Sarajevo Study Trip
December 4, 2012
The Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD) has been organizing a study trip to Sarajevo for the students of the University of Bologna and the Johns Hopkins University's SAIS Bologna Center for the past 12 years. The preparations for next year's January 27 to January 30, 2013 trip have started, and the 2013 Sarajevo Trip promises to offer students a first-hand experience in post-conflict reconstruction, human rights advocacy and democratic development.
An information session about the trip was held in the SAIS Bologna Center on Monday, November 19, 2012. The turnout included a large cross-section of students from the SAIS Bologna Center and Comparative Public Law students from the University of Bologna, as well as a range of other candidates from UniBo. Justin O. Frosini, Director of CCSDD and Assistant Professor of Public Law in the Faculty of Economics of the Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, began the session by providing some basic information about the trip.
"The trip focuses on issues related to international relations and conflict management, and is also related to constitutional reform and development," Frosini said. Of the 30 participating students, half are selected from the SAIS Bologna Center and half from the University of Bologna. Frosini encouraged those SAIS students looking at the Constitutional Development and Democratization course in the Spring semester to apply for the trip, as students would have the opportunity to meet with relative organizations. Given that 2013 is the twentieth anniversary of the Bosnian War, there is a greater opportunity for students to interact with the post-conflict situation and the developments over the past two decades.
The presentation was taken over by Francesco Biagi, who is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Bologna's School of Law. Biagi told the students about the organisations which they would be visiting, which include USAID, The World Bank, OSCE, UNDP, Association of the Women of Srebrenica, and the Directorate for European Integration of Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to Biagi, the trip is also an excellent opportunity for UniBo and SAIS students to intermingle and learn more about the each other's university.
"As my concentration is International Law, the legal aspects of the trip would be very interesting to me. Also, I'm Austrian, so the war was basically at my front door, more or less. From what I remember, it would be great to see what has changed since the war is over, because till now when I hear Sarajevo, I think of war. It would be great to see how it has developed, how it has changed," said SAIS student Angelika Heider, who attended the information session.
Antonio Skarica, a SAIS student who is also the Sarajevo Study Trip Coordinator at the CCSDD, expressed great enthusiasm about the trip. "I'm from Bosnia, I was born and raised there, and even as a native I've never had the opportunity to meet with all these organisations that have had a really significant impact on Bosnia, especially over the last 15-20 years. It will be a very interesting trip."