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Е-новине Техничке школе "9. мај"

American University in Bulga… In Bulgaria?

AUBG, which stands for the American University in Bulgaria, is a liberal arts educational institution situated in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. I’ve heard about it via Facebook. At first, it was just a random ad. And that random ad, with the help of Via Academica, turned into an amazing experience.

We all wish we could travel to the end of the World, and in the process, we forget all the beauties that our neighboring countries offer. One of those beauties is Blagoevgrad. So, the first time I set my eyes on the article about some American university there, I was a bit skeptic. Bulgaria? But as I continued reading the article, I was becoming more and more interested…

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The first long-road trip that I haven’t felt nauseous.

I called a friend of mine and together we went to the info session. Listening to Nadya, the best admissions counselor ever; Ivan, a former student; and Sabina, a professor at the university, we all fell in love with the idea of studying at the AUBG. Then, we found out about the competition – we were to record a short video and describe our dream university. We, the thirteen of us, all won the trip.

Our little peregrination took place between 17th and 19th November and though short, it was the best trip which most, if not all of us have ever attended. We stayed at a hotel called Alfa, five-minute walk from the campus

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The Open House was scheduled for 18th. We were welcomed with the presentation. Then, some music and the dance club performed their magic too. The Principal himself gave us a motivational speech and shared his personal story. We even got the opportunity to listen to two lectures of our choice. I saw Computer Science & Informational Systems and Should we kill-ah the fat-ah man as taught by Italian.
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Impressions? I wanna study there!

A few students took us sightseeing around the campus and it was a pretty nice walk. My favorite place, the Panitza Library, is ranked by students to be No. 1 service on campus. For bookworms like me, it’s a must-see place at least as a passer-by. I hope that soon enough it will be a place where I’ll do my researches.

23972715_284065712115178_728407624_n.jpgThe city of Blagoevgrad, an hour and a half away from the capital Sofia, offered many interesting things: shops, food, cafés, and bars. For my companions and me, it was a synonym for fun. It’s located in the valley of the Struma River, at the foot of Rila Mountains, so it offers so many natural beauties. The air was fresh and the atmosphere… Wow! Especially at night.

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Also, we weren’t the only ones to compete. There were Albanians who won the competition too. By hanging out with them, we kind of broke some pretty big stereotypes. At least in our little Contest-winners diversity. And staying in touch – as we have – proves a lot. I even went for a “Banica”, the traditional food, at 4 o’clock with them (hope Jovana won’t get angry with me, it was way past the curfew, sorry!). And guess what, I’m still alive writing this. And they’re still alive waiting for the final version. Unless Jovana gets mad… Anyway, we had a pretty good time together and I just couldn’t not mention those brilliant people.

24098697_284085238779892_2089580152_nThe food at the campus… not so good, but not that bad; it was all food should be – edible. Besides, it’s the people who matter. And did I mention the breakfast in a hotel? I just have to commend it – it was so good that we had it two days in a row! Mmmmm

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Our last day we decided to visit Sofia and we stayed there only for 2 hours. We grabbed a coffee at the Starbucks, enjoyed Bolognese at Corso and had fun playing with a lion. Why? Becaus-ah.

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Yup! I forgot to mention it wasn’t a real lion. And I’m on the other side of the camera. Fun.

We also came to the conclusion that Bulgarians really like the word “left”. Funny thing actually, whatever direction we’d asked for, the answer would always be the same: left, followed by a hand gesture pointing the very course. Or perhaps Sofia is quite a round city? Not round enough tho, so I could bump into Stana Katic or anyone else from Absentia cast… WASTED.

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All in all, this was such a pleasant change of environment. Short and lovely, like Branislava, a friend of mine. Except she’s only short.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see all the things that Blagoevgrad or Sofia are famous for, but seeing this little – can’t really complain. We’ve met amazing people. We’ve seen amazing things. We’ve had an amazing time. And we have an amazing story to tell. Now, with the idea of doing something alike, this time heading to the Netherlands, we can only hope that it will be worth it, the way the Blagoevgrad, especially the AUBG part, was.

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If you’d like to find out more about the AUBG, you can visit their official website www.aubg.edu, and for more info about the Via Academica and their work, you can visit www.viacademica.com  or you can contact them via email:  office@viacademica.com.

Once again, I’d like to thank Nadya for encouraging me to make the damn video. Also, my gratitude goes to Jovana and Zvjezdana for taking us all on the trip. And of course, to Sloba, the chauffeur who had patience the whole time, even when the Jacket problem occurred.

Mihajlo Matkovic

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