF in London is "fit in or fXXk off" Excellent if you want to be fully French. You're not a real French national without it. I'm sure the LFs throughout the world can sometimes live by the same motto.

There are probably several Polish after school schools in Brussels, but the one I know is at Jean 23 Woluwe. Not connected with that school directly, but the school also houses one of the Spanish after school schools. It's also not coincidence that this school is also going to be either brave or completely bonkers and is starting English immersion from 3rd secondaire at 13 hours a week, out of 32 hours, a first in Brussels - and it cannot start in Brussels before the age of 13 due to Dutch and the bilingual status of the region.

If your children speak French and English and Polish, then in fact to support all 3 languages, the local system can offer just as much support as BSB could in Tervuren where there are French / English classes now and the local system in French will certainly support better than the English only schools. French in school. Polish at home and after school at Jean 23 Woluwe if you want, and finally English doing out of school  activities plus for a bit more formality, someone like "English is Fun" on wednesdays in WSP - same area as the Polish school in Jean 23 Woluwe.

Where you live will depend on your work more than anything and housing budget. But if convenient, easterm communes of WSP, WSL, Auderghem, Etterbeek, you'll find lots of anglophones and Polish nationals around there.

I will cure you yet of your French curriculum problem.

Here is where to find fellow Polish/Anglophones with children in local schools.

And a final PS. I don't know if our children's primaire/maternelle is typical, but there are several children I know who've attended who've been educated or lived previously in an English speaking country, who speak Japanese / Mandarin Chinese / Spanish / some African language at home. Then suddenly they move to Brussels and they go into French medium school. They have all managed to keep their English up, maybe not advanced to the same formal level in English, but the basis of language is speaking/listening, so long as you've learned to read and write in one language, the process transfers much faster to another language you already speak fluently. Keeping up oral/aural skills in English in Brussels is not hard at all, if you find some activities your children like doing and do them in English. The advantage you have with English.too is that it is all around us. I even know children who have NEVER had a formal lesson in English in their short lives, speak English with one parent only, yet they can pick up English books and just read them - this is a family of children aged 8 to 16 years old.

So so many local schools contain children who are multi-lingual and the only monolinguals you might find are the native Belgian children who are unlucky enough to come from French speaking only families with no Dutch speaking grandparents or parents. The children with the worst language skills might be some of those attending the private English schools who've come from the USA or the UK or Ireland or Australia and whose exposure to French and / or Dutch is limited or non existent.

Tervurener, I think you've got the essence of the entire french education system in your motto! So you probably can understand my negative attitude towards French schools, even those in Belgium ;-)
I followed your advice to start looking around at public schools and lost! :-/ Have three trilingual kids (10, 5 and 2) to place "somewhere" - ideally in a good school, we may live wherever where it is easy to get to Brussels and to Diegem, no matter if French or Flemish community (we also speak German, so it may simplify some things). We would like them to keep their current languages (English and French) alive and be happy with their school.
I've heard about waiting lists, traveling around to find a place in school, etc. - sounds rather scary to me.....

Schools in wezembeek, kraainem, esp and wsl. Full of anglophones in French schools.

New topic