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Fiscal year:


Program period:

October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014



During FY 2014 the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange continued to serve the goals of the Fulbright program as defined in the 1961 Fulbright-Hays Act and the 2003 agreement between the US Government and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria. Its diverse activities were planned and carried out according to the 2014 program plan and the program priorities defined by ECA and FSB. In addition, they were influenced by some special events and developments, viz. the

celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Bulgarian Fulbright

Commission, budget cuts and challenges, as well as various domestic and regional factors that also impacted the Fulbright fiscal and academic year under review. Below is the list of our major goals and objectives:

1. Promote academic exchanges in all fields.

2. Extend outreach to Bulgarian universities, high schools and other educational and research institutions to provide a higher quality, a greater number, and diversity of applicants.

3. Further popularize the Fulbright program in Bulgaria in the context of increasing competition from European universities by strengthening EducationUSA and broadening the use of Internet resources and social networks.

4. Increase the number of Bulgarian candidates by promoting diversity through program outreach to underserved areas and social groups, attracting students in STEM areas, offering non-degree opportunities to doctoral students, young researchers and NGO officers.

5. Disseminate information about the Fulbright opportunity in Bulgaria at US universities and educational institutions so as to attract more and better quality of US applicants in all categories.

6. Involve more actively Fulbright alumni in the promotion of the Fulbright program in Bulgaria and the US.

7. Assist Bulgarian and US universities to develop institutional partnerships and linkages.

8. Promote the Senior Specialist Program among potential candidates from the US and in Bulgarian universities and educational institutions.

9. Increase Fulbright presence in Bulgaria by using the resources of American Corners and US Embassy-supported libraries. Involve ETAs more actively.


11. Maintain cooperation with other donors and identify more fund-raising opportunities.

12. Continue to offer the annual Fulbright International Summer Institute as an effective tool of promoting the Fulbright program and international education. 13. Continue to offer English language training services and paper-based and computer-based testing (TOEFL, GRE, LSAT, CFA, EPSO) at the Commission’s language center in Sofia and the local info-centers, where possible.

14. Participate in international events relating to the Fulbright program and international education.

15. Maintain good communication with ECA, cooperating agencies and educational institutions in the US and Bulgaria, and other Fulbright Commissions to ensure high standards of program administration on the basis of binationalism, peer review and professionalism.

US Grantees in AY 13-14 and AY 14-15

In AY 13-14 the number of US grantees was 38: six lecturers, three graduate students, 27 English teaching assistants, and two senior specialists. The lecturers came from the following fields: law, political science, applied linguistics, computer science, communications/journalism and business administration. They were placed at Sofia University, the Military Academy, the University of Plovdiv, the University of Mining and Geology, and the Higher School of Insurance and Finance in Sofia. The Fulbright specialists were experts in the field of speech pathology (two-week project hosted by the South-West University in Blagoevgrad) and semiotics (two-week project hosted by the New Bulgarian University in Sofia).

Most US senior scholars volunteered to visit and make presentations at other Bulgarian institutions and help their colleagues with ideas and preparation of grant proposals. The lecturer teaching at the Higher School of Insurance and Finance taught an extra course at Sofia University. He was invited as keynote speaker at three conferences on innovation and co-creation platforms. The scholar assigned to the University of Plovdiv organized a one-day conference on social solidarity and preservation of cultural rights in divided communities. The scholar working with the University of Mining and Geology gave a presentation on computer science education in USA and Bulgaria at an International scientific conference held at the University in October. The Fulbright grantee lecturing at the Economics Faculty of Sofia University participated with a paper in a conference organized by the Department of Law and Administration of the University of Silesia in Katovice, Poland.

The final reports of the US lecturers and the evaluations of the partner institutions are overall positive. One scholar expressed disappointment with the insufficient support he had received from his host institution; another complained about housing issues and other minor inconveniences that can be explained by cultural differences, social


and economic factors. The Fulbright Commission staff went out of their way to help the scholars adjust as fast as possible. This however does not guarantee a completely smooth transition to a very different academic and cultural environment.

In AY 2013/2014 the Commission hosted three US graduate students in geography, art & technology, and creative writing. They were placed at New Bulgarian University, the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies and an independent NGO called “D-3 Navigators”. The researchers collaborated with other local and international institutions (e.g. the American Research Center in Sofia, Varna Lab in Varna, the American University in Blagoevgrad). The students gathered abundant material relevant to their projects, attended research conferences, and established networks and useful professional and informal contacts. Along with their academic research, the graduate students engaged in a variety of other projects: they worked with NGOs involved in English language teaching; helped Bulgarian scholars with translation and editing; volunteered as judges for The Bulgarian Forensics League’s Speech and Debate Tournaments, the CORPluS Bulgarian Creative Writing competitions, and taught courses at AUBG’s International Summer Camp. One of the researchers wrote a project proposal for organizing a series of multi-week and weekend application development workshops for young women. The project involved the creation of a platform for intercultural exchange between American and Bulgarian youth. The Commission helped the grantee identify sponsors of the project.

The Commission supported the participation of three students in international events: one attended the Seminar on EU and NATO organized by the Belgian Fulbright Commission and two participated in the Berlin Seminar in Germany.

The students’ reports indicate that they were generally satisfied with the exchange and would like to develop the established contacts and relationships. The problems they encountered boil down to insufficient support from the host institutions. They complain that it took them a long time to identify the right individuals to facilitate their projects. A robust Bulgarian alumni network could be of great help to US Fulbrighters and a guarantee of success of their projects.

The ETA Program was further expanded with the financial support of America for

Bulgaria Foundation. Once again it proved extremely useful for students and hosts alike. The ETAs were placed in the following schools: First English Language High School, Sofia; “Hristo Botev” Foreign Language High School, Kardzhali; “Romain Rolland” Foreign Language High School, Stara Zagora; “Prof. D-r Asen Zlatarov” Foreign Language High School, Haskovo; Foreign Language High School, Pleven; Second English Language High School “Thomas Jefferson”, Sofia; “Geo Milev” Foreign Language High School, Dobrich; 134 “Dimcho Debelyanov” School (Hebrew School), Sofia; “Aprilov” National High School, Gabrovo; “Ekzarh Yossif” Foreign Language School, Razgrad; “Ioan Ekzarh” Foreign Language High School, Vratsa; “Geo Milev”


School, Sliven; “Ivan Vazov” Foreign Language High School, Smolyan; “Geo Milev” English Language School, Burgas; “Aleko Konstantinov” Foreign Language High School, Pravetz; “Yordan Radichkov” Foreign Language High School, Vidin; “Dr. Petar Beron” Foreign Language High School, Kyustendil; “Dr. Peter Beron” Mathematical School, Varna; “Vassil Karagyozov” Foreign Language High School, Yambol; “Petar Bogdan” Foreign English Language High School, Montana; “Dr. Ivan Bogorov” Foreign Language School, Dimitrovgrad; “Simeon Radev” Foreign Language School, Pernik; “Tzar Simeon Veliki” Secondary School, Vidin; “Bertolt Brecht” Foreign Language High School, Pazardzhik; “Exarch Yosif I” Foreign Language High School, Lovech and “Acad. Lyudmil Stoyanov” Foreign Language High School , Blagoevgrad.

The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission organized a cultural and professional orientation for the 2013-14 ETAs during the Fulbright International Summer Institute held in Pravets on August 12-20. A total of 63 participants attended the training: ETAs, mentor-teachers, lecturers and school principals. They discussed aspects of the Bulgarian educational system; classroom culture; EFL teaching methodology; preparation for American standardized tests; grading; school administration etc. The round-table on cultural differences touched on some typical characteristics of the Bulgarian society, the Bulgarian educational system, religion, regional micro-cultures etc.

Throughout the school year the Commission staff maintained regular contacts with the grantees and host institutions. The Executive Director and the program officers visited all ETA schools. They met with the grantees, their mentor teachers and principals, attended ETA classes and inspected the grantees’ apartments provided for free by the schools or municipalities.

In December 2013 and in May 2014, a mid-term and wrap-up seminars were organized for all US Fulbrighters. The grantees showcased their achievements, discussed issues and suggested ways to tackle them. Two guest presentations enhanced the mid-term meeting: one was prepared by REAC Cheryl Francisconi who talked about the mission and services of EducationUSA; the other came from Krassimira Topuzova, mentor-teacher at the Language High School in Blagoevgrad who talked about her experience

in the Educational Leaders’ Training Program at Teachers College Columbia University

in New York.

The wrap-up seminar in May included a round-table for school principals where issues of administration and institutional co-operation were discussed and suggestions were made on how to improve the program and increase the schools’ contribution. There was also a closed meeting of ETAs and Commission staff to share more openly concerns and challenges as well as suggestions for improvement of the program. Based on the ETA feedback from this session, the Fulbright Commission designed new templates for the ETA Assignment Outline (filled out by each school), an ETA Mentor Appraisal form (filled out by each mentor bi-monthly) and an ETA Feedback form (filled out by


by the Fulbright Commission and a Google Drive Fulbright ETA account where all orientation and teaching materials and other information prepared collaboratively by Fulbright staff and ETAs are collected, organized and made available to ETAs. Most ETAs enthusiastically participated in the creation of the online resources.

Two grantees participated in the Fulbright exchange under the Fulbright Specialist program. One of them was expert in speech-language pathology and was hosted by the South-West University in Blagoevgrad. The project included lectures at graduate and undergraduate levels; BA thesis consultations; seminars and workshops; consultation-based research work, and publications. The host institution and the specialist were highly satisfied with the results of the visit and discussed possibilities for further research collaboration and publications.

Another specialist in semiotics was hosted by the New Bulgarian University in

Sofia. He was invited to participate in the 12th World Congress of the International

Association for Semiotic Studies. He led several seminars and gave an open lecture to undergraduate and graduate students. The hosts confirmed that the presence of the specialist was of great importance both for his Bulgarian colleagues in the field of semiotics, and for the University PhD students, who benefited from his seminars and the individual consultations on their research projects.

The program for the AY 13-14 US grantees was implemented successfully and contributed to the promotion of the Fulbright program in Bulgaria.

There are still issues concerning the complicated and time-consuming procedure for obtaining Bulgarian entry visas, although the staff made sure that all grantees received useful information and instructions well in advance. Eventually, all of them obtained visas on time and found appropriate housing. Another issue related to long-stay visa applications is the proof of insurance. The Bulgarian authorities require official confirmation that the insurance amounts to more than thirty thousand euro, and the coverage is not stated on the ASPE insurance cards. The Commission staff

had to request additional letters from the administrator Seven Corners to confirm that

ECA-sponsored insurance is up to $100,000. We will continue to provide the future grantees with timely and updated information, advice and direct help, if necessary.

The AY 14-15 competition resulted in the selection of 40 US grantees. In the senior scholar category, there are five lecturers in occupational therapy, journalism, American studies, theater and storytelling. There are five students in creative writing, history, music, anthropology and economics. Under the ETA Program, 23 students were selected to teach at high schools all over Bulgaria; six ETAs from AY 2013-2014 were approved to teach at their host schools for a second year; one will return to teach for a third consecutive year. Thus, the number of ETAs currently working in Bulgaria


Dimitrovgrad, Kardzhali, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Lovech, Haskovo, Sliven, Ruse, Razgrad, Gabrovo, Smolyan, Varna, Bourgas, Pernik, Dobrich, Pravets, Pazardzhik, Kyustendil, Shumen, and the newly added schools in the towns of Plovdiv, Silistra and Tryavna.

To help the US grantees transition more easily to the new cultural and academic environment, the Commission staff invited them to the annual two-week Fulbright International Summer Institute held in Pravets in August 2014. Fulbright scholars and students were offered an introductory course to Bulgarian language and a wide variety of interdisciplinary courses, workshops, and guest lectures. Due to the increased number of ETAs and the specific professional training they need, the Commission staff designed a special 10-day program focused on teaching EFL at high school level. The ETAs were invited to participate in FISI at their own expense. Three of them attended the Institute and expressed great satisfaction with their experience.

The ETA training on September 1-10, 2014, aimed to prepare the young US teachers for their role in Bulgaria both professionally and culturally. At the core of the program were practical workshops covering a range of topics: lesson planning; classroom management; teaching a multilevel classroom; teaching literature; the Bulgarian grading system; administrative organization and specific documentation in a Bulgarian school; use of technology in and out of the classroom. The workshops were led by ETA mentors and other experienced Bulgarian teachers of English, ETA alumni and returning ETAs. The participants were also introduced to various opportunities for extracurricular activities by presenters from partner organizations. They practiced what they had learnt by presenting mock lessons evaluated by peers, ETA alumni and Fulbright staff. The Fulbright Commission is especially thankful to the Regional English Language Office in Budapest, Hungary, for sending RELO, George Chinnery and the ELFs Kate Mulvey and Daniel Perez. The English language experts prepared the last two days of the program.

Another important part of the ETA training this year were the intensive Bulgarian language classes conducted by two former U.S. Peace Corps Bulgarian language instructors. Their practical approach, use of visual aids and effective teaching methods were very well accepted by the ETAs. Feedback from new and returning ETAs was very positive, indicating that the training had provided essential and useful information, practical ideas, and a wonderful opportunity for the grantees to get to know each other and create their own support network.

Throughout the period under review, the Fulbright Commission staff maintained regular communication with the officers from CIES and IIE Lisa Hendricks, Michelline Grandjean, Carmel Geraghty, Eileen O’Malley and Marla Mazer. We appreciate their efficiency, responsiveness and readiness to solve problems promptly.


U.S. Grantees Accomplishments in AY 13-14

In 2014, Fulbright Specialist and distinguished FISI Professor George Siedel published

a book entitled Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills. The book

is partially based on the “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution” class that Professor Siedel has taught at the Fulbright International Summer Institute since 2002. The Executive Director and staff of the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission receive special thanks in the acknowledgements of the book.

Fulbright scholar Dr. Carol Atkinson published the book she had been working on

during her Fulbright grant. It is entitled Military Soft Power Public Diplomacy through

Military Educational Exchanges. After her grant expired, she came back to Sofia and the Rakovski National Defense Academy twice in 2014. Dr. Atkinson gave a talk on “The Benefits of US and NATO Military Exchange Programs” at an international conference

commemorating the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria’s accession to NATO and presented

a paper at another international conference on defense studies in Bulgaria at the Rakovski National Defense Academy. A chapter written by her and titled “Military

Soft Power in the 21st Century: Military Exchanges and Partner Development” is part

of the recently published book Augmenting Our Influence: Alliance Revitalization and

Partner Development. An article about Dr. Atkinson’s Fulbright in Bulgaria will be published shortly in the journal Defense and Security Analysis.

During her Fulbright grant period in Bulgaria graduate student Minka Stoyanov

published two articles: The Social Cyborg and Open Culture: Shifting Ideologies in Art

and Technology. Also, Minka represented her host institution at the annual EuroDig conference (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) held in Berlin and will be held in Sofia in 2015. The focus of Minka’s Fulbright project was to create a girls’ coding workshop. As a result, youth organizations in Varna are now establishing technology-based outreach programs with a special focus on women.

Along with their teaching assignments, many ETAs started extracurricular clubs to allow for a more informal communication with their students and maximize their impact in the community. Such were the salsa dancing club in Dobrich, the Women club in Varna, the English test preparation clubs in Pleven, Lovech, Blagoevgrad and other towns, the coffee hours in Vidin, the baseball and Frisbee practice in Pravets, the Swahili class in Stara Zagora. Worth special mention is the so called Bulgarian Forensics League, an initiative of six ETAs in 2012, which was enthusiastically supported by most AY 2013-14 ETAs. In 2014, three national speech and debate tournaments were conducted in Sofia, Kardjali and Blagoevgrad. Three Bulgarian students, winners in the US-qualifier Dramatic Duo division and the Original Oratory division, won a trip to Overland Park in Kansas, where they represented Bulgaria at the Speech and Debate Association’s National tournament. In August 2014, the Bulgarian Forensics League


Tournament (BEST) Foundation. After the competitions in Prague and Dubai in 2012 and 2013, ETA Athena Lao’s team won the debates at the Regional Round of the World Scholar’s Cup in Istanbul, which qualified them for the Global Round in Singapore June 24-27, 2014. Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign and a USD 2000 grant from the Fulbright Commission, the team competed successfully in Singapore, while Athena was presented with the “Coach of the Year” award. The World Scholar’s Cup organization was so impressed by Team Bulgaria’s enthusiasm and dedication that they decided to host a Regional Round in Sofia, Bulgaria on November 8-9, 2014.

Bulgarian Grantees in AY 13-14 and AY 14-15

In the academic year 2013-14 a total of 16 Bulgarian grantees worked in the following categories and fields: five scholars in engineering, history, linguistics, theology, and philosophy; one Hubert Humphrey fellow in the sphere of law and human rights; two civil society research scholars in music studies and sociology; 7 graduate students in business administration, architecture, law, journalism, entrepreneurship, and one non-degree doctoral student in finance.

The scholars and the civil society researchers were awarded 3-5 months grants at prestigious US universities, research centers and non-governmental organizations: Stanford University, University of Washington, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Dartmouth College, Western Kentucky University and Center for International Private Enterprise, Washington D.C. All of them have returned to Bulgaria.

The visiting scholars’ final reports express great satisfaction with the Fulbright experience in terms of academic achievement, professional co-operation and cultural interaction. There is a positive trend of Bulgarian Fulbright scholars advertising the program amongst their colleagues, so that academics from the same institution or field apply and receive an award in consecutive years. Apart from the scholars’ satisfaction with the program, this is also a successful strategy for continuing institutional cooperation between the Bulgarian and US scientific communities.

Both recipients of the scholarship for the study of civil society had very productive grant periods. As part of outreach, the scholar in music studies appeared in radio shows where she discussed her Fulbright experience and shared impressions of the music scene in Kentucky and Tennessee. She also performed Bluegrass and country music at national and international concerts, and published a book about popular music.

Of the 8 graduate and non-graduate students, four have returned to Bulgaria and Europe after completing their programs. The others are still studying in the US. Their periodic reports indicate that they are doing well and most probably will complete their degree programs successfully.


We had a very productive co-operation with the IIE Foreign Fulbright Department in the graduate students’ placement process. The strength of the 2013-14 graduate student selection was demonstrated by the significant tuition waivers offered: a total of $ 156 666 for the 5 principal candidates.

The recipient of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, legal advisor to the Ombudsman of the Republic, successfully completed her research program at American University in Washington DC.

The publicity campaign for the AY 2014-2015 competition yielded a total of 74 applications: 54 for graduate study grants, and 20 in the senior scholar and Humphrey Fellowships category. This number remains roughly the same as last year (80) and is relatively high. This can be attributed to the active publicity campaign, enhanced by social media presence, the good outreach of the Commission staff, and the accessibility of the online application platform.

The competitive selection process resulted in the nomination of 5 senior scholars, 6 graduate students, one non-degree PhD researcher, and one recipient of the Research Scholarship for the Study of Civil Society.

Five scholars were selected in the following fields: political science, law, environmental science, agriculture and public policy. 4 scholars will begin their programs in the spring semester of 2015 at University of Maryland-College Park, Iowa State University, Chapman University, Johns Hopkins University - Institute for Applied Economics. One scholar withdrew very late in the process due to personal reasons.

In the student category, 6 students were approved and are currently enrolled in Master’s programs in human rights studies, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, architecture, communications/media and business administration. Our graduate students were admitted to prestigious universities with financial support: Columbia University, Yale University, University of Florida, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and University of Oklahoma, Price Business School.

One six-month non-degree study grant was awarded to a doctoral student working on her Ph.D. thesis in comparative literature with a double placement at New York Public Library and the University of California, Berkeley. During her grant period the student was invited to participate in an international conference in Argentina.

The joint scholarship with Thanks to Scandinavia Institute was awarded for the

eighth consecutive year. The grantee is enrolled in a master’s program in sustainable development at Yale University.


One research scholarship for the study of civil society was awarded for AY 2014-15 to a representative of a NGO focused on human rights and gender issues. His research will be hosted by the University of Hartford, Avon, CT.

Three strong candidates were nominated for the 2014-15 Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program: a specialist in electronic government, a human trafficking expert and a regional development specialist. Unfortunately, no one was selected.

On June 27, 2014, the Fulbright Commission staff conducted a one-day orientation for the departing Bulgarian grantees. Participating in the program were Commission staff members, Bulgarian Fulbright alumni, and US Fulbright grantees.

The grants competition for AY 15-16 was announced in November 2013 with a deadline on May, 2014. The Commission staff publicized the program as extensively and effectively as possible using all available means and media: the Internet, including social media as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the press, the radio and television, posters, outreach, consultations, and press conferences.

As a result, a total of 61 applications were received: 41 for graduate study grants, 17 in the senior scholar category, and 3 for the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship. Although the number of applications was lower compared to last year (74), it remains relatively stable and reflects normal patterns of applicant activity. The recent tendency for more candidates with degrees from European universities to apply was preserved. It reflects the new reality of EU mobility in the sphere of higher education.

The interviewing committees nominated 5 principal and three alternate candidates for graduate study programs in education, art management, technology management, molecular biology, business administration and law; five principals and two alternate candidates for senior scholar grants in plant physiology, computer science, ethnomusicology, economics, political science, and e-medicine; two principal candidates for the Research Scholarship for the Study of Civil Society in regional development and sociology; one principal candidate for the Hubert Humphrey award in public health.

Bulgarian Grantees Accomplishments in AY 13-14

Dr. Stefka Kancheva from the University of Veliko Turnovo and visiting scholar at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, MA, delivered a pre-Christmas open lecture on the “Prophesies about the Savior” based on her Fulbright research. In addition, her work found resonance within the larger Christian Orthodox Community. The Bulgarian magazine “Svet” published an extensive article on the benefits and findings of her Fulbright project.


Gender studies expert Professor Krassimira Daskalova from Sofia University was a Fulbright scholar at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford University, California. There she gave a public lecture and prepared a number of publications, in co-operation with US colleagues, on the role of Bulgarian women in education and law, and gender history in Eastern and Central Europe.

Prof. Dimitar Vatsov, a leading specialist in philosophy at the New Bulgarian University, had a very productive visit at Dartmouth College, NH, resulting in a number of articles in Bulgarian and international journals, interviews, and presentations. Worth special mention are the public talks he gave in the US on “An Apology of Freedom as Power in the First Person” and, upon return to Bulgaria, on “The Subject in the Subjection/ Freedom Trap (Foucalt - Habermas, Butler - Benhabib).

Civil society scholar and musician Lilly Drumeva, who had a joint assignment at Western Kentucky University, KY, and International Bluegrass Music Association, TN, published a book on popular music, including bluegrass, jazz and country music. With

her band Lilly of the West, she also helped organize the first Bluegrass and Country

music festival in Bulgaria Country West Fest.

Todor Raykov, entrepreneurship graduate from Temple University, was elected President of the Graduate Student Entrepreneurship Club. Also, he was a finalist in the university entrepreneurial competition.

Former civil society scholar Daniela Bozhinova recently published a book entitled People Decide: Referenda, Initiatives and Recall.


During the period under review educational advising continued to play a central part in the Commission’s grant-related activities. The expansion of contacts is evidenced by the higher number of individuals and representatives of institutions that have been reached out. In FY 2013, the number of users of the services offered by the Fulbright Commission Advising Center in Sofia was 16,724 whereas in FY 2014 it reached 17,152: individual visits –2286; telephone inquiries 2983; mail, e-mail and fax inquiries – 3858; library users – 1781; attendees at outreach activities – 6244.

Here is a cross-section of educational advising, language training and testing activities in AY 2013-14 according to type of communication and territorial distribution:





























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In FY2014, 17 twelfth-graders, participants in the EducationUSA Program of the Fulbright Advising Center in Bulgaria, were accepted to US universities and colleges with a total scholarship amount of over $ 2 million ($ 547,450 per year x 4 years = $ 2,189,800). Students will be enrolled in the following colleges and universities: Harvard College, MA; Princeton University, NJ; New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD); MIT, MA; Yale College, CT; Yale-NUS College, Singapore; New York University, NY; Middlebury College, VT; Grinnell College, IA; Furman University, SC; Pace University, NY; Eckerd College, FL; Columbia University, NY; Cornell University, NY; AUBG, Bulgaria.

Five of the Fulbright EducationUSA Program participants have been admitted with full scholarships to the following U.S. summer schools:

1. Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institutes: Wake Forest University, NC

2. Columbia University’s Summer Programs for High School Students: Investigations in Theoretical and Experimental Physics, NY

3. Summer Academy at St. John’s College, NM

4. Stevens Institute of Technology Summer Precollege Program, NJ 5. Yale University Summer Session: Politics and Law, CT

Five more participants in the Fulbright EducationUSA Program have been awarded the prestigious ASSIST and YES scholarships to attend a U.S. high school for one or two academic years.

In FY 2014 the Commission continued to expand outreach all across Bulgaria and especially in the underserved regions. Our attention was focused on three target audiences: university students, high school students, and representatives of ethnic minorities. The visible result of this activity is the sizable increase in the number of contacts with institutions and individuals. During October and November 2013 the Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova, the EducationUSA Adviser Snezhana Teneva and other staff members visited 27 high schools hosting ETAs. During the visits Snezhana Teneva gave presentations about educational opportunities in the US to over 420 high school students, including teachers, administrators, and librarians and the ED met with ETAs, school principals and mentor teachers to discuss the progress of the ETA program.

Outreach activities also included meetings of educational adviser Snezhana Teneva with over 640 students at the following universities and American Corners/Shelves: the Technical University of Sofia, the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, The Economics Academy in Svishtov, the American Corner at Sofia City Library, the American Corner at Plovdiv University, the American Shelf at Pleven Regional Library, the American Shelf in Stara Zagora, and Turgovishte.


Over 5000 students and professionals visited the Fulbright stand at the Student

Recruitment Tours at the 2nd English Language School and the Anglo-American School

in Sofia, Education Beyond Borders International Education Fair in Sofia, JobTiger

Career Days at the University of National and World Economy, and the Technical University, and Job Tiger National Career Days in Sofia, Plovdiv, Veliko Turnovo, and Svishtov.

During the period under review the Fulbright advising center in Sofia was visited by representatives of eight US colleges and universities: Wellesley College, MA; Ramapo College, NJ; Emporia State University, KS; Webster University, Vienna; Savannah College of Art and Design, GA; NYUAD, UAE; West Virginia University, VA, and Vanderbilt University, TN. They presented their institutions, the undergraduate application process and the opportunities for international students to a Bulgarian audience of students and parents.

In FY 2014 the Commission received a grant of $ 8000 from ECA/A/S/A to help the activities of the Fulbright EducationUSA Advising Center. As a result, the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission has further broadened its network of contacts all over Bulgaria and has increased the number of high school and university applicants to US colleges and universities. The funds were used for participation in national and international education fairs, adviser’s travel, purchase of books, promotional items and publicity materials.

The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission greatly appreciates the financial support from ECA/A/S/A and is strongly motivated to continue to work for the further improvement of educational advising and the promotion of US education in Bulgaria.

The centerpiece of the Commission’s grant-related activities was again the thirteenth Fulbright International Summer Institute (FISI) which took place at RIU Pravets Resort on August 10-23, 2014. One hundred and five students from Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Germany, Greece, India, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Slovakia, and the USA took part in the Institute. Among the participants were doctoral and postdoctoral students from the Alma Mater Center of Excellence at Sofia University. They attended courses and participated in a research forum. Master’s students from the program in cultural diplomacy and the program in communication, language and literature, both offered at Sofia University, also enrolled in various courses and received credits for the classes they had selected. A special feature of FISI 2014 was a series of lectures delivered by the Ambassadors of Turkey, Palestine, Israel and Indonesia to the Republic of Bulgaria. Twenty-seven BA students from the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business) led by Professor George Siedel attended his course on “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution” and participated in a special program which involved meetings with prominent Bulgarian entrepreneurs and visits to business companies. The new group of American Fulbright scholars and graduate students had the opportunity to


attend an intensive two-week course in Bulgarian language. FISI offered a total of 13 interdisciplinary courses conducted by 14 distinguished professors and experts from prestigious universities and institutions such as Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Massachusetts Boston, Arizona State University, University of Dayton, Sofia University, New Bulgarian University, University of Veliko Turnovo, University of Peshawar, Monmouth College, Communications and Human Resources Development Center and the European Parliament. A visit to the Saeva Dupka Cave and a walking tour of Sofia gave FISI participants a glimpse of the beautiful nature and Bulgaria’s rich cultural heritage. Classical music lovers had the chance to enjoy the opera “Don Giovanni”, symphonic works by Mozart, Rimski-Korsakov and Richard Strauss.

Special recognition and gratitude is due to America for Bulgaria Foundation and Sofia

University for their generous financial support.



1. Dr. Julia Stefanova, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission participated with presentation in the following international events:

• ETA Workshop organized by ECA and IIE, Washington DC, December 2013; • The annual meeting of EAADS (European American Studies Association), The

Hague, April 2014;

• European Executive Directors’ Meeting, Prague, April 2014; • Board meeting of ARCS, Washington DC, May 2014;

• Prince of Asturias Annual Award Presenting Ceremony and meeting with ECA and FSB representatives, Oviedo, Spain, October 2014.

2. Program officer for ETAs Iliana Dimitrova participated in the annual Berlin Seminar, March, 2014.

3. Program officer Maria Kostova participated in the annual NAFSA conference in San Diego, May 2014.

4. EducationUSA adviser Snezhana Teneva participated in the Europe and Eurasia Regional Forum, Tbilisi, Georgia, September, 2014.




Ongoing Economic Crisis

The economic crisis continued to impact negatively the Bulgarian economy and all spheres of socio-political and cultural life, especially education. Unemployment slightly reduced its levels and towards the end of the period under review (September 2014) reached 10.5%; in 2013 the rate of economic growth was +0.9% (compared to +0,6% in 2012); the budget deficit of 0.8% in 2012 increased to 1.5% in 2013. The general standards of living remained low and Bulgaria continues to be the poorest country in the European Union.

To cope with the deficit, in 2011 the Bulgarian government introduced dramatic cuts in the budgets for education and culture. The situation did not change much in 2012, 2013 and 2014 either and the share of education in the GDP remained very low. In the budget for 2014, the share of education slightly increased to 3.8% of the GDP, compared to 3.625% in 2013.

Inadequate funding and lack of long-term policy in education continue to erode the quality of teaching and learning. A great number of university faculty are looking for professional realization abroad or outside the education sector; thousands of school leavers choose to work rather than go to university because of financial constraints; the declining educational standards force the best and the brightest to seek study opportunities at foreign universities; the low birth rate and the high emigration rate are demographic factors that also account for the decreasing number of potential students. Since the state funding of universities is determined on the basis of enrollment figures, Bulgarian universities are engaged in strong competition for students which inevitably leading to lowering of admission criteria and standards.

Educational Opportunities in Europe

European education continues to attract Bulgarian undergraduate and graduate students because of: affordable tuition fees, geographic proximity, inexpensive travel, no visa problems, and prospects for employment after completion of studies. Between 30,000 and 80,000 is the number of the Bulgarian students abroad according to unofficial data by the Association of Private Universities. The most popular destinations for Bulgarian students are: Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and France.

European colleges and universities continue to aggressively advertise their programs through periodic educational fairs, visits of their representatives to Bulgarian schools and universities, and extensive information on the Internet.


English Language Proficiency

The level of English language proficiency is still a problem and an increasing financial challenge, especially with regard to the fees for preparatory courses and computerized tests (TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT). The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission is actively involved in the effort to upgrade English language training services by offering preparatory courses in English, SAT, TOEFL, GRE and GMAT at its language center in Sofia and some of its local info-centers, e.g. in Shumen, Sliven and Smolyan. The expanded ETA program contributes significantly to upgrading the level of English language teaching and learning.

Rising Cost of US Education

The tuition in most US universities continues to increase. Financial aid, teaching assistantships and job opportunities on campus are still limited, especially for international students. These factors tend to discourage Bulgarian students from applying to US universities and divert them to Europe. Since 2005 the number of Bulgarians studying at US universities has decreased steadily: in AY 05-06 there were 3,633 students; in AY 06-07 they were 3,478; in AY 07-08 the number dropped to 3,205; in AY 08-09 it was 2,889; in AY 09-10 – 2,450; in AY 10-11 – 1,957; in AY 11-12 – 1,694, and in AY 12-13 they were down 13% from the previous year – 1,473. According to the latest Open Doors data in AY 13-14, the number of Bulgarian students in the US has further dropped to 1,252, which is a 15% decrease from the previous year. By contrast, the number of international students in the US has reached 886,052, which is a 54.8% increase in the past decade. The number of students from Europe studying in the US is 86,885, i.e. 1.2% more than in AY 12-13.

Because of financial restrictions more and more US universities require guarantees of financial support for the second year from the Bulgarian Fulbright students as a condition for admission or partial financial assistance. This is posing a serious challenge to the grant budget of the Fulbright Commission and requires urgent efforts to identify additional resources or else decrease the number of grants.

Fulbright Budget Cuts

In fiscal year 2014, ECA reduced the Commission budget by 3.5% which had been preceded by a 5% cut in FY 2013. During the period under review, the US government planned to cut the global Fulbright budget by 13% (about 30.5M USD) because of change in priorities. Thanks to a world-wide campaign launched by the Austrian Fulbright Commission and supported by thousands of Fulbright alumni and grantees on the SaveFulbright website, the US Congress voted down the government proposition, restoring and even increasing the overall Fulbright budget, although the funds allocated for Europe did not benefit from the increase.


Support from

America for Bulgaria


Over the last six years the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission has established very productive cooperation with the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

• In 2009 the Commission received a three-year grant of $ 120 000 from the Foundation to expand the Fulbright International Summer Institute. As a result, the number of participants has almost doubled.

• In AY 2010-11 the Commission received a grant of $ 100 000 to increase the number of ETAs in Bulgaria. Thus, a total of 10 US students were involved in English language training at language high schools all over Bulgaria.

• In AY 2011-12 the Foundation granted $ 240 000 to the Commission to host 20 ETAs.

• In 2012 the Commission received a new three-year grant of $ 120,000 from America for Bulgaria Foundation for the Fulbright International Summer Institute.

• In AY 2012-13 the Foundation granted $ 279 000 to host a new group of 23 ETAs.

• In AY 2013-14 the Commission received another grant from the Foundation to the amount of $ 366 000 to host a group of 27 ETAs in Sofia, Pernik, Blagoevgrad, Sliven, Burgas, Haskovo, Stara Zagora, Kurdjali, Lovech, Pleven, Rousse, Vidin, Varna, Vratsa, Montana, Dimitrovgrad, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Razgrad, Smolyan, Yambol, Kyustendil, Pazardzhik and Pravets. This grant included funds for an additional staff member to be dedicated to the administration of the program.

• In 2014 America for Bulgaria Foundation extended a three-year grant to the

amount of 1,362,000 USD ($ 454,000 per year) to the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission to host new groups of 30 ETAs in 3 consecutive years: AY 2014-15; AY 2015-16 and AY 2016-17. The annual grant amount of $ 454,000 includes $ 22,000 funding for the administration of the program and $ 27,000 co-financing for the professional and cultural orientation of the ETAs.

Although the administration of the ETA project places more responsibility and effort on the Fulbright staff, we highly appreciate the ABF support because the results of the Fulbright presence at the host schools are more than visible and highly motivating. It is worth noting that largely because of the increased number of ETAs Bulgaria is now on the list of 25 most popular destinations in Europe for US students.


We strongly hope that our relationship with ABF will continue and further expand because it substantially helps the ongoing reform in Bulgarian school and university education.

Support from the US Embassy

This year the Commission received a USD 15,500 (22,378 BGN) grant from the US Embassy as co-sponsorship for the organization of a training workshop for the AY 2014-15 ETAs in Sofia, 01-10 Sept 2014. The new group of 30 English teaching assistants received an intensive professional training and Bulgarian language instruction. The Commission is highly appreciative of the commitment of PAO and Commission Chair Elizabeth Fitzsimmons and CAO Richard Damstra whose support was crucial for the success of the project.

Support from

Thanks to Scandinavia


In FY 2014 the Commission received $ 20 000 from the Thanks to Scandinavia Institute to support one Bulgarian Fulbright graduate student.

We greatly appreciate the assistance of our US partners and hope that our cooperation will continue in spite of financial constraints.




In FY 2014 the total Commission budget amounted to $ 1,352,913, including:

• $ 606,492 funding from ECA/US Department of State;

• $ 140,000 funding from the Bulgarian government;

• $ 454,000 grant from America for Bulgaria Foundation to support 30 English

Teaching Assistants in language schools in Bulgaria;

• $ 40,000 of the three-year grant of $ 120,000 from America for Bulgaria

Foundation to support the Fulbright International Summer Institute (FISI);

• $ 15,500 (22,378 BGN) US Embassy grant for training and cultural orientation of AY2014-15 ETAs;


• $ 20,000 support from the Thanks to Scandinavia Institute for the joint grant to a Bulgarian graduate student established in 2007;

• $ 8,000 EducationUSA advising grant;

• $ 68,000 left-over funds and $ 921 interest earned.

Students at the 13th Fulbright International Summer Institute paid a total of $ 47,500

participation fees; Sofia University provided sponsorship for FISI to the amount of $ 15,300.

In-kind contributions of about $ 71,200 were added to the FY 2014 Fulbright program budget by host Bulgarian high schools and universities for free housing; US lecturers’ salaries; housing, meals and transportation for 2 US senior specialists; free office space and utilities for five regional Fulbright centers, US and Bulgarian visa waivers for Fulbright grantees.

Some of the AY 14-15 Bulgarian students provided personal/family funds and contributed a total of $ 36,000 to the Bulgarian student grant budget.

The administrative costs in FY2014 amounted to 17.39% of the total funding (15.89% in FY13, 15.13% in FY12). The share of administrative and advising costs in FY2014 was 20.66% of the total funding, as against 19.11% in FY2013, 18.27% in FY2012, 19.57% in FY2011, 18.36% in FY2010 and 21.97% in FY2009.

During the period under review, the Fulbright Commission continued to carry out computer-based testing (iBT TOEFL, GRE and EPSO exams), English language training and preparatory courses for TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT and SAT.

As could be expected, the general factors impacting the program in FY2014 affected negatively the Commission’s supplemental activities. Income from testing (TOEFL and GRE) remained low because of the competition from other iBT testing centers in Bulgaria. The financial crisis resulted in a significant drop in the number of corporate clients for English language training.

The administration of the EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office) exam at the computer-testing center for recruiting Bulgarian citizens to work at EU institutions in Brussels continued to be quite successful (see statistics on p. 14).


We do believe in the importance of the Commission’s supplemental activities because:

• they raise the profile of the Fulbright Commission in Bulgaria;

• they help popularize the Fulbright program by offering a complete service cycle: English language training from elementary to advanced level, preparation for all US standardized tests, paper-based and computer-based testing, information and advising on educational opportunities in the US, including the Fulbright and other related programs, the actual Fulbright competition and a good chance to receive a Fulbright award.

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank all members of the Fulbright staff for their professionalism, responsibility and dedication to the Fulbright program. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Fulbright Commission Board for their help, cooperation and commitment to the Fulbright goals. Their contribution of time, support and guidance are crucial for the successful administration of the program.

The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission deeply appreciates ECA’s support for the Fulbright program in Bulgaria, the efficiency and commitment of its officers, especially Scott Righetti, and all our partners and colleagues from CIES and IIE.

Julia Stefanova, Executive Director


November 4, 2013




of the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission

Official Opening: (from left to right) Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova; Deputy Minister of Education and Science Ivan Krastev; U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs and Fulbright Commission Chair Elizabeth Fitzsimmons; Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Vigenin

Bulgaria’s European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva addressing the conference

US Ambassador Marcie B. Ries delivering a greeting address


November 4, 2013




of the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission

The Fulbright Commission staff

A round-table discussion

A round-table discussion


November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

Visits to Foreign Language High Schools

Hosting ETAs

Pleven Haskovo Varna Stara Zagora Haskovo Pravets


November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

Visits to Foreign Language High Schools

Hosting ETAs





November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

Visits to Foreign Language High Schools

Hosting ETAs





Sofia, 134 General Education School


November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

Visits to Foreign Language High Schools

Hosting ETAs





November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

Visits to Foreign Language High Schools

Hosting ETAs

Outreach to American Spaces

Sofia, First English Language School


Stara Zagora




November 11–15, 2013

International Education Week

U.S. University Visits to Bulgaria

Participation in

International and

National Education Fairs

Emporia State University, KS

Webster University, Vienna, Austria

Ramapo College, NJ


December 6, 2013

“One Hundred Days in Bulgaria” Meeting

Official Opening: (from left to right) Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Ste

-fanova; Natalia Miteva, Director, Programs for Education and Libraries at the America for Bul

-garia Foundation, and Cheryl Francisconi, Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC), Southern Europe, EducationUSA

Participants REAC Cheryl Francisconi talking to the group of U.S. grantees


December 6, 2013


March 2014

Cultural Enrichment Activities

for U.S. Fulbright Grantees

Outreach Activities

Informal party at the Fulbright Language Training Center in Sofia to mark the Bulgarian National Holiday, March 3rd

Information sessions on “Study in the U.S.” conducted by EducationUSA Adviser Snezhana Teneva at Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov Foreign Language High School in Haskovo and the Second English Language School in Sofia


May 2014

Wrap-Up Seminar for Fulbright English Teaching

Assistants, AY 2013-2014

Official Opening: Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova

Official Opening: Natalia Miteva, Director, Programs for Education and Libraries at the America for Bulgaria Foundation

Official Opening: Richard Damstra, Attaché for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy and Member of the Fulbright Commission Board

Fulbright ETA mentor teachers and ETA host school principals


May 2014

Wrap-Up Seminar for Fulbright English Teaching

Assistants, AY 2013-2014

Annual NAFSA


and Expo

Alex Cox, Morgan Murphy, Iliana Dimitrova and Jake Turner

U.S. Grantees AY 2013-2014

Irma Kocer, ETA at “Hristo Botev” Foreign Language High School, Kardzhali; Emily Egan, ETA at “Ivan Vazov” Foreign Language High School, Smolyan; Victoria Weiss, ETA at “Dr. Petar Beron” Foreign Language High School, Kyustendil; Tzvetelina Nikolova, ETA at “Bertolt Brecht” Foreign Language High School, Pazardzhik; Athena Lao, ETA at “Acad. Lyudmil Stoyanov” Foreign Language High School, Blagoevgrad

Maria Kostova, Program Officer, Bulgarian

Grantees Program (middle) at NAFSA


June 2014

Young Talent



Orientation for

Bulgarian Fulbright

Grantees in

AY 2014-2015

Final Nominations

for Bulgarian

Fulbright Grantees

in AY 2015-2016

Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova (middle) and the two winners of the “Young Talent” National Competition organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, and supported by the Fulbright Commission

Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova, talking to the new group of Bulgarian Fulbright Grantees

Interview for Bulgarian Fulbright grantees in AY 2014-2015, June 17, 2014

Members of the nomination committee (from left to right): Angela Rodel, Board Member; Dr. Julia Stefanova, Executive


August 2014



Fulbright International Summer Institute,


Official FISI Opening: (from right to left) Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova; Natalia Miteva, Director, Programs for Education and Libraries at the America for Bulgaria Foundation

FISI participants

FISI class


August 2014



Fulbright International Summer Institute,


H.E. Shaul Kamisa Raz, Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Bulgaria H.E. Süleyman Gökçe, Ambassador of

the Republic of Turkey to the Republic of Bulgaria

H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Mathbouh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Republic of Bulgaria H.E. Bunyan Saptomo, Ambassador of the

Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of Bulgaria


August 2014



Fulbright International Summer Institute,


Walking tour of Sofia Golf course at Pravets Golf Club

Farewell party

Awarding certificates to FISI graduates FISI Closing


September 1–10, 2014

Orientation for

Fulbright English Teaching Assistants

U.S. Embassy briefing with Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, Counselor for Public Affairs and Chairperson of The Fulbright Commission Board, and Richard Seipert, Deputy Regional Security Officer

Morgan Murphy, second year ETA at Foreign Language High School, Pleven

Official Opening: (from left to right) Fulbright Commission Executive Director Dr. Julia Stefanova; Natalia Miteva, Director, Programs for Education and Libraries at the America for Bulgaria Foundation

Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, AY 2014-2015

Classroom Management Workshop conducted by ETA alumna Sophia Kleinsasser, English Bulgarian Language classes, with Zhana


September 1–10, 2014

Orientation for

Fulbright English Teaching Assistants

Dr. Julia Stefanova introducing Kate Mulvey, English Language Fellow, Pristina, Kosovo, Daniel Perez, English Language Fellow, Prague, Czech Republic, and George

Chinnery, Regional English Language Officer, Budapest, Hungary

A mock lesson

Restaurant Vodenitzata, Dragalevtsi Workshop on “Increasing Conversation in the


Classroom management practice


September 2014

Outreach Activities

Europe and Eurasia

Regional Forum in

Tbilisi, Georgia

U.S. University Presentations

EducationUSA Adviser Snezhana Teneva at the Bulgarian booth, Country Fair

Harvard College Webinar conducted by ETA Rebecca Margolies

Information session for young Bulgarian scholars at the Fulbright Training Center conducted by Maria Kostova, program officer for Bulgarian grantees

NYUAD and Wellesley College presentations conducted by Bulgarian current students in the U.S. at the Fulbright Advising Center


Fulbright Accomplishments


Negotiating for Success

Military Soft Power

Public Diplomacy through

Military Educational


Prof. George Siedel’s class in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at FISI 2014, Pravets, Bulgaria

Fulbright alumnus and Distinguished FISI lecturer Prof. George Siedel from the University of Michigan recently published

an essential book on developing negotiation skills and strategies entitled “Negotiating for Success”

In June, 2014, Fulbright Scholar Prof. Carol Atkinson published a book that directly relates to her time at the G.S. Rakovski National Defense College in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Prof. Carol Atkinson (second from right to left) presenting on “The Benefits of U.S. and NATO Military Exchange Programs” at the International Conference “Future NATO” hosted under the patronage of the President of


Fulbright Accomplishments


People Decide:


Initiatives and Recall

Настроение с Лили

Civil Society Scholar Daniela Bozhinova published the findings of her Fulbright research in the book “People Decide: Referendum, Initiatives and Recall”

Civil Society Scholar Lilly Drumeva published a book on popular music,

including bluegrass, jazz and country music



Open Culture:

Shifting Ideologies

in Art and Technology

Fulbright graduate student Minka Stoyanov’s article “Open Culture: Shifting Ideologies in Art and Technology“ has been included in “The Book - our more sensual present”, S., 2014, 4 (proceedings from a conference held at her host university ULSIT (The

University of Library Studies and Information Technologies) in Sofia, Bulgaira

Dr. Stefka Kancheva, Fulbright Scholar at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, MA, delivered a pre-Christmas lecture on “Prophesies about the Saviour” based on her Fulbright research Minka Stoyanov presenting her paper at the UNIBIT Annual EuroDig Conference (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) in Berlin, 2014


Fulbright Accomplishments

ETA Athena Lao’s team

at the WSC tournament

in Singapore

Official Registration of the

Bulgarian English Speech

Tournament Foundation

Four of the founders of the Bulgarian Forensics League: ETAs Michael Deegan, Claire Sagstuen, Athena Lao and Hannah Allen after its registration under the name of BEST

Bulgaria’s representatives

at the Speech and Debate

Association’s National

Tournament in Overland

Park, Kansas, U.S.A.

Claire Sagstuen (second from left to right), ETA at Ekzarh Yossif Foreign Language High School in Lovech, with her student Nia Docheva (left), winner in the Original Oratory division of the National English Speech and Debate Tournament, organized by the Bulgarian Forensics League

Halloween party with ETA

Kelly Zug in Vratsa






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