Project Description


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

The field school consists of two parts implemented in two neighboring European countries: The first part will take place at the Roman site of Stobi (Republic of Macedonia). The second part will take place at the site of Apollonia Pontica (Bulgaria), one of the most prosperous Ancient Greek apoikias in the Black Sea region in Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods.

The main goal of this program is to provide students with a comprehensive training and hands-on experience with pottery and glass conservation at two different sites, enabling students to evaluate and compare similarities and differences in conservation techniques, methods, material choice, etc. applied to artifacts from different archaeological contexts and environments. Students begin their training with replicas of ancient vessels and then progress to original locally produced Roman and Late Roman ceramic shapes (at Stobi) or black firnis pottery (at Apollonia) once they reach an acceptable level of skill, accuracy and precision. Excursions to important historical sites in Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece, will provide cultural context and an invaluable perspective regarding the objects studied.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Jun 2-Jul 7, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,960
  • Course Type: Conservation & Restoration
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Daniela Cherneva, Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
  • Online Orientation:  April 21, 2018, 11:30 AM PST
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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 the 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.

The closest village to Stobi is Gradsko (4 km), where there are a couple of food & beverage shops, a pharmacy, an ATM and a medical office. The closest supermarkets, drug-stores, pharmacies, banks with ATM and hospitals are in the towns of Negotino, 12 km away, Kavadartsi, 17 km away, and Veles, 23 km away.

In Sozopol, Bulgaria
Accommodation is either at Dom Mladenovi guest house ( or at the VMK Military Club, both of which have comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, refrigerators and TV. Internet is available at the lobby area of the hotels. Both hotels are located close to the town beaches, the Old Town Quarter, the Archaeological Museum, and within 15 min walking distance from the archaeological site.

Staying an extra day costs 30 USD. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 125 USD per week (The prices may slightly vary due to the USD rate fluctuations).

Alternative more luxurious accommodation (for single, double and triple rooms) is available for an additional fee of 200 to 300 USD per week upon request at Villa Kera (!/pageHome). Places are limited.

Travel Info

Please arrive on June 2 by 7:00pm at the National Institution for Management of the Archaeological Site of Stobi, 1420 Gradsko, Republic of Macedonia (+ 389 43251 026). A transfer to Stobi from the airports in Skopje (Macedonia) or Thessaloniki (Greece) may be arranged by request. The trip takes approximately 1.5 hours depending on traffic. It is recommended to exchange/withdraw some Macedonian Denars and buy a bottle of water and visit the restroom before the trip. Enrolled students will receive a travel info-sheet with specific travel details prior to departure.

If you missed your connection or your flight was delayed/canceled, call, text or email the project staff (email:

Trip from Stobi to Apollonia: Students will be fully assisted by project staff for their trip from Stobi, Republic of Macedonia to Sozopol, Bulgaria. They will use public transport from Stobi to Skopje, Republic of Macedonia then from Skopje to Sofia, Bulgaria and from Sofia to Sozopol. The transport is included in the admission fee.

They will have an overnight stay in Sofia. Accommodation in downtown hostel in dormitory-type rooms is covered by the admission fee. Single rooms are available upon request for an extra fee.

The meeting time for the welcome dinner is at 7:45 pm in the garden of Dom Mladenovi guest house, Sozopol, Bulgaria.

Departure: This field school ends in Sozopol. Students may continue onward travel or return home on July 7. The closest airport is in Burgas, approximately 1 hour by car or bus. Other optional airports are those in Varna (3-4 hours), Sofia (5-6 hours) or Plovdiv (4-5 hours), Bulgaria. All airports may be reached by bus or by organized transfers. Students are responsible for their travel from Sozopol to the airport.


Citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria and 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.

Note that if you plan to visit Turkey during your stay in the Balkans you will need a visa. The Turkish government facilitates the process for tourists by providing the option for obtaining an e-visa at

For more information about border crossing visit the Balkan Heritage Field School web site at and and and the links provided there.

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.