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voices

Magazine for all young people of Skopje

2012 March Free


Dear readers,

Почитувани читатели,

Welcome to the March edition of the VOICES magazine. With this issue of the magazine, we will start to promote the social campaigns, lead by the participants in the VCS project “Bridging divided communities by youth work”, funded by the Embassy of the U.S in Skopje. The first campaign we are promoting is connected with the mobility of the young people, in the field of education. In the March edition of the magazine you will find articles connected with the promotion of the education in Macedonia, and also advices and information who the young people should contact, in order to find suitable opportunities for studying abroad. In this edition, you can find also other interesting content.

Добредојдовте во мартовското издание на магазинот ВОИСЕС. Со оваа издание на магазинот започнуваме со промоција на социјалните кампањи, иницијализирани од страна на учесниците во проектот на ВЦС - „Премостување на поделените заедници“ финансиран од страна на Амбасадата на САД во Скопје. Првата кампања која ја промовираме е поврзана со мобилноста на младите во областа на образованието. Во мартовското издание на магазинот, ќе пронајдете статии кои се поврзани со промоција на образованието во Македонија, но исто така и препораки и информации за пронаоѓање на соодветни можности за студирање во странство. Во ова издание, можете да пронајдете и останата интересна содржина.

Read and enjoy, see you next month... Gjoko Vukanovski

Читајте и уживајте, се гледаме следниот месец...

Reporters & Translation: Sylwia Górska Sara Fantova Jadwiga Miśtak Imer Kameri Iva Sokolovska Kalia Dimitrova Marina Mijakovska Elena Davidovska Marija Brzovska

Marija Aleksovska Ivana Stojkovska Dragan Lazeski Monika Ashatalkoska Translations and proofreading: Angela Burneska Bledi Cami Nora Selimi Sanja Paunovska

Design & Photos: Maxime Gallasse Ilona Olehlova Sylwia Gorska Sara Fantova

Production & Coordination: Nikola Stankoski Gjoko Vukanovski Contact: Volunteers Centre Skopje Emil Zola 3-2/3, 1000 Skopje Tel./Fax. +389 22 772 095 vcs_contact@yahoo.com www.vcs.org.mk


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WHY ‘MRDNI SE’ By Ivana Stojkovska

Административен процес при аплицирање на стипендија за академска мобилност Марија Алексовска

MACEDONIA ON MOBILITY By Monika Ashtalkoska

FRANCOPHONE SKOPJE By Iva Sokolovska

TAKE YOUR CHANCE By Monika Ashatalkoska

ERASMUS CONNECTING PEOPLE By Jadwiga Mistak

SEEU GIVE 30 CHANCES By Elena Davidovska

FINDING SCHOLARSHIP By Imer Kameri

APPROACHING TO PHOTOGRAPHY By Sara Fantova

DIFFERENT WINTER HOLIDAY By Marija Brzovska


WHY ‘MRDNI SE’ By Ivana Stojkovska

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. Robin Morgan 4

‘Mrdni se’ is an idea for a social campaign that is going to meet its realization on the end of March and the beginning of April 2012. As part of the Project “Bridging Divided Communities by Youth Work”, this campaign means converting theory into practice. Every answer starts with a question, just as this idea did. I asked myself what bothers me in my everyday life (since only subjective reality can be a beginning of an objective one). Between a few points I chose ‘student mobility ‘ as a research topic. Being a student of last year of first cycle studies (undergraduate), I as well as the majority of students of the state university, find the administration node and the block of information too destimulating to handle with, in order to experience studying abroad. In addition, there is an ambience of selfish possession of ‘public information‘ that arises tendencies of growing into individual monopoly of opportunities, while increasing localistic, careereristic and provincionalistic missvalues. Having on mind that information is what ‘makes the world go round’, I find unfencing flow of (quality) information crucial. The main goal of this campaign is informing about opportunities of mobility for students. The achievable objectives are: spreading quality information on scholarships (by making and presenting ‘applying for scholarship’ step-by step path), spot organizations that can help in the process (de facto engagement between NGOs and students – open door to youth activism), and finally make ‘visibility sustainable’ (substantiate the quality information). Activities that will make all possible are: research work (Bologna process, Erasmus program scholarship dat , TOEFL, tips & tricks, experiences), making a handbook (with an aim to become free official annual student mobility handbook), producing a short movie (with students that had an exchange or degree experience abroad), organizing a public event on the Law faculty (for presentation), making a questionnaire (for evaluation), creating a student website ‘Information for all’ (on which the video of the event and all the products from the ‘preparing of’ efforts will be uploaded) . For practical reasons, and in order to gain visible applicability, this social campaign is planned taking the students from the State Faculty of law ‘Iustinianus Primus’ (students of law, journalism and political studies) as a target group . As a result, I hope that this case-study, with an appropriate feedback, from a ‘pilot program’ will come to be a program/strategy modifies for other faculties, as a contribution to the enrichment of the ‘bigger picture’ of opening horizons, taking an initiative, exploring more opportunities and improving ‘know how’ skills. The route to better society is enlightened by the Sun of transparency and leaded by informed individuals.


Зошто “Мрдни се” Ивана Стојковска

„Мрдни се“ е идеа за социјална кампања која ќе се реализира на крајот на месец Март и почетокот на Април 2012. Како дел од проектот “Bridging Divided Communities by Youth Work”, оваа кампања значи конвертирање на теорија во практика. На секој одговор му претходи прашање, како што беше случајот и со оваа идеја. Се запрашав што ми пречи во секојдневниот живот (само субјективна реалност може да биде почеток на објективна). Помеѓу неколку поенти ја избрав „студентската мобилност“ како наслов за истражување. Со статус апсолвент, јас како и мнозинството на студенти од државниот факултет, сметаме дека административниот јазол и блокадата на информации претставуваат дестимул за сосредочување со цел да се искуси студирање во странство. Исто така, постои амбиент на себично поседување на – јавни информации-, што добива форма на индивидуален монопол на можности, додека создава пораст на локалистичките, кариеристичките и провинционалистичките сомнителни вредности. Знаејќи дека информацијата е она шо го врти светот, мислам дека непопречен проток од (квалитетни) информации е круцијален. Главната цел на оваа кампања е пораст на информираноста околу можностите за мобилност на студентите. Цели што можат да се постигнат се: ширење на информации за стипендии (правејќи и презентирајќи чекор по чекор патека за „аплицирање за стипендија“), лоцирање на организации што може да помогнат во процесот на избор и аплицирање за стипендија (de facto врзување помеѓу невладини организации и студенти=отворена врата за младински активизам), и за крај - создавање на одржувачка видност (опредметнување на информациите во прирачник, краток филм, статии). Акивности што би го направиле сево ова возможно се: истражувачка работа (Болоња процес , Еразмус програма, TOEFL ,tips& tricks, споделување искуства), подготвување на прирачник(со цел да постане бесплатен официјален студентски годишен прирачник), подготвување на краток филм (со студенти кои биле на размена), организирање на јавен настан на Правниот факултет „Јустинијан Први“ (за презентација), склопување на прашалник (за евалуација), креирање на student website ‘информации за сите’ (на која ќе бидат закачени видеото од настанот и сите продукти од подготвителните напори) . Од практични причини и со цел да добие на видлива применливост, оваа социјална кампања како таргет група ги зема студентите од државниот Правен факултет (првни, новинарски и политички студии). Како резултат, се надевам дека ова проучување на случај, со соодветен feedback, од пилот програма ќе прерасне во програма/стратегија модифицирана и за други факултети, како контрибуција на збогатување на –поголемата сликана отворање хоризонти, превземање на иницијативи, изучување на повеќе можности и подобрување на „знај како“ вештините. Патот до подобро општество е осветлен од сонцето на транспарентноста и воден од информирани индивидуи.

Знаењето е моќ. Информацијата е моќ. Затајувањето или прикријувањето на знаење или информација претставува акт на тиранија камуфлирана во понижување. Robin Morgan

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Административен процес при аплицирање на стипендија за академска мобилност Марија Алексовска

Како студент ја искористил можноста да студира една година на факултет во странство...

Како студент кој ја искористил можноста да студира една година на факултет во странство преку програмата за академска мобилност Basileus, сметам дека имам должност да го споделам моето искуство од целиот административен процес, со цел понатаму да се подобри истиот. За оваа програма дознав од студентите од Хрватска кои студираа на Правниот Факултет во Скопје еден семестар преку истата програма. Иако Универзитетот Кирил и Методиј го потпишал договорот за соработка и со тоа ја овозможил академската мобилност на студентите, јас не дознав за истата преку некаква официјална промоција (не сум сигурна дека таква воопшто била направена), туку преку неформален пат на информирање. Без разлика на тоа, информацијата стигна до мене и веднаш побуди интерес. По сопствена калкулација каде би имало најмногу шанси да ме примат, решив да го изберам Универзитетот Софија Антиполис во Ница, Франција. Апликацијата беше прилично едноставна и ги бараше вообичаените документи за аплицирање на било каква стипендија или програма на странски универзитет: листа на положени испити, мотивационо писмо, доказ за познавање на јазикот на одредено ниво, писмо за препорака од професор. Она што беше специфично за оваа апликација, и што е карактеристично за сите програми за академска мобилност т.е. размена на студенти е еден документ кој се нарекува Learning Agreement кој се потпишува од страна на одговорните лица на двата факултети и служи за потврда дека предметите кои студентот ќе ги слуша на странскиот факултет ќе бидат прифатени и признаени во матичниот факултет по враќањето на студентот. Овој документ во мојот случај беше направен откако мојата апликација беше прифатена. Јас со помош на едно одговорно лице од мојот матичен факултет одбрав предмети кои сметав дека најдобро одговараат на наставната програма за соодветната година на мојот матичен факултет и со тоа го составивме Learning Agreement от кој потоа беше потпишан од одговорниот продекан од мојот факултет како и од одговорното лице од универзитетот во Ница. Со тоа се заокружи процесот на подготовки за академската мобилност пред поаѓањето. Морам да напоменам дека пред поаѓањето јас комуницирав и со одговорните од универзитетот во Ница за прашањето на сместувањево градот, бидејќи иако повеќето програми од ваков тип нудат помош при студентското сместување, ова може да биде мошне важно и проблематично прашање.

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Не е многу едноставно за студент од странство да најде соодветен смештај во град кој не го познава и тоа само преку средството на интернетот. Во мојот случај, иако не без проблеми, за пронаоѓањето на студентскиот дом се погрижи тамошното одговорно лице и тоа прашање беше решено во 5 за 12, но успешно. По пристигнувањето на факултетот во Ница следуваа уште многу административни процедури, што искрено понекогаш не ги разбирав до крај, но сите тие се потребни за успешен и секако легален престој во државата и


на факултетот. Тука спаѓаат специфичниот упис на тамошниот факултет, потоа уписот на секој предмет поединечно (ова е важно бидејќи студентите на размена често избираат предмети кои се од различни години и смерови на тамошниот факултет), административните процеси за уредување на легалниот престој во студентскиот дом, административните процеси поврзани со добивањето на дозвола за престој во странската држава (бидејќи во мојот случај, визата која јас ја добив од француската амбасада во Скопје не е доволна за да го уреди легалниот престој на студентот во Франција, па е потребна посебна дозвола за престој налик на лична карта). Но не е возможно да се има целосен преглед на овие додатни административни процеси пред заминувањето на странскиот универзитет. Сепак, одговорните лица се свесни за ова и тие би требало да овозможат помош на студентот при завршувањето на овие процеси. Она што е вистински предизвик во целиот процес на студентска мобилност е административната процедура на признавање на испитите од странскиот универзитет по враќањето на студентот. По моето враќање од студискиот престој во Франција, универзитетот во Ница испрати официјално писмо до мојот матичен универзитет со резултатите од испитите кои ги полагав таму, како и со скала која треба да послужи во преведување на француските оцени во ЕКТС оцени. Ова писмо, заедно до Learning Agreement от и молба за признавање на испитите ги доставив до ЕКТС канцеларијата на мојот факултет. Поради некаква грешка, овие документи беа доставени до комисијата за признавање на испити од странски и домашни факултети дури месец и половина откако јас ги доставив до ЕКТС канцеларијата. Од комисијата ми беше побарано да доставам програми за секој предмет што сум го слушала во Франција поединечно, преведени на македонски јазик. Откако го сторив тоа, комисијата се состанала и го разгледала мојот случај, но одлучила дека не може таа како колективно тело да даде решение за признавање на предметите (и покрај договорот кој треба да овозможи признавање на предметите по автоматизам) и дека секој предметен професор треба да даде мислење дали неговиот предмет ќе биде признаен или не. Од моето првично доставување на документите во ЕКТС канцеларијата на мојот факултет, до сега има поминато шест месеци, и сеуште конечно решение во врска со признавање на предметите не е донесено. Она што го разбрав неодамна е дека има одредени измени во овој процес, односно дека Learning Agreement от се подготвува пред самото аплицирање на студентот за програмата за мобилност, т.е. стипендијата и дека самиот студент за да си го осигура признавањето на испитите од странските факултети треба да побара мислење од предметните професори уште пред да замине на академската размена. По мое мислење овие измени нудат еден вид на решение за превенција од проблемите со кои јас сега се соочувам, но сепак сметам дека повторно нудат можност за големо одоговлечување, а со тоа и неефикасност.

Но не е возможно да се има целосен преглед на овие додатни административни процеси пред заминувањето на странскиот универзитет. 7


MACEDONIA ON MOBILITY By Monika Ashtalkoska

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Each year more than 35000 people from around the world study in United States of America. To study abroad is an excellent way to experience living in USA and a major personal intellectual, social, emotional and financial investment. Among students in Macedonia have lack of information about the opportunity to study abroad, especially in America. The most of them are not interested to move in another country to gain new experience and to become Each year more 35000 people around the know world study more self confident andthan independent and from the others don’t how toinget in United States of America. To study abroad is an excellent way to experitouch with educational information because their university don’t present these ence and livingalso in USA and a major intellectual, social, emotional programs the institution dopersonal presentation at the university later, so you financial investment. Among students lack ofwhich incan’t and gather all documents, recommendation andin toMacedonia fill on time have application about the opportunity to study abroad, especially in America. is tooformation long. The of them not interested to move inEmbassy another country to gainyou If most you check theare web page of the American in Macedonia new experience and to become more self confident and independent will find many scholarship to study in USA. There is Fulbright Student Program thefull others don’t know to getfillin the touch with educational whichand offer scholarship. Youhow should application online, infora detailed mation their university don’t present thesevitae programs and also statement ofbecause proposed activity, a detailed curriculum and three letter of the institution presentation at the university later, so you can’t gather reference. I proudly do announce the release of “Your Steps to U.S. Study” on the documents,Students” recommendation andoverwhelming to fill on time college application which is “For all International to help to search, applicatoo long. tion, financial aid and visa, following these steps: ask the career center at your If youischeck web page of the Embassywith in Macedonia you university there the some agreement for American exchange program other universities willorfind to study in USA. There Fulbright Student and abroad visitmany Localscholarship Educational Advising Centre , is isthere any program Program offer full scholarship. You should fill thefor application scholarship forwhich international students, check every websites international stua detailed statement of proposed activity, a detailed dents,online, research your options, complete your application, Funding curriculum For U.S. Study vitae and three letter of reference. I proudly announce the release of Online is an extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized “Your Stepsby to the U.S.Institute Study” on “For International Students” to help and maintained of the International Education (IIE). Most U.S.tocolapplication, financial aid and visa,admissions followleges overwhelming and universitiescollege requiresearch, that you take one or more standardized thesetosteps: ask the career center at your university is there with somefurther tests ing in order gain entrance into their programs. You can provide agreement forthe exchange universities ortake visit and information about variousprogram tests, andwith whatother you need to do inabroad order to Local Educational Advising Centre , is there any program and scholarship complete the tests on the website Internationalstudent.com Normally they will for international every websites international stualso require transcriptsstudents, showingcheck your G.P.A., referencefor letters from your teachers, dents, complete Funding U.S. results fromresearch TOEFL, your SAT, options, or GRE or GMAT your tests.application, If your English is notFor excellent, Study extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and you will notOnline be ableistoanpass these tests. grants organizedstudents and maintained by the of International Educa International come to the U.S.Institute to not only to broaden their edution (IIE). Most U.S. colleges and universities require that you take one or cation, but to gain cultural and social knowledge about this country, as well. standardized tests in order to gain entrance into their stuMostmore universities offer a admissions wide array of clubs and organizations representing programs.You Youwill canfind provide with further information about the various dent interests. cultural and religious associations, sports teams and tests, andvolunteer what youservice need to do in order toacademic take andsocieties, completemusic the tests athletic clubs, organizations, and theon the international website Internationalstudent.com will also requirefor ater groups, student organizationsNormally and manythey other opportunities transcripts showing your G.P.A., reference letters from your teachers, social activities. All of these activities are good opportunities to meet others and results from TOEFL, SAT, or GRE or GMAT tests. If your English is not develop friendships. excellent, you will not be able to pass these tests. International students come to the U.S. to not only to broaden their education, but to gain cultural and social knowledge about this country, as well. Most universities offer a wide array of clubs and organizations representing student interests. You will find cultural and religious associations, sports teams and athletic clubs, volunteer service organizations, academic societies, music and theater groups, international student organizations and many other opportunities for social activities. All of these activities are good opportunities to meet others and develop friendships.


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“Le Cercle Francophone” (The French Circle) is a non-profit association of citizens established in 2010 bringing together francophones from Macedonia in activities associated with the values of the Francophonie. The ambassador Blagoj Zasov is the President of the association.

CERCLE FRANCOPHONE SKOPJE

OUR MISSION The knowledge of French could be a bond of cohesion for the creation of a community in the Republic of Macedonia, organized by the association “Cercle Francophone - Skopje”. In the future we may consider opening a “House of the Francophonie” in Skopje.

By Iva Sokolovska

OUR GOALS • Creating links with other associations in member countries of the Francophonie with similar ideas and goals; • Organization of courses for learning French; • Cooperation with the International Organization of the Francophonie and with other international organizations whose official language is French; • Cooperation with bodies and organizations in Macedonia responsible for the Francophonie; • Cooperation with embassies and consulates of the Francophone countries in Skopje and other cities in the country and abroad; • Cooperation with the operators of the International Organization of the Francophonie; • Cooperation with bodies and non-governmental organizations of Alsace and other regions of France; • Organization of humanitarian actions; ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE The association delegates specific activities to various sections working in unison. • Youth Section • Section of cultural exchange • Seniors section • Promotion of the French language section • Section for regional cooperation with regions in France • Humanitarian work section • Division for the economic promotion of Macedonia abroad YOUTH SECTION The youth section aims to guide young francophones wishing to invest in their active citizenship through the organization of events, courses, debates, theater performances etc. This section has about thirty members, 10 of them are very active in participating in various voluntary activities and youth exchanges on a regional and international level. Their involvement in the association aims to encourage the promotion of cultural diversity, to help raise awareness about the usefulness of non-formal learning and to strengthen cooperation between different entities that contribute to the local development. Young people who wish to share ideas and experiences related to promoting the values of the Francophonie and contribute to the overall progress of the local community are welcome to join us and become members. Contact: frankofonski.krug@yahoo.fr

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TAKE YOUR CHANCE By Monika Ashtalkoska

...Take some time to think about your reasons, for they will become your goals and your personal measures of success....

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One of the students that was awarded with Fulbright Scholarship share her experience with me. Students who return from a study abroad program often see it as an experience which matured them personally and intellectually. They praise being exposed to new ways of thinking and living, which encourages growth and independence. For many students, going abroad to study is the first time they have really been away from ‘home,’ from familiar surroundings of the USA, as well as from friends and family. This is seldom an easy experience, but it is universally praised as worthwhile, often even life-transforming. After immersing themselves in a new culture, mastering the challenges of learning in a new and different academic environment, and experiencing the many highs and lows of being a ‘foreigner,’ students typically return home with increased self-confidence and justifiable pride in what they have achieved. But study abroad does more than promote academic enrichment and personal growth. It also can enhance your employment prospects, especially in the fields of business, international affairs, and government service. Employers increasingly seek graduates who have studied abroad. They know that students who have successfully completed a study abroad program are likely to possess international knowledge and often second-language skills. Such students are also likely to have other transnational competencies that graduate and professional schools and employers value just as highly: cross-cultural communication skills, analytical skills, an understanding of and familiarity with local customs and cultural contexts, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances and deal constructively with differences. You must still ask yourself why you, yourself, want to study abroad. Take some time to think about your reasons, for they will become your goals and your personal measures of success. Perhaps you want to learn a second language, or perfect one you already know. You might want to learn about another culture, diversify your studies, or prepare for graduate school. Maybe you want to travel and meet new people. Whatever your reasons are, write them down and share them with your professors, family, friends and, most importantly, with your study abroad advisor. Whatever your reasons, they should be positive ones. Study abroad should not be seen as an escape route from problems at home or on campus. Adjusting to life and learning in a foreign environment will have its stressful moments, and the more you are able to focus on your goals, the more you’re likely to benefit from the experience.


I have to admit that it was life learning experience, European Commission was totally right with the name choice, they just forgot to add facebook learning (without it you basically do not exist in Erasmus community). Few weeks before my arrival, I found through our favourite social network two wonderful flatmates, ESN members and other internationals in Varna, but still no colleagues from the University. Imagine my astonishment when I finally found proper group in proper room and none of them spoke English nor Bulgarian, but they were expressing amazement very easily with body language and looking for friends who can communicate with new polish girl. Fortunately Professors were running lectures in English and drinking coffee with me during the breaks. After a while appeared other classmates with more advances knowledge of foreign languages than: ‘you, I, party!’ Or ‘you, I, whisky’. That was a big relief. As you guess, it was not really difficult to pass exams (but I took too seriously final essays and wrote two BA thesises, no comments). As you guess Erasmus people have rich social life, what means that you can’t feel save in your house, you have to be prepared for invasion of party animals and paparazzi who will take pictures of everything, including wasted people in the toilet, after-party mess and simply post it on Facebook before the heroes of the night wake up, so don’t be surprised that your friends/family is calling you in the morning asking what happen with your face, why you jumped to the sea in the middle of night and why some stranger looking like a junky was sleeping on your couch. So you are Erasmus - your privacy doesn’t exist any more. As I mentioned at the beginning, the best part of Erasmus life is friendship or even creation of new family, but this family has a bit different social role, those are people who discover the country with you, protect you from wild animals and loose with you last money in casino. Those are people who are crossing Europe to meet with you, hitch-hike in the storm and sleep on the bench. Those are people I miss every single day and I do not know how to thank fortune that I met them.

ERASMUS CONNECTING PEOPLE By Jadwiga Miśtak

When I recall my Erasmus in Varna, which finished in June 2011 I have just one image in my mind – friends sitting around a table, trying to understand each others English and enjoy the time which flew too fast.

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SEEU GAVE 30 CHANCES By Elena Davidovska

Interview with Bujar Sinani representative officer for the international relations from the University of Southeast Europe about educational programs and student mobility.

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Which programs offers the SEEU for Students Mobility? Our students have the opportunity to apply for scholarships through the Erasmus program but also SEEU is part of the Basileus project funded by the European Commission. This project aims to enable students from the Western Balkans to go on exchange if they are undergraduate, master or doctoral Which programs the SEEU studies, or do offers a complete master or doctoral studies. Are all information available to for Students Mobility? equally? Our How students the opportunity thehave students are informedstudents about the programs? In the case organizing to apply for scholarships through the Within the Office of International Relations has of mobility officeinformathat takes tion day on a certain date, a few Erasmus program but also SEEU is care of all the information and study opportunities in Europe and thedays counbefore we send emailOffice to all students part tries of the project in Basileus the region to be funded forwarded to all students at SEEU. of Internaat SEEU to inform for the who event.want For to by the European This where tional AffairsCommission. (KMO) has a website students from Europe the Basileus ProjectOn andthe theother basishand, of project aims to enable students come to study SEEU can find all necessary information. scholarships, there are promotional fromKMO the Western Balkans to go on has own email and direct access to all students enrolled in all levels of materials we KMO share to the stu-inexchange if they are undergraduate, university studies that allow us to share. Duringwitch the year organizes dents in order to be more informed. master or doctoral or do a to study outside of Macedonia. In Decemformation daysstudies, for opportunities complete master or doctoral studber in Tetovo there were presentations of the opportunities for scholarships areExchange informedService of ies. to study from representatives of the Where Germanstudents Academic the detailed information about DAAD, the Institute Franรงois, representatives from South Educable Forum programs? Howand therepresentatives students areofinformed the Slovak Embassy. The first source of information is our about the programs? and mailing list but KMO Within of International Arethe allOffice information available towebsite students equally? is always open to students who are Relations officeinformation that In thehas casemobility of organizing day on a certain date, a few days before for scholarships, and opportakeswe care of all the information andat SEEUlooking send email to all students to inform for the event. For the Basitunities to go on exchange to any of studyleus opportunities Europe Project andinthe basis and of scholarships, there are promotional materials the universities with which we dithe countries the region be for-in order witch weinshare to the to students to be more informed. rectly or indirectly cooperate. Also warded to all students at SEEU. Ofthe information days and the datafice of International Affairs (KMO) Where students are informed ofbase thefor detailed information about scholarships www.S4WB. has a website where students from programs? eu are very good source of informaEurope who want to come to study The first source of information is our website mailing list but KMO is tion aboutand mobility programs. SEEU can find all necessary inforalways open to students who are looking for scholarships, and opportunimation. On the other hand, KMO ties to go on to anytoof the universities whichused we this directly How manywith students op- or has own email andexchange direct access indirectly cooperate. Also the information days and the database for scholportunities for education at other all students enrolled in all levels of arshipsstudies www.S4WB.eu source of information about mobility university that alloware usvery to gooduniversities? Basileus project is very attractive share.programs. During the year KMO orgabecause the scholarship for the exnizes information days for opporHow many students used this opportunities for education change of undergraduate and mas- at tunities to study outside of Maceter studies is 1000 Euros per month donia. In December in Tetovo there other universities? plus the of studies, health inwereBasileus presentations projectofisthe veryopportuattractive because the cost scholarship for the exchange surance and return ticket are covnitiesoffor scholarships to study from undergraduate and master studies is 1000 Euros per month plus the cost byare thecovered project.by This that representatives of the German of studies, health insuranceAcaand returnered ticket themeans project. This the interest forSince this the scholarship is in demic Exchange Service DAAD, means that the interest for the this scholarship is huge. early start huge. Since the early start in 2009 Institute Franรงois, representatives 2009 until now around 30 students got the opportunity to go on exchange or until now around 30 students got fromcomplete South Educable Forumabroad. and Master studies the opportunity to go on exchange representatives of the Slovak Emor complete Master studies abroad. bassy.


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TOEFL By Marija Brzovska Borjan Gjuzelov, 23 In my opinion the TOEFL exam is all about the ability to act fast and to handle pressure. The concept is based on dealing with the tasks in a very limited amount of time. In conditions like that, the real knowledge in English somehow has a secondary importance. Because of this, I strongly recommend serious approach and at least one week preparation prior to the exam with a strong focus on the tasks which are part of the exam, such as speaking in front of the computer for 45 seconds, writing a 500 words essay in 30 minutes and etc. I took a longer preparation course in the Center for Foreign Languages in Skopje and at the end I was quite satisfied with the outcomes of the course and also with the final result of my internet based TOEFL. Martin Galevski, 23

The difference between TOEFL and the other tests for English as foreign language is in the purpose itself, since this test is intended for academic purposes. Thus, one shouldn’t be surprised about the way of assessment which evaluates skills needed in the educational environment. For instance, in the listening part there are mostly excerpts from lectures. In the reading part similarly, there is a row of complex arguments which require the candidate to draw upon their sequence, while at the speaking and writing the candidate needs to express paraphrasing skills and critical analysis of the given topic.

What is TOEFL? Why do you need to take it? When applying for college or university studies abroad you will have to prove your knowledge of the English language. Unless English was the language of instruction of your previous studies most universities will require that you take a test for English as foreign language. There exist different tests of this kind but the one that is most widely recognized is TOEFL. The shortcut TOEFL stands for Test Of English as Foreign Language which in four ways through reading, listening, speaking and writing measures your ability to pursue university program in English language. Most common type of TOEFL is TOEFL iBT i.e. the Internet Based TOEFL Test. It means that the whole exam is administered through the internet. Every test taker has his/her own computer and headphones and does all the exercises on-line. After you finish the test, you send it directly to the ETS raters who do the scoring. Where can you take it? How much does it cost? In Macedonia you can take the test in Skopje and Bitola. Two of the official test-centers are American Corner and the Educational Advising Center. The frequency of the exam dates varies during the year offering more exam dates during spring time. At this period there is one exam term almost every week. The TOEFL fee for test takers in Macedonia is $175, which is a reason by itself to make you study hard for the exam. If you are not satisfied with your results and you want to retake the exam, unfortunately you will have to pay the whole price again. In case that you have registered but you want to change the exam date the fee will be $60 for rescheduling. Registration is online at the ETS (Education Testing Service) website www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/register and payment is through debit or credit card. For registration you will need to create a profile and provide your personal information as well as an address where you would like to receive the scores. Although you will be able to see your scores online after two weeks at the most, it can take more than a month to receive them via mail. How to prepare? Books, online, teachers, friends‌ Your starting point for information should be the official TOEFL website www. ets.org/toefl. Here you can find all the necessary info regarding registration, exam dates, the exam day, preparatory materials and scoring. Next stop would be the American Corner. As previously mentioned you can go to the one in Skopje or the one in Bitola. The pleasant AC staff will be there to answer any of your questions and assist you in finding materials for the test preparation. From their library, you can borrow a TOEFL guide book which has a CD included with TOEFL tests. Going through the real test experience at home will certainly make you feel more confident on the test day. If you need extensive preparation for the test many of the schools for foreign languages offer specialized TOEFL courses. You can choose between semester long courses or intensive ones which will take you through every detail of the test. But, bear in mind that they have a high price and will double you initial cost for the test. For those who are on a budget, www.google.com is always an option. You can find numerous websites such as www.goodlucktoefl.com that offer sample exercises and questions and tips from teachers alike. Last but not least, you should always have in mind any friend of yours who knows and speaks English very well. Since communication is what we most lack, a few conversations in English with your friend while having coffee can always help you relieve the stress.


Finding Scholarships By Imer Kameri

1. Check your local newspaper, government institutions, government grants, guidance counselor bulletin board. There are no better resources than these for locally based scholarships. Today it’s not easy to find a job and for that we need to apply for many jobs to find the right one, but you newer can apply for too many scholarships!” 2. Talk with friends who has been in that university and write email to your target university about opportunities. Take information about student aid opportunities and resources from the university to which you want to apply. Always check the financial aid folks at your chosen university and also take advice from university guidance office about possibilities to find scholarship from any foundation or organization with which they cooperate. If they can’t help you then try with civic community organizations and embassies. In many of countries the embassies has a politic to give several scholarships for different or strategic field of studies. 3. The most importantly when we are speaking for scholarships is to check in internet. Try to search in different searchers for scholarships, try to check web sites of universities after searching several times from Google or Yahoo for scholarships then you will see some ads for free scholarships, cast your net wide took with people on net or send them message never you could know who can help you and who no. Don’t forget Private Colleges Are Awarding More Scholarships Also here are some tips by Steadman Issenburg How to get scholarship.

links www.scholarshipportal. eu/#basic www.daad.de/en/index.html www.ceu.hu/about www.goabroad.com/scholarships-abroad www.internationalscholarships.com http://en.iu.dk www.ceepus.info/ http://www.nuffic.nl

1. Before applying to any scholarship program, be sure you thoroughly understand what the requirements for the scholarship really are, and only apply for the scholarship if you are sure that you are indeed eligible. 2. In filling out the application form for the scholarship, make sure that you fill in every single blank on the form without leaving anything out. If you leave areas of the form blank, there is a good chance that your application will not succeed. 3. Be sure that you know what the directions are for applying for each scholarship program and that you follow them very carefully. Do not just send a generic pack of information to each scholarship program, or send extra information that they did not ask for. 4. One of the most important things that you can do to get your application noticed is to make sure that it is easily readable and neat. 5. When writing an essay for any scholarship program, do your best to make it as personal as possible. Avoid long, dry recitations of information. Here is where you want the scholarship reviewers to get to know you as a person. 6. Before sending off any scholarship packet, make sure that you have made a backup packet just in case the first one gets lost in the mail. 7. Keep good track of all deadlines and make sure that you get your scholarship packet gets sent off well in advance so that it is not late. 8. Before sending off your packet have someone with good writing skills review it and make suggestions on any improvements that could be made. 9. Double and triple check your spelling and grammar to make sure that your packet is as error free as possible. 10. Avoid all scholarship scams that ask you for money in order to qualify for or be eligible for a scholarship. If you follow the tips listed above for finding and applying for college scholarships, and then regularly apply to as many as you can, most likely you’ll be able to find the money that you need to pay for your college education.


HOW TO WRITE A MOTIVATION LETTER FOR SCHOLARSHIP By Marija Brzovska

Motivation Letter, Cover Letter or Statement of Purpose are just different titles used denote the essay that you should write when applying for scholarship. In this essay y write about your motivation to pursue a chosen program, you explain your academ qualities as well as relevant work experiences. A motivation letter is also about w your future goals are and how the desired program will help you achieve them.

Step 1 Get to know what the program expects from you!

It is very important to know what profile of students the institution you are apply to looks for. They usually post a list of qualifications that every candidate should p sess and it goes far beyond “Good GPA and academic merits”. Make sure that throu your writing you express well the required qualifications and show that you are a go match. Second, bear in mind the format of the letter. Every institution sets so basic rules on how the letter should look like and gives guidelines on what should included. Therefore, you should never forget the limit of words or pages or to answ to the proposed questions.

Step 2 Make an outline

An outline will help you not to get lost in you writing. Sometimes it can be hard to everything you want in a limited number of words or vice versa you may feel that t pages are too much space. That is why it is good to shortly list the points that you w to make. An outline should not be a short form of your essay. It should consist of f key ideas that you will include in the introduction, main part and conclusion of y essay. Remember to turn to it while writing in order not to forget something. Anot important step before you start writing is to think over your educational and perso development so far. How the things that you have done in life have brought you up this point? (eg. studies, internship, volunteering) This can help you realize what is it t makes you suitable for the program and distinguish the most important things that worth writing about.

Step 3 Write your letter

Start Early! Be Honest! Have Patience! and you might even enjoy writing your letter! analysis of the given topic. 18

Make a catchy first sentence – If you want the reader’s attention than you will have be creative and think of an interesting way to start your essay. It is the first sente that should intrigue the reader to carry on with the reading. Put one idea in each pa graph - Every paragraph should hold ONLY one idea. If you have a lot of things to it’s better to make more paragraphs than throwing a lot of words and making con sion trying to put everything at once. Start each paragraph with a clear, topic sente – The beginning of every paragraph should be a bold statement introducing the to that will follow. Do not describe. Make logic connection! - When you write your le you don’t simply retell the things you have written in your CV.

Step 4 Do proofreading!

Before you decide to submit your letter make sure you have it proofread. Proofre ing means that you either give it to someone else who will check for any gramm or vocabulary mistakes or you check it yourself. The best option is of course to h someone else read it because she/he can also give you feedback about the clarity a the general structure of the essay.


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ЕРАЗМУС by Marija Aleksovska

Преку оваа програма студентите имаат можност да го искусат животот во еден европски град...

Еразмус е дел од програмата за Доживотно учење на Европската комисија и е програма која нуди можност за студиски престој на студенти и наставен кадар на неколку европски универзитети со кои Универзитетот Св. Кирил и Методиј има склучено билатерални договори. Мобилноста на студентите може да биде со времетраење од еден или два семестри. Висината на стипендијата за студентите која треба да им помогне да ги покријат животните трошоци изнесува 355 евра месечно. Преку оваа програма студентите имаат можност да го искусат животот во еден европски град, да ги прошират своите академски видици преку студирањето на друг универзитет, како и да се стекнат со знаења и вештини кои ќе им помогнат во понатамошната кариера.

Во принцип истите документи се потребни и за апликација на повеќето магистерски студии во странство, со исклучок на договорот за студирање. Некои програми ги имаат точно утврдено минималниот број на бодови на јазичните тестови кои кандидатот треба да ги има за да може да аплицира. Некои универзитети исто така бараат и примероци од пишани трудови кои студентот ги изработил за време на додипломските студии. Повеќето универзитети бараат и две препораки од професори, а речиси сите најголемо внимание посветуваат на мотивационото писмо. Со среќа!

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Што е поразлично во апликациите за магистерски студии? Како да аплицирам? Многу од студентите се исплашени од процесот на аплицирање и имаат претстава дека е премногу долг и комплициран. Всушност аплицирањето за сите програми за размена, како и за мастер програмите е една шема, бидејќи апликациите воглавном ги бараат истите документи, иако можни се мали разлики. Она што е потребно за да аплицирате за програмата Еразмус е следново: • Student Application Form или формулар за пријавување, кој можете да го најдете на страната на Универзитетот Св. Кирил и Методиј. Овој формулар содржи основни информации за вас, факултетот на кој студирате, институцијата за која аплицирате, како и вашите јазични компетенции. • Learning Agremeent или договор за студирање, кој исто така можете да го најдете на страната на Универзитетот Св. Кирил и Методиј. Овој договор е најважниот документ за да се оствари студентската мобилност бидејќи ја потвдрува согласноста на двата факултета студентот да ги слуша одбраните предмети на странскиот факултет. Овој документ исто така гарантира дека по враќањето на студентот на домашниот факултет, предметите што тој ги слушал и полагал ќе му бидат признаени. • Уверение за положени испити кое лесно можете да го добиете на студентски прашања. За потребите на размената,

ова уверение треба да биде преведено на англиски. • CV или биографија. Доколку немате искуство со пишување на биографија или не знаете како тоа изгледа, можете да се послужите со темплејтот на веб страната http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu или да побарате различни примери на интернет. • Потврда за статус на студент, што лесно можете да ја добиете на студентски прашања. • Потврда за познавање на англиски јазик или јазикот на кој се одржува наставата на универзитетот каде се конкурира. Ова најчесто значи уверение за положен TOEFL испит или пак еквивалентот на TOEFL во другите јазици, како на пример DELF за француски. • Мотивационо писмо, каде што треба да објасните која е вашата мотивација да одите на студентска размена, како тоа ќе придонесе за понатамошниот ваш академски развој, како и тоа зошто вие сте вистинскиот кандидат за таа стипендија. Важно е да се запази рокот за аплицирање, па затоа внимателно следење на известувањата на официјалната страна на Универзитетот Св. Кирил и Методиј е неопходно. Селекцијата на студентите кои аплицирале се врши врз основа на постигнатиот успех во студирањето, познавањето на јазикот на кој се одржува наставата, како и мотивацијата.

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GOYA 2012 by Sara Fantova

“...Last Sunday 2012-02-19, the Spanish cinema awards took place in Madrid...” 22

Last Sunday 2012-02-19, the Spanish cinema awards took place in Madrid. All the people from the Spanish cinema (actors, actress, directors, writers…) gather to deal the “Goya” awards to best movie, actor, actress, director, screenplay, music… There was a lot of fun and no so much fun moments. Anyway apart from all the money and bad things that sadly surround the world of the cinema, the most important of this event is to claim that the Spanish cinema is alive and that every year there is a bunch of amazing movies, new directors, new actors and actress that do a perfect work. This year wasn’t less, and the four movies that were nominated to best movie deserve it as the same as the four actor, actress, revelation actor, revelation actress, director, screenplay, music etc. Between the four nominated movies we could find titles as “La piel que habito” (The skin I live in) by Pedro Almodovar that tells the story and

craziness of one doctor after he lost his wife and daughter in different by both tragic ways. Or “No habra paz para los malvados” (There won’t be peace for the evil ones) by Enrique Urbizu, or “La voz dormida” (The hidden voice) by Benito Zambrano. This last tells the story of two sisters in the Spanish civil war, their suffer, love etc. Finally the movie with more awards was “No habra paz para los malvados”, anyway Elena Anaya (Goya to best actress, for “La piel que habito”), Maria Leon (Goya to best actress revelation, for “La voz dormida”) or Jan Cornet (Goya to best revelation actor, for “La piel que habito”) were some of the most deserved awards in my own opinion as the same as the award to best novel director to Kike Maillo for “Eva”, one of the few science fiction Spanish movies.


Best movie: "No habrá paz para los malvados". Best director: Enrique Urbizu ("No habrá paz para los malvados"). Best main actor: José Coronado ("No habrá paz para los malvados") Best main actress: Elena Anaya ("La piel que habito"). Best actor (not main character): Luis Homar ("Eva"). Best actress (not main character): Ana Wagener ("La voz dormida") Best revelation actress: María León ("La voz dormida"). Best revelation actor: Jan Cornet por ("La piel que habito"). Best novel director: Kike Maíllo por "Eva". Best original screenplay: Enrique Urbizu y Michel Gaztambide por "No habrá paz para los malvados". Best adapted screenplay: "A rrugas". Best animation movie: "A rrugas". Best documental: Isabel Coixet por "Escuchando al juez Garzón". Best short movie: "El barco pirata", de Fernando Trullols. Best wardrobe desing : "Blackthorn". Best artistic direction: "Blackthorn". Best photography direction: "Blackthorn". Best production direction: Andrés Santana ("Blackthorn"). Best original music: Alberto Iglesias ("La piel que habito"). Best original song: "Nana de la hierbabuena", de Carmen Agredano ("La voz dormida"). Best sound: Licio Marcos de Oliveira e Ignacio Royo-Villanova ("No habrá paz para los malvados"). Best mounting: Pablo Blanco ("No habrá paz para los malvados"). Best special effects: Arturo Balseiro y Lluís Castells ("Eva"). Best make up/ hair dress: Karmele Soler, David Martí y Manolo Carretero ("La piel que habito"). Best short documental: "Regreso a Viridiana", de Pedro González Bermúdez. Best short movie of animation: "Birdboy", de Alberto Vázquez Rico y Pedro Rivero. Best European movie: "The artist". Best Spanish/South-American movie: "Un cuento chino".

List of winners of the 26th edition of the Goya’s:

“...Best movie:: No habrá paz para los malvados...” 23


APPROACHING TO PHOTOGRAPHY By Sara Fantova

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Some months ago, in a city called Sarajevo some people asked me about my personal project. When they made me this question I didn’t really know what was this “personal project”, but somehow one idea came to my mind.

home. And there take pictures of their favorite things, family, house etc. Like this I will also give them the chance to approach to photography and enjoy the pleasure of capturing one moment for the rest of the life.

Photography is one of my hobbies, and now working with children is also part of my everyday life so I thought to put this two things together. I’m very interested in how do the children that I work with live. So I decided to give the children cameras of one only use, so they can take this cameras

After, when the pictures are already taken we will make a first exhibition in the daily centre, and like this they will see their work. After we will make some other exhibitions around Skopje. And finally the children will also have the chance to take the photos home.


SOME INTERESTING DATES ABOUT WOMEN IN CINEMA By Sara Fantova

“Even the rain” by Iciar Bollain (2010) “Across the universe” by Julie Taymor (2007) “Lost in translation” by Sofia Coppola (1999) “Somewhere” by Sofia Coppola (2011) “Plans for tomorrow” by Juana Macias (2010) “The hurt locker” by Kathryn Bigelow (2008) “The kids are alright” by Lisa Cholodenko (2010) “In a better world” by Susanne Bier (2010) “Winter’s bone” by Debra Granik (2010) “Caramel” by Nadine Labaki (2007)

Alice Guy-Blaché was the first woman making a narrative film (La Fée aux Choux), in 1896. Also in the environment of silent films, June Mathis was the first female executive in Hollywood and she produced and wrote some silent movies. Speaking about Hollywood, Dorothy Arzner was the only woman film maker that survived in the unfriendly environment that was in the twenties in Hollywood. This woman is the director of movies like “The modern commandments” or “The bride wore red”. Talking about avant-garde cinema, Germaine Dulac was a leading member of the French avant-

garde film movement. And she made films as “Je n'ai plus rien” or “La coquille et le clergyman”. The feminism also had impact in the world of cinema. Hollywood was accused of sexist, racist and of using imperialist stereotypes. Women gather in different collectives, and they also formed their own film groups. The first masterpiece in this environment was “Wanda” by Barbara Loden. After, a lot of great women passed through the history of cinema, but there is too much things, and the list is too long to write it just in a small article. So I will just put some of my favorite movies made by woman.


TO SKI OR NOT TO SKI? By Kalia Dimitrova

Being a strong and ambitious person I have examined subjects dealing with gender roles with great interest, and tough some people think that it is rather faded to speak about genders and they feel as if everything is already said, my inner voice tells me that the topics male-female/boy-girl/manwoman are never too worn out because this relations are dynamic and they change throughout history and even on daily basis.

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Some people say that even if you raise a boy and a girl the same, they still wouldn’t turn up to be the same. The nature made them different. That makes sense. That is the point of the two gender reality that the nature had in mind. On one hand every person has to agree that there are certain differences between being a man or a woman, I mean despite the biological difference, but history shows us that most of the differences we consider as valid are generally imposed by the society and it’s believes, traditions and values. For instance, if my grandmother was taught to get merry and be a housewife, my mother was taught to study and work for her

future but still to take care of the home, so that finally I could be taught that I am an equal to the men in the society and that it is my choice to do whatever I desire with my life. Still, realistically speaking not many women in my country are “awarded” with these values, and sadly a big amount of young girls will stay in the shadow of men because the society takes into consideration a certain type of behavior which is right for girls, and other for boys. It is confirmed that many “facts” witch were considered to be truth are false and reverse. Even though it is proven that baby boys are more fragile as infants than girls are, studies have shown that parents tend to respond more quickly to an infant daughter’s cries than they are to those of an infant son. Parents also tend to cuddle girls more than they do boys. Another banal example is the “colour illusion”. Supposedly the colour pink is for girls, as blue for boys. As boring as this may sound, practice shows that this kind of things shape the mind set of little children about what is right/wrong, or even normal/abnormal for a girl or


a boy. I consider myself as deluded by this “colour illusion” as pink really was my ultimate favorite colour up until I got a real sense about what I really like, instead of what I should like as a little girl. Other illusions such as dolls for girls, but action figures for boys set the rules even further. Boys are being thought to be strong and even violent, and girls to be gentle, humble and polished. When all of these pieces will be put together we get the typical aggressive macho man whom is unable to open emotionally, and the pretty, fragile princess that is too shy to stand up for herself. Luckily for us, these principles are not cherished anymore. The idea of gender roles has rapidly changed these past 50 years and is still changing. But is seems that it is not very easy to change your mind set and to reinvent the role of a male or the role of a female in society.

dilemmas, as it is hard to edit the tradition and the collective memory of the community.

Moreover, some societies are still struggling with the basic dilemmas about whether women should work or be housewives, or who is supposed to earn more money. I am afraid to say that my society is caught up at these

So while Hamlet is still trapped in his eternal dilemma “to be or not be”, all I can think about these days is my personal dilemma- “To ski or not to ski???”

There are times when I truly believe that slowly we are leaving behind the stereotypes, but reality gives me a knock on my head. For example, this weekend when I was on a weekend in the mountain town –Krushevo I heard something very funny. My friend (male) and I were having coffee with the land lords of the house we were staying at, and the man of the house asked only my friend if he was skiing. When my friend said that I am more into that sport the man made this bizarre grimace full of surprise, because according to him skiing is something only man can do. Once I heard this kind of thinking I understood that we have a lot more reasons to talk about gender roles and perceptions than I even though we did.

The nature made them different. That makes sense. That is the point of the two gender reality that the nature had in mind

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Целиот свет во моето маалоСтрумички карневал Павлина Манавска Познатиот струмички карневал и оваа година беше спектакуларен. Три илјади учесници од земјава и странство заедно маскирани во 250 групни и поеднечни маски прошетаа низ струмичкото корзо. За прв пат оваа година беше променета маршутата на движење и имав прилика да го гледам спектакуларното шоу од мојот балкон- баш во првиот ред. По традиција секоја година кралот го означува почетокот придружен со огномет кој објави старт на волшебната ноќ. Илјадници луѓе маѓепсани од лицата под маски беа водени во една прекрасна бајка. Оваа година доминираа маски со мотиви од зимата, но исто така не однесоа во бајките кај црвенката и уште подалеку, на почетокот кај Адам и Ева. Креативните маски беа навистина посебни каде јасно се воочуваше трудот кој беше вложен во нив. Некои од луѓето кои беа учесници зборуваа дека припремата за карневалот траела нешто повеќе од три месеци. Интернационалната карневалска вечер не изостави гости од Србија, Бугарија, Албанија, Словенија како и од другите градови на државата. Беше навистина прекрасно да се виде целиот тој свет на едно место. По тричасовната парада под маски, магијата продолжи и низ дискотеките каде сите локали во Струмица беа преполни. Утредента најмалите прошетаа на исто познатиот детски карневал а наредниот ден или чист понеделник граѓните го започнаа постот каде традиционално насекаде беа поставени штандови на кои се служеше бел грав. Карневалските денови завршија во Вторник со празникот Тримери, кога по традиција се посетуваат домовите на свршените девојки.

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THE PEACEFAIRYTALE By Majda Todoroska

You easily fall in love in these kinds of courses.

Once upon a time, exactly from the 4th to 12th of March year 2012, in Struga, there was this magical training course in which I, among others, participated. The magical training course was named “Focus on Conflict”, and as the name tells us, it was about conflict management. It was part of Youth in Action program, so we had everything provided, except 30% of the travel expenses that were paid by us. We were accommodated in the hotel of Red Cross, Solferino hotel. The place is colorful, eye-catching and pleasant, with beautiful verdure, fence and breathtaking view of the Ohrid Lake (the residence is on the shore). The staff is professional and warmhearted, especially those who serve in the restaurant who don’t accept shy guests. I associated with the following states: Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Macedonia. The training course was very active, I had my time to rest but I felt so useful when the time for lectures was beginning. We had energizers to string into action and warm us up and for becoming closer friends we were playing numerous games that mingled us, put us in the mood, connected and activated us. We were obliged to meet Struga and its residents through games. After learning some theory relating conflicts, the reasons, their sources, connections to the cultures, perceptions, taboos, the phases of development of a conflict, the means of possible influence, there were many discussions and interesting tasks that included analysis of the conflict examples, our own commitment to them, finding solutions etc. Here, we realized it’s easy to come up with ideas, especially when we’re young and united. We had a one-day trip do Ohrid too and though it was snowing, wet and empty, we remained persistent in our decision to visit the museum for hand-made paper, the bridge of wishes and the church Kaneo. On the way, we sat for a coffee in one of the restaurants on Kaneo beaches. During those cold hours, we had fascinating view on the lake and its ducks, fire-place in the restaurant, clear sky, snow flakes, naked trees, white and foggy limitless horizon and greeting cards as a souvenir on which we were writing messages for each other.

TC “FOCUS ON CONFLICT” - STRUGA, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA, 04-12.03 2012 organized by CITIZEN FORUM DENICA

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We were intensively socializing and it seems to me only when we were sleeping, we were a part. There was mental and physical mutual activity during the day and at night relaxation and fun. We were getting up at 9 a.m., had breakfast, then training course, a pause, course, lunch, rest, course, pause, course, dinner and sharing music, partying etc. It’s really a great experience. Especially when you have some much people gathered at one place and whose origins are from different cultures, speaking different languages, having different perceptions, experiences, families, life-styles, traditions, but after all, so similar in their spirit, wishes and emotions. You easily fall in love in these kinds of courses. But, not only with individuals, but you fall in love with life again, with yourself and the world. Maybe I can’t properly describe the benefit from this training course, but I feel it for sure. With an open heart and the world is yours. Everyone is your friend and the focus goes to love. It’s what I learnt from this training course and I advise you too to allow to be changed easily and to create, especially among such young and fresh enthusiasts, as I had the honor to meet and work with in Struga. At the end of the truthful fairytale, although physical borders separate us, we remain lifelong friends without any “borders“and we continue to live happily ever after.


In the middle of the coldest days and greatest snow in years, instead of skiing on the nearby mountains, I decided to ski on the mountain of conflicts and learn the slalom technique of conflict transformation. My ski resort was Prishtina and the ‘bachilo’ a small hotel in its outskirts. I took modest winter equipment with me, composed of poor knowledge about conflicts, few jars of Ajvar and a bottle of Macedonian wine. Then, rounded it up with warm anticipations and prepared for my first ski lane called Training Course in “Creativity in Conflict Transformation”. The skiing began hesitantly, but after the first few moves confidence and trust was built among all participants. Thirty two young people from ten European countries, started working together quickly on defining the concept of conflict. We discussed about the conflicts we face in our life and work, and then tried to determine their positive and negative aspects. It was hard as one might think, but we did manage to find some positive sides! Fun was not excluded, as well. Life statues representing conflicts, “exhausting” energizers and provoking thoughts-sharing discussions in the late hours kept the group highly motivated for more challenging sessions. Somewhere on the half-way, the prisoner’s dilemma was on the table. We had to decide if we will all cooperate for the ‘common good’ or play in our own interest. Although, self-interest prevailed we all learned an important lesson about the difficulty of establishing cooperation in conflicts. In the end, we all exhibited the conflicts that bothered us and made a step forward towards diminishing their presence by planning projects. Within the “Youth in Action” program one may find a project that came out of here, very soon. Tired and satisfied at the same time, I wrapped up my impressions and finished the lane learning about how to tackle conflicts and meeting wonderful people. A word was given that the friendly relationships won’t stop then and there. And for the first time in my life this proved to be true! N.B. The organizers and the trainers deserved recognition for guiding us successfully to the end through the different levels of the conflict transformation cycle. For their devotion they received handmade certificates signed by all participants. A nice way to say THANK YOU to the people that make things happen, don’t you think?!

A DIFFERENT WINTER HOLIDAY By Marija Brzovskaa

Somewhere on the half-way, the prisoner’s dilemma was on the table.

TC “CREATIVITY IN CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION” - PRISHTINA, KOSOVO, 03-10.02 2012 organized by BLINK KOSOVO

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VOICES magazine March issue  

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