International Education in Manama
Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, has long been a favourite of expats in the Persian Gulf. Salaries are high and the quality of life is excellent. There is a thriving expat community, but locals are also extremely welcoming too. While some other cities in the region are populated by the ‘rich elite’, Manama is home to a diverse range of people from all walks of life.
One of the things expat families enjoy the most about Manama is the city’s ‘best in class’ international schools. The city has a long-standing reputation for international schools - the first one opened its doors all the way back in 1982 - and excellent standards of education in general.
Most international schools in Manama teach either the International Baccalaureate, British or American curriculum through English. However Arabic or Indian schools are also quite popular, and you can even find schools teaching far-flung curricula like French or Australian.
While there is a wide choice of international schools in Manama, be warned that competition for school places is intense. Expats make up over 50% of Manama’s population. The majority of those expats prefer to send their children to international schools due to the language barrier (public schools teach through Arabic), because they want their children to have a ‘global’ education, or because they want to connect with other expat children and families. Early application is strongly advised.
Manama is good at many things, but public transport is not one of them. While the city is relatively small and you can easily get anywhere in 30 minutes, you’ll need a car to do so. International schools don’t usually offer bus services. Public trains, buses and even sidewalks are virtually non-existent. Thankfully the road infrastructure is very good and driving around the city is as safe as any other developed country.
The school calendar in Manama’s international schools follows that of most Western countries. The school year begins in September and runs through to early Summer. Depending on the Arabic population in your chosen international school, there may be special procedures in place during Ramadan.
Most of Manama’s international schools offer additional language classes, of which Arabic is usually offered. Native English-speaking teachers are everywhere, and extra-curricular activities are generally offered as standard. Most schools campuses were purpose-built and have excellent facilities including sports grounds, recreational areas and bright, spacious classrooms.
International schools in Manama are very much geared towards the expat community. Most of the student populations are made up of expat children, but there is a growing contingent of Bahraini students in many schools too. Generally speaking, you can expect 50% or more of the student body to be expat children, and the rest to be locals.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Manama. However, there are another 24 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 Manama based on your requirements.