International Education in Lima
Lima, Peru’s capital city, is attracting an increasing number of expats nowadays thanks to economic growth, improved infrastructure, and many other factors. But for expat families in particular, one big roadblock remains: education.
Peru’s public education system needs a lot of improvement. While the economy has gotten better in recent years, school facilities and teaching standards, even in Lima, are not the same as you see in other world regions. International schools are often the best option for expats, so here’s what you need to know.
Most international schools in Peru are in Lima, but you’ll find some in other large cities like Arequipa or Cusco. Most of Lima’s international schools are situated south of the city centre in neighbourhoods such as Surquillo, Monterrico and San Juan Bautista. Some schools provide a school bus to the surrounding neighbourhoods, but it’s not a standard feature.
Peru has a very young population. Public schools tend to be crowded, so many Peruvian families who can afford it will send their child to an international school. This means that competition for school places can be high. On the plus side however, it also means your child gets a chance to mingle with local kids too.
By law, all schools in Peru must incorporate the Peruvian curriculum into their teaching. So it’s not uncommon for international schools in Lima to offer multiple curricula. This usually ends up being the International Baccalaureate, the Peruvian curriculum and the curriculum from the country the school is associated with (British, French, German, Swiss, American - there’s a wide choice here).
Part of this Peruvian curriculum requirement includes teaching through Spanish, as well as lessons on Peruvian history and social studies. As a result bilingual international schools are very common in Lima. English and Spanish is the most common bilingual combination.
Lima’s international schools tend to be larger than average - some could have up to 2,000 students. However class sizes remain reasonable with around 25 students per class (sometimes less). Native English and Spanish speaking teachers are a standard feature, as are extracurricular programs.
The admissions process for a typical international school in Lima is rigorous. You’ll be asked for previous academic reports, your child will need to sit an entrance exam, you will be interviewed by a member of staff, and you may have to pay a one-off admission fee. That’s just the start - schools often require additional documentation too such as a letter of recommendation, income certificates and more.
For some reason the once-off admission fee is often charged in US dollars, but the monthly tuition fees and yearly enrollment fees are charged in Peruvian soles. Remember to double-check this when you’re looking at school costs. Also keep in mind that in some schools, you will be expected to cover the cost of school books and materials yourself.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Lima. However, there are another 12 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 Lima based on your requirements.