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 partner 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 (July 3 – July 24, 2020)—known as the Summer Session — in Macedonia. Participants who wish to remain beyond the Summer Session 2020 may do so at their discretion.

Age Limit: Participants need to be between 18-29 years of age. You must be 18 years old on the first day of the Birthright Macedonia Summer Session.

Location: Summer Session 2020 will take place in Skopje and in Bitola. Participants are given the choice of either location subject to availability.

Accommodations: Participants will be housed with Macedonian Host Families, who will provide room and board for the participant. At their convenience, a participant may choose to live with relatives, who reside in Skopje or Bitola. Any arrangement made between a participant and relatives will be strictly a private arrangement and outside of the purview of Birthright Macedonia.

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.

Application Fee: There is an Application Fee of $750 (or appropriate equivalent currency) if paid on or before May 22, 2020.

You can pay the Application Fee by clicking HERE.

Because participation in Birthright Macedonia is limited, applications will be processed on a first come basis. May 22, 2020 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 (July 3-July 24, 2020). 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: Attend opening session of Birthright Macedonia. Meet your fellow participants and staff members. Depart and meet your Host Family (in Skopje or Bitola).

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 work. Learn new work procedures and share your knowledge and experiences with your native fellow workers.  After work hours, socialize with your internship colleagues, Host Family members and other Birthright participants. Interacting with all three groups will help build lasting friendships for you and them

Day 20: Participate in the closing ceremonies of Birthright Macedonia in Skopje. Say farewell to your fellow overseas Birthright Macedonia participants, Host Family, 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 at an internship that is consistent with your academic, work or general interests.

During the internship, you will work alongside native Macedonians and perhaps other 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 become immersed in the social and economic fabric of contemporary 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:

  • Spend your free time in the myriad of opportunities Macedonia offers you.
  • Participate in the three HERITAGE WEEKENDS to discover the culture, tradition, history, and natural beauty of the Republic.
  • Interact and socialize with Host Family members and with your colleagues from your internship program.
  • Attend one of several optional Heritage Weekend activities offered by the Birthright Macedonia.
  • Socialize with fellow overseas participants and with native youth.
  • Visit family relatives you have living in Macedonia.
  • Enjoy the friendliness of the Macedonian people and the beauty of the country.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

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

You have the opportunity to live with your relatives, provided they reside within Skopje or Bitola.

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 $750 (or equivalent currency) if paid on or before May 22, 2020.  

– 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.

– 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.
– 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!