Spanish schools teach their pupils in Spanish, and those wishing for the lessons to be taught in English will have to seek out what is known as an international school. These international schools, and there are quite a few, are designed to mimic for the most part American schools for Americans and other English speaking students.
Compulsory age for beginning school in Spain is six years old. A primary school is dedicated to the education of all students for the initial eight years. At the age of fourteen, students either enroll in a secondary education school or move on to trade school. This is determined by the students' grades throughout their primary education. Students who have completed the initial eight years of their education receive a certificate much like what Americans would call a high school diploma.
In the secondary years, academic students continue their education in the formal setting that can be equated to American High Schools while the trade inclined students learn skill sets that are more appropriately termed as a Vo-tech school in the United States. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to this type of system.
Prior to attending any school in Spain, students must go through an interview process. Any student coming into the country is going to be required to show proof of numerous things, including their previous educational experience. All of the preparations for entering a Spanish school from outside the country should be taken care of prior to arrival to avoid unnecessary and costly delays. Parents will have to prove residency, previous education, immunizations, identification, and provide a photograph of the child for school identification passes.
School schedules vary greatly. They can range anywhere from a typical American school day with classes beginning between 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning and concluding around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Other schools allow a two hour lunch with the option of returning home for this break but may run as late as 5:00 in the evening. Parents interested in sending their child to a Spanish school should double check the schedule before committing to any school. American children may have a difficult time adjusting to the extended schedules of some schools.