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  • Locations: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3-6 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, General Public, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Global Affairs, Integrative Studies
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Program Description:

The Balkans Case: Reconciliation and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the Aftermath of Mass Violence

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, Summer 2021



Welcome to the Balkans field experience/study abroad course. The conflicts that swept through the republics of former Yugoslavia in 1990s are often described as Europe's deadliest conflicts since World War II. These conflicts have become infamous for the war crimes committed, including mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Even 25 years after the war, the communities of former Yugoslavia are undergoing a painful process of facing the past, while the reconciliation and positive peace remain elusive.

History, memorialization, truth telling, justice and education initiatives can be used to connect communities in post-conflict settings, but they can also be utilized to generate polarization and differentiation. Together we will learn how these tools are used in Bosnia and Croatia. We will also explore other case studies and perspectives using a comparative lens to crystallize knowledge applicable in different contexts. The course will focus on learning about a systemic approach for dealing with the contentious history that can contribute to building more equitable and just societies. The aim is to understand not only how contentious past impacts the ways in which post-conflict societies function, but also to look into various social practices and initiatives of counteracting the negative effects of divisive past. We will examine topics such as the role of non-violent movements and gender in dealing with the past, memory eradication and denial, historical narratives and counter narratives, politics of commemoration, manipulation of the sites of memory, history education and forgiveness.

The value of this experiential learning course is that it provides a unique opportunity for students and scholars to travel abroad and visit three post-conflict societies on one trip and learn on the ground how post-conflict peacebuilding efforts impact the dynamics of relationships among different ethnic groups. The course will also provide a space in which participants will be able to reflect on and re-examine their own assumptions on conflict resolution theory and practice, and explore innovative ways of dealing with complex issues through workshops and panel discussions. Finally, this will also be an excellent opportunity to network and establish relationships with representatives of local, regional and international organizations, engage with people on the ground and immerse in the rich history and culture of the region.

The course instructors are Dr. Borislava Manojlovic and Dr. Roland B. Wilson, from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Korea Campus.


During this course, you will engage in conversations with key organizations, practitioners and scholars of conflict resolution, and local stakeholders including:
· The UNDP Sarajevo
· Youth Initiative for Human Rights
· Humanitarian Law Centre, Sarajevo · Post-conflict Research Center · Nansen Dialogue (
· United Women, Banja Luka
· Youth Cultural Centre Abrasevic, Mostar

Practicing Conflict Resolution:
· Reconciliation workshop in Mostar
· Diverse panel discussions with local peace activists
· Interviews with key scholars/practitioners working on dealing with the past and reconciliation in the Balkans

Intense Historical and Cultural Immersion:
· An interfaith conversation in Mostar with a Christian and Muslim family divided by the war
· Visiting Memorial Gallery and cultural landmarks in Sarajevo
· The Mostar Bridge and Kravice waterfalls excursion
· Old Town Dubrovnik Tour
Sponsored by the Global Education Office, Mason Korea, and the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


This course will be offered for 6 credits, 3 credits and for non-credit. It is open to GMU Korea students as well as students from other Universities in Korea and the US, GMU Korea alumni and others as a professional development seminar.


CONF: 385, 390, 399, 695
GLOA: 480
INTS: 399, 595
HIST: 387

Students can select 1-2 courses, or do the course for non-credit. 

  • Post-conflict reconstruction and state fragility
  • Memory production and its impact on communities
  • Nationalism and identity
  • Justice in the aftermath of war
  • Trauma and healing
  • Gender and peacebuilding
  • Education for sustainable peace
  • Trends, initiatives and solutions for conflict resilient societies
  • Conflict resolution methods and practices

Course Structure

The course is tentatively scheduled to take place in July 3-15 July 2021. Students will spend a total of 13 days in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia in addition to one online preparatory and one follow-up meeting. Each day will be structured as ~3 hours lectures/class time, and approximately ~4-6 hours of field experience tours, and discussions/interviews with local scholars/practitioners and those directly affected by the conflict. Each evening we will gather to have post-session debriefing and feedback discussions. This will be done while studying and traveling in various parts of the three countries. We will also provide ample time for participants to get out and visit local areas.

The difference between students taking the class for 3 or 6 credits will be in the size of their assignments.

Program Dates:
July 3 - July 15, 2021


July 03 Day 1: Arrival (Saturday)
Check into the hotel in Sarajevo
18:00 - 18:30 Introduction lecture
18:30 – 20:00 Welcome dinner

July 04 day 2: (Sunday)
9:00 – 12:00  Lecture - Borislava
12:30 – 13:30 Traditional Bosnian lunch at the restaurant ‘’Pod Lipom’’
13:30 – 15:30 Sarajevo sightseeing tour
15:30 – 17:00 Visit to Galerija 11/07/95
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 05 day 3: (Monday)

9:00-12:00 Visit to US embassy and presentation
12:00 - 13:30 Free time for lunch
14:00 – 16:00 Visit OSCE (presentation and discussion)
Free afternoon
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 06 day 4: (Tuesday)

9:00 – 11:30 Lecture – Roland
12:00 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Visit Youth Initiative for Human Rights (presentation and discussion)/ Post-Conflict Research Center
Free afternoon (visit to mountain Trebevic and a cable car ride – optional)
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 07 day 5: (Wednesday)

10:00 – 12:00 Lecture – Borislava
12:30 – 13:30 Visit The Organization for Transitional Justice, Responsibility and Memory (presentation and discussion)
13:30 – 15:00 Free time for lunch
15:30 – 17:30 Presentation and discussion with Nansen Dialogue Center representative 
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 08 day 6:  (Thursday) 

8:00 Traveling to Mostar
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
15:00  Checking into the hotel
17: 00 Mostar sightseeing – Old town
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 09 day 7:  (Friday)
10:30-12:00 Workshop with Proni Youth Club Mostar on education and reconciliation
12:30 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
15: 00 Mostar Culture Tour – museums, new part of the town
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 10 Day 8:  (Saturday)

9:00-12:00 Lecture - Roland
12:30 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
14:00 – 17:00 Visiting Kravice Waterfalls
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 11 Day 9:  (Sunday)

9:00-12:00 Lecture – Borislava
12:30 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
13:30 – 16:00 Travelling to Dubrovnik
16:00 Check into the hotel
Free afternoon in Dubrovnik
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 12 Day 10: (Monday)

9:00-12:00 Lecture – Roland
12:30 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
15:00- 17:00 Visit to DEŠA Dubrovnik
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 13 Day 11: (Tuesday)

9:00-12:00 Lecture - Roland
12:30 – 13:30 Free time for lunch
16:00 – 18:00 Dubrovnik sightseeing tour
19:00 Dinner and debriefing
July 14 Day 12: (Wednesday)

09:00-12:00 Lecture – Borislava
12:30 – 14:00 Free time for lunch
16:00 – 18:00 Visit to Dubrovnik Museums
19:00 Farewell dinner and debriefing in Dubrovnik
July 15 Day 13: (Thursday)

Departure of students to Sarajevo airport
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Summer 2021: Coming soon!


  • covers hotel rooms (double occupancy) for 12 nights
  • 2 meals per day
  • in-country ground transportation
  • cultural excursions
  • entrance fees
  • course speakers’ costs

Not included:

  • Airfare*
  • Personal Spending
  • Passport/Visa
*There will be a program cost for 3-credits and a cost for 6-credits.

*Note: This program does not include a group flight. Information regarding arrival times and location will be sent out to all participants after the application deadline. Do not purchase airfare until you receive the "Green Light for Flights" notice from the Global Education Office via email. The notice will include information on the arrival/departure airports, flight times, and where to meet the group. Students who fail to follow the guidelines GEO sends out will be responsible for applicable costs of changing their flights.

When the time comes to purchase airfare, GEO will be recommending the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance.  ​

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 20, 2021. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.​

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 10, 2021. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:


Application Deadline:

March 10, 2021

Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.Application requirements:*

Statement of Purpose: submit a brief statement of purpose (250 words max.) detailing your academic reasons for applying to the program.


Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

Name Dr. Borislava Manojlovic

Academic Director

Name Dr. Roland B. Wilson

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.