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What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
I don't know any of them, but I know this list here: - International School of Estonia (ISE) http://www.ise.edu.ee.
- Tallin English College www.tik.edu.ee.
- Audentes Private School http://www.audentes.ee/ib/school-house.
- Tallinn European School. http://www.est.edu.ee/en.
- Tallinn German Gymnasium http://www.saksa.tln.edu.ee/.
- International Preschool of Estonia http://www.ise.edu.ee.
- International Kindergarten http://www.kindergarten.ee/.
We had heard concern about ISE -- but problems seem to have been turned around. We have two children there (2 and KG this year) and have had an excellent experience. Good teachers, well equipped school, adequate class sizes (7-12 students), and excellent director. There is also an European school which some families choose, though I have heard more mixed reviews about its management style. - Sep 7, 2016
There is only one international school in Tallinn, the International School of Estonia (ISE). Previous posts were correct in that the facilities are a bit old, but they are constantly improving. I am not sure what the previous posters' problems were, but my son has been in the elementary school for 3 years. He will have the second-grade teacher next year, and I'm looking forward to it. The elementary school in general has a great program and a very caring staff. The program is rigorous and challenging to the students. I have talked to other Americans that have returned to the U.S. after being at ISE, and their children are thriving (and missing ISE). I've heard horror stories about English College - first graders in rows doing nothing but worksheets, everyone speaking Estonian, and no playground! ISE is the only option in my opinion. - Jan 28, 2013
ISE. It needs a lot of work and I would not recommend coming here if you have school-aged children. The curriculum is vague and seems to be about a year behind the US schools. Staff does not communicate well with parents or students. Our kids had a lot of difficulty with the slow pace and lack of instruction. Their schedule was half academics and half fine arts. The academics are mostly group work or silent reading, with no encouragement to do a good job or take any pride in learning. The music teacher was excellent and did great things. Other options here are homeschooling or the English College, but it only has a few of the lower grades. Both English College and ISE are IB schools. - Oct 28, 2012
International School of Estonia should be avoided if you have elementary-school children. The second-grade teacher should be avoided at all costs. The curriculum is slow and up to US standards. Of the families currently here, most people are homeschooling due to ISE's inadequacies. There is another option called English College (and the Estonian Public Schools). They instruct in English in grades 1 and 2 (as of 2012/2013 school year), and each year they'll ramp it up to the next grade. So, within a few years, they'll have English instruction for all elementary-school levels. There, your children will get a great education, although it doesn't have a playground. - Oct 6, 2012
The International School of Estonia is the only option right now. You either love it or hate it. What it lacks in wow factor it makes up for in heart--at least that's been our experience in the lower grades. It's a small school with a small student body (one graduate last year!), so if your kids are looking for a teacher's undivided attention this is the place for them. After school activities are limited, but if you really want your child to do something, you can find it locally. - Sep 8, 2010
International School of Estonia. - Aug 9, 2009