About us

We are Bulgarians who live in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is а wonderful place we have chosen to live in – a welcoming city for people of many backgrounds, with many different stories – and our story is a little part of that colorful community. Bulgaria, on the other hand, is the homeplace of our parents, Bulgaria is the place, the language, the stories, the food, the memory, the sense…we cannot separate from who we are. We think it is important for our kids to learn the Bulgarian language and be connected with Bulgarian culture not only for the obvious reasons. Not just because of the summer holidays, or because of their Bulgarian grandparents, or for making ourselves easier understood, not even only because mastering a language contributes to intelligence. We believe our language is the means for connecting with what belongs not only to us but to our children as well. And we don’t want to disown them from the essential, innate kernel that forms them – or simply from their roots. We know that the idea would sound more attractive to parents first, but as for the experience, we  make it enjoyable, fun and memorable for our students, who love coming to our classes and themselves participate in developing their Bulgarian School Amsterdam. We wish for Bulgarian School Amsterdam to become a center representing Bulgaria as we love and want it to be – unique, up-to-date, rooted in its cultural values and intriguing history, and belonging to the local international community.


Who we are


Iviana Panayotova

(founder, strategist, teacher at Bulgarian School Amsterdam)

IMG_8180 I am a linguist and a teacher. Languages and literature have always been my closest to heart interests and were the focus of my education. I studied at Sofia University to become a philologist with pedagogical training and then continued for a Master degree in Brussels, and later received a second one from Bergen University, Norway. At Burgas Free University I received specialized education in a Bulgarian language course. I have been working as a teacher for more than 10 years. Bulgarian School Amsterdam is for me a place of joy and creativity. Developing a rich curriculum and teaching Bulgarian language and culture here, I am thrilled and inspired to achieve and share, to learn and grow, together with children and colleagues. Bulgarian School Amsterdam is the school I choose for my two sons, who already love it.

Gergana Bahcisaraytseva

(Bulgarian language teacher at Bulgarian School Amsterdam)

I’m a linguist, a Gerinews presenter and a translator. I have been working as a teacher in English and Bulgarian for 15 years, after graduating from New Bulgarian University. My pedagogical training includes three semesters of Preschool Pedagogy at Sofia University. I love working with children! I believe teaching and learning while playing is a creative process in which both teacher and students learn a lot. It’s great that here at the Bulgarian School Amsterdam we have a common goal – children, parents and teachers – to keep our traditions and roots alive, to show our children the beauty of Bulgarian language, folklore and history. And that’s a cause worth working for!

Galina Slavova

(preschool tutor at Bulgarian School Amsterdam)

Hello! That’s me Galina Slavova.
A year ago, somewhat surprisingly, Iviana asked me to change my role from being a loud and enthusiastic parent to being a loud and enthusiastic teacher/tutor/instructor, or just “kaka Galia”.
I love dancing, singing, storytelling and theater. I love swinging , laughing and playing around. I love being creative!
I find my natural inclination to present new ideas or play materials closely related to the principles of Montessori, and therefore with the methods of the Bulgarian School Amsterdam. I enjoy joining hands with kids and parents to turn our room (with the Maestro at the piano) into a scene of a memorable experience we co-create.
Come join us!

Dimitar Bodurov

(web support, pianist at Bulgarian School Amsterdam)

I am a jazz pianist, composer and producer of music. After more than 15 years in the Netherlands, my love for Bulgarian folklore still plays an essential role in my music.

Bulgarian School Amsterdam has become a “hub” for culture, friendships, professional and intriguing teaching, and lots of creativity. I like the fact that my sons will grow up in a multicultural environment and I am happy they will be able to use the Bulgarian language as their own, to know about Bulgarian folklore, history, traditions. That is why I think it is great I can support this wonderful initiative.

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