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Best schools in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

A snapshot: schools in Rio de Janeiro considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names.

 (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.

International schools

American International School (Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro)  (pending)

Adapted American curriculum/ Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM)/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,050 students

An original campus, (Gavéa), on the Rio hillside with an amazing view but also close to one of the biggest slums (favelas) in the city. Hard work with the local community means fewer problems in recent years. The new unit in (Barra) is in an impressive building with the capacity to become an all-through school. Graduates leave for universities in the US and elsewhere. Only school in Rio classified ‘international’ and follows the northern hemisphere academic year. Accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED).

British School, Rio de Janeiro  (pending)

International Primary Curriculum/ adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma/ Brazilian curriculum; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,200 students

On three separate campuses; Botafogo (nursery to 11) teaching the IPC and NCFE curricula; Urca (11-18) teaching the NCFE, IGCSE and IB Diploma Programme: Barra da Tijuca (nursery to 18) teaching the IPC, NCFE, IGCSE and IB Diploma Programme The Botafago unit is in the historic part of the city, Urca sits at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and the state of the art Barra campus boasts the best scholastic facilities and has taught students the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme since 1992. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

Rio International School (formerly International Christian School)  (pending)

Adapted American curriculum/ Brazilian curriculum; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 160 students

Opened in 2000, located alongside the non-denominational Union Church, in Barra da Tijuca but now also with a nearby secondary campus. Member of the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS) and the church premises are used for drama and assemblies. The school draws on different school curricula from around the world, the programme is Biblically-based - although children of other religions are welcome. Around 35 per cent of pupils are Brazilian. ICS runs an ESL programme and follows the northern hemisphere academic year.

Our Lady of Mercy School Rio de Janeiro (OLM)  (pending)

Adapted American curriculum/ Brazilian curriculum; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 580 students

Opened in 1952 and follows an accredited American curriculum, based on Roman Catholic principles. Maintained by the Society of Our Lady of Mercy, an organisation founded by British and American residents of Rio, to celebrate Catholic services in English. There is a full programme of extra-curricular activities, and dedicated ESL and PSL (Portuguese as a Second Language) support. The chapel serves as the English-speaking Roman Catholic church in Rio.

These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Escola Alema Corcovado

Adapted German curriculum/ Brazilian curriculum/ Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM); ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 students

Founded in 1965 and now housed in a former American Ambassador’s residence, in Botafago, an old part of the city. The school has two streams; in one, a German curriculum is taught by German teachers (educational requirements of Brazilian law also fulfilled) in the other, a Brazilian curriculum is followed, with compulsory German lessons. Children can move from one branch to the other, providing their command of German/Portuguese is sufficient. Towards the end of their primary years, all children also learn English.

Escola Eleva Botafogo

International Primary Curriculum/ Brazilian curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18 ; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned 

Bilingual English/Portuguese education. Opened in 2017 on two sites in Botafogo and Barra. Authorised to teach the International Primary Years Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Lycée Moliere

Adapted French National Curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 680 students

Located in modern buildings in the historic part of the city and offering the official French curriculum adapted for the Brazilian environment. Open to all nationalities but 25 per cent of pupils are French with roughly a further 40 per cent Franco-Brazilian. Classes almost all taught in French but English also taught from primary level. Part of the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) global network and accredited by the French Ministry of Education.

SIS Swiss International School Rio

Brazilian curriculum/ PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 670 students

An unusual educational offering that combines teaching in Portuguese with either German, French or English. Owned by the Swiss organisation, Kaleidos Swiss Education Group, who own and run schools in Switzerland and Germany and a second school here, in Brasilia. Founded in 2014 and licensed by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Final exams leave pupils with the option of preparing for Brazilian higher education or Swiss university entrance.

For more information on the schools above, please go to  each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.


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