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Cost of Study and Living in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is an economical living and study destination. The cost of study, accommodation, transportation, and other necessary things is low. International pupils come to Bulgaria for its low cost of study and living. Read on to know about the transportation, student accommodation, working conditions, student living expenses and tuition fees in Bulgaria:

Tuition Fees

The cost of study in Bulgaria is low as compared to other EU countries. The cost of study varies depending on the level of study-undergraduate or graduate, type of higher education institution and specialty. Generally you can expect to pay between 2,500 EUR to 8,000 EUR per year.

Tuition fees for EU pupils:
EU pupils can study in international language, such as Germany, English or French, or in Bulgarian. European pupils have two alternatives in terms of financing their higher education in Bulgaria:
  • Alternative 1: They can apply and study as a citizen of Bulgaria, i.e. study in Bulgarian language
  • Alternative 2: They can apply and study as non-EU nationals as a self-paid pupil. In this case full tuition fee must be paid by the student. 
Tuition fee for non-EU pupils:
Non-EU pupils can study in Bulgaria only as a self-paid student. Students are required to pay the full tuition fee before applying for Bulgarian visa and the remaining portion at the commencement of the 2nd semester. 

Approximate tuition fees in the Republic of Bulgaria:
  • Fees for pharmacy, medicine and dentistry: Approx.  5500 to 8000 EUR
  • For technical study: €2200 to 3500 approx
  • For economical study: € 2200 to 4000 approx
  • For language course: € 1,500 to 4,000 approx per year
To know the exact fees, contact the respective higher education institution in Bulgaria.

Student Living Expenses

The student living expenses in Bulgaria is low. The cost of living in Bulgaria varies depending on the lifestyle. You can expect to pay about €17,000 per year, inclusive of food, accommodation, transportation and other utilities. 

Student Accommodation

Following student accommodation options are available in Bulgaria:

Student hostel: In Bulgaria, many higher education institutions provide student hostels on first come, first served basis! Pupils after taking admission in the higher education institution can apply for hostel. The student hostel rent varies depending on the higher education institution, facilities and number of students sharing. You can expect to pay between €35 to 70 per month. 

Rent a flat: International students can also rennet a flat in Bulgaria. It is easily available. Many private flats are available near the institution. Students can share the flat as this will reduce the living expenses. Students can expect to pay the rent between €150 to 300 per month.

Non-EU pupils are required to sign a contract with the landlord. This document is crucial in order to get the visa for Bulgaria. Students staying in university accommodation are issued this document automatically by the respective higher education institution. 

Public Transportation

Travelling in and around Bulgaria is easy. The public transport system in Bulgaria is well-developed. Within Bulgaria, there are many ways to get around the country. The price is low as compared to other EU countries. 

Getting Around by Train

In Bulgaria, train services are offered by the Bulgarian State Railways Company – BDZ (In Bulgarian: Български държавни железници - БДЖ). The regional train services in Bulgaria is managed by Desiro, which is modular train operated by Bulgarian State Railways Company.

Trains Types

  • International trains (In Bulgarian: международен влак): These trains connect Bulgaria with different countries.
  • Express trains (In Bulgarian: експресен влак): These are the high-speed interstate trains.
  • Fast trains (In Bulgarian: бърз влак): These are interstate trains that offer services that are low priced.
  • Ordinary passenger trains (In Bulgarian: пътнически влак): These trains are the cheapest and the slowest.
To know about the train schedule, international routes, ticket agencies, and trains, visit the official website of the Bulgarian State Railways Company, or BDZ.

Discount cards/railway pass: Discount cards are available for students, children, families, senior citizens and disabled people on all train tickets. This card is valid for 1 year.

Getting Around by Underground System

The underground service- Metro is available in Sofia. It is the fastest and comfortable means of transport in the Sofia.  Tickets for the underground service can be taken at the entry of the metro stations.  To know about the metro stations and timings, visit the official website of the Sofia Underground System.

Services for Disabled Passengers: In Bulgaria, there are express trains available for disabled people. Services are available in the following Bulgarian express trains
  • Sunny beach: Sofia – Plovdiv – Burgas,
  • Golden sands: Sofia – Gorna Oriahovitsa – Varna
  • Seagull: Sofia – Karlovo – Burgas

Travelling In and Around by Bus and Coaches

Buses, trolley buses and trams are easily available in Bulgaria. Fares vary depending on the destination to reach and your current location. 

There are many coaches and buses running in and around Bulgaria connecting small towns and big cities. They are comfortable and cheap. 

To know the bus schedule, click here.

The bus stations in Bulgaria are as follows: 
By Minibus: In Bulgaria, there are public and private minibuses available connecting smaller villages and urban centres. The Tickets for the bus can be purchased from the driver. Destination is mentioned on the front window. 
Minibus is Sofia is known as marshroutki. These operate between the suburbs and the city centres. The minibuses are cheap. 

By Trolleybuses: The trolleybuses take power from overhead cables and run in many city centres of Bulgaria. 

International Coaches: International coaches are available in Bulgaria.  The central bus station (In Bulgarian: централна автогара) is the starting point for domestic and international journeys. Coach travel companies in Bulgaria
  •  Etap Group: It offers international and national coach services.
  • Biomet offers international and domestic services.

Getting Around by Taxi

Taxis in Bulgaria are yellow in colour and have metered system. The taxis in Bulgaria are cheap. The fare varies depending on the taxi rate per km and distance.

Travelling to and Around Bulgaria by Air and Sea

By Air 

Bulgaria consists of some of the main airports, such as Bourgas airport, Sofia , Varna  and Plovdiv airports. The major international airport in Bulgaria is Sofia airport and Bulgarian Air is the national airline. The major budget airlines that offer flights to the Republic of Bulgaria are as follows:

By Ferries

Some of the Bulgarian ports offer ferry services. Some of the ferry routes are:
  • Svishtov, Bulgaria to Zimnicea in Romania
  • Russe  in Bulgaria to Giurgiu in Romania
  • Vidin port in Bulgaria to Kalafat in Romania
  • Oryahovo in Bulgaria to Beket in Romania
Ferry service from Varna to the Ukraine and Russia are also available. To know the ferries schedule, click here

To know more about the transportation system in Bulgaria, visit the official website of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

Working While Studying in Bulgaria

Students are allowed to work while studying. International students can work up to 20 hours a week, and during holidays they can work full-time. Research pupils are limited to 6 weeks of full-time work in a year. Students who hold bachelor or master degree can apply for job in Bulgaria. Pupils studying medicine in Bulgarian universities are allowed to do their internship across EU and other countries. 

Health Care

The National Health Insurance Fund provides healthcare in Bulgaria. All the residents in Bulgaria are required to get a national health insurance card, that is to be shown to the doctor at every visit. 

Compulsory Health Insurance

The National Health Insurance Fund  (In Bulgarian: Национална здравноосигурителна каса, or NHIF) in coordination with its regional health insurance funds manages the mandatory health insurance. People who possess compulsory health insurance cover are given emergency care in Bulgaria. 

Eligibility Conditions
  • EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are eligible for the national health insurance fund. 
  • Non-EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are also eligible if they country has signed international treaties in the social security field with Bulgaria.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card allows holders to receive medical care when travelling outside of their residence. This card allows to get the treatment at same price as a citizen of that country. The EHIC card is valid for state hospitals and services only.  The EHIC card allows the Bulgarian citizens to get emergency healthcare when they are in abroad temporarily. 

Applying Ways and Means for an EHIC in Bulgaria
Individuals can apply for the EHIC through the local regional health insurance fund branch of the national health insurance fund. Fill in an application and submit it to the RHIF. Application is made through the local Regional Health Insurance Fund (RHIF). Application forms can be downloaded from the official website of the NHIF.

Emergency Numbers

Universal emergency number in Bulgaria is 112

For ambulance: Dial 150

For fire: Dial 160

For police: Dial 166
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