International Education in Quito
With a low cost of living, incredible natural landscape and welcoming locals, it’s hard not to fall in love with expat life in Quito. Ecuador’s capital city is the place to be in terms of employment and education, with a choice of international schools for expat families to consider.
In fact, the international school scene in Ecuador is almost entirely based in Quito. While the two other big cities in the country - Guayaquil and Cuenca - do have a small number of international schools, the biggest choice and best schools are located in the capital.
Public education in Ecuador is free, but unfortunately the standards of education are much lower than other parts of the world. Furthermore, the language of instruction is Spanish. This can be a significant issue for many expat families coming from outside South America. As a result, international schooling is usually the only (or best) option for expats with school-going children.
The majority of locals in Quito speak Spanish, but English is not very widespread. It’s advisable to learn at least a few basic phrases in Spanish before you move. Luckily many of Quito’s international schools offer Spanish as an additional language, so your child will have plenty of opportunities to gain an understanding of it.
In Quito the summer months are November, December and January. The academic year for public schools runs from April to December, and some international schools in the city reflect this. However others choose to mirror the academic year followed by international schools in the rest of the world, which begins in September/October and runs until June/July.
The choice of curricula in Quito’s international schools reflects the range of expats living in the city. Most schools teach either the International Baccalaureate, the American or the British curriculum, although some schools offer more than one. The German and French curricula are also represented.
Quito is nestled between mountains, stretching north, south and east on a narrow sliver of land. Most of the city’s international schools are located to the north or east, in areas such as Carcelen, Cumbaya, Los Laureles and La Carolina. Most schools offer a school bus to pick up/drop off students in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
All of Quito’s international schools cater for children right up until age 18. Your child will receive a full primary and secondary education and be well prepared for heading to university anywhere in the world. Most schools take in children from age 3, although some accept children even younger for nursery school. Extracurricular activities are common, although they may not be included in the yearly fees you pay.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Quito. 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 Quito based on your requirements.