Choosing the right school when you live in Bali

July 4, 2024

Bali attracts families worldwide with its nature-based, child-led, and creative schools, offering diverse educational options for all ages. The landscape provides choices ranging from very small home schools to international style schools with curricula such as Cambridge and the International Baccalaureate. Families can expect a life-changing experience for their children, regardless of the chosen educational path.

Schools in Bali are located across all the popular expat communities, including Sanur, Ubud, Canggu, Umalas, Kerobokan, and Bukit. These areas offer a wide range of school options, with Ubud being particularly known for its nature-based schools (you may have heard of the famous Green School!). 

This can be represented in the Our Year in Bali School map acting as a guide to all the schools that foreigners look to enrol.

There are new schools popping up all the time, expanding their offerings and renovating too. For example, ProEd Global has expanded a second campus to Nuanu as an emerging area still quiet with black sandy beaches and rice fields. 

Bali hosts various international and independent schools catering to foreign children aged 12 months to 18, operating independently of the Indonesian government's education system. For example, the French School, established in 1991, is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and supervised by the French Embassy.

These international style schools offer diverse curricula, such as Cambridge and Australian, varying school calendars, and facilities, emphasising the need for personal visits over online impressions. It is well worth setting up campus tours, meeting the team and other parents to get a sense of what to expect. Often schools provide trial days and weeks which can be very worthwhile too.

Schools in Bali primarily enrol students twice a year, in August and January, but due to the transient nature of families, many offer continuous enrolment year-round. Policies vary, with some schools requiring a minimum one-term commitment or even up to a year, while others accommodate short-term, part-time, and drop-in enrolments. 

All schools are co-educational, and there are no same-sex schools to consider in Bali. There are so many preschools and primary schools, with fewer large schools offering education through high school, including IB programs such as Bali Island School and Canggu Community School, advantageous for globally mobile students.

School fees in Bali can be surprisingly high and there are varying reasons for that. Most international schools on the island charge between $4,000 and $20,000 USD per year per student, depending on the child's age and year level. Additional costs may include registration, application fees, and security and technology levies. Discounts are typically offered, such as 5% for the second sibling and 10% for the third. Some fees include extras like school camps, sports, and excursions. So, budgeting for school fees would be one of the top considerations for a family living in Bali.

If it is possible, choose your school before deciding where to live and committing to a home. Traffic can be challenging, so carefully consider commuting logistics. Few schools offer buses, and parents might consider arranging carpools. Driving times can vary unpredictably due to ceremonies, floods, or traffic issues, making daily commuting difficult.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a School

  • Child's Age: Limited options for high school; waitlists for certain age groups.
  • Duration of Stay: Not all schools accept short-term enrolments.
  • Living Location and Commute: Afternoon traffic can double commute times.
  • Daily Schedule: Structure, programs, activities, start and finish times.
  • Budget: Term-wise school fees.
  • Facilities: Newest isn't always the best; vary by school, including halls, libraries, computer rooms, music and art rooms, sporting facilities.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Some included, others found independently.
  • Class Sizes: Generally smaller than back home; smaller with a transient community; high student turnover.
  • Curriculum and Philosophy: Options like British, IB, Cambridge, Montessori, Australian, French, Finnish, Green Way.
  • School Calendar: Many government and religious holidays.
  • Enrolment Length: Minimum of a term to a year; part-time and casual options available.
  • Reputation: Speaking to other parents and further recommendations in parent groups in the community.
  • School Community and Nationalities: Diverse student body.
  • Parent Involvement: Volunteering, associations, and community activities.
  • Waitlists: Common in primary years at larger schools.
  • Teacher Makeup: International and Indonesian teachers with excellent English skills.
  • Student Visa: Requirements like Student KITAS.
  • Registration: With the Indonesian government; learning centre rules.
  • Part-Time Options: Available for young children.
  • English Support: Extra lessons and preparation classes.
  • Alternative Learning: Consider different educational experiences.
  • Nationalities: Diverse mix, fostering global friendships.
  • Homework and Deadlines: Bali schools are more relaxed due to the transient nature.
  • School Hours: Early start (around 8 am) and early finish (2:30-3:00 pm).
  • Holidays: Many local holidays and religious days off, with 13 national holidays.
  • Community Feel: Unique to each school, with global family engagement.

Our Year in Bali offers comprehensive relocation consulting services to help families smoothly transition to life in Bali. They provide a range of services that include:

  1. Free Discovery Call: Book a 30-minute Zoom call to discuss your relocation plans and provide initial guidance and advice.
  2. Relocation Packages: Three levels of service packages (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) tailored to different needs, offering extensive resources such as living guides, cost of living spreadsheets, school and education guides, and detailed checklists.
  3. Network Connections: Access to a network of reliable local business suppliers, including visa agents, real estate professionals, insurance providers, and more.
  4. Ongoing Support: Continued assistance with introductions to essential contacts and further support as needed during your stay in Bali.

Their services are designed to save clients time, money, and stress, ensuring a seamless transition to living in Bali, whether it's for a short stay or a long-term move​.

Alternatively, if you wish to just discuss the best school for your family, then please book a 1 hour school deep dive. After the call they can introduce you to the Principals and Administration staff as well as connecting you with parents at the school to share their experiences.

 

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Choosing the right school when you live in Bali

Bali is a prime destination for families seeking diverse and innovative educational experiences, with schools offering curricula like Cambridge and the International Baccalaureate amidst its scenic landscapes. From the nature-based Green School in Ubud to various international schools across expat hubs, Bali provides a range of options tailored to the unique needs of globally mobile students.

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