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Educational System in Andorra

The one tip that you hear expats living in Andorra repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Andorra. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Andorra is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Andorra.
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Andorra, a small principality nestled in the Pyrenees between Spain and France, boasts a unique and diverse educational system. The system is divided into three separate sectors, each offering a different curriculum and language of instruction. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive understanding of the Andorran educational system, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, and the availability of public, private, and bilingual schools. It will also cover topics such as homeschooling, online schooling, and the typical choices made by expat families regarding their children’s education in Andorra.

What are the main stages of education in Andorra?

The Andorran education system is divided into four main stages: preschool education (educació infantil), primary education (educació primària), secondary education (educació secundària), and higher education (educació superior). Each stage is designed to cater to the developmental needs of students at different ages, focusing on various academic, social, and personal skills.

Preschool Education (Educació Infantil)

Preschool education in Andorra is optional and caters to children aged 3 to 6. It focuses on the holistic development of the child, including cognitive, physical, social, and emotional aspects. The curriculum includes activities that promote language development, creativity, and basic mathematical concepts.

Primary Education (Educació Primària)

Primary education in Andorra is compulsory and caters to children aged 6 to 12. It provides a broad-based education that covers languages, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and physical education. The curriculum is designed to develop basic literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills.

Secondary Education (Educació Secundària)

Secondary education in Andorra is also compulsory and caters to students aged 12 to 16. It offers a more specialized curriculum, with a greater focus on academic subjects. Students are also introduced to vocational subjects and career guidance.

Higher Education (Educació Superior)

Higher education in Andorra is provided by the University of Andorra and several other specialized institutions. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in various fields of study. Admission is based on academic performance and entrance examinations.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Andorran schools by submitting an application to the Ministry of Education. The application should include the child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, and previous school records. If the child is transferring from a school in a non-EU country, the school records may need to be authenticated by the relevant authorities.

My children are still learning Catalan, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Catalan can enroll in public schools in Andorra. These schools offer language support programs to help non-Catalan speaking students adapt to the curriculum. However, parents should be aware that the medium of instruction in public schools is predominantly Catalan.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Andorra has a unique system of co-existing education sectors: Andorran, Spanish, and French. Each sector operates its own schools and follows its own curriculum. The Andorran sector is bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, while the Spanish and French sectors offer bilingual education in their respective languages and Catalan.

What types of private schools are common in Andorra?

Private schools in Andorra are typically international schools that offer a curriculum based on the British, American, or International Baccalaureate system. These schools provide instruction in English and offer a multicultural environment. Some private schools also offer bilingual or trilingual programs.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Andorra typically choose between public and private schools based on their language preference and the curriculum they want for their children. Those who prefer an English-medium education or an international curriculum often opt for private international schools. However, many expats also choose public schools to immerse their children in the local language and culture.

How expensive are Private schools in Andorra?

Private school fees in Andorra can vary widely depending on the school and the specific program. On average, annual fees can range from €6,000 to €10,000. Some schools may also charge additional fees for enrollment, textbooks, uniforms, and extracurricular activities.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Andorra?

Homeschooling is not officially recognized in Andorra, and all children are required to attend a registered school. However, there may be some flexibility for families with special circumstances. It is recommended to consult with the Ministry of Education for specific advice.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Andorra?

Online schooling is not widely practiced in Andorra, and children are generally expected to attend school in person. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have implemented online learning platforms. It is advisable to check with the individual school or the Ministry of Education for the most current information.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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