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Info request re living and working in Sofia and Bulgaria

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Bytor, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Hello folks

    Currently looking for our next post.

    Any one know about the school in Sofia near Pancharevo village?

    Hippo, I´ve obviously sent you a pm!


  2. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    Is it the school that is part of the CEESA group of schools?
  3. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Just looked up CEESA. Yes.

    Title of school refers to yanks and English.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Great school, in a great city, in a fantastic country. Very good package, and part of an awesome schools association. All this adds up to it being very competitive for places. I personnally have never worked there, but worked in another CEESA school and we competed against each other all the time. If you can get it then you wont be disappointed.

    Good luck
    yasf likes this.
  5. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    I have heard positive things about the school although my information isn't that up to date .

    Sofia is a pleasant city, it's quite small but there are a good number of nice cafes and bars. They are a few things to do and you are near mountains for hiking and skiing while not being too far from the black sea.

    It's fairly cheap as far as Europe goes and quite good fun if a little polluted and busy at times. Weather is extreme with a hot summer, freezing winter and distinct seasons. The Xmas markets are nice.
  6. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    This is a very very good school. The Director has done a huge amount in the time he has been there to really build a great ethos in the school. Lots of student lead initiatives, big emphasis on community and being kind and respectful to each other. I believe that he is leaving though soon. The package is excellent. It’s a very competitive school to get into. I work at one of the CEESA schools, so we take part in events, sporting and otherwise with this school along with the others in the organization.
  7. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I'd give anything to work there. It's my top school that I want to work at. If you can get a job there you'll be very happy. We we're were told that they get several hundred applications for each position. It is a very hard school to get into.
  8. bead

    bead New commenter

    I don't know about the schools, but I was working in Bulgaria in the 80's and 90's and still live there. Yes, pleasant, nice lifestyle, and cheap. I don't know the package, but Sofia is expensive, especially for accommodation.
    The other thing, it is a mixture European, east Mediterranean/middle eastern culture, and the driving is mental.
    Go for it and enjoy.
  9. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    This school provides free accommodation, and pays 50% of your utilities. This is all on their website
  10. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I don't think I could put up with the Bulgarian weather
  11. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    I don't think Sofia is expensive, maybe compared to the neighbouring capitals and/or countryside (it's cheaper than Bucharest and Athens but more expensive than Skopje or Belgrade). It's just that local salaries are so low.

    In Bulgaria and other EU countries that are poorer you will occasionally encounter a negative attitude towards your residence in their country. People are very aware of the vast economic gulf between you and them and may well resent this. In Romania and Bulgaria I've been told on more than one occasion that "foreigners are ruining our country" and to "go home". The vast majority of people you meet won't be like this but it is worth knowing that this view is out there and I would say, increasingly vocal.

    The worst thing about Bulgarian winters to me is how much they heat the inside so the contrast is really unpleasant! You need summer clothes under a big winter coat, you hardly ever need to wear a jumper!
    T0nyGT likes this.
  12. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Thanks all, for your insights.

    It looks like an interesting school and destination.

    Following on from tigi's comments, what's the impression regarding locals' attitude towards foreigners in Sofia and the rest of Bulgaria?
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The locals in Bulgaria are usually quite pleasant and friendly, especially if you make an effort to speak the lingo. Yes, as tigi says, many people in BG have very low salaries, so what this school will pay you is a small fortune, when compared to what most Bulgarians take home at the end of the month.

    Yep, Bulgarian winters can be very cold and that is good news if you like skiing.

    If you are inteterested in learning more about Bulgaria, then some silly person has written a blog called bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com but you probably will not want to bother reading it.

    If you are visiting Sofia, then make sure that you go on the free walking tour!

    walking3 small.jpg
  14. bead

    bead New commenter

    Like people say, salaries are low, but not so low in Sofia as the other cities. Good standard accommodation will cost from 500 eu upwards for a foreigner, so it is comparable to western Europe.
    Heating, transport etc is also getting expensive although not as bad as the west yet.Cars are way cheaper to run than UK due to the insurance being much cheaper especially for younger drivers, as is the road tax.
    As for the people? I always find them friendly and helpful. As for the anti foreigner sentiments(which is not so common), I always reply with maybe the rest of the world should do the same to you.
    Bulgaria has the fastest shrinking population in the world, and its easy to see why, but everywhere has its problems.
    Learn the lingo. It is fairly straightforward if you learn Cyrillic first (which was invented by Bulgarian monks)
    The other little known fact is that Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe.
    Also try to visit the Black sea region as well if you get the job, especially Varna which is the largest port.
    Go for it you will enjoy living there, and you will make good friends and have a great time, but Sofia is not as cheap as people think and heating bills in the winter are very expensive due to the poor insulation. My gas bill on the black sea coast can be 200 pounds for a couple of weeks in the winter depending on the temperature.
  15. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    its really not a factor for this school @bead. This school provides free accommodation, and pays 50% of your utilities
  16. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Insulation? Yes, definitely.
    insul small.jpg
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  17. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    It's amusing that you think that you can get good quality accommodation in a Western European capital for €500. Outskirts of Berlin, maybe, but that has to be the only one.
  18. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    I had a small one bedroomed apartment in Düsseldorf almost 20 years ago for 500 euros. I imagine that some apartment nowadays would be close to double that price. So, yes accommodation in Eastern Europe is still considerable cheaper than in Western Europe.
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    When i was in Kiev nearly 8 years ago my apartment was $1600 a month, and it was nowhere near the centre. Thankfully i didnt pay a penny for it.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Mrs Hippopotamus and I were paying 6500RMB a month for a two-bedroomed apartment in the centre of Shenzhen. Fortunately the school's accommodation allowance more than covered it.

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