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A guide to International Schools in Austria

When I first moved to Austria I had never heard about International schools. I was working in a bar and came across a group of 16 year olds hanging around in the back of the bar (yes you can drink certain types of alcohol in Austria when you are 16). I remember this young lady sitting apologizing for the behaviour of her friends and offering to help me clean up their mess. Later on, once the group had stumbled out of the bar, she came up to have a chat with me. It turned out that she attended an International School in Vienna and was visiting her friends, who all attended the public school in the area.  This was the first experience I had with someone who was in the private school system.

I found out that there are a number of International schools scattered around Austria, but the majority of them are in the capital city of Vienna. Education in Austria is compulsory from age 6 until 15 and International schools follow similar curriculum to most education systems. This may make it easier for expat children relocating to Austria, but it might also isolate new expats from the real experience of moving to abroad. Although private schools can be expensive, smaller classes with devoted teachers and more attention to detail may be highly beneficial.

Parents should note that when you move to Austria, you can negotiate an allowance for school fees into your employment contract. This can help considerably if you have multiple children to educate. Furthermore, it is recommended that parents bring school records and recommendations from previous teachers when applying to international schools.  

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