An architectural gem on the River Danube, Budapest is not just a tourist destination but also a commercial centre at a historical, trading crossroads. You don’t need to worry about education for your offspring if you are posted here (wherever you come from in the western world) as you have the option of English, American and French curricula.
It is worryingly easy to muddle the different international schools here, for the simple reason that several of the school names are incredibly similar. But they are quite different in reality, all offering different curricula.
A few expats have been brave enough to put their children into the Hungarian school system but numbers are small, mainly because the Hungarian language is very difficult to master to any degree of fluency. This lack of ability to communicate can create a huge barrier for expat families, especially ones only in Budapest for a few years - and most temporary residents feel that the disruption to continuous education is too great a risk. However, for those with a parent who is Hungarian - and have regular contact with Hungarians or are intending to become long-term residents - there are obvious advantages.
American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 920 students
Established nearly 50 years ago by the US Embassy for their staff, now with students from over 50 nationalities but English is still the main language of instruction. Currently, all on one campus outside Budapest in two main buildings. Fabulous looking website packed with great videos but maybe a bit short on useful information. Dually accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle Schools Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent’ privately owned; 900 students
Another entry from the Nord Anglia stable. Based in Budapest’s popular 3rd district which contains ‘old Buda’. Offering an adapted version of a British education (taught in English). Students from over 70 nationalities speaking 25 different languages make this a truly international school. New senior school under construction.
Click here to read our full review of the The British International School, Budapest.
Britannica International School (pending)
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A Level; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 390 students
Part of the Orbital Education group, based in the UK but running schools in Hungary, Spain, Russia and China. Good academic results and accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). Graduates continue their education, predominantly, at universities in the UK and the English link is strengthened by participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).
American curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ AP; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 210 students
Formerly the Greater Grace Christian Academy founded after the fall of the Iron Curtain to educate the children of missionaries. Still a Christian school offering an American curriculum and accredited by the Association of Christian Schools (ACSI). Recent renovations, doubling the size of the campus, have added more classrooms, a larger library and a new EAL wing housing a language lab. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.
School developed curriculum; ages 1-12; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 175 students
Started life as a tiny nursery but has now grown to include a kindergarten and primary school, all teaching in English.
Adapted National Curriculum for England; ages 4-14; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 200 students
A fairly new school, opened in 2014, teaching a version of the English curriculum. Approximately 50 per cent of the students are Hungarian with the remainder coming from over 30 different nationalities.
Adapted American curriculum/ AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 230 students
Founded in 1994, in DIósd, just outside Budapest, offering a biblically orientated education to missionaries and other Christians. The largest cohort of students is American followed by Hungarian but also a wide range of other nationalities, including from the Far East. The school offers ACT, PSAT and SAT tests in high school as well as AP courses.
French curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 650 students
Founded in 1908 and located on the outskirts of Budapest. One of the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) network of around 500 global schools. Just under 100 per cent pass rate in the French Baccalaureate with over half the graduates scoring a 'tres bien'. Impressive results as around 40 different nationalities attend the school, including a large number of Hungarian students.
For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on the Good Schools Guide international search.