On the western banks of the Black Sea sits the Republic of Bulgaria, bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. This Balkan nation has successfully transformed from a Communist member of the Soviet’s Eastern Bloc into a thriving, independent democracy with a market-based economy and membership in NATO and the European Union. The terrain is varied and includes two major plains, two mountain ranges and over 540 rivers. The national government works to preserve the biodiversity there with protected national parks and various conservation projects. The climate is equally diverse—northern Bulgaria can reach temperatures of -38 C (-36 F), while the southern plains can be as hot as 45 C (113 F), with ample precipitation in all regions and snowfall particularly heavy in the mountains.

Bulgaria offers three types of post-secondary education. Specialized schools train students in a specific area, such as arts, science, defense and sports. Colleges offer basic courses in variety of studies and are generally a subset of the university. Students who would like to study business in Bulgaria should apply to a university, as this is generally the only institution that confers an internationally recognized degree.

The academic year is an average of 32 weeks long and is divided into two semesters. The first begins in the fall around September and the second around the start of the new year, but the exact dates vary depending on the institution. Many students take time off during their university’s summer break, which is two to three months long, but some universities offer courses for students who wish to continue their studies over the summer.

The cost of a university education varies widely in Bulgaria. Public schools are the most economical choice. Private schools tend to be more expensive and can cost nearly twice as much, but are considered more prestigious and may offer a higher quality of education. International students generally pay higher tuition than residents, but both are eligible for grants and scholarships.

The progression of degrees in Bulgaria is similar to that of much of the rest of the world. An undergraduate degree in business generally requires four years of study. A master’s degree can be earned in one to three years, and a PhD in an additional two years.

Bulgaria is a nation with a rich history and cultural heritage, beautiful natural surroundings and a welcoming citizenry. There is a strong focus on education and an interest in attracting foreign students. The majority of the academic programs are recognized and accredited internationally. Students who study business in Bulgaria enjoy affordable tuition and high quality programs.