Bulgarian society has traditionally highlighted the importance of education. Educational reforms over the years have improved the schooling system and increased the standard of education in the country dramatically.
Despite this, most expats send their children to international schools as Bulgarian is the language of instruction in the public schooling system.
Public schools in Bulgaria
Public schools in Bulgaria are relatively inexpensive, and EU and EEA citizens have the right to attend public schools for free. This, as well as the quality of Bulgarian public schools, means that most local children go through the public schooling system.
The Bulgarian legislature mandates that children must attend two years of preschool education. This makes schooling in Bulgaria compulsory from the ages of five to 16. There are four stages of schooling in Bulgaria – preschool, primary school, pre-secondary school and upper secondary school.
Private schools in Bulgaria
Increasingly, more private and specialist schools are being established in Bulgaria.
The curriculum in Bulgaria’s private schools is influenced by the state, which mandates that certain core courses be taught. A handful of Bulgarian private schools offer bilingual education, while most private schools only offer lessons in Bulgarian.
International schools in Bulgaria
Expats sending their children to international schools in Bulgaria will find that school fees are their highest expense. There are a few international schools in Bulgaria, most of which can be found in Sofia.
International schools allow many expat students to continue learning from the curriculum that they studied in their home countries. International schools catering for German, American, French, British and Spanish curricula, as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum can be found in Bulgaria.
Special-needs schools in Bulgaria
Many laws have been put in place in Bulgaria to assist disabled children with their education. A committee evaluates the children to assess the degree of their needs, after which a decision is made whether the child will go to a mainstream or special-needs school.
Special-needs schools are generally for children with multiple learning disabilities, as these schools are more equipped to assist these children with their educational needs. All mainstream schools are required by the law to have facilities and teachers available to educate and accommodate disabled children. Children with less severe disabilities are therefore integrated into the mainstream schooling system in Bulgaria.
Tutoring in Bulgaria
There are many websites that register and advertise tutors in Bulgaria. Verbling, ApprentUs and TeachMe2 are three such websites on which expat parents are able to apply for a tutor.
These private tutors can teach children online or at home, depending on what expats would prefer. They are able to assist children with learning the language, or any subjects in school in which the child may be struggling. Tutors can also be helpful in assisting children to adjust to their new curriculum, or language of instruction, if attending Bulgarian language schools.