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Education in Brussels

The capital of Belgium and essentially the capital of the European Union, Brussels is a city represented by a host of different cultures and nationalities. Due to this diversity, along with the number of large enterprises and government offices based in the city, there are a variety of international schools for children of foreigners to attend. Many offer a British style of education as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or European Baccalaureate Programme. There is also a Scandinavian school and a German school, where the respective national curriculums are taught to students. Our guide will profile two schools in the city and will go on to list more highly reputable schools available. 

Classroom with empty desks
Classroom in Brussels


International School of Brussels 

Curriculum: Common Ground Curriculum and IB Age Range: 3 to 18 

The International School of Brussels (ISB) hosts over 1500 students from over 60 countries. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Council of International Schools and has been recognised for its integration of tradition and innovation by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). 


The ISB has 4 levels of school that align closely with the American education system. The 4 levels are; the Early Childhood Centre (ages 3-8), Elementary School (ages 8-12), Middle School (ages 12-15) and High School (ages 15-18). Throughout, ISB champions 3 specific learning principles; conceptual learning, competency learning and character learning, all of which combine to produce a rounded education and follow the Common Ground Curriculum. The lower and middle school’s curriculums are designed to progress students’ academic and personal development to a stage where solid qualifications can be gained in High School. The high school offers the internationally recognised IB programme to students and has the most varied range of IB subjects available to students in Brussels. This allows students to actively pursue their passions and interests with a reduced risk of restriction. 

Extra-Curricular Activities 

A plethora of music, visual and performing arts classes are available to Middle School and High School students. In addition, students can also get involved after school through ISB Plus, an after-school initiative that offers all sorts of activities for students to explore after school. ISB also has a very rich sporting tradition, along with fantastic facilities, such as a fitness centre and athletic fields. The school has teams (ISB Raiders) across a number of sports, such as tennis, football, lacrosse and many more. The Middle and High School’s run several clubs and societies, such as the Green Team and a student council. Finally, the school runs the International Award, a worldwide self-development programme aimed at equipping students with skills and abilities that will help them in their futures. 

Admission Policy & Fees 

The application process is based on an extensive online application form and the provision of the appropriate documents. It is worth noting that any application comes with a €2000 application and capital fee. The application will be forwarded to the appropriate headteacher, who will decide on the student’s suitability to the school and will ultimately make the final decision. Like most reputable international schools, places can be limited, meaning that early application is advised. ISB fees rise as the student moves up the school, starting at €17,270 per annum for Pre-School, increasing to €37,280 per annum in years 10-13. These fees do not include a variety of extra services such as bus fees and extra-curricular activities. 


The British School Of Brussels 

Curriculum: British and IB Age Range: 1 to 18 

This British School of Brussels (BSB) provides a British style of education to over 1300 students. As the name suggests, the school has a large British contingent, with 40% of the school made up of students from the UK. Despite this British connection, the school hosts students from 70 nationalities. The school is equipped with marvellous facilities such as up to date classrooms and sporting amenities. 


The education of students mirrors the British curriculum, with necessary amendments made to suit the international aspect of the student base. The curriculum follows the English Key Stage programme through primary and secondary school. Students study a broad range of subjects and take part in several co-curricular activities, such as drama performances and trips, throughout their primary years. Additionally, the primary school provides bilingual classes, where children can be taught in French as well as English. At secondary school, BSB offers students the opportunity to study a range of the 15 (I)GCSE’s or BTEC’s, along with 6 core classes which include English and French. BSB is unique at the pre-university level, in that it offers 3 routes to students; A-Levels, BTEC and the IB Diploma. This gives the student options and means they can tailor their choices to future career/university aspirations. Grades of the school are well above world averages, with 100% of graduating students passing their IB Diploma course and 99% passing their A-Levels. 

Extra Curricular Activities 

BSB has a diverse range of extra-curricular activities for pupils to get involved without with their studies. The school has world-class sports facilities, with the state of the art Jacques Rogge Sports Centre recently constructed, with a swimming pool, sports halls and dance studio.  There are a plethora of after-school clubs available for students of all ages. The previously mentioned sports facilities mean that a range of sports are offered as after-school clubs, such as swimming and football. For people with an interest in music and the performing arts, there are choirs, bands and drama clubs to go and enjoy. These clubs made possible by the outstanding facilities, such as the 240-seater Brel Theatre, music rooms and drama rehearsal studios. 

Admission Policy & Fees 

The school is a non-selective school; therefore, no ability tests need to be passed to gain acceptance. Students are admitted on the basis that the school believes they can help them meets their needs and fulfil their potential. The application process only requires filling in an online application form, sending the necessary documents and paying the mandatory fee. BSB believe they have some of the best fees for a school of their size in the area. The fees range from €14,450 per year in kindergarten to €32,800 in years 10-13. 


More International Schools In Brussels

Bogaerts International School 

Curriculum: British and IB Age Range: 2.5 to 18 


Scandinavian School of Brussels 

Gender: Co-educational 

Curriculum: Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and IB Age Range: 2 to 19 


St John’s International School 

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate Age Range: 3 to 18 


Internationale Deutsche Schule Brüssel 

Curriculum: German Age Range: 3 to 18 


Lycée Français Jean Monnet 

Curriculum: British, IB or European Baccalaureate Age Range: 3 to 18 


DY Patil International School 

Curriculum: IB Age Range: 2.5 to 18 


Montgomery International School of Brussels 

Curriculum: IB Age Range: 5 to 18 


BEPS International School 

Curriculum: International Primary Curriculum Age Range: 2.5 to 12 


Brussels American School 

Curriculum: American Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) Age Range: 5 to 18 

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