Nicaragua offers religious, bilingual and international private schools, or a combination of the three. The majority of the best private schools in the country are located in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. This is important to bear in mind when choosing where to live. All existing international schools are located in Managua except one fairly new bilingual school in Granada.
Curriculum and fees
Private schools generally follow the public school year and timetable, however they typically adhere to a North American or European education system. Some of the private schools follow the American calendar. This means that the summer holidays are during June and July, with the new academic year starting in August. International students studying at private schools may also be given the opportunity to take exams from their own countries, such as the SATs. Private schools offer either secular or faith-based education.
Private schools can ask you to pay for a number of different fees: the entrance fee, monthly tuition (increasing as your child progresses), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) fee, scholarship fund fee and various other annual fees. All of these fees combined, it can add up to around 10.000 dollars every year, but this varies per school.
Things to keep in mind
Before enrolling your child in any school, there are always things that you should keep in mind:
- Is it a religious or a secular school? Which one do you prefer?
- The amount of students that go to the school. What is the ratio between foreign students and locals?
- Which languages are spoken? Is the school bilingual?
- Does the school follow the local calendar or another one?
- What is the curriculum?
- What are the enrollment requirements and the amount of fees?
- Are other expats content with the school?
Doing thorough research before you enroll your child into a new school is very important, you want to make sure that your little one gets the best education!