Project Description


This is a bi-national field school, beginning at Stobi (R. of Macedonia) and concluding in Sozopol on the Black Sea (Bulgaria)

This unique field school allows students to conduct research in two different European countries: The Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria. It is focused on conservation and restoration of ancient pottery and glass. This program consists of two parts: (1) examining Roman Pottery and Glass in The Republic of Macedonia; and (2) examining Ancient Greek Pottery in Bulgaria. Students will work with pottery recovered from two emblematic sites on the Balkans where the field school takes place: Apollonia Pontica- an ancient Greek colony on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast (present-day Sozopol), and Stobi- a Roman and Late Roman city in Central Macedonia. The Workshop’s main goal is to provide students with comprehensive training and hands-on experience in pottery and glass conservation. All of this while exposing students to a unique intercultural experience in two South-East European countries. This field school will support archaeologist’s effort to preserve, restore, and exhibit valuable artifacts from collections recovered from both sites. Excursions to important historical sites in Bulgaria, The Republic of Macedonia, and Greece, will provide cultural context and an invaluable perspective regarding the objects studied.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Jun 3-Jul 8, 2017
  • Enrollment Status: CLOSED
  • Total Cost: $5,500
  • Course Type: Conservation & Restoration
  • Payment Deadline: April 21, 2017
  • Instructors: Dr. Daniela Cherneva, Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
  • Orientation:  April 22, 11:00am Los Angeles Time
Program Closed
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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Daniela Cherneva
Dr. Daniela Cherneva
Dr. Cherneva is a Senior Conservator and chief instructor at the Balkan Heritage Foundation.
Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
Dr. Blazhevska is an Archaeologist and the Director of the National Institution Stobi, Republic of Macedonia.


Testimonials coming soon!

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


In Stobi (Republic of Macedonia): Participants will stay at renovated air-conditioned cabins at the archaeological base next to the ancient ruins of Stobi. Students will be housed in rooms with 2-3 beds each. Each cabin has four bedrooms, a living room and two bathrooms with showers. A washing machine and Wi-Fi are available for free.

In Sozopol (Bulgaria): Accommodation will be either at the Dom Mladenovi guest house or at the VMK Military Club, both of which have comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, refrigerators, TV and Internet. The hotels are located close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum and the archaeological labs (10-20 minute walks).

MEALS: Three meals (fresh, homemade food) per day are covered by the tuition fee. Meals, except for lunch packages during excursions, usually take place at the field house premises in Stobi and in a family tavern in Sozopol. This field school can accommodate vegetarians, vegans and individuals with lactose-intolerance diets. Kosher and gluten-free restrictions are impossible to accommodate in these locations.

Students must pay on their own for extra days and/or for single room accommodation.

Bulgaria - Conservation

Travel Info

Arrival: Students will be met by staff members on June 3 at 5:00pm at the Skopje International Airport (SKP). Meeting point is at the arrival area. Look for staff members holding a “Balkan Heritage” sign. From the airport, students will be transferred to the field house at Stobi. The trip takes approximately 1.5 hours but depends on the traffic. It is recommended to exchange/withdraw some Macedonian Denars and buy a bottle of water and visit the restroom before the trip.

If you missed your connection or your flight was delayed/canceled, call, text or email the project staff. Local contact information will be provided to enrolled students.

Transfer from Stobi to Apollonia: Students will be transported from Stobi to Sozopol by car/van/minibus with an overnight stay in Sofia. Dorm based hostel accommodation in Sofia is covered by the admission fee. Private double and single rooms are available upon request for an extra fee.

Departure: This field school ends in Sozopol. Students may continue onward travel or return home on July 8. The closest airport is in Burgas (BOJ), approximately 1 hour by car or bus. Other optional airports are those in Varna (VAR; 3-4 hours), Sofia (SOF; 5-6 hours) or Plovdiv (PDV; 4-5 hours). All airports may be reached by bus or by organized transfers. Students are responsible for their travel from Sozopol to the airport. Students are responsible for transportation back to the airport – or onward travel – at the end of the field school.

VISA REQUIREMENTS: Citizens of the US, EU, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need visa to visit Bulgaria or Macedonia for up to 90 days. Citizens of all other countries may need a visa. The Balkan Heritage Foundation can send an official invitation letter that should be used at the relevant embassy to secure a visa to the program. For more information visit the US State Department Travel Advice page or Balkan Heritage Foundation visa help web page.

HEALTH ISSUES: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Bulgaria and Macedonia, consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.