Traditional Bulgarian dress. Photo via Donald Judge

YES Students

All students from Bulgaria are Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the YES Program.

Country Information

A country existing more than 13 centuries, Bulgaria is filled with an interesting, complicated, never ending history waiting for you to learn. The country is filled with great architecture from different centuries (Zheravna), artifacts (Valley of the Thracian Kings), and historical sites (Bansko) waiting to be explored by the outside world.

Lifestyle and Family

Most Bulgarian families are small and close-knit: usually a mother and father, and between two to three children. The children typically live at home until they get married. Once the children are married and the parents get older then the parents move in with the children. There is great respect for one another and everyone has an equal role in the family.

Teen Life and Sports

Teens of Bulgaria have very active lives but enjoy some relaxing time as well. Most teens are active in sports, playing basketball, volleyball, and/or soccer. Bulgarians also enjoy skiing when the weather is right. When they are not out on the court or field playing they are home relaxing and watching movies, their favorites being from the United States,


A typical meal in Bulgaria would include pork, chicken, fish, or lamb. The meats are usually served along with a cheese, yogurt and vegetables. The staple dish of the country is moussaka, which is a casserole filled with pork/lamb, potatoes, tomatoes and yogurt. Meals are usually accompanied by a drink, such as coffee, preferably Turkish coffee, or some sort of soft drink.

Language and Religion

Bulgarian is the dominant language, although many people can speak Turkish and Russian. 83% of the population are Christian Orthodox and are members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Along with the Orthodox Church major religions include Islam, 12% of the population, and Roman Catholicism, 1.4%.

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