Study in Bulgaria: A study guide for international students


Considering studying abroad or looking for a fun place to go, then Bulgaria might be the ideal country for you to study abroad.

Bulgaria, which is in South-Eastern Europe, is a more sought-after location for study abroad programmes. Bulgaria is bordered to the north by Romania, to the south by Greece, to the southeast by Turkey, to the west by Serbia and North Macedonia, and to the east by the Black Sea.

It seems sense that some overseas students would desire to study in Bulgaria when all of this is right outside their door. Slavic and Hellenic civilizations converge in Bulgaria. The third-largest economy in the Balkans, Bulgaria’s economy also adds to the country’s internship opportunities.

Bulgaria – quick facts and figures

Capital – Sofia

Language – Bulgarian

Population- 6.9 million

Area size – 110,993km

International students- 11,000

Academic year – September/ June

Currency – Bulgarian lev(BGN)

Calling code – +399

Time zone – GMT +2

The two biggest cities, Sofia and Varna, typically host the majority of international students. Both cities have thriving student communities. There are many cafes and clubs in both. You may even go study in one of the many parks on a beautiful day.

In the capital, Sofia University, the University of National and World Economy, and the New Bulgarian University are only a few of the top universities in Bulgaria. Additionally, it is home to specialised educational institutions including the National Sports Academy in Sofia and the University of Economics in Varna.

Bulgaria is a stunning nation in addition to being highly educated. Bulgaria has a lot to offer nature lovers, from the plains in the west to the rocky hills of the south to the Black Sea coastline. For weekend getaways, many Bulgarians visit the coastal city of Varna. You can even take longer journeys to neighbouring Romania with your Bulgarian visa.

International students can study in Bulgaria with ease. Bulgaria has a lot to offer, from its nature to its educational options.

Study in Bulgaria

Want to know more about Bulgaria’s higher education system? Given its affordable tuition and vibrant student community, Ireland is a place that attracts a wide range of students. Spend a moment learning more about Bulgaria’s educational system’s structure!

The education level is split into three levels

Undergraduate education is considered to be First Tier. Typically, it takes three or four years to acquire a bachelor’s degree. Normally, specialised majors like engineering and medicine will require an additional year.

Postgraduate level is the second tier. Normally, it takes two years to complete a master’s degree.

Doctoral level is the third tier. Typically, three to five years are needed to earn a PhD. The length of a PhD increases to five years if a student chooses to teach alongside their study.

In Erasmus, Bulgaria participates. This implies that you are permitted to complete a portion of your education or even an internship outside of Bulgaria. Bursaries are even available for use while working or studying.

Many postgraduate degrees are offered in both English and Bulgarian, and many undergraduate degrees are taught in the latter language. All three levels of higher education employ English and Bulgarian, despite this. Some schools also offer courses taught in German and French if you’re concerned that your English is a little rusty.

Student visa and permits

People from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland are free to move to Bulgaria and stay there for whatever long they like. You’ll likely need a visa to enter Bulgaria if you’re not from one of these nations. A D-type visa is required if you want to travel to Bulgaria to study. Although requirements may differ from nation to nation, in general you will need the following to obtain a study visa for Bulgaria:

your passport

2 passport size photo

Valid EU-wide health insurance bank statements attesting to financial independence. It will typically be necessary to pay for half a year’s worth of tuition.

Expenses for your flight to Bulgaria

Copies of any prior Schengen or Bulgarian visas

Evidence of enrollment in a Bulgarian school

You must physically deliver your paperwork to the Bulgarian embassy or consulate nearest you. Your documents must be submitted in both the original language and a Bulgarian translation that has been notarized. The cost is €100 ($120 USD).

You must apply for a temporary residency permit once you are in Bulgaria. You’ll need to re-present all of these papers along with your enrollment verification in order to achieve this. €40 ($48) is the cost. You must apply in person at the police station closest to you. You are also permitted to work up to twenty hours per week with your residency visa.

For trips to Cyprus, Croatia, and Romania, your visa and permission are also valid. You will require separate visas if you wish to travel to Greece, North Macedonia, or Serbia.

Housing and living cost

A budget needs to be made in advance regardless of where you plan to study abroad so that you are ready. So that you can better understand how much you would be paying as a student in Bulgaria, we have provided information on average living and housing expenditures.

The cost of living is generally low in Bulgaria. In actuality, they have the lowest average of the 27 EU nations. Bulgaria also has lower housing costs on average.


The capital of Sofia is home to many international students. The expense of living in the capital will be reflected in these prices.

In Sofia, the following costs of living are typical (in BGN and USD):

Rent each month for a one-bedroom flat is 710BGN ($440).

Utilities: 200 BGN ($125) per month on average.

$50 for a month’s worth of public transit

A meal at a budget eatery costs 12BGN ($7.50).

$2.60 BGN ($1.60) for coffee

1 litre of milk costs 2.10BGN ($1.30).

1kg of vegetables cost 2BGN ($1.25).

A dozen eggs cost 3BGN ($1.90).

Water (1.5 litres): $0.60 ** 0.95 BGN

1 kilogramme. chicken costs 10BGN ($6.20).

10BGN ($6.20) for a bottle of wine.

The majority of students, both domestic and foreign, opt to reside on campus. Compared to renting privately, this is substantially cheaper. Students typically live in smaller shared homes or bedsits in Bulgaria.

** The tap water is generally safe to drink in cities like Sofia and Varna. It may be patchy in other places. If you find yourself travelling outside of urban areas, it is recommended to get bottled water.Without factoring in rent, the average monthly cost of living in Sofia is 920 BGN ($575). In Bulgaria, rent is typically considered a separate expense.

Bulgaria’s healthcare system is quickly evolving. In Bulgaria, access to healthcare is not entirely free. To see a doctor and receive treatment, you will typically have to pay something. Taxes paid by employees in Bulgaria go towards funding the healthcare system. This implies that in order to obtain healthcare, you must use your health insurance. You may be able to receive private healthcare through some insurers.

Some students start working part-time jobs since you can do so while maintaining your residency. However, keep in mind that it could be challenging to find employment without solid Bulgarian skills. If you’re only using your English abilities, it can be difficult to get job outside of Sofia and Varna. But each summer, a sizable number of tourists travel to Bulgaria.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Bulgarian degree programmes have a range of tuition costs. Both native and international students must pay tuition fees in Bulgaria, however these costs might be very different. In this section, you can find details about how this works and about scholarships.

Bulgarian tuition costs can range widely. It depends on what and where you are studying. In Bulgaria, tuition is typically paid in two installments, one before the start of the academic year and the other halfway through the year.An undergraduate degree typically costs between €3000 ($3650) and €5900 ($7100) each year. In general, postgraduate courses cost between €3000 ($3650) and €5000 ($6100). Medical, pharmaceutical, and dental programmes can cost up to €8000 ($9750) annually.

Even less expensive are PhDs, which typically range in price from €1750 ($2100) to €3850 ($4700) year.

Tuition fees are still paid by inhabitants of Bulgaria, the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland, but they are typically lower than those paid by students.

Scholarships for study abroad are surprisingly common in Bulgaria. The Eastern European Study Abroad (EESA) Scholarship is one of the more well-known scholarships available. These scholarships may cover tuition costs and grants totaling thousands of US dollars. People from all over the world who desire to study in specific Eastern European nations are eligible for EESA Scholarships.

For foreign students, the majority of Bulgarian schools also provide their own scholarships. Additionally, some nations provide grants and scholarships to anyone planning to study abroad in Bulgaria. You can learn more by visiting the website of the school of your choice.

Application process

There is no central application portal in Bulgaria. Instead, applications are sent straight to the schools themselves. Even applications to specific faculties are submitted occasionally. Before applying, you should confirm the requirements since they differ from programme to programme and from school to school.

In general, you’ll need the following to apply to programmes in Bulgaria:

A fully filled out application. This can be found on the website of the school of your choice.

Your passport

Four photographs the size of a passport

records of grades from high school

A motivation letter

A letter from your previous school confirming your eligibility to enrol in any higher education programme there

A health assessment that gives you the all-clear

Evidence of language proficiency in the subject matter. English is the language of choice for most overseas students. You may read more about demonstrating your English language proficiency here.

You’ll likely also need to submit your CV and one or two letters of recommendation for postgraduate study.

You must save the admissions letter for your visa application if you are accepted.

While each institution has a different application date, you should typically apply in the spring before the semester you wish to start. As soon as you’ve been accepted, you should begin the application process for your Bulgarian study visa.

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