Moving to a new country impacts the whole family.  That’s why our integration assistance extends to family members who will need to navigate a new environment, learn a new language and create their social networks.

Our Dual Career Support program helps partners of new employees who wish to look for professional opportunities, but are unfamiliar with the French employment market.  We help them explore their options depending on their interests; whether they be professional or otherwise; in education, entrepreneurship, volunteering, or all of the above. 


Schools and education rank undoubtedly among the foremost considerations for families moving to Grenoble with children. Proximity to a school may influence your decision on where to live and how to commute, and both choices will impact your family’s weekday routine. You will also want to consider your child’s age, sensitivities and special needs, their adaptability and interests, as well as the family’s values and goals.

State schools with international sections are particularly appealing to many of Grenoble’s international residents. Some schools provide teaching in English, German, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish at the 'primaire' (primary), 'collège' (lower secondary) and 'lycée' (upper secondary) level.

The international sections offer language classes tailored for students who already possess proficiency in their respective languages, along with history and geography taught in the language of the section.

Admission to the sections is by examination, and spaces are limited; not all applicants, even those with native fluency, are accepted, especially in the English and Arabic sections. Nonetheless, the potential availability of free “international schoolsremains one of the many advantages that Grenoble has to offer its international newcomers.

Grenoble’s neighbourhood or “sector” schools also provide valuable learning experiences; particularly, the chance for children to be fully immersed in a French environment and rapidly develop fluency in the French language and culture. 

Alternatively, some families may investigate the different private school options that may be able to better accommodate children who are more sensitive to change, have individual learning styles, special challenges or simply need more individual attention in making the transition to a new school environment.


In France, schooling is mandatory from age three to sixteen. There are two types of schools: state schools, which are free, and private schools, which require payment.

The French school system is known for being demanding and focusing heavily on subjects like maths, science, and languages. Arts and sports are incorporated into the curriculum, but students who wish to excel in these areas often participate in extracurricular associations outside of school. Children typically start school at age two or three, depending on availability, which is why France has a higher percentage of working mothers compared to other European countries.

The school year spans 36 weeks, from September to late June or early July. Students are required to enrol in the state school designated for their residential area. Parents who wish their child to attend a different school must obtain approval from the local education authority (Inspection Académique). This procedure 

applies even if the child has been offered a place in an international section.

The education system is overseen nationally by the Ministry of National Education. Curriculum decisions are made at this level, and reforms are not uncommon. Schools fall into three main categories: state schools offering free education, private fee-based schools operating under state contracts (privé sous contrat), and fully independent private institutions without financial support or state pedagogical guidelines (privé hors contrat). Tuition fees vary among private schools, but those under contract adhere to a nationally standardised program, ensuring consistency across institutions.
 Children who do not speak French as their mother tongue are integrated into the normal school structure. Most often they are assigned to schools offering French-as-a-second-language (FLE) classes, in the framework of special measures for children who have recently arrived in France.

You can find more detailed information by consulting the “Eduscol” pages (available in English, German and Spanish) on the website of the Ministry of Education:

The organisation of the school system



AGE during attendance


Nursery School

École maternelle


1st year: Petite Section


2nd year: Moyenne section


3rd year: Grande section

Elementary School




1st grade : cours préparatoire “CP”


2nd grade: cours élémentaire 1° année “CE1”


3rd  grade: cours élémentaire 2° année “CE2”


4th grade: cours moyen1° année “CM1”


5th grade: cours moyen 2° année “CM2”


Lower Secondary School



6th grade: sixième


7th grade: cinquième


8th grade: quatrième


9th grade: troisième

Upper Secondary School



10th grade: seconde


11th grade: première


12th grade: terminale

Extracurricular programs: Periscolaire

Most primary schools provide day care services, known as garderie, before and after classes, and offer school lunches in the canteen. These services are usually run by the local city or town council, and registration typically starts in the summer or at the beginning of the school year. Some schools prioritise canteen access for families where both parents work.

In Grenoble and nearby areas, extracurricular classes are offered after school and on Wednesday afternoons. These include arts, crafts, and sciences, and many sports such as swimming, rock climbing, fencing, judo, skiing, and other athletics. Registration for these activities usually starts in the summer and is managed by the town council at the Antenne du Mairie or Maison des Habitants.  Social centres, sometimes called centre aéré, or Maison de Jeunesse (MJCs) also offer various extracurricular activities and sometimes provide supervision for children after school. It's worth noting that city and town councils also organise classes for adults, with registration typically occurring during the same period.



The school year

The school year runs from early September to early July. The country is divided into three zones with distinct dates for some school breaks. There are three two-week holidays each year, spaced approximately six weeks apart. The Toussaint break typically falls in October, end-of the-year holidays are from mid- December to the first week of January, winter holidays are in February/March, and the spring break in April/May. These breaks supplement the two-month summer holiday.

Grenoble is in zone A.

For dates of school holidays, see the website of the Académie de Grenoble at



In France, all children attending school must have specific vaccinations. You can ask the head teacher of the school, or any doctor or paediatrician for a list of required vaccinations.


School insurance

School children must be insured by a coverage called assurance scolaire. At the start of every school year, schools request students to provide proof of coverage. This type of insurance is typically included in your general home insurance policy (assurance multirisque habitation). It ensures that your child is covered when classes go on school trips or other activities organised by the school.


Schools in the Grenoble area

A searchable list of schoolsin the Grenoble area is available on the website of the Académie de Grenoble. 

Primary schools (maternelle and élémentaire):

Secondary schools (collège and lycée):


School transportation

Special rates may be available for students who commute by public transportation from outside from Grenoble. See Pack’ Transport in the Scolaire section of the Isere department website(French):

Grenoble has several schools with international sections that offer the opportunity to study in one of six languages in école élémentaire, collège and lycéeIn Grenoble, international sections are available for study in German, English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, or Portuguese. Teaching focuses not only on the language, but also on the culture and teaching methods of a partner country. The schools' atmosphere is often multicultural and international, especially those that host multiple language sections.

These unique schools offer children from international families an opportunity to integrate into the French school system whilst continuing to study in the language of their previous home country. At the same time, international sections offer French children who have returned from living overseas or who have the necessary motivation and language skills the opportunity to develop these skills in a bilingual and bicultural environment.

The international sections are known for their high standards, and the school day is longer compared to the regular programme. Students can begin their education in an international section from the first year of primary school (CP) and continue until the final year of high school (terminale). Students in international sections follow the standard curriculum along with advanced classes taught in the language of the international section, resulting in three to six additional hours of schooling per week compared to students in regular schools.

Admission to international sections requires submitting an application and passing an entrance exam. The application period is generally mid-December or early January through February. It's important to note that not all students with native fluency are admitted due to limited number of spaces available, especially in the English and Arabic sections. 




Hours of instruction

Elementary school

All subjects

At least 3 hours a week in the section language

Lower secondary schools (Collèges) & general upper secondary schools (Lycées d’enseignement général)

Language and literature of the section country

5 to 7 hours a week, including 4 on top of the normal timetable


4 hours a week in place of the usual history-geography provision, with 2 hours taught in the section language

International Sections available in Grenoble: German, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese


To apply to an IS, students must submit an application and take an exam to show they have the necessary competence in the language of the section. Spaces are limited, especially in the English and Arabic sections.


Primary schools in Grenoble with international sections

Public or state schools

École Houille Blanche : English and German sections - -

Ecole Jules Ferry: English section (CP-CE2 in 2018) - Tel. 04 76 44 71 88 -

École Bizanet : Spanish section - 04 76 42 00 66 -

École Jean Jaurès : Italian section- 04 76 46 41 80 -

École Menon :   Arabic section –  04 76 42 70 69   -

École Anthoard : Portuguese section –04 76 96 69 34


Private primary schools with foreign language programs

  • École Notre Dame is a small, private Catholic school in the mountain setting of St Martin D’Uriage (about 20 minutes from Grenoble).  The school offers a programme for fluent English speakers as well as English classes for French speakers.  There are classes from the first year of nursery school (age 2 or 3) through CM2 (age 9 or 10). 
  • École Montessori Internationale Positive School, in Gières, offers a bilingual program (French/English) and a Montessori approach to schooling children ages 3-12. The focus of the program is to help children build self-confidence, autonomy and creativity while remaining aligned with the national French curriculum.
  • Les Voyelles Colorées: a Montessori school in Meylan that offers a bilingual program (French/English) for children ages 3 – 6.


Secondary schools with international sections

  • The Cité Scolaire Internationale Europole (Collège and Lycée)

Arabic, English, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish

CSI, also known as Europole, brings together all of the international sections for the continuum of the language and literature instruction that is offered in the primary schools with international sections.  CSI comprises a collège and lycée, which together enrol approximately 1200 students of as many as 50 different nationalities. All of the students, both French and foreign, are proficient in one of the six languages creating an environment that is both international and multicultural. Each section follows the French education ministry curriculum, with an additional six hours of language and literature instruction and 2-4 hours of history and geography, at both the collège and lycée levels.

CSI prepares students for the following French diplomas:

 The BFI Baccalauréat Français International at the end of high school (age 17-18) for each of the six sections. (The BFI replaced the OIB - Option Internationale du Baccalauréat - for the classes starting première in September 2022)
  ABIBAC and ESABAC, bi-national degrees recognized in Germany and Italy

4 place de Sfax 

38000 Grenoble

(04 38 12 25 00)

  • Collège Lucie Aubrac 

British section

A new addition to Grenoble, the College Lucie Aubrac opened its doors in January 2022 in the Villenueve quarter.  It adds a second option for an International section with an intensive British English programme.  Entrance to the British section is by examination and the applications are accepted through the same process as CSI which can be found on the school website (above).

  • Lycée André Argouges

American section

Lycée Argouges is a large state high school housing a diversity of specialised programs in preparation for the general and technological Baccalaureate, several professional degrees and qualifications, as well as post-Baccalaureate programs. The ABIBAC program allows students to earn a dual Baccalaureat General / German Abitur (allgemeine Hochschulreife). The American section prepares students for a Baccalaureat Français International. Contributing to this diversity is the presence of musicians and artists with parallel studies at the nearby Conservatoire de Grenoble, and athletes combining studies with high level training in cross country skiing and football. 

Bac General – numerous specialties (mathematics, sciences, literature, politics, languages, humanity, etc.)

ABIBAC  bi-national degree recognised in Germany

BFI Bac International Français – American English - replaced the OIB (Option Internationale du Baccalauréat) for the classes starting premiere in September 2022

Bac Technologique: Science and Technology of Design and Applied Arts, Laboratory Sciences and Technologies, Creation and Culture Design

Bac Professionnel (Bac Pro/CAP for specific vocations)

  • Other secondary schools with foreign language programs:

Le Rondeau - Montfleury is a private Catholic institution in Corenc (about 15 minutes from Grenoble). Located just outside of Grenoble, it is comprised of an école maternelle, école élémentaire and a collège. Beginning at the collège level, the school offers a program for fluent English speakers from sixième to troisième (ages 10 to 14).

Day care for children over 3 years

Families that need day care for children on Wednesdays or after school during the school year can enrol them for a full or half-day in one of Grenoble’s centres de loisirs, also known as centres aérés. The centres organise different types of activities and outings for children between 3 and 14. For more information, see the website of the Association des Centres de Loisirs (ACL):

Day care for children under 3 years old

Day nurseries (Halte-garderie - occasional or part-time care) and crèches (regular care)

Public centres, or EAJE (Établissement d’accueil des jeunes enfants), cater to children aged 3 months to 3 years; their fees vary but are calculated based on household income.

There are two types of public crèche:

  • Crèches collectives: provide regular day care for children whose parents work
  • Crèches parentales: run by parent groups that volunteer at the crèche alongside qualified staff.

For more information:

Grenoble town hall:

Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF):

Private Micro crèches are private childcare centres and tend to have places readily available, but at higher rates than the public centres.

Registered child minders

Trained childminders, or assistantes maternelles, are qualified to look after one or more children in their homes or in the parents' homes and are employed directly by the parents.

Contact your local town hall or Relais Assistantes Maternelles (RAM) for more information (list of child minders in your area, costs, contracts, financial support, etc.).

To search for a list of RAM in Grenoble, enter ‘Relais Assistantes Maternelles on the Guide des lieux et des équipements section of the town hall website:



To find a babysitter for occasional help, do not hesitate to ask colleagues or other parents at school for recommendations.

More options:

  • Nanny Agency - Grenoble based private company offering bilingual babysitting services -  - Tel. 04 38 92 01 01

Private sites which simplify payment and declaration of childminders through their online processes.  Filters available to search for childminders speaking specific languages

Bulletin boards at the entrance to the site restaurant, in local shops or posted near schools, or on the English language Facebook page, Grenoble Life.

Higher education

Higher education in Grenoble

The Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA) is the largest institution of higher education in Grenoble.  A multidisciplinary public university, UGA is spread over campuses in Grenoble and Valence, and associated with major national research organisations and research facilities.  

UGA's technological institutes,Institut universitaire de technologie 1 and 2, offer several  three-year Bachelor degrees and other programs in the sciences, technology, and engineering as well as business, communications and social services. Many programs offer the opportunity to alternate between work and study through sandwich courses, and encourage study abroad through partnerships with universities around the world.

  • IUT1: Industrial production, environment, physics, IT, energy, telecommunications
  • IUT2: Social sciences, legal studies, data science, management, information, communications

TheInstitut polytechnique de Grenoble (INP) is one of France’s first-tier engineering schools, and comprised of six different “grandes écoles for engineering studies:

  • Ense3 : energy, water, environment
  • Ensimag: IT, applied mathematics and telecommunication
  • Esisar: advanced systems and networks
  • Génie industriel: conception of products or services, management of production and logistics
  • Pagora : paper science, print communication and biomaterials
  • Phelma : physics, electronics, and materials

UGA and INP are members of the GIANT partnership, which was set up to foster stronger links between research, higher education and industry. TheGIANT network includes not only the public universities but also the Grenoble School of Management (GEM), French research institutions and European research laboratories, including the ILL and its neighbouring institutes.

For more information, see: