Schools in Dijon

2 Replies
Sophies Mum



We are likely to be moving to Dijon in mid 2015 -although this seems a long time away will probably roll up at great speed. We have 2 children and are looking for schools (one Ecole and one College) - can anyone recommend any for essentially non-French speakers (although starting lessons in Jan). Also any pitfalls and pointers would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance

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Jonnyboy-460264 1387188732

Hi Pretty sure there aren't really any International schools in the Dijon area, we looked and had to send to normal French speaking state schools. If I remember there may have been a couple of private catholic schools with a couple of bi lingual classes but seemed pointless. Luckilly your kids do have 18 months to cram with French language which is essential, maybe look for skype exchanges for them with French students wanting to learn English too, there are lots of sites out there who offer this!

Good luck, regards j

LisaD-B 1392187700

Hello Sophies Mum,

Ahhh, your question brings back memories for me.  We spent last year in Dijon with our son who was in 5eme. He had a fair amount of French, thankfully, but it was the difference in school culture that was the biggest shock to all of us.  After a rocky start at the larger College Pouilly, we ended up moving him to College St. Benigne.  It's a private Catholic school that specializes in Music and Drama.  Luckily his home room teacher was also the English teacher, so that made it easier for his dad and me to communicate (our French ability is very basic).  He was one of only a handful of kids in either school whose mother tongue was something other than French.  It was truly a total French immersion.

It took us a while to realize how our more informal, North American approach to education (e.g. sharing experiences in class, using "tu" more freely, asking questions) was perceived as disrespectful, and was getting us all into trouble.  And then there were the little things like the different conventions in math symbols that nobody tells you about. . . .   For my husband and I, who were also in French class as adults, it was easier to laugh at the differences, but they were very difficult for our 12-13 year old son.  Of course when you're 13, everything feels more difficult. 

I don't want to give you the impression that it was a totally negative experience, but just to say that for my son, it was more difficult than we anticipated.  The great thing is that his classmates were very nice, for the most part, to their new classmate.  By the end of the year, my son was getting to know some of his classmates much better. 

If you'd like, send me a message outside the forum and I give you fuller details.


Lisa D-B


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