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Post-Conflict Reconciliation in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo


Split, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Prishtina, Kosovo

Program Description

Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo immerses students in the post-conflict societies of South East Europe in order to examine the processes of reconciliation and peacebuilding in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo since the end of the wars accompanying the fall of Yugoslavia. Particular attention will be given on the interplay of personal and collective narratives, cognitions, emotions, and motivations in shaping intergroup relations in the context of the Balkans.

South East Europe had a tumultuous history characterized by inter-ethnic and inter-religious hostility as well as long periods of peace. Although over 15 years have passed since the most recent wars in the 1990s and South East Europe has been experiencing stable period of peace, the psychological, economic, and political effects of the war are still palpable at interpersonal, intergroup, and inter-state level. The program combines micro-level psychological approaches with macro-level political approaches to the understanding of societies and individuals after wars.

A multidisciplinary approach will be used to understand historical, political and psychological origins of the conflicts in the Balkans, as well as explore current challenges and opportunities in post-conflict transformation at individual community, state, and inter-state level. Activities will include visits to historical sites and museums, guest speakers from local non-profit organizations who work on peacebuilding and reconciliation, discussions, and experiential activities.

  • Open to ALL majors.
  • PSYC majors can earn sociocultural course credit

Location Description

Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo share a rich history and culture, from prehistoric sites to Ancient Roman Empire remains, to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, to war in the 1990s, and a geographic location where Western European and Middle Eastern cultures meet.

The course divides its time equally between three countries, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. During that time, we will be based in three cities.

First, we will stay in the coastal city of Split, with its Roman, Italian, and Croatian roots as well as gorgeous coastline.

In Bosnia, we will be based in the capital of Sarajevo, famous for its beautiful and dramatic fusion of eastern and western cultures as well as the tragedies of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the siege of Sarajevo.

In Kosovo, we will be based in the capital of Prishtina, the economic and political heart of the country.

All three cities draw their beauty from centuries of cultural exchange, although their presence on the boundary between empires and states has also brought great tragedy and suffering.


John Hulsey | | Political Science

Vesna Hart | | Center for Global Engagement


Accommodation will be in hotels and student dorms. All have ready internet access and have breakfast included.  

Breakfast is provided by the hotels and paid for by the program. In addition, each student will receive a meal stipend of 15 Euros per day to cover the costs of lunch and dinner. Most students spend more than the 15 Euro allotment, particularly in Croatia.

Additional Items to Consider

Open to ALL majors.

U.S. citizens do not need an additional visa in order to participate on the trip. 

The main criteria for success is that students be open-minded to new experiences and curious about the prospects for peace in the countries we visit.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Undergraduates - Rising Sophomores through Seniors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


POSC 361: Topics in International Relations: Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (3 credits)

PSYC 200: Topics in Psychology: Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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