Brussels International Catholic School

Brussels International Catholic School

The Brussels International Catholic School (BICS) is an independent bilingual (English/French) Roman Catholic school situated in Etterbeek near the European institutions. It incorporates pre-primary, primary and secondary departments and combines academic excellence with a caring family atmosphere based on Christian values. The school currently numbers 450 children from more than 40 nationalities.

Uniform: Yes

Brussels International Catholic School

Chaussée de Wavre, 457
1040 Brussels

Private Registration (Charged to parents directly)
Kindergarten: €7,950
Primary: €7,950
Secondary IGCSE: €8,950
Secondary A Levels: €9,950
Professional Registration (Charged directly to the company)
Kindergarten: €13,750
Primary: €13,750
Secondary IGCSE: €14,750
Secondary A Levels: €15,750

BICS follows the curriculum of the University of Cambridge and is a registered and fully approved test centre, offering International GCSEs in the secondary school, and the Cambridge Primary Programme in the primary school. The school is an accredited member of the European Council of International Schools. Children without French or English are given individual support in these languages, with remedial help where necessary.

Creative arts, drama, music, science, sport and after-school activities make for a broad and balanced curriculum. Activities include Rugby, Musical Comedy, Tennis, Orchestra, Cinema Club, Golf, Spanish, Opera, Guitar, German, Painting, Science, Swimming, Kung-fu, Dutch, Italian, Opera in the cinema, Spanish dance, Reading club, Music & Movement (pre-primary); Creative stories (pre-primary), International club (pre-primary), Mini-tennis (pre-primary)

Pre-primary : Chaussée de Wavre, 457 – Telephone +32 2 640 35 36
Pre-primary and primary: Rue Général Leman, 86 – Telephone +32 2 230 02 18
Secondary: Rue Froissart 57-29 (new building from september 2015) – Telephone +32 2 230 02 18
1040 Brussels, Belgium



User comment & rating


This comment has been removed at the school's request

Posted on 15 septembre 2014 9 h 59 min

This comment has been removed at the school's request

Posted on 23 avril 2015 7 h 47 min

The students are very motivated. [deleted]. The chapter on AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control is torn out of the text book as directed by the head master. The reason being that the school is a 'Catholic' school! The parents of some students 'influence' the management from time to time [deleted]. It is not a place for the out of the box thinkers who pursue creativity, scientific enquiry, logic or reasoning. [deleted].

Posted on 15 octobre 2015 5 h 26 min
Albus Dumbledore

This comment has been removed at the school's request

Posted on 23 mai 2016 19 h 36 min
Mary Anderson

This comment has been removed at the school's request

Posted on 30 mai 2016 11 h 56 min
Posted on 30 août 2016 1 h 07 min
Posted on 14 septembre 2016 23 h 47 min
Paul Green

The School is absolutely wonderful. It will help your child develop in a safe and pure environment. Most importantly, it will develop their spiritual life and bring them closer to Christ.

Posted on 6 mars 2017 0 h 58 min

Perhaps this review too will be removed upon request of the school. Let see.
My son followed three years there and then we moved.
Pros: strong discipline, push to accademic achievement for parents and children, EU good networking for parents, strong focus on religious Catholic education, in town center in Etterbeek near Place Jourdan.
Cons: little attention to individual child development, very strong push to discipline and achievement, little internal coordination amongst teachers, fees that result to be higher than other schools when considering all compulsory extras, old fashion Catholic, even too much for our very Catholic family (mess in Latin for all kids once a week).

Posted on 30 mars 2017 21 h 38 min
Happy Parent

I came across this website by chance and although I never comment publicly on the internet I simply had to make an exception. Having had a child at BICS for 7 years, I know this school very well, and am absolutely shocked at the low rating it has been given. One aspect we should not underestimate is the fact that most of us whose assessment would be extremely positive simply don't trust such ratings and wouldn't be bothered to comment here. There is no way of knowing why people say what they do, or what lies behind a reportedly negative experience at any school. For what it is worth, here is my input, which I know is shared by the vast majority of families who have passed through the school.
I can safely say that children are really and truly treated like members of a loving family. Most schools are quick to put that in their mission statements, but never live up to that promise. Teachers are extremely competent and academic standards are high. It is not a factory churning out children to suit a particular marketing profile, and it is much in demand simply because there are enough families who appreciate the unique (and I use that word deliberately) and refined education this school offers. If BICS is considered old-fashioned, it may have to do with the fact that the children are exposed to a genteel and cultivated manner of conduct that is rare in today's world. They are taught to appreciate beauty, not only through music, art and spirituality, but in their surroundings and in their interaction with other pupils.
I have no idea what Tilly means by 'compulsory extras'.....My family operates on one modest income and we pay the fees ourselves. My child has rarely been asked to pay for anything that goes beyond a few Euros, and extras arise only very few times a year. It was a great relief having had dealings with another international school in Brussels. I don't know if we have ever been asked to pay more than 10 or 15 Euros for an extended trip or excursion. In fact, as an example, in its typically generous style the school does not charge admission for any of its over 600 pupils to attend its outstanding Gilbert and Sullivan performances at the end of the school year, despite the fact that the school has to cover all the expenses for a professional venue. We have been impressed by the level of refinement and excellence we get from a rather modest school. It is not showy or self-aggrandizing. They just quietly go about doing what they do, and do it well.
(Please note that the system for parental input does not follow the typical structure, but it works perfectly well. The school is run democratically. All parents are welcome to initiate activities, propose and implement ideas that are deemed interesting for the community)

Posted on 18 mai 2017 15 h 02 min

My daughter has also been in the school for seven years and obviously this is because I think it is the best school in Brussels. The international atmosphere is excellent, it offers a bilingual education English-French and now its students will be representing Belgium in the European Youth Parliament 2017 session. I think not many can beat this record

Posted on 20 mai 2017 9 h 27 min
Véronique Pinaud

My experience is that tuition covers most costs (except for uniform, books and small outings); extra-curricular activities are voluntary

Posted on 21 mai 2017 8 h 00 min

Will you also remove this comment by the "request of the school"? you cant remove the ratings though. So let's start from the basics of a normal school:

-teaching quality:
Far below public standards for a school in Brussels. Taking sciences at bics is like taking no sciences at all or on your own. Most science teachers will leave before you finish a year. This is an undeniable fact. Timetable hours for actually being taught by a teacher in this school are far below Cambridge standards. Do the math and you'll notice. The success rates here for finishing as successful secondary student to university are literally 1% or even below because I'm avoiding decimals. If this is disputed, then as a future parent, please ask the following question to the deputy head or teachers: "How many students passed their final A level exams this year?"

Religion replaces sports, yes you heard me right. Religion replaces sports. This happens maybe for classes in years below right? Like year 9, 8.....Since they have less to study right? . Wrong. This happens for years 12 and 13. Imagine. You have actual finals and still have to do two hours of religion and no sports. Oh and also mass for 2 more hours.

the "study room" is cramped and noisy, you cannot concentrate and even you are not allowed to change to other quiet places. It's so bad that you are better off outside in a public library. This is not allowed however.

So far in what I have mentioned was no insults, no slanders or whatsoever. It's simply the truth.

Posted on 12 août 2017 13 h 31 min

not so good. would recommend somewhere else

Posted on 14 août 2017 15 h 17 min
Thinking OutLoud

Going through all the posts under some schools I'm interested to prospect for my child, couldn't stop noticing the fact that despite the website owner's statement of developing this site to help parents choose in an informed way, based on other parents' opinions and experiences, he (the owner) allows and even encourages censorship, by deleting negative comments at school's request. I've also noted that despite claiming otherwise, the site owner is biased and by allowing the schools dictate which comments must be deleted, the site owner is not protecting the "good name & reputation" of the respective schools, rather the opposite... Personality when I see "This comment has been removed at the school's request" I'm lead to think that the respective school has something to hide and that that respective school has serious & real issues that it is desperate to hide from the prospective students and their parents... When a school that claims to offer high academic standards and highly trained staff, needs to silence by deletion unfavorable comments from people who are entitled and have the legal right to express their opinions, then such a school ain't trustworthy, reliable and safe for our children. Democratic values are must in every school. Censorship ain't one of those values.

Posted on 24 août 2017 20 h 29 min

I am looking for an international school in Brussels for my child. As he speaks no French at all, and his Dutch knowledge is limited, public schools are not an option, the only alternative remaining is an English language teaching school. Obviously the tuition fees, beside the content and quality of the school academic curriculum, is a decisive factor, given that I have to cover these from my own budget, which doesn't allow for other more well known, yet way to expensive international schools in the Brussels area. So I have looked at BICS, even thou my family and I aren't of Catholic faith, or even practicing any faith (yet respecting other's faith as long as isn't imposed on us). So I start looking around to see if BICS is an accredited and official recognized international school under Belgian law, if the school has a good admission percentage from its graduates to European and international universities, what kind of experiences and opinions other parents have with and about BICS. So I discovered this site, which according to the owner (Dawn) has as main purpose to inform other prospective parents about the international schools existing in Brussels, their unofficial ratings (based on parents ratings) and offering the possibility for the parents to express their views and opinions on the international schools their children attended, based on personal experiences. So I start reading, not only the parents comments about BICS but also about other international schools in Brussels, only to notice that there is something wrong. There seems to be a lot of parents opinions and comments deleted, with the motivation that "This comment has been removed at the school's request". I find this very strange and worrisome, as it looks to me as the site owner is not being fair and honest to his/her main statement "[...] If you currently attend one of the international schools then please leave your comments and scores, and I only ask you to be honest and fair to other parents who are using your views as a benchmark for their personal and future choices.[...]". So why then parents sincere opinions describing personal experiences with the international schools are censored/deleted at the school's request? I mean, don't the respective parents have the (legal) right to freedom of expression and free speech anymore? How hard was the criticism of those parents that the criticised school felt the need to request erasure of those posts/opinions? As I see it, by requesting the erasure of those critical opinions, those schools (and implicitly owner of this website who has accepted to delete those opinions) have done more damage to themselves, to their credibility and reputation than by allowing those critical opinions (either justified or not) to be viewed by other prospecting parents. And instead of creating a dialogue, whereby the criticized schools provides answers to parental criticism and providing proof against any unsubstantiated claims, the criticized schools have chosen to silence those parents by requesting the site owner to erase such negative comments. That's not democratic and definitely and clearly points out that there are serious issues with those international schools, and that they do have something bad to hide from the other parents. Looking at the number of erased comments about BICS, I can't help but wonder why are there so many deleted comments and only a few positive? Is there perhaps more truth in those negative comments than in the positive ones? ... Just asking myself.

Posted on 25 août 2017 7 h 22 min
john doe

would not recommend

Posted on 7 février 2018 21 h 57 min

the teachers dont care about teaching only money and us being all equal.we all have to look the same and act the same

Posted on 28 février 2018 16 h 20 min

if you want to put religion as a priority over studies, I would strongly recommend.
The teachers are absolutely clueless about the English system. The children’s “playground” is a garage (literally) and they get no air whatsoever during the whole day, not to mention they are only aloud to drink water during the 2 tiny breaks. Extracurricular activities are overpriced and frankly irrelevant. The canteen food is not edible in the slightest. There is so much more I can say about this school but the past reviews say enough about it.

Posted on 16 mars 2018 18 h 05 min
Don't come

If you have a Catholic child and don't want them to be Catholic anymore, send them to this school.

Posted on 16 mars 2018 18 h 11 min
Alberto Ingravidini

In all honestly, this school is just bad.
I enrolled my son for only one year and his hopes for his future are ruined.
The teaching, environment and overzealous amount of hours based around religious studies over fundamental lessons like biology (which they only have an hour of) and sciences (literally 2 hours a week for both physics and chemistry) means that the child is forced to work in overdrive whenever at home in order to catch up to all the missed content.
My son, for example, will not have a science teacher in the weeks leading to his IGCSE exams which, let me stress, are essential for success in life.
Student activity is also extremely restricted by some very severe teachers and priests.
The school visit is a scam, they don't actually show you what the school is like and only organise visits during in-class hours so you can't talk to students with any opinions.

In conclusion, the school is a cheap cash grab by the church (over 6 million euros made in a year apparently) and the students have no freedom at all. If you visit the school, ask the guide how many people passed their A-Levels last year

Posted on 16 mars 2018 18 h 13 min
Hayley McGlen

This school is perfect if you want to be part of the glorious plans that God has prepared for us. This institution enforces with extreme piety the holy principles set forth in the Bible. For example in Proverbs 19:18 "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."

Posted on 16 mars 2018 18 h 45 min
Pham Vu Binh

Extracurricular: very little to no relevence to child development at all. 2h of mass every week is not a way your child can develop his social skills or his knowledge.
Breaktime: The students are not allowed to do what they want. They have to play in a playground of just 150m2, sealed litterally in a glass chamber. The activities are limited as outdoors sports are not allowed indoors due to confined space, and the only outdoor zone is off limit.
Facilities : no sports ground, no libraries, study room is stuffy, especially in summer, and the only air conditioned room is the chapel.
Teaching quality: my son and their friend is very contemted of one of the teachers , and this lead to extreme discomfort at school and their inability to study the subject which that very person teach.

Posted on 16 mars 2018 18 h 50 min

so to begin the school cares very little about the personal development of the students be it either creative or sport. The school's main focus lies in academics and Christian teachings. The school highly sensors and the students have less than a minimum outlet to express themselves.

Posted on 20 mars 2018 15 h 24 min

I have almost a decade of experience with this school and can assure you that it is a fine school, with nothing to hide. If posts have been removed it would be in the case of trolls on the loose, as is evidenced by fictitious persons, in some cases juveniles, with a lot of time and technology on and in their hands. They think it clever to write demeaning posts.

I am amazed at the number of half-truths and outright untruths that are being presented as ‘personal experience’. Knowing the ethos of the school, they would probably rather get on with developing the school for those who appreciate what it offers, rather than spending energy on honing an online image and defending themselves against invisible
I can wholeheartedly recommend this school. Children who carry their weight and apply themselves according to their aptitude achieve good and excellent results in all respects. Plain and simple.

Posted on 4 juin 2018 23 h 23 min
Irene, a very happy mom.

I put my daughter there for 5 years a few years ago and have followed the development of the school ever since.
She was so happy in the school, she never wanted to leave at the end of the day.
The canteen wasn't great but I know it has improved a great deal and there was sometimes some disorganisation but besides that, everything is really nice.

Most important: The atmosphere is good, clean and healthy.
The teachers have always been very committed to the children, talking with them and taking interest in how they are getting on. My daughter has amazing memories of the school trips where she learnt to ski !

I am very happy to see she was taught English in that school and has continued her curriculum both in English and in French ever since. She has also grown in her personal faith which is very important for us.

Thank you very much BICS fr what you did for her and thus our family.

Posted on 9 mars 2019 11 h 09 min
Doe John

Moving my kids out of this school was the best decision I made. Overly catholic, stifling of individual expression, terrible facilities, an incoherent schooling system and a headmaster and priests that - from what my children explained - seemed to rule by fear in order to make students conform. Any school is a better choice compared to this one. Only plus? My kids left BICS with a new found fluency in french. But at what cost?

Posted on 29 mars 2019 20 h 45 min
Nojof Donocza

The advertising of this school does not match reality. For example, in the Kindergarten class, the English teacher is not a native speaker. Is she qualified as a teacher? Management is very obscure about this. There are also rumours that the pre-primary Vice-director is leaving the school. Teachers know but are not allowed to speak. Parents have not been told.

Posted on 7 mai 2019 9 h 11 min

Now they have fired the high school warden, who was the kindest person here. We loved him and so did students. Maybe he was not a Roman Catholic...

Posted on 11 mai 2019 11 h 59 min

After having my two kids in the school I can how bad it is. The school Head is just a scroundrel doing nothing but having leisure.

Posted on 21 mai 2019 18 h 47 min
I wish I went 2 a diffrnt school

A studnt in my class wuz askin questions n the religion teacher said askin 2 many questions is a sin

Posted on 22 mai 2019 16 h 00 min
Amy Mcdonald

Verry good school, thank you for making happy children

Posted on 30 mai 2019 15 h 15 min

The school Head explained to us why BICSchool doesn't want to do the International Bacalaureaut. He said it's designed by Georges Soros and it tries to impose the ideology of human rights. We looked at each other. No wonder half of the class have decided to go elsewhere

Posted on 15 juillet 2019 15 h 20 min
This school publishes false university results, wishful thinking

The a-level statistics they publish are false. I never went to ULB. Actually I was not even admitted, cause my Cambridge results were not recognized as sufficient and had to repeat the year. Only 7 out of a class of 16 made it thru. The others they list are from former years so that the group will look larger. And they put our names without our consent, why should we go public ? Plus why don't they just publish the complete results per subject as other schools do ? Anyone knowing our class would laugh out loud at the Italian girl who is NOT studying no Medicine and the Chinese studying at KUL in Dutch !

Posted on 19 juillet 2019 17 h 05 min

Few years ago, I attended this school and I remember being quite happy in it. Made fantastic lifelong friends and learned unforgettable things (not only academic). I believe a great advantage of this school is the opportunity of obtaining both belgian and british official diplomas. Overall, K am very thankful to all the teachers from back then and those who still remain.

Posted on 13 août 2019 21 h 01 min

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Teaching Quality ( 35.9 )
Facilities ( 28.4 )
Extracurricular ( 31.8 )
Canteen ( 31.7 )
Parents Association ( 28.4 )