Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in the Balkans

Participants: All MIIS and Middlebury College students

What: 1-week immersion course through three countries in the Balkans guided by Dr. Thor Sawin of the Middlebury Institute

When: March 18-26, 2023

Application Deadline: Priority deadline November 15; Applications accepted on a rolling basis through December 10.

Info Session Recording (Password: MIIS2022!)

Cost: Program fee is generously subsidized by the Collaboration on Conflict Transformation. Students are asked to pay a $250 deposit to guarantee their spot in the program. Students are responsible for their airfare, one meal per day, and any other miscellaneous travel expenses including travel insurance.

Learn more (video overview of program from spring 2020)

Group Size: There is a 17-person cap for this program. This allows the group to connect more closely with site visit hosts and each other.

Learning outcomes for all students

  • Narrate the events after the breakup of Yugoslavia and analyze the role identity, religion, language, and political ideology played in the conflict.
  • Identify processes or ideologies in the time period leading up to the break-up of Yugoslavia still present today
  • Compare and contrast what has been effective in transforming the post-conflict societies that we are visiting
  • Learn basic BCS, basic Albanian, and the Cyrillic script.

Additional learning outcomes for students interest in language education and policy 

  • Practice methods in learning conversational language before a trip, and reflect on language use while on the trip.
  • Understand the felt needs of English language teachers in the region, the constraints and opportunities
  • Identify classroom practices and curricular interventions that are effective for peacebuilding and reconciliation
  • Analyze English’s role in the linguistic landscape in the region, and the indexical values and social capital ascribed to the English language at various scales of social organization
  • Describe the complex ideological and linguistic genesis and consequences of the many named varieties of South Slavic languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin)
P.O. Box 711366
18-1350 Volcano Road
Mountain View, HI 96771
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
410 Pierce St.
Monterey, CA 93940
Contact Persons
Malia Everette
(510) 290-0573
Thor Sawin
Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics
(831) 646-0622

Additional Details

Payment Deadlines:  $250 deposit due December 12

Course Credit: 2 credits, pass/fail (no credit option available)

Financial Aid: Students taking the program for academic credit may request Federal loans to cover the cost of travel and the program fee. Email for more information.

Note: Due to the funding provided to subsidize the entire program, this program is not eligible for MIIS experiential learning funding.

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