International sections

What is an International section (IS) ?


International sections (IS) have been introduced by the French Education Ministry in cooperation with partner countries.

What sets the ISs apart is that provision is not just based on the lan-guage but also the culture and teaching methods of the partner country within the French school system.

More than language sections, they are a programme of bilateral coope-ration with the educational authorities of that country who are involved in implementation, their pedagogical oversight and in promoting the IS route in their respective countries.

ISs are attended by French and foreign pupils and provision is not just bilingual but also bicultural. Throughout their schooling, pupils move naturally from one language to another and one culture to another and cross the border separating the two educational systems on a daily basis.



International section pupils :


International sections offer children from foreign or bi national families established in France the opportunity to integrate into the French school system whilst continuing to be taught in their mother tongue.At the same time, ISs offer French children who have returned from living overseas, or who have the necessary motivation and language skills, the opportunity to develop these skills in a bilingual and bi cultural environment.

To be accepted into an IS pupils must submit an application and take an exam to show they have the necessary skills in the language of the section.



Fonctionnement :


Standards in ISs are high. Pupils may be enrolled from the first year of primary (CP) to the last year of secondary (terminale). Pupils enrolled in an IS are taught the core syllabus as well as specific provision ena-bling them to follow advanced classes taught in the language of the partner country.

From lower secondary school (collège), two subjects are taught in the section language, depending on the syllabuses put in place jointly by the French Ministry and the educational authorities of the partner country:

  •  ‘Language and literature’: more than foreign language provision, this incorporates teaching of literature in the language of the section in the same way as in a first language teaching.
  • History-geography: the French syllabus is adapted to include a greater emphasis on the history and geography of the section country.


IS-specific provision is a significant proportion of the timetable at lower secondary schools (collèges). It represents 8-10 teaching hours a week in the section language, 4 of which are on top of the normal timetable.In addition to this there are usually extracurricular activities related to the culture of the country. These activities are usually organised by parent associations and are instrumental in creating a bicultural.


Exams and diplomas :


Pupils enrolled in the international section take specific exams towards the end of school diploma (diplôme national du brevet - DNB) and the baccalaureate to be awarded the international option of the DNB and the international option of the baccalaureate (OIB), which is widely recognised, particularly by foreign universities.


The international option of the DNB is made up of :

  • all standard papers;
  • two specific oral papers in language and literature and history-geography, each with a coefficient of 1. Both papers are in the section language.


The international option of the baccalaureate (OIB) is made up of :

  • the required standard papers for each course, with the exception of written and oral papers in modern language 1 (LV1) and the history-geography paper ;
  • a specific language and literature paper in the section language in the place of the required LV1 papers; this paper includes a written and oral component ;
  • a specific history-geography paper in the place of the standard history-geography paper; this paper includes a written and oral component.



N.B. OIB is not a dual-diploma awarded by France and another country. It is a specific arrangement whereby the French baccalaureate.


Intégrer une section internationale :


Entrée en 6ème Les familles doivent faire une demande de dérogation de secteur géographique auprès de la direction de l'école primaire de leur enfant, au moment de la constitution du dossier d'entrée en 6ème.

L'Inspecteur d'Académie prononce l'affectation de l'élève au collège Honoré de Balzac sur proposition du Proviseur en fonction des résultats obtenus par l'élève aux tests.

Cette décision est souveraine. Les affectations sont prononcées mi-juin.


Entrée en 2nde Les familles doivent inscrire le lycée Honoré de Balzac en voeu n° 1  sur leur liste de lycées. Si l'élève n'est pas reçu aux tests ce voeu s'annule automatiquement et le voeu n° 2 devient le voeu n° 1.

Les affectations sont prononcées fin juin dans les mêmes conditions que pour l'entrée en 6ème.

Les familles sont convoquées fin juin dans l'établissement pour les inscriptions en 6ème, début juillet pour les 2nde


L'admission des élèves dans une section internationale de lycée ou de collège est prononcée par l'inspecteur d'Académie sur proposition du Chef d'établissement au vu d'un dossier de candidature et de résultats obtenus lors d'un examen.

Les dossiers de candidatures pour les tests d'admission sont disponibles dès le mois de janvier. Merci d'adresser votre demande par mail ( ou de nous contacter par téléphone au 01 53 11 12 08. Clôture des inscriptions le 30 mars.

Tests d'admission en SI (2020) : Les tests écrits sont supprimés en raison de la crise sanitaire. En conséquence, le processus d’évaluation des candidatures s'appuiera sur l’évaluation du dossier de candidature et du test oral.