Mexico offers many education options for your family, including public schools, private schools and international schools. Homeschooling is also allowed in Mexico. Many expats choose to put their children in private, bilingual schools because public schools often are crowded.
The public school system in Mexico is overseen by the Secretariat of Public Instruction (Secretaría de Educación Pública, SEP). Attendance is mandatory for students ages 6 to15. Basic education includes pre-primary school for children 3 to 5, elementary school for children 6 to 12 and secondary school for those 13 to 15.
Students at the age of 16 are given the option to continue schooling at the high school level. There are two possible degree options. The first is a qualified technician degree, or profesional tecnico, which is chosen by 9 percent of all students. The other is a high-school diploma, or bachillerato, a much more popular option.
The school year in Mexico starts in mid-August and ends in the first days of July and, by law, must cover 200 days.
Aside from public schools, Mexico also has private and international schools, which are popular choices for expats. According to the country’s Public Education Board, about 13 percent of all students attend private schools.
There are a number of international schools in Mexico, such as the American School of Puerto Vallarta. International schools are usually located in Mexico’s major cities. International schooling is provided for students from elementary school through post-compulsory school. American college entrance examinations (SAT, ACT and AP) and/or British GSCE A-level examinations are available through most international schools. Many international schools also offer either the globally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Program or the Cambridge IGCSE and instruction generally is conducted in English and Spanish. Certification from these schools is accepted worldwide for university entrance.
A list of international schools in Mexico can be found on this U.S. Department of State website.
Homeschooling is another option for expats in Mexico. There are no laws prohibiting homeschooling in the country, if you choose to do so. You can find out details at this Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website.
More information on education can be found in our Cities section under each of our city profiles.