Moving to Macedonia

Macedonia is a landlocked Balkan state surrounded by Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece. Although spared much of the violence its fellow Balkan states have endured, the country has experienced ethnic tensions in recent years, and economic struggles and political instability have been factors that have dissuaded many expats from moving to Macedonia. 
Macedonia has been a candidate to join the European Union since 2005, but because of strained relations with Bulgaria and an ongoing dispute over its full name, the accession hasn't come into play as of yet. 
Most expats living in Macedonia are employed by English-language schools or NGOs that are involved with relief work, humanitarian assistance and technical training. The largest expat community in Macedonia is in the capital, Skopje. 
Skopje is slowly becoming a more modern and expat-friendly city as more shops and restaurants emerge, and expats should find all the general amenities they need in the city. Outside Skopje, expats will find a breathtakingly beautiful country with diverse landscapes of forests, mountains and lakes and many historical sites to explore. 
Macedonia’s population of two million people is mostly made up of Macedonians and Albanians, with smaller communities of Turks, Roma and Serbs, who have all helped make the country a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures and influences. Historically, ethnic tensions have plagued the country and pushed Macedonia to the brink of civil war in 2001 when Albanian extremists declared war against the Macedonian state. Although a peace treaty brought an end to the violence, tensions remain high and expats should avoid discussing this sensitive issue. 
Macedonia’s healthcare system has undergone improvements in recent years and primary public healthcare is now freely available to all citizens under a universal state-sponsored health insurance scheme. Employers and employees are obligated to pay monthly contributions towards this scheme. Private healthcare is also available with a number of new clinics emerging in recent years. Citizens are able to take out additional private insurance to cover services not provided by the state system.
Both primary and secondary education in public schools in Macedonia is free and compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15. Classes are taught in Albanian, Macedonian, Turkish or Serbian. However, most expats choose to send their children to one of the handful of international schools in Skopje.

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