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BEST Balkan Voices International Oratory Tournament - March 8-10, 2019 at the American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad

  • American University in Bulgaria (map)

The BEST Foundation and the American University in Bulgaria will host Balkan Voices, the second annual international oratory competition in Bulgaria, in the spring of 2019. The tournament will take place from March 8th - March 10th on AUBG’s beautiful campus and will host approx. 100 9th-12th grade competitors from schools in the Balkans.

This tournament is a chance for high school students from all around the Balkans to compete with their Original Oratories (a beginner’s guide can be found here), make new friends from other countries, and to learn about the educational opportunities at AUBG. Balkan Voices will provide students with a cross-cultural experience that will enable them to substantially connect with students from other countries and to gain new perspectives. We believe that it is important that all students gain access to future opportunities through speech and debate, and touring AUBG and participating in faculty-led workshops during Balkan Voices will provide students with a new perspective on going to university. An international tournament hosted in Bulgaria will also enable more future BEST students to get valuable intercultural experiences through speech and debate.

Information on the logistics and how to register can be found below, and as always, you can e-mail us with questions at

Letter of Invitation

If your school or any authorities require an official letter of invitation for your students from either us or AUBG, please, e-mail us at

Tournament Schedule

Friday, March 8th

16:00-18:00: Registration, luggage storage (ABF* 2nd floor)
18:00-18:30: Opening Ceremony (BAC** Auditorium)
18:30-19:30: Dinner in dining hall (ABF 3rd floor)
20:00-21:30: Public speaking quiz & Scavenger hunt (BAC Auditorium)
22:00: Shuttle buses to hotel (Parking lot)

Saturday, March 9th

7:30-8:30: Breakfast at hotels
8:30: Shuttles from Baza Bachinovo leave for AUBG campus
9:00-10:00: Group shake out: In front of BAC
        Judges Training: BAC 103
        Volunteer training: BAC 201
10:00-11:15: Flight A, Round 1
         Flight B Campus Tour (BAC lobby)
11:30-12:45: Flight B, Round 1
         Flight A Campus Tour (BAC lobby)
13:00-14:00: Lunch in dining hall (ABF 3rd floor)
14:15-15:30: Flight A, Round 2
         Flight B Faculty workshop (ABF Aspire & ABF 6306)
15:45-17:00: Flight B, Round 2
         Flight A Faculty workshops (ABF Aspire & ABF 6306)
17:15-18:30: Quarterfinals
18:30-19:30: Q&A panel with AUBG students (BAC Auditorium)
19:30-20:30: Dinner in dining hall (ABF 3rd floor)
20:30-22:30: Karaoke Social (ABF Cafe at 1st floor)
23:00: Shuttle buses to hotel (Parking lot)

Sunday, March 10th

7:00-8:00: Breakfast at hotels
8:00: Shuttles leave for AUBG campus (from Baza Bachinovo) - check out and take luggage
8:30-9:45: Semifinals
10:15-11:30: Varsity Finals (ABF Theater); Novice Finals (BAC Auditorium)
12:00-12:30: Closing Ceremony and Awards (ABF Theater)
12:30-14:00: Lunch in dining hall (ABF 3rd floor)
14:00: Departures

*ABF - America for Bulgaria Student Center
**BAC - Balkanski Academic Center

International travel

We will be in contact with each individual international group and assist as best we can with international travel advice as soon as you have submitted your application. Please make sure that your group is cleared to travel and arrive at the tournament site by Friday afternoon, March 8. Conversely, you can e-mail us with any questions you want to ask before you apply at

Tournament Application - deadline: January 28; decisions made by January 31

Tournament attendance will be covered (we will cover the hotel costs for Friday and Saturday, and reimburse your transport upon arrival to the tournament) for approx. 50 participants from Bulgaria, and approx. 60 total participants from the following countries: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia. This wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Regional English Language Office - Belgrade.


AUBG will provide a shuttle bus to transport a large number of participants to and from the hotel where they are booked to stay. You can call the following taxi companies for transport around town:

  • Tip-Top Taxi - +359 73 833 333

  • OK Taxi - +359 73 882 121

  • Eco Taxi - +359 73 886 666

  • Mega Lux - +359 73 882 828

The tournament will take place at AUBG’s campus, which can be found on this Google map:


Our generous partners from AUBG will provide dinner on Friday for all participants, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and lunch on Sunday. All of those will be held at the University’s canteen, located on the top floor of the building where the tournament will be held. Breakfast will be provided at the hotels!

Earlier Event: February 16
Spring West Tournament in Blagoevgrad
Later Event: March 16
Spring East Tournament in Varna