The most attractive reasons to consider Bulgaria for your higher studies, and potentially for your new forever home
High quality European education
Academic institutions in Bulgaria provide high quality education and offer more and more programs fully taught in English. This study destination is popular amongst students due to the universities accreditation and the fact that they're internationally recognized and respected.
The usual academic stages in the country are according to the Bologna process and include bachelor, master, doctorate. Usually the bachelors take 4 years, while the master degrees are generally between 1 and 2 years of studies.
Medical studies don't have split between bachelor and master. If you study for a doctor, you apply for university after school and in 6 years you graduate as a Doctor of Medicine. Then your next possible steps may be to achieve one or more of the following academic ranks and become a docent or a professor.
Lower living costs
As a part of Eastern Europe, Bulgaria is much more affordable than many other European countries. The living costs, including a total of food, transportation, rent, and social life are cheaper and even lower in smaller towns and cities. This makes not only studying and living an achievable goal but traveling a nice add-on. The average university fee for medicine is 8000 EUR. Pharmacy is approximately 6000 EUR. A single person estimated monthly costs are 522$.
And if exploring the country seems not enough, the Bulgarian neighbours are there to welcome you with even more. Friendly Serbians will leave you with great aftertaste from Serbia; Macedonians will show you the secrets of simple living and the charming Ohrid lake; Romanians will walk you through their castles (with the highlight Bran Castle - the home of Dracula); and Greeks will leave you speachless with their costal towns and villages (and not to skip the islands!).
Due to historical reasons and is being so attractive destination, Bulgaria has given home to various communities and ethnicities. The Square of Religious Tolerance is enough statement by itself. Sofia is the only place in Europe that has places of worship of four major religions just metres away from each other. St Nedelya Church, Banya Bashi Mosque, Sofia Sinagogue and the St Joseph Cathedral are located in the ideal centre of the capital and whisper a lot of history through their walls. The area also offers food options for people of different religions and ethnicities, which can safely accomodate their beliefs and support their lifestyle.
Rich nature and great weather
One of Bulgarian's treasures is its nature. Diverse greenery and cool mountains are one ride away from calm lakes, fast rivers and warm sand on the Black Sea coast. Just 6 hours from side to side, Bulgaria offers exciting historical places, beautiful small villages, plenty of outdoor activities (from rafting through paragliding to skiing) and good travel connectivity.
Having an European degree automatically gives you the right to practice anywhere in the Union. If we keep it local, Bulgarian health scene has tremendously developed in the past 15 years. There have been numerious investments in the sector which resulted in modern high quality health bases across the country. A lot of private clinics and foreign hospitals were established, either fully privately funded, or with open state contracts.
Successfully enrolling in a Bulgarian university gives you a student's permit, which is valid for a period of 1 year. This permit is renewed every year and allows you to benefit from Bulgarian and European rights and opportunities.
There is also a long-term residency that you may apply for and is valid for 5 years. The next steps are permanent residency, and of course citizenship (if you are coming from a non-EU country).
That we have put in the cons list, even though many skip them (and we're always wondering why...)
Banitsa, tarator, sarmi, shkembe... you will learn them all! Bulgarian local food is wonderfully delicious. The regular Bulgarian family cooks regularly. There are plenty of options to find fresh produce, and also to shop from the farmers or grandmas from the nearby villages, who come to the markets to sell.
If you're not into cooking, the cities across the country offer many restaurant and street food options. There is variety of cuisine choices, from traditional to modern; trendy places to enjoy outside spaces and tasty meals. There are also cheap street food locations where to eat nice food and not break the bank.
Bulgarian cuisine has everything. The traditional dishes incorporate a lot of vegetables and meat, fish is the focus in river-close or seaside locations. The country gives rich fruit produce as well, and has open fruit market every season.
The Bulgarian market has developed a lot in the past years. Today especially the bigger cities (and even small downs via delivery options) offer all types of modern food alternatives to accommodate any diet, from vegan and vegeterian to keto and paleo. The major cities give access to different types of meat, including halal butcher shops and kosher meat options.
The social life is much appreciated in this country. People are free and open minded. There is a lot of choice to meet any social life preferences. From night clubs to day events, Bulgaria's main cities offer diversity and promise that you will never be bored. There are constant events of any possible topic, cultural gatherings, open-sky movie nights, concerts, but also professional conferences and other appearances, both paid and free of charge.
Outdoor experiences are much appreciated here. In the past 10 years there has been a peak in the adventure-style sports. In Bulgaria you will have the freedom to go hiking on your own or with your friends (Vitosha mountain is 10 minutes away from the centre of the city by car), go rafting (there are organised groups who can show you all rafting secrets); choose from calmer walks in zoo places and play with the lamas and alpakas, explore the Bulgarian caves, or go for paraglinding, bungee jumping and other high-adrenaline experiences.