The OIB Degree Explained
The International Option of the French Baccalaureate (or OIB) was created in the early 1980s as the French answer to the IB (International Baccalaureate), which was taught entirely in English. A particularly demanding version of the French baccalauréat, the OIB requires eight supplementary course hours per week in one of 15 native languages. Fourteen of these are represented by a dedicated section at the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The OIB offers a genuinely bilingual education to French students and to foreign students studying in French schools around the world; at the same time, it focuses studies on a high-level university-entrance qualification exam in the language of the student's section.
The American portion of the OIB is guided by AAMIS (Association of American International Schools) and the College Board, who work closely with the French General Inspectorate of the National Ministry of Education. The number of American option OIB candidates worldwide is approximately 1,200, and has been increasing at an annual rate of 15%. A recent ministry directive has called for the opening of two new sections per Académie. New schools have joined annually in France and North America, while sections have also opened in Shanghai, Dublin, Johannesburg, and Hong Kong.
OIB candidates complete the entire series of examinations required for the French baccalauréat général. In addition, they take oral and written exams in the language of their section, in both language/literature and history/geography. These exams have particularly high “coefficients,” or value, accounting for approximately 40% of the final grade on the bac. The OIB written examinations typically take place in early June, roughly a week before the French bac. OIB oral examinations follow the French bac, typically the last week of June. The American Section class of 2019 had 98% overall mention (honors) rate, with 53% earning a mention très bien.