International Education in San Francisco Bay Area
It’s no secret that San Francisco and the Bay Area is one of the most sought after expat hotspots of the world. The weather is fabulous, the lifestyle is even better, and those Silicon Valley salaries are eye-watering.
If you’re planning on making the Golden City your new expat home, with kids in tow, then you’ll need to know a thing or two about international schools in the San Francisco - Bay Area.
California in general, but the San Francisco/Bay Area especially, is an inclusive and liberal place. No approach to education is off limits here. From home-schooling to special needs education to experimental tutoring, everything is covered and anything is possible.
As for international schools, there are plenty to choose from. In comparison to other cities in the U.S like New York, international schools in San Francisco and the Bay Area tend to be more diverse and teach a wider range of curricula. As per usual the International Baccalaureate dominates, but everything from Chinese to German can be found.
Many of San Francisco’s international schools are also bilingual. Lessons are taught in English, and also offered in the usual language of the curriculum (i.e. the French curriculum will be taught through French).
International schools tend to be more popular with the expat population of San Francisco - Bay Area rather than the local population, for the usual reasons. It’s easier to achieve a consistent education for expat children, they can interact with kids from similar backgrounds, and they can pick up where they left off in another country should you decide to move on.
International schools in the San Francisco - Bay Area offer high standards of education and excellent facilities but they come with high fees and high competition for places.
Speaking of fees - don’t expect any international school in San Francisco or the Bay Area to be cheap. Yearly fees for all of them cost tens of thousands of dollars, with the most expensive inching towards $50k per year. Considering the sky-high salaries on offer in the region however, it’s in line with cost of living.
Haight-Ashbury, Mission and Richmond are the neighbourhoods to look out for when it comes to international schools in San Francisco. In the wider Bay Area, Santa Clara county has a choice of schools worth looking at - particularly in Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. On the other side of the Bay, Berkeley and Emeryville are home to a selection of sought-after bilingual schools.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in San Francisco Bay Area. However, there are another 8 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 San Francisco Bay Area based on your requirements.