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Study Medicine in English at Trakia University Stara Zagora (Medical School)

  • Guaranteed entry
  • No entrance examination
  • Tuition fees £5,500 (€7,000) per annum
  • Entry in October
  • GMC Accredited - no PLAB test required (not affected by BREXIT)
  • Low cost of living, approximately £5,100 (€6,893) a year

Trakia University is situated in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. It was officially re-established in 1995 (37th Nat. Assembly decision) by merging two longstanding Universities, the Veterinary College of Agriculture and Zoology and the Technical College of Yambol, each nearly 100 and 90 years old, subsequently assimilating the local Medical College, and it has quickly evolved into a most important hub of global academic stature. Besides its campus and University Hospital in Stara Zagora, Trakia University has affiliated faculties and colleges in Sliven and Yambol, and a Professors’ continuous-training unit in Haskovo, in total comprising over 6,500 students, nearly 600 highly qualified teachers and annually inviting about 60 international guest lecturers. It offers over 60 Bachelor and Master’s Majors and 50 doctoral procedures, having awarded more than 12,000 qualification certificates and postgraduate studies among its 440 research projects (28 in Life-long learning programmes, 22 Ministry-funded programmes, and 390 in-house research projects). Academic programmes focus on scientific, social, natural and technical subjects, with degrees awarded in Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Pedagogics, Engineering, Informatics and Economics. Among these, the University has gained international acclaim for its English-taught Medical and Veterinary Faculties, owing to the merged long traditions of its assimilated local Colleges, and due to the numerous internationally acclaimed scientists and scholars it attracts, having produced graduates who are successful medical experts. Finally, with regard to student training and practical or paid experience via specialization or research opportunities, the University offers in-house Hospital Training in Experimental or Clinical research, has agreements with regional Veterinary and Medical centers, secondary education schools and social welfare institutions or NGOs, besides offering corporate co-op programmes and internships, as well as certified seminars and workshop training through international scientific projects. It is recognized as a top internationally accredited Eastern European University, consistently rated “very good” by the international accreditation system. As a member of the EU University Association (EUAU) and the International Association of Universities (IAU), it has harmonized curricula and standards to European Educational Guidelines, including ECTS grading and Credit Systems. The University is partly state-subsidized and participates in the national student loan financing programme (rendering tuition very low), but is administratively autonomous.

Post re-inauguration, ultra-modern premises replaced older buildings on the peppered with linden trees campus to include ultra-comfortable double or single room dormitories with independent shower-WCs and new student restaurants and cafes. Moreover, its massive, brand-new library boasts over 300,000 volumes of specialized literature, offering digital access to all major scientific periodicals and book exchange programmes via agreements in 35 countries and 108 Universities. Across campus there are four strategically located computer labs and halls offering access to a unified electronic wireless system. Together with the University Hospital, the Medical Departments comprise 20 research labs and 16 diagnostic clinics equipped with state of the art facilities. Finally, the campus includes exceptional gym facilities and a modern sports complex for strength training, cycling, volleyball, basketball, football, horse riding and martial arts, while University Clubs include numerous cultural programmes, the Social Work group, Actions Reforrrestation, Students & Children, and the Festivals and Charity Clubs.

+Study Programme

Medicine is an entirely English-taught programme, lasting 6 years. Courses typically span 10 semesters of academic training. The usual academic track in Bulgaria is structured so that the first 2 years focus on pre-clinical study and theory, the next 3 years for the most part focus on clinical study and, finally, the programme is brought to completion with an internship year of medical rotations (310 days) before graduation. With regard to the curriculum and laboratory work, as well as research assignments, it is important to note that national standards are aligned to European Union requirements. Moreover, during the internship year, students are required to take state exams for licensing. There are also summer practical internships that are obligatory for students in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of studies. Having fulfilled the requirements of the academic programme, as well as the year-long internship and having passed the state exams, students receive the professional qualification of Physician or Doctor of Medicine (MD), and are awarded a Master's Degree with full privileges worldwide. The Degree and license are recognized in all EU member states and abroad. In turn, many graduates opt to continue in Bulgaria with their specialization, while some return to their home country or go to another country to seek residence for their practice. At present, graduates of Bulgarian universities who practice medicine internationally number in the thousands.

+Fees - Costs
Programme Programme Starts Annual Fees (£)
Medicine October 5,500
Living Costs Monthly (£) Annually (£)
Rent (private accommodation) 161-219 1,927-2,628
Food 183 1,825
Books - 292
Electricity & Gas 37 355
Water 7 73
TV Cable / Internet 15 175
Public Transportation 15 146
Total 416-475 4,803-5,504

There is no entrance examination and applicants have to submit the below documents:

  1. Application form including brief biographical data, educational history and the courses for which they are applying
  2. Diploma (a copy) of completed secondary education with an academic transcript stating the disciplines studied
  3. Document issued by relevant authorities, certifying the right to continue education in higher schools and universities in the country of origin of the secondary school attended by the applicant
  4. Health certificate issued not earlier than one month prior to application and verified in the county from which the candidate is applying
  5. Two 4/5 cm photographs

The diploma, academic transcript and health certificate must be translated into Bulgarian and legalized according to official state directives.


Stara Zagora is a major Bulgarian city, as it has a significant geographic location and powerful economy despite its small population, due to the industries located in its suburbs. The city proper has a population of about 150,000 and the city cluster comprises about 220,000 people. It is situated in the south of the country and is the administrative capital of the Stara Zagora Province, also named after the city.

Thanks to its geographic location, Stara Zagora enjoys a mild climate, as it is fringed by relatively low mountains and hills to enjoy protection from the northern winds and is close enough to the sea to contribute to a relatively warmer winter compared to other parts of Bulgaria. It is nicknamed “the city of the linden trees”, as it is peppered with these tall deciduous trees, some as tall as 130 feet, which make autumn a feast of colours for the eyes. One needs to drive only for about an hour to get to the Black sea. And about two and a half hours to the south is Thessaloniki, in Greece. Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, is about  the same distance to the west. The calm river Bedechka runs just outside the city.

The city’s history begins in prehistory, with more than 100 prehistoric sites dating from the 6th to the 3rd millennium BC in the vicinity, some of which are the largest in the country, while another major prehistoric site is right in the city centre, and certain prehistoric dwellings are preserved in the Neolithic Museum. The area was a copper mining site in antiquity, and was called Beroe (meaning dedicated to the god), but also a major area for hunting stag. As the name indicates, the ancient Thracian-Greek inhabitants likely worshipped Dionysus Zagreus, an ancient chthonic deity of hunting connected with orphism.

Later, the Roman emperor Trajan conquered the city and the surrounding area, and made it the second largest city in the Roman province of Thrace after Philipoupolis (present-day Plovdiv), and renamed it Augusta Traiana. Due to this historical period, there are significant archaeological findings in the form of magnificent city fortifications, bronze coins and roman baths. During the Middle Ages, between the 4th and 9th centuries, the region was assimilated into the Byzantine Empire, and it was once again called by its Greek name “Beroe”, and it thrived as a cultural and economic centre. Subsequently, the city shortly became part of the First Bulgarian Empire and was called Vereya or Beroya, before it was recaptured by the Byzantines both of whom alternately vied for the city, until the Ottomans conquered the latter in 1453. During the Byzantine period, the famous Lionness With a Cub bas-relief was created, and became the emblem of Stara Zagora until today. In the mid 14th century, the city was captured by the Ottomans who renamed it to Eski Zagra (old fortress of Zagora). After the Turkish rule, the name was changed to Zheleznik before it became Stara Zagora after the tragic war of liberation when 48,000 Turks massacred and pillaged the city, razing it to the ground. Due to this event, the city was rebuilt anew with its excellent road grid and wide streets and massive public squares and plazas.

Some of the major attractions include the Roman Amphitheater, the Roman Baths, The Arch of Trajan, The Post Office of Stara Zagora and the Zname monument on the hills overlooking the city, besides the numerous prehistoric sites and the Thracian Tomb Mound. It also has numerous churches and a mosque, an Opera house, as well as several museums and art galleries. The city also has a strong football club and the local team “Beroe”, which plays at Beroe Stadium.


The Republic of Bulgaria is located in the Southeast of Europe and has a population in the vicinity of 7,500,000. At the precipice of the Balkan Peninsula, fringed by Greece to the south and Turkey to the east, and with Romania to the north, Serbia and FYROM to the west, it has been rendered an economic hub, it being the case it shores the Black sea. Small though it may seem, particularly due to its geopolitical locus as it is not landlocked, it has been rendered a strong industrial and agricultural market economy. Its capital, Sofia enjoys a thriving economy with a population nearing 1,500,000 people. The official language of the country is Bulgarian, whereas the official religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The population consists mainly of Bulgarians (85%). Additionally, there is a Turkish minority (8%), as well as a Roma minority (5%).

One of the earliest tribes to colonize the territory, with a preference to the area near the south border with Greece was the Thracians. The first Bulgarian tribes arrived at the region during the 7th century AD. Subsequently, the first Bulgarian Empire spanned the late 7th and early 11th century, succeeded by the second Bulgarian Empire, dating from the late 12th to the mid 14th century, during which Bulgaria saw unprecedented affluence and prosperity, making it an historical crossroad for various civilizations. Yet in 1393, Bulgaria fell under Ottoman rule for almost five hundred years, until 1878, which signifies the incipience of what is known as the Third Bulgarian State. During WWII, Bulgaria was on the side of the Axis; however it refused to participate in the Operation Barbarossa plan. In turn, from 1946 to 1990, Bulgaria was under Communist influence. Today, the country has a system of Parliamentary Democracy, and a free market economy, and is known as “The Republic of Bulgaria”, culminating in its accedence in the EU economic community.

Bulgaria has a long history spanning nearly 2,400 years evinced upon innumerable monuments, statues, churches and chantries. Many a Bulgarian city, Sofia and Plovdiv in particular, are renowned for their cultural and historical significance. After the fall of the communist regime, efforts to modernize the country’s economy and educational system have paid off, evident in the blossoming architecture and booming economic activity. This has led to the significant development of the Bulgarian Universities, some of which are counted within the best of Eastern Europe. Better yet, life in Bulgaria is particularly cheap by comparison to other EU member states, making it an extremely popular destination for students from all over the world.

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