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About the UMD BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA Program

BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA offers Macedonian youth from around the world the opportunity to proudly declare their Macedonian identity and assert their Macedonian Heritage. Through its hands-on, life changing experience, Birthright Macedonia allows its participants to become fully immersed in their ancestral homeland by experiencing many facets of the fabric of Macedonia and its people.

Birthright Macedonia was conceived and developed by UMD Advisory Council member Peter Dallas, a first-generation American of Macedonian Heritage. He was concerned about the decline of the connections of Macedonians to their ancestral roots, particularly among first, second, and third generation Macedonians in the Diaspora. Concerned with the growing assimilation of overseas Macedonians into other cultures and intermarriage with non-Macedonians, Dallas was determined to do something to help Macedonians abroad maintain their connection to the homeland.

The result is Birthright Macedonia, a fully integrated program of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) headquartered in Washington, D.C. and its partnership organization, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) in Skopje.

The mission of Birthright Macedonia is:

* To strength the ties between Macedonians living in the Diaspora with the people of Macedonia.
* To offer Diasporan Macedonians the opportunity to experience the daily life of the Republic and to achieve a better understanding of the economic, cultural, political and social issues of the country.
* To encourage Diasporan Macedonians to contribute to the development of Macedonia by sharing their knowledge and life experiences with native Macedonians through volunteer work internship programs.
* To develop contacts and friendships with native Macedonians and with Diasporan Macedonians that will last a lifetime.
* To foster and promote Macedonian causes throughout the world.

REDISCOVER YOUR MACEDONIAN HERITAGE….OR DISCOVER IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. COME WITH A FRIEND OR COME ALONE AND LEAVE WITH NEW FRIENDS.

COME HOME TO MACEDONIA – THE LAND OF YOUR ANCESTORS.

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

Time Frame: Program participants will spend three weeks in the summer (June 23-July 14, 2017)—known as the Summer Session -- in Macedonia. Participants who wish to remain beyond the Summer Session 2017 may do so at their discretion.

Age Limit: 18+. You must be 18 years old on the first day of the Birthright Macedonia Summer Session.

Accommodations: Participants will be housed with Macedonian Host Families. A Host Family will provide room and board.

Location: Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia for the Summer Session 2017.

Internships: During the work week, participants will be assigned a pre-designated Internship work program that is commensurate with their academic, work or general interests.

Free Time: During non-work hours and weekends, participants will have opportunities to meet, interact and socialize with one another, with local Macedonian youth and adults and become immersed in all aspects of their assigned location.

Accommodations: Participants will be housed with Macedonian Host Families. A Host Family will provide room and board.

Application Fee: 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.

You can pay the Application Fee by clicking HERE. If you reside in Canada, please click HERE to process your fee.

Because participation in Birthright Macedonia is limited, applications will be processed on a first come basis. May 19, 2017 is the last date applications will be accepted.

See COST below for the details of all costs.

THE SCHEDULE:

A Birthright Macedonia Summer Session consists of three full weeks in Macedonia (June 23-July 14, 2017). The following is a brief overview of a typical summer session.

Day 1: Arrive in Skopje. Register at the hotel designated for overseas participants. Pick up your information packet. Use your free time to recover from jet lag, relax, browse the shops, stroll the bazaars and discover the attractions and excitement that Skopje offers.

Day 2: Enjoy the opening ceremonies for Birthright Macedonia. Meet your fellow participants and staff members. Depart and meet your Host Family.

Day 3: Visit the site of your internship and meet your fellow Macedonian co-workers. Become acclimated with your work environment and begin work in your chosen field.

Days 4-19: Become immersed in your internship activities. Share your knowledge and experiences with native Macedonians and your fellow overseas Macedonians. After work hours and on weekends, enjoy free time, unless there is a scheduled Birthright Macedonia function to attend.

Day 20: Leave your Host Family. Participate in the closing ceremonies of Birthright Macedonia. Then say farewell to your fellow overseas Birthright Macedonia participants and staff members.

Day 21: Depart Skopje and head for home, or remain in Macedonia.

INTERNSHIPS:

An important part of your participation in Birthright Macedonia is the opportunity to work in an internship that is consistent with your academic, work or general interests.

During the internship, you will work alongside native Macedonians and perhaps other overseas participants who have similar interests as you. The program gives you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the work and aspirations of the Macedonian people. In addition to gaining hands-on experience in your work, you will experience and become part of the social and economic fabric of everyday Macedonia.

At the conclusion of your internship, you will receive a Certificate of Completion, which will acknowledge your effort and your contribution to the people of Macedonia. You may find this Certificate to be a useful component to your academic or work resumes.

FREE TIME:

Free time during a Summer Session can be as varied as you wish to make it. Spend your free time in the myriad of opportunities Macedonia offers you. You can:

**Interact and socialize with Host Family members and with your colleagues from your internship program.

**Attend one of several optional weekend activities offered by Birthright Macedonia. 

**Socialize with fellow overseas participants and with native youth.

**Visit family members you may have living in Macedonia.

**Visit the historical and natural sites of Macedonia.

**Enjoythe friendliness of the Macedonian people and the beauty of the country.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

Overseas participants will stay with a Host Family. Enjoy your home away from home with an abundance of Macedonian hospitality.

You will be responsible for the cost of accommodations and meals outside the home of your Host Family.

COST:

The overseas participant will be responsible for the following expenses:

-Application Fee (or appropriate equivalent currency) is payable when you submit your Application.  

The Application Fee is $500 if paid on or before April 28, 2017.  If paid after April 29, 2017, the Application Fee is $600. 

- The fee is not refundable if you are accepted to participate in the program. If you are not accepted, you will receive a refund. You can pay the Application fee by clicking HERE. If you reside in Canada, please click HERE to process your fee.

- Round trip flight to Macedonia.
- Passport and visa expenses (if applicable).
- Medical/accident/travel insurance.
- Meals and hotel accommodations on first day and the last day of your stay in Macedonia. Hotel accommodations will be arranged at group rates.
- Travel and related costs in Macedonia during free time.
- Food and related costs during free time. Depending on the work schedule of your internship, you may need to buy some meals.
- Personal and miscellaneous items.

APPLY HERE!

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