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Universities in Bulgaria Guide: Consider These 5 Things Every International Student Should Know

Welcome to Bulgaria – the crossroads of history and culture and a preferable destination for international students from all over the world! As an international student, you’re on the brink of a big journey, a turning point in your life when you start building your future. Yes, Bulgaria is a beautiful country and a nice place to live in, but every country is specific, and foreigners usually form their judgement of a country based on their experience and where they come from. So, this guide is designed to provide you with the 5 essential insights into what it means to study in a Bulgarian university, which are the best universities in Bulgaria, the specifics of the education system in the Bulgarian universities, the major requirement for applying to a university in Bulgaria, studying medicine in Bulgaria, and what is like living in Bulgaria. It will help you with anything – from understanding the educational system in Bulgaria to embracing the vibrant student life. Academica Bulgaria is here to help you navigate your path with ease and confidence. So, let’s embark on this educational adventure together and uncover what Bulgaria has in store for you.

Section 1: Universities in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is an attractive and preferable destination for international students from all corners of the globe.  What underlies all this is a commitment to quality education, recognized both within Europe and internationally.

This is a list of universities in Bulgaria for international students including some of the top universities in Bulgaria based on academic reputation, research opportunities and international recognition:

  1. Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski

Established in 1888, Sofia University is the oldest and most prestigious university in Bulgaria.

Known for its strong programs in the humanities and sciences, and a faculty of medicine.

The university is located in the capital city of Sofia and offers a diverse range of courses.

  1. Technical University of Sofia

Specializes in engineering and technology disciplines.

Known for its research and innovation in technical fields.

Offers a variety of engineering courses and has strong industry links.

  1. University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG), Sofia

With a history that dates back to 1942, UACEG has a long-standing tradition in architectural and engineering education. It has evolved over the years, adapting modern technologies and methodologies in its curriculum.

  1. Medical University of Sofia

The oldest and most respected medical university in Bulgaria.

Offers programs in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health.

Known for its research and clinical practice in medical sciences.

  1. University of National and World Economy (UNWE)

Specializes in economics, business, and administration.

The largest university of economics in Southeastern Europe.

Known for its strong connections with business sectors and government agencies.

Section 2: The Education System in the Universities in Bulgaria

Structure and Accreditation: The higher education system in the universities in Bulgaria is part of the European Higher Education Area, ensuring that the degrees you earn here are compatible, acceptable, and recognizable in other European countries. Universities in Bulgaria offer three main levels of higher education: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programs, aligned with the Bologna Process. The Bologna Process is a series of treaties between the European countries on the establishment of a framework of comparable educational degrees, ECTS system of evaluation of student’s attendance, European measurements of quality, and last, but not the least, eliminating all obstacles preventing the free movement of students and professors within the EU area. This structure not only guarantees the quality of education but also facilitates the mobility of international students across Europe.

Section 3: The Major Requirement for Admission to the Universities in Bulgaria

A degree provides the necessary level of education, which is certified by obtaining an appropriate diploma or certificate. Training in the universities in Bulgaria is carried out according to a curriculum which includes compulsory, elective and optional subjects. A major requirement for applying to a Bulgarian university, no matter it is for Bachelor or Master, is to have a high school diploma. Some Bulgarian universities, e.g. medical universities or medical schools in Bulgaria require that students have studied Biology and Chemistry as subjects and their grades are essential in the application process and ranking. In general, in most Bulgarian universities bachelor’s degree lasts for four years and Master’s lasts for two years of study. There are exceptions for medical students, because they apply directly to the master’s degree, no bachelor’s degree in medicine. And finally, both bachelor’s and master’s degrees are completed by a final state exam or thesis.

Section 4: Studying Medicine in Bulgaria

Let’s shed more light on studying medicine in Bulgaria. It is structured in three stages:

Stage 1 – pre-clinical study for two years to provide medical students with the basics of their clinical study as doctors.

Stage 2 – clinical study for four years to provide medical students with skills and knowledge of how to set a diagnose and treat a patient.

Stage 3 – pre-graduation internship conducted at the university hospitals and health establishments allowing medical students to apply their knowledge in practice.

On completion of the hospital internship, medical students shall sit for their final state exams in General Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Internal Diseases, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hygiene, Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, and Social Medicine.

And finally, after successfully passing all these stages, medical students in the Bulgarian medical universities are awarded a master’s degree and the qualification of a Physician entitled to be a general practitioner.

Section 5: Student Life and Cultural Integration

Bulgaria, with its rich history and traditions, offers a unique cultural experience. As an international student, you come to study in a Bulgarian university and it’s important for you to learn about local customs and traditions, such as the vibrant folk dances, the traditional cuisine, and the celebrated festivals. Everything will be new for you, but understanding these cultural nuances not only enriches your experience but helps you easily integrate and become part of the new community. Language is a key part of this immersion, and learning even basic Bulgarian can go a long way in making everyday interactions smoother and more meaningful.

Moving to a new country can sometimes lead to feelings of homesickness. It’s essential to acknowledge these feelings and take proactive steps to mitigate them. An effective way for that is to find a supportive community. This could be fellow international students, a local family, or a mentor from the university in Bulgaria. Engaging in activities that remind you of home, keeping in touch with family and friends, and creating a comfortable and familiar living space can also help in easing the transition. The Bulgarian universities may offer counseling services and support groups that can be beneficial in navigating these emotional challenges.

Embracing student life and integrating into Bulgarian culture is not just about academic growth but a journey of personal and social discovery. It’s a big advantage for an international student and an opportunity to develop a global perspective, forge lasting friendships, and create memories that will stay with you long after your studies are over.

Bulgaria is waiting for you! Enrollment is about to start in March next year, so you have time to think and decide which university in Bulgaria to choose and prepare to start your educational journey in Bulgaria. We, Academica Bulgaria, are waiting for you, too, to be your educational consultant and assist you through all this challenging process of your application.

We will:

– consult and give you hacks and tips for your successful enrollment in your chosen university in Bulgaria

– translate and legalize the documents required by the university (we are an authorized agency)

– evaluate your high school diploma

– submit your documents to the university

– make a registration for an entry exam (some universities require that)

– assist you with your visa for Bulgaria, if needed

– meet you in Bulgaria

– provide accommodation for your stay during your study in Bulgaria

– further assistance with translation of your documents during all years of your studies afterwards related to a residence permit, driving license, rental agreements, work permits, etc.

All you must do is just contact us and talk!

Reach us via e-mail, Phone call, WhatsApp, Viber, or book a meeting!