Expats in Reverse: The Bulgarian School in Berlin

Written by on August 17, 2016 in Bulgaria, Bulgarians Abroad, People - No comments

We are expats in Bulgaria. But let’s take a different perspective. The intersection Leipziger Straße and Mauerstraße in Berlin is basically “Little Bulgaria”, in a way. In front of the Bulgarian embassy, located in a pretty elegant building, the country’s flag is flapping in the wind. Just around the corner, Bulgaria Air is selling flight tickets to those who still like to stay offline. Next to them, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute is located, on the ground floor of the same ugly apartment block, built in this part of former Eastern Germany.

There is more. A short walk down the street, next to the obscure looking Hotel Kubrat and its built-in Pizzeria Edoni, the Bulgarian School has been situated for a long time. This institution used to be funded by socialist Bulgaria, from 1966 to 1989. When the money rain came to an abrupt halt in 1990, the school had to rethink itself fast. The administration decided to convert to an association. Membership fees and the tuitions paid by parents, 500 Euro per school year, are keeping the institution alive.

The Bulgarian School in Berlin is a “supplemental school”, meaning all enrolled students visit German primary and high schools. In the afternoons, they come here to study Bulgarian, Bulgarian literature, Bulgarian history, Bulgarian geography, Bulgarian music as well as Bulgarian regional studies. The curriculum is the same any school in Bulgaria would apply, with the exception of all subjects not offered here. The guidelines by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education are being followed, right here in Berlin.

The big question: What about report cards, for a “supplemental school”? Yes, there are separate ones. On top of that, all students can have their Bulgarian language grades listed on their German report cards, as a third language.

The Bulgarian school Berlin is a good offer for expat kids in Berlin. When they come “home” in summer, to see baba and diado in Sofia, Haskovo, Ruse or Plovdiv, they will not just be able to talk to them in their mother tongue, but also answer their questions on Vassil Levski, Todor Kableshkov and Hristo Botev.

The Bulgarian School, Berlin

By Imanuel Marcus

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