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Study In Bulgaria - International Students

Study in Bulgaria, and find the best universities in Bulgaria.

This study guide will give you all the information you need to find universities and study in Bulgaria.

A small nation in the Balkans, Bulgaria is an increasingly attractive destination for tourists and international students alike.

It is one of Europe’s oldest countries and has a rich history and natural wonders to explore. A single-party Communist state till 1989, it is now a democratic republic and, since 2007, a member of the European Union.

Bulgaria has a well-developed higher education system, and is a popular choice with international students – particularly those from its closest neighbouring countries.

Bulgarian university degrees are internationally recognised and are accredited by countries across the world.

Courses such as medicine, which can offer much better perceived value for money than in countries with higher tuition fees, are extremely popular.

Bachelor Degree In Bulgaria

Find the right Bachelor Degree in Bulgaria with our comprehensive guide.

Universities in Bulgaria

There are 51 higher education institutions in Bulgaria; a mixture of both public (the majority) and private.

Bulgaria’s higher education institutions fall into one of four categories:

- Higher Education colleges
- Universities
- Specialised higher education institutions/technical universities
- Academies

QS rank three universities in their EECA 2016 rankings (a ranking of the top 200 institutions in Emerging Europe and Central Asia).

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski ranks in the EECA top 50 and is the oldest and largest university in Bulgaria with several campuses in the capital city Sofia. The university is well-known for research with contributions to Antarctic exploration.

Private institution the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) offers courses taught in English.

Tuition Fees in Bulgaria

Explore tuition fees in Bulgaria for bachelor's degrees and find the right bachelors degree at the right tuition cost for you.

There are two types of degree that you might take for your “first degree” in Bulgaria, depending on your interests, career aspirations and existing qualifications.

Specialist degrees are shorter than bachelors/undergraduate degrees, lasting three or four years and taking a vocational route. They are designed to prepare students for undergraduate degree studies.

Undergraduate degrees in Bulgaria last four or five years, and are generally designed to begin to train students for a job. Around two thirds of students who complete their undergraduate degrees in Bulgaria go on to complete master’s degrees.

In order to get a place on an undergraduate course in Bulgaria you will have to take part in an admission process that is likely to include:

- One or more written composition exams
- Tests set by the institution
- Submitted proof that you have completed your secondary education

Some universities, for example those catering specifically for international students, may take the western form of university teaching, with a US-style liberal arts curriculum and minors/majors in place.

Although many degrees in Bulgaria are taught in Bulgarian and therefore require fluency in the language, there are also courses taught in English at undergraduate level.

Some universities (for example the American University in Bulgaria) teach all their programmes in English, whilst there may also be availability for courses offered in French and German.

If you do choose to study for a degree that is taught in Bulgarian it is likely that you will need to complete a language course (usually lasting one year) with a mandatory exam at the end before you start your undergraduate degree.

Immigration & Visa in Bulgaria

Advice on Immigration & Visa in Bulgaria, where you can make sure you get the right documents to make a successful application to your ideal university.

Students from within the EU can apply directly to their institution of choice, and do not need a visa in order to study in Bulgaria. You must register with a police station when you arrive in the country.

Students from outside the EU will need to obtain a Bulgarian Student Visa (D-type.)

You can do this either online or at your nearest Bulgarian embassy, taking with you the certificate confirming the acceptance to your Bulgarian university that will have been awarded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth and Science.

The documents you require to study in Bulgaria will depend on your nationality, and you should check with the Bulgarian embassy in your nation for full details.

Documents needed could include:

• The acceptance letter from a Bulgarian university’
• A copy of your passport. This needs to be valid for one year after the end of your studies.
• Health insurance.
• A recent passport sized photograph.
• Photocopies of previous visas for travel to Bulgaria, the US or the UK.


On arriving in Bulgaria you will need to apply for a residency permit which costs BGN 500 and is valid for one year and will need to be renewed for each year of study.

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Bulgaria

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Bulgaria.

The majority of universities in Bulgaria offer student accommodation, which is a very popular choice - especially for international students.

University accommodation is likely to consist of a bedroom with a (possibly shared) bathroom, and either a catered dining hall or facilities for cooking.

Some students, however, may prefer to rent privatively rather than living in university accommodation. This is likely to provide more independence and give you greater choice about the people you live with.

Unless you are from a neighbouring country, you are likely to be surprised by how cheap day to day living is in Bulgaria.

According to the Complete University Guide, a privately rented apartment is likely to cost between £105 and £150 per month, a half litre of beer 74p, a cappuccino 70p and a one-way ticket on public transport 37p. Your largest outgoing is likely to be rent.

Advice For Parents

Advice For Parents whose children may be looking to study in Bulgaria. You can find complete information on costs, safety, security and tips on keeping in touch during their time away.

How safe is Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a safe country, and is becoming a popular holiday destination for tourists from Western Europe.

If considering moving there to study as an international student, you can contact your chosen university to find out more about crime statistics and safe places to live – in general, choosing to stay in university approved accommodation is a good way of choosing a safer, more student-friendly area to live.

Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:

• Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
• Staying in groups, especially at night, and avoiding walking alone
• Not making valuables obvious
• Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
• Being wary of strangers
• Being careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips if your child opts to study an undergraduate degree in Bulgaria:

• Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

• Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

• Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

Apply to Study in Bulgaria

Apply to Study in Bulgaria and get free online and telephone support with your application. The advice here will help you find the right bachelors at the right university in Bulgaria.

If you would like to study overseas but are not certain as to where is the best fit in terms of country, course and funding you can register for free with the International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) where a dedicated admissions team will be able to help you every step of the way.

You can find out about studying in other countries with our country guides.

Cities in Bulgaria