School system

The Philippine school system is structurally similar to the American one. Children in the Philippines start nursery school or kindergarten at around four years of age. Elementary school lasts six years and starts at age 5 or 6. Secondary school (high school) runs for a further four years. The Philippine school year starts in June and ends in March, with a two-month summer holiday in April and May. Very few foreign children attend state (public) schools because the language of instruction is Tagalog. Numerous private kindergartens and elementary and secondary schools, most of which are Catholic, and several private universities, offer an alternative to the state education system. Private kindergartens and playgroups for young children from the age of 2 are available just about everywhere, including in residential areas ('residential villages').

International schools

There is a European school in Manila with a German and French section. Several British and American international schools offer school leaving qualifications for students wishing to go on to university. The school year begins in mid-August and ends in June. Private school fees can put considerable strain on the family budgets of foreigners living in the Philippines.


Only selected higher education institutions accredited by the Bureau of Immigration are allowed to admit and register foreign students. Foreign students have to be enrolled in a Philippine higher education institution before they can apply for a student (9f) visa. You are therefore advised to obtain detailed information in advance from the relevant higher education institution.


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