Boasting an overseas internship on your resume is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to stand out to potential employers. With just a few lines on your resume, you’ll have conveyed cross-cultural communication skills, adaptability, and a global outlook, all in addition to the relevant professional experience you gained.
In Bulgaria, opportunities for foreign interns check all the boxes across a variety of industries. Compose your first press release at a media relations internship or shadow an executive at a budding business -- the possibilities are endless in Bulgaria’s many thriving sectors.
As a destination, Bulgaria is certainly not to be missed. From sampling a bite of banitsa in the capital city of Sofia to hiking at the magnificent Seven Rila Lakes, the sites of Bulgaria further expand the overseas experience for young professionals who land an internship here.
There’s something for every intern in Bulgaria. Begin your search in business, media relations, and other exciting industries.
Being able to network effectively is one of the most crucial aspects of building a successful career in business. You can’t let cultural barriers hinder your ability to engage with potential partners or clients, and interning overseas in Bulgaria gives you a headstart in this regard. As an intern, you can contribute to a startup’s early success or learn from seasoned executives while exercising cross-cultural skills.
Working in media relations, you have to be adaptable to provide quick turnaround on a variety of project types. An internship in Bulgaria will train you on everything from press releases to events, plus help you acquire skills communicating with a foreign audience. For those interested in gaining such experience in the non-profit sector, explore opportunities with American Councils Study Abroad.
If you’re ready to take your tech knowledge out of the classroom and apply it in a professional setting, then consider going to Bulgaria for an internship. Usually based in Sofia, programs place participants in the heart of the country’s flourishing IT industry. Here, interns will hone their skills for a future career and experience how a different nation handles its piece of a worldwide technological boom.
Planning Your Internship
Organizing an internship in a foreign country can seem, well, pretty foreign. For Bulgaria, it’s important to plan when you’ll be applying and where you’ll be living in advance, among other considerations.
Best Time to Get an Internship in Bulgaria
For the most part, internships are available year-round in Bulgaria. However, programs geared towards current undergraduate or graduate students may operate on university schedules, meaning you’ll intern for a fall, spring, or summer term. In cases like this, it’s best to search for and apply to internships a couple of months before the official start of a new semester.
Once your internship has been secured, it’s time to look for a place to live. If you’re moving to Bulgaria through an intern overseas organization, your housing situation will be taken care of for you. Most likely, you’ll be placed in designated intern accommodations, the cost of which should be included in your program fee.
For those who acquire internships independently, housing still won’t cause too much of a headache. The rent in Bulgaria happens to be lower than in the U.S. Numbeo estimates that an apartment in Sofia will cost around $390 per month, with prices outside the city being even lower.
Cost of Living
Rent isn’t the only thing that’s less expensive in Bulgaria. The cost of groceries and meals out are reduced by about 50% compared to U.S. prices, and transportation fees are modest as well. In other words, you can eat well in Bulgaria and still have plenty of room to explore your destination. With many internships being unpaid, Bulgaria is certainly one of the more affordable places to intern overseas.
If the length of your program and total stay in Bulgaria is less than 90 days, U.S. citizens won’t need a visa to intern overseas. However, if your internship is longer than this time period, you’ll have to arrange for a work permit. Since your company will need to provide documentation and government approval can take about a month, it’s crucial to initiate this process as soon as you land the internship.
When in Bulgaria, it’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of the Bulgarian language. English may be more widely spoken in urban areas like Sofia, but, for the most part, you’ll need to speak like a local on the streets. Nevertheless, don’t let language barriers hinder your ability to connect with coworkers in the workplace and perform well as an intern.
To further blend in at the office, always be on time and dress for the job. These may seem like no-brainers, but the always needs to be emphasized -- late trains aren’t a sufficient excuse and don’t expect casual Fridays in Bulgaria. Interning overseas is fun, rewarding, and a real professional step in the right direction, so make sure you treat it as such in every possible way.
Health & Safety
Bulgaria is one of the safest places to intern overseas. The country has the lowest travel advisory rating issued by the U.S. Department of State, and threats to foreign visitors are few and far between. Of course, petty theft is always a possibility -- it would be wise to keep a close eye on your belongings in public places.
Risks to visitor health in Bulgaria are also fairly minimal, though there are always considerations to keep in mind. The hepatitis A shot is usually advised for travelers in order to combat against accidental exposure to foodborne illnesses. Additionally, depending on the activities you have in mind (like a new tattoo or interning with animals), hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations might be advised.
For the most part, it should be smooth sailing as an intern in Bulgaria. However, you can’t prepare for everything. If your internship program doesn’t include insurance, consider purchasing travel insurance separately to help minimize the damage of any unexpected health emergencies.