For the first time in its history, Marbella has an international French school led by efim

For the first time in its history, Marbella has an international French school led by efim

The school offers for the first time a new trilingual education system based on the French educational programme and active pedagogical hybridisation

 Marbella, 26th November 2021_ Carmen Díaz, Director of Culture and Education, and Remedios Bocanegra, Delegate for Foreign Residents of the Marbella Town Hall, were present yesterday at the official inauguration of efim yesterday (École Française Internationale de Marbella), the first French educational centre in the city of Marbella, second in the province of Malaga and third in the whole of Andalusia. With this gesture, the city council had made clear its support for the expansion of the educational offer in the area and more specifically for French education with its arrival in the city for the first time. “The opening of the École Francaise Internationale de Marbella consolidates the excellence of our city in the educational field. It adds to the important number of international schools that Marbella has, thus expanding the educational offer in a city as cosmopolitan and international as ours,” said Bocanegra.

They were joined by Vincent Perrot, Deputy Cultural Counsellor of the Cooperation Service and Cultural Action of the French Embassy in France, who highlighted “the importance of this new school, which now joins the network of 540 French schools in 130 countries. The originality of efim lies in teaching in three languages (French, Spanish and English) based on a system that seeks the best way for a student to learn, and at the same time to develop personally as members of a globalised world”. The opening of the centre was also supported by the Deputy of the French Abroad for Spain and Portugal, Stéphane Vojetta, who valued “the opening of a French centre in Marbella as an additional attraction for the city, and commented that among the 350,000 students that the network centres have in the world, the majority of the students are not French, so the spread of the French language in the world is a great source of pride for France”.

The school, which opened its doors this year in September, with the support of the AEFE (Agency for French Teaching Abroad), is located in the heart of Marbella and has more than seventy students. Its scope currently covers nursery and primary students, although it plans to expand to secondary school in the near future.

Its educational system consists of using a trilingual method (French, Spanish and English) that focuses on pedagogical hybridization. The new teaching model was created by the founders of the school, Rubí Cortés (Head Teacher) y Philippe de Carlos (Pedagogy Director), and they based efim on four fundamental pillars: first, a holistic vision of education that combines the most useful of traditional education with the Montessori, Freinet, Gattegno y Feuerstein methods. Next is trilingualism, the happiness and well-being of children and finally the digital and scientific culture.

Philippe de Carlos states: “The French-speaking community in Marbella has grown exponentially in recent years and it was, therefore, essential to have a French education centre in the area. As UNESCO states, education is a major stake and a human right for all. Learning is not enough. Our intelligence is not what we know but what we do with what we don’t know”.  In this way, they pursue a ‘learn to learn’ experience, that is to say, that everything the students’ study helps them to develop their intelligence, and therefore be able to apply it in their adult life as citizens of the world. Among their most innovative extracurricular activities, ones that stand out are meditation, emotion management, yoga, etc.

The objective was to do something that I believed would aid in the education of children, to make them citizens of the world and responsible adults through a more humanistic vision”, states Rubí Cortés, who associated the new school with the AEFE network (Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger) and positioned it in the process of homologation by the French Ministry of Education.

As a result of the implementation of working from home, Marbella has experienced a considerable increase in the foreign populations that prefers the benefits of the city to other more inhospitable environments. Many French-speaking families have been drawn to the school efim and as a result, they have decided to settle in Marbella, fleeing the sanitary restrictions imposed by France and Morocco for example. Due to this, the centre is receiving an increasing amount of demand from the French-speaking community in Marbella and its surroundings.

About efim:

efim is a nursery and primary school that offers an innovative trilingual education built on the hybridization of active pedagogies and in line with the French national educational program. Located on Calle Jacinto Benavente in Marbella, it ranges from kindergarten to elementary school but with a vision of an early expansion to other higher grades.

Founded by Rubi Cortés and Philippe de Carlos after more than 10 years of research and study, the objective of efim is to provide the new generation with a humanistic, benevolent, dynamic, positive, creative, agile and persevering spirit.


Jennifer Sierra-Pendergrast


Telephone: 952 908 343