Education and Schools in Bulgaria

Bulgarian society has traditionally highlighted the importance of education. Although Bulgaria’s post-communist instability had an adverse effect on Bulgaria’s schools, the education system has since entered a period of recovery, with the tertiary sector experiencing particularly profound growth. 

Although Bulgarian schools have high standards of education, 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. EU and EEA citizens have the right to attend Bulgarian public schools for free. This, as well as the quality of Bulgarian public schools, means that most Bulgarian 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 began 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.  

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