Applications for the Peace and Conflict Summer Program 2018 are now open

Apply now!

24 June 2018 – 27 July 2018

Study Tour to Albania, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Serbia
Faculty Blending Global On-the-Ground Experience with Academic Expertise
Courses on Conflict Transformation, Violent Extremism, Development and Human Rights

The Peace and Conflict Summer Program features:

• Informal Seminars, Workshops, and Internships
• Meetings with Public Officials and Civil Society
• Cultural Events, Entertainment and Short Excursions
• Academic Courses on Peace and Conflict

Participants earn six undergraduate semester credits from the
Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

8th Annual Peace and Conflict Summer Program Begins with Study Tour

The eighth annual RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) Peace and Conflict Summer Program began on June 18 with a total of 50 student participants from the region and around the world.

The participants began with an 8-day regional study tour that left the Germia campus for Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia. Participants familiarized themselves with key historic places and events throughout Balkan history so as to provide a rich and tactile context for the studies in the program’s academic program. In Kruje Castle, they learned about the fifteenth century Albanian revolt against the Ottoman Empire led by Skenderbej (Gjergj Kastrioti). They familiarized themselves with the Albanian, Venetian, Yugoslav and Montenegrin legacies of Ulcinj and Kotor.

In Bosnia, participants explored Sarajevo’s Baščaršija, the most extensive old Ottoman market place in the Balkans, and met with the Office of the High Representative’s Principal Deputy High Representative Bruce Berton, who frankly discussed the implementation of the Dayton accords and current challenges facing Bosnia-Herzegovina. Memnuna Zvizdić, Executive Director of “Women for Women” (Žene Ženama) NGO that has been working since the 1990s, outlined the significance of gender as both a weapon in war and tool for peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Srebrenica, participants explored the painful and moving cemetary and museum memorializing the biggest war crime in Europe since World War II.

In Belgrade, Jelena Džombić of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia talked of the ‘inter-cultural icebreakers’ program that brings together Serbian and Kosovar artists and performers to re-connect and develop some common programs in education and culture in both countries. Executive Director (and former RIT-K Board Member) Sonja Biserko insightfully briefed on the many challenges in a practical agenda for human rights and democracy in Serbia and the region. The Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Anita Mitić reviewed their programs aimed to win acceptance for marginalized groups in Serbia. In Skopje, distinguished veteran journalist Saso Ordanoski delivered a superb tour d’horizon of challenges facing Macedonia as it seeks a European future by looking to the land’s ancient past.

The academic portion of the program began on Tuesday, June 27 with distinguished faculty including former principle deputy of the United Nations Special Representative for Kosovo Jock Covey; former Chief of Staff for the UN Special Representative for Kosovo Colonel Michael Hess; former American diplomat, Dayton Conference participant, and author Professor Louis Sell; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Leonard Hawley; Westminster University (London) expert on conflict prevention Professor Aidan Hehir; and NGO human rights activist and former journalist Shukrije Gashi and a group of distinguished RIT faculty from public policy, and photojournalism.

A highlight of the 2018 program will be a one-day workshop for CVE (countering violent extremism) and PVE (preventing violent extremism) with academics and practitioners from Kosovo’s policy community working with the program’s participants in developing a ‘tool box’ of activities that are consistent with the Kosovo Government’s strategy and action plan against violent extremism. Program Director Mark Baskin said that “this work follows on from RIT-Kosovo’s ongoing S’Bashku (Together) initiative aimed at countering violent extremism and it is aimed to bring our teaching and research to important issues in Kosovo’s public life. Students will continue working to design a set of tools that can be of practical value in building a democratic and prosperous future in Kosovo and the region.”


Welcome to the Summer Program 2017 in Kosovo

18 June – 28 July, 2017

The RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) Peace and Conflict Program enables participants to work with academic specialists and distinguished practitioners from the fields of military, diplomatic, human rights and humanitarian affairs with extensive experience in the Balkans and globally.

The program offers courses in:

  • The Origins and Resolution of Violent Conflicts
  • Conflict Resolution and Transformation
  • The Economics of Post-Conflict Transformation
  • Political Violence, Extremism and Terrorism
  • Documentary Film and Journalism

This unique program combines the experience and talents of academics and practitioners and provides a  practical, hands-on perspective on global conflicts, which takes advantage of our proximity to the recent wars in the Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere in Eurasia.

Students and professionals are invited to participate in this well-established and memorable experience:

  • Balkan Study Tour that enables participants to meet with policy makers and activists
  • Study abroad for six weeks with renowned experts
  • A blend of theoretical knowledge, with practical experience, skill-building
  • Expand cultural and social horizons
  • Tour historic, cultural, and politically significant sites in the scenic Balkans and Kosovo
  • Meet with senior officials among governments and civil society activists in  the region
  • Develop new and lasting friendships with people from over 45 countries
  • Optional Internships available for interested students

Share experiences with one another, and much more, at the RIT-K Peace and Conflict Program.


Vasta prepares for exhibition of student work from Kosovo Student Spotlight

Daniel Vasta, a third-year photojournalism major, is one of a handful of RIT students who traveled to Kosovo last summer to pursue documentary projects as part of a study abroad program through RIT. Vasta, from Swedesboro, N.J., spent much of his time in Kosovo preparing and documenting the daily life of a family living in an abandoned prison just outside of the capital, Pristina. His work, along with the work of the other students who went, will be on display from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the University Gallery.      

The pop-up exhibit, titled “Generosity of Strangers,” is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. If you are interested in being a part of this year’s trip to Kosovo, contact Meredith Davenport at, or stop by the exhibit to learn more.

Read more from RIT NEWS:

Why you should spend your summer in Kosovo: A closer look at the RIT Kosovo (A.U.K)’s Peace and Conflict Summer Program

Every summer since 2010, dozens of men and women from around the world have gathered in Pristina, Kosovo, to talk about peace. Bosniaks and Croats, Serbs and Albanians, Americans and Ukrainians: for six weeks, they put aside their differences and choose to live, travel, work, and study together, all with a common goal of learning from the past in order to help ensure that such atrocities as the Kosovo War never happening again.

Continue reading “Why you should spend your summer in Kosovo: A closer look at the RIT Kosovo (A.U.K)’s Peace and Conflict Summer Program”