- Download our Moving to San Francisco Guide (PDF)
San Francisco is a diverse city, with a third of the population having been born in various countries outside of the US. Expat parents will be spoilt for choice as international schools in San Francisco are just as varied, offering curricula from around the world, including a bilingual teaching and language-immersion programmes.
Many of San Francisco's international schools offer a combined curriculum, often consisting of either the International Baccalaureate or the American curriculum, alongside foreign curricula such as that of France and China. Language-immersion programmes include French, Mandarin, Spanish and Italian, among others.
International schools are especially popular among newly arrived expats looking to give their child an experience as close to school back home as possible. Overall, the standard of teaching in international schools in San Francisco is high, and though fees can be steep, most parents feel the quality of education justifies the extra cost.
Below is a list of popular international schools in San Francisco.
International schools in San Francisco
French American International School and International High School
Though two separate schools, the French American International School (FAIS) and International High School (IHS) operate as one community. The FAIS teaches a well-regarded French-English immersion programme from Pre-K to Elementary level. Post-Elementary, students can move on to the IHS, where they can opt to undertake either the International Baccalaureate or the French Baccalauréat programme in addition to the US High School Diploma.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, American and French
Ages: 3 to 18
La Scuola International School
An International Baccalaureate World School, La Scuola International School (LSIS) offers a highly regarded Italian-immersion programme for ages 2 to 13 years. LSIS takes a Reggio-Emilio-inspired approach to education, with an emphasis on collaboration, inquiry and experiential learning.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 2 to 13
San Francisco Pacific Academy
A small school of just over 100 students, San Francisco Pacific Academy (SFPA) is a bilingual school offering both the Russian and American curricula. The school's small student body creates a warm atmosphere and small class sizes of no more than 12 children per class allow individualised attention for students.
Curriculum: American and Russian
Ages: 5 to 14
Springbridge International School
Springbridge International School (SIS) is a bilingual school with two excellent language-immersion programmes on offer – children can either enrol in a Mandarin-English programme or a Japanese-English programme. The American curriculum is studied alongside the Chinese or Japanese curriculum, depending on which language path a student takes.
Curriculum: American, Mandarin and Japanese
Ages: 3 to 14
►To learn more about schooling in the city, see Education and Schools in San Francisco
Are you an expat living in San Francisco?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to San Francisco. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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