International Schools in Russia

Find out about international schools and the different curricula available in Russia…

For expatriates living in Russia, a number of primary and secondary schools following international curricula can be found in Moscow and St Petersburg. Most of these are private establishments with a mix of Russian and foreign teachers, including native English speakers and teachers from the countries of the curriculum taught in the school.

Outside the main cities, due to the low numbers of foreign nationals, options for education in foreign languages are extremely limited.

School for Foreign Nationals

Technically, there are several options for foreign nationals with school age children living in Russia. Most expats do not usually enrol in anything other than schools offering international curriculum or a mix of this and the Russian curriculum, as children would have to learn Russian despite not speaking any prior to moving to the country. However, it is possible to enrol in the following types of school:

Russian State Schools

State schools follow the Russian curriculum. Education is almost always in Russian. The exception to this is specialist language schools, where although most lessons are mainly in Russian, there is increased use of a second language. In general, state school classes are quite large, often containing 30 or more children. State education is free of charge – parents pay only for meals and uniforms (although a fee is often charged for after-school activities).

Private Russian Schools

Private education is primarily in Russian following the Russian curriculum. Classes are smaller than state school classes (between 12 and 15 pupils per class), meaning children get more personal attention. Fees for private Russian schools are lower than at international schools (see below).

Private Russian Specialist Language Schools

Large parts of teaching is carried out in a second language in these schools, but the school still follows the Russian curriculum. Fees are lower than international schools.

Foreign Private Schools with Foreign and Russian Curriculum

Teaching is carried out in both Russian and the required second language, with the school following both the Russian curriculum as well as that from the home country.

Foreign Private Schools with International Curriculum

In these ‘international schools’, the curriculum follows that of a foreign country (such as the UK or USA), or the International Baccalaureate. The most prestigious schools may have waiting lists for new students. Fees can be quite high, although some employers give an education allowance for children of employees. Children can start as young as 2-3 years of age in some schools and can usually study up to 18.