The former Institute of Foreign Students, recently renamed DEO, was built in the early 1960s when it was greatly needed. It is located not far from the Pliska hotel near the Electronics Works. The DEO premises also encompass a small park-like area.
For training purposes, the following facilities are equipped:
For the convenience of our students and trainees we also provide:
Since 1963, the DEO, a legitimate successor to the Institute of Foreign Students, and affiliate to the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, has specialized in teaching of Bulgarian language and Science subjects to foreign students at Bulgarian universities, according to a curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education. Nowadays we also continue teaching Bulgarian to foreigners residing in the country or applying for Bulgarian citizenship in specialized courses and at the International School of Bulgarian language and culture, as well as within various workshops. Foreign citizens can be issued a Translator's Certificate upon a successfully completed specialized course and passed exam. In 1976 a foreign language learning centre was established within the institution. Nowadays English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, as well as Greek, Turkish, and Russian are taught to over 6,000 Bulgarian citizens a year.
The Department is a licensed examination centre within Bulgaria in the following languages:
We offer preparatory courses for the above-mentioned exams we are licensed to administer, as well as TOEFL, SAT, FCE, CAE, CPE, D.E.L.E. INTERMEDIO, DaF, CELI preparatory courses. Over 200 highly qualified teachers work for the DEO. The proven foreign language teaching methods are further developed and updated according to the latest requirements for effective language learning, incorporating the necessary technical means. The Department is equipped with 11 language laboratories, 3 computer multi-media labs, laboratories for the science subjects, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and information technologies, and a library as well. What the Department considers a top priority is the promotion of the study of Bulgarian language and Culture, which will facilitate the more successful integration of our country, through its EU membership, into the multi-cultural European context.
The DEO attempts to set standards for the teaching and learning of Bulgarian as a foreign language in accordance with the standards established for the teaching of other modern languages, especially those elaborated and promoted by the Council of Europe. As a result, the DEO is the only Bulgarian institution which is a member of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). The Department has also undertaken to align the certificates to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, so it actively participates in the translation of the CEFR into Bulgarian.
The DEO offers three types of tests in Bulgarian: