Prague has been called out for being the city, where beer is cheaper than water, but don’t worry, all the international schools are externally accredited, so they obey all the educational rules (including no alcohol!).
Kafka wrote that ‘Prague never lets you go…this dear little mother has sharp claws’ whilst the weather can also seep into your bones, as it can reach -20 C in the winter. Sitting at the heart of Europe, the city that was once home to alchemists and astrologers, is now a magnet for digital nomads, working for major modern companies from Amazon to IBM, and also a home for the executives who run these businesses. Several brewing brands, (could it be due to the massive local consumption of their product?), have also settled here.
Prague has an ‘Old Town’ and a ‘New Town’ but remember the ‘New’ town is hundreds of years old. It’s just that it’s newer than the ‘Old’ town but equally full of architectural and ecclesiastical gems. Expats sometimes live here in Nové Mĕsto but a large percentage are attracted by Vinohrady, where the vineyards have been replaced by cafés, restaurants and parks or decide on Dejvice, an area which is particularly popular with Americans.
This is definitely not a city designed for cars as the combination of cobbled, one way and under repair streets can make the most patient of drivers despair, abandon their cars and head for public transport. Having said this, most of the international schools can be reached from the centre (Prague 1 and 2) or from the slightly further out Dejvice in Prague 6, in under half an hour, hazards and other drivers permitting.
Probably due to the driving conditions mentioned above, nearly two thirds of the Prague’s inhabitants take to public transport, which has an enviably good reputation and covers all the international schools, although you may have to use a combination of metro and tram or bus. It’s packed in rush hour but could still be preferable to the battle on the streets. Helpful tips on finding your way about as well as what's going on can be found on Prague Experience.
Some schools, such as Riverside School, Park Lane International School and Prague British International School are quicker to reach from Dejvice, whilst the American Academy in Prague, the Christian International School of Prague and the Lycée Francais de Prague are nearer the central districts.
Amongst the international schools, only two, the Lycée Francais de Prague dating back 100 years, providing a fully French education in French and Czech and the International School of Prague established just after World War II in 1948, have a really long pedigree. The remainder started to spring up in the early 1990’s and four have opened this century.
All are accredited by independent, external agencies except for the latest arrival, the American Academy in Prague (2017) which is still only a candidate for the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA). Four (English College, Meridian International School, Park Lane and Prague British School) have been inspected by agencies on behalf of British Schools Overseas.
Two are dually accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and, in fact, it’s a full house as the remaining two schools on our list (Christian International School and the Lycée Francais de Prague) are accredited, respectively, by MSA and the French Ministry of Education.
When it comes to curricula, your choices are between an adapted American curriculum, leading to the US High School Diploma (American Academy in Prague, Christian International School of Prague) or an adapted version of the National Curriculum for England, together with IGCSEs. As a final qualification, the choice lies between A Levels (Meridian) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, offered by the remainder, some of which also, depending on which school you pick, provide the option of the Czech Maturita for local students.
For more information on these schools, please go to each school’s individual entry on the GSGI database or The GSGI article 'Best schools in Prague considered by expats'.
Free (or sometimes small contribution) state schools teach exclusively in the Czech language, so that although there are some schools in Prague, where teachers have been trained to integrate expat children, it is still not a choice that most parents take, unless their child is already fluent in Czech. In addition, the qualification at the end will be a Czech Maturita, which will not have the same clout when it comes to applying to global universities as the qualifications offered by the international schools.
A joy of a city architecturally, and now increasingly European, Prague also provides a pretty good choice of international schools which all meet the standards of external inspectors.