Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski is the first university to be founded in Bulgaria! It has 16 faculties and most of them offer Bachelor and Master’s degree programs in Bulgarian and English language. The affordable tuition fees, the excellent location of the university and its great reputation make Sofia University one of the most desirable places to study at! Most international students at Sofia University apply for admission in Medicine or Pharmacy in English, but in the following, we have included detailed information about all study programs available as well as life and living costs in the capital city of Bulgaria.
About the university
Sofia University is the oldest and one of the most famous universities in Bulgaria. It includes 16 different faculties: Faculty of History, Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Educational Studies and Arts, Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Faculty of Geology and Geography, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Slavic Studies, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Faculty of Physics, Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Medicine. The last one is popular among international students – the study program Medicine in English attracts many applicants every year.
Sofia University has many partner universities which allow students to spend a semester abroad. Also, it has received many prestigious awards in the field of education and takes part in multiple research projects and events so that students expand their horizons and gain deeper knowledge in fields that inspire them.
It is important to know that the diplomas issued by Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski are internationally recognized. It is an accredited university and Bulgaria is a member state of the European Union so the diploma will give you the chance to work abroad after graduation.
The university is located in Sofia. This is where you will find most Bulgarian universities, such as New Bulgarian University, Technical University Sofia, Medical University Sofia, as well as the biggest international airport in Bulgaria. Also, most university faculties are in or close to the city centre, right next to some of the main metro stations and sightseeing spots. Nearby you will also find many parks (e.g. Borisova gradina park) and shopping malls where you can spend your free time.
Study programs & Tuition fees
Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski offers Bachelor and Master study programs in English.
Bachelor’s degree programs in English include European Union and European Integration, African Studies, Philosophy. The degree takes four years.
If you are interested in obtaining a Master’s degree, you can choose from more than 20 different study programs! Some of them are Business Administration, Public Administration, Genetics and Genomics, Medicine, Organizational psychology and cross-cultural management, Pharmacy.
Most applicants at Sofia University choose to study Medicine in English. The duration of the program is six years (12 semesters). The tuition fees are 7700 EUR per year (3350 EUR per semester). An entrance exam in Biology and Chemistry is a must to pass. Every year around 50 applicants get a university spot.
Another study program that is a common choice among foreign students at Sofia University is Pharmacy in English. The English program was introduced in 2019 and the duration of the course is 5 years (10 semesters). As for tuition fees, students in Pharmacy in English pay 5000 EUR per academic year (2500 EUR per semester). Applicants must pass an entrance exam in Biology, Chemistry and English. The study program includes an internship.
The academic year is divided into a winter and a summer semester. Lessons usually start around September and end around June, so students have a long summer break. Tuition fees vary depending on the study program.
Full-time students at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski are allowed to apply for a student loan. They can do this at a local bank in Bulgaria or their home country – this is often the case for students coming from Germany or Sweden. There are no scholarships provided by the university to cover the tuition fees.
Application & Entry requirements
Each study program at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski has different entry requirements. These may include an interview, writing an essay, sitting an admission test or having certain grades in your high-school diploma.
Students interested in Medicine must sit an entrance test in Biology and Chemistry. The tests are usually held in September and applicants are ranked according to their grades. There are 50 places available for students in Medicine in English. If you are interested in Pharmacy in English at Sofia University, you will also have to pass an entrance test. The exam subjects are Biology, Chemistry and English.
People applying for admission at Sofia University must prepare a set of application documents that follow the university’s requirements and deadlines. We offer full application services, so do not hesitate to contact our team in case you need assistance when applying to study abroad in Bulgaria!
Student life & Living costs
Usually, students of the whole year of the respective study program are divided into small groups of around 10 people. There are two types of lessons at the university: lectures (which are for students of the whole year) and seminars (which are practically oriented lessons for each small group of students). At the beginning of the semester, every teacher shares information about the subject, needed books, exams to be sat and their format.
Having free time, of course, depends on what a person studies, how they manage their time and whether or not they work part-time. Also, there is less free time at the end of each semester when exam sessions take place. However, whenever students have no lessons, there are many things to do. Since Sofia University is located in the capital city, you can take advantage of numerous leisure activities – you can go in the park, explore the international restaurants in the city centre, meet up with friends at the main pedestrian street, visit interesting museums. Students at Sofia University also organize many events!
When it comes to expenses in the capital city of Bulgaria, you will notice that it is possible to live on a student budget – a lot of things are quite affordable! Compared to other European countries and capital cities, rent in Sofia is much cheaper – most students pay around 350 EUR per month for a modern apartment in the city centre. Also, travelling around town is inexpensive – a student transportation card for all lines in Sofia, incl. all bus, tram, trolley and metro lines, is around 11 EUR per month. In comparison to Western Europe, expenses for grocery shopping are quite similar, but eating out is more affordable in Sofia! Of course, the best way to save some money while studying abroad is to cook at home, use public transport instead of taxis and share all apartment-related costs by living with a flatmate.
Sofia University offers a student dormitory. It is located in the “Studentski grad” (“Students town”) neighbourhood which is around 40 minutes by bus from the main university campus. This is the reason why most students prefer to rent an apartment in the city centre. In this case, there are two main options – to live alone or to share an apartment. Sharing an apartment with someone else is preferred among students, as this way all bills are divided between the tenants and it is easier to make friends.
Keep in mind that when looking for accommodation in Sofia you should ask yourself two important questions: Which neighbourhood do I want to live in? Do I want to live alone or with a flatmate? Furthermore, it is very common to use the services of an estate agent to help you find a suitable place to live in Sofia. Keep in mind that rental agreements are usually for one year, but if you keep a good relationship with your landlord, it is possible to renew the contract every year and therefore, stay in the same apartment till graduation.
About the city
If you choose to study at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, you will live in the capital city of Bulgaria. Sofia is the biggest city in Bulgaria – this allows you to take part in many events and make friends with many foreigners! Sofia is very rich in diversity – there are numerous international restaurants which allow you to try various dishes. One of the most beloved spots for foodies is the “Arab street” – there you can find delicious halal food and also spices from abroad!
Finding a part-time job as a foreigner in Sofia is also possible. Many international companies look for employees who possess various language skills. Working part-time means working 20 hours a week, so students should have good time management skills to balance study, work and social life.
Sofia is very rich in history – if your family or friends from abroad come for a visit, make sure to take them around the city centre and the main sightseeing places! The National Palace of Culture, the Sofia History Museum, the National Art Gallery and the Ivan Vazov National theatre are a must-visit!
Bulgarian nature is also amazing – you can see Vitosha mountain from every corner of Sofia and you can reach it within 30 minutes by car! Two of the most famous parks in Sofia are Yuzhen (South) park and Borisova gradina where locals like to bike, have a picnic with friends or even go for a boat ride at Ariana lake. Lastly, numerous gyms around town can help maintain a healthy lifestyle while studying abroad.
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