Thursday, December 17, 2009

Video Contest Announcement!

On November 17, 2009 the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 2nd annual ExchangesConnect contest.

This year’s ExchangesConnect Video Contest , entitled
“Change Your Climate, Change Our World,”
provides for a chance to win an international exchange program! ExchangesConnect (, managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, is an international social network that promotes mutual understanding by highlighting cultures, commonalities, and exchange program experiences. People from all over the world, ages 14 and older, are invited to submit their videos to ExchangesConnect from November 17, 2009 through January 12, 2010.

Please go to the following link to see the video announcement

To learn more about the contest please visit the following link:

Friday, December 11, 2009

December monthly programs

American Corner Skopje

American Corner Tetovo

American Corner Bitola

Ask your local American Corner for more information, or get on their mailing list!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 26 is Thanksgiving!

In September 1620, a group of English people called the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth, England across the Atlantic Ocean, in a ship called the Mayflower, to Cape Cod in North America.
They went away from England because they did not agree with the religion in England. They wanted to make a new life in a new country.

They sailed for sixty-six dangerous days across the Atlantic Ocean. When they arrived, they called their new home New England, but they were not the first people to live there. The Wampanoag were the first people. Sometimes the Pilgrim Fathers fought with the Wampanoag, but they also learned a lot from them. The Wampanoag thought them to live from their ne land, and to grow and cook new kinds of fruit and vegetables.

The First Winter was difficult. Many of the Pilgrim Fathers dies because it was very cold and they had little food. In the spring they started to grow food, with the help of some friendly Wampanoag, and in the autumn of 1621 they celebrated their first harvest. They gave thanks, not only for the harvest, but for their new home, new life and new friends.

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November. Most American families have a Thanksgiving dinner together: they have turkey and autumn vegetables, and then pumpkin pie.

At the American Corner Skopje: "A Taste of Thanksgiving" with Peace Corps Volunteers.
Friday, November 27 at 18:00.

For more info, Read Thanksgiving Holiday Is Reminder to Americans to Help Others

To read the President Obama's proclamation for Thanksgiving day, click HERE.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November Monthly Programs

American Corner Skopje, November program

American Corner Bitola, November program

American Corner Tetovo, November program

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Parties!!

How our three American Corners celebrated Halloween:

American Corner Skopje

See the full album on the AC Skopje facebook page

American Corner Bitola

See the full album on the AC Bitola facebook page

American Corner Tetovo

See the full album on the AC Tetovo facebook page

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Halloween!

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31.

The day is often associated with the colors black and orange, and is strongly associated with symbols like the jack-o'-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

History of Halloween, like any other festival's history is inspired through traditions that have transpired through ages from one generation to another. As this process goes on, much of their originality get distorted with newer additions and alterations.

Behind the name... Halloween, or the Hallow E'en as they call it in Ireland , means All Hallows Eve, or the night before the 'All Hallows', also called 'All Hallowmas', or 'All Saints', or 'All Souls' Day, observed on November 1.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Ireland and Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of show, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, in order to earn their treats.

Halloween costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. They are said to be used to scare off demons. Costumes are also based on themes other than traditional horror, such as those of characters from television shows, movies, and other pop culture icons.

Ask your local American Corner about Halloween activities!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Diversity Visa”

Consul Lauren May will discuss the process of applying for a Diversity Visa, where to look for information on US government websites.

The application is free – applicants should not be fooled by scams that ask for money.

Ms. May will also be open to questions on the diversity visa and other visa questions after the presentations.

Join us in

- American Corner Bitola on Wednesday, October 28 @ 2:00 PM

- American Corner Tetovo on Wednesday, October 28 @ 6:00 PM

- American Corner Skopje on Tuesday, November 3 @ 6:00 PM

Ask your nearest American Corner for more info.

Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced!

Overall Winner
"The Storybook Wolf"

See the story behind this photo and the other winners HERE.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The Day to Celebrate Learning and Exploration"

On October 12, 1492 the Italian seaman Christopher Columbus first stepped foot on the soil of the Americas, bringing with him European culture, goods, religion and practices.

This is what happened:

Ironically, Columbus did not plan on discovering a “New World”. He left Iberia hoping to arrive in the
Indies, a series of islands in South East Asia that Spain frequently traded with through long and expensive journeys on land. His goal was to find a quicker, water-based route instead.

So when he sailed west, he didn't land in the Indies, but rather he anchored in the Bahamas at a place he named “San Salvador”. When he came ashore on San Salvador, he mistook the native people for natives of India, calling them Indians (a misnomer which stands to this day). In fact, Columbus returned to the Americas three more times over the course of 12 years without knowing that he had arrived in an uncharted land, halfway around the globe from his intended destination!

Happy Columbus Day!

In the early morning fog, a replica of one of Christopher Columbus' ships, Nina, departs Maysville, Kentucky,
where it was on tour in November 2005.
The ship, which was built by The Columbus Foundation and launched in 1991,
continues to visit ports around the United States as a floating maritime museum and to participate in tall sail events.

Activities for kids:

Columbus Day is a great time to celebrate exploration as a family. For preschoolers, it can be as simple as learning about maps or treasure hunts and exploring the backyard in a new way. For grade-schoolers, they can set out on an imaginary voyage, complete with a pretend passport, world map and discover real – or imagined – places.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tips for talking with Strangers, a 5-Step Program

You don't want to just dive into talking to strangers. You're out of practice. You need to build up those curiosity and bravery muscles. You need to thicken your skin in case they snub you. You need to plan a few exit strategies in case of social suffocation.

Sure, when you were a kid you talked to strangers all the time. But you were trained out of it. So here's a five-step 'Taking to Strangers' training program. Tailor it to your needs. Stay at any level as long as you like. Some people spend months practicing, "Hi," in front of the mirror before they will dare it with strangers.

Keep this in mind. Humans like to connect with other humans. We are social creatures. It's taken a lot of television and fear to convince us to stop doing what comes naturally. You have it in you. So have at it…

**The 5-Step Program **
(click to enlarge)

Ask your local American Corner when are they hosting a Conversation cafe, and join.

Talk to Strangers. We dare you.

October Monthly Prorgrams

These are the October monthly programs for all three American Corners Macedonia.

American Corner Skopje

(click to enlarge)

American Corner Tetovo

(click to enlarge)

American Corner Bitola

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TOEFL and GRE testing dates

Dear test takers!

As a certified ETS testing Center, we would like to announce the testing dates for the upcoming months.


Choose American Educational Center (STN11667A) on the following dates:
  • October 10, 2009
  • November 7, 2009 and
  • December 4, 2009
To register for the TOEFL, click HERE


Choose American Educational Center (10743) on the following dates:
  • GRE General: October 24, 2009
  • GRE Subject: October 10, 2009
  • GRE Subject: November 7, 2009
To register for the GRE, click HERE

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Remembering 9/11

On a sunny, cloudless September 11 eight years ago, tragedy struck America.

The President paid tribute to those who lost their lives at the Pentagon Wreath-Laying Ceremony.

"We remember with reverence the lives we lost. We read their names. We press their photos to our hearts. And on this day that marks their death, we recall the beauty and meaning of their lives; men and women and children of every color and every creed, from across our nation and from more than 100 others. They were innocent. Harming no one, they went about their daily lives. Gone in a horrible instant, they now "dwell in the House of the Lord forever." (read the whole speech here)

(President Barack Obama pauses after placing a wreath during a ceremony at the Pentagon honoring those
who perished in the 2001 terror attack. Standing with the President are Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
and Chairman of the Joint Chief Adm. Michael Mullen, right. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Vice President spent the morning on this 8th Anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies at the ground zero reflecting pool in New York City. He read the poem entitled "Wild Geese" by American poet Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting

You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

(read the full poem here)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Creaive Writing Summer Camp

After the huge success last year, the U.S. Embassy in partnership with Writers in the Schools of Houston, Texas, will organize again the Creative Writing Workshops!
These workshops are hosted by the American Corners in Macedonia.

“Writers in the Schools” Writer and Professor Merrilee Cunningham, is traveling to Macedonia again. She will spend three weeks in Macedonia, leading the creative writing workshops in Skopje, Bitola and Tetovo

The groups were completely filled only few days after the announcement was sent out, and there even was a large waiting list.

Here are some pictures from Bitola and Skopje and Tetovo:

Ambassador Reeker vsisted the AC BItola Workshop

The atmosphere during in AC Skopje

The Camp in AC Tetovo

Read more on Merrilee's blog : The Macedonian Expess

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Observing the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind

At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Read the full story here. (

at the American Corner Skopje:

"40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Landing"
With Charles Hornbostel, Consular Officer at the US Embassy in Skopje
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

A multimedia-rich commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing was held by Mr. Hornbostel who the audience was already familiar with as this was his third presentation at the Corner this year.
The 20 attendees enjoyed the brief overview of the origins of spaceflight and the 1960s space race between the United States and the Soviet Union that culminated in the Apollo 11 landing on July 20th, 1969.

The video clips from the JFK library and NASA websites brought all of us back in time as the voice of President Kennedy and his “The Race is On” speech filled out the room. Everyone got a glimpse of the countdown and the lift off of Apollo 11. Tribute was paid to the astronauts and cosmonauts who were lost along the way.

Thanks to Mr. Hornbostel’s Undergraduate degree in air and space engineering very insightful and professional explanations providing evidence were given to those doubting that the landing ever took place.

Many were wondering why the next mission is going to take place in 2014 and why the moon has not been inhabited yet. In the long discussion that followed different opinions were offered on the matter. The members of the Skopje Astronomic Society who were in the audience took part in the discussion too and invited everyone present to attend their celebration of the landing of Apollo 11 which is going to take place next week.

See part of the media presented during Mr. Hornbostel's talk:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Summer is Here!

Here are some helpful ideas to fill in those long summer days.

1. Start some type of collection - Bugs are everywhere and once properly dried can be collected, marbles of every color and shape, coins or whatever interest them.

2. Record and catalog information - What type of birds they have spotted, wild flowers or animals. There is not enough science in schools and what better way to learn than from hands on experience.

Visit the Zoo - But don’t just walk through it and you’re done. Sit and draw the animals, figure out what they’re doing. Research where the animals came from and what do they eat. Have each child pick an animal to research and go back and visit the animal that their interested in several times. Try to come up with ways to raise money for that animal.

4. Visit the Museum -
* Art museum - Have them pick one of their favorite pieces of art and research the artist. Where did they come from and what other works of art are they known for?
History museum - Research their favorite part of history and share what information they have learned. Build a model of that part of history.
Science Museum - Find something that interest them in this area and have them research it. Build a machine or model of their interest.

5. Go to the park - Pack a picnic lunch, invite some friends and have fun.

Go fishing - Dust off that old fishing pole and take them fishing. Learn the different types of fish that they could catch. What types of bait to use. Don’t forget that fishing license.

7. Go biking - Pack a small backpack with water, snacks, and drinks.

8. Go hiking - Hit those trails and start walking. Find some trails that you’ve never been on before.

Study the architecture for buildings and walk around town. Take photos or draw the different designs. Research who came up with those ideas and are those designs still used today.

Go to the American Corners - They have many great things going on all summer long. And they usually have Air Conditioning on those very hot summer days.

11. Work on a skit or play with your neighborhood kids. Plan out a stage and costumes and invite the rest of the neighborhood for the production.

12. Go to the
farmers market to see all the vendors and fresh produce.

Do community service work - Pick up litter in a park, work in a shelter serving food, or contact someone to find out where they would need help that the whole family could get involved in.

Visit the elderly in homes; make cards for them and fresh cookies.

15. Teach them how to
cook and bake. Great learning experience is measuring and following the instruction on a recipe. The greatest reward is eating what you made!

Journals - Have them write down there thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Keep them in the habit of writing.

Write letters to friends and family. Especially if they don’t have email and send those wonderful works of art that are usually over flowing in your own home.

Play a game - There are so many great board games and lots of physical games.

Clean the house or organize a room. The kids love it when they make a list of what has to be cleaned. Each child loves writing down their name next to the item that they have cleaned. The list really motivates them and your not telling them what to do. Rewards are paid for all there great and hard work.

20. Plan a vacation or trip. Research together the area that you’ll be going and get feed back as to what everyone would like to see. Give them a journal and have them write down what they did that day. They won’t like doing it most of the time. When they go back the following year and read it they’ll remember certain events with fond memories.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Responsible Fatherhood

On the 100th anniversary of Father's Day, the President writes a piece on fatherhood in Parade Magazine talking about his own life and highlighting the responsibilities all fathers must step up to:

'We Need Fathers To Step Up'
by President Barack Obama

As the father of two young girls who have shown such poise, humor, and patience in the unconventional life into which they have been thrust, I mark this Father’s Day—our first in the White House—with a deep sense of gratitude. One of the greatest benefits of being President is that I now live right above the office. I see my girls off to school nearly every morning and have dinner with them nearly every night. It is a welcome change after so many years out on the campaign trail and commuting between Chicago and Capitol Hill.

But I observe this Father’s Day not just as a father grateful to be present in my daughters’ lives but also as a son who grew up without a father in my own life. My father left my family when I was 2 years old, and I knew him mainly from the letters he wrote and the stories my family told. And while I was lucky to have two wonderful grandparents who poured everything they had into helping my mother raise my sister and me, I still felt the weight of his absence throughout my childhood.

read the full article here.


Father's Day

June 21.

The Father's Day is a day of commemoration and celebration of Dad -the special man in our life. We often forget the sacrifice of our fathers and the roles they have played in shaping our lives. Father's Day gives us the opportunity to show and express our love and care to this man, who deserves our support most.

Father's Day is the most appropriate platform to make us look beyond 'our own' family and honor the man who brought us joy and happiness. Father's Day is a day to honor not only your father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in your life - whether as Stepfathers, Uncles, Grandfathers, or "Big Brothers."

The word 'Father' is often used to honor spiritual leaders, inventors and originator of an idea, product, service or person. It is so, that fathers have always been associated with guidance and protection, as the person who can be loved, respected and looked up to. Let's use the Father's Day to let these special men know what place they have in our lives and what influence they have on us.

The Father's Day is celebrated on 21st June 2009 and don't forget to make this day special day more special!
Father's Day is a time of burnt toast and breakfast in bed, family gatherings, and crayon scribbled "I Love You Dad" and, of course, that lovely new tie!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Flag Day in the United States

People across the United States celebrate Flag Day on June 14 each year to honor the United States flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption. What do people do?

  • Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundationsenduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity.
  • Many people in the United States honor this day by displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings. Other popular ways of observing this holiday include: flag-raising ceremonies; Flag Day services; school quizzes and essay competitions about the American flag; musical salutes; street parades; and awards for special recognition.
  • Organizations such as The National Flag Day Foundation are actively involved in coordinating activities centered on the event and keeping the flag’s traditions alive. Following Flag Day is Honor America Days, a 21-day period through to Independence Day (July 4) to honor America. During this period, people hold public gatherings and activities to celebrate and honor the nation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A New Beginning: President Obama's histoic speech in Cairo - June 4. 2009

President Barack Obama spoke at the Cairo University in Cairo, Thursday, June 4, 2009. In his speech, President Obama called for a 'new beginning between the United States and Muslims', declaring that 'this cycle of suspicion and discord must end'.

"I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." - Read the whole speech here.

President Barack Obama tours the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

President Barack Obama tours the Egypt's Great Sphinx of Giza (left) and the Pyramid of Khafre

President Barack Obama ducks his head to get through an entranceway on a tour of the Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt, June 4, 2009.

At center-right is the hieroglyphic that the President comment on saying it looked like him.