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Scholarships in Bulgaria for International Students

Scholarships in Bulgaria for International Students
Alpina ChariMar 14, 2024

Bulgaria is quickly becoming a hub for international students seeking quality education at an affordable cost. In recent years, Bulgaria has seen a significant influx of international students. Approximately 1,000 foreign students enroll in Bulgarian institutions annually, a number that continues to grow. They are drawn by not only the competitive tuition fees but also the country’s competitive educational standards and minimal entry requirements. With tuition fees relatively lower than in many Western European countries, Bulgaria presents a viable option for higher education. However, despite the lower costs, financing studies can still pose a challenge for many. While part-time work is an option, scholarships in Bulgaria for international students offer a more stable solution to manage educational expenses.

From government-sponsored programs to university-funded opportunities, these scholarships provide a range of financial support, allowing students to focus on their studies without the added pressure of managing finances. However, there aren’t many scholarships available due to the country only recently gaining popularity as a study destination. Despite this, the limited number of scholarship programs that exist are highly effective in supporting students pursuing their education. These programs often target specific fields or academic excellence, providing valuable opportunities for those who qualify. Students can benefit from these scholarships to further their studies and contribute to their personal and professional growth in Bulgaria’s evolving educational landscape. This article explores some of the most prominent scholarships available in Bulgaria for international students. 

Types of Scholarships in Bulgaria 

Government Scholarships: These scholarships are typically funded by the Ministry of Education or other governmental agencies. They are designed to support the nation’s educational objectives, such as fostering talent in critical fields, promoting cultural exchange, and supporting economic development through education. Government scholarships may cover tuition, living expenses, and sometimes travel costs. They are often awarded based on academic achievement, though some may also consider financial need or specific talents.

Private Scholarships: Private scholarships are diverse in their sources and purposes. They may be provided by corporations looking to invest in future talent, non-profit organizations aiming to support certain causes, or foundations dedicated to advancing education in specific fields. These scholarships can be highly competitive and may target niche areas, supporting students who might not be eligible for more general scholarships.

University-Specific Scholarships: Universities offer these scholarships to attract talented students, enhance their diversity, and support individuals who can contribute significantly to the campus community. They can be merit-based, recognizing academic, artistic, or athletic excellence, or need-based, helping students who might otherwise be unable to afford higher education. Some universities also offer scholarships to promote study in particular disciplines or research areas.

Each scholarship type comes with its own application requirements and deadlines. It’s crucial for applicants to carefully review these details and prepare their applications accordingly. Additionally, while some scholarships provide full funding, others may only cover part of the educational expenses, so understanding the extent of each scholarship’s coverage is important for financial planning.

Suggested Reading: Bulgaria Study Visa: Process and Requirements

Top Scholarships in Bulgaria for International Students 

Bulgarian Government Scholarship

The Bulgarian government scholarship program is a significant initiative by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, aimed at promoting academic excellence and fostering international education. Historically, Bulgaria has been committed to providing educational opportunities to both local and international students, and this scholarship program is a testament to that commitment. The purpose of the program is to attract talented students from around the world, support their academic pursuits, and encourage cultural exchange. Annually, the program administers a substantial number of scholarships, with recent years seeing around 1000 foreign students enrolling in Bulgarian institutions. The organization responsible for conducting the scholarship program is the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, which collaborates with various public higher education institutions across the country to offer these scholarships.


  • Academic achievement and performance.
  • Extracurricular involvement.
  • Financial need.
  • Citizenship or permanent residency in Bulgaria for certain scholarships.
  • Proficiency in the Bulgarian language for programs taught in Bulgarian.


  • Exemption from tuition fees.
  • Free specialized language training before the start of professional education.
  • Accommodation provisions.
  • Monthly living expenses allowance.
  • Opportunity to study in a country with a strong education system and affordable living.

Eastern European Study Abroad Scholarships 

The Eastern European Study Abroad Scholarship program in Bulgaria offers opportunities for international students to study in Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria. This scholarship program aims to support deserving students by providing full or partial tuition coverage, grants for research projects, and financial assistance for academic expenses. The program has been designed to cater to the educational needs of international students interested in studying in Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria being one of the participating countries. The scholarships are administered annually, offering financial support to a significant number of students who demonstrate academic excellence or face financial challenges. The program is organized by institutions that collaborate to facilitate study opportunities for international students in Bulgaria.


  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for summer programs.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for year-long programs.
  • Financial need-based award requiring a minimum cumulative grade point average.
  • Merit-based award requiring a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher.


  • Full or partial tuition coverage.
  • Grants for research projects.
  • Financial assistance towards academic costs.
  • Additional living stipends for selected students.
  • Opportunities to compete for additional funding by sharing scholarship experiences on the EESA blog.

OppU Achievers Scholarship

The OppU Achievers Scholarship program, founded in 2016, celebrates achievement in various forms and honors individuals who create opportunities for themselves and others. This scholarship initiative provides 2,500 USD for current or future education costs and awards a total of 10,000 USD annually to students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement. The scholarship selections are made four times a year, with deadlines on September 30, December 31, March 31, and June 30. The program is open to students enrolled full-time in high school or at least part-time in college, graduate, professional, or trade school, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0. Scholarships are based solely on the applicant’s essay response.


  • Enrollment full-time in high school or part-time in college, graduate, professional, or trade school.
  • Possession of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.


  • 2,500 USD scholarship amount for current or future education costs.
  • Awards totaling 10,000 USD annually to outstanding achievers.
  • Four selection cycles per year with submission deadlines.

University Specific Scholarships 

American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) Scholarships:

  • AUBG Distinguished Scholarship: This prestigious award is granted to students with outstanding academic merit. Recipients of this scholarship receive full tuition coverage, enabling them to pursue their studies without financial constraints.
  • AUBG Academic Scholarship: Aimed at academically strong students, this scholarship provides partial tuition relief, making higher education more accessible to those who have shown promise through their academic achievements.

USIT Colors International Scholarship: This scholarship offers partial funding to international and domestic students in bachelor’s and undergraduate programs. It’s designed to assist students from diverse backgrounds in achieving their educational goals.

Varna Free University Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded annually to students who exhibit exceptional academic potential, creativity, or skills in sports and the arts. The university recognizes and supports these talents by providing full tuition coverage and additional living stipends, helping students focus on their studies and personal development.

Suggested Reading: International Students’ Guide to Cost of Living in Bulgaria

Tips for Applying for Scholarships in Bulgaria 

  • Meet the application deadlines: Ensure you submit your application before the deadline to avoid disqualification
  • .Understand the selection criteria: Familiarize yourself with the scholarship’s specific selection criteria and provide relevant examples to demonstrate how you meet them
  • .Tailor your application: Adjust your content to suit the specific scholarship requirements, whether it’s academic, needs-based, or related to a specific course.
  • Showcase your achievements: Highlight your notable accomplishments, leadership abilities, and problem-solving skills with relevant examples
  • Personalize your statement: Make your application stand out by sharing personal stories and experiences that align with the scholarship’s goals.
  • Proofread your application: Ensure your statement is free of grammatical and spelling errors, and have someone else review it for suggestions
  • Be concise and clear: Keep your written statement concise, using no more than 1,000 words, and make it easy to read by using the selection criteria as headings
  • Research the donor: Learn about the scholarship’s donor and tie their information into your application to show you’ve done your homework
  • Make it personal but relevant: Include personal information that is relevant to the scholarship category you’re applying for, such as your background or interests
  • Consider your competition: Highlight what sets you apart and why you deserve the scholarship more than your peers.

Suggested Reading: Admission and Eligibility for Medical Studies in Bulgaria


In conclusion, while Bulgaria may not boast a vast array of scholarships for international students, the ones available are distinguished by their exceptional quality and substantial quantity. These scholarships, often covering full or partial tuition fees and living expenses, are highly competitive, necessitating meticulous and persuasive applications. If your efforts to secure a Bulgarian scholarship are unsuccessful, it is important to consider alternative destinations, as numerous countries offer a plethora of scholarships. A proactive approach, exploring all available avenues, is essential in the quest for finding a balance between high-quality education and compelling financial aid programs, ensuring that students are well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that align with their academic goals and aspirations. For more information about scholarships and other related aspects of studying in Bulgaria or other countries, feel free to contact our team of experts at Gyanberry. Book your free video call appointment now!

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Eligibility criteria vary depending on the scholarship program. Generally, students must demonstrate academic excellence, meet language proficiency requirements, and sometimes show financial need.

Scholarships in Bulgaria often cover tuition fees and accommodation, and sometimes provide a monthly stipend for living expenses. However, coverage may vary depending on the specific scholarship.

Students can typically apply directly to the scholarship provider or through the university they plan to attend. Application procedures usually involve submitting academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Additionally, some scholarships may require specific entrance exams or interviews.

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