Project Description


The ancient city of Stobi, which lies at the confluence of the Crna and Vardar (ancient Erigon and Axios) rivers, was the largest northern city of the Roman province of Macedonia. It later became the capital of the province Macedonia Secunda, an important urban, military, administrative, trade, and religious center of two large empires: The Roman and Early Byzantine. During the 2014-2018 field seasons, excavations were focused in an area next to one of the most representative, residential buildings in Stobi – the Theodosian Palace – located at the center of the Roman town, between the streets of Via Principalis Inferior and Via Principalis Superior. The building, which is richly decorated with mosaics, was given its name under the assumption that the emperor Theodosius I was accommodated there during his visit to Stobi in 388 CE. These excavations brought to light a late antique building situated between the Theodosian palace and an adjacent building, now called “the Jail” due to the discovery of shackled skeletons in the 1920s.

In 2020, the work will continue in the same area in an effort to investigate the temporal and architectural relationships between the three buildings. Over the course of this program, students will learn excavation skills, field documentation processing procedures such as cleaning, selecting, and arranging archaeological finds, and 3D recording techniques including digital photogrammetry, satellite positioning, and surveying using a total station. This project aims to introduce students to the range of materials and cultures of Stobi and the region as a whole in the Roman and Late Roman period.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: TBA

  • Enrollment Status: CLOSED

  • Tuition: $4,559

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: TBA

  • Instructors: Dr. Silvana Blazhevska, Dr. George A. Bevan, & Dr. Angela Pencheva
  • Online Orientation: TBA
  • Academic Credit: 8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units)

Field School Interest Form
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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. Silvana Blazhevska
Dr. Silvana Blazhevska
Ms. Blazhveska is an Archaeologist at National Institution Stobi, Northern 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

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

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit units
  • Room & Board
  • All Onsite Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is no fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $200 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Early Decision Enrollment (Nov 1, 2019 through Jan 10, 2020): A reduced, nonrefundable $300 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Regular Enrollment (Jan 11, 2020 through payment deadline): A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Late Enrollment (payment deadline forward): A nonrefundable $600 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. In addition, a $200 late fee  will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 2.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: The IFR does not provide trip cancellation insurance. Read this Wall Street Journal article about travel insurance — it may help in making a decision whether such insurance is for you. If you do wish to purchase such insurance, Insure My Trip or Travel Guard are two possible resources you may wish to explore.


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

Travel Info

Please hold purchasing your airline ticket until six (6) weeks prior to departure date. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and a range of other factors may require the cancellation of a field school. The IFR typically takes a close look at local conditions 6-7 weeks prior to program beginning and makes Go/No Go decisions by then. Such a time frame still allows the purchase of deeply discounted airline tickets while protecting students from potential loss of airline ticket costs if we decide to cancel a program.

Students will be met by staff members at the Skopje International Airport (SKP) on June 22 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. It is recommended that students exchange/withdraw some Macedonian denars, 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


Citizens of EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit R. of 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 website & Visa Help

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

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

Call (877-839-4374) or email ( if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.