Minsk - Post Report Question and Answers
What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
There is only one option QSI. Small classes in upper grades. Our kids are in elementary and we had a really good experience with them. Our kids are happy there, they have indoor and outdoor bubble gym, a nice playground, twice a week after school activities: soccer, running, cooking, dancing, gymnastics, outdoor fun, drama and others. Our son was offered to move up a grade but he had already made friends and didn't want to move so they were able to have him take above the grade math classes. We put our 3 year old in QSI preschool which she loved but we had to move her to a local preschool due to nap time. It seemed to be the reason our daughter went to bed at almost midnight for the semester she went there. If you want your children to learn Russian, there are lots of local private schools and preschools which are great options as well and they all have websites and Instagram accounts. KSV, Gorod Solnca, Nasledie, The Green Hill to name a few. There is a German International school/ preschool opened by a German spouse of a Belarusian citizen. I think they only have preschool and up to 1-2 grades as of now and for those who want their kids to learn German it's a good option. We went to check their preschool and we didn't like lots of broken ride-on toys and some old swings that seemed unsafe to us. However, they were going to move to a new place. I hope they will get rid of some of their old equipment as, in my opinion, they had way too many spread across the yard. - Oct 2021
There is one international school, Quality School International Minsk (QSI Minsk). We have had positive experience with the school and our kids have been happy at the school. - Apr 2019
There's only one here - QSI. They are the only English-language school in the city. From what I understand, you can send your children to a local school, but they'd better speak Russian if you're going to do so.
Our experience with QSI has been mixed. On the one hand, it's very small (60-some odd students from preschool to 12th grade), so your children can easily get attention. On the other hand, they're not likely to listen to you (the parent) a whole lot, either. They have a program which is apparently used by all of the QSI schools, and it's not quite as robust as we'd like. My oldest has frequently complained about being bored, something he's never done elsewhere. My daughter loves it, though. But then, she thrives with a lot of attention from a teacher, and he gets bored if the subject matter is repetitive or slow for him, no matter what attention he's getting. When we approached them about my son, they said the material they were offering was completely appropriate for him and he didn't need anything else. Unfortunately, a lot of it has been way too repetitive for him.
We were also excited to find out they offered Russian for the non-Russian speaking students, only to discover that below the high school level it's only once or twice a week. And they seem to be taught random words or phrases. The most useful thing they've learned is how to say, "My name is..." in Russian, otherwise it seems to be things like "watermelon" and "I like cats/dogs".
I have heard comments about how they don't really have enough books or other materials at the high school level, either. My kids aren't in high school yet though, so that's just what I've heard.
Just like anywhere, there are some good teachers there, and some not-so-good teachers. The teachers tend to be there on two to three year contracts, though there are a few locals who have taught there for a very long time. We have met some nice people through the school, though, and it's enabled us to meet some of the other English-speaking expats that we might not otherwise have met. I will say I will be grateful to have my children out of this school at the end of this school year though, and we seriously considered homeschooling them instead. (Several of the people who have come here have done so.) - Oct 2011