2017 Field School to Macedonia



Macedonia is a small landlocked country in the Balkans with a very rich and ancient past. Macedonia has already been settled during the Neolithic. From the 12th century BC the first Macedonians began to settle in the region. They colonized a huge empire under Philip II and Alexander the Great. This was later overrun by the Romans, became a part of Byzantium, the period in which the Slav people first settled here, and then came under Bulgarian and subsequently Serbian rule, in 1371 it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. In1944, the communists under Tito incorporated part of Macedonia as a constituent republic of the socialist state of Yugoslavia. Today the Republic of Macedonia has a population of about 2 million Macedonians, Albanians. Turks, Roma and Vlachs. The country now shares borders with Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. The Republic of Macedonia is a spirited and hospitable country.

Information sessions offered will introduce you to Macedonia during spring term 2017. During your stay: Local guides will introduce you to the different districts of the city. We will have guest lectures in English from different specialists of the area, including social anthropologists, archeologists, political scientists, historians, folklorists, artists, musicians and local NGO’s. We will have weekend excursions to sites of stunning beauty. You will leave Macedonia with many newly forged friendships.

This field school is especially interesting to social anthropology students, to students that are interested in the archeology of antiquity and the Neolithic. The Field School is also of interest to Global Studies, Political Science, Tourism and students that are interested to work in the NGO sector.


 May 1 – June 16, 2017


Tentative Schedule

Arriving April 30

Two weeks Kriva Palanka on ‘Ethnography of Socialism’ with the students of the university of Kiril and Methodi (UKIM), international students and international faculty.

May 11                   Skopje – UKIM – Sveti Pantelejmon, Monastery/Vodno

May 12, 13, 14        Ohrid, Sveti Naum, Water Museum

May 15 – 19            Skopje – Mustafa Pasa Mosque, Kursumli An, Sultan Murat mosque, Sveti Spas Church

May 20, 21              Bitola, Ancient Heraclea

May 22 – 26            Skopje – UKIM – Daut pasa Baths, Stara Carsija, Holocaust Memorial Centre

May 27, 28              Krushevo

May 29 – June 2      Skopje – UKIM – visit Matka, Caves

June 3,4                  Galicnik, Mavrovo (Hotel Bistra)

June 5-9                  Skopje – UKIM

June 10, 11              Tikves wine region and ancient Stopb

June 12 – 16            Skopje – UKIM, Final Exams

June 16                   Departure


Accommodation is included in apartments which have kitchens, so that food costs are minimal. Accommodation will be in Graduate Student-Housing in Skopj. The flats house 2 students, and include sheets, towels, a kitchen with utensils and cleaning. The accommodation is right downtown. Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, and our home base is known in the region for its colourful nightlife with hundreds of katanas. Macedonians are famous for their hospitality and their food.


Participants must arrange their own air travel to Skopje and travel insurance, including medical. Food is not included, but travel within Macedonia is included.

Program Conditions or Considerations

Macedonia is hard to beat. Part Balkan and part Mediterranean, it offers impressive ancient sites and a buzzing modern nightlife. Macedonia has an amazing cultural life and breath-taking natural beauty. Scopje, the capital is a place full of contradictions, southern Macedonia and Ohrid and its deep unexplored lake, the town which is famous for its sublime Byzantine churches and traditional houses, is a pearl indeed. Galicica Mountain Range and Prespa Lake are raw nature. Macedonia retains an undiscovered feel that is lacking elsewhere in Europe and the local people are most hospitable and lid-back. Agriculture is still important, endless vineyards, the sweetest watermelons and tomatoes, red peppers hanging to dry on balconies an tobacco ‘needeling’ is still the best place to gossip. The little villages are dotted with storks’ nests and the local invited strangers with open arms. Traveling is cheap, and easy and safe.


Macedonia heritage

Eligibility Requirements

A minimum of second year standing in Anthropology, political studies, global studies is required.

The selection of participants is based on two references from colleagues, an interview and Expression of Interest

Courses taught

ANTH 390            (3)          Issues in Anthropology (Urban Anthropology of Nationalism)

ANTH 362            (3)          Ethnographic Field Studies (The Anthropology of Non-Governmental Organizations)

ANTH 325G         (3)          Ethnology of Selected Regions:  Eastern Europe

Visa Travel Information

Europeans and Canadians do not require a Visa.

Other passport-carriers have to ask at:
Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia,
130 Albert Street
Suite 1006
Ottawa, ON  K1P 5G4
Tel:  +1 613 234 3882
Email:  ottawa@mfa.gov.m; emb.macedonia.ottawa@sympatico.com

Application Process

  1.  Expression of Interest statement is to be completed and emailed to Ilka.Thiessen@viu.ca by the deadline of November 18. The Expression of Interest received after this date will still be accepted, but space on the trip may not be guaranteed. Please copy/download/save the 'Expression of Interest' to your computer, fill it out and save it again before emailing to Ilka.Thiessen@viu.ca.)

Accepted students will receive an email requesting the non-refundable deposit of $500 to be paid through your student record. VIU does not accept credit card payments for field schools.

All participants will be required to submit the following to Education Abroad prior to departure. Education Abroad on-line form:  (In the drop down box indicate the Anthropology-Macedonia 2017 field school.)

  •  Acknowledgement of Responsibility waiver and Cancellation forms.(Waiver and Cancellation forms) 
  • Passport (Passport must be valid until 6 months after your return date. If your passport is "in process" please indicate that with your application.)
  • Flight itinerary 
  • Travel medical insurance document


Payments must be made via the student record after the charge has been applied. VIU does not accept credit card payments for field schools.

Payment Schedule



Application Deadline

November 18


Deposit Deadline

December 1


Payment 1

Feb 1


Payment 2/Final

March 15


Total field school cost:   




Macedonia Culture

Financial Assistance

  • International Education Stipend - The International Education Department at VIU encourages Education Abroad by providing eligible VIU Students with an International Education Award of $350. Conditions apply. International Education Stipend.
  • StudentAid BC - Students on the BC student assistance Program (BCSAP) may be able to continue their funding to include Education Abroad. Those not currently receiving BCSAP funding, may be able to apply. Contact Financial Aid (Financial Aid ) in Building 200 for more information.
  • One World International Scholarship Program - The overall purpose of this scholarship is to increase the participation by undergraduate students from public post-secondary institutions in BC in academic, experiential and work-related study abroad programs outside Canada to develop a more globally literate citizenry and workforce in the province. Scholarships will range from $1000 to $3500. Read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying. Application deadlines: March 27, 2016 and November 20, 2016


Dr. Ilka Thiessen
Department of Anthropology


Manager, Education Abroad
Building 255, Room 264
250.753.3245 Ext. 2494