International Debate Team

Bulgarian National Debate Team Application (2017-2018)

Sofia Debate Association and BEST Foundation (Bulgarian English Speech and Debate Tournaments) are searching for 8 highly motivated high school students from all over Bulgaria to represent their country at an international debate competition in Europe.

The National Team will undergo an intensive debate training with experienced coaches, after which they will be sent to a prestigious international debate competition abroad. Thanks to the generous support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation all expenses will be covered, including transport, participation fees and food.

The application process for the National Team is composed of 3 parts. All members of the National Team from last year who are still high school students, as well as finalists of national debate competitions during the 2016-2017 school year, will be directly invited to the last stage of the application.

Everyone else (regardless of their previous debate experience or lack thereof) is able to apply in the following way:

Part One: Online Application
Deadline: 8 December

  • 8 minute video of a recorded proposition speech  in English on the following topic:

THW ban extremist political parties.

Classification: An extremist political party is a party, which holds extreme political or religious views, especially one, which advocates for illegal, violent, or extreme actions (e.g. Golden Dawn in Greece, AfD in Germany, the British National Party in the UK).

  • A motivational letter in English, approximately one page long
    Guiding question: Why do you want to be a member of the National Debate Team and how would you contribute to the team if you are selected?

Please send an email with your speech and motivational letter to this email address: no later than December 8th.

Your speech can be uploaded on any cloud platform, such as Dropbox or WeTransfer, as well as on a video-sharing website, such as YouTube.

Part Two: interview (only for applicants selected after the first stage of the application)

Interviews will take place between January 4th-14th.

After looking at the written applications, we will get in touch with you to let you know whether you proceed to the second part of the selection process. Each interview will be conducted by BEST and SDA representatives and it will have two parts: (a) general questions regarding the applicant’s motivation, personal qualities and abilities; (b) improvised argumentation. Applicants will be given a topic on which they have to give their opinion and present argumentation supporting one of the sides.

Part 3: Selection Process during the National Debate Forum (2-5 March)

20 students will take part in the last stage of the application. They will go through a 4-day training session during which they will be able to work with the coaches of the team as well as with other well-known international debaters. At the end of the Forum the final 8 students, who will be representing Bulgaria at international competitions as a National Team, will be selected. Those selected will undergo two more training camps and will participate in workshops and competitions for preparation.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Bulgarian National Debate Team (2016-2017)

Eight determined and talented students from across Bulgaria represented their country at the 2017 Heart of Europe Debate Tournament in Olomouc, Czech Republic. After a rigorous application process, they received intensive debate training in May and June and worked tirelessly throughout the spring and early summer to prepare for this prestigious competition.You can find out more about the students here.

The team hailed from 5 schools and 4 cities, including Shumen, Pazardzhik, Sofia, and Varna. They competed according to World Schools Debate standards for five days. The delegation consisted of 8 talented debaters who were split into two teams:

Team Rila – Kristiya Navushtanova, Nikola Mihaylov, Rukiye-Ayshe Egeli, and Zahari Nikolaev
Team Pirin – Aleksandra Peneva, Ekaterina Pavlova, Krasimir Kirilov, and Mira Radoslavova.

Kristiya Navushtanova and Nikola Mihaylov were awarded 4th and 2nd places for BEST Individual EFL speakers at the 2017 Heart of Europe Tournament. Additionally, Team Rila was placed 6th after the preliminary rounds.

The Bulgarian National Debate Team is a joint effort between the BEST Foundation and the Sofia Debate Association and is made possible with the generous support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Team Bulgaria (2015-2016)

Team Bulgaria comprised of 10 students chosen and trained to represent our country at international World Schools Debate competitions. From the 13th to the 18th of July, Team Bulgaria took part in the Heart of Europe 2016 International Debating Tournament.

The team debated on 4 impromptu motions and the two prepared motions: “THBT the constitutions of liberal democracies should not enshrine LGBTQ rights” and “THW pay citizens to house refugees”. If you’d like to see how the team did, check out the Team Bulgaria page on Facebook!

Team Bulgaria would not have been possible without the support of Sofia Municipality, the American College of Sofia and the American University in Bulgaria. The participation fees for the Heart of Europe Debate Tournament were funded as a part of the “Debaters for a civic society” project (PR-SO 2016-PO1-028) by the Sofia Municipality “Evropa” program.