A cultural stay in Macedonia! Northern Macedonia, to be precise: the agreement on the name of the country with Greece is historic, and opens the entry into the European Union to this small Balkan country. Contrary to the collective imagination, Macedonia is largely underrated: we explain everything to you.

A cultural stay in Macedonia: an open-mindedness
If the aim of the student mobility organised by your institution is above all cultural openness, this is the country in Europe to go to. All populations are welcome: Macedonian of course, but also Turkish, Roma, Italian, French, Greek, Albanian and Bosnian! A cultural mix that you can find everywhere, from the architecture to the market and in the local cuisine. A delight, and it’s not expensive at all.

A cultural stay in Macedonia: breathtaking landscapes
The first time we went there, it was really for business; they entered the ERASMUS + programme as a country in their own right, so we wanted to maximise meetings on the spot; without suspecting that the scenery is sumptuous. Skopje, already for the architecture: the city is being completely refurbished to erase the traces of the war at the end of the 90s. The capital is of average size, and if you enjoy walking, you can do everything on foot. Not far, 30 minutes by car or 10€ by taxi, there is the Canyo Matka: crazy! And THE surprise for us was Ohrid: a UNESCO listed city on the edge of a lake that would make the Seychelles look like Paris-plage: unbelievable. And I’m not exaggerating!

A cultural stay in Macedonia: learning from a different system
For cross-cultural slapping it’s ideal. Already we learn very quickly that Roma children are exploited by networks, which force them to beg as soon as they can walk; we quickly notice that the average salary is very low. Despite the emergence of a middle class, especially in Europe, poverty is still marked: it is not uncommon to come across a cart pulled by a donkey. But you experience the same situation in Bulgaria, Romania and other countries.

Macedonia from a very personal point of view, I loved it: the people are kind, affordable and helpful, you feel safe at any time of the day or night, it is lively, it is welcoming. We loved it so much that we’re going back there this winter. If you too want to help your young people discover this country, whether on a work placement abroad or a cultural trip, it’s all down here! –

If you want to read more, it’s there 🙂