International Education in Addis Ababa
Vibrant culture, stunning scenery and welcoming locals make expat life easy in Addis Ababa. Living in Ethiopia’s sprawling capital does have its challenges - rising inflation has pushed up prices and medical care is far from the international standards you may be used to. But there are great employment opportunities for expats, and plenty of international schools to choose from if you’re considering a move with kids in tow.
Although they have made great progress in recent decades, the public education system in Ethiopia still falls behind the rest of the world. Illiteracy is still quite high in the country, hovering around 40-50%. Public schools also do not enrol foreign nationals, so an international school is not only the better choice for expats; it’s usually the only choice.
The upside to this is that Addis Ababa is one of the cheapest cities in Africa and in the world for international school fees. Education standards and facilities in these schools are improving year on year - most schools are already on par with international schools elsewhere in Africa.
While not in every single international school in the city, native English-speaking teachers are very common in Addis Ababa. Extracurricular programs are offered everywhere and school bus services, while not in every single school, are also common.
As well as the globally recognised International Baccalaureate, you’ll find a surprising array of curricula on offer in Addia Ababa’s international schools. British, Swedish, German, French, Greek and American are just a selection of the curricula represented.
English is the usual language of instruction, with an option for your child to be taught through the curriculum’s language too. For example, if your child is learning the German curriculum, they can be taught through English, German or even both.
International schools in Addis Ababa will admit children from around the age of 3 and most cater for children right up to age 18. It’s not uncommon for schools to be tied to embassies, and as a result preference is sometimes given to children of that embassy’s nationality.
Either way, you should get your child’s application in the queue as early as possible. The application process is usually lengthy, and there are a limited number of places per academic year. Once your child is enrolled however, you can rest assured they’re getting the best standard of education possible in the country.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Addis Ababa. However, there are another 8 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Addis Ababa based on your requirements.