How to get school books for your children in Croatia

School books in Croatia
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UPDATED: 14.06.2023.

At the beginning of each school year, you must procure school books for your children. Usually, you need to get the books before school starts or during the first weeks of the school year. Books usually do sell out and can be hard to get after the start of the year.

Some books are printed specifically for the exact number of children enrolled at the beginning of the year, so it is better to buy them as soon as possible. The government and the school usually publish the list of school books before the school year starts.

A school book is called školski udžbenik in Croatian.

In this article, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to get school books for your children in Croatia

What you need to know about the Croatian school books

Before the beginning of the school year, the Croatian government and the school will publish the list of all the school books relevant for the following school year.

If you did not enroll or transfer your child to the Croatian school, this guide may help you with the process. If you want to enroll your child in an international kindergarten, or international elementary or primary school in Croatia, view this guide.

All lists of approved school books for primary school, gymnasium, high school, and children with developmental disabilities are available here. They are under the section Katalog udžbenika.

School books

From 2019, all the školski udžbenici (school books) for children in primary school or below are free of charge, i.e. they are financed by the Croatian government/state. This refers to school books for both obavezni predmeti (obligatory school subjects) and izborni predmeti (optional school subjects).

Parents must sign the collection of the free school books at the beginning of the school year. They must return the collected free books at the end of the school year.

School books for high school students are not free of charge and parents must buy them at the beginning of the year. Zagreb is an exception where all the books for high school students are free.

Additional school teaching materials

Parents must also buy additional nastavni materijal (school teaching material) for their children. Additional teaching materials may include:

  • Radne bilježnice (workbooks)
  • Zbirke zadataka (task collections)
  • Atlasi (atlases)
  • Likovne mape (art maps), etc.

However, some cities provide free workbooks for their students, such as Zagreb and Karlovac. Free workbooks do not have to be returned at the end of the school year. If you are a parent, it is best to check out whether your child’s school provides free workbooks or not before purchasing them.

In addition to the workbooks, some cities may also provide other free educational materials including experiment boxes and materials for technical culture. Everything depends on the city and county.

Where to buy school books in Croatia

You can buy school books at:

It is useful to know that new school book editions are very often printed year after year. Sometimes a new edition differs from an old one by only a few sentences. Some professors or schools insist on new editions so that children are up-to-date and learn according to the newest curriculum.

However, sometimes this doesn’t make sense because several new paragraphs in the book won’t significantly impact their learning and school books are not cheap. In the end, the decision depends on the school and school professors.

The cost of books can increase from 200 euros to more than 250 euros per year depending on the subject and grade level.

You can save money by borrowing school books for your children from other families. Ask for help from your friends who have older children or simply tell everyone that you want to borrow books for your kid. The earlier you do this, the better. Best to plan long before the new school year starts.

After you get the list of school books, compare the list with friends and family to see if perhaps you can use old editions. You may be able to borrow at least a few. However, if the books do not match, you will have to buy new ones.

View our other education posts

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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