Read about the curricula, exams and tests commonly encountered at international schools, including the UK and US systems, International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum.
Search for the best international schools in Bulgaria; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
Large and sparsely populated, Bulgaria has accommodated an influx of expatriates from Western Europe since it joined the European Union in 2007. A variety of international schools in the capital Sofia and Black Sea port of Varna serve expat families and local elites.
As well as schools offering the curriculums of the United States, Britain, France and the International Baccalaureate office, there are bilingual campuses offering an international stream alongside the Bulgarian national curriculum.
Bulgaria has 10 IB World Schools, with all bar one authorised to teach the IB Diploma. The highly selective American College of Sofia, which was founded in 1860, offers the IB Diploma and an American high school curriculum to day and boarding students.
The Anglo American School of Sofia, set up in 1967, follows a curriculum that combines US and British elements and culminates in the IB Diploma, while other schools offer a British curriculum alone or alongside IB programmes or the Bulgarian curriculum.
There are also two French lycees overseen by the Agency for French Education Abroad. Other accrediting bodies include the Council of International Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of British International Schools.
Education is compulsory from age five to 16, including one year of pre-school. State schools are free and follow the 12-grade Bulgarian national curriculum, with primary school lasting four years and middle school three years.
High school programmes take three years, while technical, vocational and specialist schools offer alternative tracks. Bulgaria has more than 30 universities and its population is highly educated. In 2015, net enrolment was 80 per cent at pre-school level, 93 per cent at primary school and 88 per cent at secondary school, while gross tertiary enrolment was 74 per cent.