International Education in Basel
Sitting on the border with both France and Germany, Basel is arguably the most international city in Switzerland. With the country being the home of the International Baccalaureate curriculum and offering excellent standards of education (both international and local) - plus excellent standards of almost everything else - there are few reasons not to consider Basel as an expat home to settle down in.
While you’ll need to head to Zurich for the biggest choice of international schools in Switzerland, Basel still has an impressive amount for such a small city. Furthermore, most are centrally located and easily reachable with the city’s extensive tram and train network. Aesch, a suburb to the south, and Rheinfelden to the east have the only international schools located outside the city - and they are still only 30-45 minutes away from the city centre.
International schools in Basel share the same features as international schools throughout Switzerland. The International Baccalaureate curriculum is the most common in Basel, although to cater for the significant expat community in Basel, the British curriculum follows closely behind. Some international schools in Basel also offer the Swiss and French curricula. Many schools offer multiple languages of instruction including English, German and French. Several of Basel’s international schools can essentially (if not officially) be considered bilingual, however anecdotal evidence suggests that one language of instruction may be prioritised over another.
While Basel’s international schools tick every box in terms of standards of education, school facilities, extra curricular programs, teaching staff, and more, there is one significant downside - price. It’s a well known fact that Switzerland has a high cost of living, and it also has some of the most expensive international schools in the world. Unfortunately, Basel’s international school fees don’t differ significantly from other Swiss cities.
The yearly fee isn’t the end of it either - you’ll pay extra for your child to stay on campus for the full day to partake in after-school and extracurricular activities. On the upside, however, it is common for many companies to pay for the first year (or couple of years) of international schooling as part of their relocation packages.
One advantage of international schools in Basel is that they tend not to be as competitive as bigger cities when it comes to school places. As long as you apply early enough, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting a spot for your child and you likely won’t have to deal with long waiting lists. Having said that, it’s always a good idea to have all your paperwork in order, be prepared for a lengthy and rigorous application process, and of course, do all the research you can about your preferred international school.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Basel. However, there are another 4 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 Basel based on your requirements.