SEATTLE — Andorra is one of Europe’s smallest countries. It is located in the high mountains of Pyrenees, between France and Spain. The landlocked country has a population of approximately 79,300. The population is 33 percent Andorran, 43 percent Spanish and 24 percent other ethnic groups. Catalan is the official language, but Spanish and French are also spoken. Education in Andorra lands on the positive side of the spectrum, with a literacy rate of 100 percent.
Primary and secondary schooling
Andorra has three different school systems. Parents can choose to send their kids to study at the French, Spanish or Andorran schools. Education for Andorran students begins at age of six. It is compulsory and free until age 16. The three systems are all very similar. Each system consists of primary education between the ages six and 12. Secondary school finishes when the student reaches the age of 16. Once completed, students should be competent in some or all of these languages — English, Spanish, French, Catalan and maybe Portuguese.
The Andorran system is the most popular amongst the foreign residents living in Andorra. This is because, in the Andorran system, they give studying English primary attention. Each system comprehensively teaches science, languages, math, arts, history, social studies and IT.
Upper secondary education is available for students between the ages 16 and 18 who wish to continue on to higher education. These students would study for the Andorran equivalent of the baccalaureate certificate. They choose to study science and technology, humanities and languages or social sciences.
Education in Andorra is free, however, students still have to pay for textbooks, sports equipment and trips. Textbooks for a year would normally cost EUR 400, on top of which parents also pay for ski equipment, canteen costs, school insurance and trip costs.
Many English-speaking non-native families send their kids to Collegi Internacional del Pirineu. To attend this school, there is first a one-time fee of EUR 750 and then a monthly fee of EUR 670. This does not include the cost of meals and transportation. The students at this private school also have access to a variety of winter and summer sports like golf and skiing. The education at this private school exposes them to both good schooling and extracurricular activities.
University in Andorra usually lasts four years. The University of Andorra is the most famous university in Andorra. It was founded in 1997. Even though this university is fairly new, it is gaining a good reputation for the programs it offers, such as nursing. The school also offers online courses. Students have the option to attend schools in either France or Spain.
Overall, education in Andorra is very strong, considering the country has a literacy rate of 100 percent. Students are exposed to several languages and different courses like math and history. They are also exposed to various sports. Andorra is the only country that offers three different school systems. All systems are similar and students get a great education.
– Solansh Moya