ISB Brussels

(12 Posts)
spondonmum Mon 23-Jul-18 22:05:41

We will be moving to Brussels next summer and my daughter will enter sixth form for her final 2 years of school. I think our 2 options for this age are ISB or BSB? My daughter has studied in both the British education system and the American education system so we are open to both options. She’s probably going to do the IB.

Whilst we’ve heard from quite a lot of parents with children at BSB, I’d also be interested in hearing from anyone with experience of ISB’s high school too. Hopefully we will have the opportunity of getting my daughter into one of those schools. Decision time but time to plan ahead and sort this. This in advance for any advice.

Will decide school first and then area to live in...

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lifeisunjust Tue 24-Jul-18 15:02:55

Or ISF Waterloo, actually in Rhode-St-Genese, or Bogaerts in Uccle, if you are looking ONLY for monolingual English, Bogaerts does IB.

Where is work?

BSB offers lots more for free than ISB does.

BSB offers bilingual IB options that ISB does not.

spondonmum Tue 24-Jul-18 15:46:22

Thank you. We are used to commuting to work so that’s not an issue but work will only pay towards BSB or ISB so our hands are tied to those 2 options if they have spaces. I’ve heard from quite a few people with teenagers at BSB but haven’t heard much about ISB. I’m interested in how teenagers find the 2 schools in terms of the academic side of things and social life. But anything is useful at this stage. Thks. Helen

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lifeisunjust Tue 24-Jul-18 16:33:06

I wouldn't advise without knowing where work is. It's actually quite a factor. The schools both do IB, one has USA as around 40% of the population and one has GBR as around 40% of the population. Both are overwhelmingly students in very privileged positions who have limited experience of the community around them, both are schools that "pat themselves on the back" and are "parent pleasers", as is the case with big international schools, both produce excellent results. Differences is BSB has better sports facilities, includes more extra curriculars for free but that might be of limited use to a 16 year old. Academically and socially it's going to be identical.

Future studies might lean you towards ISB if looking to North American and BSB if looking for UK and EU.

Location is however quite different. If one is nearer work, I'd go for that.

If work is east Brussels/Diegem, then BSB is going to be best.

If work is south Brussels/Waterloo, ISB is going to be best.

Central Brussels, ISB might be a bit better.

spondonmum Tue 24-Jul-18 17:01:56

Thanks. Very helpful - it’s sure to be a real change after life in a large London secondary school. Hopefully we can get to see both schools next term. I haven’t worked out what I will do workwise yet so that’s why my commute is unclear. Thks.

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lifeisunjust Wed 25-Jul-18 13:14:31

For a 16 year old who is coming from London, I'd recommend living inside Brussels for either school, to give them the access to a social life and sporting a cultural facilities and independence students in London are used to. BSB families do tend to congregate around Tervuren and not always near public transport, ISB often live in Overijse, a cultural desert which is inaccessible except for 6 buses an hour to Hermann-Debroux metro. Savvy ISB and BSB families live inside Brussels next to a tram line. 94 tram goes to ISB, 44 tram goes out of Brussels to Tervuren to BSB.

94 and 44 trams meet at Tram Museum stop in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. You cannot beat that spot for a starting point for housing.

You'll get less of course in WSP for your money than you'll get in Overijse or Tervuren, one less bedroom or a small garden. But your teenager will have a much more fulfilling life. It's also well located for the EU area and Zaventem area, where so many international famlies are employed.

They don't turn down students to BSB or ISB aged 16 unless they cannot provide academically for them or unless they've been excluded from a previous school for example.

spondonmum Wed 25-Jul-18 13:43:11

Thanks again for so much useful info. We are used to not having much space but need a bit of a garden if possible as also have a small dog! Look forward to exploring in October.

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user1499173618 Fri 27-Jul-18 08:35:46

I agree with PP - try to live somewhere where your DC can have a social life. We have friends in Brussels with very large homes in Uccle that their teenage children hate because nothing happens there.

ISB has a significant student contingent of gilded Belgian youth who don’t work hard. I know nothing else about it!

Longtime Sun 12-Aug-18 00:10:26

ISB has been doing the IB longer than the BSB. I live in auderghem on a straight metro line into town (two mins from my door) and could get a bus (17) pretty much straight there.

My ds’s went to the BSB for sixth form (we had to pay and the school offered better terms than the ISB for ds1, and ds2 wanted to do a levels) and in the last year we had a whole bunch of them sleeping at our house pretty much every other weekend so they could go into town (despite our house being a quarter of the size of any of theirs).

Location is everything for teenagers of that age and if you don’t want to end up ferrying them around I think I’d choose the ISB and to live close to the 17 bus route/Beallieu metro station.

Longtime Sun 12-Aug-18 00:11:18

To clarify: I could get a bus (17) pretty much straight to ISB

spondonmum Sat 25-Aug-18 09:09:03

Thank you for your advice. I think we would all prefer to be close to home. Lots of decisions to make and GCSE year to survive at the same time,

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Longtime Sun 26-Aug-18 10:46:29

Good luck making the decision. If you want to pm at any time please feel free. We also have a Benelux Mumsnet FB group (secret group) where you come and ask questions. Just pm me if you’d like to join.

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