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International Schools in Ukraine

Last update: May 2, 2012 (prices updated)


In Ukraine, there are both public (state) and private schools just like in many other countries. In contrast to the United States, parents in Ukraine can choose to send their children to any public school they wish; the school system does not have districts that dictate which school local children must attend.

Some expats send their children to Ukrainian public schools. Many others send them to prestigious international schools attended by other children of foreign birth and the children of upper-class Ukrainians. Attendance at these schools can cost up to $2000 USD per month.

International schools in Ukraine are quite a bit different from Ukrainian public schools. They are sometimes a year longer, they may combine Ukrainian and foreign curriculum requirements, and they provide a variety of extracurricular activities similar to western schools. Many schools offer a choice of languages for instruction. Even if instruction is in English, students will have Russian and/or Ukrainian classes, which is important for adapting to the country. Oh, and many of these schools employ school buses, which are otherwise unheard of in Ukraine.

Pros and cons of sending children to an international school

  ADVANTAGES   DISADVANTAGES
  Curriculum generally tailored for entering western universities.   Curriculum often not recognized as meeting requirements for primary education within Ukraine; students may have problems trying to attend a Ukrainian university.
  Children will develop full literacy in English while in Ukraine.   Children will learn street Russian/Ukrainian/Surzhyk without becoming fully literate, which they may regret afterwards. They may miss the chance to become bilingual.
  Often more friendly, personable relations between students and teachers; a more western-style teaching environment. (Some expats come to mistrust any institution run by Ukrainians). Better protection for potentially vulnerable children of wealthy and/or politically visible parents.   High cost. Possibly less adaptation to Ukraine.
My opinion
If it were my children, assuming they were smart and talented and I expected to spend a long time in Ukraine/CIS and was not rich, I would send them to the best Ukrainian school I could find. Then, during one of their final years of schooling, I would consider sending them abroad for one year on an exchange program. This would likely be a more economical option while still providing a very useful international experience with the same options for attending a foreign university. I don't think it is a problem these days to get children to be fluent in English while living outside of an English speaking country. English is becoming extremely prevalent almost everywhere, and even if their home exposure is sporadic, they'll still learn it.

International schools in Kiev

(prices are from word-of-mouth as they are not published anywhere)

Kiev International School
website
Preschool through 12th grade
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum
All instruction in English
Tuition = approx. $1800-2000/month
Near Sviatoshino metro station in wooded setting with high fence and guarded entrance

Pechersk School International
website
Preschool through 12th grade
International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum
Tuition = approx. $2200-2700/month
Near Lybidska metro station

British International School
website
Preschool through 12th grade
All instruction in English
British and Ukrainian curriculum
Tuition = approx. $900-1200/month
Near Nyvky metro station

Kiev Christian Academy
website
Preschool through 12th grade
Instruction primarily in English
Christian instruction

Meridian International School
website
Preschool through 11th grade
Instruction in English, Ukrainian, or Russian
Ukrainian national curriculum
Tuition = approx. $200-300/month
Vinohradar district (NW edge of town)

Other high-quality schools in Kiev

You will need to do some shopping around for schools. Some schools have an emphasis — such as math and physics, English, Eastern Languages, etc. — that may make them better and more prestigious. You will probably not want to send your child to just "any old Ukrainian public school."

Lyceum No. 100*
website (Ukrainian only)
*Not an international school, but very prestigious
1st through 11th grade
Ukrainian national curriculum with extra material
Tuition = ?
Podil neighborhood



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