If local schools are a top reason for choosing a home then surely a school system is an essential part of choosing a home country.
Montenegro’s schools are modern and progressive and complemented by a number of private school options. There are also English and international school choices in Montenegro.
This guide will introduce you to the Montenegro school system and help you understand what to expect before enrolling your child in one.
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The Montenegro School System
Montenegro has a long history of public education. At the turn of the 20th century there 75 public and 26 private schools in the country. Montenegro primary schools are fully funded by the government and teach a national curriculum to all students.
Montenegro’s Primary School System
All children, between the age of 6 and 14, must be enrolled in school. Montenegro’s elementary program lasts for nine years and covers a broad range of topics based on the national curriculum.
Secondary Education in Montenegro
After finishing elementary school, Montenegrins are streamed into one of three secondary school systems:
- Vocational schools (Zanatska škola): Offer three-year programs in narrowly defined vocations including trades and primary school teachers.
- Professional schools (Stručna škola): Run for three or four years and have a balance between training for a specific field and providing a broader education.
- Gymnasium (Gimnazija): Are four-year schools meant for students who achieved good elementary grades and want to continue on to higher education.
Language of Instruction in Montenegrin Schools
Not surprisingly given the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and Montenegro’s recent independence from Serbia, language is a topic that gets quite a bit of attention.
Montenegrin is the official language used in schools and a policy has been enacted to have all textbooks printed in it. The language is generally recognized as a dialect of Serbo-Croatian and the government acknowledges that many citizens will prefer to call it Serbian, Bosniak or Croatian depending on their origins, even if they are speaking essentially the same language.
Classes in Albanian are also offered in some parts of the country.
International Schools in Montenegro
International schools are designed to help prepare students to participate in a global community. They also satisfy the needs of location-independent parents — multinational executives, diplomats, staff for NGOs — who want to ease the transition between school systems when their work takes their family to a new country.
QSI International School of Montenegro (Podgorica)
Operating since 2006, this member of the QSI chain offers English-language instruction to students from the beginning of elementary school to secondary school graduation. International and Montenegrin school teachers make up the faculty.
United Kids International Montenegro (Podgorica)
A relative newcomer that opened in 2016, they teach the International Primary Curriculum and the International Middle Years Curriculum in a Montessori-style setting. Students range from two to 15.
This IB World School enrolls students (day and boarding) in the Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program and Diploma Program of the International Baccalaureate. Instruction is in English and students are accepted from age three to 18.
Tuition runs from €7,440 for half-day kindergarten to €17,220 for students in the diploma program.
Arcadia Academy (Tivat)
This British International School prepares primary and secondary students to take the Cambridge Exam.
Instruction is in English. They charge up to €6,850 in annual tuition fees.
English Schools in Montenegro
There are also a number of businesses across Montenegro that specialize in teaching English to children and adults. Oxford Centar is the leader in the field and has locations in Bar, Bijelo Polje, Budva and Podgorica.
Post-Secondary Education in Montenegro
The Montenegro school system is geared to both preparing students for the workforce or getting them ready to take a diploma program at a college or university.
Montenegro has one state-run university, the University of Montenegro in Podgorica. The University of Donja Gorica and Mediterranean University are the two privately operated options.
Mediterranean University is based in Podgorica and has undergraduate programs organized into six faculties, some of which are headquartered in other towns. They are:
- Faculty of Tourism in Bar
- Faculty of Business Studies, also known as the Montenegro Business School
- Faculty of Informational Technology
- Faculty of Visual Arts, including classes on audiovisual production and communications
- Faculty of Foreign Languages
- Faculty of Law
Details About the Montenegro Tourism School
Mediterranean University has acted as Montenegro’s tourism school since it founded a faculty on the subject in 2004. The 4-year undergraduate diploma focuses on hotel and tourism management.
The 3-year doctoral program covers topics like sustainable development and strategic management and incorporates a final year abroad in Paris.
Montenegro Business School in Podgorica
Montenegro’s business school, another faculty of Mediterranean University, is based in Podgorica.
Financial and marketing management as well as economics, accounting and other finance topics are covered by the various undergraduate, specialist, masters and doctoral programs at MBS.
Snapshot of Education Offered by Montenegro’s Schools
For a country of about 600,000 people. Montenegro’s school system punches above its weight. Offering English-language instruction and integration with the global system of international schools fits well with Montenegro’s goal of attracting expats and foreign investment.