INSIDE SOFIA'S STUDENT TOWN

by Ani Ivanova

Seven students have agreed to show their rooms to Vagabond

petar.jpg

What would you be willing to endure to get a university degree? For the thousands of Bulgarians from the country who study in Sofia, but can't afford to rent a room or a flat on their own, this is not a hypothetical question and the only answer is to get used to life in Student Town. For most of them this means living with two other people in apartment buildings that need a bulldozer rather than an overhaul.

Rents are low and nightlife in the neighbourhood is so enticing that Sofianites from the city centre comprise a major part of the clientele at the local discos on Friday and Saturday nights.

Seven students have agreed to show their rooms to Vagabond and tell us what makes them love Student Town - as well as what encourages them to graduate as soon as possible and leave it for good.

PETAR

Profile From Plovdiv, 4th year student of economy of tourism at the University of National and World Economy
Aim To work in tourism
Advantages Low rent; great nightlife; the discos in the neighbourhood
Drawbacks The rooms are too small for three people. The conditions may be good, but they may also be utterly squalid, which largely depends on your roommates too. Disco prices are comparable to those in the centre
Nightlife Super, we have the best discos here
 

ISKREN

Profile From Nova Zagora, 4th year student of economy of tourism at the University of National and World Economy

Iskren

Aim To become a hotelier
Advantages It is always hectic, full of young people, the atmosphere is bohemian
Drawbacks I don't like the madhouse style and the fact that there is not enough personal space and the room is too small for three people
Nightlife Great, everything is in one place: eateries, cafés, bars, discos

KREMENA & VANINA

Profile From Burgas, 1st year student of pedagogy at the National Sports Academy
Aim Her own dance sport studio
Drawbacks The room has no balcony. The bathroom was in a very poor state, but we fixed it. The woodwork is old
Advantages When you get used to these things, you start to like it, besides the rent is not very high. You are always among young people and you feel like a family. We help one another, we get together in the rooms to play cards, chat or have parties
Nightlife Excellent

Kremena and Vanina

Profile From Pleven, 1st year student of pedagogy at the National Sports Academy
Aim To become a kinesiotherapist
Advantages Only young people live here. There are lots of pubs and entertainment places. The academy is nearby and I don't have to travel far. The rent is minimal and is OK for me: 36 leva per person for a triple room and 45 leva for a double per month
Drawbacks There is not enough room for three people in my triple room. It would be better if there were two of us
Nightlife I found it hard to get used to the noise at first, but now I don't mind it. Besides, this is one of the charms of student life - you always have fun and you don't have to go to the city centre for it. Evenings go with a swing no matter if it is Saturday or Monday. There is always somewhere to go and something to do, you never feel bored. I relax when I get back home

MITKO

Profile From Burgas, 3rd year student of forestry management at the University of Forestry

Mitko

Aim To work in the game hunting industry
Advantages Lots of interesting young people, plenty of entertainment, shops open around the clock. Conditions are good, especially if you give the room a facelift
Drawbacks The recent overbuilding of the area
Nightlife Super. We are young people and we should have fun

DAMYAN

Profile From Veliko Tarnovo, 3rd year student of economy of tourism at the University of National and World Economy

Damyan

Aim To work in tourism
Advantages The rent, nothing else. Well, the fact that there are only young people too
Nightlife I have had enough nightlife here for four years and I'd now rather go to the city centre - it's quieter there

ANGEL

Profile From the village of Bostina near Smolyan, 4th year student of forestry management at the University of Forestry

Angel

Aim To work in the forestry industry
Advantages Parties are the best thing when you are a freshman. Generally speaking, the best thing about Student Town is that it is full of young people and you have a lot of friends. It has all you need: a kindergarten, a doctor's clinic, 24-hour chemists, shops and entertainment
Drawbacks The traffic and the speeding cars

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