Bring with you several (at least 4) passport size photos from Bulgaria. You will need them for student cards, discount cards for public transport, membership cards in sports clubs and more.
Look for members of the ESN – Erasmus Student Network (if any) at the host university. They will be your mentors throughout the stay. Ask them for an ESN card. With it, you can enjoy many discounts in museums, libraries, restaurants, attend various events and more.
It is mandatory to register at the local migration services, as each of you will stay in the respective country for more than 90 days.
Each student must have a European health card. It is recommended that you take out additional health insurance for the entire period of your stay abroad. Ask about 24-hour medical centres, pharmacies and dentists.
Be sure to check and print information about the diplomatic missions of Bulgaria abroad. In case of force majeure (loss of documents, debit cards, money, arrest, etc.) you can ask for help in the representations. They can issue you temporary documents and give you money if needed. You must first inform the local authorities about the event – they will issue a report. With this protocol, you can contact the Bulgarian representative for assistance. Read information about the peculiarities of the legislation, road traffic (for example, in some countries hitchhiking is prohibited), as well as practical advice and more. All this information can be found on the following website: https://www.mfa.bg/bg/embassyinfo/
Ask if the tap water you have access to is drinkable.
Not all dormitories and accommodations have a Wi-Fi connection. Most dormitories use built-in internet sockets type RJ45. Bring at least a 2 meter long LAN cable if you want to have internet from the first day of check-in.
Be careful of what you open, follow, read, watch and most of all download from the internet. Using illegal software and downloading copyrighted products (movies, music, games) can cause you a lot of trouble and fines.
For those leaving in the winter – leave free space in your suitcases. You will need it to store thick winter clothes. Otherwise, you may have to pay additional baggage fees.
It is recommended that you withdraw your grant before leaving. You can open a bank account with a debit card on site. This will save you a lot of money on transactions, commissions and fees. If you decide to do this, it is best to be accompanied by a local who will fully assist you. Be sure to find out the rules for closing this account.
Do not enter into long-term contracts with local mobile operators. Use prepaid services (like vouchers).
If you have to pay deposits for accommodation, all transfers must be made only by bank transfer. BE CAREFUL to whom you transfer money. Be absolutely sure of who the bank account holder is.
If you live in an apartment, it is good to have a rental contract. Not only that, make sure that your roommates also have a rental agreement. At some point, if your roommate leaves the apartment, you will have to pay the full rent.
Be careful what you sign. Never sign things in a foreign language that you do not understand.
Know that colleagues in international departments can assist you. Rely on them for help.
24 hours before your flights, be sure to check the airline’s website for schedule changes.