International Education in Sofia
Since Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, its capital Sofia has seen a year-on-year increase in expats setting up a home away from home. With a low cost of living and much less crowding than other European capitals, Sofia has plenty of strings to its bow.
The only potential downside to expat life in Sofia is the language barrier. English is not as commonly spoken as in other capital cities around Europe, and you will need to have at least a few basic phrases of Bulgarian to get by on a day-to-day basis.
This can also be a problem when it comes to sending your child to school, as public schools in Bulgaria teach only through the native language. For some that leaves international schools as the only viable option. But don’t worry - Sofia has a good selection of international schools available to choose from!
When it comes to international schools, Bulgaria is relatively new to the scene. There is an advantage to this however; many of the international schools in Sofia are modern, forward-thinking and, compared to other capitals in Europe, competitively priced.
In most international schools in Sofia, international students will be in the majority. Some schools have up to a 70% majority of international students, with up to 50 different nationalities represented. Curricula are very much geared towards students from families who will be moving on in a few years, and will need to pick up their education in another country or city.
There are several international schools in Sofia teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum through English. Curricula from countries across Europe are also available including British, French, and German. Further afield curricula, including American, can also be found.
In general, the school day in Sofia begins at around 8.30am and finishes up at 3.30 or 4.00pm. Some international schools, though not all, provide supervised care after school which can include study time or extracurricular activities.
School bus services are usually offered, but public transport in Sofia is excellent. Your child will have little difficulty getting to or from school whatever the mode of transport. Most of Sofia’s international schools are located south-east of the city centre, so you should factor this into your school or accommodation search
As an added bonus, many of these schools are situated close to some of the city’s green spaces such as Borisgarten and Park Vartopo. After school walks and cycles will no doubt make life in Sofia even more fun for your child!
The standard of education on offer in Sofia’s international schools is similar to the rest of Europe. Class sizes are small and teachers are usually native speakers of the language of instruction. Campuses include sports facilities and play areas, and extracurricular activities are offered as standard.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Sofia. However, there are another 8 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Sofia based on your requirements.