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Top Ten International Schools Around The World


Top ten international schools

Top International Schools the world over have a reputation; great exam results, excellent extra-curricular facilities, a cosmopolitan student body, and of course, high fees.  This list comprises the ten international schools that offer the best balance of the above, though there are many other excellent schools that only just missed out. 
As no official league tables or exam results tables are published on international schools, this list takes into consideration their most recent exam results compared against the relative cost of attendance (of which there is a surprisingly large margin) and to a lesser extent extra-curricular, sporting, musical and theatrical facilities.  That is not to say these aren’t important, just that there is relatively little to separate the following on those counts!

1. Tanglin Trust School: Singapore

The Tanglin Trust School is a private fee-paying school with an open admissions policy and for 86 years it has provided the UK national curriculum to Expats based in Singapore.  The Tanglin Trust school tops the list not only for it’s excellent new facilities and fantastic academic track record (this year 98% of pupils got into their first choice university).
Exam Results

GCSE: 53% A*-A, 80% A*-B, 99% 5+ A*-C
A-Level: 55% A*-A, 21% A*, 98% got into first choice university


£1357 enrolment fee and £12 800 – £17 400 per year depending on grade

2. Garden International School: Kuala Lumpur

Garden International Schoolis the largest private, co-educational, international school in Malaysia. Established in 1951, GIS provides a British-style education to the expatriate and local community in Kuala Lumpur.

The school hosts over 2000 students from over fifty countries. Facilities include purpose-built Drama, Music, Art, DT and Languages suites, a 25m, 8-lane Swimming pool, synthetic turf field, tennis courts, basketball courts, indoor sports facilities and specialist teaching rooms that support a high level of IT integration, all with the lowest tuition fees on the list.

Exam Results

GCSE: 35% A*, 62% A*-A, 82% A*-B, 94% A*-C
A-Level: 46% A, 77% A-B, 87% A-C, 100% pass


£260 application fee, £2000 (nursery and reception) or  £4000 (years 1-13) registration fee and £7000 – £10 800 per year dependent on grade

3. Dulwich College: Beijing

Dulwich College Beijing is part of the umbrella Dulwich college group, which run schools across the world from London to Seoul to Beijing.  Based on the original Dulwich college London the Beijing School has four houses which students are assigned to, to create an atmosphere of friendly competition and a sense of identity.  As it is based on a traditional English public school there are similar adherences to uniforms, house systems and head boys/girls.  This also means that the school mainly follows the British national curriculum, though the IB is taken at sixth form rather than A-Levels.  In terms of academic performance Dulwich college is the highest out of any in the list with a very impressive average IB points of 36, well above the global average of 29.  However due to the relative cost, it only ranks third.
Exam Results

IB: Average Points 36, 22% level 7 papers, 23% 40+ points, 68% 35+ points


£15 000 – 19 000 per year depending on grade, a £200 application fee and a £1700 refundable deposit

4. St Christopher’s: Bahrain

Another British style school, St Christophers in Bahrain achieved a very strong set of exam results despite the heat conditions!  Like Dulwich college St Christopher’s has a house system and is largely based on the English public school system.  Though the exam results are not quite as impressive as some places below it in the list, the relatively low fee cost nets it fourth place.
Exam results

GCSE: 23.5% A*, 54.5% A or A*, 95% A*-C, 99.3% 5 or more A*-C
A-Level: 99.7% Pass, 16% A*, 42% A* or A, 66% A* A or B
IB: 89% pass, Average points 33, 14% level 7, 38% level 6 or 7


£4000 – £11 265 per year depending on grade entered.

5. British School of Paris

Based in the heart of Paris, the British School Of Paris boasts possibly the most enviable location for any international school.  The close availability and depth of local history, art and culture mean that students enjoy as rich an education outside the classroom as inside.  A-Level results are very impressive and it would place higher if it were not for the fact that the fee system works out as the second most expensive of any on the list.  But, the students will always have Paris…
Exam Results

GCSE: 32% A*, 95% A*-C
A-Level: 55% A*-A, 100% pass


€1000 (£900) registration fee, €6000 (£5400) development fund contribution and  €12 000- €23 000 per year (£10 800 – £20 767) dependent on grade entered

6. Sir James Henderson School: Milan

Like the British School of Paris, Sir James Henderson School is another school strongly based on the British national curriculum set in the heart of a bustling European city.  A very close fifth, but even the relatively affordable fees were not enough to push it above the stronger academic performance of the other schools.
Exam Results

GCSE: 89% pass, 29% A*, 20% A, 22% B
A-Level: 100% pass, 34% A, 32% B


Registration fee of €4200 (£3777) (reduced for subsequent children), enrolment fee of €1800 (£1600) and €10 150 (£9000) – €13 900 (£12 500) per year depending on grade

7. Dulwich College: Shanghai

Based on the same model as Dulwich college Beijing, Dulwich College Shanghai places lower due it’s (slightly) poorer academic record but similarly high fees.  However, both schools boast excellent extra-curricular facilities as well as very thorough and well balanced approaches to teaching music, sport and drama.
Exam Results

IB:  98% pass, Average points 34


Same as Dulwich College Beijing

8. International School of Brussels

The most expensive school on the list, the International School of Brussels has stiff competition from the legion of international, American, British and European schools in Brussels.  Boasting the best academic record of its local competitors, on the international stage the astronomical fees force it in the lower end of the list.
Exam Results

IB: 97% pass, Average points 35


€25 300 (£22 700) – €30 500 (£27 400) per year depending on grade and a €1000 (£899) application fee

9. Munich International School

The Munich International School like all the others has a strong academic record but has fees on the middle end of the scale.  With excellent sport facilities, it also has a highly thorough approach to teaching students local and other languages that British based schools can sometimes overlook.  Though its fees are slightly higher than the Berlin British School, the 94% pass rate at IB versus the 81% pass rate ensure it avoids bottom place.
Exam Results

IB: 94% pass, Average points 32


€13 050 (£11 700) -  €16 210 (£14 500) per year depending on grade, plus an €80 (£71) application fee 

10. Berlin British School

Compared to the other schools academic results the Berlin British School’s are relatively weak.  Until you compare them to the global average.  It should be noted that although the Berlin British School places bottom of the list it is certainly one of the better lists to appear on the bottom of!  Like all the above it boasts excellent facilities, small class sizes and an eye-opening international location. 
Exam Results

IB:  81% pass rate, Average points 31


Admission fee of €2600 (£2300) or €515 (£463) for subsequent siblings, €12 039 (£10 700) – €14 083 (£12 600) per year depending on grade

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35 thoughts on “Top Ten International Schools Around The World”

  1. Trackback: studying in singapore, singapore private schools, private schools, diploma, degree, tourism management
  2. Maria Hartnett says:

    My two children have attended St. John´s International School in Brussels for the last 12 yeras as we believe it to be a better school than ISB which is listed number 8 on your Top Ten Schools. You may want to revisit the clasification. We are an international family based in Brussels and our choice was St. John´s with no hesitation. In fact, St. John´s IB results have been consistantly better than those of ISB for many years and it´s a much more rounded school. Trust me.

  3. Miles Bason says:

    I attended ISB between 2004 and 2009 and received an absolutely fantastic education from committed and enthusiastic teachers. ISB also boasts the most extensive athletics program Europe wide, which I was lucky enough to be a part of on both track and field, and cross country teams.

    Maria, whilst there is a very strong rivalry academically and athletically between the two institutions (ISB vs STJ), the statistics, success stories and this very article support the fact that ISB is the better of the two schools. I would also like to note that STJ is a Christian school (I myself am Christian, so don’t think I’m bashing Christianity), but the whole idea of an international school is to be accepting of everybody. ISBs motto “Everyone Included, Challenged, Successful” says it all.

    So in conclusion, no, saint john’s is not superior to ISB!!!

  4. Millreef says:

    Garden International School number 2! I don’t think so. Both my children were students there and the teaching is ten years behind the UK. They are in Hong Kong now and the difference is like chalk and cheese.

  5. Nicky-Kae says:

    Garden International School is number 2? Wow, and why isn’t Alice Smith School in this list? I think it’s an awesome school :)

  6. Sachiendra Amaragiri says:

    Beware, do not think all these results are favourable. What are the things one has to consider before choosing the school for their children.

    1. What the student want to do and can the school achieve at least 70% of the grade that is needs to be achieves. They may not get a course that they aspire but at least they should get a high grade. After paying so much fees, it is the schools responsibility, they cannot come to you and say they your son or daughter is not good enough, because, they have chosen the best pupils for admission.

    2. How many of the students got into the course that they wanted to do in the University. Not how many got their first choice university.

    3. How many of the students have been counselled to take a course other than the one they aspired to do. If they have been counselled that means that the teaching is not good

    4. How many students take private tuition in addition to the school.

  7. Mr Beekmans says:

    I don’t understand why Ecolint (the International School of Geneva) has not been noted at all in this list while, over the past few years, they have a higher pass grade for IB (around 94/95% over the past decade) and a higher average of points (33/34 over the past decade) than some of the schools noted above. I think this would be a reason to overlook this list. (Information is based on Ecolints website

  8. Jack Cumming says:

    I would like to say that ISB which i have been attending for many years is a great school. I also believe that it maybe should be moved into a higher spot.


    iI hate to break it to you but St Johns christian school is closing because all the students are going to ISB this year oly there have been at least 10 St Johns students visiting ISB to possible enroll.


  9. Allegra says:

    Tanglin’s average IB score is 38, which is higher than Dulwich College Beijing’s.

  10. Marcus Ward says:

    I have taught at both Garden International School in KL and Bangkok Patana School in Thailand and while I am delighted that GIS is rated so highly, I cannot understand how Patana is not in the mix-it is an outstanding school where the facilities are second to none. In fact, when GIS teachers have returned from professional development sessions at patana, they describe it as a teacher’s Nirvana.

  11. Charles says:

    I went to ISL in Lausanne for a long time. It was a great school, perfect supportive teachers and amazing pass rates (which would land it a spot on this list). HOWEVER! For my IB I went to boarding school in the German-side of Switzerland. The school was good, teachers didn’t support me as much though and there wasn’t so much pressure on us to achieve. This in turn motivated me to fulfill my potential on my own. I am confident that I achieved better results at a “worse” school, and learnt more, than I would have at a top international school.

    Moral of the story, a good school doesn’t mean a good education!

  12. Jermain says:

    How has DCB not dropped even more with all the child predators?

  13. Jessica Tay says:

    Bangkok Patana international school is one of best school in south east Asia or not APAC. I am surprised it didn’t make it the list!

  14. connor says:

    What about the American School in Japan!!!

  15. IB Student says:

    Strange how Hockerill Anglo European College doesnt place on here, seeings as its free unless you board there, and has more favourable IB results than some of the schools on this list. There was a College average of 35.6 in the 2015 results.

  16. Will says:

    St.christopher’s of Bahrain only cares about it’s results in the school to keep its standards. however that is always a good thing but they unbelievably fail in stopping the constant recurrence in bullying. The school give students who are considered ‘important’ privileges in comparison to normal people going to the school. Even though they are punished they aren’t punished correctly and by giving them a small punish they fail to eliminate bullying. Many students leave the school because of how severe the bullying can get. As I have stated above I can say this because I am a former student and left because of bullying regardless of how good their education is. A school in my opinion cant be considered a top international school when they cant secure a students safety in the school. bullying is one of the biggest social problems in St.christopher’s and in some cases they try to cover things up to make it out that the school is a excellent and bully free school with no problems what so ever. Of course schools aren’t going to be perfect but this is something that should be solved without a problem.

  17. Nono says:

    The report has no consistency! If you talk about International school why there is no IGCSE results and why some schools do not show their IB results! It seems the International goes more for diversity of attendance than the real definition of the IB board. No need to fight as any parents have no real choice for school, we all try to make the best choice around the place we live. As usual the school your child is Attending is the best one because you made the choice! To finish it is not only the school but your children too as well as you, parents.????

  18. The magic school child says:

    Maria sorry to say bit u clearly haven’t been to ST Johns recently in the last dew years most of there student have left to BSB or ISB, the school has been through 3 heads in under 2 years it has had many issues. I am honestly not surprised it isn’t on the list????????. But I should say that all schools cab be grouped and ordered by reputation with results but also in well which is a better school and I don’t believe this is the correct list of top 10 international schools but best results.

  19. Sabrina says:

    Why is Dubai College not featured on this list, it has a higher exam results than any of the above and competes in many areas whether it be music, sports, academics, etc.

  20. Dhanesh nanoo says:

    Bangkok Patana School??!

  21. Martha Gallagher says:

    Having 4 daughters attend Jakarta International School, American School London, American Community School Tunis and International School Brussels I am shocked that ISB was considered better than JIS or ASL. I also do not understand how UK curriculum can be compared with the American curriculum .

  22. Mike Theobald says:

    I taught at St. Christopher’s School Bahrain from 1976-1991. Best years of my life.

  23. Jemma says:

    I cannot believe The British school of Brussels is not in the list. It is an outstanding school with excellent results and is non selective – totally inclusive. They also have three different post 16 routes so all students can experience success with a choice of either the IB, A Levels and/ or BTech. 98% of students get into their 1st or 2nd choice university. Apart from the ecam results BSB offers so much more to their students in terms of activities and experiences far beyond what is expected. Great after school activities, drama, music, sporting activities and there very own student led charity, which students presented on at the IB conference-( first students ever to present).

  24. Jeroen Kuipers says:

    Even though these ten schools undoubtedly deserve credit it is highly debatable to judge them the ten best. Firstly, there is the issue of who are admitted. If only bright students are admitted it is clearly easier to achieve good results. Secondly, it is relevant to ask the question what makes an international school truly international? The answer should be that the school should have a wide range of students from different countries and teach the PP, MYP and IB DP as these are the only international curriculum systems we currently have. Having schools in the list that clearly teach the British curriculum, which is great for Britain but not really outside it, does this “international schools” list a disservice. It is commendable that listing has been attempted.

  25. Lindsay Bellis says:

    The information you have posted about Dulwich College Shanghai is completely incorrect. The results for this year are 100% pass rate with an average IB score of 36 points. Please can you amend the information as soon as possible. Many thanks.

  26. Dylan Bartlett says:

    I teach at St Louis international school in Milan. Our IB average last year (our first ever cohort) was 36.12. I think that speaks volumes. The research for this article may be somewhat questionable.

  27. James says:

    Um mm. …. maybe a more detailed bio of the author could lend some credibility (or otherwise) to this conjectural article!?

  28. Asad Mahmood says:

    I honestly feel that The United World College of South East Asia, (SINGAPORE), deserves a place among the top 10.

  29. Paul Wiggins 1976 says:

    I garnered a more useful and quality education in one year at The International School of Brussels than the previous 12 years at either of the two very reputable school districts in the USA. The first was in The La Crescenta Unified School District in the Los Angeles area 1963 -1969 and the second in The Ramsey area of Bergen County ion NW New Jersey from 1969-1975. Well done ISB!

  30. Steve Crowley says:

    This list of top international schools has missed the fact that the Frankfurt International School had an average IB score of 36! for 2014… and nearly all the students do the full IB in a school of around 1800 students. This would place them at the top or near the top of this list. I would suggest better research is called for when this list is put out next year… Or is this list basically focused on British curriculum schools?

  31. Damon Stephen says:

    How about GEMS Education? They have many schools around the world. Any review about them?

  32. Sophie says:

    The classification has been done according to grades results but not only . These school have been judged according to their value for money, extra-curricular activities, and the” internationality of the school’, as well as the grade as it is said in the introduction. Therefore if some schools in your area achieve the same grades but are way more expensive , or have 95% of of the same nationality they won’t make it in the top ten.

  33. Yun martinez says:

    I need a high school for my daughter that is going into junior high …and she can live abord

  34. John Cole says:

    Tanglin? Garden?

    How on earth did these two schools get included when United World College of SEA is rated the number one international school in the asian region!?!

  35. Felicier Suppiah says:

    I think this list is no to be taken seriously. There are so many great international schools in the world and yet they choose Garden International School as No. 2 in the world? They are very good but not no. 2 in the world in terms of facilities, teachers, student teacher ratio, location and average student results. This is based on my experience after 8 years of having my children there.

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