Bosnia & Herzegovina: Progress in Post-Conflict Societies

Summer 2013
Bosnia & Herzegovina
May 19 - June 6, 2014 (tentative)

Program Highlights

  • Experience first-hand a country continuing to rebuild after the Balkan Conflict of the 1990's.
  • Engage with Bennie and Johnnie alums living and working to make a difference in rebuilding their society.
  • Witness how the various ethnic and religious groups interact to produce this intriguing culture.
  • Explore the amazing natural beauty.
  • Experience the warmth and hospitality of the local people.
  • Meet with war survivors, political figures, religious leaders, local business executives, NGO's, and representatives from a variety of sectors.
  • Partner this study abroad program with the eight-week Summer Global Practicum to put your new knowledge to work.

Program Description

Bosnia and Herzegovina have a rich history, stretching from the Roman Empire through Ottoman Turkey and Socialist Yugoslavia. Many ethnic and religious groups have lived side by side in this territory, even if they did not always agree. After the death of Tito, ethnic nationalism led to the breakup of Yugoslavia, creating Bosnia and Herzegovina. This land, mixed with different ethnic and religious groups, sits between Croatia and Serbia, both already on the path to European Union membership, and wonders what its future will bring.

In this program, students will learn about the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Beginning with the Dayton Accords, students will study the political institutions of the country and the reforms demanded by the European Union for membership. Students will also examine the evolution of different ethnic and nationalist groups and how the interact with political institutions. Finally, students will examine different memorials and monuments in Bosnia and explore their role, if any, in moving the country toward, or away from, post-conflict reconciliation.


Based in Mostar, Sarajevo and Banja Luka, the travel itinerary will be designed to explore the great diversity of people, history and landscapes.  You will hear presentations from local experts on a variety of topics to help you better understand the places you are visiting.

This program is offered in partnership with Nesto Vise, is a non-governmental organization founded in 1997 by a group of young people who have experience working with civil society organizations throughout BiH. Nesto Vise, which translates as Something More, motivates positive changes in society by offering opportunities to individuals and groups for formal and informal education, networking, work, joint experiences and helping others, all in order to make competent and responsible leaders who, by believing in themselves and others, foster openness and belonging to their society.  Their programs and projects have been implemented in over 70 local communities in BiH.

This program is designed to help students explore the depth and breadth of the history, life and culture in BiH.  The variety of topics covered allow any student to participate in this program and apply the knowledge gained towards their major, minor and/or Common Curriculum experience at CSB/SJU.  Individual learning plans will be arranged with students to assure that the academic coursework meets their needs.

This short-term study abroad program can be partnered with the Summer Global Practicum program offered through the Center for Global Education.  This short-term study abroad program serves as the perfect introduction and cultural orientation to the eight-week internship experience.  The Summer Global Practicum will challenge you to put the knowledge learned at CSB/SJU and in BiH to work in an NGO setting.

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $3,000 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $525 per credit).

This price includes:

  • Round-trip international airfare from Minneapolis to BiH
  • Accommodation during the program
  • Local transportation
  • Course related excursions including: admission to museums, cultural attractions, and other events as outlined in the itinerary
  • Program administrative costs and fees
  • 2 meals per day

The Program Fee does not include:

  • One meal per day (estimated at $6-$10 per meal)
  • Personal spending money
  • Activities, housing or transportation not associated with or included in the program
  • 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $525 per credit)

Students who elect to participate in both programs will also receive a discount on their Short-term study abroad program fee in the amount of $250.


During the program, students will stay in Bed & Breakfast style accommodations.  Bedrooms will range from 2 to 4 students per room and breakfast is included with the stay. 


Christi Siver, Assistant Professor of Political Science, will be leading this short-term program to BiH. She travelled to the region in 2012 with a faculty development group and fell in love with the country. She will be partnering with Nesto Vise, who will provide all of the on the ground support. Her scholarly background is in military institutions and human rights, so she is eager to spend more time in a post-conflict society full of dynamic identities.