Bulgaria offers an inexpensive yet high-quality education. Students opt to study in this country because admission requirements are simpler than other member states in the European Union. However, other countries recognize Bulgarian diplomas because it is a member of the EU. In this article, we will be looking at different options to study in Bulgaria for free.

Students choose Bulgaria because of its high-quality education, variety of specializations, and international atmosphere. As part of the European Union, they gain expansive opportunities to further their studies. Instructors and field experts have experience in working abroad. Moreover, many universities provide internships and have various collaborations with other academic institutions.

The state of Bulgaria has been a member of the EU since 2007. Thus, other EU member states recognize the diplomas that students earn from the country. Graduates can work abroad and gain various opportunities. Bulgaria may be small, but it has mixed cultures where Jews, Muslims, and Christians live in harmony. Cities such as Plovdiv and Sofia even have mosques.

Students experience the legendary hospitality of Bulgaria. Thus, their stay in universities is unforgettable and pleasant. They live in the country’s most beautiful and historic cities of Plovdiv and Sofia. Students enjoy studying while soaking up in the Bulgarian culture through its concerts, museums, and sports events. A majority of the Bulgarian people speak in English so an international student can communicate with them easily.

Bulgaria is a small country, so students have access to beautiful beaches, lakes, and mountains. It has a modern transportation network that they can use in getting around the state. The cost of living is affordable, and students spend around 500 euros each month, including food, recreation, bills, and accommodation rentals. Some of them share an apartment with other students to split the monthly expenses. Those who opt for a more affordable education choose to study in Varna or Plovdiv than its capital city, Sofia. Inexpensive accommodation is accessible in Bulgaria with apartments costing around 400 euro in Sofia and 300 euro in Varna and Plovdiv.


How to Study in Bulgaria for Free

1. Apply to Universities in Bulgaria

The first step in studying in Bulgaria for free is to apply to universities in Bulgaria. You should go to the universities’ websites to learn about the application procedure of that particular university.

Bulgarian universities offer different fields of study. Tuition fees vary, depending on the student’s chosen course and university as well as the city where he wants to learn. Medicine is a prominent program for international students because they gain realistic experience from hospitals near the campus. Each academic year, tuition fees can be about 8000 euros. Universities offering medicine require students to pass their Biology and Chemistry admission exams. Moreover, they expect their students to have advanced English skills.

Students who opt to study medicine can choose to enroll in one of the various medical universities in Bulgaria. Pleven Medical University, Sofia Medical University, Sofia University, Trakia University, Varna Medical University, and Plovdiv Medical University offer this field of study. Each of these academic institutions has its advantages. It takes six years to finish a medical course in the country.

Dentistry is another prominent field of study in Bulgaria. Students graduate after six and a half years and spend around 8000 euros each academic year on tuition fees. They must pass the university’s Biology and Chemistry admission tests before they can enroll in the course. They can choose to study dentistry at Varna Medical University, Plovdiv Medical University, and Sofia Medical University.

Many international students prefer to study Pharmacy in Bulgaria because they only pay about 6,000 euros per school year for tuition fees. Like the other medical-related course, applicants need to pass the university’s Biology and Chemistry entrance tests. The five-year course also requires average English skills. Plovdiv Medical University and Sofia Medical University offer the course. Students who prefer to live in a big city choose the latter while those students who to soak up in Bulgaria’s culture and history prefer the former.

Students of Veterinary Medicine prefer the Trakia University and the University of Forestry. The five-year course allows them to visit farms around the country. Students opt to study it at the University of Forestry in Sofia because of the cosmopolitan living in the capital. Those who enroll at the Trakia University in Stara Zagora enjoy the affordable living expenses and communing with the locals to learn the culture.

Engineering is also a famous course, and students study it at the Technical University in Sofia. Tuition fees range from 2000 to 4000 euros per year. Another prestigious academic institution is the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy. Students also study Computer Science and Economics in other Bulgarian universities.


2. Get a Student Loan

Getting student loans is the least recommended method in obtaining your education in Bulgaria for free. Some Bulgarian universities offer student loans; however, international students can’t apply for a loan at the Sofia Medical University. Loan applicants must apply in banks with the required documents such as a certificate from the Bulgarian university that they are full-time students and have passed all exams. Often, these financial institutions also require their grades.

In November 2013, the Bulgarian government suspended its funding for Bulgarian and Romanians studying at public universities and for foreign EU students studying at private colleges because of fiscal considerations. However, the suspension doesn’t apply to tuition loans, but maintenance loans only.


3. Get Scholarships

Getting scholarships is the most recommended method of studying in Bulgaria for free. Students can also avail themselves of various scholarships in Bulgaria, but they must be below 35 years old and meet the minimum grade requirement. Students can avail themselves of 25 full and 65 partial scholarships through the American for Bulgaria Foundation Distinguished Scholarship that accounts for 30% of tuition fees for those applicants with high academic potential.

The American University in Bulgaria automatically screens applicants for scholarships that they are eligible to receive. Many of these grants require high academic performance in high school and English language proficiency. 73% of its students gain scholarships in various forms. Some students can also apply for a scholarship depending on their financial needs.

International students can also avail themselves of full or partial financial aid through Fulbright Bulgaria, Eastern Europe Study Abroad, OppU Achievers, and Avidafit Fully Funded Science and Law School scholarships.


4. Get a Part-Time Job

If you need additional assistance in studying in Bulgaria for free, you can get a part-time job. International students can work part-time jobs, but they need to apply for a type-D visa at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to be eligible. They can work for at most 35 hours per week so they can still focus on their studies. Part-time work also allows them to experience and gain exposure to the real world. Some universities also offer internships as part of the coursework.


Studying in Bulgaria for free is easy as 1-2-3. Students can choose from a wide array of courses that universities offer. However, prominent programs are in the areas of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and engineering. Generally, students troop to the country because of low tuition fees and cost of living. Moreover, they gain diplomas that are internationally recognized. Students who prefer a quiet, suburban way of life can enroll in universities outside of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital.

Although college and university education isn’t free in the country, students can apply for student loans and scholarships.  Banks are the primary provider of financial help, although a few universities also offer it.  For high performing students, they can avail themselves of scholarships from various academic institutions and organizations. They can also opt to work part-time to earn a living as they study.


I hope that this article on how to study in Bulgaria for free was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students.