International Pre schools, Primary and Secondary Schools
At North Cyprus International (NCI) we assist many families with their relocation to North Cyprus. Many international families wishing to move to and buy property in the TRNC also have children who need education in the English language. We hope these frequently asked questions and the list of schools will be of great help to you. If you have any queries about which North Cyprus property to choose to be near to a specific school, please call our advisors at any time in Cyprus or the UK on +44 207 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600. When you come on a North Cyprus property inspection trip we would also be happy to show you the school locations. Please note we can answer property queries only – if you have educational queries you must contact the schools directly on the list below.
I want to move to North Cyprus. Can my child get an English education?
There are some excellent and affordable, private, international English Schools in North Cyprus. These are primarily in the Kyrenia area. A growing number of families are relocating to the TRNC from other areas of Cyprus and from all over the world, specifically to take advantage of the lower costs and high standards associated with private education in North Cyprus. Most are day schools only, but the English School of Kyrenia also has some boarding places.
In this article, we list the different private schools and colleges you can contact for pre-school, primary/elementary and secondary/high school education for English speaking students coming to live in Cyprus.
How will my child get to school from our new North Cyprus home?
The first piece of advice we give families is to decide which school they are hoping their children will attend before they select which side of Kyrenia they will move to and buy property on! The reason is that the commute across Kyrenia from east to west is very dense with traffic during rush hour. In addition, a school on the west side may not run buses to the east side and vice versa. So you need to select whether you are aiming to live in “west of Kyrenia” or “east of Kyrenia” early on! Contact the individual schools directly for details of their bus services.
Are the fees at North Cyprus English Schools very expensive?
Private International schools and colleges are fee-paying and teach to a high standard. Compared to the fee levels in western Europe/UK, the fees are lower and very affordable. For details of the latest fee structure, you should contact the schools directly.
Where are the private international English Schools in North Cyprus?
The private international English-speaking schools in Cyprus are primarily around the Kyrenia (Girne) area – mainly Bellapais (English School of Kyrenia), Alsancak (Necat British College) and Kyrenia (Girne American University Schools).
What about the free Turkish Cypriot state and pre-schools – do they teach in English?
English in North Cyprus is an official second language in Cyprus, however, North Cyprus state education is in Turkish at the local schools, with English taught as a second language. This is free from the ages of 5 -17 years with selected special schools offering secondary/high school classes taught in English. There are local state schools in all areas of North Cyprus. If you want to explore having your child educated at the state schools, you should contact the Ministry of Education of North Cyprus for a list.
There are also private fee-paying primary and secondary schools teaching in Turkish which also offer some lessons in English. One of these is the DOGA chain of schools. You can find their details online.
There are a large number of private pre-schools and nurseries teaching in Turkish with staff who would also speak English. You can search for those online. Some of the names are: International Playschool Nursery, Colourland Prep School, Mickey Mouse.
I am relocating to North Cyprus. Would it benefit my child to learn Turkish?
If you bring a very young child to live in North Cyprus, it’s worth considering an education in one of these Turkish speaking schools, whether private or state. They will soon become fluent in Turkish whilst getting the English lessons at school and English practice at home. This will equip them to be able to work in North Cyprus more easily when they leave school. But it’s a very individual decision. However, they will also pick up a lot of Turkish from the lessons in the predominantly English schools and Necat British college makes high-level Turkish compulsory.
Which examinations and syllabuses are offered by the North Cyprus International Schools?
You should contact each school directly to ask for their board examinations and syllabuses. These are a mixture of the International Baccalaureate (IB), IGCSE and the British GCSE and AS and A level systems. Sometimes course work from more than one system is available at the same school (as with English School of Kyrenia). TEFOL is available for those who require it.
If my child attends English school in North Cyprus can they go onto University in the UK or Europe?
Yes, they can. Your child’s future attainment will not be limited in any way internationally by studying at school in Cyprus. Many of the North Cyprus International schools have excellent acceptance rates at the British and overseas universities including Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and Yale and Harvard in the USA. You should contact each school for the latest figures on this.
There are also a growing number of international Colleges and Universities in North Cyprus teaching University courses in English (see our separate article on this). These are in Kyrenia (Girne), Nicosia (Lefkosa) and Famagusta (Gazimagusa) as well as on the West coast (Lefke). Many students also go on to Universities in UK, Europe and the USA.
Will my child learn Turkish too at the private English Schools in North Cyprus?
Yes, Turkish lessons are taught to all pupils.
How is the standard regulated at the English Schools in North Cyprus?
Even though they are all private institutions, they are still monitored by the North Cyprus Ministry of Education to ensure that local and international standards are adhered to. The best way of judging the standard is to contact the schools directly for details of their recent examination results.
What are the facilities like at the English Schools in North Cyprus?
The facilities are excellent and include indoor swimming pools, theatres, excellent science & music facilities and more. The online brochures for the different schools will detail the facilities at each school, with every school having its particular areas of strength.
Do the North Cyprus private schools follow the same timetable and term dates as the local schools?
The private, international English schools in North Cyprus have both a longer school day and longer terms than the state schools – making them more in line with the British term dates. The day in the state schools and colleges normally starts at around 8.30 a.m. and finishes at lunchtime for three days a week, and at around 3.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on other days. In private schools, the day usually finishes at around 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., with many after school activities available. Schools and colleges normally break for the summer holiday starting in the middle of June and lasting until early September.
List of Private International Schools in North Cyprus
The English School of Kyrenia (ESK), Necat British College and the Girne American University (GAU) schools all have their own excellent websites which can be found online.
1. English School of Kyrenia (Bellapais)
This school offers mainly day places, but also has a boarding facility for a limited number of pupils whose parents live overseas.
Phone: +90 392 444 0375
This is a modern school and campus for boys and girls aged 2-18. It is an international school with students from different nations.
The Pre and Primary School
The UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is taught in the Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Reception, and the start of Year 1 classes. The Cambridge International Primary curriculum is followed to teach English and science. Mathematics is taught using the pioneering the Singaporean Mastery system through the scheme of ‘Maths No Problem’. Other subjects including Computing, History, Geography, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Drama, Music and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) are taught using the skills-based UK National Curriculum.
The Secondary/High School
Yes, 7-9 follow the UK National Curriculum. Years 10-11 students follow the IGCSE programme and typically take 9 subjects. In years 12 & 13 – Sixth Form, students are given the choice of studying either A-levels or The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
Comprehensive facilities over a large campus, include indoor heated pool, gym, music rooms, 4 science labs, library, theatre, amphitheatre, indoor sports hall and café.
2. Necat British College (Alsancak and Lefkosa)
Phone: +90 392 821 20 11/ +90 548 888 0622
Necat British College has branches in Alsancak on the West side of Kyrenia as well as in the capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Schools are divided into Early Year, Primary, Middle and Secondary schools.
The Early Years follow the English Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The Primary school follows balanced education through topic-based learning built around the English National Curriculum. The Middle School (11-14) follows studies preparing for the IGCSE, AS and A-Level examinations as well as BTEC qualifications in a wide variety of subjects. 14-18-year-olds enter the secondary school and sit the GCSE and IGCSE examinations, going on to study A-Level or BTEC.
The Necat British College ties in its secondary education with the local state school “Lise” diploma requirements too. All students are required to study the following subject set by the national ministry of education in order to graduate from high school with a Lise Diploma. English Language, Maths, Turkish, Physical Education, Cyprus History
This course of study is complemented with a number of optional GCSE and IGCSE subjects. Students are able to sit a maximum of 9 GCSE and IGCSE subjects in total. You should contact Necat directly for full details and fees etc.
3. Girne American College North Cyprus (GAU group of schools)
Kyrenia and Lefkosa
Telephone: +90 (0) 392 650 2323 (Nursery – Elementary)
+90 (0) 392650 2220 (College)
Telephone: +90 (0) 392 6502323
E-mail Address : firstname.lastname@example.org
The GAU Group of Schools offer North Cyprus education to children from age 1.5 to 18. The different age groups generally follow a British-based curriculum as well as national (MEB), with students preparing for the Cambridge Young Learners exams (Starters, Movers and Flyers) and DELF in the primary schools. The colleges offer KET, PET, IELTS, IGCSE as well as AS/A Level syllabuses.
The Schools are located both on the west side of Kyrenia (Girne) and also in Nicosia (Lekosa). The facilities include fully functional multimedia, internet-connected computer labs, science labs, music hall, art studio, dance studios, basketball and tennis courts, indoor-outdoor sports halls and swimming pools in addition to the classrooms.
CONTACT NCI (North Cyprus International). If you need advice about where to buy a property in North Cyprus to be near a particular school, please contact our advisors in the UK or Cyprus on +44 207 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600. Please note, we cannot answer queries about individual schools (fees, courses, etc). Please contact the schools directly for all academic queries.