Mexico City - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Ours went to elementary at the American School Foundation (ASF). It was adequate. No more. - Jan 2024

There are several options, and there are mixed opinions--particularly about the American school (ASF). I have heard good things about the other international schools. - Jul 2023

We were at a small local school when we started, Lomas Altas, and experienced some pretty intense physical bullying for my twins (6 at the time). We moved to the big British Greengates and LOVE it. Fantastic all around, with the exception of the 30-40 minute bus ride which seems to be the standard for international schools. - Apr 2021

There are a wide variety of preschools available, and we have been very happy with the Montessori school our younger child attends. We've also been very happy with the international school our older child attends, and I have heard other families have been happy with the schools their children attend. Most embassy children attend the American School Foundation, Colegio Ciudad de Mexico, or the Westhill Institute. - May 2020

There are a ton of schools to chose from, you just have to be prepared to do your research outside of what is provided to you, if you are looking for something specific. Our son attends Westhill and we couldn't be happier with the decision to place him there. Embassy children attend Westhill, ASF, Greengates, and many attend Mexican schools/preschools and even some Montessori Programs. I also found out later in our assignment while needing accommodations for my children that there are many daycare options and after school programs. - Apr 2019

There are many different schools. Definitely look into all of your options. ASF is the big American school but you can also look at Westhill, Greengates, Humanitree, Colegio de Ciudad Mexico, and many others. - Apr 2019

There are many international schools, but none seem perfect. Many families are happy at their school while others do not seem to be. It seems as though bullying is a big problem, especially in the middle and high schools. From my experience, the schools are the worst part about living in Mexico City. - Jun 2018

And herein lies the rub.

If you have children, especially teens or "tweens," please do your homework before bidding on Mexico City. Some of the regularly-occurring bullying that takes place at the schools is egregious, in my opinion. Some of the schools won't even consider your application unless you fly to Mexico and test in person the year before. Don't assume that a parent's job (even at the Embassy) can get a child into your school of choice, and don't assume that the bullying that happens in the schools here is the kind of bullying that happens everywhere. It is worse, as far as I have seen, and some of the schools do not seem to be interested in curbing it.

Also, be prepared for the parties: at every age, they're intense. - May 2017

There is a wide variety of international schools. I don't have personal experience, but I know some teenagers have a tough time here in some of the schools, leading to some being homeschooled or attending school back in the U.S. But I know other teenagers who have thrived here, so it seems to be very much on a family-by-family basis. - Sep 2016

Our sons are very happy in the American School Foundation (ASF). We've been lucky though: parents of older children complain - bitterly and sometimes tearfully - of problems with bullying. - May 2016

There are several international schools but they are in high demand and it is not easy to get places in the schools. Here are some of the International Schools: Colegio de la Cuidad de Mexico, Lycee Frances, Escuela de Las Lomas Altas, The American School Foundation, The Westhill Institute, The German School, Greengates School. Here are some thoughts on the two schools that our children attended: The American School is not really an international school, as international students make up a only small part of the student body. The school values appearances. From the outside, the facilities appear impressive, but in our experience, there is a toxic social environment. Bullying starts very early and the administration does not address this adequately. Our child had an inexperienced teacher. We removed our child after one year, but wish we had done so sooner. The school is physically closer to Polanco than Greengates but the commute is longer. You can get to the school by metro which is nice because the roads are often affected by protests. Greengates is a British school. It is a nurturing learning and social environment with rigorous academics and a true focus on learning. There is a wonderful sense of community. The students come from a variety of countries and cultures and the school celebrates its diversity. The school is located in Naucalpan, in the Estado de Mexico, 8 miles from Polanco, though its relatively quick to get there on the segundo piso of the periferico (ring road). You just need a "lliave" or "televia" pass which can be recharged with money at many places including 7/11. If you are told that there is no space for your child at Greengates, keep following up, don't take no for an answer. Bus stops are grouped, which shortens the commute and builds a sense of community among students and parents. - May 2016

Our son goes to the American School. It's clique-y, even in third grade, and US kids are in the minority, but after a period of adjustment he appears to have found his group. - May 2016

No experience with schools but I hear good things about them. - Aug 2014

Tons. We only have experience with the French school preschool, which we loved. - Apr 2014

We don't have school age children but my friends are happy with both schools. The American School and Greengates are where diplomats and expats typically send their kids. - Mar 2014

No experience. Do your research -- every family seems to have a different preference. - Jul 2013

My kids go to ASF (American School Foundation). We are okay with their academic program for both elementry and middle schools. However, the school's bullying problem has not improved. I believe that the bullying situation is not just the local Mexican kids versus the American kids, but also some American kids agsinst other American kids. What we experienced was more of the verbal bullying, rather than the physical bullying. But it all serves the same and hurts the same. - Jan 2013

Whether the school calls itself US, UK, or French, they are ALL very Mexican: a large majority of Mexican students (sometimes only 1 or 2 American student per class), drinking at an early age. It is probably better at the primary level. - May 2012

Many schools are available: American, British, French, Irish, Japanese, to name a few. - Apr 2011

ASF, Westhill, green gate and the French school. Asf very big a lot of rich Mexicans kids join it, ful of problems,Westhill American system very nice clean small and the teachers are very friendly, you will find alot of Expat kids in this school, they have 3 campus. Green Gate britch system as bad as the Asf(The American School). Education generally not strong in the whole country. My kids are in West Hill we are very happy. - Feb 2010

Mixed. We started mid year at one elementary school with our daughter, but moved after 6 weeks to another because she was having trouble adjusting, and did fine from that point on. The main choices for Embassy employees seem to be the American School, Greengates (UK system), Westhill, and Lomas Altas (pre-school through 6).There are pros and cons about each - it is worth looking into each one, what type of programs they have, etc. and try to find a good fit for your child. If it doesn't seem to be working, consider changing - many have done it. - Jan 2010

A mixed bag and you need to talk details with people on the ground at the schools if possible. Also the FLO office can link you with resources out of the State Department. Overall good quality education is available, but social circles in the high school can be challenging, as I understand it. - Mar 2009

On my first assignment, my children attended Westhill. A very good school. The transition back and forth between Mexico and the United States was incredibly easy. The math program is strong, and my kids were very advanced in math when we returned to the U.S. On our second assignment in Mexico, we chose the American School for our children. Nothing is wrong with Westhill on an academic basis, but our needs had changed. We needed more after-school activities and a more dependable curriculum fortransferring back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. - Nov 2008

We have three children that attend the British International School here. There are mixed reviews on this school. When we arrived, it was the lesser of all evils because the American school had a reputation of bullying. However, this year the attendance is higher at the American school and lower at the British. In our opinion, either one has its positives and negatives. If I had to do it again, I'd choose the same school for my kids. Unfortunately, it is far from the housing, and the kids spend over an hour commuting to school, and sometimes two hours coming home. - Oct 2008

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