The Balkan Heritage Field SchoolBalkan Heritage Field School (BHFS, started in 2003) is a program of the Balkan Heritage Foundation (Bulgarian public, non-profit, non-governmental organization) for practical education in the field of archeology, history and art history of South-Eastern Europe, as well as documentation, conservation and restoration of historic artifacts and monuments, taught in English, currently in three Balkan countries: Bulgaria, Montenegro and Republic of Macedonia. The Program has involved a number of academic and research institutions, museums and heritage specialists from Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, USA, Canada, Germany, and Japan. Three universities award academic credits to students who participate in the BHFS projects: New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria; Queen's University, Canada, and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, through Institute for Field Research, USA. Participants who are not interested in academic credits are expected neither to pay any tuition fee nor to take part in any activities related to the academic curriculum (exams, academic reports etc.). Since 2003 the BHFS has implemented 85 field school projects/courses (with durations ranging from 1 to 8 weeks) attended by more than 1500 students from 55 countries.
The BHFS is not only a school but also a platform for social solidarity in benefit of cultural heritage. Based on this, our students, heritage specialists, institutions and local communities interact and help each other to achieve positive outcomes for all involved and for the cultural heritage of South Eastern Europe.
What are the benefits for everyone?
- BHFS students – Education & Experience & Opportunity to work with professionals in a real ongoing cultural heritage project & New friends and contacts.
- Heritage specialists (archaeologists, conservators etc.) and institutions (museums, institutes) involved with the BHFS – Additional Funding & Support for their work to study and preserve cultural heritage sites/monuments/artifacts.
- Local communities, where the BHFS projects/courses take place – New incomes & New jobs & New perspective and view over the local heritage & Increased promotion of the local tourist potential & Intercultural experience for locals.
Considering this, we are always happy to inform each participant in any of our projects that joining the BHFS s/he becomes not only a student but also:
- a Volunteer in either a scientific research or a conservation-restoration project;
- a Sponsor of the local economic growth;
- a Benefactor to the local cultural heritage.