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Zagreb



What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

The one accredited English school option is the American School of Zagreb (AISZ). It is small, with one class for each grade. Classes in the younger grades tend to be 14-21 students, with a teacher and assistant. Middle and high school are smaller, with 8-14 per class. The school meets in an old seminary complex, which is also home to a tennis center, medical clinic, university library branch and Catholic radio station. The facilities were not purpose built to be used as a school, and so are quite limiting. The playground is a small, interior courtyard with cement. The positives to the school are small class size and caring teacher population. The negatives include limitations in classes offered due to size, limitations in peers due to size and high staff turnover. The school is trying to recuperate a large amount of money lost a few years ago when trying to build a new school campus. Some staff positions have been cut, or teachers are pulling double-duty. (One of the secretaries is also the high school biology teacher?) Our son has completed kindergarten and 1st grade there. We were overall happy with his experience, but found that the school offers very little in the way of enrichment for students who need additional challenge, particularly in the areas of math and science. It seems that at the elementary levels the school is putting a lot of energy into helping ESL students. Approximately 50% of the school is Croatian, and the expat/Croatian mix seems good in the elementary years, but I have heard it is clique-ish in the high school. I am thankful my son has had some caring teachers, but overall, I would not recommend this school for older students. I also feel that the school is not doing well in general communication with parents, and you need to be pro-active to communicate yourself with staff. The embassy contracts with a mini-bus service to offer regular hour and after-school bus service, door-to-door, which is really helpful. Extracurricular activities are offered by teachers each semester at no charge, on a first-come-first-served basis (cooking, soccer, crafts, drama, games) There are "outsourced" activities such as hip-hop dance, karate and tennis which are offered through the school by outside instructors at an additional fee. There are no competitive sports programs for elementary school. In middle and high the only competitive sports for girls are volleyball and for boys soccer. The high school and medical school send teams to regional model UN. One embassy family has a child at the French school. - Apr 8, 2016
I have no children so my experience with the American International School of Zagreb (AISZ) was second-hand and based on what I heard from other people. The facilities are not the best - the school is housed in an old part of an old convent - but the people I knew best seemed generally happy with the quality of education and their kids' experience there. Post and the school are working with the City of Zagreb to identify a location for a new school. That effort seemed to be coming along when I left although it will be several years at best before any new construction is finished. There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the school and its director just as I was leaving. Post management was very involved and spending a lot of time on the issue. My impression from the outside looking in was that most of the problems were due to unrealistic expectations from some who found AISZ lacking compared to larger and better funded schools in the U.S. or other places they had lived. - Aug 5, 2014
Our daughter attended one year at the American International school and in a word - awful! The building is unsuitable for a private American school. By comparison, Prague and Madrid were modern, beautiful schools with very capable management and great extra curricular activities. The Zagreb school is old and run down (part of an old convent that is rented by the school) and has no decent facilities (like a gym). This year the director has changed and it is even worse than last year with unhappy teachers, a declining student body and horrible morale. We endured one year here but would have taken our daughter out and gone elsewhere if we needed to. Many students in the American school don't even show up for weeks at a time but still graduate. There is absolutely no discipline and behavior is deplorable. I have heard the best option is the British school but do not have any first-hand knowledge. - Jun 16, 2014
No real exposure to the schools. Other families say the school is okay, or good. - Feb 18, 2014
The American International School of Zagreb (AISZ), is a pretty good school. It is a Pre-K - 12th Grade school, although only has about 200 students. It is an IB school, so if you have a teenager, it would be good to stay for all 4 high school years. My son, Tommy, started out at AISZ in 1st grade and finished 9th grade there, and we had a great experience. When we first went to Zagreb, my daughter, Adriana, had just turned one. We sent her to a Croatian speaking preschool, because we wanted her to learn the language. She also went to a school called "Kreativni Razvoi" for grades 1-2, which is a very good Croatian speaking school. By the end of that, she was fluent in Croatian and it was a great experience. - Oct 16, 2010
AISZ is really the only option for Americans, and it seems to be good. Not great, but good. Currently it's located in the Northern hills. There are rumors that the '09-'10 schoolyear will be the last in this location, after which it will be moved south of the city very close to the US Embassy. - Mar 23, 2009
AISZ is the only Int School I have experience with. We are very happy with it. We have asked for supplemental history instruction for our daughter and they were very efficient and responsive in designing a program tailored to our needs. It is a small school, but it is growing. - Mar 2, 2009