Study in Bulgaria

06 Oct

Bulgaria is a place where East meets West. It is home to the first written Slavic language, which is now spoken not only in Bulgaria but also in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Greece and Romania. Bulgaria has a long and rich history, where orthodox Christianity and the Church has played a large role. Another great influence of today’s Bulgaria is the communist era, which lasted from the end of World War II until 1990. Today Bulgaria is a proud member of both the EU and NATO in addition to its membership of the United Nations from 1955 and is run by democratic rule.

Higher Education in Bulgaria
The higher education system has largely conformed to the somewhat standard Anglican system with three stages of higher education – Bachelor, Master and Doctor. Higher education is provided through three types of institutions – universities, specialized higher schools and colleges.

The academic year in Bulgaria runs from September to June. Application deadlines are generally September first for fall entry but as an international student, it is always wise to apply in good time. What is notable is that most programs are offered in Bulgarian, and require a good level of Bulgarian proficiency for acceptance. For international students not yet proficient in the language, a one year course in the Bulgarian language followed by an examination is mandatory. If you already speak Bulgarian, you need to pass the Standardised Test in Bulgarian Level B2.

Higher Education in English
Some programs – especially on the masters level – are provided in English. Another growing area that offers English education is that of medicine. Studying medicine in the Eastern European EU membership countries has become a very popular alternative for many international students. The level of education is generally very high while entrance requirements are slightly less stringent. If you choose to complete your medical degree in Bulgaria, you will be free to do your internship years and work throughout the EU, and many other countries as well.

Degrees in Bulgarian Higher Education
As previously mentioned, degrees offered at Bulgarian institutions of higher education are on three levels; Bachelor, Master and Doctor. A Bachelor degree is the first level, which must be completed to proceed on to the following two. A bachelor degree in Bulgaria is generally four years in length. In some fields bachelor degrees do not exist- instead students study longer and proceed directly on to a master degree.

The second level of study is the master degree or Magistr. This level takes one year after obtaining a bachelor degree or five to six years if commencing master degree studies directly after your secondary education. Usually students are required to complete a thesis and pass a state examination to obtain the degree.

The third and final level of higher education is the doctorate. This is obtained on the basis of individual research and after publicly defending a thesis.

Universities and colleges in Bulgaria

Universities and colleges in Bulgarian include public and private higher education institutions accredited by the Bulgarian National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency. Universities and colleges in Bulgaria are autonomous. They are responsible for programme design and quality assurance of the education provided. In all institutions a quality management system for internal monitoring and evaluation is introduced due to legislation requirements. Below is the non exhaustive list of universities and colleges in Bulgaria.

The universities in Bulgaria can be classify in by field of study as follow:

Humanitarian universities:

>Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
>Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”
>University of Rousse “Angel Kantchev”
>New Bulgarian University “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”
>University Veliko Turnovo
>“Konstantin Preslavski” University Shumen
>South-West University“Neofit Rilski”
>Burgas Free University
>Bourgas “Prof. Assen Zlatarov” University
>International College Albena

Economic universities:

>University of National and World Economy
“D. A. Tsenov” Academy of Economics
>University of Economics Varna
>American University in Bulgaria
>Management, Trade and Marketing College Sofia
>European College of Economics and Management
>International Business School
>Higher School of Insurance and Finance


Technical and vocational universities:

>Technical University Sofia
>Technical University Varna
>Technical University Gabrovo
>University of Forestry
>University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy
>University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy Sofia
>Agricultural University Plovdiv
>University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski”
“Todor Kableshkov” University of Transport
>University of Food Technologies
>State University of Library Studies and Information
>College of Telecommunications and Post
>Agricultural College Plovdiv
>Higher School of Civil Engineering (VSU) “Lyuben Karavelov”
>Higher School – “Telematika”College
>College of Tourism – Blagoevgrad

Medical universities:

>Medical University Sofia
>Medical University Pleven
>Medical University Plovdiv
>Medical University Varna “Prof. D-r Paraskev Stojanov”

Art universities:

>National Academy of Music “Pantcho Vladigerov”
>National Academy of Arts
>Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts
>National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts
>Theatre College “Lyuben Groys”

Sport universities:

>National Sports Academy “Vassil Levski”

VISA and Application

Students arriving from the EU countries, the European Economic Area, as well as from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Moldova, South Korea, Switzerland, USA and Serbia do not need visa to enter in Romania.

All other international students are required to apply for a Bulgarian student visa prior to arrival.
Student visas may take from 1 to 3 months to process and one can only apply for a student visa once the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria has issued the letter of acceptance to study. It’s best to apply early for the letter of acceptance.

Students having entered the territory of Bulgaria with a long-stay visa may apply for the extension of the right of temporary residence and obtain a residence permit. The request filed in this respect must be addressed to the Bulgarian Office for Immigration within the Bulgarian Ministry of Administration and Interior.

  1. Letter of acceptance from Bulgarian Ministry of education;
    2. Proof of tuition fees payment for one year (payment must be done after getting the acceptance letter, transferring the fee to the bank account of University);
    3. Proof of sufficient means of support for entire period specified in the visa (approximately 6500 Euros);
    4. Criminal record certificate or another document of the same legal value;
    5 Medical insurance for the entire period of the visa validity;
    6. Approval of the parents or the foster parents in connection with the stay on the Bulgarian territory for study purposes, if the foreign citizen is a minor.

Visa applications can only be submitted to the diplomatic missions and consular posts of  abroad (BULGARIAN DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS ABROAD).
The requirements to get through the passport control at the arrival in Bulgaria

  1. The passport with a valid visa
    2. The copy of the official admission letter
    3. At list 3000 Eurowith you hand or other way of showing that you have sufficient fund for subsistence.

Requirements for Bulgarian students temporary residence permit

Once you arrive in Bulgaria, and you have made the final inscription at university, you have to apply for the residence permit. It is valid for 1 year and must be renewed every year. However, for students on scholarship from their respective countries or from the Bulgarian Government, the residence permit is usually issued for the total duration of their studies.

To apply for resident permit, the following documents are required:

  1. Standard application (from the immigration office)
  2. Proof of tuition fee payment issued by your University in Bulgarian
  3. Copy of letter of acceptance for studies issued by the Ministry of Education
  4. Medical certificate issued by a public or private medical institution in Bulgarian, proofing that the foreign student does not suffer from diseases that endanger the public health
  5. The proof of Medical Insurance cert
  6. House Contract (house contract is made between you and your landlord at a public notary)
  7. Passport bio data page and the page showing the date of entry at the Bulgarian border.
  8. Bank statement that prove your means of living for at list 1year(minimum of 3000Euro or its equivalent)
  9. 6 recent passport photographs
  10. 10. Bulgarian Bank draft for immigration registration charge.