About Us

History

BFIS history starts in 1985. A group of parents from different nationalities living in Barcelona,  who were passionate about education, had come to realize that they school they wanted for their children did not yet exist, and so  they put their thoughts together and the idea of founding a new school began to take shape.

BFIS History
BFIS First Building 1986-1990
Our School

Benjamin Franklin International School

Having given great thought to their school’s name, they agreed on Benjamin Franklin International School, recognizing Benjamin Franklin‘s enormous contributions to American education, his innovative ideas, and inventions. Franklin was a man ahead of his time and considered by many to be “the wisest American”. He was a great statesman, diplomat, writer, philosopher, publicist, the first US ambassador to France and one of the most loved civil servants in United States history. His was a legacy of prudence, common sense, and honesty – qualities everyone sought for the BFIS community. Benjamin Franklin International School opened its doors in Barcelona in September 1986 with 120 students and 23 teachers.
1985
The Dream

A group of Barcelona parents, passionate about education, had come to realize that the school they wanted for their children did not yet exist, and so they put their thoughts together and the idea of founding a new school began to take shape.

1986
The Beginning

In September 1986, the Benjamin Franklin International School opened its doors with 150 students, from PK to 12th grade, and 23 teachers.

1990
Expansion

The student body had grown to 234, and the Foundation Board began to look for a new location and larger facilities.

1991
New Location

The school moved to its current location in the Sarrià neighborhood.

2010
Expanding Our Campus

The BFIS Foundation reached an agreement with the Institución Magdalena Aulina to lease the Casa Nostra property on Passatge Torras i Bages to house the Middle and High School division. With 529 students the school needed to expand and enlarge its common spaces.

2011
Introducing the IBDP

First graduating class with the diploma from the IBDP. After years of planning and preparation, BFIS launched the highly respected college preparatory International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) in September 2011. The program opened with 25 diploma candidates.

2013
The Auditorium

Construction of the current BFIS Auditorium.

2016
New Elementary School Building

After years of planning in August 2015 we broke ground on our new Elementary School Building and opened to students in September 2016.

2017
New Cafeteria and Makerspace

New Cafeteria opened. Incorporation of Flexible Seating in Elementary and a Makerspace in Middle and High School. 

2019
Full capacity

BFIS started the 2019-2020 school year with 710 students, reaching the school’s maximum capacity.

2021
New Building and Eco-School Green Flag

Launch of the new Middle School Building (Grades 6-8). New Early Childhood and Elementary patios. BFIS is awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag and it is one of the few international schools in Spain to obtain this recognition as a committed school with sustainability education.

BFIS and George Orwell

English author, George Orwell, stayed in our main building (now called the Orwell Building) during the Spanish Civil War in 1937 after beign shot in the throat by a sniper while at the front of Aragon. At that time the Orwell Building was a hospital called Sanatorio Maurin. His adoptive son, Mr. Richard Blair and members of the Orwell Society in London, visit the school and tour the Orwell Building biennially. 

Richard Blair at BFIS
Richard Blair visiting our campus - May 2022
Richard Blair at BFIS
Richard Blair and Quentin Kopp with BFIS Head of School - May 2022
Richard Blair at BFIS
Richard Blair Conference in the BFIS Library - May 2022