Situated on the western coast of the Black Sea is the Eastern European country of Bulgaria. For years, the country has faced influence from all the countries it shares a border with. This Balkan country, along with the other Balkan and former Yugoslav nations in the region, is continuously developing and has welcomed various international visitors due to its interesting culture and history.
Scientific and technological advancements are given more focus in the country’s founding, and along with it, the country’s education sector which is to the benefit of its students. Here, we will be looking at some of the best scholarships in Bulgaria for international students.
Living Costs in Bulgaria for International Students
The relatively cheaper cost of living makes Bulgaria a favored destination in the region compared to its Western European counterparts. This, despite the $250 to $600 charged for apartment rentals in Sofia. Transportation can cost around $30 monthly, which is the price of the monthly transport ticket. All in all, an international student should be able to provide around $500 to $900 monthly, including the food, utilities, and other miscellaneous living fees.
Can International Students Work in Bulgaria?
As with any other EU country, international students are permitted to work provided they have a work permit which they can show. International students are only allowed part-time work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. This is different for foreign students from EU-member countries who are allowed to pursue part-time work without other necessary documents.
Top Universities in Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s capital and the largest city Sofia welcome international students to the country’s top universities. Some of these include Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the Technical University of Sofia, and the New Bulgarian University. Other universities include the Varna University of Management and the University of Economics – Varna which is both found in Varna. Meanwhile, southwestern Bulgaria hosts the private American University of Bulgaria. An English proficiency test is required for international students.
Best Scholarships in Bulgaria
The seaside city of Varna is home to the main campus of the Varna University of Management. This university has three campuses in Bulgaria: in Sofia, in Varna, and Dobrich. For students who are inclined to take up business and management-inclined courses, VUM is a good choice for a university since it is one of Bulgaria’s top institutions.
There are various levels of Bulgaria scholarships for VUM students. For those who are new to the university and taking up a bachelor’s degree, there is a scholarship appropriate for them. They can apply for a maximum of €1000, which will depend on a student’s English proficiency and performance during their secondary education years. For succeeding semesters, this will be determined by their academic performance in the program. For master’s degree takers, a maximum of €1000 can be provided for the whole duration of the program.
Bachelor’s degrees with English training are worth €1500 per semester. Compare this to bachelor’s degrees with Bulgarian training which are only €750 per semester. These are for 6-8 semesters. Master’s students can expect to pay €450 for non-business courses while a Master’s in Business Administration degree is worth €1500 per semester for 3 semesters.
The American University of Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad is popular in Bulgaria for international students. Almost half of AUBG’s population in the fall of 2015 are foreign students, including Mongolians, Albanians, Russians, and Americans. These are just among the students from almost 40 countries the university has accepted. This makes AUBG a truly global education institution in Bulgaria.
Consequently, financial aid is also available to international students. There are various Bulgarian scholarships students can apply for, and some are even guaranteed. Students can choose from a 10% scholarship can be availed for the 1st year of studies; a 10% guaranteed scholarship for international students from Central Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and some northern African countries; a 30% scholarship for academically gifted students; and a 20% scholarship for financially challenged students. These are all valid for four years of study except the 1st scholarship mentioned.
Tuition is expected to cost $12000 yearly. Housing and student fees may have an annual cost of around $1460 and $630, respectively.
Only US citizens are eligible to apply for the international scholarships of the Boren Awards. Students who are determined to study a foreign language in a foreign country with a study of their choosing are those expected to apply for the scholarship. This is a study program outside the United States and the student must be enrolled in an undergraduate program and has paid matriculation fees before being eligible for the scholarship. Students interested in taking up studies in Bulgaria are expected to learn Bulgarian for a minimum of 25 weeks. The main objective of the language study program is to contribute to the federal government of the US in terms of public service and national security.
Scholarships to be provided are highly dependent on the duration of the study. The scholarship program favors those with longer duration (25 to 52 weeks) which amounts to around $25000. Shorter durations (12 to 24 weeks) are provided $12500. This is to pay for the student’s tuition fees, accommodation, roundtrip airfare, academic fees, transportation costs, and food costs. Other fees will be shouldered by the selected students.
Another scholarship in Bulgaria open for US citizens is the Fulbright America for Bulgaria scholarship. Secondary schools are the primary target of the Fulbright scholarship where teaching assistants will be helping to teach English as a language of instruction. The primary objective of this program is to improve the quality of English instruction in Bulgarian schools.
Citizens with permanent residency in Bulgaria are not eligible. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree but not a doctoral degree before being accepted into the scholarship program. Chosen students will be eligible to receive the following: a monthly stipend of $800, round-trip airfare of $2000, a relocation allowance of $1000, and an independent study of Bulgarian language allowance of $500. Accommodation shall be freely provided by the host schools.
The EESA scholarships aim to provide American students the opportunity to travel abroad during their studies for the duration that they prefer. This may only be for a semester, a year, or a summer term, among others. The main goal of the program is to have an immersive experience in Eastern European countries which include Bulgaria.
There are various types of Bulgaria scholarships that can be availed. Students interested in pursuing a year-long study can avail themselves of scholarship funds ranging from $1000 to $700. On the other hand, students pursuing a summer study in Eastern Europe can get a $100 to $600 funding. For financially challenged students or academically excellent students, they are eligible to get around $2500. These are contingent on corresponding CGPAs which they must show during the application.