If you’re thinking about making the move to Barcelona, one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, you’re probably wondering what the options are for your children’s education. While the city is home to several great international schools, the Benjamin Franklin International School (BFIS) could be a great fit.
TEXT: ESME FOX | PHOTOS © BENJAMIN FRANKLIN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
The school is located in the safe and quiet upscale neighbourhood of Sarria and is home to around 50 different nationalities of students. Around 30 per cent of these students are Spanish, while 25 per cent are from the United States, and 45 per cent from the rest of the world. Despite its diverse mix, however, the school maintains a strong sense of community.
The school’s teachers also come from all over the world, having worked in schools in many different countries. This knowledge of cultures and professional experience enhances the teaching approach and creates a tolerant and respectful mentality for all. “The teachers are the heart of the school,” says Director of Communications and Community Relations, Charo Rodríguez. Most teachers are native English speakers and the BFIS educational program is primarily American: however, there are options to obtain certificates in Spanish and Catalan, such as the Spanish baccalaureate or the ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education).
The school aims to customise its programme to enhance the development of each student’s unique skillset, and its mission statement is to pursue educational excellence and success for all. The teachers believe it’s their responsibility to create a supportive environment where students can explore their interests. They also believe in the education of the student as a whole, not just from an academic perspective, and emphasis is put on social, emotional, physical and creative development.
Rodríguez believes that most visitors and members of BFIS’s community would agree that “BFIS is a school that would be described as cheerful, vivacious and dynamic, both inside and outside the classroom.”
There’s a lively schedule of activities and events offered throughout the year to bring the community together and strengthen its ties. For BFIS’s large percentage of international families, togetherness and support through the entire school community is all important. There’s also a whole array of extracurricular activities available to students, featuring everything from football and volleyball to 3D printing or theatre. Parents can also experience the warm school community by attending English and Spanish classes.
A diverse, yet close-knit international community, where the approach to learning is based on arousing innate curiosity, BFIS is considered by many as one of the best international schools in Spain and Europe.