Study in Macedonia with YES Abroad!

The Republic of Macedonia, is located in the central Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Bordered by Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania, The Republic of Macedonia is landlocked. With a central valley formed by the Vardar River and framed along its borders by mountain ranges, the terrain is mostly rugged. Macedonia has a transitional climate from Mediterranean to continental with hot, dry summers and moderate winters.

The country’s capital of Skopje is where YES Abroad students spend their program year. With a population of over 500,000 people, Skopje is the country’s largest city and is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic center.

Macedonia is home to many ethnic groups including Macedonians, Albanians, Romani people, and smaller minority populations of Serbians, Turks, Bosniaks, and Aromanians. The two religions with the greatest influence on the country are Orthodox Christianity and Islam, but Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism are also practiced.

Learn more about being a YES Abroad student in Macedonia:

Host Family

Students will live with host families in order to experience true immersion in the local culture. Families are selected based on recommendations by members of the local community, and each family is carefully screened by American Councils staff. Families are carefully vetted through a thorough application process and are highly regarded by their relatives and neighbors. Hosting communities exist through the presence of a strong support network, with a local staff member, or "local coordinator" available to each student hosted in the community.

Your High School

Students attend a private (non-gap year students) or state (gap year students) school while in Macedonia. In both schools, the primary language of instruction will be in English. The language of instruction at the private school, NOVA, is English, while both English and Macedonian are used in the state school, Gymnasia "Josip Broz Tito (JBT). Nova typically runs Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and JBT runs Monday to Friday, the first shift from 7:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and the second shift from 11:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Participants’ shift rotates every two weeks.  

Participants have the opportunity to participate in a number of extracurricular school activities, such as clubs and sports. Students also participate in the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) program, which provides opportunities for students to participate in other activities organized by the school.

The Political & Security Environment

The U.S. enjoys good relations with the Republic of Macedonia. It is an active member in organizations such as the UN, WHO, ICC, ILO, and the Councils of Europe.

For more information, visit the CIA World Factbook.

Health & Safety

With a presence in Macedonia since 2005, staff draw on strong local connections for a deep understanding of the area’s intercultural, health, safety, and security issues. Prior to departure and upon arrival, students attend a number of information and a safety briefings by American Councils staff and a security briefing by the U.S. Embassy’s Security Office, which will also provide participants with assistance in registering with the Embassy to receive travel alerts. American Councils works closely with participants before arrival and throughout the exchange year to prepare for and discuss participants’ well-being.

YES Abroad participants are covered by medical coverage as well as Political and Security Evacuation Insurance. Participants and their parents have access to a 24-hour emergency number, and staff members are thoroughly trained for any issues that might arise. Each student is given a mobile phone upon arrival as well as the contact number for his/her local coordinator in the American Councils Macedonia office.

For further information on Macedonia visit the U.S. Department of State website

Enrichment Activities

Participants have the opportunity to take part in various activities to increase their interaction with locals and peers in Macedonia. Activities may include field trips, sporting events, cultural excursions, social outings, and community service projects. Examples of previous enrichment activities include:

  • Meeting with the Public Affair Section of the U.S. Embassy;

  • Exploring the capital city – Skopje;

  • Trips to other cities, towns, and sites in Macedonia, such as Ohrid, Bitola, and Tetovo;

  • Cultural days with Macedonian YES Alumni who studied in the United States; and

  • Community service activities, such as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and local non-profits.