Study Medicine, Dentistry or Pharmacy at Sofia Medical University – Frequently asked questions

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Study Medicine, Dentistry or Pharmacy at Sofia Medical University - Frequently asked questions

Sofia Medical University - FAQ

Are you interested in applying for admission in Sofia Medical University in Bulgaria? Today we are answering some of the most frequently asked questions. The information is useful for applicants in Medicine, Dentistry or Pharmacy in English. If you have any further questions about higher education at Sofia Medical University, do not hesitate to contact our admission team at [email protected]!

1. What are the study programs and tuition fees at Sofia Medical University?

Sofia Medical University offers three study programs in English language – Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. Medicine in English takes six years, Dentistry – five years and a half, Pharmacy – five years. You graduate with a Master’s degree, so you can work and study abroad after graduation. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union.

The tuition fees for Medicine and Dental Medicine in English at Sofia Medical University are 8000 EUR per year. For Pharmacy in English – 6000 EUR per year. You pay the tuition fees in two installments – the first half is to be paid around October, the beginning of the winter semester, and the second half is to be paid around February, the beginning of the summer semester.

2. Can I apply for a student loan?

Sofia Medical University does not provide student loans. Many international students apply for a student loan back home. Most international students count on their family when it comes to financing their studies abroad. Of course, you can also look for a part-time job while you are in Bulgaria but most likely, the salary will not be enough to cover the tuition fees.

3. What are the entry requirements to apply for admission in Sofia Medical University?

Applicants must sit an entrance exam in Biology, Chemistry and English. They must prepare very well as the number of applicants is high. 

You do not need to have Bulgarian language skillsA certificate for English language is also not required. Even if you have one, you have to sit the exam in all three subjects.

Applicants must have studied Biology and Chemistry as subjects in school or college. Given the fact that different countries have a different educational system, we highly recommend you contact our admission team so that we review your educational background and see if you are eligible to apply for admission and let you know about all universities you can apply for. This is part of our free academic consultation, so you will not be charged!

4. Should I choose Sofia Medical University or Plovdiv Medical University?

Sofia Medical University and Plovdiv Medical University are two of the most prestigious medical universities in Bulgaria, so many students wonder which one to choose. The study programs in English and the tuition fees offered at both universities are the same. We have made a video about comparing both universities in terms of different aspects, including university facilities, student life, apartments, living costs, etc. – make sure to check it out!

Of course, we also offer the opportunity to apply for both universities at the same time – just contact our team!

5. Is there an entrance exam and where does it take place?

Applicants must sit an entrance exam in Biology, Chemistry and English. Usually, the exam takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria (Update: The exam in 2021 took place online!).

6. How should I prepare for the entry exam?

We can definitely say: Preparation is the key to success. There are many applicants who want to study at Sofia Medical University, so you should prepare well for the entrance exam – the exam results will be taken into account by the university. We have made interviews with current students who passed the exam with excellent grades – they shared tips about preparation. Here you can watch the interviews.

7. When do I get the exam results? Does this mean successful admission?

The exam results from Sofia Medical University come out a few days after the applicants have sat the exam. They are published online, so you do not need to be in Bulgaria in order to find out about your exam grades. The exam results follow the Bulgarian grading scale (2 – fail; 6 – excellent). You must pass all three exam subjects (3 is the minimum passing grade). Keep in mind that passing the exam does not mean successful university admission – the university will take into account the exam results and high school grades of all applicants. This is why you should aim for high exam grades and this is why we provide very excellent exam preparation

8. When should I apply for Sofia Medical University?

Starting your application earlier is a good idea – you need a lot of time to prepare all documents according to the university’s requirements. You need to go through different application steps like legalization and translation of the documents. Even if you do not have your high school diploma yet (for instance, it is to be issued in summer), you can start collecting and preparing the other application documents. This way, in summer, you will have more time to prepare for the entrance exam. Of course, you can also apply later, but keep in mind that there are different deadlines for EU and non-EU applicants. As you probably know, we offer full application support and our office is right next to Sofia Medical University, so you can definitely count on us!

9. When does the academic year start and when does it finish?

The academic year for first-year students at Sofia Medical University starts in the middle of October and ends around the end of June. Starting from second year, the academic year begins in September. Students get days off for national holidays but also other holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and of course, for the semester break. This way, they have many opportunities to travel back home.

10. What is an average week of a student at Sofia Medical University like?

The weekly schedule of a student at Sofia Medical University consists of lectures and practicals. Lectures are usually not mandatory to attend and are open for all students in your whole year. In comparison, practicals are mandatory to attend. In the beginning of the academic year, first-year students are divided into small groups – you attend practicals with this group. You stay with this group for your whole studies at Sofia Medical University. It is possible to change your group later on, but it may not be very easy to do that and you should follow the university’s rules. 

Usually, you have lectures and practicals from Monday to Friday, so you have free time over the weekend to enjoy a hobby or prepare for an exam. Your day at the university might start early in the morning and finish in the evening, but it depends on your group schedule – it will be forwarded to you in the beginning of the semester.

Here you can watch a video with a first-year medical student and a first-year dental student at Sofia Medical University!

11. What happens if you fail an exam at Sofia Medical University?

Current students at Sofia Medical University share that exams are doable and you can definitely score excellent grades if you prepare well for the respective exam. Work on your time management skills and avoid studying for an exam just a few weeks before the exam date. In case you do fail an exam, there is a retake session – so don’t worry!

12. Will I work with patients?

Students at Sofia Medical University work with patients and gather experience for life after university. There are many university hospitals in the university campus. Students also study Bulgarian language as a subject at the university so that they are able to speak with patients (who do not speak English language). Don’t worry, you do not need to speak Bulgarian language as a native, but knowing the basic phrases is definitely useful. Also, teachers are always with you to help out!

13. Can I work part-time during my studies?

Yes, students are allowed to work during their studies at Sofia Medical University. Keep in mind that part-time jobs usually mean working for around 20 hours per week, so it is hard to combine university and work life, especially if you are a student in the field of Medicine. Of course, if you have good time management skills or you simply want to earn some money, why not? There are many international companies in Sofia who look for foreigners who speak different languages, so you will be able to find a job. Keep in mind that a salary of a part-time job is usually not enough to cover the tuition fees.

14. What is there to do in Sofia?

There are many things to do in Sofia – international students like shopping, hiking at Vitosha mountain, enjoy a walk in the park (e.g. South Park or Borisova garden), go karting, visit different international restaurants in Sofia. There is also an airport and a bus and train station, so of course, you can also travel and explore Bulgaria or a different country.

Make sure to read our article about things to do in Sofia!

15. Is Sofia city multicultural?

Sofia, being the capital city of Bulgaria, is very multicultural. There are many foreigners who move to work or study in Bulgaria – there are many international companies as well as prestigious international universities, incl. Sofia Medical University, Sofia University, Technical University of Sofia, New Bulgarian University, etc. Most students at Sofia Medical University come from the United Kingdom, Greece, Germany, Italy, India, Ireland, UAE, Pakistan, etc. Also, there are many international restaurants so you can try different cuisine, incl. Turkish, Greek, Italian, German, Indian, etc. Also, there is a mosque in the city center and a street, called the ”The Arab Street” among locals  – there you can find many shops and restaurants which offer halal food.

We made a video about life in Sofia – check it out here!

16. Is Sofia safe for foreigners?

Yes, Sofia is a safe city. People feel safe going out, even in the evening. Of course, we do not recommend walking alone after midnight in the middle of nowhere – it is not safe to do that anywhere in the world. You should be careful with your personal belongings when travelling by public transport. Also, we recommend using trustworthy taxi applications, as there are fake taxis in Sofia (which charge more than they should).

17. Where do international students at Sofia Medical University live?

Most international students prefer to rent a private or a shared apartment in the city center close to Sofia Medical University. The rent price is usually about 350 EUR per month per person, but it depends on the location, the size of the apartment, etc. The apartments are modern and furnished. The dormitory of the university is unfortunately located far away from the university, so this is one of the main reasons why students look for accommodation in the city center. Keep in mind that bills are usually not included in the rent price. 

We made a video about student accommodation in Sofia – check it out here!

18. How to find an apartment in Sofia?

Locals and foreigners usually use the services of an estate agent in order to find a good apartment in Sofia. You should use a trustworthy estate agent and of course, you can also ask a Bulgarian friend for help. Keep in mind that estate agents usually charge a one-time fee (maybe 50 to 100% of the first month rent). They should organize apartment viewings for you, prepare the contract between you and the landlord as well as help you organize each meeting with the landlord (including when you sign the rental agreement). 

19. What are the living costs in Sofia, Bulgaria?

Students pay around 350 EUR per month for rent (again, it depends on the location, the size of the apartment, etc.). Bills are usually not included in the rent, but they are not very high (well, it depends on you as well as the size of the apartment). For other expenses, such as food, shopping, leisure activities – it really depends on you and your personal lifestyle, e.g. how often you go out, what you eat, etc. We advise you to prepare around 350 EUR for other expenses, but you will see if this is okay for you when you start your life in Sofia – it can be much cheaper or much more expensive.

20. How should I travel to Sofia?

There is an airport, as well as a bus and train station in Sofia. Sofia Airport is very international, so it offers many direct flights to different destinations. This gives you the chance to fly back home very often. The airport is located around 40 minutes way from the city center by public transport. Of course, you can also catch a taxi to the airport – the fee should be around 15 BGN (8 EUR). 

If you have any further questions about life and universities in Sofia, contact us and we will be happy to help!

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