Can you see yourself living and studying with a backdrop of ancient castles, old slate roofs and medieval clock towers, surrounded by stunning landscape? Can you picture the end of the day, leaving with your classmates to explore rich countryside and lush forests; speeding down cycle paths, paddling down lazy rivers, or trotting on horseback? Can you imagine unwinding at the weekend, sharing mealtimes to recount the week’s adventures with a host family – all ears and eager to hear all about it?
In the Loire Valley – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – situated at the heart of the garden of France, you can find a classical French school where all this can come true and more. Saint-Denis International School can give you an education as magical as it is excellent!
To study here is to discover what “savoir vivre” really means. International students have been welcomed for over 25 years, coming for a French education in a context vividly captured in the countless movies that pay homage to it, from “La Vie En Rose” to “Amelie.”
More importantly, it provides the ideal setting to educate the whole individual for life beyond school — which is precisely what Saint-Denis offers.
Despite global uncertainty, international applicants are still warmly welcomed here. Thanks to Saint-Denis’s strategic health protocols of testing, mask wearing and sanitising, there has been a lack of outbreaks, meaning anyone could take a stroll on campus grounds and feel as though nothing life-altering has happened.
Behind its historic walls, 900 students — representing over 30 nationalities — are growing alongside one another. They do so in collaboration with an international faculty, trained to prepare them for a lifetime of success as global citizens.
Contributing to this development is Saint-Denis International School’s unique capability to ensure international students complete their studies with a firm grasp of the French language. The school has staff specially trained in teaching French as a Foreign Language and offers several lessons a week. Since fluency is viewed globally as an accomplishment, the school also offers French courses online; as well as shorter, more intensive programmes.
So whether your French skills are non-existent, intermediate, or advanced — there are lessons here that will have you fooling the locals in no time.
These lessons prepare them for the French Baccalaureate — a three-year college-preparatory programme that culminates in a rigorous examination. This traditional route offers a variety of French language General Baccalaureate specialties such as mathematics; history-geography, geo-politics and political science; life sciences; economics; literature, foreign culture and language; physics and chemistry; arts and plastics; engineering; as well as humanities, literature, and philosophy. It’s a fitting choice for students who are eager to spend many years in the country.
However, an increasing number of bilingual or trilingual students have opted for a more global pathway, enhancing their English language competencies in the process. They do this with the American section of the International Option of the French Baccalaureate (OIB) — a programme recognised by the US’s College Board. This path combines the breadth and rigour of the French Baccalaureate with extra subjects taught and examined in English, resulting in a bilingual, bicultural diploma.
The courses offered include literature, history, and geography taught from an American perspective by certified educators. This enables them to graduate with a university entrance qualification valid in both France and the US. Students have also gone on to study in a variety of countries, such as Canada, the UK and the Netherlands.
Outside the classroom, Saint-Denis students are encouraged to join in extracurricular sports, cultural activities, and community service to round out their experience. These include time spent on the soccer field, basketball court, gymnasium; individual and collective lessons in music, dance; participation in student-run organisations, and more.
Study abroad opportunities transport students to Eastern Europe, Brussels, Turkey, the US, Canada and more. Source: Saint-Denis International School
What’s more, international exposure is further emphasised through programmes that transport students all over the world. Those in the International Section enjoy an exclusive weeklong trip to England. High-schoolers study World War II by travelling through Eastern Europe. Other opportunities even lead them to Brussels, Turkey, Spain, the US, Canada and more.
A quality, safe, and distinctively French boarding experience
At Saint-Denis, 400 students spend their week in one of two fully-equipped, homely boarding houses. Here, they spend their evenings catching up on homework, enjoying special sporting and artistic activities, hosting birthday parties, and more — gaining cultural perspective and sharing traditions in the process.
During the weekends, locals return home while international students spend their downtime and holidays with host families that are deeply connected to the school. Some have children attending the school, are parents to alumni, or double as faculty members.
These families take these young learners in and see them as their own — providing meals, transportation, and everything else a student would need to learn the language and appreciate the culture.