If you are a citizen of the European Union or one that is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) then you do not need a student visa in order to study in Bulgaria. However, once entering the country you must register with the local police who will provide you with a national identity card and residence permit which lasts for up to 5 years.
If you are from a non-EU/EEA country then you will need to apply for a student visa, which begins with getting accepted into a Bulgarian university. Once you have been accepted you will need to apply for the visa, which lasts between 3-6 months.
Once in Bulgaria and enrolled on your programme at the university you will then need to apply for a long-term residency permit which will last for up to 1 year and will need to be renewed with every new year of study.
There are several supporting documents that must be provided for students wanted to study in Bulgaria which include, along with the confirmation letter, confirmation of medical insurance, bank statement confirming that the first tuition fee payment is made, confirmation of travel to Bulgaria and evidence of financial support.
Many Bulgarian universities will offer student hostel accommodation to both international and domestic students however this will come at a first come, first serve basis. This accommodation is often between €35-€70 per month and will be limited, but perfectly acceptable.
There are plenty of private student accommodation options in Bulgaria also which are popular with students who want to have a bit more variety in their choice of accommodation, who they live with and where they live.
Private student accommodation in Bulgaria ranges from €150-€300 per month depending on where you want to live and who you are living with.
There is no centralised application system in Bulgaria so each applicant must apply directly to the chosen university, however, there may be different application criteria and requirements needed.
There is the option to study programmes in Bulgarian, French or English at Bulgarian universities, although proficiency tests will need to be passed for each if you are studying in a language that isn’t native to you.
You will need to provide supporting documents to your university in order to have you application accepted with include qualifications, language proficiency and maybe even entrance exams.
If you are a member of an EU/EEA country then you may not need to pay any tuition fees if you are able to speak Bulgarian and are applying to the same courses as Bulgarian nationals.
If you want to apply as a foreign student to study in English of French then you will need to pay tuition fees, which range from €2,900-€3,500 depending on what you want to study and where you want to study it. These tuition fees are payable in two separate transactions; one prior to visa application and one once you have started your second semester.
There are a number of scholarships available to international students to help offset the cost of studying in Bulgaria.
All international students are eligible to apply for tuition fee loans to help cover the costs of studying.