International Schools in Montenegro: a Must-Read for Future Expat Families with Kids

Notice blue

Please note the new deadline for applications for citizenship by investment in Montenegro: December 31, 2022. For details and assistance on all relevant matters, please contact our experts. 

When you set out to shop for a new home in Montenegro, you will certainly want to settle in a happy neighborhood and make sure your kids can feel welcome at the local school. What international schools in Montenegro are popular with inbound families? Which other schooling options are available for expat children in this nice Balkan state? How long is the academic year in Montenegro? What is there to know about Montenegrin higher education? Let us offer you a helicopter view of schools in Montenegro.

Montenegro school

Expats in Montenegro fully enjoy its fortunate location on the Adriatic coastline at the southern end of the Dinaric Alps. Such benefits as the beautiful scenery, a very relaxed lifestyle, affordable cost of living make it very attractive for residents and tourists. The country is a candidate for EU membership. Montenegrin passports is a visa-free pass to over 120 states. The country is a convenient springboard for business in major international markets. To facilitate its economic development, the jurisdiction attracts foreign capital by offering many business perks and one of the most favorable taxation schemes in Europe. The property market is very competitive. A family investing in some real estate or a local company can rather quickly receive residence permits. Morover, Montenegro has extended its program for obtaining citizenship by investment till December 31, 2022. No wonder that many wealthy families find Montenegro a wonderful place to move to.

This article is a brief review of the national school system and opportunities for enrolling your child in one of the local international schools in Montenegro. 

International schools in Montenegro as part of the national education system: basic facts about education opportunities for expats’ kids in Montenegro

The national education system includes pre-school, elementary and secondary schools, higher education, and post-graduate education. 

International schools in Montenegro manage to harmonize international curricula with the national standards. All of them are licensed by the Ministry of Education, so they are part of the national education system. 

Montenegro has a long history of public education. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, it featured 75 public and 26 private schools.

Public schools in Montenegro score high internationally. UK education experts name them among the most democratic providers of education in Europe. Tuition is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14, whatever their nationality. This means that public elementary and secondary schools do not charge any fees from foreign and expat students if they wish to enroll in public schools. 

When needed, the institutions are obliged by law to provide language assistance to students with little or no skills in the Montenegrin language. Otherwise, parents can choose private non-profit establishments where English is the language of instruction – international schools in Montenegro.

For such a small country, there is quite a wide choice of international schools in Montenegro where students can study in foreign languages. Most of them are coeducational day schools.

Elementary schools in Montenegro

Montenegro kid

All elementary public schools in Montenegro are financed by the government and teach the national curricula. Montenegro adheres to the Bologna system. Therefore, young kids are not tested on their reading and writing skills when entering the first grade of a local school.

Elementary school in Montenegro lasts nine years and covers a wide range of disciplines based on the national curriculum.

Secondary Education in Montenegro

After leaving elementary school, Montenegrin and expat children continue with their secondary education in one of 3 types of educational institutions:

  • Vocational schools (Zanatska škola): 3-year programs in narrowly defined vocations.
  • Professional schools (Stručna škola): programs cover 3 or 4 years and offer a balance between training in a specific field and broader education.
  • Gimnazija (Gimnazija): 4-year schools designed for students who have achieved good results at the elementary level of education and want to pursue higher education.

Language of instruction in Montenegro

The national language is a topic that attracts much attention. This is not surprising, given the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and Montenegro’s recent declaration of independence from Serbia.

Montenegrin alphabet

Montenegrin is the official language of instruction at schools. The country adopted a policy of using this language for all school textbooks. This language is generally considered a dialect of Serbo-Croatian. So many citizens prefer to call it Serbian, Bosnian, or Croatian, depending on their origin (even though such citizens speak essentially the same language). Classes in Albanian are also offered in some parts of the country. Besides, there are American, British, French, Russian international schools in Montenegro. They provide instruction in English, French, Russian, and classes in other languages (see below).

International schools in Montenegro

International schools, just like similar establishments in other countries, are designed for students whose parents work for multinational corporations, embassies, and other organizations that require their staff to move around the world. Therefore, such schools are designed to maintain international standards of schooling. Their primary mission is to help the students’ easy transition between educational establishments in different countries. 

Each of the international schools in Montenegro described below has its specifics. But they all are focused on the principles of global education. Their language of instruction is English. Most of the international schools in Montenegro are coeducational day schools. Yet some offer boarding services for teenagers.

Montenegro school

QSI International School of Montenegro (Podgorica)

This international school was opened in 2006 in Montenegro. QSI is part of the Quality Schools International network. It offers English language instruction to students of all ages: from preschool, elementary, and secondary school students through to graduation. The highly qualified teaching staff was internationally recruited. There are also local Montenegrin teachers. The program is based on the American Common Core curriculum. The school is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA). Local children whose parents want them to study at QSI are also accepted.

United Kids International Montenegro (Podgorica)

United Kids International was set up in 2016. Students range in age from 2 to 18 years old. The school teaches by the international British program. It is adapted to the Montenegrin curriculum of elementary and secondary schools. Besides the high quality of education at UKIM, its strengths are the reasonable fees, small classes, English as the primary language, study of Montenegrin, German, Spanish, Montessori methods as part of the daily routine, safety, and health policies.

Knightsbridge Schools International (Tivat)

KSI Montenegro opened in 2010 as part of the International Baccalaureate  (IB) World School network. It offers the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma programs. Besides the national school curriculum, this international school prepares for a transition to international baccalaureate programs – the ‘golden standard’ in global education. The graduates receive international and local school certificates. The language of instruction is English. The age of students ranges between 3 and 18. This school is located near the resort of Kraljičina Plaža where you can invest in some property or project to obtain Montenegro passports for you and your family. 

Arcadia Academy (Tivat)

This British international school prepares primary and secondary school students for the Cambridge Checkpoint exams. The language of instruction is English. Arcadia Academy is a private international school in Tivat for boys and girls aged 3-18. Arcadia Academy is the first and only Cambridge International School (IGCSE) in Montenegro. It is also the first and only COBIS (Council of British International Schools) full member. The school is located in a green zone, its indoor facilities and outdoor learning spaces incorporate natural elements into the classrooms

Russian schools in Montenegro

Several educational institutions in Montenegro specialize in teaching in Russian. Besides the Russian-language schools, there are also Russian radio stations, newspapers, and cultural organizations. As Russian property buyers have invested in many properties on the coast, the private Russian schools for students aged 3-17 operate mainly in Budva and Podgorica. The tuition fees are much less expensive compared to other international schools in Montenegro. These schools provide high-quality services and integrate the European, Montenegrin, Russian education standards in their curricula. Students coming from 10 countries study at the Adriatic college, founded in 2014. For Russian-speaking expats who stay in Montenegro only for several months and then return home, such schools are a perfect solution. On return to Russia, the students will continue their studies at home, and their transfer will be almost seamless. 

French European School of Podgorica, Montenegro

EFEP (Ecole française européenne de Podgorica) was launched in 2018 for students aged 3-15. The students study in French. The English and Montenegrin languages are compulsory disciplines, and  German, Spanish or Italian can be learned at the secondary level. The school promotes bilingualism as a true advantage. For newcomers not fluent in French, intensive language courses are available in July or August and during the school year. The curriculum is coordinated with the official programs of the French National Education. Some classes are conducted remotely by the French National Center for Distance Learning. EFEP is fully validated by the French inspectorate and the French ministry for education and has the license from the Montenegrin Ministry of Education. The certificate is confirmed by the French Ministry of Education and is accepted worldwide.

Higher education in Montenegro

The school system in Montenegro is focused both on preparing a professional workforce for jobs and on preparing gifted students for the university programs.

HE programs include:

  • bachelor, comprising 180 ECTS (3 years)
  • master (postgraduate), comprising 120 ECTS
  • doctoral, comprising 180 ECTS points.

Programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture, Pharmacy, Medical College of Vocational Studies have been harmonized with Directive 2005/36EC and Directive 55/13EC, i.e. special EU provisions for regulated professions. 

To enhance internationalization, the higher education establishments in Montenegro are planning to gradually introduce study programs in English. This will help students take part in European Mobility programs and other initiatives financed, through Erasmus+ or other donors.

There is one state university in Montenegro – the University of Montenegro in Podgorica, and 2 private universities – the University of Donja Gorica and the University Mediterranean. 

The University Mediterranean in Podgorica is a private establishment based in Podgorica.  Some of its undergraduate programs run in other cities. The complete list of faculties is as follows:

  • Faculty of Tourism, Hotel and Trade Management Bar
  • Faculty of Business Studies (Montenegro Business School)
  • Faculty of Information Technology
  • Faculty of Visual Arts
  • Faculty of Foreign Languages
  • Faculty of Law. 

The Donja Gorica University was founded in 2007. It is located in a suburb of Podgorica called Donja Gorica. The university campus is the largest private university facility in the country. The are 13 faculties:

  • Faculty of International Economics, Finance and Business
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Information Systems and Technologies
  • Humanistic Studies 
  • Faculty of Arts 
  • Faculty of Polytechnics
  • Faculty of Sports Management
  • Faculty for Food Technology, Food Safety and Ecology
  • Faculty of Design and Multimedia 
  • The Faculty of Culture and Tourism
  • Faculty of Applied Sciences (FPRN)
  • Faculty of Foreign Languages
  • Department of Philology.

As an outcome of recent educational reforms, the university is a leading pilot center in the project aimed at the establishment of master degree program in the field of Public Health Law, Health Management, Health Economics, and Health Informatics.

Finally, the University of Montenegro in Podgorica is a national public research university located in the capital city. Its bachelor and master programs are free of charge. It was founded in 1974. It has 19 faculties in 4 cities:

  •  Faculty of Architecture (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Biotechnology (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Construction (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Economics (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Law (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Medicine (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Metallurgy and Technology (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Political Sciences (Podgorica)
  •  Faculty of Philosophy (Niksic)
  •  Faculty of Philology (Niksic)
  •  Faculty of Sports and Physical Education (Niksic)
  •  Faculty of Drama (Cetinje)
  •  Faculty of Fine Arts (Cetinje)
  •  Music Academy (Cetinje)
  •  Faculty of Maritime Studies (Kotor)
  •  Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management (Kotor). 

The new study model 3+2+3 at the University of Montenegro has been introduced as one of the elements in the reforms of education in non-regulated professional fields.

The Balkan Institute for Science and Innovation (BISI) was recently established as a result of strategic cooperation between the University of Montenegro (UoM) and Université Côte d’Azur (UCA), France.

Higher Education Institutions from Montenegro participate in 15 ongoing Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) projects aimed at curricula refreshment, boosting of international cooperation, improving human, technical and library resources, other critically important quality development areas.

The most essential objective and focus in the current HE reforms in Montenegro is on the elimination of discordance between education and labor market needs.

Takeaways on International schools in Montenegro

Every wealthy migrant family going to invest in residence or citizenship abroad has its vested interests and criteria when selecting a particular country, province, and city. The quality of local education is one of the main parameters for those who are going to resettle with kids. Montenegro – a country with a population of about 0.6 million people – is a very good option. One of its strengths is the advanced national school system. The international schools’ integration with the global networks fits well with Montenegro’s goal of involving wealthy foreign expats and their investments in the priority projects.

Are you planning to move to Montenegro with your children and obtain Montenegrin passports by investment? We can advise you for free and offer fee-based assistance in selecting a decent school for your children. You are welcome to contact our experts for specific details about education in Montenegro, life in this country, application for Montenegrin passports, registration of business, and bank accounts. Please send your questions to or contact us in messengers given at the top of this page.

Need a consultation?

Please read other interesting articles at portal:

Please help us make the portal even more informative, up-to-date, and valuable for you and your business.

Your email address will not be published.