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

There are many international schools. Most expats send their kids to the American International School (AISJ), the British School (CONTI or BISJ), or Jeddah Prep, which uses the UK system. We sent our oldest to AISJ. The first two years (1st and 2nd grade) were fantastic, and we were extremely pleased with the education our son received as well as the teaching staff. We had a less than stellar experience with the third year, mostly because the school tried to move campuses and there were serious issues with the organization of the move (which should no longer be an issue). - Oct 2019


There are two main schools used by people in the community - American International School of Jeddah (AISJ) and British International School of Jeddah (BISJ). There are also French and Italian schools. AISJ has had a rough year. The administration of the school botched a move from the old campus to a new campus, resulting in kids missing about a month of their school year. The school move situation highlighted some long-standing problems the AISJ board and administration seemed to have with communication, and I heard that several parents felt that they were more focused on the move and their image than the actual education of the children. There are no board elections, so change seems hard. We had been generally happy with the school our first two years here, but the last year has really changed our opinion. The teachers have by and large been good, a mix of Americans, Aussies, New Zealanders, Lebanese, and a bunch of other nationalities. Just like any school, some are better than others, but I would not point to the teachers and school principals as being significantly better or worse than American teachers/principals as a class of individuals. There is a pretty robust learning support program (see below), and the new facility, once complete, is a significant upgrade over the old campus. Much like the housing, AISJ is a wild card. I expect significant defections from the teachers and students based on how this year has gone. My understanding is that the superintendant will not return, but it may take them a couple of years to recover from how they handled AY2018-2019. BISJ tends to attract high performers and there is a sense in the parent community that they have a more rigorous curriculum. Their administrative staff also has some communication problems, particularly when it comes to new parents/students seeking admission. If you go the BISJ route there are entrance exams and you cannot expect automatic admission. However, I feel like BISJ parents I talk to are generally happier than AISJ parents. - Mar 2019


There's an American school, a British school, and a French school. People are generally pleased with the British school and very unhappy with the American school. Part of that is because the American school has not managed their move to a new building very well. This might improve once the move is officially completed. - Jan 2019


The American school is OK; there's a British and French school as well. - Nov 2015


American school, We like it so far, kids are so happy, The only problem that we see is that they don't have sports programs and they have a lot of free days. British school, they say that is good, but is very difficult for the americans to enter. - Oct 2015


We have the American International School, the British International school, and a French school. Not very strong schools at all. - Oct 2015


We have no kids in school, so we don't know too much about this. Most, if not all, children either go to the British International School or the American International School. - Aug 2015


In the past, the American school was a mess, but with the new administration, everybody is very happy. The principals are very nice and always available to talk. In the past, the British school was the best, but it is difficult for the American kids to get in. I heard stories of kids who arrive during the summer and have to wait 2 weeks after school starts to take the admission test. - Feb 2014


The best schools for Westerners, hands down, are the British school (Continental or Conti) and the American school. The British school is co-located on a large and very nice Western housing compound, so families living on that compound can walk their kids to school in minutes flat. The same is true of the American school, colocated on another Western housing compound. Our kids attend the American school and we live on the same compound as the school; we simply open the front door and send them to school in the morning. It's pretty nice. In terms of school quality, my sense is that the British school is a little better at this point in time. The American school suffered last year through an ugly period of poor leadership and open verbal warfare between different factions of school officials and parents. A new school board and new school leadership has really righted the ship this year, and things are on the right track, but it will take a little more time to completely heal over the issues of last year. Also, the American school is currently looking to build a new school at a different site in the next 5-10 years. - Dec 2013


My kids attend the American International School of Jeddah. The elementary grades appear to be the best. Middle school has been dysfunctional this year, but the school just got new management, so everything could change within a year's time. The British School (Continental) gets high marks from all of the parents. Its facilities are very good and are rumored to be even better in the new school they are building. Their rules for kids' school lunches seem a bit impossible to me (no peanut butter, no crackers---even Goldfish, no sugar of any kind). All schools require uniforms, which is new for us, but I love it! No fussing over clothes, and no class distinctions based on appearance. - May 2013


American School; British School; French School and others. American School organizes events with the CG from time to time - softball games etc. - Nov 2010


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