The M.A. Program in Peace Studies organized an end-of-semester field trip to the Balkans, one of Europe's regions of recent conflicts and tensions. During the trip, the students and professors visited Sarajevo and Belgrade, where they met with important local, national and international figures active in the sphere of politics, religion, NGOs, academia, and the media, including: H.E. Sem Fabrizi, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia, Chief of NATO mission to Serbia, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop and Metropolitan Stanislav Hocevar, etc.
“I think this trip was like the cherry on top. It was like the perfect ending for this semester because we used the Balkan conflict as a case study and we met people from religious sphere, NATO, journalists so in a way we covered all the aspects of the conflict which fits perfectly with the objectives of the program, I think. So yeah, it was the perfect ending for the semester.”
“As the semester came to an end I am really humbled and excited that we were able to come on this trip to Bosnia and Serbia because we learned a lot about a region where most people would not know about and I think that this experience will be in my memory forever.”
“So what I really enjoyed about the trip is that we were able to see how a lot of what we were discussing in class came together beyond the classroom. So, for instance, we got to see how international law can work on paper but not necessarily in practice, we got to see how humanitarian aid is politicized which is a nice continuation of all of the themes that we have been discussing this past year in addition to the complexities of religion and ethnicity in the role of conflicts and how a lot of what these conflicts are about is socially constructed. So it is really interesting to see that everything we have been discussing so far in the classroom is real and that this is the world of the practitioner that a lot of us as Masters students hope to join once we graduate, and that has been what is really amazing about the trip for me.”
“Just a few key-words […] Seeing countries that you would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit, having the professors, like hearing their expertise and giving us their unique insights into the conflict, the history, even the unique details of the buildings […] So, I think that it has been really great to see actual examples of the things that we have theorized in the classroom and get in touch with real life.
For me this trip has been especially great because of this unique chance we have gotten to get to talk to people who were here during the war or who are here during the crisis that you might also argue they still endure. So getting to see the different perspectives and hearing unique stories and having people share their professional views or ideas or thoughts and it has been extremely…inspirational, you know? So I have learned a lot.”