Veliko Tarnovo Real Estate agent explains Bulgarian education system
Bulgarian Real Estate agent explains the Bulgarian education system for those with children considering moving to and buying property in Bulgaria
Going to school in Bulgaria
If it is your intention to buy a property in Bulgaria and move here permanently, would you be bringing children with you?
There is much to consider as it is not an easy step to take, and it is true to say that the older the child the more
difficult it will be for them to adapt.
Moving anywhere abroad with children should be given a lot of consideration, especially where there are not only language barriers, but also cultural differences to be considered.
Those with children taking exams, in college or in higher education would be well advised to delay their move to Bulgaria or to find alternative accommodation for their children so they can finish their education.
Simply put, the younger the child, the easier it will be to adapt to life in Bulgaria, this is especially true of those who are too young to attend school. Getting vey young ones into Kindergarten as quickly as possible enables them to mix with Bulgarian children, pick up the language and adapt instantly, becoming naturally bi-lingual. Children of an age to attend primary school upwards can find the prospect of attending school a daunting prospect as it can be for parents as they try to obtain the best education they can for their little ones.
Pre-school/KindergartenEducation in Bulgaria is not compulsory before the age of seven, but private and state or municipality run pre-schools and kindergartens licensed by the Ministry of Education and Science in Bulgaria are open for children aged 3 to 7.
When applying at a pre-school/kindergarten parents must provide:
An application form;
A copy of the child's birth certificate;
A medical certificate from the General practitioner about the child's vaccinations;
Test results for pathogenic intestinal diseases and intestinal parasites (these must be negative) and done 15 days before the child enters the kindergarten;
Urine and blood tests of the child, done up to one month before the child goes to the kindergarten;
A medical certificate stating that that the child has not been in contact with people suffering from contagious diseases, issued not more than three days before the child starts going to the kindergarten.
Kindergarten is optional, however, all children must attend a one-year pre-school programme.
Education in Bulgaria
Between the ages of 7 and 16 attendance is compulsory and is provided free in state run and municipality schools or
for a fee in private establishments.
The education system in Bulgaria composes of basic, secondary and higher levels.
Basic education is divided into two categories: Elementary (Grades 1 to 4) and Presecondary (Grades 5 to 8). There are 5 school days in a week, and the school year is made up of 2 terms (Sept to Feb & Feb to Jun). Pupils normally attend either a morning or afternoon session, using the other half day for home study.
Secondary education has 2 types: Comprehensive (high school) and vocational (technical school).
Higher education on the other hand has 3 kinds: Universities, Colleges, and Specialised Higher Education Schools.
Your choice of school is:
International schools in Bulgaria
Fee paying international schools implement the Bulgarian curriculum in the English language but children also have the opportunity
to learn the Bulgarian language. Most of these schools are in capital of Bulgaria, Sofia but there are a few elsewhere.
Some international schools in Bulgaria cater almost exclusively for the children of diplomats and this is reflected in fees
that may be as much as Euro 9000 per year.
Private schools in Bulgaria
These schools teach the Bulgarian curriculum in Bulgarian but often have a strong specialism, typically in languages or sport.
Students usually have to pass written entrance examinations in maths and the Bulgarian language. They can be found in all the
major cities and some larger towns. Fees range from Euro 900 to Euro 1800 per annum.
State schools in Bulgaria
Increased investment in the Bulgarian state education system in Bulgaria has improved standards in recent years.
Modern technology and facilities have been introduced across most of the country but there are still some schools
in Bulgaria which are in a poor state of repair and have limited facilities. Be sure to inspect the local schools
before committing to buying a house in Bulgaria and making the move. All children entering the free state school
system need to speak Bulgarian.
International Baccalaureate World Schools
There are 5 International Baccalaureate Schools in Bulgaria, four in Sofia and one in Veliko Tarnovo offering the
IB Diploma Programme catering for students aged 16 to 19 years designed to offer an academically challenging and balanced
curriculum with final examinations that prepare students for success at university and working life beyond. The programme
is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.
Education in the Veliko Tarnovo Region
Veliko Tarnovo itself is a University town and is home to many good schools and colleges including The American
College 'Arcus' and St Cyril & St Methodius University, the largest state university in Bulgaria outside of
Sofia and an internationally acclaimed centre of educational and scientific excellence.
For more information on education in the Veliko Tarnovo region, please go to: Veliko Turnovo Schools
Finally, how well your child adapts to the Bulgarian way of life, to a new language and a new culture can be greatly influenced by you.
If you make the effort to learn to speak Bulgarian, are able to communicate with their teachers and help with their homework, they will adjust more easily, quickly make friends and really settle into their new life in Bulgaria.
Unless they are attending one of the international schools in Bulgaria, you may have to teach them how to read and write in English at home.