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:

  • Phonetic labs
  • Computer labs
  • Physics, Chemistry and Biology labs
  • Video rooms
  • Bulgarian language library with a reading-room
  • Foreign language library
  • Bookshop and stationery
  • Photocopy centre

For the convenience of our students and trainees we also provide:

  • Dorms
  • Dental services
  • Available playground and gym hosted by professionals
  • Coffee lounge
Join us! All of the above will be at your disposal.

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:

  • English: ECCE, ECPE of the Michigan University, ALCE of the Greek-American University
  • French: TCF, CENTRE INTERNATIONAL D'ETUDES PEDAGOGIQUIES at the French Ministry of Education
  • Greek: CENTRE FOR THE GREEK LANGUAGE (KEГ) at the Greek Ministry of Education
  • Russian: State Testing Centre for Foreigners at the Russian Ministry of Education

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:

  • Threshold tests of Bulgarian for foreign students
  • Standard Test of Bulgarian as a Foreign Language
  • Test of Business Bulgarian
The administration office at the DEO sets and organizes the test and issues Certificates of Bulgarian as a Foreign Language. Applicants can take the examinations at the Department or at the Institute for Balkan Studies (IMXA) in Thessaloniki, Greece. There are no fixed examination sessions at the Department. However, at IMXA there is just one fixed administration a year. Candidates tend to take the exam not as part of a group, but separately at times they deem convenient. There is a board of two examiners, who are officially appointed by the head of the Department. The test results and the students' examination papers are kept at the administration office. The results are entered into the certificate, which the Department issues for each candidate who has passed the exam.