Top 3 Universities in Bulgaria for International Students

Bulgaria, a country located in Southeast Europe as part of the Balkan Peninsula, is one of Europe’s oldest nations. Historically, its location was a significant route of ancient civilizations from northern and southern Europe, western and central Europe, and the Middle East. The country has had its independence in the late 19th century after centuries of Ottoman rule.

In its postcommunism era, Bulgaria leaned towards better relations with western democratic countries. It eventually became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. It has also opened its doors wider to tourists, with tourism becoming an essential contributor to its economy. Its historical sights and artifacts and seaside and winter resorts made it one of Europe’s top destinations.

Bulgaria also has several universities to choose from if one has to pursue higher education while staying in the country. International students can choose among its top universities to get started on their career path while enjoying the attractions and culture it has to offer. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Bulgaria for international students.

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How satisfied are international students studying in Bulgaria?

International students are relatively satisfied with their studies in Bulgaria. In a recent survey conducted by the i-graduate’s International Student Barometer, Bulgaria scored 4.24 in student recommendation, putting it in 15th place among more than 40 countries. One of Bulgaria’s top universities, Sofia University, scored 150 places higher in QS World University Rankings. Some of the criteria evaluated were academic reputation and the international students’ population.

What are the most popular programs in Bulgaria for International Students?

With over 50 universities in the country, international students in Bulgaria will not run out of options to achieve higher education. Among the most popular programs they pursue are related to medicine, mathematics, sciences, and engineering. Courses in linguistics such as French, American English, and German are also popular among students.

Academic institutions in Bulgaria follow the Bologna Process. Through this, international students are guaranteed an education compatible with other European countries if they pursue a career elsewhere.

How many international students study in Bulgaria?

According to the National Statistical Institute, there are 16,280 international students in Bulgaria. It makes up 7.7% of the entire student population in the country.

What is the most prestigious university in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria’s finest in higher education, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, is the only university from the country included in Times Higher Education World University Rankings, at 1001st place. Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University placed it at 901, while Best Global Universities by U.S. News and World Report ranked it at 657. It has been consistently included in the world’s top 4% of universities.

Below are the top three universities in Bulgaria.

Best Universities in Bulgaria for International Students

1. Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, established in 1888, is the largest and oldest in the country. It has 16 faculties that offer a vast range of programs in different fields such as economics, humanities, law, information technology, and sciences. The university is also famous for its contributions to research, such as the exploration in the Antarctic. With its global affiliations in education and research, international students’ advancement in their chosen fields takes a more meaningful yet practical route. As a result, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski is considered the best university in Bulgaria for international students.

2. American University in Bulgaria

The American University in Bulgaria, established in 1991, is a private institution that specializes in Administration and Management, Public Communications and Information Sciences, and Political Science. The university’s American-style teaching is a plus-factor for international students as they seamlessly integrate with the university’s system. It also has non-degree programs suitable for professionals and expatriates looking to upskill their portfolios.

3. Trakia University

We end our list of top universities in Bulgaria for international students with Trakia University. Located in the 6th largest region in Bulgaria, Trakia University was founded in 1995 and had the historical part, Thrace, as its namesake. Although most academic programs have been taught in the local language, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine have been recently conducted in English, making it an understandable choice for international students.


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