Education and Schools in Romania

The Romanian educational system faces challenges such as student underachievement and low state expenditure. As public education is taught in Romanian, most expats choose to send their children to international or private schools, especially as the quality of education is higher in these schools.

The Romanian school year is typically split into summer and winter semesters. The first semester begins in September and lasts until February, and the second semester is from February to June. Vacation times are generally scheduled over Easter, Christmas and in the summer.

It is compulsory for all children in Romania to attend school from the age of five and before they reach school-going age, many children attend kindergarten at three or four years old.

There are three types of school-leaving certificates available in Romania, which include the national programme, the International Baccalaureate and the programme for vocational schools.

Public schools in Romania

Public education in Romania is free for residents. There aren’t many first-class schools in the country and those schools with a good reputation often have long waiting lists. As a result, overcrowding at these schools is common and results in classes being split into morning and afternoon shifts to accommodate more students. 

Schools in Bucharest and other cities are often better than schools in rural areas since they are better equipped and adequately staffed. Rural schools might only offer certain years of schooling and have a limited amount of teachers.

Given that students are taught in Romanian, public schools might not be the best option for expats unless their children are young and they intend to stay for the long-term. 

Private schools in Romania

The number of private schools in Romania has increased since the fall of communism. Private education is available from kindergarten level through to high school and does not usually follow the national curriculum. Romanian private schools can be expensive, which means that only wealthy local families can afford them.

International schools in Romania

For expats in Romania, international schools are the most popular schools to send their children to. All of these schools are situated in Bucharest and although there isn’t an extensive selection, there are a few to choose from. Although tuition is expensive, they all offer quality education for the expat community. 

International schools in Romania can benefit parents too, as they offer an important tool for making new acquaintances and forming social connections.

International schools usually offer the International Baccalaureate programme, the British GCSE or GCE programmes, or a combination of these. In order to enrol in a Romanian international school, expats will have to provide a selection of documents including application forms, school records, references and the child’s birth certificate.