With a 100% literacy rate, it’s no surprise that Andorra offers excellent education through both public and private institutions. Despite its small size and low population, the country boasts a progressive and globalized education system. For parents thinking of relocating here, rest assured your kids will grow up in a wholesome environment and learn from the best.
Typically, most children in Andorra attend the public-school system which is taught in 3 languages to choose from — French, Spanish, and Catalan. You will also come across private international schools that teach their curriculum in English. Additionally, for tertiary education, the University of Andorra is the only public university here.
Of course, there’s a lot more that constitutes Andorra’s schooling, and in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know. Let’s dive right in.
How the Education System Works in Andorra
The first thing you should know about the Andorran education system is that schooling is free for both citizens and children residing in Andorra. This applies to all public schools located in various parts of the principality. Andorra provides 3 levels of education — elementary, secondary, and higher secondary.
Maternal or Pre-Primary School — Educació infantil
Age: 0-6 years
At maternal school, the focus is on early cognitive development, body control and movement. Basic, foundational skills such as communication, socializing and emotional development are given importance in order to prepare your child for formal education
Primary School — Primera Ensenyança
Age: 6-11 years
Languages: Catalan (Primary Language), French, English, Spanish
In Andorra, once a child is 6 years of age they begin their formal schooling. The curriculum consists of languages, mathematics, social sciences, science and technology, physical education, and music.
Secondary Schooling — Segona Ensenyança
Age: 12-16 years
Languages: Catalan, English, French, Spanish
Secondary schools in Andorra are found all throughout the principality. The curriculum is similar to that of the primary school with the addition of subjects like humanities, art, music, nature and physical science, and literature.
Upper Secondary Schooling: Baccalaureate Program
Age: 16-18 years
Languages: Catalan, English, French, Spanish
Upper secondary schooling isn’t compulsory but it is a great opportunity for students wanting to pursue further education. With the help of the International Baccalaureate program established in 2019, upper secondary students can now apply for a diploma or a career-related program (CP) and continue their academic journey.
It’s worth mentioning that:
- Home-schooling is not allowed. All children under the age of 16 are legally required to attend an educational institution.
- Andorra has two private schools. Parents looking for alternatives to public schooling (especially with English as the primary language) can enroll their children here.
- Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory. Children must be enrolled from the age of 6. Prior to that, schools offer primary education from the ages of 3 years but this isn’t compulsory.
- Your children will likely grow up to be multi-lingual. French, Spanish, and Catalan are the prominent languages in most public schools so expect your child to be fluent in at least 2 of these.
- Foreigners must have a residency card in the country if they want to enroll their children in the public school system.
Public Schooling in Andorra
Andorra has one of the most advanced public-school systems in the world with more than 10,000 students enrolled in educational instructions all over the principality. All towns in the country have advanced teaching facilities with access to sports facilities, computers, and dining areas.
The three public school systems — Andorran, French, and Spanish, work together and abide by Andorran educational standards.
French Public Schools
Languages: French (Primary), Catalan, English
A popular choice for French expats and parents who want their children to study French, these public schools follow a similar curriculum to their counterparts.
Upon finishing upper secondary school, students receive a diploma and can go on to pursue their academic education.
Spanish Public Schools
Languages: Spanish and Catalan (Primary), English, French
Spanish institutions in Andorra are managed by the government of Spain. Due to the growing popularity of the Andorran system, the Spanish public school has seen a decline in enrollments but is popular with Spanish expats nonetheless.
As one would assume, Spanish is the primary language here. However, for the schools funded by the Andorran government, both Spanish and Catalan are the primary languages.
International Schools in Andorra
International schools in Andorra provide English-language curriculums based on the British schooling system and they have limited openings. They present ideal solutions for foreign residents such as working expats, diplomats, executives, NGO staff, and others.
While the primary language is English, parents can also opt for teaching in French, German, and Japanese (the biggest expat population).
The curriculum in these schools is recognized internationally including counties such as the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, and more.
The British College of Andorra
Languages: English (Primary) and Catalan
Location: Andorra la Vella
Fees: €9,250-12,750/year (Other admission fees apply)
The British College of Andorra is the main private school in the vicinity of the capital of Andorra La Vella. It is located in a space called Albergue De La Comella which was provided by the city and is only a 5-minute drive from the center.
Children from the ages of 3-18 can begin their schooling here. The school itself follows the British National Curriculum and teaches primarily in English. As for its facilities, the school is equipped with the latest technologies.
One of the many perks offered by this school is its transportation. Bus services for all students are organized based on the needs of the families. The school can deploy professional drivers for students who live outside of Andorra la Vella and they hire highly trained drivers for the purpose.
Agora International School
Languages: Spanish (Primary), Catalan, English, French
Location: L’Aldosa, La Massana
Fees: €7,500/year+ (Other admission fees apply)
Agora International School is a well-known private school located in the village of L’Aldosa, in the North-West of the principality. Because of its proximity to some of Andorra’s best ski slopes, students regularly engage in outdoor activities such as skiing.
The school also has a boarding home that is designed to house a capacity of 50 students. Students in the boarding home share rooms and they have large communal recreational rooms, dining rooms, and other service rooms to make their stay comfortable.
The main sport practiced here is football and the school even has a large FIFA-approved indoor sports hall that is used for sports. There is also a large swimming pool that is heated and can be used by students year-round.
Upon completing upper secondary school, students have the choice of either leaving the country or joining Andorra’s local university — Universitat d’Andorra.
Here you’ll find various programs in the field of computer science, medicine, law, humanities, business, and finance.
Ski and Sport Schools
A popular ski destination on its own, most Andorran schools offer skiing as part of their curriculum. In addition, Andorra has a number of dedicated ski schools that offer beginner and advanced-level training in the sport.
Skiing aside, other sports like football, tennis, and basketball are also part of the curriculum. Thanks to its scenic landscapes and plenty of nature, outdoor activities are always encouraged.
Ready to Enroll?
Moving to a new country is by no means easy. We understand that you want the best for your children, and that availability of quality education is possibly the most crucial deciding factor for you. We’ll help you navigate through this process. Consult us for enrolment advice and a fast-track to residency in the principality.