There are several public schools within walking distance of FUSBC. Classroom sizes are between 40 – 50 children. Children go 1/2 day with morning and afternoon turns. Spanish only.
There are a great deal of private schools. Most private schools go from 7 am – 3 pm each day approximately and operate on the Colombian calendar of late January through late November. Within walking distance there is Colegio Ferrini which offers an all-Spanish track and a bilingual English/Spanish track. The bilingual classrooms are less than 20 children per classroom. A kilometer away is Colegio Panamericano Colombo Sueco which is an all-Spanish Christian school that also offers classes in English (ESL). Class size runs between 30 and 40 children per classroom. Both of these schools have a once a year matriculation fee averaging $150 per student with monthly tuition fees between $100 – $150 per student. In addition, there is the cost of uniforms and books which annually easily runs around $325 per student. Finally, transportation can run between $45 and $100 per month per student depending upon distance from school. From FUSBC to Colombo Sueco transportation is 70.000 COP per student per month.
There are many smaller Catholic private schools all over Medellin including many near FUSBC.
There are quite a few well-known private schools with one of the best and closest being Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola. A professor’s daughter has gone there for 8 years and speaks highly of it. In addition to a much higher matriculation fee, the monthly tuition fees in 2010 ran between $350 and $400 per student.
The most “American” like school is The Columbus School. The matriculation fee is in the thousands and the monthly tuition fee is over $500 per student. It is located on the opposite side of FUSBC about 50 minutes away. Directions from FUSBC. It offers a US diploma and is bilingual.
Friends of ours send their two middle school age girls to a Seven Day Adventist school in Laureles and speak highly of it. They pay $250 USD per month for both girls.
Choosing a school for one’s children is dependent upon many factors: Distance willing to travel from home to school, budget available for matricula, tuition, transportation, uniforms, books, etc., need for Colombian calendar or US calendar, school educational philosophy, etc.
There are too many schools that are private and all-Spanish to list here. The best advice would be to come and visit as many as possible based on your criteria.
Homeschool: This is not a practiced option in Colombia nor are they many expats schooling their children at home. We have chosen to do so based on many factors. Flexibility being the main one as we need to travel to the states during June when classes are in session here. The typical educational philosophy is one more of rote memory versus critical thinking. We have a strong desire to educate our children in English. The typical classroom size is too large for effective learning in our opinion. The schools that offer what we would need are out of our budget especially with three children and are located an hour from campus each way. In addition, by homeschooling we have the flexibility in time and money to travel more and experience more of Colombia and beyond!