How We’re Different
In a word, our school is exceptional. Located outside of Paris in historic Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the Lycée International is one of France’s most prestigious public high schools and a vibrant international community. All students study the national curriculum in French; all are enrolled in one of 14 national sections as well, following an academically demanding bilingual and bicultural program. And while French is the common language, every section’s language and culture is equally valued. It is as if the Lycée International is a blend of many international schools.
Within this framework, our Section goal is to provide students with a genuine American educational and cultural experience. All Section classes are taught by English mother-tongue teachers who were educated in North America. The curriculum stresses academic excellence while building students' intellectual curiosity and self-confidence. Ours is a complex institution that expects a lot from its students, with considerable personal investment from students, parents, and teachers. The wide array of co-curricular activities aims at developing leadership, global awareness, and responsibility.
There are some 700 students enrolled in the American Section, at three different campuses, ranging from Pre-K (MS) through twelfth grade (Terminale). Over 50 nationalities are represented in the American Section student body, though the majority of our students hold both French and American nationalities or are French citizens who spent considerable time abroad in English language schools. The common denominator is that all American Section students speak age-appropriate fluent English and are motivated to learn in a demanding bilingual and bicultural environment.
Our Academic Approach
We offer an academically intense program in English designed to challenge students to maximize their intellectual and creative potential.
Lower and Middle School students have six hours per week of American Section; Upper School students have eight hours. Starting in fourth grade (CM1), two thirds of this time is devoted to English language and literature, and one third to history and geography. All classes are taught in English at advanced-native level except for first and second grade Plus, which are taught in English using an ELL approach. The remainder of the academic curriculum is taught by French teachers, in accordance with programs defined by the National Ministry of Education.
We do not merely teach English, we teach in English. All admitted students must possess native or near-native English language skills, and most speak both French and English fluently. The school’s Français Spécial program enrolls students who do not speak French upon admission. They receive intensive French language instruction over the course of one year and then join mainstream French classes in their second year.
For more on the curricula at each grade level, please consult the Academics section of this website.