There are different kinds of placement opportunities for students. Most of them are trainee programmes offered during the summer holidays and last from one to three months. In comparison with a few years ago, the number of companies offering internships or trainee programs has increased. During internships students can also do their Bachelor thesis. The trainee programs are also intended for those students who have already graduated but who do not have work experience.
Universities’ role as an interface between students and companies is very significant, because placements are usually offered through the university.
As there are many foreign companies in the FYROM, due to the strong campaign to attract foreign investors, knowledge of the English language is a vital application criterion. Taking into consideration the fact that over 85% of high school graduates enrol in university, the competition for a job is fierce. For this reason previous work experience, participation in student exchange programs and engagements during the studies are a great advantage.
Internship and placement advice
There are many practical issues related to international placements that need to be addressed by the trainee or the host company and sufficient time should be set aside for all the arrangements and necessary formalities. The training organisations, educational institutions and home and host organisations are able to help with these formalities.
Social security and European health insurance
Students should make sure they have valid health insurance and where necessary travel insurance. Remember that the FYROM is a non-EU country so EU insurances do not apply.
Persons employed in the FYROM who get paid must make mandatory contributions of 0.5 per cent of their gross annual salary to the Health Insurance Fund of Macedonia.
If you are planning to visit areas with wild animals, particularly spelunking in caves with bats, it is strongly advised to make sure that your rabies immunisations are up to date.
In general the FYROM is a safe country. However as in all countries, pick-pocketing, theft, and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate. Do not leave valuables, including mobile phones and electronic items, in plain view in unattended vehicles, especially in Skopje city centre, including the Main Square (“Ploshtad”), the City Centre Mall (“Trgovski Center”). In the Old Town areas pickpockets remain a problem. Pickpockets use various diversionary tactics to distract victims; one method involves groups of children swarming around you and asking for money in order to find and take your wallet.
Credit card fraud is widespread and caution should be exercised when making a purchase using this method. The number of ATMs in the FYROM is increasing, making the withdrawal of local currency much easier.
Do I need a visa?
In order to accomplish an internship in the FYROM you don’t need a work permit, but you do need a residence permit. Furthermore, if you are a citizen of: European Union member countries, Australia, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Croatia, Island, Israel, Japan, Malaysia (only for 30 days), Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, United States; you do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
For all other countries, you will have to apply for a visa in the nearest FYROM embassy. For more information, please visit the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.mfa.gov.mk/.
According to the Law on Work Relations:
- The employment contract should be in written form, and for a defined or undefined period of time.
- The employer has to register the employee and pay social insurance fees.
- The lowest legal working age permitted is 15.
- Cancelling the employment contract in circumstances where the employer dismisses the employee, requires that at least one month’s notice in advance must be given.
- Paid vacations of up to seven working days due to personal or family reasons are possible. Unpaid leave can’t exceed three months in any one year.
Foreign persons can be employed in the FYROM upon obtaining the appropriate visa or work permit. This can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Diplomatic-consular offices abroad and upon an employer’s request in the Employment Agency.
For more information visit:
- http://www.avrm.gov.mk/ [mk] [en]
- http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/47727/65084/E93MKD02.htm [en]
Internship and placement salary
Placements might be paid, however most of the time they are unpaid.
Internship and placement accommodation
Depending on the organisation, a student may need to find their own accommodation. If working with a non-profit organisation e.g. in the field of humanitarian work a room and even food may be provided.