There are many international schools in Qatar, with most located in Doha. These schools offer various foreign curricula, with the most popular offering the British, American, French, German or Indian curricula. Many of these schools also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. Most families choose a curriculum similar to the one in their home country, while expats who move frequently often prefer the IB curriculum.
International schools in Qatar can be a significant expense, so expats should try and negotiate school fees into their contract or ensure that they budget carefully. Fees can add up quickly for tuition, as well as additional expenses such as registration fees, uniforms and excursions. Most fees are expected to be paid upfront at the beginning of the school year.
Waiting lists for spaces in schools can be long so planning ahead is essential. Some expats secure places for their children in a school before signing their employment contract, since some companies reserve spaces at specific schools.
When choosing a school, expat parents need to consider the school’s location in relation to their home. Rush hour in Qatar means that children can spend hours travelling to and from school, and not all schools provide a bus service.
Expats should also ensure that their chosen school is accredited by Qatar National School Accreditation (QNSA) and recognised in their home country.