The Balkans Dialogue investigates conflict and post-conflict reconstruction in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo) as well as 21st Century power grabs by Russia, Turkey, Arab States, NATO, and the EU. 2019 is the 24th Anniversary of the end of the Bosnian War (1992-95), which included ethnic cleansing, genocide (which many parties dispute), and other war crimes.

In this Dialogue, we look at American and NATO efforts to end the bloody conflict in Bosnia in 1995. Four years later, NATO and the US were also militarily involved in the Kosovo conflict, bombing Belgrade and other parts of Serbia. Serbia and Bosnia both seek greater ties with the US and NATO, and both seek admission into the EU. Meanwhile, Russia, Turkey, Arab States (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) are vying for economic, military, and security dominance throughout the Balkans, including Serbia and Bosnia, and they are succeeding in finding local partners. This Dialogue looks at the Balkans in a broader context – in terms of the collapse of one “union” (Yugoslavia) and the efforts to maintain and expand a greater union, the E.U., while also fending off (or inviting in) powerful forces well beyond the region. SAMPLE guest lectures/topics include: • Balkan Wars and disputed histories: Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia • The fall of Yugoslavia and the rise of independent “successor states” • Overthrowing a Dictator: the fall of Milosevic (“OTPOR!” Resistance movement) • War Crimes Prosecutions in Bosnia and in Serbia • The International Community (OHR, NATO, EU) in Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo • Islam, Christianity (Orthodox and Catholic), and Judaism in the Balkans • Russian influence in Serbia • Turkey's role in Bosnia • Arab investments in Serbia and Bosnia • Prospects for Bosnia and/or Serbia’s accession to the EU

We will visit 3 separate parts of the Balkans - Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo - and will hear from a full range of speakers across cultures, religions, and political ideologies. Because Serbia remains a crossroads of Europe's "migrant crisis", we examine how the Syrian refugee crisis along with numerous other conflicts (from Africa and the Middle East) are impacting Balkan politics and society. One of the highlights of the program is a tour of "Tito's Bunker", a Cold War era bunker designed for a possible nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the US. The most difficult day on the program is a visit to Srebrenica, a Memorial site in honor of over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, who were murdered at the end of the Bosnian war (July 1995).

Group Flight Plan:

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
  • Application Extension Deadline: February 15, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.50
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Possible Student Challenges: Nothing out of the ordinary; a lot of walking between meetings (Sarajevo and Belgrade); one planned hike up the hills in Sarajevo (25-minute “urban hike”).


Participating in the Balkans program may be the only way an NU student can learn about the Balkans, its history, its various cultures, its complex internal politics, and the aspirations for Serbs, Bosnians, Kosovars and other Balkan nations to join the EU.

By participating in the Balkans Dialogue, students can expect to learn first-hand about:
– the tragic and still beautiful history of the Balkans;
– Bosnian, Serbian, and Kosovar struggles to join the EU;
– the continuing political tensions across various communities (ethnic, religious, political, social); and
– an “unsung” part of Europe that “outsiders” (Russian, Turkish, Arab, Iranian, Chinese, American, and other European actors) still try to woo and influence (economically, politically, militarily, and otherwise).

NU students will have meetings with Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, Albanian and international (EU, UN, US) professionals across  Bosnia and Serbia. In Kosovo, students meet with journalists, civil society activists, and government officials. All of these occur through meetings, site visits, guest lectures and other venues.

  • INTL 4944 - Dialogue of Civilizations: Regional Engagement : An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the history, culture, politics, and society of the former Yugoslavia. Students meet with Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Kosovo Albanian community activists, academics, and political leaders; U.S. embassy staff, representatives of NGOs and international organizations (EU, UN, NATO). This course examines Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian relations with the EU. This course counts as NU Core arts level 1.
  • POLS 4938 - International Politics Abroad : (Understanding Societies and Institutions (SI) NUpath and Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX) NUpath) Building off of conflict resolution & peace-building and nation-building themes, the Balkans Dialogue will investigate conflict and post-conflict reconstruction in the former Yugoslavia (principally Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo. We look especially at U.S.-led efforts to end the bloody conflict in Bosnia in 1995 and at U.S.-NATO bombing of Belgrade and other parts of Serbia in 1999. We examine continuing efforts to bring war criminals to justice in The Hague and local War Crimes Courts, and how this continues to impact Serbia’s potential bid to join the EU. With Greece nearly ejected from the EU in summer 2015, this Dialogue looks at the Balkans in a broad context – from the collapse of one “union” (Yugoslavia) to the efforts to maintain a greater union, the EU.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $1,000.00
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $500
  • Previous students report an average of $500 in extra expenses

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Additional Resources
  • Tentative Itinerary : This is a tentative itinerary for the DOC. A finalize itinerary will be supplied by your professor in Spring 2019.


Sarajevo is a small and beautiful city, with a tragic history (1992-95). It is very walkable and is where “East meets West”, in that the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire shared this city until 1918.

Belgrade is a large, bustling, chic city. It is safe and walkable. Belgrade has been rated among the “hottest” (i.e., coolest, hippest) cities in Europe for the past several years – i.e., it is a “destination” city for Europeans and others.

The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Please review this information before applying.


  • Hotel: 4- and 5-star hotels; free (and excellent) WiFi; A/C; bed & breakfasts in all hotels Marriott Courtyard in Sarajevo; Hilton in Belgrade; 2 nights in a Monastery in Kosovo  

Host University or Organization

University support in Bosnia and in Serbia enable us to connect with top academic and policy analysts regarding the various topics of the program.

Faculty Advisor