U.S. Schools - Incoming Students

International Student Exchange Program

AUBG is a member of ISEP, the world's largest network of post-secondary institutions cooperating to provide affordable international educational experiences for a diverse student population. 

If you would like to participate in the ISEP, please contact your university's  administration to find out the next steps you need to take.

In addition, we currently have exchange agreements for a semester or a year with the University of Maine, Orono, Maine and the State University of New York, Fredonia, New York. If you are enrolled at either one of these schools, please contact the university administration for more details.

At AUBG, for more information on how you can apply, please contact Erasmus and Study Abroad office at (+359 73) 888 531, Email: mhandzhiyska@aubg.edu

Academic catalog

The academic catalog is prepared on the basis of the best information available at the time of publication. It includes the description of each course, academic policies and procedures and other important information for your semester at AUBG.

You may find all versions of the catalog at: www.aubg.edu/academic-catalog.


Housing is provided for all incoming exchange/study abroad students at the Skaptopara Residence Hall campus. A place in the dorms will be automatically booked for you after you submit your  Online Application Form for Incoming Exchange  Students. For further questions please contact the Residence Life and Housing office at  reslife@aubg.edu. Additional information is available on AUBG web page at www.aubg.edu/students-residential-life. You also may visit the following link:  www.aubg.edu/first-year-students  to help in your transition from home to community living.

AUBG is a selective residential institution and all undergraduate students are required to live on campus as part of the University mission.

Note: The check-in in the Residence Halls is on August 30, 2020, from 8.00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

No accommodation is available before this date.

Application process

In order to apply please follow these steps:

1. Navigate to  https://apply.aubg.edu/register/exchange_students_application.

2. Please read below the Application form Instructions on how to complete the form:

  • Note: Please use English alphabet letters only.
  • In the “Academic Info” type the exact name of your home university and the exact application type.
  • In the “Required documents” attach – Copy of the international passport.
  • Fill in the form, review and submit it.
Additional information

Emergency number

For any kind of emergency please dial 112               

Laundry service

Token operated laundry machines are currently available in the basement of Skaptopara I and II residence halls that contain washing and drying machines

University ID card

When you come to AUBG you will receive a University Identification Card, which doubles as a key to all of our buildings. In order for us to prepare this ID card for you, please email us a suitable photo in JPG format with the minimum size of 400x600 pixels.

Arrival and Transportation

1. If you are traveling by plane 

The airplane lands at Sofia Airport, which is around 100 km from Blagoevgrad.  You can easily get from Sofia to Blagoevgrad by bus. The buses for Blagoevgrad leave from the Central Bus Station/ Central Railway Station.  From Sofia Airport you can get to the Central Bus Station by public transportation. The price of a single ticket in Sofia public transportation is 1.60 BG leva.  We do not recommend you using a taxi from Sofia Airport (they are very expensive and there is a risk of cheating).

  • By Subway:
  1. From Terminal 2 take the metro line 1 to “Serdika” stop (the red line) –Click here for the trains’ schedule.
  2. From Terminal 1 - Sofia Airport provides free-of-charge transportation services between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at every 30 minutes between 07:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (it can be requested at the Information Desk or at telephone: (+359 2) 937 22 11/12/13). The stop locations of the shuttle bus in front of both terminals are designated by signage and pavement markings. 
  3. From "Serdika" stop to the Central Bus Station/Central Railway Station take metro line 2 (the blue line).
  • By Bus:
  1. From Terminal 1 take the bus 84 to hotel “Pliska” stop.
  2. From Terminal 2 take the bus 384 or 84 to hotel “Pliska” stop.
  3. From hotel "Pliska" stop to the Central Bus Station / Central Railway Station take one of the following buses: 213, 214, 305, 313.

The Central Bus Station has different sectors for the different destinations. Busses for Blagoevgrad leave from sector 26 around every exact hour starting from the morning until 7.00 pm. You may see the timetable at http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg/ (in Bulgarian the name of our town is Благоевград).  The price of a single one-way ticket is 11 BG leva ( 1 Euro = 1.95583 BG leva).

Tickets can be bought from the respective counters located in the bus station hall or directly from the bus driver. 

The trip from Sofia to Blagoevgrad takes around 2 hours by bus.  In Blagoevgrad, the bus will stop at the Bus Station in Blagoevgrad.  From the bus station, you can take a taxi to the AUBG Campus, the price will be around 1 Euro – 2 BG leva (for the entire ride).  Please tell or show the driver the following address:


Another option is to send you a taxi to pick you up from the airport.  It will cost around 45 Euro.  If you would like to request a taxi for you, please send an email to the AUBG Transportation Office to atsvetkova@aubg.edu  with the following information: date and time of your arrival; number of your flight and on which Terminal you are arriving; number of people travelling. As soon as they receive your request they will check if there is another student arriving at the same time so that you can share the taxi and of course the charge for it. Then you will receive further information regarding the price of transportation and ways of payment. This is the easiest and the most comfortable way to arrive in Blagoevgrad.

2. If you are going to travel by bus or train to Sofia: 

Central Bus Station, “Serdika” Bus Station and the Central Railway Station are located in the same area very close to each other. International buses arrive at the Central Bus Station or at the “Serdika” Bus Station, which is quite close, located on the Traffic Market square right in front of the Central Rail Station.  If your bus arrives at the Central Bus Station, from there you can directly catch the bus for Blagoevgrad. Follow the instructions described above. If your bus arrives at the “Serdika” Bus Station, or you were traveling by train first you have to walk to the Central Bus Station from where to catch the bus for Blagoevgrad. Follow the instructions described above.

Course Schedule

AUBG course schedule and additional course information for
Fall semester 2020 is expected to be available in the middle of April 2020.  It will be communicated with you via email. 

The schedule will also be posted  here.

Dining services

Our Restaurant “The Hungry Griffin” offers a salad & a sandwich bar, a pasta bar, pizza on demand, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, desserts, and beverages. The Restaurant is located in the ABF Student Center, 3rd floor and is open daily, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

AUBG’s two cafés offer coffee, drinks, pastries, and light snacks. The Student Center Café is located on the ground floor; open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 10 p.m. The Skaptopara Residence Hall Café, located on the ground floor, is open daily, 7:30 a.m. till 2 a.m.

Health-care services

For general health-care, including non-emergency injuries and illness, the University Health Center is available and is staffed by a licensed general practitioner and a nurse who provide the University community with routine physical exams and treatments for various medical problems, health education on smoking cessation, stress relief, first aid, women’s health, and drug and alcohol abuse. When necessary, students are referred to specialists or other health care facilities.

The Health Center is located in the Skaptopara I Residence Hall and is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. For urgent issues, please call the Health Center at: (+359 73) 888 207

Off- Campus Health Services

Students, EU citizens could use the European Health Insurance Card which gives free access to the emergency services only. In case of an emergency, please dial “112” for an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room.

Important dates 

Orientation week starts on the 31st of August 2019 and is mandatory. Each student should be present at AUBG for the first day of classes.

Our Residence Halls are open 24 hours before Orientation begins and close 24 hours after the last exam.

Check the Academic Calendar for Fall 2020 here.

Orientation week

All incoming students participate in a week-long orientation program. During this time students receive information on academic advising and course selection, health care, campus activities, Erasmus+ program at AUBG, athletics, counseling services, residence life, library services, diversity awareness and many others. They complete a computer skills course, and complete a community service project.

Social events throughout the week provide opportunities to meet other students, Residence Assistants, Faculty, and Student Services personnel.

The Orientation week is compulsory for all incoming U.S. students.

Sport services

The Sports and Intramurals Office oversees a variety of sports facilities on campus, including the ABF Sports Hall, GYM, and the outdoor tennis courts, the basketball court, the volleyball court, and the football pitch. The Sports Hall is an outstanding venue, housed in the award-winning ABF building, is fully equipped for a variety of sports - football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, tennis and handball, and is open for students to train individually or in groups. It’s made even more unique by the one-of-a-kind running track which circles around the gym on the second floor. A workout gym, situated on the basement floor of ABF Student Center offers a variety of cardio equipment, training machines and free weights to those who love to stay in shape and is open from 10.00 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, from 12.00 until 8.00 p.m. on Saturday, from 2.00 p.m. until 10.00 p.m. on Sunday during the school year.

In true American university style, our students also play American football and baseball. Nearby is a swimming pool and tennis courts, while the ski resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets are within a few hours’ drive. Yoga, tae kwon do, softball, karate, skiing, hiking, aerobics, boxing and kickboxing are among the sports practiced by AUBGers. For some of these we even have student clubs and intramural teams.

Visa Information

As an exchange international student accepted for study at the American University in Bulgaria, you must have a long-term student visa, type D. To get this visa, you need to apply at the Bulgarian embassy in the country of your permanent residence not earlier than 3 months before the travelling date and not later than one month before that date. Because the visa process is slow and time-consuming, you must allow time for it. Our experience shows that you should allow at least 30 working days for the Bulgarian Embassy to issue the visa. Please keep in mind that you should apply for a visa no later than June 15 if you have been accepted for the fall semester and no later than November 1 if you have been accepted for the spring semester.

Here’s an outline of the process:

1. Send a scanned copy of the front page of your international passport to the International Student Services Office. The page should include your full name and your date and place of birth. Important: The expiration date of your passport must be at least 18 months after the date on which you apply for a visa.

2. AUBG will issue: enrollment certificate, housing letter, health insurance letter certifying that you will have insurance upon arrival, and a letter that you are exempt from visa fees and background check (according to an Agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the US Government).

3. All documents issued by AUBG will be express mailed to you. Please give an exact mailing address and a telephone number. This should be a street address, not a post office box. Note that mailing expenses will be charged to your student bill.

4. Finally, you must submit the following documents required for a long-term visa to the Bulgarian embassy in your country:

  • One completed visa application forms – you may download the form from the following  website: https://www.aubg.edu/international-student-services-forms-and-resources
  • Enrollment certificate from AUBG – provided by AUBG;
  • Housing letter – provided by AUBG;
  • Health insurance letter certifying that the student will have insurance upon arrival - provided by AUBG;
  • Document proving that you will be able to cover your living expenses – valid bank account with 4000 BGN or the equivalent in USD;
  • Valid passport;
  • 2 copies of the information pages of your passport;
  • 2 current passport photos (European sized – 3.5x4.5cm).

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK WITH THE BULGARIAN EMBASSY, AT WHICH YOU WILL APPLY IF THESE ARE ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS as visa procedures are subject to change. You may find useful information about the Bulgarian Embassies in the USA on: https://www.mfa.bg/en/

Make sure that you submit original documents and two copies to the Bulgarian Embassy.

5. When the visa is ready, go to the Bulgarian embassy to pick it up. Make sure you carry your passport with you. Please notify the International Student Services Office that you have received your visa.

6. You may travel to Bulgaria after the visa is entered in your passport. Please do not buy a nonrefundable ticket until you receive your visa.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at pavlinap@aubg.edu if these procedures are unclear.

What to Bring

...to help you in your transition from home to community living  

(All items may be purchased in Blagoevgrad-do not bring a year's supply!)  

  • Personal belongings (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.) 
  • Towels/Linens ( a Blanket and a Pillow are provided) 
  • Robe, Pajamas, Slippers (bedrooms are not co-ed, but residence halls are) 
  • Clothing for school, fun, athletics, and dressing up! 
  • Sport clothing/swimming suit for stress relief 
  • Camera (for those unforgettable moments)
  • Calculator (for that math class...and figuring out your personal budget) 
  • Posters/Pictures/Room Decorations (no nails or tape on walls, but you can be creative!) 
  • A flashlight. 
  • Something to remind you of home (photos, a favorite item...) 
  • Dictionaries, Thesaurus and a fun book to relax with. 
  • Cup/Glass, bowl, knife, fork, spoon (for late night treats). 
  • Alarm Clock (that works!) 
  • Coat hangers 
  • Rain gear/Umbrella 
  • A willingness to learn and to make a difference 
  • A sense of humor and sense of adventure for the new life ahead. 

Things NOT to bring...and the reasons why...  

  • Pets are not allowed in the Residence Halls.They violate standards of health and sanitation and many people are allergic to them. 
  • Electrical Appliances-heaters, cooking appliances such as hot plates, heaters, are dangerous and a violation of the law.The rooms are not designed for cooking or extensive electricity use. 
  • Flammable items of any type including incense and candles...Please help us create a fire safe environment. 
  • Expensive items such as jewelry, etc. We do our best to secure our buildings, but sometimes thefts happen. No insurance policy is provided and any items such as your computer are brought at your own risk.   
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