Sofia Medical University

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Study at Sofia Medical University

If you wish to study in the medical field at a prestigious university in Europe, then you have probably heard about Sofia Medical University in Bulgaria. It is one of the highest-ranked universities on the Balkan peninsula and it offers Medicine, Dental Medicine and Pharmacy in English. The international atmosphere at the university, the affordable tuition fees as well as the high standards of education are some of the reasons why people from more than 50 countries apply every year to become students at Sofia Medical University! In the following, we have included detailed information about the university, the admission process as well as student life in Sofia, Bulgaria.

About the university

The history of Sofia Medical University started in 1917 – this was when a decree by His Majesty, King Ferdinand, entered into force to establish a Medical Faculty of Sofia University. The very first lecture was delivered a year later. The Medical Academy was established in 1950 which made the Medical Faculty an independent institution, which was no longer part of Sofia University.

Nowadays, Sofia Medical University is one of the most prestigious medical universities in Bulgaria. It uses the European Credit Transfer System and offers Erasmus+ programs for students. Institutional accreditation has been granted by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency. Of course, as Bulgaria is a member state of the European Union, the degrees students obtain at the Sofia Medical University are also recognized abroad.

The Medical University of Sofia has four faculties – Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Faculty of Public Health. Study programs in English that are available at Sofia Medical University include Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Pharmacy. The study programs include useful internships that prepare students for real-life situations.

In comparison to other medical universities in Europe, the tuition fees at Sofia Medical University are rather low. To illustrate, the annual tuition fees for Medicine in English at Sofia Medical University are 9000 EUR, whereas other medical universities in Europe offer the same study program but the fees may amount to 12 000 EUR per academic year. Furthermore, the living expenses in Bulgaria are also quite affordable.

One of the advantages of Sofia Medical University in comparison to other medical universities in Bulgaria is that it is located in the capital city of Bulgaria. Here you will find the biggest international airport in Bulgaria – Sofia Airport. Many flights can take you directly to Sofia and travelling is usually very important to foreigners who choose Bulgaria as their study abroad destination. In addition, the capital city offers the highest number of sports facilities, international events as well as companies that may offer part-time jobs for students.

Sofia Medical University is located in the city centre near some of the main sightseeing places, including the National Palace of Culture and the main pedestrian street. Two of the most famous parks in Sofia – South park (“Yuzhen park” in Bulgarian) and Borisova garden, are also nearby. This allows students to explore the city after a busy day at the university. The location of the university is indeed excellent – there are two metro stations nearby (“Medical Academy” and “National Palace of Culture”) as well as many bus, tram, and trolley stations which connect the university to every neighbourhood in Sofia.

Study programs & Tuition fees

Sofia Medical University offers three study programs in English – Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. Students graduate with a Master’s degree. Lectures start in October and finish around June. There are two exam sessions – in January/February (the end of the winter semester) and in June/July (the end of the summer semester). To be considered for admission, applicants must pass an entrance test in Biology, Chemistry, and English.

  • Medicine in English at Sofia Medical University takes six years and the study program includes internships at hospitals in and around the university campus. The tuition fees are 9000 EUR per academic year and are paid in two instalments. Each year there are 300 places available for foreigners who wish to study Medicine in English.
  • Dentistry in English at Sofia Medical University takes five years and a half. The tuition fees are 9000 EUR per academic year. Students pay the first half of the tuition fees at the beginning of the winter semester and the second half – at the beginning of the summer semester. Each year there are 150 places available for international students in Dentistry.
  • Pharmacy in English at Sofia Medical University takes five years. As for tuition fees, students pay 3000 EUR per semester. There are 65 places available to people who wish to study Pharmacy in English. 

Many international students at Sofia Medical University apply for a student loan in their home country, e.g. Germany or Sweden. Working part-time is also possible in case you look for a way to finance your studies in Bulgaria. As for scholarships at Sofia Medical University, their availability and the eligibility requirements may be subject to change every year. Keep in mind that scholarships at Sofia Medical University do not cover tuition fees.

Application & Entry requirements

You may wonder how to apply for admission. Applicants who want to study Medicine, Dental Medicine, or Pharmacy in English at Sofia Medical University must submit a set of application documents to the university. It must include an application form, a copy of the diploma for secondary education, a copy of the Diploma’s marks, a certificate issued by the applicant’s high-school/competent institution, a medical certificate, a copy of passport/ ID, and passport photos. Depending on the applicant’s educational background and nationality, additional documents may be required. Furthermore, keep in mind that some of the documents must be translated and legalized.

It is important to point out that all applicants must sit an admission test in Chemistry, Biology, and English. In 2021, the entrance exam took place online for the first time. Students are not allowed to retake it and must pass all three subjects to be considered for admission. The exam results are announced online and follow the Bulgarian grading scale (2 – fail, 6 – excellent).

Indeed, the application is one of the most important steps for every international student. This is why we provide full application services – we assist students with collecting, preparing and submitting the application documents according to the university’s requirements and deadlines. Furthermore, we provide an excellent online platform to help you prepare for the entrance test – there you will find study materials, sample tests and mock exams. This way you can achieve high grades in the entrance exam – it plays an important role in the successful admission to Sofia Medical University.

Student life & Living costs

Sofia is one of the best places to live in if you choose to study abroad in Bulgaria. Being the capital city, it offers pretty much everything – modern shopping malls, plenty of international restaurants, cosy study cafés, various sports facilities, interesting museums and galleries. Here you will also find the biggest airport in Bulgaria!

Every year Sofia Medical University welcomes more than 500 international students – you can easily make friends with people from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Greece, Ireland, India, Pakistan, and other countries around the world. The great number of international companies that offer jobs to foreigners but also the tourists who come to explore the rich history of Bulgaria make Sofia the most international city in Bulgaria.

There are also many student societies at the university as well as international events in Sofia – you will never be bored!

Of course, being the capital city has one main disadvantage – the prices in Sofia are higher in comparison to other cities in Bulgaria. In any case, living costs in Bulgaria are still considered affordable if you compare them with expenses you would have in other European countries. To illustrate, you can have a nice meal in a restaurant for just 5 to 10 EUR. A monthly student travel card for (all lines) in Sofia is 11 EUR. You can rent a nice private apartment for 300 to 400 EUR per month.

Student accommodation

Student accommodation in Sofia is a topic that is very important to all applicants. Sofia Medical University has student dormitories. Usually, a room in a student dormitory costs about 50 EUR per month. It has two beds, two desks, and a bathroom. However, the student dormitories of Sofia Medical University are located rather far away from the city centre – in the “Studentski grad” neighbourhood. From there It takes around 40 minutes by bus to reach the university campus.

This is why most international students prefer to live in or close to the city centre where Sofia Medical University is. In this case, rent may vary between 300 and 400 EUR per month for a private apartment. Of course, the price depends on the furniture, location, size of the apartment, and so on. Bills are usually not included and rental agreements are for one year. Most international students prefer to share an apartment with another student. In this case, the apartment usually has two bedrooms and the kitchen and bathroom are shared between the tenants. The main two advantages of sharing an apartment are living with a friend while you study abroad and also sharing the living expenses in Sofia.

About the city

Sofia is the capital city of Bulgaria – nearly 2 million people live in it, making it the biggest city in Bulgaria. Sofia welcomes many locals and foreigners thanks to the great job opportunities, affordable living costs, and reputable higher education institutions. Some of the most famous universities in Sofia which offer study programs in English include Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia Medical University, the University of Forestry, the Technical University of Sofia, and the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy.

Sofia is a safe city. If you go out at night, you will see many people, especially at the park in front of the National Palace of Culture and along the main pedestrian street – Vitosha Street. Both places are located 10 minutes away from Sofia Medical University by foot!

Also, locals speak English, and menus in restaurants are usually available in English! There are many useful mobile applications for taxis and public transport in Sofia. Furthermore, the international brands and fast-food chains in shopping malls around Sofia will make you feel as if you have never left home.

People of all religions are also welcome – did you know that right in the heart of Sofia we have the so-called “Square of Tolerance”? There you will find a mosque, a catholic cathedral, an orthodox church, and a synagogue. Tsar Simeon Str. is located nearby – it is famous among locals and foreigners as “the Arab street” and has many restaurants that offer halal food as well as spices from countries around the world.

Sofia is also the best place to be if you like to go out you are active in your free time – there are many gyms around the city, bowling and go-karting places. Vitosha mountain is only 40 minutes away by car and public transport – there you can go for a hike throughout the whole year and even ski in winter!

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