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Arguably not as edgy or cosmopolitan as Berlin or even Frankfurt, but if you are posted here you can look forward to a more affordable and less stressful place to bring up and educate your children, right in the middle of western Europe.  

Best schools in Dusseldorf, Germany

Education in Dusseldorf 

Surprising fact! Dusseldorf is in the top 10 rankings of highest standard of living cities in the world, taking into account criteria such as transport, crime rates, housing and for us, most importantly, education. The small size of the city is an additional perk and expats find that they can live close to the centre (and schools) without breaking the bank.  

It is possible to plant yourself and your family on either side of the river which is, literally and visually, at the heart of the city - but it is not the only watery attraction as, right bang in the centre, is also the large and picturesque Hofgarten, awash with lakes, swans and beautifully kept, child-friendly, green spaces. Transport is swift and ubiquitous (bus, metro and tram) so whichever side of the river you choose to live on, getting to work or your child to school is a doddle, compared to most modern cities. 

International schools aside, Dusseldorf boasts excellent state schools – in fact, the vast majority of Germans send their children to these state schools because the educational standard is high and they’re free. Schooling starts at 6 and covers elementary, middle and high school. 

Choosing a school in Dusseldorf 

One of the main benefits of international schools in Dusseldorf is that they are so accessible – and where public transport is slower, the school will usually offer a bus service.  

Curricula varies between the international schools, and it’s worth noting that Dusseldorf is home to one of the rare international schools in Germany to offer the International Baccalaureate Careers Programme as an alternative to the IB Diploma. 

As for the state school options, bear in mind the possible disadvantage for expats (apart from language) is that students are formally tracked onto separate educational paths much earlier than in the UK, US or Canada. The system also presents a practical problem for expat families with two parents at the coal-face as they are usually only open in the mornings. Also, as they don’t operate all day, they tend not to offer much, if anything, by way of extracurricular (sport, in particular). 

Before and after-school care for primary school children is often provided by on-site school clubs (Schulhort or Kita for kindergarten children) but beware they can stop at 4pm and always close by 6pm. If you do choose to go down this route, you will have to be extremely organised and that starts with turning up at the local registry office, clutching the school application form, the child’s birth certificate, passport, proof of residency and a medical certificate. 

Best schools in Dusseldorf 

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

International School of Dusseldorf (ISD) 

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,050 students

Founded in 1968 in Kaiserswerth, a historic suburb of Dusseldorf. English is the main teaching language but they also run a German programme and the largest cohort of students are German nationals. An all-through International Baccalaureate curriculum with over 50 courses offered at Diploma level. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

International School on the Rhine (ISR) 

SABIS / IGCSE/ IB Diploma/ AP; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 900 students

A relatively new (2003) and rapidly expanded school, that has grown from the original 65 students to over 900 today. Part of the SABIS network, it is located in brand-new buildings in Neuss, a city on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Dusseldorf. Boasting a very low student: teacher ratio, they consistently achieve International Baccalaureate Diploma scores in the mid-thirties. Offering full day-care and an extensive bus system.

Lycée Francais de Dusseldorf

French curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 565 students

One of the schools belonging to the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) network, now consisting of over 500 schools around the world. Since 2018, on a new campus on the outskirts of Dusseldorf. Providing a fully French education and the majority of students (roughly 70 per cent) are French nationals.

St George's The British International School Düsseldorf Rhein-Ruhr

National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma and Career-Related; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 

Opened in 2002 in the heart of the Rhein-Ruhr area. Teaching the National Curriculum for England, the IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Career-related programme. Students come from over 45 different nationalities. Part of the St. George's The British International School network.  

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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