In the prestigious Lozenets district of Sofia, surrounded by stunning views of the Vitosha Mountain, lies the campus of St. George International School and Preschool (SGIS). The school recently moved to this new, custom-built site, which boasts state-of-the-art science labs, classrooms, and large expo areas. Next year, a brand new sports complex, including a swimming pool and several gyms, is due for completion.
SGIS began in 1995 as a Bulgarian-English bilingual kindergarten named Wonder World. In 2004, the Minister of Education approved the opening of the next level—Saint George School, a private, bilingual secondary school. In 2015, the kindergarten was renamed Saint George, “in order to unify the values and educational standards of both institutes under one brand,” according to the school’s website. While 260 K–8 students currently attend, the school envisions enrollment reaching 650 K–12 students within the next three years.
Fully accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and a candidate with British Schools Overseas, SGIS aims to provide both Bulgarian and international qualifications following Cambridge, Edexcel, and the International Primary Curriculum programs. Though the majority of students are Bulgarian, the student population represents 19 nationalities, with 15% of students coming from North America and the U.K. The teaching staff of 49 includes 36 teachers from Bulgaria, 12 from the U.K., and one from North America. Class sizes in primary are capped at 15 to enable staff to dedicate enough time to each student’s individual needs.
In addition to field trips and excursions throughout the year, students have many choices after school to pursue their interests. STEM-savvy students can study architecture and programming. Performing artists can practice acting, puppet theater, folk singing and dancing, vocal technique, ballet, music theory, and musical instruments, such as piano, guitar, drums. Visual artists can explore origami and attend art classes. Sports enthusiasts can choose from basketball, chess, fencing, football, martial arts, functional training, rhythmic gymnastics, tennis, swimming, and yoga. Students may also join film club or a language club, where they practice conversing in a foreign language.
SGIS prefers to hire singles and couples with a non-teaching spouse. They would consider teaching couples and exceptional newly-certified teachers. All certified candidates must hold an EU passport as well as an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. There is no age limit to obtain a work visa in Bulgaria.
The benefits package includes a non-taxed salary and a studio or two-room apartment–for singles and couples, respectively–with utilities included. Local health insurance is also fully covered. Other perks include free lunch, language lessons, and fees for sports programs. The tuition discount for dependents is based on the number of children enrolled. The low cost of living in Bulgaria allows for some great savings with this package. As for professional devevelopment (PD), in-house training takes place every Thursday, in the format of an “open mic.” External PD is also offered, with the expectation that the teacher who attended the PD will pass on to other teachers what he or she has learned through a workshop or seminar.
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Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.