Study, Work & Live In Bulgaria

About Bulgaria 
The land that gave birth to the legendary Orpheus and Spartacus, Bulgaria is a country with a long, tumultuous and fascinating history. It has been invaded, conquered and settled by Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Byzantines and Turks, all of whom left their indelible marks on the landscape. Bulgaria’s medieval ‘Golden Age’, when the Bulgaria Khans ruled over one of the largest empires in Europe, was bright but brief, while 500 years of subsequent, brutal Turkish domination isolated the country from the rest of Europe. More recently, Bulgaria spent four decades as a totalitarian Soviet satellite, again leaving this small Balkan nation in the shadows as far as the Western world was concerned. It’s no wonder, then, that Bulgarians are so passionate about preserving their history and their culture, which has survived so often against the odds. In the last years of the 20th century Bulgaria began opening up, and is one of the newest members of the EU. 

Administrative division: 
28 regions, named after their respective regional centers.

State system: 
A parliamentary republic with a one-chamber parliament (National Assembly), consisting of 240 national representatives, elected for a four-year term of service. The head of state of the republic is the President, elected for a five-year term of service. The Council of Ministers is the main body of executive power.

Average height above sea level 470 m. Some 31.5% of the country territory is plain (up to 200 m above sea level), 41% are lowlands and hilly regions (from 200 to 600 m above sea level), and 27.5% are mountains (from 600 to more than 1,600 m above sea level).

 Moderate continental with Black Sea influence in the east and Mediterranean in the south. 

Rivers (main rivers are Danube, Maritsa, Mesta, Strouma, Iskar, Yantra); warm and cold mineral springs (more than 600); lakes coastal (some with curative mineral mud) and of glacial origin (in the Rila and Pirin mountains). Plant and animal world: extremely diverse. An Act on the Protected Territories is operating in Bulgaria, aimed at the preservation of the country flora and fauna. It has specified the following categories in the country: a national and Nature Park, a reserve and a tended reserve, a natural sight, a protected locality. 

Bulgaria has been an associated member of the European Union (EU) since 1992. In 1997 an agreement was signed with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for economic stabilization and for the carrying through of economic reforms in the country. A currency board was introduced. The national monetary unit has been referred to the EURO. A structural reform is underway aimed at an economic growth, a functioning market economy and at paving the way for foreign investments in the country.

Railway, Automobile, Air & Water. 

Culture :
Traditional Bulgarian culture contains mainly Thracian, Slavic and Bulgar heritage, along with Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Celtic influences. Thracian artifacts include numerous tombs and golden treasures. The country's territory includes parts of the Roman provinces of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia, and many of the archaeological discoveries date back to Roman times, while ancient Bulgars have also left traces of their heritage in music and in early architecture. Both the First and the Second Bulgarian empires functioned as the hub of Slavic culture during much of the Middle Ages, exerting considerable literary and cultural influence over the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world by means of the Preslav and Ohrid Literary Schools. The Cyrillic alphabet, used as a writing system to many languages in Eastern Europe and Asia, originated in the former around the 9th century AD. The coat-of-arms of the Republic of Bulgaria is a rampant gold crowned lion against a dark-red background in the form of a shield. Above the shield there is a big crown, whose original shape was that of the crowns of medieval Bulgarian rulers, with five crosses and one other cross, separately, over the crown itself. The shield is supported by two golden crowned rampant lions, facing the shield from the left and right heraldic side. They are standing on two crossed oak tree twigs with acorns. Inscribed in golden letters onto a white strip with a three-colour edging, placed under the shield across the ends of the oak twigs, is Unity makes power. 

Telephone system:

  • General :
    Inherited an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network from the Soviet era; quality has improved with a modern digital trunk line now connecting switching centers in most of the regions; remaining areas are connected by digital microwave radio relay.
  • Domestic:
    The Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 in an effort to upgrade fixed-line services; mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, approached 150 telephones per 100 persons in 2009
  • International:
    Country code - 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2009)
Broadcast media:
 4 national terrestrial television stations with 1 state-owned and 3 privately-owned; a vast array of TV stations are available from cable and satellite TV providers; state-owned national radio broadcasts over 3 networks; large number of private radio stations broadcasting, especially in urban areas (2007).  
The Bulgarians have inhabited their present homeland for 13 centuries. They represent a merger of Bulgar invaders and local Slavic tribes, which occurred in the 7th century. From the Slavs, who had migrated to the Balkans from the area north of the Carpathian Mountains in the 6th century, the Bulgarians received their language and cultural roots. From the Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe that had crossed the Danube in 679 to settle permanently in Bulgarian territory, the Bulgarians received their name and initial political framework.

The early Bulgarian state, which had adopted Christianity in 865, asserted itself against the Byzantine Empire and reached its greatest territorial extent under Simeon I (r.893–927).

41°14' to 44°13' N ; 22°22' to 28°37' E. BOUNDARY LENGTHS: Romania, 608 kilometers (378 miles); Black Sea, 354 kilometers (220 miles); Turkey, 240 kilometers (149 miles); Greece, 494 kilometers (307 miles); Macedonia, 148 kilometers (92 miles);Serbia and Montenegro, 318 kilometers (198 miles). TERRITORIAL SEA LIMIT: 12 miles. 1018 it had again fallen under Byzantine dominance. Bulgaria rose again as a major Balkan power in the 12th and 13th centuries, especially under Ivan Asen II (r.1218–41), who had his capital at Turnovo. By the end of the 14th century, Bulgaria was overrun by the Ottoman Turks, who ruled the country until 1. 

Science and technology :-
In 2008 Bulgaria spent 0.4% of its GDP on scientific research, which represents one of the lowest scientific budgets in Europe. Chronic underinvestment in the scientific sector since 1990 forced many scientific professionals to leave the country. Bulgaria has traditions in astronomy, physics, nuclear technology, medical and pharmaceutical research, and maintains a polar exploration [disambiguation needed] program by means of an artificial satellite and a permanent research base. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) is the leading scientific institution in the country and employs most of Bulgaria's researchers in its numerous branches.
Bulgarian scientists have made several notable discoveries and inventions, such as the prototype of the digital watch (Peter Petroff); galantamine (DimitarPaskov);[130][131] the molecular-kinetic theory of crystal formation and growth (formulated by Ivan Stranski) and the space greenhouse (SRI-BAS).[132][133] With major-general GeorgiIvanov flying on Soyuz 33 in 1979, Bulgaria became the 6th country in the world to have an astronaut in space. 
Due to its large-scale computing technology exports to COMECON states, in the 1980s Bulgaria became known as the Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc. The country ranked 8th in the world in 2002 by total number of ICT specialists, outperforming countries with far larger populations, and it operates the only supercomputer in the Balkan region, an IBM Blue Gene/P, which entered service in September 2008. 
Structure of the Educational System :-
Pre-primary education embraces children between 3 and 6/7 years old. Optional kindergarten education is provided for children between three and six years old. However, prior to starting school, children must attend a one-year pre-school program. 

Elementary Education:-
Elementary education (grades 1 - 8) includes primary school (grades 1 - 4) and junior high school (grades 5 - 8). Certificate for Primary Education and Certificate for Elementary Education are obtained upon successful completion of grade 4 and 8 respectively. High schools use grades from the Certificate for Elementary Education as a major admissions criterion. 

Secondary Education :-
Secondary education comprises comprehensive high schools and vocational school. The admission to comprehensive schools is based upon grades from entry exams in Bulgarian and/or mathematics as well as grades in junior high school. Students can enroll in high school after the successful completion of grades 7 or 8. Usually, those who want to study languages, mathematics, or informatics in-depth apply to high school in 7th grade. Students graduating from high-school must take high school exit exams in Bulgarian and another subject of their choice. 

Higher Education :-
The types of higher education institutions are Universities, Colleges and Specialized Higher Schools. Universities, as in most countries worldwide, have three stages: Bachelor's (undergraduate), Master's (graduate), and Doctoral degrees. Undergraduate stage lasts for at least four years and graduate stage lasts for five years after completion of secondary education or one year after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree. The third stage of higher education results in obtaining a Ph.D. Degree. Specialized higher schools offer degrees in one or more areas of science, arts, sports, and defense. Usually, the names of these institutions indicate the area of specialization. Colleges are former semi-higher institutes. Some of them are part of universities and use their equipment and facilities. 
Higher education is provided by universities and specialized higher schools. Some universities are private. Higher education is regulated by the Law on Higher Education 1995 (latest amendments 2004) and the Law on Scientific Degrees and Titles (latest amendments 2000).

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:-
  • Decree: Higher Education Act and subsequent amendments Year: 1995
  • Concerns: Higher education institutions
  • Decree: Law for Public Education (latest amendments 2004) Year: 1998
  • Decree: Law on Scientific Degrees and Scientific Titles (latest amendments 2000) Year: 1972
  • Decree: Law on the Level of Schooling, the General Education Minimum and the Syllabus Year: 1999
  • Decree: Vocational Education and Training Act Year: 1999
School education:
Basic education comprises two stages: basic education first stage from form I to form IV and basic education second stage from form V to form VII. School children who have successfully completed the first stage of basic education are awarded a Form IV Leaving Certificate. Completion of basic education is attested by a final certificate for the completion of basic education at the end of form VII.Secondary education lasts for four or five years after completion of the basic education course and is provided in three types of schools: comprehensive (general secondary) schools, profile-oriented schools, vocational (technical and vocational-technical) schools. Studies lead to the Diploma zaZavurchenoSrednoObrazovanie and to a certificate of professional qualification awarded by professional schools. 

Stages of studies :-
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):
  • Non-university level:
    Non university-level post-secondary education generally consists of a 3-year course of study after completion of secondary education and leads to the qualification of Specialist in different fields. Studies culminate in a state final examination.
  • University level studies:
    • University level first stage-Bakalavr (Bachelor):
      This stage of study at higher education institutions (HEI) lasts for at least four years and leads to the Bachelor's Degree (Bakalavr) in many fields. This is a degree created by the Higher Education Act of 1995. However, there are some fields where the Bachelor does not exist and where studies lead directly to the second stage of studies (Master's Degree level).
    • University level second stage-Magistr (Master):
      This stage of study at HEI lasts for five/six years after completion of secondary education or one year after obtaining the Bachelor's Degree. Students must (usually) complete a thesis and pass a state examination. The former Diploma zaVisseObrazovanie, awarded before the 1995 law, is officially regarded as equivalent to the Master's.
    • University level third stage-Doctor (Doctor):
      This stage is the third degree in the higher education system and leads to the title of Doctor. It is obtained on the basis of individual research and after the defence of a thesis. It replaces the former KandidatnaNaukite (Candidate of the Sciences). The Higher Education Act of 1995 grants all KandidatnaNaukite holders the rights of a holder of a Doctor's degree.
F-full-time mode / P – part-time mode / D – distance mode
  • Psychology (F, P)
  • Psychology and social activities (F, P)
 Political science
  • International relations and law (F)
  • Law (F, P) 
Administration and management
  • Business management in tourism (F, P, D)
  • International business management (F, P, D)
  • Public administration and management (F, P, D)
  • Public administration and law (F, P, D)
  • Judicial Administration
  • International economic relations (F, P, D)
  • Finance and accounting (F, P)
  • International economy and trade (F, P)
  • Political and media marketing (F, P, D)
Computer science and technology
  • Informatics and computer studies (F, P)
  • Intelligent systems in business and administration
  • Electronic management, trade and finance
  • Computer design (F, P)
Architecture, civil engineering and geodesy
  • Architecture (F)
  • Architectural environment design (F)
  • Construction of building and facilities (F, P)
  • Fire and civil protection (P)
Fine art
  • Fashion and fashion management (F)
  • Advertising design and marketing (F)
Music and dance
  • Choreography (F, P)
  • Traditional Bulgarian Dances
  • Modern Dance Theatre 
National security
  • National security protection (F, P)
  • National Security
  • Protection from Emergencies and Disasters
  • Corporate Security
  • Counteraction to crime and public order protection (F, P)
  • Forensic Science 
Educational and qualification degree "Master" (post-graduate education)
  • Psychology and psychopathology of development (F)
  • Applied psychology (F)
  • Psychological counseling (F)
Political science
  • International negotiations (F)
  • EU policies for eastern countries (F)
  • International policy and security (F)
  • International maritime law (P) 
Administration and management
  • Business administration in tourism (F, P, D)
  • Management of international business projects (F, P, D)
  • Leadership in global environment (F, P)
  • Advertising and public relation in business management (F, P)
  • Crisis management (P)
  • Applied outsourcing in business and administration (P)
  • Regional management and public entrepreneurship (P)
  • Management of EU funds projects
  • Public administration and management
  • European administration (P, D)
  • International marketing (F, P, D)
  • Financial and bank management and marketing (F, P, D)
  • Finance and accounting (P)
  • Marketing and public relations in education, science and culture (F, P)
  • Financial auditing (P)
Computer science and technology
  • Information systems and technology (F, P)
  • Software engineering (F, P)
  • Web design
  • Computer games and animation (F, P)
  • Information technology, finance and stock (F, P)
Architecture, civil engineering and geodesy
  • Road construction (P)
  • Water supply and sewerage systems (P)
  • Building structures (P)
  • Fire safety technics and automation (F)
  • Cultural heritage preservation, jointly with "Polytechnics" Milano (F)
  • Structural planning (P)
  • Renovation and reinforcing of construction buildings (P)
  • Sustainable construction and energy efficiency (P)
  • Engineering logistics of construction (P)
  • Labor and ecological safety in construction (P)
  • Investment construction projects management (P)
  • Construction management and auditing (P)
  • Regulation in construction, jointly with Faculty of Law (P)
Fine art
  • Computer graphic and advertising design (F)
  • Fashion styling (F)
Music and dance
  • Choreographic direction and art management
  • Dance performance (F)
  • Modern dance theatre (F)
National security
  • Customs intelligence and investigation (F, P)
  • Preparation of forces and resources for action in unconventional crises (F, P)
  • International law and security (P)
  • Maritime safety and security (P)
  • European union law and security (P)
  • Maritime law and security of maritime transport (P)
  • Forensic criminal expert reports (F, P)
  • Forensic economics expert reports (F, P)
  • Forensic psychological expert reports (F, P)
  • Forensic computer-technical expert reports (F, P)
  • Forensic fire-technology expert reports (F, P)
  • Forensic construction-technical export reports (F, P)
  • International maritime law (P)
  • Detective investigation activities (P) 
For a definition of what "Recognized Higher Education Institution" means in Bulgaria:
Within the meaning of the Higher Education Law of 1995 accreditation in Bulgaria is recognition by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency of the right of HEIs to provide higher education in educational and qualification degrees in particular areas, professional fields and in majors of the regulated professions list through evaluation of the activities on preparation of specialists, enhancement of their qualification and the activities connected with the development of science, culture and innovation. 

How does the higher education system work?
Higher education in Bulgaria is offered by a number of universities, both further education colleges and institutes. It is open to all those who have completed secondary education. For Bulgarian citizens the acceptance on specific course is determined by the marks students get on the entry level exams which depend on the type of course you would like to study in university. However, the universities are autonomous and they can vary the selection methods. 

Higher education can be completed full time, part time or by distance learning. 

There are three different qualifications students might obtain:
  • Bachelor’s degree – usually awarded after the completion a four year course;
  • Masters degree – awarded after the completion of a five year course (it could be an additional one year course after the Bachelor’s degree or alternatively some courses offer only Masters qualification);
  • Doctorate – is the equivalent of the British PhD, the Doctorate requires an additional three years of study after you have been awarded a Masters degree.
To obtain any of these qualifications you will need to attend a university. 

When do I apply?
Depending on the start of the programme there are various closing dates and it is up to you to get in touch with the university and find out where these are. Usually the applications for Bachelor’s and Masters degrees start in June and run to mid-July and for the summer programmes they are between February and March. 
For Doctorate degree these are likely to be in the beginning of March. State university places are limited and depend on the state specified need for certain specialists. 

How do I apply?
The applications are made directly to the university that will individually specify their terms and the necessary documents. For some programmes applications are accepted online and successful applicants are invited to interviews.
For an application to study for a Doctorate degree you will be required to present the following documents:
  • a covering letter demonstrating your research interest and specifying what language you will be using in your research;
  • an official recognized certificate for your Masters degree – a translated, certified copy of your certificate will need to be presented to the Ministry of Education in order to be recognized.
Further advice is available from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education. 

How much will it cost?
The fees vary depending on the programme and the university, but it can be as much as €9,000 for a Masters course. Living in Bulgaria is relatively cheaper than the UK. Reasonably priced accommodation is sometimes provided to international students, which depending on the type, can vary between €35 and €150 per month, although there is often a long waiting list for these flats. In this case an alternative can be to rent privately. In the main town centres there are plenty of modern apartments which can be rented for about €600 - 900 per month, although more basic accommodation can be considerably cheaper. 

Are any scholarships available? 
Scholarships are not generally available to international students. You will need to contact each university directly for further details or contact the Ministry of Education. The American University in Bulgaria is most likely to offer support. 
First-class compartments seat six people, eight are crammed into 2nd class, and the intercity express has individual seats in an open carriage. Sleepers and couchettes are available between Sofia and Burgas and Varna but must be booked in advance. Fares for 1st class are around 25% higher than for 2nd class. The carriages won’t be any cleaner, but it’s always worth paying the extra just to have a bit more space
Documents Required:
  1. A foreign travel document (passport) issued in good and due form;
  2. Two photocopies of the pages of the foreign travel document (passport) containing the personal data and all the visas and stamps (valid and expired), and the residence permits held, Bulgarian entry and exit stamps and/or Bulgarian residence stamps;
  3. A visa application form fully completed in duplicate;
  4. Two recent color photographs (sized 3.5 by 4.5 cm);
  5. Original of a document from the educational institution certifying that the applicant has been admitted for full-time study and the academic year for which his/her study will start, and two copies of the document;
  6. Original of a certificate issued by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and two copies of it (for first-year students only);
  7. Original of a current certificate issued by the educational institution for the subsequent academic year of study and two copies of it (for second and further year students);
  8. Original of a document proving the payment of the tuition fee and two copies of it;
  9. Original of a document proving the provision of accommodation for the whole duration of residence in Bulgaria and two copies of it;
  10. Proof of possession of sufficient funds to cover the subsistence and accommodation costs for the whole duration of residence in Bulgaria (the document should be presented in original and two copies of it should be attached to the visa application);
  11. An Insurance Policy issued by an Insurance Company licensed to carry out insurance business in the European Union with a minimum coverage of EUR 30 000, including all expenses for repatriation as well as for emergency medical care and for emergency hospital treatment for the whole period of stay in Bulgaria as specified on the visa (the Insurance Policy should be presented in original and two copies of it should be attached to the visa application);
  12. A reservation and an air ticket (a reservation may be presented upon submission of the visa application, and the air ticket itself must be presented when issuing the visa).
  13. Visa fee- 8500-9500  INR in cash only.
  14. Visa processing time- 15-20 working days.
  15. A noc letter from the head of the college /school that students doest not have any prob in studying in any university or college in india or abroad , sealed and signed on the letter head
  16. Only photocopies of the academic, pcc , medical and bank letter must be apostiled and all must be sent  to the ministry of education , Bulgaria, sofia