International Education in Panama City
With the Panama Canal ensuring a thriving economy, it’s no wonder Panama is increasingly popular among expats. The country leads the way in many respects for Central America, and not just with its economy. Among many other things, you’ll find the best international schools in the region here.
The majority of international schools in Panama are located in the capital, Panama City. You’ll find some in other cities like Colon and David, but the choice available won’t be as good as here. Schools are spread across the capital city, with a cluster near Tocumen International Airport, some next to urban forest areas north of the city centre, and some located in the heart of the city itself.
You should keep in mind, however, that this broad spread of schools across the city could create a challenging commute. Remember to consider where you will be living in Panama before choosing a school. If you don’t know which part of the city you’ll be living in, consider some areas where you would like to live and try to find out how the commute would work from there. Most schools offer a bus service for students which should help.
The majority of Panama City’s international schools teach through English, with some offering a choice of instruction through English or Spanish. So if your child hasn’t started learning the local language yet, this is a great way for them to catch up. The most well-known schools in the city have native English-speaking teachers, but this can be hit-and-miss in some of the newer, lesser known international schools.
The school calendar may follow Panama’s public schools and run from February to December, (November to January are the summer months in this part of the world). Alternatively, many schools choose to follow the typical calendar of the international school’s country; i.e. a British or American international school will take a summer break during the British/American summer months, from June to August.
Like international schools all over the world, Panama City’s international schools have small class sizes to encourage student-teacher engagement and hands-on learning. 25 students or less per class is the norm here. You’ll find a mix of nationalities among the student body, with a relatively small number of local students (usually around 10-25%).
Although international schools in Panama City aren’t strictly religious, it’s important to know that the vast majority of Panama’s population are Roman Catholic. Religion plays a very important part in people’s daily lives. You should expect this to enter into school life in some way, especially if there is a high number of native teachers and staff in the school. That said, religious activities should not be forced upon your child and will usually be optional.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Panama City. However, there are another 10 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 Panama City based on your requirements.