Balkan Voices International Oratory Tournament March 30th-April 1st

Welcome to the tournament portal for Balkan Voices! Balkan Voices will be held on the American University in Bulgaria campus on March 30th-April 1st. Registration for the tournament has ended.

Press

You can read the pre-tournament press release in English and Bulgarian here.

You can read the post-tournament press release in English and Bulgarian here.

Schedule

Friday, March 30th

4:00-5:45- Greeting, registration, luggage storage (AUBG America For Bulgaria Student Center 2nd floor)
6:00 pm-6:30 pm: Opening Ceremony (Balkanski Center Auditorium)
6:30-7:30: Dinner in dining hall
8:00: AUBG Musical: Spring Awakening
10:00: Shuttle buses to hotel

Saturday, March 31st

9:00 am-6:00 pm: Rooms for competition and programming: Balkanski Rooms 001, 002, 003, 004, 201, 203, 204, Student Center 6307
7:30-8:30: Breakfast at hotel
8:30: Shuttles leave for AUBG campus (everyone)
9:00-10:00: Group shake out/ice breaker/Judges Training
10:00-11:15: Flight A, Round 1 (Flight B Campus Tour)
11:30-12:45: Flight B, Round 1 (Flight A Campus Tour)
1:00-2:00: Lunch
2:15-3:30: Flight A, Round 2 (Flight B Faculty workshop)
3:45-5:00: Flight B, Round 2 (Flight A Faculty workshop)
5:15-6:30: Quarterfinals
6:30-7:30: Q&A panel with AUBG students
7:30-8:00: Dinner
8:00: Karaoke
9:30: Shuttle buses departs for hotel

Sunday, April 1st

Rooms for competition and programming: Balkanski Rooms 001, 002, 003, 004, 201, 203, 204, Student Center 6307
7:00-7:30: Breakfast at hotel
7:30: Shuttle leaves for AUBG campus (bring luggage)
8-9:15: Semifinals
9:45-10:45: Finals
11:00-12:00: Closing Ceremony and Awards
12:00-1:00: Lunch
1:00: Departure

Friday Arrival/Registration

Upon arrival on Friday afternoon or evening please go straight to the AUBG America For Bulgaria Student Center to register with BEST and AUBG Admissions. There will be a luggage room to safely store your bags during the opening ceremony, dinner, and musical. We will have a table on the second floor in front of the Admissions office.

At the table participants will receive a welcome bag including their name tag, an event schedule, and a few AUBG and BEST surprises. Chaperones, judges, and volunteers will also be provided with name tags on Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Upon arrival participants and chaperones should be ready to provide BEST with the money for the second night at the hotel as well as for the bus shuttle (see Transportation section below). BEST will collect all money from participants and pay the hotel and bus shuttle fees after the end of the event on Sunday afternoon. Those who have been awarded scholarships should meet BEST Executive Director Dena Popova during this registration period on Friday afternoon to receive reimbursement. All chaperones should also meet with Dena to be reimbursed, providing train/bus tickets or other documents as evidence of the travel.

Judging

Due to the unique nature of Balkan Voices and BEST Foundation’s collaboration with AUBG, all judges have been recruited from the AUBG student body, the Blagoevgrad community, representatives of important partner organizations in Sofia, and the BEST management team.

Judge registration for the tournament is now closed.

Scholarship Application

Scholarship Applications for the tournament are now closed. Those who have been awarded scholarships should meet BEST Executive Director Dena Popova during the 16:00-17:45 registration period on Friday afternoon to receive reimbursement

Hotels

All participants, chaperones, drivers, and management team members will be accommodated in the same hotel, University Complex Bachinovo, in double rooms. Please email teambestbulgaria@gmail.com before Tuesday, March 27th if you have any questions about accommodations.

The cost per night is 20 BGN. BEST Foundation is paying for one night for each participant and covering the total 40 BGN cost for chaperones and drivers. The cost includes breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning. Students and chaperones should have ID cards to present at the hotel.

Here is the location of the hotel relative to the AUBG Campus :

Transportation

The hotel will provide two shuttle buses to take all participants, chaperones, and management team members between the hotel and the campus from Friday night to Sunday morning. All participants in the tournament should use the shuttle buses between the hotel and the campus from Friday night to Sunday morning, as they have been reserved to keep everyone on the same schedule.

The cost per ride (a total of four rides during the tournament) is 1.10 BGN per person, meaning a total cost of 4.40 BGN per person for the weekend. Please be ready to provide your shuttle fare in total on Friday afternoon at the registration table in the America For Bulgaria Student Center, as BEST will collect the money and pay at the end of the event.

If participants are coming by bus or train on Friday, it is extremely easy to get to the AUBG campus by foot or by taxi, if luggage is too heavy:

Food

The hotel cost includes breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning. AUBG is generously providing food vouchers in their delicious dining hall at no cost to participants or chaperones. Everyone will receive vouchers for dinner on Friday and Saturday night, and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. They will receive these vouchers in their registration welcome bags on Friday between 16:00-17:45.

If anyone wishes to get additional snacks, coffee, or other food out of pocket, the America For Bulgaria Student Center has a well-stocked cafe.