A mountainous country of seven million people, Bulgaria boasts a rich archaeological and artistic heritage, with many well-preserved artifacts and sites from various periods in its history (Thracian, Greek, Roman, Medieval Bulgarian kingdoms, Byzantine, Ottoman, Soviet, post-Soviet). The country is traditionally Orthodox Christian, but has a sizable Muslim minority. Bulgaria is also known for its vibrant folklore, especially its unique folk singing and dancing traditions. A traditionally agricultural country, Bulgaria produces a number of unique wine sorts (gamza, mavrud). Since 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although it remains the poorest country in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration, demographic crises, corruption and rule-of-law, Bulgaria has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable.
The academic year for most Bulgarian universities begins around October 1 and consists of fall and spring semesters, ending in June. The academic year covers up to 30 weeks. Classes usually meet once a week for 75 minutes or for two 45-minute periods with a 15-minute break in between. Education is highly valued in Bulgaria and a relatively large share of the population has completed secondary or higher education.
The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission offers an in-country orientation and a cultural program for its Fulbright scholars. For additional information, please visit the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission's website or contact Program Officer Rada Kaneva at 359-2-9808212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.