Saint-Denis International School
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Saint-Denis International School: A top French school at a UNESCO world heritage site

Nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Garden of France, Saint-Denis International School educates the whole individual for life beyond school. Pair that with a stunning location, and this school becomes the perfect platform for nurturing young minds to become tomorrow’s success stories.

Home to a diverse mix of more than 350 boarding students from over 30 countries, Saint-Denis is a traditional private school with a Catholic ethos, under contract to the French State. With its comprehensive academic offerings, a varied and inclusive campus community, and a team of experienced educators, the school has all the features that transform children into accomplished graduates. They’re ready for university and beyond — often carrying a lifetime worth of memories made at their alma mater’s boarding houses.

Boarding at Saint-Denis is a unique experience. It blends the best of many worlds. Here, students spend their weekdays in one of two fully-equipped boarding houses. Evenings are for catching up on homework, enjoying special sporting and artistic activities, hosting birthday parties, and more. As they enjoy each other’s company, they gain cultural perspectives and share their own traditions.

On weekends, local students return home, while international students connect with host families, some of whom have ties to the school as parents of current or former students or faculty members. These families treat students as their own, offering meals, transportation, and all essentials for language learning and cultural immersion.

This pairs well with the school’s international French as a Second Language Section (FLE). As it celebrates its 27 years, the section can look back with pride, especially at how it’s won the national “Quality FLE Label” for the past eight years. It’s a fitting recognition for the tireless work of FLE teaching staff who offer several lessons a week to ensure that international students at every level complete their studies with a firm grasp of the French language. Such dedication has led the teaching staff to earn a top score of three stars by the French National Education System as well.

Since fluency is viewed globally as an accomplishment, the school also offers online French courses. Taught by experienced, native-speaking teachers, students from anywhere in the world can enjoy a more flexible and accessible way to learn a new language. Bilingual or trilingual study is encouraged at Saint-Denis, with 89% of students taking on at least two foreign languages.

Whether their French skills are non-existent, intermediate, or advanced, a Saint-Denis education will help you master the language in no time.

For those eager to spend many years in the country, these lessons would be helpful while preparing for the French Baccalaureate, a rigorous three-year college-prep programme. The traditional route includes a variety of French language General Baccalaureate specialities, including history-geography, geopolitics 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.

In July, the school offers exciting summer camps. These are great for anyone looking to explore life at Saint-Denis without a long-term commitment. Participants receive 15 hours of French as a foreign language lessons and engage in hands-on activities while exploring the beautiful landscape of Loire Valley — from castle visits to kayaking, from treasure hunts to amusement parks.

For full-time students, Saint-Denis offers the American International Section, BFI, previously OIB), a unique specialisation programme that fuses the traditional French education system with an inquiry-based Anglo-Saxon approach. Recognised for its academic rigour, BFI integrates English-taught subjects with the conventional French Baccalaureate, providing a well-rounded and globally relevant education. Plus, the BFI is recognised by the US College Board. This gives students more options when they embark on their higher education journey.

A truly well-rounded experience

Saint-Denis believes in the importance of a holistic education. The school offers an impressive array of extra-curricular activities, ranging from regular sports like basketball and football to more unique pursuits such as triathlon, horseback riding, kickboxing, handbells, glee club, theatre, and tennis. This wide range of selection, conventional and eclectic, ensures all students can explore and develop their passions beyond academics.

Saint-Denis International School

Source: Saint-Denis International School

When they’re not on the field or on the stage, students are relishing being part of a community that fosters growth. Hosting an annual International Festival of Arts and Sciences, entirely organised by students, the school welcomes delegations from around the world — discussing themes such as the first artificial heart, crystals, and more. This week-long event in April showcases various cultures through performances, songs, music and lectures, creating a global atmosphere on campus.

The nearby historic town of Loches, fortified by 12th-century ramparts and a millennium-old keep, adds to the school’s unique charm. During longer breaks, students can venture further, with regular bus lines connecting to the vibrant student city of Tours, known as “Little Paris” for its cosmopolitan and artistic culture. Convenient transportation options, including high-speed rail and airports, provide easy access to destinations like Paris, London, Dublin, Porto, and Marrakesh.

Saint-Denis International School isn’t just a place to learn; it’s a vibrant tapestry of cultures and experiences that prepares children for global success.

Click here to learn more about Saint-Denis. To visit the school virtually, click here.

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