Search for the best international schools in Panama; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
International schools in Panama are mainly based in the capital Panama City, with a scattering of campuses in other cities including Colon, Coronado and David. Buoyed by revenues from the Panama Canal, the small country has the second most-competitive economy in Latin America and attracts expatriates from around the globe.
Panama’s leading private schools are generally rated among the best in Latin America and the country offers a choice of English-medium schools following the US and British curriculums.
There are six IB World Schools, five of which offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
The private sector also includes a smorgasbord of schools teaching in other languages including French, Japanese and Chinese, as well as institutions catering to Jewish, Muslim and Catholic communities.
Many international schools in Panama require parents of new students to pay a one-off capital donation, which can be as high as US$15,000 per student. Fees can also be relatively high, while campuses tend to be modern, with well-equipped classrooms and good sports facilities.
The academic year may run from February to December, as in Panama’s public school system, or follow the North American school calendar from September to June. Some schools are selective, with language ability a common criteria, and admissions can be competitive.
When choosing a school, parents are advised to check that accreditation arrangements are in place with a body such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Council of British International Schools, or the Council of International Schools.
Public schools in Panama are free to children aged four to 14, for whom education is compulsory. Instruction is in Spanish, uniforms are the norm and school buses are provided. Participation and literacy rates are high for the region.