Foreign Students University Programmes
IT STEP Computer Academy, Bulgaria
Common educational programs for Bachelor degrees with Varna University of Management and Technical University of Sofia
WHO ARE WE?
We are an international organization that provides a full spectrum of IT education.
WHY WE DO IT?
We are game changers who teach people about technology so they can improve their careers and lives.
HOW WE DO IT?
1. We create relevant programs which covering the most of IT area’s demands in a full educational circle from young age of six through university student years till pension chill out time. Whoever wants to study technologies can do it with one IT STEP.
2. We have unique know-how to engage the latest technologies with the best educational methodology.
3. We connect business and students for better opportunities.
WHAT WE DO?
1. We help grownups get from zero, to entry level hero in the IT industry.
2. We empower kids to use technology as a tool for creation.
3. We enable companies to do more with less by training staff.
IT STEP Computer Academy in numbers:
Since 1999, we prepare programmers, designers, networks and cybersecurity engineers. IT STEP is already 20 years old. Academy was established in Odessa, Ukraine and expand to its biggest form of 20 countries worldwide with 83 branches. Countries presented in the international network are Ukraine, Russia, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Switzerland, Slovakia, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, UAE, RSA. Currently in the educational programs we have 57000 students and 125000 graduates. Education is delivered by 2700 trainers.
1.2. EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS
Currently the international network has many educational products and sub products. In Bulgaria, we work with several of them as:
- First Step - for kids of 6 to 8 years old;
- Junior Computer Academy - for kids from 9 to 14 years old;
- Professional Computer Education - for adults from 15 years old;
- University Education for Bachelor degrees – in partnership with universities;
- Corporative education for the business.
- Professional Computer Education
Our curriculums are made for two years and a half each. Often short courses promise to train a beginner into a qualified professional in just 3-4 months. This is either a lie or an incompetent statement. In such a short period of time, one can learn some basics, but not serious practical skills. After such courses, programmers will only be able to perform simple and low-paid tasks and need to learn more on their own in order to advance, constantly filling gaps in this basic education. Many self-taught programmers regret that they did not receive fundamental education at the very beginning of their careers. Our professional educational programs cover all the necessary subjects for a professional programmer, designer or network engineer. The program is designed for 30 months and separated in 5 terms. We are confident that this is the right duration to gain the skills and necessary experience to become a high in-demand professional.
There are three main direction in which we teach people.
The program is IT industry demand driven. Our methodologists and trainers are constantly working on improving and updating the curriculum to ensure that STEP graduates can demonstrate their best skills to future employers. For more information, check here
Computer Graphic and Design
The core principle of STEP IT Academy is to follow the latest trends in the IT industry. Our training covers the most sought-after areas of design.
Before launching a training program, we review it with IT companies: our partners and future employers of our graduates. Thus, we ensure that there are no gaps in the students' skills or the curriculum itself.
Trainers with practical skills
Our trainers are professionals in their field. Their goal is to make education as it should be: effective, interesting, and productive. One of the biggest benefit for our students is the communication with practitioners and learning from their experience every time during the classes.
STEP does not differentiate students as “lagging behind”, “favorites” or “competitors”. Students support each other to get professional skills and meet like-minded people. In many cases, students create their own start-ups and graduate STEP already as entrepreneurs.
Every training room is equipped with PCs or iMacs. It is not needed for the students to bring their own laptops for the classes. If someone wants to do so it is as well possible. At academy, there are relaxing zone, photo studio for practice aim, meeting room and conference room. Students can use the infrastructure out of their academic hours to do their tasks and projects individually or in groups.
Our administration gives easy ways for the students to communicate with. We create a special educational system named “Mystat” where every student has a profile and can manage and check classes’ schedule, teaching materials (books, homework, videos, articles and many others) – this digital library is growing with every new group of students because it gathers all materials from the alumni students to the newbies and there is information in multiple languages. Through Mystat system students can contact our Education department and ask their questions.
Our administration is situated in one floor in terms for the student to be easier to find and communicate with the different departments quickly without spending a lot of time to search and visit them - Come on! We are on the same floor, we can pass the information really fast.
Individual approach and size of the groups
Every student has the opportunity to communicate directly with our trainers. This is possible because our groups of students are small. There are maximum 24 people in a group (those are our biggest classrooms) depending of the program and the schedule. Asking questions in a group of 15 to 24 people is way easier and convenient towards the huge auditoriums with 100 people inside in some universities.
Practical skills, exams and portfolio
The best part of the studies is that the whole education is based on practice. From the moment, our students enter the classrooms they start gaining practical skills through doing tasks and projects directly on spot and as well for home. Most of the theory is left for home where it can be read and then implement in the practice. To finish every subject, students have to do a small projects and base on them to receive their marks. To finish the term, students have to do a final course projects. To graduate, students have to create their diploma projects. There are no exam sessions, there are no exams in the meaning we know this word. There are subjects, which have to be passed when the class’s hours finished, that is all! In the end, every student is going to has between 10 and 25 finalized projects which can be sorted in portfolios and used for job applications or to attract clients in case of self-employment.
IT STEP Computer academy is situated in the exact historical center in the capital city. Very good transportation system with two underground lines, many tram lines with which it is easy to reach every part of the city. Walking areas, shopping streets, institutional buildings, many cozy cafeterias, restaurants, bars and magnificent night clubs. Walking distance (from 2 to 10-15 min) to green parks, museums, historical buildings and shopping centers.
1.3. GRADUATION DOCUMENTS
Certificates and Diplomas
Graduates of IT STEP receive an international diploma recognized in all of the 20 countries of our network after they defend their diploma projects in front of commission of trainers and experts from the business.
Our Center of Professional Education issued to every student two types of certificates which are accredited from Ministry of Education and Science in Bulgaria and are recognized in the European Union countries.
All Graduates from our Common Educational Programs (next section II) will obtain the respective European Recognized Bachelor Degrees and Diplomas.
II COMMON EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Our educational circle has to be closed so we made partnerships with the best universities in the country. We combine our professional education with academic one to give full spectrum of studying experience to our students. Universities recognized the professional education we are doing and give credits to all of it. This makes possible the common educational programs for bachelor degrees.
2.1 VARNA UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT (VUM)
About VUM. History.
VUM (Varna University of Management) was a groundbreaking project that started in 1992, supported by the Dutch Government. 4 years later, VUM earned its first accreditation as a higher education institution and took the name International College - Albena. Shortly after, VUM signed agreements for joint degrees with some other educational institutions, such as CHN Stenden University, the Netherlands, University College Birmingham, UK. International College – Albena took the name International University College. In 2004, the University moved from Albena to Dobrich, where it continued to grow and succeed. VUM (then IUC) was the first higher education institution in Bulgaria to receive Accreditation by the British Accreditation Council. Soon after, the University signed a strategic partnership agreement with Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK. Another proof for VUM’s constant strive for success is the fact that VUM’s students are no longer required to spend a year in the UK, but can complete the full course of their education at VUM and still get a degree by Cardiff Met.
VUM started 20 years ago, as a college of tourism and gradually evolved into an accredited university with wider emphasis on management. Today VUM offers Bachelor’s and Master’s double-degree programmers, taught entirely in English, in cooperation with universities in countries such as the UK, Switzerland, France, Norway, the Netherlands. Curricula are aligned with the partnering institutions and students have to meet up the same high standards in examinations. They graduate with degrees from both the partnering universities and VUM.
The Software Engineering Programme focuses mainly on programming languages, operating systems and advanced data structures. It combines theoretical and practical training and provides a complete industrial simulation, thus developing highly qualified software developers with all the necessary knowledge and skills for their successful realization.
The Program is aimed at giving the students solid foundation in the field of computer engineering in order to start a job as a professional software engineers and developers. Students acquire in-depth knowledge of software specifications, software design and architecture, tools and methodologies for software development, software project management, etc.
Every year, VUM is syncing the curriculum with leading universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Berkeley and industry leaders such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle.
VUM has an extensive and sophisticated network of local and international partners, where our students can carry out their obligatory practical training. Thus, they get a real opportunity to create contacts, gain skills and experience in a real environment and lay the foundations for their successful future realization.
Software Engineering is a full-time program. Classes are scheduled on evening times during the week (from 6 p.m to 9 p.m.) and on Saturdays (from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), which allows students to work while studying and to carry out their professional duties.
• Programming Fundamentals (10 ECTS)
• Mathematics for Computing (5 ECTS)
• Computer architectures & operating systems (5 ECTS)
• Computing and Society (5 ECTS)
• Data Structures and Algorithms (5 ECTS)
• Developing Quality Software & Systems (10 ECTS)
• Web Programming (5 ECTS)
• Client-side Scripting (5 ECTS)
• Specifications and Requirements (5 ECTS)
• English (5 ECTS)
• Summer Internship І (10 ECTS)
• Software Design (5 ECTS)
• Developing Quality Software & Systems (10 ECTS)
• Data & Knowledge Management (5 ECTS)
• Networks & Communications (5 ECTS)
• Software Quality Engineering (5 ECTS)
• Mobile Technologies (5 ECTS)
• Software engineering models (system analysis & design) (5 ECTS)
• Research Methods for Computing & IS (5 ECTS)
• Software engineering processes (5 ECTS)
• English (5 ECTS)
• Summer Internship ІI (10 ECTS)
• Professional & Ethical Issues in IT (10 ECTS)
• English (10 ECTS)
• Diploma Project (10 ECTS)
• Diploma seminar
• Object-Oriented Systems – advanced course (10 ECTS)
• Object-Oriented Systems – advanced course (10 ECTS)
• Advanced Programming (10 ECTS)
• Intelligent Systems (10 ECTS)
• Computational Intelligence (10 ECTS)
• Computer Graphics (10 ECTS)
• Cyber Security (10 ECTS)
• Analytics & Business Intelligence (10 ECTS)
• Software Metrics - tools and methodologies (5 ECTS)
• Multimedia I (5 ECTS)
• Multimedia II (10 ECTS)
• Digital Security (5 ECTS)
• Parallel & Distributed Systems (10 ECTS)
• Information Systems Project Management (10 ECTS)
• Employability (10 ECTS)
Optional disciplines give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in different fields of study in accordance with their interests. The study of optional disciplines is not compulsory. Once chosen, however, they become compulsory.
• Management Consulting in Agribusiness (5 ECTS)
• E- Business in the Agrarian Sector (5 ECTS)
• Computer Networks (5 ECTS)
• Business Communications (5 ECTS)
• Intercultural awareness for business
• Sustainable development
• Robonomics (5 ECTS)
• Additional foreign language (5 ECTS)
There are many benefits of studying in Software Engineering Bachelor‘s Degree Program and the most significant one is the numerous career opportunities, resulting from the high demand for software engineers in recent years.
Obtaining degree in Software Engineering gives the opportunity to find professional development in areas such as design and implementation of software systems. Graduated students will be able to apply in a real environment the studied contemporary practices and means of specification, design, coding, testing and implementation of modern programming systems. They will be able to work as software engineers, software developers, network administrators and business analysts in various organizations and institutions where to update software systems, take care of network security, and troubleshoot software issues in the network systems.
At VUM we prepare our students for the highly competitive global labour market and provide them with practical advice and expertise. VUM maintains excellent contacts with business partners in Bulgaria, Europe, the USA, and more, thanks to which our graduates have the opportunity to spend up their practical training and to successfully start their career in various partner institutions and organizations all over the world.
The common program between IT STEP Computer academy and Varna University of Management has duration of 3 academic years. Both educational institutions work to synchronized and implement the best of their own programs and experience in a common educational product. We are happy to provide quality education to our future students. The potential of our academic knowledge, resources and partners accumulate unlimited opportunities for the students who are going to graduate through this program.
First year and a half students are going to study in IT STEP (18 months) and experience its program and methodologies.
Second year and a half students are going to continue with their education in VUM (18 months) and take advantage of the opportunities there.
2.2 TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY (TU), Sofia
About the Technical University.
The Technical University of Sofia is the largest educational and scientific complex in Bulgaria in the field of technical and applied science which has preserved the good traditions in higher education laid down by its founders. As the first and largest polytechnic center, which supported the establishment of most of the higher technical colleges in the country, for over 70-years it sets the educational standards and national priorities for the development of engineering education and science.
The University structure incudes 14 faculties, two departments in Sofia, a branch in the city of Plovdiv with two faculties, a Faculty of Engineering and Pedagogy and a College in the town of Sliven. At the TU of Sofia train more than 11,000 Bulgarian and nearly 1,000 foreign students in grades “bachelor”, “master” and “doctorate” in synchronized curricula with Germany, France, and England, and the system for credit transfer allows training in European Universities over a period of study with full recognition of disciplines and exams. The priority of the Technical University of Sofia activities is to provide high quality training in compliance with the contemporary requirements. This establishes the University as a leading educational center at national and European level and raises its prestige.
Technical University (TU) joint programmes with IT Step Academy offer 4 years Full Time Bachelor degrees and 3 semester Master Degree Courses that have to be taken fulltime at the premises of the Technical University in Sofia.
The following six specialties are taught fully in English Language in TU:
- Bachelor program "Computer Science and Engineering"
-produces graduates with a professional qualification "Computer Engineer"and opens up a wide range of engineer career opportunities in industry.
The Faculty of Computer Systems and Technologies (FCST) has functioned as a commerce and academia, including software engineer, systems designer, systems and database administratorsors, project and lT security managers, lT risk assessor, enterprise architect, multimedia system developer.
During the study, the students have opportunities to practice their skills in 20 leading lT companies like SAP.
There are 26 lecturers of high academic rank on the staff - 5 Professors and 21 Associate Professors as well as 8 Chief Assistant Professors, 20 Assistant Professors, engineers and technical support staff.
The Faculty of Computer Systems and Technologies provides training to 1600 students enrolled on its courses - 1300 of them on the Bachelor EQD course.
- Bachelor program "Industrial Engineering"
Preparation of Bachelor “Industrial Engineering” students in English Language Faculty of Engineering (ELFE) is done through a system of high quality teaching methods, aligned to teaching methods and standards of leading European Universities.
The curriculum reflects the latest development in engineering education in the construction of an open modular harmonized scheme which helps students to be abreast with the latest developments, objects and new promising areas. Students will be informed about the dynamic changes in engineering science and practice, as well as employers’ needs. The curriculum is based on the experience of leading European partner universities.
Acquired knowledge is easily applicable in the field of management and business – Economy, Operational Research, Production and Operations Management, Human Resource Management, Financial Control and Production Strategies.
- Bachelor program "Aeronautical Engineering"
This bachelor program is made up of eight semesters. In each semester there are courses equivalent to a total of 30 credits. The first four semesters focus on laying the foundations in mathematics, physics, engineering mechanics, construction and design principles, material science, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, electrical engineering and electronics. In the fifth semester students can choose between three study majors:
- Operation and Maintenance of Aircrafts;
- Operation and Maintenance of Avionics;
- Civil Aviation Pilot.
The program meets the international aviation educational requirements. Educational objectives are coordinated with Civil Aviation Authorities and are in accordance with European Aviation Regulations.
- Bachelor program "Telecommunication Engineering"
The Faculty of Telecommunications (FTC) is the foremost faculty in the area of communication technologies in Bulgaria and has a 70 year tradition and training experience in engineering.
FTC offers advanced training, in English, at Bachelor and PhD degree levels. FTC offers a broad-based Bachelor specialty — “Telecommunication engineering” - a 4-year full-time course. Obtaining a bachelor degree in telecommunications entails the acquisition of knowledge and skills in the design, manufacture, maintenance, operation, engineering and technical support of communication components, units, devices, systems and networks.
FTC maintains close relations with leading Bulgarian telecommunication providers, as well as with national and international companies in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Mobiltel, Telenor, VIVACOM, Ericsson, Nokia-Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens Enterprise, Smart-com and others – all choose our graduates as their employees.
- Bachelor program "Mechatronics Engineering"
Mechatronics engineering is the design of computer-controlled electro-mechanical systems. It can be viewed as ‘modern mechanical engineering design’ in the sense that the design of the mechanical system must be performed together with that of the electrical/electronic and computer control aspects. Some examples of mechatronic systems include: a computer hard disc drive, a fly-by-wire aircraft control system, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), a car as a whole, an aircraft. Each of these products is essentially mechanical in nature but could not function without the integral design of the electrical and computer control systems.
Mechatronics Engineers design and develop automation solutions for manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and automation companies. With their broad engineering knowledge, they tend to hold technical design and decision-making positions, often overseeing or playing a central role in engineering design teams.
- Bachelor program "Mechanical Engineering"
This 4-year educational program prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of physical systems used in manufacturing and end-product systems used for specific purposes, including machine tools, robots, automatic manufacturing systems, and other manufacturing equipment; stationary power units and appliances. The curriculum includes courses in Mathematics, CAD/CAM/CAE, Robotics, Maintenance of Mechanical Systems and other.
Mechanical Engineers work to improve the design, safety and energy efficiency of the machines that support industry and society – machines, handling equipment, air conditioners, machine tools, cars, lifts, aircrafts, and others. It is perhaps the broadest of all engineering disciplines and therefore it allows students to choose from the widest possible range of specializations
III. APPLYCATION PROCEDURE
3.1. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
The future students at IT STEP and VUM have high level of motivation, upper intermediate level of English language and good results from their secondary education (High School diploma).
In the student admission process, we are strictly follows the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria. Below we explain the details and steps:
Completed Secondary Education/High School
The high school diploma along with the mark sheet prove the successful completion of secondary education at a recognized High School in the respective country. Pre-application is possible, when the prospect student is in his/her last year of studies at a High School and is expected to receive his/her diploma within a time frame, which corresponds to the deadlines for application and submission of documents.
English language proficiency
The English language proficiency level can be proven by presenting an internationally recognized certificate with a minimum result equivalent to IELTS 6.0 (B2 in the European language framework). In case student does not have such certificate, an English language exam will be organized by IT STEP and VUM, which will take place on the campus after arrival. The required result must be not less than 62%. If the level of English is insufficient, the student can be enrolled in a preparatory English language semester at IT STEP or join additional language module, depending on the actual level of language proficiency.
For the initial application to the common program, the following documents are required:
- Duly filled out Application form
- Copy of Secondary degree/High School diploma or a document, confirming the year and semester of study (in case of pre-application)
- Copy of Transcript of records from the Secondary education/High School diploma or academic results up until the moment of application (in case of pre-application)
- Certificate for English proficiency (if available)
- Passport copy
All document should be scanned and sent to [email protected]
For the common program we have our first intake per 2020: in March. Upon submission of the application documents, we will inform the students on the availability of seats in the selected programme for the upcoming intake. If the applicants are from outside European Union (or EEA) they will need a Visa type D for the study’s terms at IT STEP and VUM, which takes time and therefore we advise to apply as early as possible.
Upon successful submission of the application documents and fulfil the admission requirements, the student will receive a letter for conditional acceptance at Varna University of Management along with an invoice from IT STEP for the fees required with terms and deadlines of payments.
VISA D APPLYCATION
Upon confirmation for conditional acceptance, the students have to submit to the IT STEP duly certified and legalized hard copies of the following documents:
- Duly filled in, printed out and signed Application form
- Secondary education/High School diploma (original or notarized copy)
- Transcript of records from your Secondary education/High School diploma (original or notarized copy)
- Eligibility document, issued by an accredited institution, which states that based on the student’s grades from the Secondary degree/High School diploma he/she is allowed to continue studies in Bachelor degree in any university in his/her country or abroad
- Medical certificate, issued not earlier than 30 days prior the date on your application form
- 4 passport size photos
If the documents per p. 2, 3, 4 and 5 are issued outside of Bulgaria, those have to be legalized as per the requirements of the issuing country and legally translated into Bulgarian language. When the issuing country has no specific agreements with Bulgaria, the documents are certified in line with the generally accepted practice for legalization and translation.
Documents issued by the authorities of a foreign state, which is under The Hague Convention, should have an apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (list of the countries under The Hague Convention can be found here: www.hcch.net), in accordance to the legal requirements. Certified in this way, the documents do not need further legalization and attestation.
For states that have bilateral legal aid agreements with the Republic of Bulgaria, documents issued by the foreign state must bear the stamp of the respective authorized institution as per the bilateral agreement. The thus issued document is recognized by the Bulgarian institutions and it only needs its Bulgarian translation which shall be certified.
In case the country of citizenship of the student is not a party in The Hague Convention or does not have an agreement for bilateral legal aid with the Republic of Bulgaria, then documents per p. 2, 3, 4 and 5 should be translated into Bulgarian and legalized respectively by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the respective country. Then the documents should be certified by the Consular services of the nearest Bulgarian Embassy servicing for the respective country.
Once prepared, the documents should be sent to the Admission office of Varna University of Management at the following address:
Varna University of Management
13A Oborishte Str.
Varna 9000 Bulgaria
Upon receiving the documents in our Admission Office, we process them to the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Bulgaria for evaluation and issuance of an Approval Letter, required for your Visa application. Once this Approval letter is ready along with your VUM admission documents you are ready to apply for visa at the nearest Bulgarian embassy (Consulate) servicing for the respective country, together with the rest of the requirement documents for application and issuance for a student Visa D. The approved applicants, who have received their Visa D are then officially registered as full-time students of Varna University of Management and IT STEP Computer Academy.
3.2. TUITION FEES
The entry fee application deposit is 1500 EUR.
After the submission of the documents every student is going to receive invoice with payment details and information. Deposit will be part of the first-year fee after successful admission or returned in case of visa denial.
After admission to one of the partnering universities a first payment should be done, it is required from the students to pay the first-year fee of education as follows:
- Joint IT Step and Varna University of Management = 7000 EUR/year;
- Joint IT Step and Technical University of Sofia = 6600 EUR/year;
Every other additional payment for legalizing of the documents, post services, additional English classes (if students will not have the needed level) will be covered from the students.
All payments should be made by bank transfers to the following Bank Account:
UniCredit Bulbank, Sofia, Bulgaria, IOT EOOD: IBAN BG76UNCR70001522746606
3.3. TRANSFER INFORMATION
We are setting an example in being responsive and adaptable towards students' needs. Our degree common programs are flexible towards students, who:
- transfer from other universities and have subjects which are relevant to subjects taught by IT STEP and VUM;
- have cancelled their studies towards a degree in a different field in a different university and would like to have a second chance for a degree;
- have completed professional training or part-time course of studies after high (secondary) school and would like to obtain a degree;
- need to attend studies part-time;
- need to put their studies on hold, save additional finances and then continue with IT STEP and VUM;
We strongly believe that every prospect student deserves a chance and an option for completing their degree program. We are going to help students plan their study-work-life balance in the best way.
IV. WHY BULGARIA?
Warm and hospitality people
The young generation is very open and communicative with foreigners. People have good level of English language. Everyone is up to help.
European Union country
Bulgaria is part of the union which gives many opportunities for business, trips, project and education among the rest of the countries.
Low prices for living and making business
Comparing with other Europeans western and central countries the costs of living are pretty cheap. Rents, accommodations and food is very affordable. As well Bulgaria still has the lowest taxes in EU.
Beautiful nature. Great tourism destination. All seasons are presented
Depends of the preferences Bulgaria has variety of mountains, valleys, plains, sea cost, lakes, waterfalls, caves and many more to be seeing.
It is country rich of history as it was part or influenced from Thracians, Roman empire, Slavic tribes, Proto-Bulgarians, Byzantium empire, Ottoman empire, Russian empire and it survived during all these centuries and safe it identical and unique culture as a nation.
There is spring, summer, autumn and winter. Every season has it benefits and give different possibilities for enjoying it.
IT companies and startup businesses
In the last decade, Bulgaria is recognizable as an IT hub with many IT companies which situated their businesses in the country. As well the environment for establishing new companies is very good with simple process and low taxations.
V. CONTACT INFORMATION
For more information and admission process, please use the contacts below:
Bank Accounts: UniCredit BULBANK, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria,
SWIFT (BIC): UNCRBGSF, IOT EOOD,