Brasilia - Post Report Question and Answers
What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
We are very happy with EAB, the major International school used by our embassy families. IB for high school and good academics overall. - Oct 2021
We don't have kids, but I know there is an American School (where my husband coached) and an International School called the School of Nations. - May 2017
There are three international schools here--EAB, EdN and BIS. Each has unique strengths and challenges.
Escuela Americano de Brasilia (EAB) is the American School and the one most attended by Embassy families. It is about 50% Brasilian, 20% American, 30% Other (generally European/South American) and has all the amenities you would expect. It is located in Asa Sul.
Escola das Nações EdN) is a bilingual school with an English-language curriculum following U.S. Standards and Common Core. It is 85-90% Brazilian, 3% American, 7-10% other, and also has excellent art, good after school, and poor music programs.
The Brasilia International School (BIS) is a Christian School with U.S./African/Brazilian communities. Not sure what the exact percentages are, but it is far more international than EdN.
My kids attend EdN. It has been an magnificent experience for our sons (grades K-5) who are fluent and integrated Portuguese speakers. It is a workable challenge for our daughter in middle school who has also integrated linguistically--but at a higher grade and therefore higher level of difficulty. I highly recommend EdN if your kids will be in 5th grade and below. It will be a challenge for families coming into the high school and middle school where the real challenge is in the Portuguese curriculum--which your child won't understand until they have a high fluency.
EAB has more in the way of special needs resources, etc.
It is important to note that with the falling currency, all the schools are finding it a challenge to recruit international staff with students paying in US dollars, but salary in Brazilian Reals. This will negatively affect EAB and BIS more as they have a higher concentration of international teachers. - May 2016
Our son goes to EAB, and he's not fond of it. He much preferred his Cairo high school. There's a full IB program, but with limited classes. I'm not sure about other schools. - Aug 2015
There are about a handful of international schools - including an American school, a Swiss school, a Canadian school, and two international schools. While the schools are accommodating and our kids love their school, I've found the academics very behind. Some schools are better at "differentiating" than others, while other schools are better at getting your child to speaking Portuguese within a year. I haven't heard of a school that does both very well. We've had to supplement lessons at home because we've felt the English and Math curriculum were way below our child's level and not much was done until the very end of the year to accommodate for it. - Aug 2015
EAB, the sponsored school, is as good as an American public school, and has the IB program and many extracurriculars for all ages. They have a good band program and theater program. They have their own particular dysfunctions, but we have been mostly happy there. BIS is a Christian international school, and is really small. I know people there who like it, but bussing can be really long from Lago Sul. Most families with high schoolers don't send their kids there due to fewer extracurriculars and course options. EDN is kind of an immersion school, but not totally...I have heard that older kids especially have a hard time there. - Aug 2015
I do not have kids in school here but know families in each of the three major international schools. I'm also a former international school teacher so I have some basis by which to judge these three. I wouldn't say any of them are top rate. They are solidly "good" schools, and most of the kids love them. The School of Nations is truly a bilingual school and has the most Brazilians (95 % or so). The Christian school, Brasilia International School, is tiny (around 100 total) and is probably the most international as far as the mix of kids - they have very few Brazilian kids. The American School is around half Brazilians and the other half is a huge mix of international kids. In general, people seem to think that the American School offers the strongest academic program of the three, but this is very subjective and depends on each families' preferences and educational priorities. None are particularly large schools and thus they aren't able to offer as wide a range of courses and activities as other international (and USA) schools I've worked. Many parents supplement what is offered at the schools with activities at local clubs or other activities. This is what Brazilian parents do as well - schools in Brazil don't tend to cater to the "whole" child - to some extent, parents are expected to organize sports, music and other activities outside of the school day. All three of the schools have issues with parental communication. - Jun 2014
There are two: the American School of Brasilia (EAB), and the School of the Nations. I don't have experience with either, but both have websites. I visited EAB's campus a few times and it seemed to have nice infrastructure. - Sep 2012
My children attend EAB (American School of Brasilia). We have had a mixed experience with them, largely dependent on the teachers. Some are great, others are terrible. Communication between home and school is sporadic and terrible. That being said, our kids are really happy and have made some wonderful international friends. - Dec 2011
Several, so you'll have choices. I don't use them, but I have heard no real complaints. - Aug 2011
Most people from the embassy take their kids to the American School of Brasilia. I heard mixed comments about it, but have no first hand experience, since my kids were too young to attend. - Dec 2009
Most of the kids attend either Brasilia International (BIS) or Brasilia American school (EAB) with about 600 students (about 80 Americans) mostly rich Brazilian kids and other international kids. The school was failing before I arrived, but has made a 180 degree turn around over the past four years. I have kids in pre-K, K, and 5th grade. - Jun 2009
A so-so American school. It reached a low-point several years ago and has been crawling back to respectability. - Aug 2008