Zdravo! My name is Bella and I’m a junior at Whitman College. I’m studying Global Health at Whitman, which is an individually planned major I’ve created by combining sciences, anthropology, and politics.
I’ll be spending this fall semester studying in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. For those who have never heard of those countries, I’ll be in Southeastern Europe (just north of Greece). This program focuses on the politics of the Balkans, particularly the breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars in the 1990s. As I’m just beginning to learn, this region of the world has had the unique history of being influenced by many different empires, religions, wars, and more. I’ll not only be studying the politics and history of this conflict, but also the peace process that continues to this day. While I’ll mainly be staying with a host family in Belgrade, I’ll also be traveling to Bosnia and Kosovo with other students on this program.
The history and culture of this part of the world is not common knowledge for many Americans. Yet international intervention with the conflict in the Balkans just 30 years ago has shaped much of America’s current foreign policy today. These politics are important to understand, given that similar conflicts derived mainly from ethnic and religious tensions occur all over the world. I am very interested in how the international community responds to these types of events, and how peace is sought after in times of reconciliation.
I look forward to sharing with you all that I will learn and the many new experiences I will encounter! Thanks for reading…
This is me in front of the Saint Sava Temple, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world!