- 1 Welcome Note
- 2 Overview
- 3 Our health care system
- 4 The hospitals
- 5 Our medical education
- 6 Cultural differences
- 7 Accommodation & Boarding
- 8 Social program
- 9 Bulgarian cuisine
- 10 Local & National transportation
- 11 Weather
- 12 Social life
- 13 Exchange conditions
- 14 Feedback
- 15 Cities offered for exchange
Dear IFMSA friends, for AMSB SCOPE and SCORE take one of the most important part of the student's life. That's why we welcome all of you for exchange programs and strongly support the idea to work together in all the medical fields possible. We are also happy to meet new friends all over the world and therefor we are lucky to organize a great social program for our incomigs. Looking forward to meeting as many as possible of IFMSA exchangers!
A picturesque small country called Bulgaria has existed for more than 13 centuries in Europe, linking East and West. Bulgaria remembers ancient civilisations and great people that wrote its turbulent history. Situated in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria occupies the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.
Our health care system
Before the structural reforms of the 1990s the organizational arrangement of health care, decision-making and funding were centralized. The reforms led to the reorganization and decentralization of the main functions, whereby the Ministry of Health and its 28 decentralized regional health care centres develop and implement comprehensive national health policy and National Health Programmes. Following the transition to democracy, Bulgarian health care switched to a system of payroll contributions, establishing a semi-autonomous National Health Insurance Fund to raise revenue, allocate resources and govern Health systems in transition Bulgaria providers. The Fund’s operational activities have been decentralized to the regional level and delegated to the 28 regional health insurance funds. Privatization is another important feature of the Bulgarian health system. The Health Care Establishments Act outlined procedures for the privatization of both state and municipality medical establishments. Private practice was legalized in 1991 and has since expanded significantly, and in 1992 ownership of most health care facilities was devolved to locally elected municipalities.
The Ministry of Health funds university hospitals, specialized health institutions at national and regional levels, the public health system, National Health Programmes, medical research and international cooperation in health care. Municipalities raise their own revenue for health care and receive additional resources from the central Government.
Our exchange students are placed in university hospitals and tutors are bulgarian professors and doctors.
Bulgaria is one of the countries where patients are not accustomed to paying a third party and prefer to pay their doctors or hospitals directly.
Our medical education
Duration of course: six years(12 semesters) including Internship;
Degree: MD physician;
Semester start: Second week of September;
Selection: before the first year
Shaking hands it is the most common way to say hello. A funny detail about Bulgarians is that we nod to say no and shake to say yes.
On March 1st Bulgarians celebrate Baba Marta Day (Grandma March Day). Martenitzi are red and white yarn decorations worn by Bulgarians until they see the first sign of spring, such as a stork or blossoms on a tree; after seeing a sign of spring martenitzi are tied to a tree.
The Bulgarian culture and the Bulgarian cultural heritage do not need references to enter the European or world union of spirituality and thought. Their roots are in the cradle of the European civilization. There are more than 200 archaeological sites of culture, 30 of which are of national importance. As for the remaining mobile monuments of culture, kept in the five Plovdiv museums - Archeologically, Ethnographic, Historical, Nature and City Art Gallery - they are more than 30 000 pieces. Speaking of Plovdiv we must mention such world famous sites such as the Ancient Theatre (2nd Century BC), the Roman Stadium (2nd Century BC also), the magnificent colour mosaics of the Roman villas.
Accommodation & Boarding
Incoming students usually are accommodated in student's dormitories - two or three beds in a room, WC and bathroom in every room. You will be placed in the dormitory of the medical university. You will have all your colleagues around you. There is 24 hours security guard. Parking space available. Shops, laundry, fast food, canteen are nearby.
Boarding depends on the city - student's or hospital's cafeteria or pocket money for lunch.
Every local commettee organize a social program for its incoming students. Best social program is in July and August. We present it on Internet and organize it in advance. All our contact persons take part. Our guests are travelling around Bulgaria and visiting great places.
Travelling in Bulgaria you can visit tourist places such as:
the historical capitals of Bulgaria: Veliko Tarnovo and Pliska;
the cities with Rennaissance architecture: Koprivshtitza, Trjavna, Gabrovo, Plovdiv;
the famous monasteries “Rila” and “Bachkovo”.
The capital of the country is Sofia, which lies in a mountainous basin in the west, near the geographic centre of the entire Balkan region.
The Bulgarian Belogradchik Rocks took the lead in D category – caves, rocks and valleys, in the chart for the new 7 world wonders, outstripping the recent favorite in that category – the Devil’s Town in Serbia.
Local & National transportation
There are international airports in Sofia,Varna and Bourgas. Your contact person will wait for you at the airport at the time you arrive.
If you are coming by bus, your CP will be at the central bus stations in all our university cities.
There are public transports(buses, trolleybuses, trams) and it's easy to use them.
Bulgaria overall has a temperate climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The barrier effect of the Balkan Mountains has some influence on climate throughout the country - northern Bulgaria experiences lower temperatures and receives more rain than the southern lowlands.
Precipitation in Bulgaria averages about 630 millimetres (24.8 in) per year. In the lowlands rainfall varies between 500 and 800 mm (19.7 and 31.5 in), and in the mountain areas between 1,000 and 2,500 mm (39.4 and 98.4 in) of rain falls per year. Drier areas include Dobrudja and the northern coastal strip, while the higher parts of the Rila, Pirin, Rhodope Mountains, Stara Planina, Osogovska Mountain and Vitosha receive the highest levels of precipitation.
Bulgaria is a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 5.8 million tourists, measured as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Germany - account for 40% of visitors. The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences. Winter tourist centres, such as Borovetz, Bansko, Pamporovo and Vitosha are picturesque and popular ski resorts. The Bulgarian summer resorts along the Black Sea coast, include destinations, such as the summer resorts: Sozopol, Nessebur, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena and Saints Constantine and Helena. Some guests, such as the Germans, Russians or Scandinavians favour the summer beach resorts, while winter tourism, and the ski resorts, are the favorites of the British. Bulgaria is popular with its night and disco clubs attracting tourist in the sea resorts and also in the capital Sofia (to which Vitosha mountain is near). Tourist activities, such as "ethno-tourism" and "architectural-cultural" tourism, are gaining ground, catering to specialized tastes. These are new types of tours, which involve interaction with and living amongst the local people, in mountain villages.
For the more adventurous, active recreation, involving mountain hiking and bike tourism, provides a close connection with nature. Climbers scale the granite mountains of Rila, Pirin and the Balkan. Hikers enjoy the mountains of Vitosha and the Rhodopes. Mountain biking, and bicycle racing are also recreations, and Bulgaria is one of only six countries to annually host the official 1,200 km Randonnees - ultra-marathon bicycle rides patterned after Paris–Brest–Paris.
To participate on a clinical exchange in Bulgaria, you must be a medical student in the clinical years. This means, you must have already studied some clinical subjects - third year or higher.
You are accepting students in departments according to the city. For Sofia - Anesthesiology and intensive care, Dermatology, Surgery, Internal medicine, Medical genetics, Obstetrics and gynecology, Ophtalmology, Pediatrics, other disciplines on special agreement; For Plovdiv - Endocrinology, Hematology(only July), Internal medicine(only July), Nephrology, Neurology, Rare diseases, Pediatrics, Surgery; For Varna - Obstetrics and gynecology, Internal medicine, Surgery; For Stara Zagora - Internal medicine, Surgery, Orthopedics;
Please check the Periods & Towns section in our official Exchange Conditions, to see which cities are available during which months.
To fulfill our conditions for obtaining the SCOPE Certificate, you need to be in the hospital from Monday to Friday, 5 hours per day and have at least 80% attendance.
We do need following documents.
1.e-AF sent before the MM
3.copy of language certificate
4.copy of health Insurance
All documents should be in PDF (portable document format) and on one CD, given to NEO during MM (March Meeting) or sent by e-mail.
Every student is responsible for getting his/her own visa.
Please check visa requirements on the Ministry of foreign affairs .
If you do have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact our SCOPE team any time; e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org