International schools Europe
Copenhagen is the cheapest city in Europe for international schools, while Zurich is the most expensive. Source: Shutterstock

Switzerland is the most expensive European country for international schools, according to research conducted by the International Schools Database.

Three Swiss cities – Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne – have scooped the top three spots, with prices in Laussane and Geneva starting at an eye-watering minimum fee of US$14,840 per year. The maximum fees at these two cities are US$35,296 and US$28,006 respectively. 

The International Schools Database found the widest range of school prices – from just US$2,544 per year to US$33,508 – is in Paris, France. The French capital also takes the title of lowest minimum price in all of the European cities featured.

Copenhagen in Denmark is the cheapest city in Europe and the second cheapest in the world for international schools. It’s minimum and maximum fees are US$3,613 and US$18,139 respectively.

Researchers note that public and private schools (including international schools) are heavily subsidised by the government, which might explain why education here is affordable, despite the city’s high cost of living

Prices of international schools per year in Europe

1 Zurich (Switzerland) US$8,0527 US$25,630 US$31,406
2 Lausanne – Vaud (Switzerland) US$14,840 US$24,296 US$35,296
3 Geneva (Switzerland) US$14,840 US$23,414 US$28,006
4 Vienna (Austria) US$5,688 US$17,344 US$21,613
5 Brussels (Belgium) US$6,806 US$17,195 US$36,330
6 Milan (Spain) US$3,307 US$13,117 US$19,400
7 Frankfurt am Main (Germany) US$4,144 US$12,857 US$22,475
8 Rome (Italy) US$6,462 US$11,618 US$19,014
9 Budapest (Hungary) US$4,314 US$11,559 US$23,100
10 Paris (France) US$2,544 US$10,711 US$33,508
11 Berlin (Germany) US$2,568 US$10,471 US$16,203
12 Barcelona (Spain) US$4,508 US$9,878 US$18,301
13 Lisbon (Portugal) US$4,503 US$9,810 US$13,447
14 Bucharest (Romania) US$4,078 US$9,697 US$21,880
15 Prague (Czech Republic) US$5,835 US$9,249 US$22,100
Source: International Schools Database

Parents who are looking for relatively affordable international schools might want to explore the cities in Italy and Spain.

In Milan, parents can expect to pay a minimum of US$3,307 and a maximum of US$19,400 for their children’s international school education.

In Malaga, the minimum and maximum fees are US$2,621 and US$10,471 respectively. Conversely, the minimum fees in Barcelona and Madrid – among Spain’s most expensive cities – are much higher at US$4,508 and US$4,100 respectively.

Despite that, the International Schools Database said international schools in Madrid – which range from US$4,100 to US$15,095 a year with the median school fees costing US$8,763 – puts the city among the cheapest cities in Europe, fifth out of 21.

There is almost US$30,000 difference between the cheapest and most expensive schools in Brussels, the Belgian capital. The range of prices in its mid range is also wide, ranging from US$13,227 and US$22,431.

The International Schools Database analysed price data from 21 cities in 15 European countries. They noted that there may be additional schools and prices not included in each city, as they do not make their price data available or it is unknown to them. 

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