Educational Exchange Programs

The U.S. Government sponsors a number of academic, professional, and cultural exchange programs which engage youth, students, educators, professionals, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the Republic of Macedonia. The goals of these programs are to foster mutual understanding between the United States and the Republic of Macedonia.

The U.S. Embassy in coordination with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers several exchange programs, while other programs are administered in cooperation with partner organizations.

All U.S. Government exchange scholarships administered by the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia are posted on the U.S. Embassy web page and Facebook page. The application deadlines vary throughout the year, and therefore program announcements occur at different times. In order to be updated with all educational exchange opportunities, please visit our webpage frequently or follow us on Facebook.

Participation in U.S. exchange programs is merit-based, and each program has its own criteria for selection. Applicants are evaluated on factors such as academic excellence, leadership potential, knowledge of English, fields of study or research, and preparedness for visiting or living in the United States. The programs offer equal opportunities to all applicants and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

Testing

Testing (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)

As a part of the application process, most American colleges and universities require scores from U.S. standardized admissions tests. Colleges and universities use admissions tests as a means of assessing all applicants (from the United States and other countries) against the same standard. Admissions tests are usually multiple-choice tests that require a high degree of English proficiency. Some also require mathematical skills or in-depth knowledge of content related to the field of study. It is important to note, however, that test scores are only one of the factors used in evaluating an international student’s application.

Tests

Accreditation is the system of recognition and quality assurance for institutions and programs of higher education in the United States. When deciding on a program of study, one of your main concerns should be whether the program is properly accredited. There is no legal restriction on the use of the words “accredited,” “accrediting body,” or “accrediting association” in the United States. As a result, it is important that you check whether an institution and its programs hold accreditation from a “recognized” accrediting body or bodies. To be considered recognized, an accrediting body should meet one or both of the following criteria:

Recognition by the U.S. Department of Education or membership in CHEA or ASPA is an indicator of the reliability of an accrediting association.

Career schools and colleges of technology (e.g. institutions teaching accounting, film, theater) are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCST). ACCST is a member of the Council of Recognized National Accrediting Agencies (CRNAA).

Programmatic accrediting bodies accredit specialized and professional degree programs or departments rather than whole institutions. Very often, such programs or departments are offered, or are based, at institutions that already have institutional accreditation, so you can be assured of their legitimacy and general quality. A programmatic accrediting body is considered a “recognized” accrediting body if it is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). Membership in either CHEA or ASPA is an indicator of the reliability of a programmatic accrediting association. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes national and regional accrediting bodies only and does not get involved in programmatic accreditation.

Institutional accreditation can be divided into two types: regional accreditation and national accreditation. Regional accreditation is the primary type of institutional accreditation used in the United States. It is carried out by six organizations that cover different geographic regions of the country. The six regional accrediting bodies collectively serve more than 3,500 of the approximately 3,600 degree-granting institutions in the United States. They are:

Financial Aid (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)

All types of scholarships and financial aid for international students are highly competitive and require excellent academic records. You will often find the terms “scholarships” and “financial aid” used interchangeably, but technically speaking, a scholarship is a financial award based on merit, including outstanding academic performance, special talent in sports or performing arts, or perhaps community service or leadership. Financial aid is a “need-based” grant based on the student’s financial need, as documented by family income, assets, and other factors.

Information on scholarship scams is available from the Finaid.org.

Visa Information for Macedonian Applicants

Please make sure you are aware of all visa regulations concerning your exchange program.

Embassy Sponsored Exchange Programs
· Macedonia Media Leaders Program

The Macedonia Media Leaders Program (MMLP) is a professional development program for journalists and media professionals from Macedonia. MMLP strives to strengthen media in Macedonia by working with media professionals in fostering leadership skills, developing media professionalism, and expanding professional networks. MMLP is funded by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Skopje….

Additional links on U.S. Education
· Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA)

The Macedonian American Alumni Association is a nonpolitical, nonprofit and entirely private voluntary organization. The main objectives of the MAA Association is to bring together participants of U.S. Exchange Programs (Hubert Humphrey, William Fulbright, Ron Brown and other programs) in order to promote professional contacts and facilitate the exchange of ideas between Fellows and Alumni Associations of other countries. The Association has permanent contacts and regular cooperation with other Alumni Associations in the U.S. and around the world. It has a special relationship with the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Washington D.C, U.S.A which funds exchanges and coordinates alumni activity. The Association works directly with the Office of Public Affairs in the U.S. Embassy to carry out educational and cultural programs, including exchanges for U.S experts in Macedonia.

· State Alumni-Your global community

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State (ECA) invites alumni of ECA exchange programs with Central Europe and Eurasia to join State Exchange, the online community by and for alumni.

· EducationUSA: Your Guide to U.S. Higher Education

The doors of U.S. educational institutions are open to all qualified students from around the world.

· English Teaching Forum Online

A quarterly journal for teachers of English as a foreign or second language. English Teaching Forum is an international, refereed journal published by the U.S. Department of State for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL). The mission of English Teaching Forum is to contribute to the professional development of its readers around the world by offering articles that reflect current theory and practice in English language teaching.