Barcelona, with its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and picturesque Mediterranean coastline, is not only a dream destination for tourists but also a welcoming city for expat families and international students.
For families looking for an American-style education while living in this beautiful Spanish city, there are several American schools in Barcelona to choose from. In this article, we will explore the top American schools in Barcelona, providing insights into what makes them stand out and why they are the preferred choice for many students and parents.
From the allure of American-style education to the factors that distinguish one school from another, we will help you make an informed choice when it comes to providing your child with an educational experience that combines the best of both worlds.
Whether you’re an expat family looking for the perfect school for your child or a resident considering the benefits of American education, this article is your key to unlocking the doors of the finest American schools in Barcelona. Let’s embark on this educational journey and discover the best the city has to offer.
Table of Contents
Why Choose an American School in Barcelona
Choosing an American school in Barcelona offers the unique advantage of combining an American-style education with immersion in a foreign culture.
Students gain exposure to the Spanish language, culture, and way of life, while also benefiting from the academic rigor and global perspective of an American education. Here are some of the advantages of choosing American schools in Barcelona:
Rigorous Academic Programs
American schools in Barcelona adhere to high academic standards, providing students with a challenging and stimulating learning environment. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning, empowering students to become active participants in their education.
Global Citizenship and Cultural Awareness
In an increasingly interconnected world, American schools in Barcelona cultivate global citizenship, instilling in students an appreciation for diverse cultures and perspectives.
The international student body, often representing a variety of nationalities and backgrounds, creates a rich learning environment that promotes cross-cultural understanding and prepares students to thrive in a globalized society.
Innovation and Technology Integration
American schools embrace innovation and technology integration, fostering a dynamic learning environment that keeps pace with the ever-evolving world. Students gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology, preparing them for the demands of higher education and the workplace of the future.
Emphasis on Whole-Child Development
American schools in Barcelona recognize that education extends beyond academic achievement. They emphasize whole-child development, fostering students’ social, emotional, and physical well-being.
Extracurricular activities, sports programs, and community engagement opportunities provide platforms for students to explore their interests, develop leadership skills, and contribute to society.
Preparation for Higher Education and Future Careers
The rigorous academic programs and emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning prepare students for the demands of higher education, whether in Spain or abroad.
American schools also provide guidance and support for college applications and career exploration, helping students navigate the transition to higher education and the professional world.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a School
There are certain factors to take into consideration when selecting the best American Schools in Barcelona. These include:
Curriculum and Academic Philosophy
American schools in Barcelona offer a variety of different curricula, including the American High School Diploma, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, and the Advanced Placement (AP) program. It is important to choose a school that offers a curriculum that is aligned with your child’s academic goals and interests.
School Size and Location
American schools in Barcelona range in size from small, boutique schools with personalized attention to large, comprehensive schools with a wider range of resources and extracurricular opportunities. Consider the size of your child’s current school and their preference for a more intimate or larger learning environment.
Additionally, think about the school’s location within the city. Some schools are located in the heart of Barcelona, while others are located in the suburbs. Consider the proximity to your home, transportation options, and the overall safety of the neighborhood.
School’s Reputation and Accreditation
Research the school’s reputation and accreditation status. Look for reviews from current and former parents and students, and check for accreditation from recognized organizations such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Tuition and Fees
American schools in Barcelona can be quite expensive, with tuition fees ranging from €10,000 to €30,000 per year. However, there are several scholarships and financial aid options available. Carefully review the school’s tuition and fee structure and explore potential financial aid options to ensure that the school is affordable for your family.
Extracurricular Activities and Sports Programs
Explore the school’s extracurricular activities and sports programs. A well-rounded education extends beyond academics, and extracurricular activities provide opportunities for students to explore their interests, develop talents, and build social connections.
Best American Schools in Barcelona
Without further ado, the best American schools in Barcelona include the following:
1. The American School of Barcelona (ASB)
Address: Carrer de Jaume Balmes, 7, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Founded in 1962, The American School of Barcelona (ASB) is one of the best American schools in Barcelona that offers a world-class education to students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), ASB provides a rigorous American curriculum, taught entirely in English, that prepares students for success in college and beyond.
With a rigorous curriculum, experienced faculty, and a diverse student body representing over 60 nationalities, ASB offers an educational experience that prepares students for success both in the United States and on a global scale.
2. Benjamin Franklin International School (BFIS)
Address: Passatge Torras i Bages, 4, 08017 Barcelona, Spain
Located in the heart of Barcelona’s vibrant Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighborhood, Benjamin Franklin International School (BFIS) is a non-profit, private school that provides high-quality American education to students from nursery to grade 12.
The school offers a unique American curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning. With a diverse student body representing over 50 countries, BFIS fosters a global perspective and cultivates cross-cultural understanding.
Benjamin Franklin School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). This accreditation ensures that the school offers academic rigor and quality.
BFIS offers a multilingual education, fostering proficiency in English, Spanish, and Catalan, while emphasizing character development, global citizenship, and critical thinking skills. The school also provides a wide array of extracurricular activities, allowing students to explore their passions beyond the classroom.
3. The International School of Catalunya (ISC)
Address: Carrer Manuel Raspall, 8, 08530, La Garriga, Barcelona, Spain
The International School of Catalunya (ISCAT), established in 2007, is one of the renowned British International Schools that offers a comprehensive education to students from early years through Year 13.
Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS), ISCAT follows the rigorous National Curriculum of England and Wales, ensuring students receive a world-class education that prepares them for further studies in the UK, Europe, and beyond.
With a strong emphasis on integrity, respect, and responsibility, ISCAT fosters a diverse learning environment where students from a variety of cultures and languages can thrive.
The experienced and qualified teachers, along with strong parent involvement and communication, contribute to ISCAT’s reputation as one of the best American schools in Barcelona.
4. St. Peter’s School
Address: C. d’Eduard Toldrà, 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Established in 1964, St. Peter’s School holds a pioneering position as the first school in Barcelona to adopt English as its primary language of instruction.
Over the past sixty years, the school has consistently maintained its reputation as a leader in education, earning recognition from esteemed publications like Forbes magazine, which ranked St. Peter’s as the top school in Spain.
Embracing the need for a transformative approach to education, St. Peter’s has a unique educational project anchored on three key pillars: exponential science and technology, critical thinking, and connection with the real world.
The school’s commitment to innovation extends to its curriculum, which has integrated cutting-edge subjects like blockchain, nanoscience, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence.
Additionally, St. Peter’s stands as the only school in Barcelona that offers the IB Continuum in English across all stages, from Nursery to Diploma Program.
5. Agora International School Barcelona
Address: Carrer Puig de Mira, 32, 08635 Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Barcelona, Spain
Agora Barcelona International School, a member of the Globeducate group, stands as one of the best American schools in Barcelona that fosters a diverse, trilingual, and secular learning environment while upholding core values and respecting the beliefs of every family within its community.
As part of the Agora family of schools, comprising seven private and international institutions, Agora Barcelona International School benefits from a legacy of educational excellence spanning 50 years across various regions in Spain and Andorra.
Rooted in strong core values, Agora Barcelona International School emphasizes educational innovation, encouraging each student to realize their full academic and personal potential within a supportive and nurturing environment.
Operating in 10 countries with over 55 schools, Globeducate enriches Agora Barcelona International School’s offerings with international experiences, including boarding programs and summer schools in Spain, Andorra, and the United Kingdom.
6. Barcelona High School (BHS)
Address: C/ de Sant Agustí, 3, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona High School (BHS), founded in 2020, has quickly gained recognition as one of the most dynamic American schools in Barcelona, for its unique educational approach, centered on student-centered learning and a revolutionary pedagogy known as the BHS Method™.
The BHS Method™ emphasizes personalized learning, fostering a stimulating environment where students are actively engaged in their education.
BHS breaks away from traditional teaching methods, embracing flipped learning and incorporating STEAM Education principles, including movement therapy, Spanish immersion art classes, NFT creation, and official coding certification.
The school’s commitment to academic excellence is evident in its accredited US curriculum courses, taught entirely in native English. Additionally, BHS offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses to equip students for college-level work and beyond.
BHS prioritizes not only academic success but also social, emotional, and psychological well-being. The school encourages interaction between students from different grade levels and nationalities, fostering a supportive and inclusive learning community.
7. The British School of Barcelona
Address: Carrer de la Ginesta, 26, 08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
The British School of Barcelona (BSB) has garnered a distinguished reputation for delivering exceptional education, and equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and values to lead successful lives.
BSB’s focus extends beyond academic achievements, emphasizing the development of essential skills for success beyond school, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration.
BSB cultivates a supportive and challenging environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, and a growth mindset. The school’s high expectations encourage individual growth, instilling resilience, respect, and a commitment to personal excellence.
BSB stands out for its comprehensive approach that encompasses academic excellence, student choice and involvement, explicit instruction in essential skills, and a robust care and support system. This holistic approach ensures that students are well-rounded individuals, prepared to thrive academically, personally, and as global citizens.
8. Gresol International-American School
Address: Ctra. Sabadell a, Ctra. Matadepera, km. 6, 08227 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
GRESOL International-American School is one of the best American schools in Barcelona, guided by a mission to cultivate curious, educated, and empathetic individuals who become responsible citizens actively shaping a better and more peaceful world.
Their vision centers on nurturing students who possess a strong sense of self-belief, a deep appreciation for nature and the environment, and a commitment to respecting and embracing diverse cultures.
Through its comprehensive educational program, GRESOL fosters critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, preparing students for academic success and equipping them to navigate the complexities of an ever-changing world.
With a focus on holistic development, GRESOL International-American School empowers students to reach their full potential, not only academically but also personally and socially.
The school’s dedication to fostering well-rounded individuals prepares students to become active participants in shaping a better future for themselves, their communities, and the world at large.
9. Oak House School
Address: C. de Sant Pere Claver, 12, 18, 08017 Barcelona, Spain
With a student body of over 1050 pupils, Oak House School is one of the best American schools in Barcelona that cultivates a nurturing environment where each individual’s unique potential is recognized and nurtured.
Nestled in the vibrant Sarrià district of Barcelona, Oak House School stands as a private, co-educational international school catering to students from ages 3 to 18.
The school’s philosophy emphasizes self-confidence, honesty, personal best, positive attitude, social responsibility, and a tolerant and respectful attitude towards others.
Technology plays a supportive role in the learning process at Oak House School, equipping students with the digital skills they need to navigate an ever-evolving technological world.
Oak House School also offers a P.S.H.E. (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education) program that delves into themes such as self-identity, celebrating diversity, setting and achieving goals, fostering a healthy lifestyle, building strong relationships, and embracing personal growth.
10. The American School of Madrid
Address: C. América, 3, 28224 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain
With a legacy spanning over six decades, The American School of Madrid (ASM) is one of the few American schools in Barcelona that has consistently prepared students for academic success and personal growth.
ASM holds accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, an American accreditation organization, and is recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education.
This dual recognition allows Spanish students to pursue ASM’s unique program, which provides access to Spanish universities while also granting students the opportunity to explore European and other universities worldwide through International Baccalaureate certification.
ASM’s rigorous curriculum is delivered entirely in English ensuring that students are well-equipped for higher education and beyond.
11. Princess Margaret School
The last school on our list of American schools in Barcelona is Princess Margaret School, located in Barcelona, Spain. Proudly affiliated with the esteemed educational group Globeducate, Princess Margaret School holds a distinguished position as one of the five most important school groups globally.
The school’s emphasis on small class sizes enables personalized attention to each student, creating a nurturing and supportive environment conducive to intensive, participative, and transdisciplinary learning. This approach ensures that students receive the individualized support they need to thrive academically and personally.
Princess Margaret School embraces a holistic approach to education, nurturing not only intellectual growth but also personal and social development. The school fosters a sense of global citizenship, preparing students to navigate an increasingly interconnected world with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to making a positive impact.
Are there American schools in Spain?
Yes, there are several American schools in Spain. These include;
- American School of Barcelona (ASB)
- American School of Valencia
- American School of Murcia
Are there English-speaking schools in Barcelona?
Yes, there are English-speaking schools in Barcelona. Some of them include The American School of Barcelona, Benjamin Franklin International School, Oak House School, and The British School of Barcelona.
How many international schools are there in Barcelona?
There are about 48 International Schools in Barcelona, Spain, each of which has the unique features that distinguish it from the other.
Are there American schools in Europe?
Yes, there are American schools in various European countries, providing American-style education to students living in Europe. Some of these schools are;
- The American School in London, United Kingdom
- The American School of Paris, France
- International School of Geneva, Switzerland
- American School of Milan, Italy
- American International School of Budapest, Hungary
How are American schools different from schools in Spain?
American schools in Spain typically follow the American educational system and curriculum, which can differ in several ways from Spanish schools. Some key differences include:
- Language of Instruction
- Grading System
- Cultural Diversity
- Academic Calendar
- Extracurricular activities
Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that offers a diverse array of educational options for families seeking American-style schooling.
From traditional American curricula to international programs with a strong emphasis on global citizenship, American schools in Barcelona cater to a wide range of learning styles and aspirations.
Whether you’re seeking personalized attention in small classes or exposure to a diverse student body, the American schools in Barcelona listed in this article provide a nurturing environment where students can thrive academically, personally, and socially.
With a strong emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, these schools empower students to become well-rounded individuals prepared for success in an ever-changing world.