Although public education in Romania is free for all residents, expats usually opt to send their children to one of the many excellent international schools in Bucharest. Romanian is the language of instruction in public schools in Bucharest, which tends to put non-Romanian-speaking expat children at a disadvantage.
Public schools in Bucharest
The quality of public education in Romania can vary from school to school, but in general, large cities such as Bucharest usually have better quality public schools with the most resources.
For expat families with children young enough to learn a new language and who plan to stay long-term, public schooling is an ideal way to mix with locals and integrate into Romanian culture. On the other hand, expats in Romania for an assignment with a limited term or who have children in their teens generally find international schools a much simpler and more practical option.
Private and international schools in Bucharest
Since the early 1990s, many private schools in Romania have opened and flourished. Private schools in Romania are available from kindergarten to high school, and expats can typically find the widest variety in Bucharest, the capital. These schools adopt modern approaches to education and charge fees, which can be expensive.
Private schools that offer the curriculum of another country, or a global curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, are known as international schools.
International schools are the most popular choice for expats in the city. Most of the international schools in Romania are situated in Bucharest and offer quality education for the young expat community. Schools also provide an essential tool for parents who wish to make new acquaintances and form social connections in a foreign country.
International schools in Bucharest usually offer one or more of several curricula, including the International Baccalaureate programme and the British Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level programmes. Expats can also find French and American international schools in Bucharest.
For a list of the top schools, see International Schools in Bucharest.
Special-needs education in Bucharest
The Romanian government has implemented an inclusion policy for special-needs children, intending to integrate them into mainstream schools, providing all children with the same educational opportunities. Dedicated special-needs schools do exist, however, if mainstream schooling cannot provide the required support.
Many schools in Bucharest, including international schools, have facilities and teachers that can assist children with a variety of special needs. Many schools also have specialised occupational therapists and other special-needs professionals to help these children. Only if a child is not able to adapt to mainstream schooling will they be transferred to a special-needs school.
Tutors in Bucharest
Private home or online tutors are available in Bucharest to assist children with particular subjects and additional school support. It may be helpful for expats to hire a tutor to help their child adapt to their new school curriculum, if different from their schooling at home, as well as the language of instruction. Romanian can be a difficult language to learn, and depending on the child's age, it may be useful to have extra Romanian lessons with a tutor.
There are many websites and companies that advertise private online or home tutors in Bucharest. These companies include Verbling, Tutoroo and TeachMe2.