Project Description


The old city of Stobi “…Stobis, vetus urbs…”, as the Roman historian Livy named it, at the confluence of rivers Crna (ancient Erigon) and Vardar (ancient Axios), was the largest city in the northern part of the Roman province Macedonia, later the capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, an important urban, military, administrative, trade and religious center of two large empires: Roman and Early Byzantine. In 2016 and 2017, field school students unearthed a building located between the most representative residential building at Stobi – the Theodosian Palace (given its name under the assumption that the emperor Theodosius I was housed there during his visit to Stobi in 388 CE) – and the so called “Jail”, dated to the last urban phase of Stobi in the second half of the 6th century CE. The temporal and architectural relationships between these three buildings are unclear, and the forthcoming season will be dedicated to exploring this issue concerning the architectural history of Stobi.

The excavation program for students will be complemented by an intensive training in photogrammetry and mapping of architectural remains and large archaeological features in excavated units at the site. In addition, students will take part in excursions to significant heritage sites in R. of Macedonia and the famous ancient Macedonian capitals Pella and Vergina in Greece.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 23-July 21, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,000
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Silvana Blazhevska, Dr. George A. Bevan, Dr. Angela Pencheva
  • Online Orientation:  May 5, 2018, 10:00 AM PST
Apply Now
View All Videos


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. Silvana Blazhevska
Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
Ms. Blazhveska is the Director of the National Institution Stobi, Macedonia.

Dr. George A Bevan
Dr. George A Bevan
Dr. Bevan is an Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Queen’s University, Canada.
Dr. Angela Pencheva
Dr. Angela Pencheva
Dr. Pecheva is a visiting professor at the Department of Archaeology and Center for Vocational and Continuing Education, New Bulgarian University, Sofia; Balkan Heritage Program Director.


This is my first time in the Balkans, it is an amazing way to learn about ancient history, because here among the ruins in the Stobi Archaeological park you get to be in the history. It was a great experience to learn how to do Field Archaeology; the team is fantastic and welcoming and make it fun to learn and to dig. And the other students that you meet here it just makes a very international environment, it’s a great experience to learn in.
Lauren Koch, University of British Columbia (2015)
This was my first dig ever, but the field school program is just great, I’ve learned a great amount of things. The thing that I liked most about the course was that you learn each part of Archaeology -the digging, finding floor levels, technical drawings of pottery and walls, etc.. The supervisors were also extremely patient with us and very helpful. I definitely feel more qualified than when I started.
Caity Concannon, University of Kansas (2015)

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.


Participants stay at the recently renovated, air-conditioned cabins at the archaeological base camp next to the ancient site of Stobi. Students will be housed in rooms with 2-3 beds each. Each cabin has 4 bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms with showers. A washing machine and Wi-Fi are available for free.

The closest village to Stobi is Gradsko (5 km), where there are grocery stores, a pharmacy, an ATM, and medical facilities. The closest big supermarket, drug-stores, pharmacies, banks with ATM and hospitals are in the city of Negotino (13 Km from Stobi).

Meals: Three meals (fresh, homemade food) per day are covered by your tuition. Meals usually take place at the field house premises, except for lunch packages during excursions. This field school can accommodate vegetarians, vegans and individuals with lactose-intolerance diets. Kosher and gluten-free diets are impossible to accommodate at this location.

Stobi, Macedonia
Stobi, Macedonia

Travel Info

Students will be met by staff members at the Skopje International Airport (SKP) on June 23 at 5:00 pm. The meeting point is at the arrival area of the airport. Please look for staff members holding up the “Balkan Heritage” sign. Students will be transferred by shuttle service from the airport to the field house. The trip takes approximately 1.5 hours, but that time highly depends on traffic. The price of the pickup is not included in the participation fee. It varies between 25 – 50 Euros, depending on the number of students sharing the taxi.

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


Citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit 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 about border crossing visit the Balkan Heritage Foundation web site at 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.