Best international schools in DC

If you’re moving to DC with kids, schools are a top priority. Use this list to find the best international school in DC to suit your needs.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

children sitting and looking happy in front of a brick wall

Moving with children comes with the important task of finding them a good school. If you’re planning on moving to Washington D.C. for a mid-to-long-term stay, international schools can provide a familiar environment and curriculum for your child’s education.

Enroll your children in an international nursery or primary and secondary school.

Demand is high, so it’s better to start researching and looking into the best international schools in D.C. prior to moving.

These pivotal educational years can provide milestones for your children who may want to continue their studies at a top university. Building a strong educational foundation in the early years prepares them for wherever they wish to apply to study in the future.

If they want to stay in D.C. the best universities in the city include Georgetown University and George Washington University.


Family-friendly neighborhoods to live in D.C.

There are many safe and sought-after areas to live in for D.C. families. 

Such as the upmarket Dupont Circle neighborhood located near downtown. The pedestrian-friendly streets, convenient public transit, and luxury residential apartments are perfect for growing families who still want to live centrally.

There are also many kid-friendly museums and galleries to visit, from the  National Geographic Museum to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Those looking for a more suburban setting can find excellent public schools, green spaces, and historic housing in the Georgetown neighborhood. The area is home to dog parks and eateries where pets and families with young children are welcome.

Find a perfect family-sized rental where pets are allowed to stay too, with a Blueground apartment in D.C. Simply use the online search filters to see where you can stay by neighborhood and rental size.

Once you’ve got your accommodation sorted, the next big decision is which of the best international schools in D.C. is suitable for your child’s education.


Washington International School

WIS is a preschool to grade 12 independent school that offers the International Baccalaureate Programme. Their core values of inquiry-based learning, global perspective, and individual responsibility instill behavior of empathy, honesty, and civility.

An international curriculum and language program is taught to 900 students on two beautiful campuses in the northwest of D.C. Academic studies include mathematics, science, language, literature, social sciences, and the arts.

children doing homework at school

Language immersion programs are provided in French or Spanish in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Grades 1 – 5 study in English for half of the academic day, and in a second language (French or Spanish) in the other half.

All these elements combine with the school’s aim to foster students who go on to become engaged global citizens. On-campus activities range from debate and journalism to theatre and music.

There’s also an active sports schedule and competitive athletics teams


  • Wind-powered campuses
  • Multipurpose auditorium
  • Black box theatre
  • Science laboratories
  • Music and art rooms
  • Gymnasium, soccer field, and basketball courts


British International School of Washington

The transferrable curriculum at the British International School of Washington is taught to students at both primary and secondary levels. It teaches the Cambridge IGCSEs and culminates in the International Baccalaureate Programme. It’s known as Washington’s most international school, with students from 60+ nationalities.

The average class size is 14 students, with English as the main language of instruction.

Other languages taught are French and Spanish.

children writing on chalkboard at school

Further, classrooms here are equipped with SMART board technology connected to wireless access across the campus.

Students also benefit from laptop hubs and freely available PC laptops and iPads.

Through the curriculum, they strive to offer each child a ‘vivid understanding of the world’. A wide range of after-school activities is also offered. These include gardening club and writing workshops alongside cultural trips. Children can also participate in popular after-school sports programs and compete in leagues against other schools.


  • Specialist nursery environment
  • Browser-based learning environments
  • Recently redeveloped music department
  • Design technology lab with ICT hardware
  • Fitness center, dance studio, and nearby playing fields


French Maternal School

Serving D.C.’s large ex-pat community within the diplomatic sector is the independent French Maternal School for nursery and pre-kindergarten. This international school in D.C. provides French Immersion programs for children aged two to six.

Here, education is based on the French National Curriculum and is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The teaching program focuses on early childhood fundamentals, early academics, and the development of the French language.

crayon case with a child drawing in the background

After-school classes are available for children aged three years and up. Activity-enriching classes are offered such as creative movement, tiny chefs, and ‘eveil au judo’ focused on the building of moral values.

There is a strong focus on the arts, which the school views as being key in the development of a child’s identity.

Parents highly rate this small independent school for the nurturing environment, linguistic and social foundations and one-to-one attention.


  • Two beautiful campuses in the historic Georgetown neighborhood
  • Aftercare with outdoor time, snacks, arts and crafts, and play
  • Drop-off assistance from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Daily catered lunch program (optional)
  • 7-week summer camp (optional)
Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.