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Education in Budapest

Budapest, or Hungary as a whole, is said to have one of the best education systems in the world, therefore, if you are considering moving to the city as an International Tax expat, you will be sure to have great educational choices for your family. 

Children running in a school playground.

It is important to consider that education is compulsory throughout the country from age 5 to 16. 

The schooling system in Hungary follows this structure: 

  • Pre-school - As early as 20 months to 3 years old 

  • Kindergarten - Ages 3 to 6 

  • Elementary - Ages 6 to 12 

  • Secondary - Ages 12 to 18 

  • Trade School (optional during or after secondary school) - Ages 14 to 17 

  • College & University - Ages 17 & up 

The city boasts options for both public and private schools, with the academic year running from September through to June, comprising two semesters: autumn and spring. 


Classes are mainly taught in Hungarian, especially in public schools, however, many international or private schools will teach in English. While studying in Hungary, students also learn an additional language, most often this will be German. If your child does not speak Hungarian, they may struggle in a public school and therefore international and private schools would be best suited. 

International schools in Budapest, on the other hand, usually teach through English. The most popular curricula on offer include British, American, and the International Baccalaureate. Outside of this, there are other Europe-focused international schools that teach the French or German curricula (through French and German respectively). 

Standardised Exams 

Standardised exams occur from secondary school up until university. When completing secondary school, students must take a final exam named the ‘Matura’, which consists of five subjects: mathematics, literature and grammar, a foreign language, history, and a written or oral exam of the student's choice. These exams are required for entry into university. 

Secondary School Choices 

After finishing elementary school (általános iskola) students can decide between three options: high school (gimnázium), vocational school (szakmunkásképzö iskola) or trade school (szakközépiskola). All Hungarians must complete 8 years of elementary school plus two more years in one of the above schools. 

Here are 5 of the top international schools in Budapest: 

American International School of Budapest 

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, American 

Language of instruction: English 

Ages: 3 – 18 


SEK Budapest International School 

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate 

Language of instruction: English 

Ages: 3 – 18 

Lycée Francais Gustave Eiffel de Budapest 

Curriculum: French 

Language of instruction: French 

Ages: 3 – 18 


The British International School Budapest 

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, British 

Language of instruction: English 

Ages: 3 – 18 

Britannica International School, Budapest 

Curriculum: British 

Language of instruction: English 

Ages: 5 – 18 

Children raising their hand in a classroom.

If you are ready to relocate to Budapest to start your exciting new International Tax career, get in touch with a member of Kingpin International today.

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