Time has passed very quickly. It is easy to see now when my exchange is coming to an end. I came to Dobrich, Bulgaria in the end of january and before may turns to june i’ll be back in Tampere, Finland. I studied for Business Administration in Varna University of Management and campus is located in Dobrich that is about 60km from Varna.
Studying style in VUM is close to one that we have in TAMK. All courses begin with few lectures and after that we started to do group projects independently. Some courses had a group assignment and a test but in most cases the group assignment was a priority and gave highest points of mark. My courses included studies of entrepreneurship and project management, organizational behaviour and marketing communications. Organizational behaviour gave me the most of them.
I made a couple of short trips away from Bulgaria during this semester but most of my time i spent in Dobrich and in Varna so i’ll tell you of these places and spice the story with couple pictures from beautiful countryside of Dolina and seaside of Baltsik.
When i came here it was the end of january and everything was a bit weird. Neighbourhood buildings were ready to be demolished and temperature was about +16 celsius. Environment was so different what i have used to. Fortunately it all changed quickly. Not that those buildings would had been repaired but temperature dropped to minus degrees so i did not bring my winter jacket for nothing. During winter Bulgaria is surprisingly snowy, during the worst parts it was snowing for three days and all our classes were cancelled for those days, what a pity.
After the snowy and wet part of year which lasted for one and a half month it turned out to be much better. For last two months it has been more than 20 degrees and mostly sunny every day with one exeption as today 8th of may it has been raining all the time. That is more than a great thing for a Finn who can’t even imagine a one week of such a pleasant temperatures.
When you decide to come to Bulgaria remember that there differences in communication, especially time is here relatively different. In Finland timetables are accurate till the end of time but in here timetables are to give guidance and assumptions. Fortunately nothing serious happened but couple of times i had to change my plans because as a tourist i lacked of a better information to local habits.
Bulgaria is cheap as a country so you don’t need lot of savings to have some good time here. Another thing from Bulgaria on top of my mind is that this place is a land of endless fields which continues to horizon. It is crazy how vast these fields are in countryside. Perfect place to travel around with awesome company.
It is easy to recommend you to visit Varna. I am sure you will have good time there as it is beautiful and close to the size of Tampere. When i missed Finland i did a trip to Varna to relieve stress. My campus was in Dobrich which is quite a quiet place to spent for a long time. There are not much of different activities so mostly i let out the steam by exercising. How ever from Varna you can find places to relax like a huge park, lots of shopping possibilities, tens of museums and historical places like Roman baths and this awesome swimming pool is right next to sea. You can swim in the sea too.
Another awesome place to visit is portrait beautiful small town called Baltsik. Pictures above are from Baltsik and there is an awesome botanical garden and great view to sea. There is also less impressive palace which is in the picture. It is more like a tourist trap but like said the botanical garden is very beautiful as is the town itself. As a bonus there was an extremely friendly street dog which companied me and my girlfriend for a long time as we walked around the town.
Talking of abandoned cats and dogs…there is plenty in Bulgaria. You can find them wandering in every town. Funny though that all of them are relaxed, minding their own business and people treat them well, many are even giving them foor more or less regularly.
During this period of about 4 months i have been living in dead town in an apartment of less than 50m2 with five people. I share a 10m2 room with another person and sometimes construction guys cut off running water from the whole town for a day. However i couldn’t be luckier as i got this awesome young French gentleman – Jeremy – to keep me company for these months. It was not always easy to stay away from Finland because girlfriend and all other friends are there but i am very happy that i made great friends here too. It made this experience unique and memorable.
Merci and tsao tsao!