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High Schools

HIGH SCHOOLS

At EQI we understand that you want the best possible education for your child. Our mission, therefore, is to help you find the right school in which your child can thrive academically as well as grow as a person. As international education specialists, we have considerable expertise and experience in placing young learners between the ages of 11-18 years of age in leading schools and colleges in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the United States.

In today’s globalised world where English is generally regarded as a lingua franca of choice, a high-quality education in one of the above English-speaking countries can give your child the head start that he or she needs to stand out from the crowd. Choosing the right school will not only enable fluency in English, it will also provide a unique opportunity to experience different cultural traditions and to develop friendships with fellow students from all around the world.

We at EQI are here to help you choose that perfect school for your child. This could be a traditional Boarding School, one of our Colleges (with various accommodation options), or a local High School (with family homestay accommodation).

Each of these options will provide distinctive educational and residential experiences. A student at a Boarding School, for instance, will almost always be under adult supervision. This will especially appeal to parents of younger learners who value an environment that is secure, academically challenging, and socially stimulating. On the other hand, attending a local High School whilst living with a host family will provide the student with unique insights into life in the destination country, as well helping him or her develop invaluable life skills and a growing independence.

Whichever pathway you choose for your son or daughter, we will assist and support you at every stage of the process.  Our service includes discussing your specific requirements, providing you with a choice of the most appropriate schools or colleges for your child, guiding you through the application process, organising entrance tests if these are required, and liaising with both you and the school on any matters arising during the period of your child’s attendance.

EQI can offer you the choice of some of the best Boarding Schools and Colleges in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the United States, whilst High School programmes (with family homestay accommodation) are available in Canada, Ireland, and the US, or in the UK for those over 16 years of age.

CHOOSE YOUR STUDY DESTINATION

THE BRITISH EDUCATION SYSTEM

In the UK, formal education begins at five years of age, although many children will attend a nursery school or class from the age of 2 or 3 years.

Children continue in education until they reach the age of 18. The diagram below illustrates the various stages of the British system and its Spanish equivalent.

Boarding Schools

EQI has partnered with some of the most respected Boarding Schools in the UK. All of our schools have been carefully selected both for their academic excellence and for the quality of pastoral care provided to boarders, many of whom are international students. All employ dedicated and highly qualified teachers, and offer internationally recognised courses of study, such as the A-Level and/or the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, which provide entry to leading universities in the UK and elsewhere.

Each of our Boarding Schools provides:

  • An extensive private campus with first-class facilities
  • A safe and secure environment for living, study, and leisure
  • Caring and supportive supervision by understanding adults
  • A stimulating environment which nurtures personal development
  • Exposure to a wide range of academic and recreational activities
  • Highly qualified teachers to develop academic potential
  • Additional specialist English language teaching and support if required
  • An opportunity to take internationally recognised examinations
  • The opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities
  • A variety of sporting and extra-curricular activities during leisure time
  • Accommodation in comfortable boarding houses in either a single or shared room

We have carefully chosen Boarding Schools that we believe to be very welcoming to Spanish students. Many of them are situated close to small towns or cities, or in the countryside, with all having easy access to airports with flights to and from Spain. All schools routinely arrange airport transfers for their international students.

 

Whilst increasing numbers of Spanish students are choosing to complete their education at a British Boarding School, our schools are equally welcoming to those students who choose to study for just one year or less.

 

Why not give your son or daughter the unique experience of studying in a traditional British Boarding School? By doing so, you will give them the opportunity to receive a first-class education whilst becoming fluent in the English language, and to make lifelong friendships with others from around the world.

Independent colleges

Our Independent Colleges, like our Boarding Schools, have been carefully selected for their academic excellence and their special understanding of the needs of international students. All of our Colleges provide a rigorous academic programme with very small classes and usually offer a one or two-year GCSE course, together with a two-year A-Level or IB course, with English support as a major feature of the programmes. This enables students who are 14 years or older to gain the qualifications required to enter some of the most prestigious universities in the UK and elsewhere.

 

They also tend to offer special support to students who are seeking to enter Oxford, Cambridge, or Medical School. In some cases, they may offer a one-year accelerated A Level programme for Spanish students who have completed the second year of their Bachillerato but need higher grades to enter the programme or university of their choice in the UK.

 

Most of our Colleges offer high quality residential accommodation, either at or close to their teaching centre, and some also offer homestay accommodation, which tends to be less expensive.  Generally, Independent Colleges are best suited to boys and girls who are relatively self-sufficient or those who would like to experience living in a family home environment. Whilst the Colleges provide some social activities, they tend not to offer the same range of facilities and extra-curricular activities that a boarding school would provide, although the activities on offer are  expanding all the time.

 

Most of our Independent Colleges are located in or close to the centres of major UK cities. Although they do provide day-to-day support to their students, they are generally not able to provide the same level of pastoral care and supervision as a Boarding School outside of the teaching day. Students are also treated more like adults, and do not wear a uniform.

 

Independent Colleges provide a very diverse environment, since students come from all over the world, with a higher percentage of EU and international students  than in Boarding Schools.

 

If your son or daughter is looking to complete the final two to four years of their education in the UK and then progress to university, you may wish to consider an Independent College as an alternative to a traditional Boarding School.

State sixth form and colleges of further education

Spanish and other international students over the age of 16 also have the option of attending certain State Colleges for their A Level programme, where fees are less expensive than  either Boarding Schools or Independent Colleges. Accommodation is usually with a host family within a short bus ride of the campus.  UK State Colleges offer a broad range of subjects and programmes to young adults, including A Level and BTEC courses which provide entry to university. EQI’s state partners are all leaders in their  sector and offer a very wide range of subject choices to students.

 

Generally, classes in the state system are larger than in Boarding Schools and Independent Colleges, with up to 25 students per class in the most popular subjects, (although many subjects have much smaller classes). Students in State Colleges are treated much more like adults and are expected to be responsible for their own study time out of class. These Colleges have excellent library, science,  sports, and arts facilities and also offer a wide range of enrichment programmes to students.

 

State Colleges are carefully inspected and offer high quality teaching and care for international students, but students also need a high degree of maturity and self-discipline as they are unsupervised by the College outside lesson time and have more free time than students in Boarding Schools. Host families also provide care and some basic supervision but cannot monitor students when they are outside the house.

 

Spanish and international students aged 16-18 studying in State Colleges are also allowed to work up to 10 hours per week in term time and 20 hours per week in the holidays.

Programmes

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
It is a two-year course taken by all students in the UK. Students study 8 or 9 subjects and take a final examination in each subject at the end of Year 11. Some schools may offer IGCSE as an alternative to GCSE.

 

A-Level
It is a two-year course that provides the qualifications to enter a university. Students study 3 or 4 subjects and take a final examination in each subject at the end of Year 13.

 

International Baccalaureate (IB)
It is a two-year course that provides the qualifications to enter a university. Students study 6 subjects and take a final examination in each subject at the end of Year 13.

 

BTEC Advanced Diploma
Students who prefer to take a course in a specific area, rather than A Levels or IB, can also take this programme. This is a two-year course equivalent to three A level subjects, and is available in subjects such as Art and Design, Travel and Tourism, Business etc. The BTEC Advanced Diploma is offered by all State Colleges, and also at some Boarding Schools and Independent Colleges as an alternative to A Levels or IB.

 

International Preparation Programmes
International students who need to improve their English and/or their academic scores before starting one of the above programmes may take a one or two year preparation programme at certain schools. They would enter in the year corresponding to their age, but would follow a special curriculum designed to help them meet the entry requirements for their target programme.

Entry requirements

GCSE

To enter a 2 year GCSE programme a student would need at least an overall “aprobado” grade from  the 2nd Year of Spanish ‘secundaria’ and an IELTS score of at least 5 (or equivalent). Students with IELTS 4-4.5 (or equivalent) may be accepted  at schools where extra English support is provided.

To enter a 1 year Fast-Track GCSE programme students should have a  “notable” grade from the 3rd year of Spanish “Secundaria” and at least IELTS 5. English support is usually included as part of this programme.

 

A Levels

This depends on how selective the school is, but students should aim for a minimum overall grade of 7/10 (‘notable’)  from the 4th year of “Secundaria” and IELTS 5.5.

 

International Baccalaureate

Students who have completed at least the 4th year of “Secundaria” need to be strong in a range of subjects and should have a minimum grade of 7/10 (‘notable”) in the core Mathematics, Science and Arts/Humanities subjects they have studied, and IELTS 6.0 is preferred.

 

BTEC Diploma

Students should aim for a minimum overall grade of 6/10 (‘aprobado-bien’)  from the 4th year of “Secundaria” and IELTS 5.0 – 5.5, depending on the school’s requirements.

THE CANADIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM

The Canadian School system varies between each of the Provinces, and compulsory education begins in Grade 1 at 6 years of age.

Notes:

  1. In some Provinces, students transfer from Elementary to Intermediate or Middle School after Grade 5 and spend 4 years in Intermediate or Middle School.
  2. Québec province, in which French is the official language, and English taught as a second language, has a slightly different system to the Anglophone provinces. Students finish high school in Grade 11 and spend 2 or 3 years in a CEGEP College before going to University, unless they study IB in the private sector, then they can enter 4 year university directly.
  3. In other provinces English and French are both official languages and students can choose from English or French first language schools.

Private boarding and day schools

EQI partners with a wide range of private schools offering both boarding and host family accommodation. All schools are fully accredited and in safe locations with easy access to metropolitan areas and international airports. There are private fee-paying schools in or around all cities in Canada serving a wide range of needs and educating around 5 per cent of Canadian children. Private schools include single-sex schools, schools sponsored by religious groups, schools for students with learning or physical disabilities, and schools for gifted children.

 

Some private schools place the emphasis on sports or cater for students with artistic talent in art, drama, dance or music. Although most Canadian private schools prepare students for entry to a Canadian college or university, some international schools prepare students for the International Baccalaureate (IB) examination.

 

Private schools are organised like public schools, although the curricula and approach differ considerably. They range from nursery schools to large day and boarding schools, from experimental and progressive schools to traditional institutions, and include progressive schools with a holistic approach to a child’s development and schools with a strict traditional and conservative regime, and a rigid and competitive approach to learning. Schoolwork in private schools is usually rigorous and demanding, with the emphasis on entering a leading university in Canada or overseas.

 

Boarding Schools
These may be located in cities or outside and usually include a wide variety of amenities such as playing fields, dormitories, auditoriums, theatres, gymnasiums, art studios, swimming pools etc. There are staff that live on campus to take care of the students 24/7.

 

Day Schools
Students who prefer to live with a host family can attend private day schools. These are usually located in urban or suburban communities. The facilities may not be as extensive as boarding schools but the academic standards and standards for behaviour are just as rigorous. Living in a family environment can also be challenging. Your child will be regarded as a member of the family and will be expected to adapt to the host family’s principles, rules and regulations. This total immersion in Canadian culture and family life can lead to lifelong friendships and be immensely rewarding for a mature and flexible student.

 

Public schools

The public school network in Canada is of uniformly high quality and is organised within each province by School boards. International students apply to the school board of the District they have chosen and then choose a school which has available places and which matches their needs. Accommodation is with a host family, and the school board can help arrange custodianship, which is a legal requirement for students under 18.

 

Public schools are co-educational and have a wide range of facilities for sports, science, arts and other enrichment activities. They teach the Canadian high school curriculum which is recognised worldwide, and each province has its own graduation certificate which is valid across the other provinces. International students can enter any university in Canada from any public school they graduate from.

Programmes

High School Completion Programmes
EQI’s partners can offer programmes of  4 or more semesters,  or even just one-semester “taster” courses. English level is determined by the school itself, and on whether or not it offers ESL support courses.

 

The Canadian High School Programme

The certificate of graduation offered by each province is recognised and accepted in all other provinces for entry to University.

 

The International Baccalaureate

Only available in private schools. Recognised worldwide.

 

QUEBEC- CEGEP programme

See note 2 above. Quebec Province has a slightly different system to the rest of Canada.

Entry requirements

Canadian High School programme

To enter, a student would need at least an overall “aprobado” grade from their Spanish ‘secundaria’ and an IELTS score of at least 5 (or equivalent) for Grades 10 and 11. Students with IELTS 4-4.5 (or equivalent) may be accepted at schools where extra English support is provided.

 

International Baccalaureate

Students who have completed at least the 4th year of “Secundaria” need to be strong in a range of subjects and should have a minimum grade of 7/10 (‘notable”) in the core Mathematics, Science, and Arts/Humanities subjects they have studied, and IELTS 6.0 is preferred.

THE US EDUCATION SYSTEM

In the USA, formal education begins at five years of age, although many children will attend pre-school from the age of 3 years.

Children continue in education until they reach the age of 18. The diagram below illustrates the various stages of the US education system and its Spanish equivalent.

Private boarding and day schools 

EQI partners with a very wide range of private schools offering both boarding and host family accommodation. All schools are fully accredited and in safe locations with easy access to metropolitan areas and international airports. All schools have a broad selection of advanced placement courses, elective courses, sports, extra-curricular activities and weekend excursions for boarding students. Whether as a boarding or a day student, your child will have access to cultural events, sporting venues, shopping and outdoor excursions, and will enjoy enriching relationships and establish lifelong friendships with students from around the world.

 

The mission of an American private school is to foster intellectual rigour, character development, curiosity, creativity, physical fitness and community responsibility in each and every student. These are the qualities that university admission counsellors seek in their candidates. Consequently, almost 100% of private school graduates who apply to university are accepted – often to a top tier institution.

 

Boarding Schools
These tend to be situated in suburban or rural communities where there is space for an expansive campus which includes a wide variety of amenities such as playing fields, dormitories, auditoriums, theatres, gymnasiums, art studios, swimming pools etc. There are staff that live on campus to take care of the students 24/7.

 

Day Schools
Students who prefer to live with a host family can attend day schools. These are usually located in urban or suburban communities. The facilities may not be as extensive as boarding schools but the academic standards and standards for behaviour are just as rigorous. Living in a family environment can also be challenging. Your child will be regarded as a member of the family and will be expected to adapt to the host family’s principles, rules and regulations. This total immersion in American culture and family life can lead to lifelong friendships and be immensely rewarding for a mature and flexible student.

 

Some schools identify as having a religious affiliation – this may be broadly Christian, or more specifically Catholic or Protestant. Whatever their religious affiliation, the schools welcome students of all faiths or none and there is no obligation to attend religious services.

 

Military Academies
They are also open to international students- usually boys, and are boarding schools. They operate the standard curriculum but have a higher emphasis on military discipline and fitness. They may or may not have a religious affiliation, and there is no assumption that boys will join the armed forces on graduation. Progression to top American universities is the same as from other top schools.

 

Public schools

EQI partners with the Student Management Group, which offers a choice of public schools all over the USA with options to suit a wide range of sporting, academic and leisure interests. Fees in public schools are lower than in the private sector, and classes may be larger, but our schools are selected for the quality education they offer and the priceless benefit of being immersed in a regular American school environment. Public schools are day schools and students are housed with carefully screened host families for the duration of their studies.

Programmes

EQI’s partners can offer High School completion programmes of  3, 4 or more semesters,  or even just one semester “taster” courses. English level is determined by the school itself, and on whether or not it offers ESL support courses.

 

If your child’s ambition is to progress to a US university, it is important to consider the entry requirements of the universities they wish to apply to. Most US universities require students to have completed AP (Advanced Placement) subjects in addition to the basic US high school curriculum, and schools offer different ranges of AP subjects.

 

The J1-Cultural Exchange Programme

All Spanish students entering a high school programme of 1 semester or more with a study load of at least 18 hours per week apply for the F1 visa.

There is an alternative visa class- the J1- which is a special category. This allows an international student aged 16 or above to attend a public day school for a maximum of one academic year as part of a “cultural exchange” programme. The cost of the programme is much lower than regular study programmes, and students may be placed in any region of the USA. Students are also obliged to return to their own country after 1 year and there is no obligation for the school to allow the student to graduate if they complete Grade 12 on a J1 visa.

 

The Blue Ribbons Schools Programme

It was created by the U.S. Department of Education in 1982 to recognize public and private schools that achieve high levels of academic excellence and make substantial progress toward closing the achievement gap for all students. Several hundred schools receive the award annually, with more than 8,000 recipients across the country since the programme began. EQI works with several Blue Ribbon Schools, offering the highest level of excellence to Spanish students seeking entry to top 100 US universities.

 

Community college programme in Washington state providing fast track to university

In Washington State, qualified high school students can skip up to two years of high school, take college classes at a community college, and receive dual credit for both a high school diploma and a two-year college associate degree. International students must finish at least 10th Grade (Year 1) of high school before attending a College, although finishing 11th Grade (Year 2) is highly recommended. Students can save one or two years in earning their bachelor’s degrees. Extra time will be needed if students do not have TOEFL 61 or IELTS 5.5 and must start in Intensive ESL.

Entry requirements

The huge number and variety of schools available to Spanish students in the USA means that there is something available for everyone. For high school completion programmes, however, entry to grades 11 and 12 is more selective, and students should have a GPA of at least 6/10, and English at TOEFL 61 / IELTS 5.5. For other grades, each school will set its own entry requirements.

THE IRISH EDUCATION SYSTEM

In Ireland, state-funded formal education begins at four years of age, and entry to primary Year One is at 6 years. Children continue in education until they reach the age of 17 or 18. There is an optional transition year between the Junior and Senior Secondary cycles which allows students one more year in a broad curriculum before choosing their Higher Leaving Certificate  subjects. Students who do not need this year may fast track into the 2 year Leaving Certificate  programme and graduate at the age of 17.The diagram below illustrates the various stages of the Irish  system and its Spanish equivalent.

State Secondary Schools

Most secondary  schools in Ireland are owned and managed by non-profit groups, many of them religious,  and funded by the state. Education in Ireland is of a uniformly high quality and EU and international students of all faiths are welcome and can attend day schools, with host family accommodation provided by a partner organisation. This is an excellent way to get full immersion into the Irish education system and to improve English language skills. Students have the opportunity to see how a real Irish family lives and to take part in their daily activities and join in family celebrations and social life. The cost of attending a state school in Ireland as an international student is much lower than in other English speaking countries, and represents an outstanding opportunity for Spanish students to benefit from a first-class education system.

 

Private Boarding And Day Schools

Most private schools are owned and managed by charitable foundations and offer high quality education in beautiful locations. They teach the Irish national curriculum, although there are some which may offer the International Baccalaureate. The boarding environment is diverse, with both single sex and co-educational schools available, and in many different locations across Ireland. Day schools offer homestay accommodation, with the chance to live with an Irish family and blend into the community. There is a wide range of sports and academic subjects to choose from, and the chance for your child to develop their English language skills and socialise in a safe, friendly and very enriching environment.

 

Private schools in Ireland are very attractively priced compared with schools in the UK and offer very high quality education at a reasonable cost.

 

All schools provide:

  • A safe and secure environment for living, study, and leisure
  • Caring and supportive supervision by understanding adults
  • A stimulating environment which nurtures personal development
  • Exposure to a wide range of academic and recreational activities
  • Highly qualified teachers to develop academic potential
  • Additional specialist English language teaching and support if required
  • The opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities
  • A variety of sporting and extra-curricular activities during leisure time

 

Boarding Schools provide:

  • Accommodation in comfortable boarding houses in either a single or shared room
  • An extensive private campus with first-class facilities

 

Day School Host Families provide:

  • A single room with a bed, desk and wardrobe
  • Breakfast and evening meal during the week and all meals at weekends
  • A safe and welcoming family experience

 

We have carefully chosen private schools that we believe to be very welcoming to Spanish students. Many of them are situated close to Dublin, with all having easy access to airports with flights to and from Spain. All schools routinely arrange airport transfers for their international students.

Whilst increasing numbers of Spanish students are choosing to complete their education in Irish schools, our schools are equally welcoming to those students who choose to study for just one year or less.

 

Why not give your son or daughter the unique experience of studying in a traditional Irish school? By doing so, you will give them the opportunity to receive a first-class education whilst becoming fluent in the English language, and to make lifelong friendships with others from around the world.

Programmes

The Junior Certificate

It is taken at the end of Year 9 and provides entry to the Senior Cycle.

 

The Higher Leaving Certificate

It is a two-year course that provides the qualifications to enter a university. Students study a minimum of 5  subjects and take a final examination in each subject at the end of Year 12.

 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

It is a two-year course that provides the qualifications to enter a university. Students study 6 subjects and take a final examination in each subject at the end of the course. The IB is only available in select private schools.

Entry requirements

Irish National Curriculum
Students should have achieved a pass level in the grade corresponding to the one before entry into the Irish system. For entry into Grade 11, depending on how selective the school is, students should aim for a minimum overall grade of 7/10 (‘notable’)  from the 4th year of “Secundaria” and at least IELTS 5.0.

 

International Baccalaureate
Students who have completed at least the 4th year of “Secundaria” need to be strong in a range of subjects and should have a minimum grade of 7/10 (‘notable”) in the core Mathematics, Science, and Arts/Humanities subjects they have studied, and IELTS 6.0 is preferred.