Student Comments on

their Internships and Field School

The internship in and fieldschool to Macedonia was not only a highlight of my studies at VIU, but also a life changing experience in my personal and professional development. My time in Macedonia allowed me to experience Anthropology in action, and made me realize that I want to pursue graduate studies in international development. I made lifelong friendships and memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I would like to thank Dr. Thiessen and her Macedonian colleagues for this amazing opportunity to learn about this beautiful country and its people. I would do it all over again!

My internship and commencing field school in Macedonia was my first exposure to the Western Balkans. This internship stimulated my research interests in Macedonia, leading to the production of a Master’s thesis focused on the interethnic relations in the country. Following which I continued graduate studies, in the form of a PhD, to expand my research to focus on religion and politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This internship was an eye opening and life changing experience that spearheaded my studies and career goals in the region. I am eternally grateful for the skills I’ve gained and the opportunities I was awarded because of this internship.

With many thanks to both teams!! Two Macedonian NGO's who have taken students from VIU in the past:

Work either with KONEKT or with the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC).


Konekt is a Macedonian civic association created in June 2008 by a few enthusiasts who believe that Macedonia has the potential to develop relying on local resources and capacity.
Our mission is to encourage and promote private giving and social responsibility targeted at effective and long-term development of Macedonia. Our mission is realized through:

  • Encouraging individuals and families to give wisely and thoughtfully;
  • Supporting companies, regardless of their size, to donate and invest in the community strategically and with long-term impact;
  • Encouraging people throughout Macedonia to donate deliberately - even small donations can make a big change when combined;
  • Raising awareness about philanthropy's potential to have genuine impact in the society.

In addition to our work in the field of philanthropy, Konekt is also dedicated to promoting and encouraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We believe that when CSR is integrated in the business strategy, it contributes to company’s effectiveness, innovation and long-term sustainable development. In that direction, through Konekt CSR we offer support to companies in the development of their strategies, approaches and reports in the field of CSR.

Whole is When There is Everything

MCIC - Current programmes

  • Whole is When There is Everything -  Overall goal of this project is development of democratic principles, preserving the national stability by reducing the interethnic tensions and promotion of positive values.
  • Project purpose is to raise the awareness on the human rights issues, particularly from the aspect of interethnic relations and promotion of positive values in the underlying differences between the entities.
  • I Live Here - The strategy of the campaign “I live here” was aimed at stimulating the individuality as a beginning of building common values, putting emphasis on the own values as real foundation and the responsibility of each individual, with respect to one’s rights and responsibilities.
  • Say Macedonia - The overall goal of the project was to strengthen the civic activism and the citizens’ awareness about the need for building sustainable and dynamic civil society sector capable of responding to the challenges and priorities of the domestic public. The project purpose was to stimulate and organize broad public action, in terms of supporting the affirmation and official use of the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia on international level.
  • Say OK to MK - The project purpose was to stimulate and organize wide public action in order to support the integration of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Union (specifically, gaining the status of candidate country for EU membership). This is why a media campaign was launched under the slogan “Say OK for MK”, focused on the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
  • Easter Campaign - The project purpose was to stimulate and organize broad public action, in terms of supporting the affirmation and official use of the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia on international level. This was supposed to be achieved through media campaign during the Easter holidays.
  • Both NATO and Macedonia - The idea behind the campaign was affirmation of the endeavours made by Republic of Macedonia for EU and NATO membership. Macedonia has been making significant progress in reforms and development of its EU and NATO relations. Macedonia and its citizens have achieved agreement on the need for its membership to EU and NATO. Macedonia, however, has the right for self-identification which cannot be disputed.
  • Next to Each Other – Different but Equal - The year of 2007, was designated by the European Commission as “European Year of Equal Opportunities for All”. According to the Commission, “the general goal of the European Year is to strengthen the awareness of the values of fair, cohesive society, in which there are equal opportunities for everyone”. In a state such as Macedonia, where the legal protection of many groups is not yet provided, the example of the European Year conveys an important message that should be shared all over the country. Macedonia has not developed a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, but also the conduct of the citizens is to a great extent discriminatory

MCIC - Current programmes

  • Modernisation of Education Projects
  • Macedonia without Discrimination
  • Local Community Development
  • Water Supply in Jegunovce Municipality
  • Good Governance in Macedonia
  • Bridging Religions in Macedonia
  • Management of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network
  • Campaigns for Mobilisation of Funds