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Studying Abroad in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is located on the Balkan Peninsula, in Eastern Europe. It's a comparatively small country, with a population of about 7.5 million. There are 43 universities in 26 cities and 45 colleges and technical schools. The most notable ones are the Sofia University, the Sofia Technical University, and The American University in Blagoevgrad among others. Bulgarian students' test scores have been some of the best in the world for years. They were first in Tokyo Math Olympics in 2003, the same year they won 2 gold medals in US Math Olympics. The literacy rate is over 98%, considerably higher than in the US.

If you are planning on studying in Bulgaria or just visiting you should know that the Bulgarian people are very welcoming and hospitable, they will make you feel at home right away.

Language

The language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian. It is based on the Cyrillic alphabet, named after its creator Cyril. Other nations that use the same alphabet are Russia, Macedonia, and Serbia.
Grades

The grades in the Bulgarian educational system are different from the American; they consist of the numbers 2 through 6, 6 being the highest. You can get a 1 if caught cheating on a test, or helping another student cheat.

About Primary and Secondary Education

Children begin school at the age of six or seven, and compulsory education ends at fifteen or sixteen, although more than 80% continue to college or university. The primary school is from first to fourth grade, the basic - from fifth to seventh, and the secondary - from eighth to twelfth. The most prestigious high schools are the language schools, with emphasis on Science and Mathematics. In order to be accepted in it, students need high grades from previous school years, and a successfully passed exam in a specific subject like Biology, Chemistry or Maths. The first year in those schools is dedicated almost entirely to learning a foreign language, in most cases that's English. At the end of it students are required to take a test, proving that they have acquired the necessary knowledge.

Universities and Colleges

Bulgarian University students are 2nd in the world in SAT scores, 2nd in IQ tests (by MENSA International), they are in the top 10 as to number of certified IT professionals. The cost of education is not high and provided that students have good grades and low income, they may qualify for a scholarship, paid out to them each month by the government.

In order to be accepted in a University or a college, candidates need to pass an exam - usually in June or July, and present a High School diploma. The fall semester starts in September and lasts till January, and the spring semester classes are from February till May. The Sofia University and The American University in Bulgaria are famous for their student exchange programs.

In conclusion, I would say Bulgaria is a great country to study in (from personal experience), make new friends, and have fun. There are a lot of places to visit, many tourist attractions and vacation destinations like the beautiful Black Sea beaches and the Rila Mountains. And don't forget - when Bulgarians mean ''yes'' they shake their head sideways, and up down for a ''no''.
Na Dobar Chas! (Good Luck!)