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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 (AUBG America For Bulgaria Student Center 2nd floor)
18:00-18:30: Opening Ceremony (Balkanski Center Auditorium)
18:30-19:30: Dinner in dining hall
20:00-21:00: Improv performance by the AUBG Improv club
22:00: Shuttle buses to hotel

Saturday, March 9th

7:30-8:30: Breakfast at hotels
8:30: Shuttles leave for AUBG campus (everyone)
9:00-10:00: Group shake out: In front of Balkanski Center
       Judges Training: Balkanski Center
       Volunteer training: Balkanski Center
10:00-11:15: Flight A, Round 1, (Flight B Campus Tour)
11:30-12:45: Flight B, Round 1, (Flight A Campus Tour)
13:00-14:00: Lunch
14:15-15:30: Flight A, Round 2 (Flight B Faculty workshop) Anna Joukivskaia
15:45-17:00: Flight B, Round 2 (Flight A Faculty workshop) Anna Joukivskaia
17:15-18:30: Quarterfinals in BC rooms
18:30-19:30: Q&A panel with AUBG students (ASPIRE Room in Student Center)
19:30-20:30: Dinner
20:30-22:30: Karaoke Social in ABF Student Center cafe
23:00: Shuttle buses departs for hotel

Sunday, March 10th

7:00-8:00: Breakfast at hotels
8:00: Shuttle leaves for AUBG campus (bring luggage and store in luggage room)
8:30-9:45: Semifinals in BC rooms
10:15-11:30: Finals in Student Center Theater
12:00-12:30: Closing Ceremony and Awards
12:30-14:00: Lunch
14:00: Departures

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.

Earlier Event: February 25
Varna tournament Registration period End
Later Event: March 16
Spring East Tournament in Varna