Although expat children are able to attend public schools in Cyprus for free, many parents find the language barrier to be an obstacle. While younger children have the ability to adapt quickly, older students – and parents themselves – may struggle to adjust. That said, those who intend to stay for the long-term often prefer their children being immersed in Cypriot culture.
The Apolyterion, the Cyprus school-leaving certificate, does not always equate with certain levels of testing internationally, such as in the UK and the US, and students who wish to attend tertiary institutions in these countries may need to sit for additional exams.
Many expats living in Cyprus send their children to private international schools. The most obvious benefit is that children will be surrounded by others who speak their language, and these schools tend to offer a higher standard of education and have a better selection of extra-curricular activities.
Private schools are present in larger cities such as Paphos, Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, but the curriculum taught and the standard upheld in each of the institutions may vary considerably. The most popular curricula offered at international schools in Cyprus include the British and American, with many schools also offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.
Private schools in Cyprus can be costly, with tuition depending on the age of the child and the requirements of the school. Parents should also anticipate supplementary costs like registration and enrolment fees, books, uniforms and school bus expenses.