Schools for expat children in Bogota

Hello to all :)

We'd like you to extend any information you have on the educational system in Bogotq.

But of course, we'd like you to mainly talk about international schools (primary, secondary, high school and universities) existing in Bogota for expatriate kids.

Thanks a bunch for your participation!!

There are more than a few international schools in Bogota - international school means a school that offers a foreign high school matriculation, usually American-European or the internationally recognized IB. The prices and quality standards in between the schools are quite uniform but not all of them are as prepared experienced in catering to foreign students (especially if you´re not coming with a multinational-embassy).

The schools are certainly very expensive in the local market but are not particularly costlier than private schools in the US or elsewhere. There are options for international education in English, French, German, German-French and Spanish (by Spanish I meant a school run by the Spanish government). Not all the schools that hire foreign teachers/have foreign students are necessarily international. There're also a good number of international schools outside Bogota, especially English-speaking but what you have to bear in mind about those is that many, however international and English-speaking sometimes do not grant international certificates. If you're in Bogota try www.cng.edu So far the most popular international school but if you're for something a little bit more expensive, but also much more personalized and daring, try this British school which is relatively new: www.cgb.edu.co which by the way is one of the best-ranking schools in Latin America. If you wanna know more, just ask me!

American curriculum: Colegio Nueva Granada
British culture and IB curriculum: Colegio Anglo Colombiano (PYP, MYP and IB diploma), The English School (PYP, MYP, IB diploma)
British curriculum: Colegio Gran Bretaña (offers IB diploma)
German school: Colegio Andino
French School: Liceo Frances Louis Pasteur
Swiss School : Colegio Helvetia
Spanish (from Spain)School : Colegio Reyes Catolicos

All these are located in Bogota and, excepto for Colegio Gran Bretaña which is a relatively new school,  are the most traditional international schools in Bogota.

Most of these schools have at least 95% of local students, though they follow international education guidelines. Exceptions to this are Colegio Gran Bretaña, which has by far, the biggest percentage of expat families and the most international community. It is also the youngest af all the schools mentioned, buy has very quickly established a high profile reputation.

About 20% of the student population in Colegio Nueva Granada are expats, mainly from the US and some other nationalities.

There are other fine, more local schools that also offer a high standard education like Colegio Los Nogales and Hacienda Los Alcaparros.

Hope you find this useful! Good luck in your school search!

The Montessori British School wich is calendar B, very important for expat family who came here for short time.
most teachers are foreing
academically is really good
it's expensive but rewarding in education.

Hi,  We are a group of ex-teachers from Montessori British School in Bogota, Colombia.  We have made it our mission to spread the word and warn people about the school.  Sadly, there are so many things wrong with it that we have made blogs that go into great detail about the Montessori British School system.

The links to the blogs are

downwithmbs.wordpress.com (English)

profescontrambs.wordpress.com (Spanish)

Don't send your child to The Montessori British School. It is neither Montessori or British and barely a school. I am an ex-employee and can say from first hand experience that it's a money making business not an educational institution. If you want British go for The Anglo Colombiano or The English School.

Hi! Which are the best international schools for a 6 year old? We are moving to Bogota, Colombia.

I would only recommend the Colegio Gran Bretaña, by far the one that covers all the standards when it comes to international schools in Colombia.

Thank you for your post. Yes, Colegio Gran Bretaña that's one of  the schools we are  looking into. The other one  is The English School. What would you say are the major differences between them?

I don't know the other one you mentioned.
We just came from Bogota, We were looking at schools and places to live.

Our daughter took a test at the Gran Bretaña and She was admitted it.
They showed us the school and We really liked it, most important our daughter liked it a lot.

To be honest the other schools we were considering did not fulfill the expectations that we have.
The only truly international school is the Colegio Gran bretaña.

We only follow IB program since our final destination is Europe, the staff is British, USA, Canada I think, and that is very important.
Hope you can make the right choice, these kind of things are always a perk but You know only at the beginning.

Cheers

Oh I almost forgot, the AngloColombiano is suppose to be good, but We did not like it because is way to big and the reviews were not very good.
Apparently rich kids that are allow to do what they want because the come from rich powerful families, so We want to stay away from these kind of situations.

Im glad you found what you where looking for. I also have a daughter and will be moving to Bogota on February. I read the same thing about the AngloColombiano. jeje yes we too decided we didn't want that kind of environment for our daughter. The classes at Gran Bretaña are small and that's a big plus.

Yes, that was another plus for us.
Our daughter is 7, and We will be going to Bogota next summer.
Let's see, We still haven't sign anything so We wont know until the end.

Good luck with the search.

"Apparently rich kids that are allow to do what they want because the come from rich powerful families, so We want to stay away from these kind of situations."

That might have been true in the past but not anymore. The Anglo has a new rector and the school is rapidly being whipped into shape. My daughter goes there and the teachers are great. She's really happy there. It's quite far north though, that's the only problem if you live in the centre of town.

I have been living in Bgta for the past 3 years and have two children aged 4 and 7.
My children go to the Swiss school (Colegio Helvetia), which is a well-established private school that we are extremely happy with. French or German are offered. The academic style is much more relaxed than the Anglo, English, Lycee etc. There is no uniform and the children call the teachers by their first names. The school is on the 127, which is much closer to the kind of area expats live in than the Anglo, English or Gran Bretana.
The Gran Bretana involves a horrific trek in the Bogota traffic every morning and afternoon. I have heard of children spending an hour each way to get to the Gran Bretana. The other downside to the GB is that the pupil turnover is very high - about 30% of the school will leave every year.
The Anglo is very elite - the president's children went there. The car park is full of BMWs etc. The English is a bit of an Anglo wannabe.
In general, schools are expensive - remember to budget the school bus and fod into your calculations. Many of these schools also charge a one-off entry fee that can run to USD15,000. Also, unless you opt for the French Lycee (very well situated), your children will be travelling by bus. The traffic in Bogota is awful, and bad weather can bring it to a standstill.
Hope that helps!

I have to say that CGB has been a good place for our son. It is small but it is a great environment for our kid. It is far from Bogota but so many schools are. Our son adjusted and we all adjusted and it is just life here. I think that no other school would have made our son as happy and comfortable. It is worth a visit.

Does anyone know of international schools offering summer programs for middle aged children in Bogota'?

Hi JoyKirk,

We are looking into schools in Bogotá and like you we would like an IB school. I see that CGB has the DP and for primary the IPC. What do they offer instead of MYP?

We are looking for schools like you all do too. And I am surprised that most of you are so fond of bretana. Of course great news for the school but we were in shock after visiting the school. Yes, they are super friendly. But the campus was a shock to us. Old and run down. No facilities.
And this considering it's a very expansive school. Or do we have to take that for granted in Bogota?
Please can anybody give me a fair answer. Thank you

A beautiful school: Hacienda los Alcaparros, good curriculum, good teachers mostly colombians, but also foreign, bilingual K-11, friendly

Thanks for all this information, it really helps. My husband is being transferred to Bogota in the coming months and so it's all a hit daunting. Regarding the Swiss School on 127, do they only offer French and German. What is the Language of instruction? My 7 year old daughter speaks English and so will struggle if the LOI is in another language.

One excellent school with 10% US curriculum is Colegio Nueva Granada. But it is also probably the costliest.

Read 100% in my previous message of course.

Hi!
I am moving to Bogota in August, I'm looking for international schools/day care (english speak) for my 4 years old son and 19 months daughter.
Is anyone available to give me some advice?

Thank you!
Marina

Hello Marina,

I read on the Expat Forum that you moved to Bogota august 2018 and were looking for international schools.

We will be moving to Bogota fall 2019 and are also looking for an international school for our kids (by then 4, 6 and 8 years old). Based on some talks with future colleagues, we narrowed our choice down to CGB and CNG, as we would like English to be the main language of instruction and would like a school that has quite a mix of nationalities.

I'm trying to get some other experiences from parents that have recently chosen an international schools in Bogota: do they like the school, teachers, after school program and is the transportation from home to school do-able for the kids.

I hope you're happy with the school you have chosen and would be so kind to share some of your experiences with us!

Best regards and thanks in advance,

Marcel and Caroline

We are also moving to Bogotá in August 2019 for one year and are furiously looking for a school that is a good fit for our boys who are going into 1st and 4th grades (U.S.). We are looking for a decent bilingual school, preferably on the B academic calendar, but our goal is for them to become bilingual/ biliterate (at some level). They already understand a lot of Spanish (went to bilingual preschools and after school program) but struggle to produce it when they speak. We hope to live in the Chapinero area of Bogotá  and would prefer a school close to where we will live. Most of the schools I've looked at or others have suggested (CNG, CGB, Los Alcaparros, Colegio de Inglaterra, etc..) are located in the far north of the city or outskirts or are prohibitively expensive. We are a 'tranquilo' middle class U.S. family that values compassion and biliteracy (among other values). We are looking for a safe, caring bilingual school that middle class Colombian families would send their kids to near to where we will live. Of the schools that I've reviewed in the Chapinero area, most of them are religious (which is not important to us but would not rule out) or on the A academic calendar.  Does anyone have any ideas for the kind of school that describe what we are looking for?

Thank you very much for any information in advance!

Jen

Are you sure you want to live in the dirt, traffic, pollution and noise of Chapinero, and bring your kids up breathing in all that sh1t? Yes, there are laws on exhaust emissions, but no-one polices it, or the whole transport network would be shut down.

Do consider going further north, and especially around the Cedritos/Mazuren areas. Its cleaner, greener, less traffic, pollution, filth, and noise. Its also a little cheaper than the nice places towards the centre. The big plus is that you'll be close to some very good international schools the further north you go.  My kids go to the Colegio Anglo Colombiano which is excellent in all respects, bilingual, international baccalaureate, and they help expat kids with their Spanish if they require help, although many subjects are in English, some where the language is not so critical are in Spanish. The school is always at the top of the league tables every year, and they turn out kids to be compassionate, considerate, and many important life qualities as well as academic.

If you're going to be working nearer the centre, these areas are very close to the Transmilenio line, a rapid transport system  which beats all the traffic. Never consider living far from the Transmilenio. Your property will always be in demand, and so hold its value.

Just my own opinion, but based on real life experience here.

The Swiss school sounds interesting. Can you describe what a typical day is like for an elementary kid? What subjects are taught in which languages? I can't seem to find what I'm looking for on their website.

Thank you!

Hi again -

I'm still trying to orient myself to Bogota so perhaps I wasn't specific enough when I said we'd live in the Chapinero area. One of us will be working near calle 72  y carrera 7, which I think is in the general area of Chapinero norte or Zone G or perhaps Quinta Camacho areas. We'd like to build our life (for only one year) in that general area so not to have to travel long distances for work or school. We don't need the most elite schools but one that is bilingual and supportive for our boys.

Thanks again for any insight.

Jen

Sorry I can't help with info on the Swiss school. I only have experience of the Colegio Anglo Colombiana, The Victoria School, and The English School, which are all to the north of the city.

Maybe some others on the forum can help with schools towards the centre?

New topic