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Success Stories - Hannah Bambrick

BulgariaHannah Bambrick, BSN Class of 2013, spent Fall semester 2010 in Bulgaria.  Hannah is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Notes from Hannah…

I spent Fall 2010 semester in the seldom known, but amazing, country of Bulgaria.

As a nursing major I didn’t think this opportunity was even possible, but then I found out it was! To study abroad as a nursing major all you have to do is go your first semester of sophomore year or before. So that’s what I did. The Study Abroad Office helped me through every step of the process. I found it was possible, found a program, and within a couple months I had already been approved for the American University in Bulgaria, AUBG.

I didn’t know too much about the area before leaving on a jet plane; there is only so much you can learn from Google. My study abroad advisor, Orlina Boteva, is from Bulgaria originally, so she provided priceless advice. But, to be honest, with as much advice as you can possibly get and all the information you can gather on the internet, there is nothing to prepare you for actually going and living abroad.

My first thoughts about Bulgaria were blurred with jet lag, confusion, and the beginnings of homesickness. After only a couple days I began adjusting and immediately making friends. These new friends quickly transformed into travel companions as I began to discover the beauty of Bulgaria. I travelled to Dobrinishte to experience the natural mineral pools, to Plovdiv to see the oldest amphitheatre in Europe, to the Seven Lakes in the Rila Mountain to see a view that changed my life. The beauty of the country captivated me then, and still continues to do still today.

Every day brought new discoveries and adventure.  They are all described on My blog: Little amusements of everyday life, lots of travel experiences, and also some crazy things that have all changed me and my life for the better.

My first glimpses of Bulgaria were the vintage communist buildings towering on the streets of Sofia during my taxi ride to Blagoevgrad, my new home. All I kept thinking was “what am I doing here?!?” Now I think of Blagoevgrad as a home. I could walk along the streets, with the Christmas lights, the snow, the little old people, and even the stray dogs, and couldn’t help but think “why am I leaving?” I’m sure I’ll go back. I built a home there, and I will forever feel part Bulgarian.

Since I was a little kid I knew I more than wanted to study abroad… I needed to. I always felt that Bangor, Maine, was a little bit too small for me. Now I’ve seen the world – Bulgaria, Turkey, France, Belgium, the Netherlands – and I know that I was meant for greater things. This experience has reassured my choice in becoming a nurse. A nurse can change the world.


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Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469