Jan 28, 2020

Schools in Montenegro: Important facts for prospective immigrants

In October 2019, the Government of Montenegro launched an attractive immigration program and now people from different parts of the world are thinking of relocating to this sunny country. If potential immigrants have children, however, they will naturally wonder what educational opportunities exist in Montenegro. Are there international schools in the country that expats’ children can attend? How are the studies organized? What is the quality of higher education in Montenegro? These and other suchlike questions certainly need to be answered before you decide to move to Montenegro with your family. This article provides the most important educational facts about Montenegro that will be of interest to prospective immigrants.

Changing the place of residence is rather easy in the modern world but only if you are young and single. If you are married and have children of school age, you have much more things to think about before you relocate to another country. In particular, you have to find residential accommodations in your new home country where there is a school nearby. And you certainly do not want you kids to attend just any school. It has to be good one, too.

Relocating to Montenegro has recently been made quite easy and affordable with the new ‘citizenship by investment’ Government program. It allows acquiring Montenegrin legal residency and full citizenship in exchange for investment in the country’s economy. You can obtain a second passport if you invest into residential real estate in Montenegro or establish a business company there. Besides, with the amendments to the Montenegrin immigration law that went into effect early this year, all family members, including minor children, are entitled to become citizens of Montenegro. Please read more about these opportunities by following this link.

As far as the schools in Montenegro are concerned, it will be safe to claim that they modern, progressive, and quite competitive by the international standards. Most schools in the country are state-supported common schools but several private schools can also be found including international ones. The main language of instruction is Montenegrin, of course, but there are educational institutions where the instructions and provided in English and some other foreign languages.

This guide will introduce you to the schools system in Montenegro and let you realize what to expect when sending your children to a Montenegrin school. We will also discuss such topics as primary and secondary education in Montenegro, the languages of instruction, international schools in the country, and higher education possibilities.

Schools in Montenegro: The school system

Montenegro has a long history of publicly supported education. On the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, there were 75 state-supported and 26 private schools in the country. This is an impressive number if you take the small size of the country into consideration. Currently, primary education is totally free of charge for the people of Montenegro. All the primary schools follow the same curriculum approved at the Government level.  

Schools in Montenegro: Primary schools

All children between six and fourteen must attend schools in Montenegro. Primary education in the country spans over nine years. A large spectrum of topics is covered by the national curriculum.

Schools in Montenegro: Secondary education

After finishing the primary school, children in Montenegro go on to secondary education institutions. These come in three types in the country:

  • Vocational and technical institutions (Zanatska škola): they have three-year curricula that allow the attendants to obtain a vocational profession.
  • Professional schools (Stručna škola): they have three- to four-year curricula and offer acquiring both a profession and broad-based knowledge.
  • Lyceums (Gimnazija): these schools are for the university students children who graduated from primary schools with excellence.

Schools in Montenegro: The language of instruction

Montenegro used to be a republic of a much larger country, Yugoslavia, that disintegrated in the 1990s. Moreover, it was in a union with Serbia before it became a fully independent state a rather short time ago. It is not surprising, for this reason, that the issue of the national language of Montenegro remains disputable and it arouses some hot debates from time to time.

The Montenegrin language is the official language of the country and it is the primary language of instruction in schools. In particular, all school textbooks are written in Montenegrin. At the same time, many linguists claim that this language is a dialect of Serbian rather than a separate language.

It is worth noting that people speaking the same language – Montenegrin – often call it by different names. Some claim that they speak Serbian, others say that they speak Bosnian, while still others insist that they speak Croatian. This depends on the people’s national self-identification. There are also schools in the country where the language of instruction is Albanian. In addition to that, there are international schools that have English as the language of instruction or, rarely, some other foreign language such as Russian, for example.  

Schools in Montenegro: International schools in the country

International schools prepare children to participation in the international community. They mostly serve the needs of families whose adult members have top management positions, or work for transnational corporations, or hold diplomatic positions in Montenegro. These persons have to travel around the world and stay in foreign countries over extended periods and thus they need schools that work by the more uniform international standards rather than national ones.

A to the international schools available in Montenegro, it should be noted that these differ from each other in many respects. However, they all have at least one thing in common: the main language of instruction in all these schools is English.

QSI international school (Podgorica)

QSI school has been working in the capital city of Podgorica since 2006. It teaches English to the children of various ages, from the first-graders to secondary school seniors. The teaching staff consists of international and Montenegrin instructors.

United Kids International Montenegro (Podgorica)

United Kids International Montenegro is a newbie in the Montenegrin educational market. It opened as recently as 2016. This school combines the international education system and the Montenegrin division into primary and secondary education. The student ages vary between two and fifteen.

Knightsbridge Schools International (Tivat)

This international school located in the city of Tivat also divides the education process into the primary and the secondary stages. However, it also has international baccalaureate curricula. The language of instruction is English. The attendants’ ages vary between three and eighteen.

We should note that this particular school is located close to Kraljičina Plaža resort complex. This is one of the real estate objects in Montenegro that qualify for the ‘citizenship by investment’ program. If you purchase residential accommodations in Kraljičina Plaža resort, your kids can attend this international school.

Arcadia Academy (Tivat)

This is a British school in Montenegro that prepares children for various Cambridge tests. The language of instruction is naturally English. Arcadia Academy in Tivat welcomes children from three to nineteen.

Schools in Montenegro: Higher education opportunities in the country

The most talented secondary school graduates can continue their education and earn a university degree in Montenegro. There is one state university in the country – the University of Montenegro in Podgorica. In addition to that, there are two private universities there: Donja Gorica University and the Mediterranean University.

The Mediterranean University campus is located mostly in Podgorica. The students can earn bachelor degrees be attending classes offered by six different university departments. One of these departments is located in the city of Bar. The full list of University Departments looks as follows:

  • Tourism Department in Bar;
  • Montenegro Business School;
  • Informational Technologies Department;
  • Department of Visual Arts;
  • Foreign Languages Department;
  • Department of Law;

As for Donja Gorica University, it was founded in 2007 to become the second private university in Montenegro. It is located in the Podgorica suburb that is called Donja Gorica. The campus area is 16.7 thousand square meters (179757,3 sq. ft.), which makes it the largest private university in the country. The University is comprised of the following thirteen departments:  

  • Department of international economics, business, and finance;
  • Law Department;
  • Informational Technologies Department;
  • Department of Arts (diplomacy, security, communication technologies, and mass media divisions); 
  • Fine Arts Department;
  • Polytechnic Department;
  • Sports Management Department;
  • Department of Nutrition Technologies, Food Safety, and Ecology;
  • Department of Multimedia and Design (graphic design and fashion design);
  • Tourism and Culture Department;
  • Applied Mathematics Department;
  • Department of International Hotel Management;
  • Department of the English Language and English Literature.

And finally, the University of Montenegro in Podgorica is the national research university located in the capital of the country. It was founded in 1974. Even though the main University campus is located in Podgorica, there are Departments in three more Montenegrin cities as well. The University has 19 Departments in total:

  • Department of Architecture (Podgorica);
  • Department of Biotechnologies (Podgorica);
  • Construction Department (Podgorica);
  • Economics Department (Podgorica);
  • Department of Electro-technics (Podgorica);
  • Department of Law (Podgorica);
  • Engineering Department (Podgorica);
  • Department of Medicine (Podgorica);
  • Department of Metallurgy (Podgorica);
  • Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Podgorica);
  • Department of Political Science (Podgorica);
  • Department of Philosophy (Niksic);
  • Department of Philology (Niksic);
  • Department of Sports and Physical Culture (Niksic);
  • Drama Department (Cetine);
  • Graphic Arts Department (Cetine);
  • Music Academy (Cetine);
  • Department of Nautical Sciences (Kotor);
  • Tourism and Hotel Management Department (Kotor).

Schools in Montenegro: concluding remarks

If you have school-age children, this should not be an obstacle to relocating to Montenegro on the ‘citizenship by investment’ immigration program. There are a few quite decent international schools in the country that will let your kids learn whatever they have to learn in school.

By the time they grow up, they will master the Montenegrin language and thus they can enter one of the local universities. These provide education of the quality that comes up to the international standards. At the same time, the tuition fees in Montenegro are considerably lower than the European average.

So, the option to acquire second passports of Montenegro for the whole family is really worth considering. If you need more information about finding a school for your children, please contact us without hesitation at info@offshore-pro.info. We will gladly consult you on this matter as well as all other matters that are related to acquiring Montenegrin citizenship and a second passport in exchange for a relatively modest investment into the country’s economy.

The ‘citizenship by investment’ Government program is not going to last forever. Montenegro, however, looks very attractive in terms of acquiring a second citizenship there. Thus, you had better strike while the iron is hot. Please write to us to the address indicated above and we will gladly answer all your questions!