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International bilingual school of Provence, France

(19 Posts)
mountaingirl Thu 08-Jan-09 13:25:11

Hello. We are looking at schooling for Ds aged 14 for Sept 09. He will be going into Lycee. We are looking at:

a)Sending him to the local Lycee.

b)Sending him to school in the UK and follow the GCSE programme. He would have to board and I have found some schools but the fees are so expensive.

c)Send him to a bilingual international school here in France but few are boarding. I have found one the internet The International Bilingual School of Provence and wondered if anyone knows anything about it please.

Also for those of you who have sent their Dc back to be educated in the UK where have you sent them? Does it cater academically, sporting wise and has a good language Dept? Were you able to get a scholarship for your dc.

Many thanks for your help.

frannikin Thu 08-Jan-09 13:41:36

I don't know about the school in Provence but the EABJM has a boarding section in Lille.

frannikin Thu 08-Jan-09 13:43:35

Sorry...hit send

What qualification do you want him to come out of school with and why? IB (bilingual or not?), French Bac, Bac with international options, A-levels/diplomas/whatever it is these days? Do you think he'll got to university? If so, where? What kind of qualifications will he need to get in there?

If you decide those things, possibly with him, then it may well simplify a lot of choices for you re: lycee options.

mountaingirl Thu 08-Jan-09 15:23:54

Hi, we don't really know which system although I think he'd have advantages doing some exams in English as well. He seems intersted in having a more bilingual education. Also we'd like him to go to Uni and therefore want him to have the best means of getting there. What he would study who knows he is only 14 and has no real motivation in any direction.
I'd like him to use his bilingualism to the full and also continue with his Spanish also.
We really are kept quite in the dark about options in the Lycee and until a few weeks ago even his teachers were as they were expecting major reforms. I suppose we understand the UK system better as we expereinced it ourselves, albeit ages ago!
It is the great unknown so any advice would be most welcome. Thanks

frannikin Thu 08-Jan-09 21:12:51

Personally I think you'd be well advised to look at the IB. It gives him the widest possible pool of universities as it's the most international qualification. Also you do 6 subjects including 2 languages (which if you do both at a higher level gives you a bilingual diploma providing I understand things correctly) which for him I guess would be English and French, maths and a science, an extended essay in one of the subjects plus Theory of Knowledge. I wish I'd done it but when I was looking at post-16 qualifications it was regarded with distinct suspicion by most schools in the UK except the International ones but there are now several schools in the UK which offer the IB and do well.

The EABJM, which boards in Lille, is a truly bilingual school - I have a charge who goes there and my OH's sister went there for Lycee and got 45 (full marks) on her IB.

Having said all that it's also really important that he is happy with where he's going. Does he want to board or would he rather stay with his friends and go to lycee locally?

BonsoirAnna Thu 08-Jan-09 21:17:18

Is he currently at collège in the French system?

I think your decision for lycée has to take account of your DS's likely destination university. If he wants to go to the UK, the IB or the French OIB (British section) would be better; if he wants to stay in France, the standard French bacc with option européenne is fine though OIB is better; IB is not so good for someone wanting to stay in France.

AuldAlliance Fri 09-Jan-09 10:43:11

I think (but you can check on the website) that the Lycée International de Luynes, just beside Aix en Provence, takes boarders. It's a state Lycée, gets v good results, and I think (but again, the website will tell you) that they offer the IB. The few students I've come across (most don't bother with the junk heap that is a French Arts & Humanities fac) from there have a really good level, not only linguistically but also as regards basic intellectual curiosity and knowledge. I am not sure how you'd get him in, though, as their intake is local, being a state school, and most kids have come up through the collège in Aix that has a section européenne (Collège Mignet) and is highly reputed. The school could answer that though.
Can't help with the International Bilingual School as I don't know anyone whose kids go there, it's pretty expensive I think and I only really know university staff in this region, none of whom can afford expensive schools.
Where are you based?
Just off to find the website for you...

AuldAlliance Fri 09-Jan-09 10:46:19

Aha: the website says it takes
"des élèves d'origines très diverses, Français ou étrangers, admis après des tests de langue, en section internationale anglaise ou en section franco-allemande.

Il dispose d'un internat mixte réservé aux élèves des sections internationales."

Blurb on "section anglaise" is here

mountaingirl Fri 09-Jan-09 19:59:02

Hello, sorry been out all day.

AA Yes I think eventually ds would like to go to uni in England or the usa so he could continue with his ice hockey. We live in the mountains in the Savoie and there is the option of getting him into a school in Grenoble but that has school on a saturday and there are no boarding facilities and he would have to lodge with a ?family, ? in an appt? He would be much better off being supervised! I was asking about the international bilingue school as that was what came up on an internet site but this could be interesting too, thank, I'll check it out.

Fk, thanks for your help also, the problem with Lille is it is really quite far away, though will look into it as I'm sure there must be some discount for a student on the TGV to Chambery. Wasn't there some talk of P.Sarkozy wanting all kids to do the IB?

BA yes he is at college, just about to do his brevet. He has done all his education here in France. As I said above he has said he'd like to go to the UK for Uni. What does the OIB stand for, not sure I have heard of that one! I think a lot of his friends will be going to different ones depending on whether they are doing a general bac or professional. He seems quite up for a change we just need to get him somewhere that will get the best out of him and get him to understand he needs to do some work. He seems to sit back on his laurels a bit in college! I wish there was a broader choice of schools where we are, everything bar the local lycee is a fair distance away.

frannikin Fri 09-Jan-09 20:40:26

OIB is Option International Britannique (I think). There's also the OIA which is the American option,

Yes there was talk of wanting but then there is always talk...I'm just amazed at how much better regarded the IB is now compared to when I was your DS's age (that was 9 years agoish). I didn't do it because it was "an unknown factor" and now there's all sorts of pushing towards it.

I don't know about student discounts on the TGV - I do know about the carte 12-25, which pays for itself in about 1 trip, and you can get really REALLY cheap trips on prem tickets. You are very far from Lille, but EABJM might still be worth a look. Not sure how they are for ice-hockey though.

BonsoirAnna Sun 11-Jan-09 09:51:35

OIB = *O*ption *I*nternationale du *B*accalauréat.

There are 12 possible language sections, including both britannique and américaine.

BonsoirAnna Sun 11-Jan-09 09:57:20

We have friends whose son is about to do his baccalauréat here, which is the school Auld Alliance mentioned. The boy in question is very bright indeed and will be going to prépa in Paris next year. I think you can feel safe about your child's future opportunities if he/she gets in to this school.

susandun Thu 15-Nov-12 12:53:36

Hello, wonder if anyone has experience with the IBS of Provence since then? Daughter is 14 and in 3ème at the local collège, she is bilingual English/French and wants to do Bac L which they do not offer here. Live in Val d'Isère on the Alps so at least weekly boarding is a must. Struggling to find any good schools (state or private) locally which offer boarding and Bac L + the European option in English so looking possibly at the IBS in Aix en Provence. Advice or other options very much appreciated! We have suggested an excellent private shool in Scotland but she insists on staying in France and following the French Bac system.

Bonsoir Sat 17-Nov-12 19:35:25

The family I mentioned in my post below has a second son there now, boarding. School is very good though the boy in question doesn't much like boarding. Elder son is now in a very good engineering school, having sailed through prépa. The school is supposed to be very sound.

sidandlinus Tue 20-Nov-12 16:40:18

My DD does the OIB and boards weekly - we pay for boarding costs but not lycee as it's a public school. Annual costs are 1500 euros. There are lycees across France offering the OIB and you can find the lycee nearest you on link below. I would certainly recommend this route if your child is bilingual and has been in the French system. It's demanding and academic, but very well looked on for universities in both France, UK and USA/Canada.
Here's the link

AuldAlliance Tue 20-Nov-12 16:55:50

IBS is very expensive. I've just checked, and it's 20,000 euros for full board, plus a registration fee of a modest 800-odd on top of that.
Given that you can go to the international lyceé for next to nothing, there'd have to be some pretty good justification for charging that much.
I have a colleague who taught there; I'll ask for feedback (but it'll be from a staff, not pupil, perspective).

singaporeswing Wed 21-Nov-12 12:59:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AuldAlliance Wed 21-Nov-12 16:46:23

OK, well, FWIW, here is my friend and colleague's feedback on IBS:

for IB, it is good; the man running the IB section is excellent, the teachers are mostly good and the fellow students are of varying ability but come from all over the world and this makes for a rich cultural environment.

for French Bac, not recommended; intake of French pupils no other school would have

for a broad spectrum of social horizons and outlooks, not great either; only the über-rich send their kids there (cf the fees I quoted yesterday)

if you are keen on classrooms, you need to be aware that all teaching takes place in condominiums, with the building of a proper school one of the running jokes amongst staff.

just for info: the management treat their staff with suspicion, disdain, and sexism (women are systematically paid less than men).

I can't see what warrants those huge fees. If your daughter wants to take the Bac L, IBS doesn't sound great...

singapore: I'd like feedback on Luynes, will PM you

SofiPastis Wed 06-Mar-13 16:51:13


We are being sent to Marseille by my company, with a very peeved 15 YO teenager, in year 10, first year of his IGCSE. Would anyone have other comments on international schools in and around Marseille? Other comments on IBS of provence? My son is bilingual but in the British system. Many thanks for your help

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