Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Greetings from Sofia

Hello! I live in the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. My stepmother is Bulgarian and she has been getting me acknowledged with Bulgarian culture and traditions, so to improve the language skills and general knowledge of Bulgaria. I have many friends and relatives here, caring about me. I never feel lonely, yet sometimes I want to be alone, as there is always someone next to me. They care about me too much, and are afraid, that something may happen, as it is not safe to be alone on the streets of Sofia at night.
When it comes to my local school – National Academy of Music ”Pancho Vladigerov”, it reminds me of the Soviet Union, in a way. They have very strict teachers, each specialising on one specific musical instrument. Students have no right to speak their own opinions out loud and have to be absolutely quiet when teachers speak to the class. It seems that every student is always afraid to speak out or to do something wrong. I had such fear as well, so I did my best during my violin practice, in order to master it to a desired level.
I was treated the same way as native students; I was not an exception. Apparently, it is because I am Russian and come from the Slavic origin, just like Bulgarians. Perhaps, it was also because of how well I spoke Bulgarian; even looked like one. Meanwhile, I had friends from another parts of Europe attending the very same class, who were treated more kindly than us.
When it comes to my spare time in Bulgaria, I used it well, travelling around the country as much as I could afford. I had been to many places including: Kavarna, Varna, Dobrich, Burgas, Selistra, Blagoevgrad, Pernik, Mezdra, Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Haskovo, Starazagora and Banke. They all were, in their own charming way, special to me. And yet, I spent the most of my time in Sofia with one Bulgarian family, who are close friends of mine.
One of my favourite places to spend time was at the mountains. Out there, I enjoyed speaking to God, as it is such a peaceful and quiet place for a prayer.

When it comes to educational difference between Bulgaria and Finland, it seems harder to study in Bulgaria, as you have less freedom of choice when it comes to what to do and how to do, strictly following your professor’s orders. For example, during the aural training, teachers are the ones who pick individual singers, and you have to obey at once, if you are the one who is chosen, with no right to express your opinion or decline. In Finland, you may choose, whether you sing in a group or by yourself. However, in my point of view, Bulgarian students are more developed than Finnish, due to such strict orders and discipline.
I like it to be here, even though it is difficult. I have a great deal of old and new friends here. Everything is great! 

Greetings from Bulgaria

I’m doing my exchange in Dobrich, Bulgaria. I arrived here at the end of January with my best friend Julia. When we applied for the exchange we thought that we would be living in Varna by the Black Sea, but at some point we realized that all the BBA degrees are done in a smaller city Dobrich, about 40km from Varna. So at first it was a little bit of a shock when we arrived, because I had pictured a warm and sunny city near the sea, but when we came the weather was quite the same as in Finland (of course I had checked the weather forecast but the cold wind made it worse, and I didn’t realize it would still be snowing here). In addition Dobrich isn’t one of the most beautiful cities I have been in, and it’s quite small. But luckily Dobrich isn’t as bad as my first impression. All the people here are very warm and helpful. We are living at a dormitory where most of the students live, so we have made friends with both exchange and regular students. There are many dormitory parties, and every single week it’s someone’s birthday. Luckily the snow melted away very quickly, and for example today it has been +22 degrees.

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I spend my spare time mostly with Julia and our friends from the dormitory. Usually at the week we take tan and go to the gym, and at the weekends we have parties. Usually once a week we go to Varna for a day (better restaurants, shopping malls and of course the Black Sea). We have also made a weekend trip to Burgas and last weekend we spent in Bucharest, Romania. After three weeks we are going to the capital city Sofia for a few days, and from Sofia we go to Greece. Can’t wait to spend my birthday in Athens! And in addition to the warm weather one of the best things in Bulgaria is that everything is so cheap compared to Finland. Here we have money to do things we don’t usually do in Finland, such as eating out in restaurants every weekend.

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Studying here in Bulgaria is very different than in Finland. Varna University of Management is a private University and all the students at VUMK study in English. Here we have only one subject for the whole day which is quite boring, but at the other hand we usually have days off at the week. The courses aren’t that hard either, because I’m a third year student but we have also some first and second year’s classes. The university is also much more relaxed than the universities in Finland, you can for example order a beer with your lunch. I have definitely enjoyed. Of course I miss home, family, friends and the basics –rye bread, liquorice and sauna- in Finland, but I’m so happy to be here and to spend the next two months traveling and exploring new things here in Bulgaria.

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-Elina

Greetings From Dobrich, Bulgaria !

varna 14-17.2.2017 190For the past two months I have been living in beautiful Bulgaria. I am living in Dobrich, which is located 40 kilometers from Varna. If you do not know where Varna is, just google Golden Sands and I am sure you know what I am talking about. Here in Dobrich lives 100 000 people so compared to other cities it’s quite small, but I love it! All locals are so warm-hearted and always ready to help.

varna 14-17.2.2017 065So, I am studying at Varna University of Management but here in Dobrich. Every day the school starts at 9.45 and ends at 15.00.  Most of the people are studying Hospitality Management and there’s only ¨few¨ of us who’s studying business. What it comes to my studies, at the moment, I am studying branding, organizational behavior and IT. One course, employability, already ended. We are having lectures twice in a week and we only have one subject in one day.

vaihto 032I am sharing my exchange experience with my best friend Elina, so we are spending our spare time usually together. Mostly we are just chilling with the other Erasmus students but also with the full-time students. We both love traveling so we have been traveling as much as possible. So far we have been in Varna, Burgas and Bukarest. After two weeks we are also going to Sofia, which is Bulgaria’s capital and from there we are flying to Athens. There’s also some great gyms, which costs only 15 euros per month, so we have been exercising too. Of course, we are having some awesome parties every weekend with all the students! Alcohol in here is WAY much cheaper than in Finland, so if you like to party, Bulgaria is definitely a right place for you !

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Studying in here is more theoretical than in Finland but of course we are still discussing about the main topics. Some teachers even give us some ¨wrong¨ information about some topics. For example the teacher taught as that the marketing manager is making the budget for the company. We were just laughing J it’s also nice that in TAMK we are having many subjects in one day so you do not have time to get bored because in here we are only having one subject in a day. So, at the times it’s a bit boring. Technology in our school is also a bit old at least if you compare it to TAMK. But still I have nothing bad to say about the education system in here.  Everything is great and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to make a part of my studies here in beautiful Bulgaria!

xx Julia

Cheap, Cheaper Bulgaria!

I´m enjoying my time here. Even though the city where I`m staying is quite small, there is still much to see. At first it was a bit shock for me to realize I would be living in so small city where is nothing to do. Or that´s what I first thought. The fact is you just have to go and wonder around the city and you will see all the amazing places this city has to offer. And if you get bored with one city just travel to another. Traveling and actually everything here is really cheap compared to Finnish prices.

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Four Horse Men -statue, Veliko Tarnovo

Here is this one saying;” In Veliko Tarnovo there is only two ways to go. One is up and the other is down.” After spending two weeks here I realized why they have this saying. There is really few places where you don´t have to go up the stairs or a hill (of course the way back it is downhill).

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St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Studying here has been interesting experience. None of the stuff working in the University speaks English and from the professors only few speak English. So figuring out all the classes and courses has been a big challenge and slow process. But luckily I have awesome mentors here, who help me every time I have problems with something.

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Weather is finally getting better. Sun is shining and the degrees are around 20. Locals call it spring, I call it summer.

Greetings from sunny Bulgaria!

-Enni

Experiences is what this is all about!

I arrived to foggy and grey Varna almost 6 weeks ago. First impressions were just what I expected; poor, gloomy and everything seemed difficult. When I arrived to the dormitory in Dobrich, I didn’t get the room I asked right away so I had to live in a shared room for the first week. Actually it was fine because I got to know couple of other exchange students because of that. Most of the exchange students had already been here for the autumn semester as well.

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I had a couple of days to spend in Dobrich before the school started. I tried to make some friends, rested and walked around the city. Weather was colder than what I expected because of the wind. When school started I realised that there’s plenty of Ukrainian students and most of the students are younger than me, even 17 or 18 years old! Classes didn’t seem too hard because I’m a third year student and most of my classes are for second year students.

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After spending a couple of weeks or so in a grey Dobrich, we got some snow. I didn’t really miss that at all.. It was -10 degrees but it felt like -20 because of the wind. Luckily the snow melted quickly and every now and then we get to enjoy the sun and +14 degrees!

On my free time I’ve mostly just been in my room watching series from my computer, writing a blog and talking with my parents and boyfriend in Skype. I’ve also spent some time in a nice park in the center of Dobrich, went to some parties and one Saturday we spent in Varna with other girls.

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Week ago we spent three days in Bucharest, Romania with Spanish and Turkish girls. We got there by bus from Varna. The ride took something like 4 hours and didn’t cost much. We spent one out of three days in Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle) and Brasov and two days in Bucharest. City was really nice and people helpful. We’re planning of going to Turkey and maybe to Greece as well, when the weather gets warmer. Before coming back to Finland, I also want to travel in Bulgaria. I want to visit Sofia, Bourgas, Veliko Tarnovo and maybe Plovdiv also.

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It still seems amazing how inexpensive everything is here! I’ve been eating out a lot, which is something I don’t do in Finland that often. I also went to the movies once and the movie ticket cost only 3 euros. I’m starting to get used of being here and also starting to feel homesick. I miss some things from Finland, especially my boyfriend, gigs and some foodstuff.

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Before coming here, I decided that I try to make best out of this, even though I might feel lonely and the idea of coming here might feel stupid sometimes. That is why I want to travel as much as possible and try new things. I’m also thinking about getting my first tattoo here, let’s see if I have enough courage to do that!