Availability of international general education in Estonia

The availability of international general education contribute notably to the implementation of the Action Plan on Exports and Foreign Investment and operational programmes concerning the internationalisation of research and higher education as well as the rotation of foreign and Estonian diplomats, and the employment of foreign experts in Estonia.

According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, teaching in Estonia may be carried out pursuant to the curriculum of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) or a curriculum developed on the basis of the Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools (European Baccalaureate)..

Availability of preschool education in a foreign language in Estonia

Pre-school education in foreign language can be acquired in Tallinn or Tartu.

Most of the preschool groups use English. However, the private nursery school Memme Musi operates a group where the languages of instruction are French and Estonian, and the Tallinn Allika Nursery School features a group for German.

English student groups are accessible at the following nursery schools and schools in Tallinn:

In Tartu, there are the English speaking  private nursery school TERAKE (2-6-year-olds) and Nursery of Tartu International School (2-6-year-olds).

International treaties

Based on international treaties, the Tallinn German Secondary School and the Kadrioru German Secondary School offer advanced studies in German, whereas the Tallinn Finnish School applies the Finnish curriculum. The Tallinn German Secondary School and the Kadrioru German Secondary School are municipal schools where education is free of charge. The Tallinn Finnish School is a private school that provides paid education (for information on tuition fees, see their web site). 

IB (International Baccalaureate)

IBO is an international organization, located in the Hague, the Netherlands. IBO-recognized schools are allowed to use internationally-recognized IB curricula. The curricula has three different levels from preschool to upper secondary education.

  • PYP - Primary Years Programme,
  • MYP - Middle Years Programme
  • DP - Diploma Programme.

The language of instruction in Estonia for IB programmes is English (French and Spanish can be also confirmed as official languages of instruction.

IB DP programme finalizes with international exams in all subjects. Good results allow to continue studies in Estonia as well internationally. There is no need to take Estonia’s state exams once student has IB DP diploma.

According to the IBO, IB curriculas are used in 156 countries in 5000 schools. Good results have increased the popularity of the curricula and number of schools using this is continuously growing. IB diploma is accepted by more than 2193 accredited universities in the world, including the University of Tartu, the Tallinn University, the Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Academy of Arts.

More information on IB curricula can be found on IBO website.


EB (European Baccalaureate)

EB is internationally recognized curricula that includes multi-language and –cultural curriculas from preschool to upper secondary education:

  • N1-N2 - nursery,
  • P1-P5 - primary,
  • S1-S7 - secondary.

The main goal of European Schools is to provide uniform education to the children of the public servants of the European Communities which means that all European Schools apply a harmonised curriculum to allow trouble-free movement of students between schools. The EB curriculum pays special attention to developing the fundamental values of the EU and the students' native language or first language, and teaching at least two foreign languages. Some subjects are taught in the second language. In the primary stage (grades P3 to P5), the European classes are in the second language (L2), whereas in the secondary stage (grades S3 to S7), subjects taught in the second language include history, geography, economics and ethics.

The holders of the European Baccalaureate diploma can enroll in any university on the territory of an EU Member State subject to the same conditions as the citizens of that Member State having an equivalent qualification.

The system of European Schools has 26 general education institutions in the academic year of 2017/18. Of those, 13 are I category European Schools and 13 are accredited European School. Accreditation can be applied by the EU member state from the the Board of Governors of the European Schools and it must be renewed every three years.

European Schools are located in 13 different EU member states: Belgium ( 5 schools), Germany (4 schools), Italy (3 schools), Luxembourg (3 schools), the Netherlands (2 schools), France (2 schools), Spain, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Greece and Estonia. In September 2018, six new accredited schools will be opened in Belgium, France, Slovenia and 3 schools in Luxembourg.

More information on EB curricula can be found on the website of the European Schools.

Possibilities for studying on internationally recognized curriculas in the academic year of 2017/18

Internationally recognized education is offered in six schools in Tallinn and Tartu, mostly in private schools with tuition. Tallinn English College and Miina Härma Gymnasium are municipal schools that are funded by the local government and thus the studying there is free of charge. The contracts define the target group and enrollment criteria.

School Curricula / language of instruction Program / class
Tallinn European School EB
- Nursery years (4-6-year-olds)
- Primary years (grades 1-5)
- Secondary years (grades 6-12)
Estonian International School* IB
- PYP nursery (3-6-year-olds)
- PYP (grades 1-4)
- MYP (grades 5-10)
- DP (grades 11-12)
Miina Härma Gymnasium IB
- PYP (grades 1-4)
- MYP** (grades 5-8)
- DP (grades 11-12)
Tallinn English College IB
- PYP (grades 1-4)
- MYP** (grades 5-7)
- DP (grades 11-12)
Audentes Private School IB
- DP (grades 11-12)
Tartu International School IB
- PYP*** nursery (3-6-year-olds)
- PYP*** (6-12-year-olds)

* Estonian International School is accredited by the Council of International Schools   and New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
** IBO-recognized IB MYP candidate school
*** IBO-recognized IB PYP candidate school



Last updated: 14 April 2018