Age limit: The minimum age for any participant is 18 years. Applicants born after 24th July 2001 will not be accepted. The maximum age for participants is 30 years but in exceptional circumstances this upper limit may be relaxed at the discretion of the organisers.
Closing Date:The closing date for participant applications is 2nd February 2019, except for sections of the orchestra in which vacancies still exist after that date. These will be listed on our vacancies page. Application must be made using the online form. You can apply at any time or with any instrument, but you may be placed on a reserve list if there are no immediate vacancies.
Selection, Participant Payments and Confirmation: Successful applicants selected to take part in the Exchange will be notified by email. If you are accepted, you must pay the participant contribution of EUR 595 in full within three weeks of the notification email to ensure that your place is confirmed. Due to the high demand for places at BISYOC, your place at the Exchange may be withdrawn and offered to another applicant if your contribution is not made within this three-week period.
Email Communication: the email address you provide on your application form will be used by BISYOC as the principal method of communication with you. We will write to you from the address firstname.lastname@example.org so please set your spam/junk filter accept this address otherwise you may not receive our mails. We normally expect prompt response if we write to you, so if you are asked a question, please reply within 3 days. If you write to BISYOC by email, you should receive a response within one week, though this cannot always be guaranteed.
Insurance: All participants must obtain a comprehensive travel insurance policy to cover themselves and their belongings for the duration of their attendance at BISYOC. This must be valid for visiting the Republic of Macedonia and must include full cover for emergencies and medical assistance/hospitalisation/repatriation. BISYOC will not accept liability for costs incurred by any participant who has failed to obtain adequate insurance.
Advance Preparation of Music: Instrumental parts will be available in advance so that participants can study the music at home before attending the Exchange. All players are expected to learn their parts in advance and you may be auditioned on arrival to determine where you will sit in the orchestra.
Full Participation: BISYOC is a Cultural Exchange as well as a musical experience. Everyone is expected to participate fully in all activities, some of which require preparation before leaving home, and some of which require group discussions and other forms of teamwork. BISYOC aims to stimulate participants to think at a deeper level about what they are learning and how they are learning - not only as musicians but as people learning transferable skills.
Previous Participants Welcome: Instrumentalists who have taken part in BISYOC in previous years are encouraged to apply, but please note that final selection is at the discretion of the Musical Director and Tutors. In some instances, if an applicant has taken part more than four times previously, it may be necessary to offer opportunities to newer and younger instrumentalists.
Musical Instruments: You are responsible for bringing your own instrument to BISYOC. Clarinet players must bring clarinets in Bb and A. Percussion will be provided but percussionists are expected to bring their own sticks. Double basses and harps will be arranged locally for players coming from outside the Republic of Macedonia. Cellos can only be borrowed locally if you request one as soon as you accept an offer of a place at BISYOC. Cello and Double Bass players must bring their own bows.
Cancellation: If you are accepted and pay your full contribution, and then cancel your participation, you may be entitled to a refund of up to 60% at the discretion of the organisers, depending on the reasons for your cancellation. You are advised to obtain a travel insurance policy which covers cancellation.
Travel to the Republic of Macedonia: BISYOC participants are responsible for arranging their own travel. Once accepted, you are strongly advised to book your travel to the country as soon as possible to take advantage of advanced fare pricing. See below for information about airport transfers.
Airport Transfers: BISYOC will arrange a schedule of coach/minibus transport from Skopje International Airport (SKP) to Struga and back. There will be a small charge for this service. Participants wishing to use this service must confirm their flight bookings to BISYOC before 1st April 2019. Please note that BISYOC does not guarantee to assist with transport from other airports in neighbouring countries. There will also be transport available from Ohrid Airport (OHD).
Social Policy: BISYOC operates a relaxed, mutually respectful social environment, in which music-making is the main goal. Participants also represent BISYOC when in public. Any participant acting in a way that impacts negatively on music-making activities, on the experience of other participants, or on the public, may be asked to leave. Any participant who is asked to leave will be entirely responsible for their own travel arrangements and any other costs incurred to return home.
Medical Conditions: You will be required to complete a medical form before you attend BISYOC. If your medical condition may affect you during musical rehearsals, performances or other activities, BISYOC reserves the right to share your medical information with any staff or volunteers who will be working with you.
Photography, Video and Audio: During the Exchange, participants are often filmed, photographed and recorded by other participants, and by BISYOC staff. The media collected may be used by BISYOC to document the activity, to report to funding agencies, and to promote wider participation in BISYOC at any time in the future. By accepting a place offered to you at BISYOC you give your consent to this, unless you notify us in writing that you do not agree to it, at the time of accepting our offer.