FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA?
BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA is a unique program, administered by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) together with its partner in Macedonia the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC ) for Macedonian youth from around the world to gather in our ancient homeland for three weeks during the summer (called a Summer Session).
As a participant, you will be engaged in an internship work program, which you may use in your college or employment resumes. You will choose a work activity in a field that is of interest to you or compatible with your academic or work goals. You will live with a Macedonian Host Family during your stay in Macedonia.
2. Where does BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA take place?
The Birthright Macedonia summer session for 2017 will be held in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia.
3. How long is the Summer Session and when does it start?
The session is 21 days long. Starting date is June 23, 2017 and ending date is July 14, 2017.
4. What ages are eligible to participate?
18 years or older
5. Do I have to be of Macedonian ancestry for me to attend?
Yes, anyone of ancestry from Macedonia can attend.
6. Do I need to speak Macedonian?
No, you do not need to speak the Macedonian language. Of course, you will be exposed to the language as well as Macedonia’s rich cultural heritage.
7. Can I visit relatives and friends in Macedonia during the Summer Session? Can my relatives and friends visit me?
Yes. This can be done during free time in the evenings and on weekends but not during work sessions of your internship or during scheduled activities.
8. Can I live with my relatives in Macedonia during the Summer Session?
We prefer your stay in Macedonia be independent of family relationships so that you will have maximum exposure to the Macedonian culture and people. When that is not possible, you may live with relatives provided they are within the city limits of Skopje.
9. Do I have to attend all internship related work and other scheduled activities?
Yes. Birthright Macedonia bears the cost to administer all aspects of the Summer Session and you are expected to fulfill your internship and attend all scheduled functions. The only exception would be made in case of illness or hospitalization during your Session.
10. I may want to stay in Macedonia more than three weeks. Can I arrive in Macedonia earlier than the Summer Session start date and leave after the end date?
Yes, absolutely. All associated costs for an early arrival and later departure will be yours. Please arrange your travel schedule accordingly.
11. Is there a limit to the number of times I can participate in the Birthright Macedonia program?
Yes. Because participation is limited, we want to offer the opportunity to experience Birthright Macedonia to all first time applicants.
12. Can I volunteer to help with Birthright Macedonia when I return home?
Absolutely. As a member of Birthright Macedonia’s alumni group, your assistance would be welcomed in promoting the program to other young adults in your home community. As the alumni group grows in your locale, you will be invited to participate in activities that support Macedonian causes.
13. What if I get sick or injured during the Summer Session?
Seek medical care immediately. Then, as soon as possible, contact the Birthright Macedonia point of contact provided to you once accepted to the program with full details. Also, you must notify your Host Family. Birthright Macedonia will notify your parents or guardian if you are unable to do so.
Please note you must provide proof of adequate medical insurance to be accepted into a Summer Session.
We recommend you purchase travel insurance in addition to the medical insurance you are required to have. This travel insurance should cover flight delays or cancellations as well as personal property theft, loss and/or damage.
14. What should I bring with me to Macedonia?
Please limit yourself to the essentials and pack lightly. You are typically only allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on bag on your flight. Check with your airline for luggage weight and size regulations. You might want to use a backpack as a carry-on bag, so that you can use it when traveling in Macedonia.
Important items to bring include: your passport; any medication (and prescriptions) you will need and all flight information for your round-trip journey.
Go to HELPFUL INFORMATION for additional guidance in preparing for your trip.
15. Do I need spending money? How much should I bring?
Yes. Bring enough spending money to cover the extent of activities and travel you wish to do during free time. You are responsible for the cost of any free time activities you wish to engage in, such as travel or any activities not sponsored by Birthright Macedonia.
Since you will live with a Host Family, your basic housing and food will be provided. However, depending on your internship, you may be responsible for providing the cost of certain meals during the workweek. For example, this may include the cost of your dinner if you are working evening hours on your internship assignment and cannot have dinner with your Host Family.
16. Is there an enrollment or application fee of any kind?
Yes. There is an Application Fee of $500 (or appropriate equivalent currency) if paid on or before April 28, 2017. If paid on April 29, 2017 or later, the Application Fee is $600.
17. What are some important dates I must remember?
April 28, 2017: The last day that the Application Fee of $500 will be accepted.
April 29, 2017: The Application Fee increases to $600.
May 19, 2017: The last day to apply for Birthright Macedonia and submit your application fee.
You must submit proof of sufficient medical insurance coverage by May 19, 2017.
Enrollment in Birthright Macedonia is limited and all applications will be processed on a first come basis.
Things to consider while packing and preparing for your trip to Macedonia.
Clothing to bring:
* short-sleeved shirts or T shirts
* sweater or jacket (rainproof is ideal)
* bathing suit
* underwear, socks, handkerchiefs
* sneakers/comfortable shoes
* wristwatch and alarm clock
*shower footwear (flip-flops)
Miscellaneous items to bring:
* Passport (see comments below)
* All medicines (including copies of prescriptions)
* Canteen/water bottle
* Prescription glasses/contact lenses and related supplies
* Cash/ATM card/credit card
* Adapter for electrical appliances
* Suitcase lock
* Books/reading material
* Camera, charger/batteries
* Journal/address book
* Mini flashlight or penlight
* Plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
* Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, etc.)
* Umbrella (small)
- If you can't lift your suitcase yourself, then you probably over-packed.
- Remember to leave space in your suitcase for gifts and souvenirs.
- You will be responsible for packing and moving your own bags during your stay in Macedonia.
- Don’t panic if you forget something. You can always buy it in Macedonia.
Passport and other information:
You must have a passport. You cannot travel to Macedonia without one. You should check with your closest Macedonian consulate or embassy to determine if you need a visa to enter Macedonia.
If you do not already have a passport, you should begin obtaining a passport as soon as possible. You will be required to provide your passport number on your application.
You are required to register with the Macedonian police within 24 hours of your arrival.
Currency and money:
The currency in Macedonia is denar. You can bring your money to Macedonia in one of several ways:
* Bring cash and convert it to denars as soon as you arrive. You will likely get better conversion rates from a bank rather than from a currency converter
* Use credit/debit cards for purchases and to obtain denars from ATM machines or at banks.
ATMs can be found at the airport and in the larger cities and towns. Check with your bank to be sure you will have access to ATMs while abroad. We recommend you bring a back up card just in case some ATM networks are more widely covered than others. Should you lose your credit/debit cards, please contact your bank immediately.