An Overview of International Schools in the Algarve

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Last updated on June 4, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 7 minutes

Are you considering making the Algarve your family’s new home? You’re in good company! The Algarve’s expat community in this stunning region is growing, and with it, the number of international schools has risen, offering a variety of educational options for families from the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, and all over.

While the Portuguese education system is excellent and accommodating to foreign students, you might prefer an international education for your children. This is often the case for parents of older children, who feel they may do better in a familiar curriculum, or those that only plan to be in Portugal for a few years. The list below will help you find the perfect match for your child’s needs, taking into account factors like language, location, curriculum, facilities, and ethos.

International schools in the Algarve offer a range of curricula, modern facilities, and a supportive learning environment. Most schools cater to students aged 3 to 18, with the majority following the British curriculum and using English as the primary language of instruction. However, some schools, like the Deutsche Schule Algarve and Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal, focus on German and Dutch curricula, respectively. International fees vary from around €4,000 to €17,000 per year, but around €8,000-9,000 is a good average.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best international schools the Algarve has to offer. We’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to make an informed decision about your child’s education. So, let’s explore the exciting opportunities that await your family in this beautiful part of Portugal!

School NameLocationAges
Montalvo International SchoolLoulé13-18
Colégio Santiago InternacionalTavira5-18
Colégio Bernardette RomeiraOlhão3-14
Aljezur International SchoolAljezur11-18
Nobel Algarve British International SchoolLagoa, Almancil3-18
Vilamoura International SchoolVilamoura3-18
Vale Verde International SchoolLuz-Lagos5-18
Bright International SchoolLoulé3-14
Aspire International SchoolAlmancil3-18
Barlavento International Primary SchoolLuz-Lagos5-11
Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve PortugalSilves4-12
Eden Montessori International SchoolAlbufeira3-12
Educan, AlgarveLoulé5-16
Deutsche Schule AlgarveSilves5-18

Montalvo International School

Montalvo International School is committed to high academic standards, aiming to serve as a launchpad for students to access universities and higher education worldwide. The school’s small class sizes and emphasis on academic excellence create a robust learning environment for its students. Catering to students aged 13 to 18, Montalvo follows the British curriculum and teaches in English.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Loulé
  • Ages: 13 to 18

Colégio Santiago Internacional

Colégio Santiago Internacional is an independent, open-admission, and co-educational school that offers bilingual instruction in English and Portuguese. Following the National Curriculum of England model and guidelines, the school caters to students aged 5 to 18.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Location: Tavira
  • Ages: 5 to 18

Colégio Bernardette Romeira

Colégio Bernardette Romeira’s mission is to educate for freedom and independence, providing a warm and welcoming environment that feels like a family to its students. The school’s teachers and staff not only provide state-of-the-art education but also focus on developing students’ confidence, empathy, compassion, curiosity, and global understanding. Offering both British and Portuguese curricula taught in English and Portuguese, Colégio Bernardette Romeira caters to students aged 3 to 14.

  • Curriculum: British, Portuguese
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Location: Olhão
  • Ages: 3 to 14

Aljezur International School

Aljezur International School (AIS) offers a unique secondary school education for children aged 11 to 18. Situated in an idyllic farmhouse on seven acres of protected land near Aljezur in the Western Algarve, AIS welcomes students of all nationalities and backgrounds. With a focus on small group teaching and individual attention, AIS follows the British curriculum, with instruction in English.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Aljezur
  • Ages: 11 to 18

Nobel Algarve British International School

Nobel Algarve British International School is the oldest and largest private school group in southern Portugal, offering a co-educational day school experience for pupils aged 3 to 18 across multiple locations. With two beautiful campuses in Lagoa and Almancil, Nobel Algarve provides an educational experience that challenges minds, inspires creativity, and instills a lifelong desire for discovery. The school offers both British and Portuguese curricula taught in English.

  • Curriculum: British, Portuguese
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Lagoa, Almancil
  • Ages: 3 to 18

Vilamoura International School

The Vilamoura International School is the most prestigious educational institute in the South of Portugal, encompassing pre-school, primary, and secondary education. The school offers a combination of Portuguese National, British (adapted) National, and Cambridge International curricula, catering to students aged 3 to 18. Instruction is in both English and Portuguese.

  • Curriculum: British, Portuguese
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Location: Vilamoura
  • Ages: 3 to 18

Vale Verde International School

Vale Verde International School is a leading private school for the international and local community, known for pioneering one of the first bilingual programmes in the region. The school has a reputation for innovative teaching methods and world-class facilities, catering to students aged 5 to 18. Following the British curriculum, Vale Verde International School teaches in both English and Portuguese.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Location: Luz-Lagos
  • Ages: 5 to 18

Bright International School

Bright International School is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art Pre Prep, Preparatory, and Lower Secondary school for students aged 3 to 14, located south of Loulé. Opened in September 2019, Bright provides 21st-century learning with Apple technology and individual iPads for each student. The school follows the British curriculum, with instruction in English.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Loulé
  • Ages: 3 to 14

Aspire International School

Aspire International School offers education for children aged 3 to 18, with a preschool (ages 3-5), primary school (ages 5-11), and secondary school (ages 11-18). The school’s curriculum is based on the English national curriculum but adapted to suit an international student body. With instruction in English, Aspire follows the British curriculum.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Almancil
  • Ages: 3 to 18

Barlavento International Primary School

Barlavento International Primary School is a happy, family-oriented international school that has been providing high-quality primary education to children in the Algarve since 1975. Catering to students aged 5 to 11, the school follows the British curriculum, with instruction in English.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Luz-Lagos
  • Ages: 5 to 11

Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal

Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal offers complete primary and secondary education according to the Dutch curriculum. The school caters to students aged 4 to 12, with instruction in Dutch.

  • Curriculum: Dutch
  • Language of Instruction: Dutch
  • Location: Silves
  • Ages: 4 to 12

Eden Montessori International School

Eden Montessori International School in Albufeira is the first of its kind in Portugal, offering authentic Montessori education in both English and Portuguese for children aged 3 to 12. The school has two age groups: 3-6 years and 6-9 years.

  • Curriculum: Montessori
  • Language of Instruction: English, Portuguese
  • Location: Albufeira
  • Ages: 3 to 12

Educan, Algarve

Educan, Algarve offers micro-classes, an inquiry-based learning method, innovative learning, and a personalized curriculum for students aged 5 to 16. The school follows the British curriculum, with instruction in English.

  • Curriculum: British
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Location: Loulé
  • Ages: 5 to 16

Deutsche Schule Algarve

Deutsche Schule Algarve is a bilingual (German/Portuguese) international school catering to students aged 5 to 18. The school follows the German curriculum, with instruction in both German and Portuguese.

  • Curriculum: German
  • Language of Instruction: German, Portuguese
  • Location: Silves
  • Ages: 5 to 18

In conclusion, the Algarve offers a wide range of international schools to cater to the diverse needs of expat families. By considering factors like language, location, curriculum, facilities, and ethos, you can find the perfect school for your child to flourish academically, socially, and developmentally in this beautiful region of Portugal.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

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