Lydia helped me in many unexpected ways – from how to make the best choice of major to how to present myself in the best light to unfamiliar institutions; she managed to turn her English lessons into lessons which are getting more and more relevant to my everyday life now.
~ Nely Slavcheva
King’s College London – Liberal Arts with Major in Film and Minor in English
Exceptionally responsive, she would never ignore anyone and will always find the time to be useful to everyone. An exceptionally knowledgeable, down-to-earth professional, she is what every teacher should be.
~ Yanko Zapryanov
Plovdiv University – Biology
I can say that a year with Lydia Staikova prepared me for university better than my five years at high school.
~ Cansel Hashim
University of Manchester – Biomedical Sciences
She kindled my ambition and helped me make a decision about my university major, which is an important and not so easy decision, especially if you are not one of the few lucky guys who have a clear career plan at 16.
A bachelor program is a financial and time investment, so it is important to be prepared and to know what to expect from university in order to avoid wasting your time and dropping out.
~ Milena Georgieva
Oxford Brookes University – Psychology
This class taught us much more than the practical skills we needed to apply to foreign universities. The skills I developed turned out to be the key to everything I have achieved after graduation from high school.
~ Rosita Kokotanekova
BSс in Earth & Space Sciences, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, 2012 / MSc in Astrophysics, Erasmus Mundus Master Course in Astrophysics, 2014 / PhD at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany and The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, 2018 / Fellow at European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany
The knowledge I got from these classes prepared me for one of the most difficult tests in English – SAT. The fruit of my labour was more than satisfactory, and Lydia’s help throughout my university application was priceless.
~ Kostantina Kostova
University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia – Architecture
She cares about every single student and approaches everyone in a considerate manner, inspiring us to work harder.
I am grateful for every single hour of work as her work does not finish within 2-3 hours with us in the classroom. She works till the latest hours to make sure that our university applications will be successful, that our exam preparation will not be in vain.
~ Gergana Ivanova
University of Glasgow – Mathematics
Taking English classes with Lydia was one of my favourite pastimes as the environment was educational, not burdensome, and full of interesting discussions.
Thanks to Lydia I started realizing better what I was interested in, what I was curious about, and what I would like to study at university.
~ Petia Atanasova
University College Tilburg – Cognitive neuroscience
Like most junior students I had no idea what I wanted to study. We started exploring together various fields and career opportunities. When I showed interest to a particular field, she offered me books to expand my knowledge. Thus I managed to start studying a subject which is interesting to me even 6 years later, when I have already graduated from university and started work.
~ Kristina Lazarova
University of Glasgow – BSc Computing Science and Psychology
Lydia gave me the opportunity to study English at a high level, and she also helped me develop in the field I had chosen to explore at university. She informed me about useful reading titles and online resources and introduced me to an endless process of independent exploration and preparation, which helped me a lot during my first years at university. Thanks to Lydia I was in an environment where I felt motivated and capable.
~ Teya Daneva
University of Glasgow – Neuroscience
Lydia showed me that I could achieve a lot by learning to overcome the limiting stereotypes of the society I lived in. She not only prepared me for the English tests I needed to apply to university but also coached me actively while I was looking for university courses and growing up as a person. She encouraged me to explore, to read and to be socially engaged.
~ Miroslav Damyanov
2011 BA Liberal Arts and Sciences – University College Roosevelt (The Netherlands) / 2013 MSc Behavioural Science – Radboud University (The Netherlands) / 2015 MSc Human Geography – Radboud University (The Netherlands)
I did not have the motivation, the perspective, the skills to build on towards something more than the immediate environment offered. Lydia’s lessons were definitely a huge key to fields of life I would not have entered if I had not been encouraged and supported to such a degree.
~ Rumen Rachev
Roosevelt Academy (UCR): Liberal Arts and Science (Bachelor in Liberal arts, majoring in humanities and social science) / Utrecht University: Media and Performance Studies (Research Master in Media and Performance Studies) / Auckland University of Technology (AUT): Art and Design (PhD in Digital Design, practice-led research)
Unlike other teachers, she makes her students think “outside the box” by stimulating discussions among them and challenging them to find deeper-hidden solutions to problems.
~ Petar Tishev
Aston University, Birmingham, UK – BSc Business and Management
She literally turned a high school student for whom an A was a chimera into an honors US university graduate in Accounting, Finance and Management, now working in one of the world’s biggest technological companies as a business analysis manager.
~ Ivan Pandulev
Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA – Bachelor of Arts – Major in Accounting and Minor in Finance / Masters of Business Administration – Concentration in Management
She introduced us to people with experience in the fields of our interest, sent us reading and study resources, and helped us a lot with university applications. To me Lydia was a real teacher and friend.
~ Ivaylo Ivanov
Software University, Sofia
I can still vividly remember the pleasant afternoons every Thursday, when we, sitting in a circle, practised our communication skills in English, discussing engaging scientific or socially significant topics.
Lyd’s English classes are a wonderful gradual transition from the traditional high school system towards the daily academic reality at foreign universities. Last but not least, she taught us curiosity.
~ Zhulieta Dobcheva
University of Birmingham – International Business with Communications
I firmly believe that she managed to fill a huge gap in the educational system for me and many other students – the lack of counselors who have to help and guide students about what and where to study and how to navigate the university application process, no matter if they apply to Bulgarian or foreign schools. Thanks to Lydia’s guidance I managed to find a university in New York, which offered me almost full scholarship to study the major I wanted.
~ Vesela Radeva
Ithaca College, School of Business Class of 2006; B.Sc.; Majors: Business Administration – dual concentrations in Finance and International Business; Minors: Economics and German Area Studies
The most important thing we learned from Lydia was probably how many the things we don’t know were. The knowledge of English which helped us succeed on SAT and TOEFL tests was probably the least important thing with which we left the classroom every time.
~ Mariana and Milena Petrova
American College of Thessaloniki – BA in International Relations / Central European University – Master of Public Administration (Mariana); American College of Thessaloniki, BA in International Relations / Master of Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, USA (Milena)
As a teacher, Lydia is exceptionally patient and pays adequate individual attention to the needs of every student. As an educational counselor, Lydia introduced me to opportunities I had never heard of.
~ Iliyana Nalbantova
American University in Bulgaria – Political Science & International Relations and History
The first thing one has to know about Lydia’s lessons is that she is not just a teacher who will prepare you for exams which will send you abroad. The essential thing and one of her most important traits is that she makes you think.
~ Kito Kitev
Queen Mary University of London – Film Studies
Studying in Lydia Staikova’s class is completely different and at the same time not so different from the ideal school education. In her English class you practise the same language skills which all teachers and textbooks promise to develop – reading and comprehension, writing, speaking, listening. The main difference is probably that in her class these skills are really developed.
As for Lydia’s characteristics as an educational counselor, the best definitely is that she succeeds in making her students dig into their souls and figure out what they really want – their real goals and aspirations, and also identify and develop their most valuable traits. Lydia’s broad knowledge in many fields makes it possible for her to successfully guide all her students. Thanks to her advice and help, reaching every educational goal was much easier for me.
~ Anastas Tenev
Roosevelt Academy, Middleburg (University College Roosevelt) / Maastricht University – Master and PhD, Economics
The classes with Lyd made my university studies abroad possible, and I will be forever grateful for that, but for me personally, much more valuable will always be the vast world I discovered in her classroom. It was in this room that I learned to think about myself, to ask questions, to seek. I had never suspected such freedom of thought could exist.
~ Hava Hadzhiibryam
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts – Literary Studies
Lydia possesses a lively engaging temperament, sophistication of speech, which helps students understand the material better, as well as charisma which rivets listeners’ attention. She treats her students with consideration and respect. I value the interactive classroom activities and the homework assignments which stimulated personal and professional development.
~ Ivaylo Krastev
Coventry University – Psychology BSc / Research Psychology PhD
Her lessons and mentorship were the main reason for my reaching a scholarship of 200 000 USD at a prestigious American university, without which studying in the USA would have been out of reach for me.
One of her main concerns is to build persons who know themselves and the world better, who are curious and motivated to stand up against a host of challenges. She possesses personal skills which make her an exceptional mentor. She has broad knowledge and dedication to her work, faith in her students’ potential and genuine concern for every single student’s success.
~ Dimitar Indzhov
St. John’s College, Liberal Arts / Sciences Po, Paris, International Public Management
With years of experience and scores of satisfied students, Lydia knows what is necessary for a university applicant to succeed in making his dreams come true. Her classes are organized in such a way as to reach the deepest depths of every aspect of university application.
~ Stoyo Stoev
English Literature with Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
I respect Lydia as a counselor as she is quite knowledgeable about British education. She helped me a lot when I was choosing universities. She guided me to make the best choice for myself. I have studied in England for two years now, and I am grateful for the skills I mastered in her classes!
~ Antonia Yovcheva
Palaeontology and Evolution, University of Bristol
Lydia possesses impressive knowledge not only of English language but also in many other fields. She is dedicated to her work and has extensive teaching experience and incredible approach to her students. All these help them feel confident in themselves and their knowledge, which is of primary importance in university application. Her sound judgement and advice helped me in my choice of major and university.
~ Bozhidar Dinkov
University of Nottingham – Economics
It is surely the place, which for many is the kick-starter of the mental process of thinking of an academic and professional career. I enjoyed Lydia’s lessons because I got to go to a place, hang out with friends, discuss interesting topics in English and talk about what everyone wanted to do in life. This was very interesting.
~ Ventsislav Videlov
Ba(Hons) Architecture, University of Kent (EN)
Lydia is a teacher who not only teaches English in a solid and systematic way but also inspires and challenges students to get interested and be eager to study.
~ Teodora Aldridge
Sofia University – Bachelor of Psychology / University of Bristol – Master of Education – Psychology of Education (Accredited by the British Psychological Society)
Lydia is one of the teachers who have had the strongest impact on my personal and professional development.
With the help of her classes I had no difficulties at high school, scored 294/300 on the TOEFL, and now feel English as my second mother tongue.
Lydia was the first in my life who asked me the question what I really wanted to achieve and encouraged me to pursue it despite people’s expectations. She made me and the other students lift our heads and look farther than the conventional limits and think independently.
~ Todor Boyadzhiev
University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia – Architecture
English is the least I learned from Lydia. She taught me freedom and critical thinking and gave me the ability to question, to be critical, to dare, and to imagine.
~ Georgi Kokotanekov
Jacobs University Bremen – Bachelor of Earth and Space Sciences / Master Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam / PhD – Joint Radio and X-ray Analysis of Powerful Feedback Clusters, University of Amsterdam
If I found a field (school subject) uninteresting, Lydia always found ways to show it to me from a new perspective – gave me the opportunity to rethink and make a more conscious and better informed decision if I liked it or not.
~ Denitsa Dimitrova
B. A. International Relations and Political Science, University of Birmingham / LL.M. Forensics, Criminology and Law, Maastricht University
I learned much more English than I had learned ever before. We discussed various topics, which was really entertaining, educational and useful not only for mastering the language but also for developing our imagination, thinking, ability to provide arguments; we also got general knowledge about interesting things.
~ Dragan Georgiev
Nutrition and Food Science, Queen Margaret University
Lyd’s teaching style could be described as unorthodox according to Bulgarian standards. What makes her stand out among most other teachers is her eagerness to get to now all her students individually.
~ Zhivka Hristova
Cottey College, Associate in Science, Biology and Chemistry / Mount Holyoke, Bachelor of Arts, Biochemistry / Heidelberg University and The German Cancer Research center, Master of Science, Molecular Biosciences with major Cancer Biology
Lydia encouraged me to pursue my dreams, despite the hardships on my way. She was one of the few people who believed that no matter how late I started preparing for university application, I would succeed and make my dream of studying in the USA come true.
~ Veselina Hristova Jones
Cottey College (Nevada, Missouri, USA) – 2009 – A.A. Psychology / Smith College (Northampton, Massachusetts, USA) – 2011 – B.A. Psychology / Boston College (Newton, Massachusetts, USA) – 2015 – Master of Social Work, Clinical Mental Health
I can safely say that my choice (or my family’s choice) to become Lyd’s student was one of the most important and destiny-defining decisions in my life. Lyd’s constant support (and frequent constructive criticism!) were the most important factors in my solid preparation, earning excellent TOEFL and SAT scores and getting into one of the best US colleges. People like Lyd, who take care of young people in Bulgaria, not only intellectually but also emotionally, are quite rare.
~ Radina T. Angelova
Williams College, Bachelor of Arts, Art History, Sociology / University of Oxford, Williams-Exeter Programme, Art History, Philosophy of Aesthetics / Tulane University Law School, Juris Doctor
After three years as a lawyer with big law firms in New York and Miami, three years at Harvard Law School before that, one year around the world on the Watson fellowship, and four years at the incredible Colby College in Maine, I often remember how my world journey began. Many people ask me how a person from the little town of Harmanli, Bulgaria, decided to study in the USA.
~ Toni Tsvetanova
Colby College – B.A. Government, East Asian Studies / Beijing University – Chinese Politics, Immersion Chinese / Harvard Law School – Doctor of Law
Lydia is an exceptionally experienced and professional educational counselor. She has deep knowledge of human nature and psychology, which she uses to create an individualized plan for the personal and professional development of every student.
~ Pauna Paunova
University of Greenwich, BSc Hon Psychology
She opened a world that did not exist in the traditional Bulgarian education and taught me many more important skills such as critical thinking, self-discipline, independence and collaboration.
~ Petya Panduleva – Bikovska
Cottey College – A.A. International Studies / Salem College – B.A. International Relations / King’s College London – M. Sc. International Marketing
The class is a serious and a quite constructive experience for the students, according to the many conversations I had with friends for hours after the end of the lesson.
~ Nikolay Shiderov
Major in Sociology and Political science, with a minor in Philosophy – University College Roosevelt
Her advice was always on point, and without her help the application process would have been a lot harder.
~ Kristian Kostov
University of Dundee – BSc Psychology