Expat Schooling Options (read)

Ep 93- Acapulco On A Budget

When it comes to schooling in Mexico you have 4 options to choose from.  

We are going to tell you a little bit about each option today so that you know what they are and  be able to research from there what will work best for your family.


First a little bit about school in general. Like many countries,  you have kindergarten and then three levels. 

Primeria or primary from ages  6-12, grades 1-6, 

secundaria or junior high from ages 12-15, grades 7-9 and 

prepatoria or high school grades 10-12 for ages 15-18. 

Of course from there you can go on to college or university etc, but for the purpose of this video we are going to address kindergarten to grade 12.


The first option we are going to look at is public school. Public schools are secular, free of charge and will only be in Spanish. 


If your child is bilingual or entering school in kindergarten this could be a viable option, but you must know that many public schools are underfunded, especially in rural areas so that could very well affect the quality of education.  

You will want to do your homework on the school in your area to determine whether it is a good fit for your family.


Public school will in some ways be different from what you are used to.  

For example, the school day will likely run from something like 8am to noon or 1pm.


If your child does not speak spanish some expat families will send them to public school half a day which will expose them to the language and the culture and then be homeschooled the other half of the day.


Speaking of homeschooling, just like in other countries, there are many different school boards you can choose to enroll with.  You will need to do some homework to determine which option is best for you.  


Prices will depend on which homeschool program you choose.


For myself, I homeschooled my children for 9 years.  I chose to go with School of Hope out of Alberta because they offered an accredited program and because I had no teaching experience and no knowledge of creating curriculum.  I made this choice because I thought if they ever wanted to or I was forced to transition them into the regular school system that the process would be less painful for everyone.  In the end that turned out to be the right decision, so you want to consider that when you are making your choice of programs to homeschool with.

The third option we are going to look at for schooling your children in Mexico is Private schools.

Private schools in Mexico are often located in larger centers, but that is not always the case.  


For example, Taxco has a private Catholic school.  


So, when you find a place you are interested in living,  do a search to see if there are any private schools in that town.


The other thing you want to do is to make sure the private school is accredited.  Like with homeschooling, it is possible that the private school is not, making the steps a little more onerous for your child if they change schools or decide to go on to college or university after high school.  So make sure you go in and check it out.


You might find a private school that offers immersion programs that teach in Spanish half the day and English the other half, but most of these schools will be located in or around Mexico City. 


Private school hours will run from approximately 8-2:30 for primaria and secundaria, and likely start half an hour to an hour earlier for preparatoria.

Tuition ranges from $3000 pesos/ month ($150 USD) ($190 CAD) to $4500 pesos/mo ($225 USD), ($285 CAD)


And the last option for schooling your children in Mexico is International schools.

ASOMEX or Association of American Schools in Mexico is a good starting point to find specific options.


The biggest thing you need to be aware of when it comes to International Schools is that they are very likely going to cost substantially more than the other options.  On the lower end there is Liceo Franco Mexicano at $15,000 pesos/mo ($750 USD) ($950 CAD) and at the high end, the American School Foundation $70,000 pesos/mo ($3500 USD) ($4400 CAD).

Most International Schools are located in either Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. 


The other thing you need to be aware of with the private and international schools is that these fees may or may not cover things like textbooks, uniforms or enrollment fees, so you will want to make sure to ask for those details from the school you are considering.


Once you choose the school option that is best for your family you will need the following documentation for enrollment.  Some schools may require more than this, for example a catholic school record of baptism, but all schools should require a minimum of this:

-Proof of completion of previous grade unless first entering kindergarten.

-Child’s birth certificate.

-Photo ID of both the child and the parent.


So there you have your options for schooling your children in Mexico.


We hope this helps to answer your questions so when you are making your choices to move to Mexico you have a head start on schooling options.

Read More