International Organizations and Conflict Studies Program


Summer Program - JUNE 18TH TO JULY 24th


The Organizations, Who They Are, and What They Do During Crisis

Have you ever dreamed of an international career? Or maybe you’re a student of international affairs, international security, or peace and conflict studies? If the idea of working and traveling overseas, and contributing to human security around the world, this program is specifically designed for you. This is the summer abroad that will not only deliver your academic program on campus with our partner, The American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), but will also provide you with field study insights during a trip to Pristina, Kosovo for a look inside the Balkans conflict.

The Balkans are a place of incredible beauty and terrible conflict. Famously called the “Powder Keg of Europe,” the region was the focal point of brutal conflicts at both the beginning and the end of the 20th century. Contending with ethnic rivalries, political legacies, and economic challenges, the region is trying to come to terms with its history and fully join the global community of the 21st century. It offers the ideal setting for considering some of the most vital issues of our time: globalization, security, development, and cultural engagement. 

Then we actually go one step further than most other programs. With this specific program, you’ll gain insight into the career side of the international organizations. During the career workshops in Pristina, you will be provided answers to the following questions: 

  1. Who are the main organizations and key players?

  2. What is it like working in mission for years on end?

  3. How do you find international openings?

  4. What should I consider when applying?

  5. What are the interviews like and what should I expect?

  6. Where are the openings located? Are they always in difficult locations?

  7. How do I set myself apart from the competition in the application and interview process?

  8. Are there any tips to the job search and application process?

  9. Are there any issues with contracts or employment terms I need to be aware of?

  10. How should I manage an international career once I’m inside the system?


The Balkans are a place of incredible beauty and terrible conflict. Famously called the "Powder Keg of Europe," the region was the focal point of brutal conflicts at both the beginning and the end of the 20th century. Contending with ethnic rivalries, political legacies, and economic challenges, the region is trying to come to terms with its history and fully join the global community of the 21st century. It offers the ideal setting for considering some of the most vital issues of our time: globalization, security, development, and cultural engagement. Being "on the ground" in the Balkans will augment study with experience in a place with many challenges, yet also many opportunities, as well as warm and welcoming people. Whether a student of history, human security, international relations, or practically any field, one can gain much from participating in this summer experience.

“Traveling in Kosovo and meeting the people of this fascinating country was one of the most eye-opening experiences I had during my time in college. It provided a powerful lens into some of the cultural and political problems faced internationally in our modern world. This experience led me to pursue more international travel and study. It not only inspired me to become more knowledgeable and involved in the global community, but it also helped me to gain important perspectives from diverse cultures, religions, and backgrounds. The friendly people, the rich history, and the current challenges and growth make Kosovo a truly unique experience. Studying in Kosovo led to the development of my worldview, and has continued to challenge me in the classroom and throughout my career.”
Kosovo Flag Day.jpg

Fields of Study:

Open to students of all majors and programs. This will explore the fields of history, international relations, post-conflict studies, human security, and cultural intelligence.


2 courses (6 credit) offered concurrently + field study to Kosovo for ten (10) days.


Providers: This course is provided by Capacity Building International, and supported by American College of Thessaloniki. ACT, the tertiary division of Anatolia College, is accredited in the United States by NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education). In addition to ACT having full NECHE accreditation, the undergraduate programs delivered at ACT are also validated by Open University, UK. ACT has also been granted a license by the Greek government to operate as a private post-secondary educational institution (“College”). ACT has been the school of choice for over 3000 American students, as it holds partnerships with major US institutions. These students, alongside others from across the Balkans, Europe, and the world create a vibrant academic community that brings life to a truly diverse, multicultural environment. More information on this special program here.

“Kosovo holds secrets, lessons and picturesque beauty for seekers looking for rich and unique history, breath-taking landscapes, and lessons which will last a lifetime. I was introduced to Kosovo via a study abroad trip taken in 2014. Here, in this country whose people have borne the effects of ethnic cleansing, I sat with the powerful and bonded with the outcast. I relished the pleasant encounters and mourned deeply the scars of war in this country so different than my own. Rebuilding has followed, but much slower than I had anticipated. Now, as a teacher and aspiring entrepreneur, I find myself reminded of the need for patient perseverance, whether in rebuilding a country or the life of a child or in the long-haul commitment required to start a business. My experience in Kosovo taught me this and inspired a passionate attempt to make a difference in this world.”

History 221: Global Modernities: World History Since 1900

This course examines global history from 1900s to the present, addressing key themes and trends in the political, cultural, social, and intellectual landscapes of the period. While emphasis will be on interpreting the century’s historical trajectories, the course will also seek to historicize globalization, evaluate the concepts of globality and transnationalism, and study critical responses to globalization.

Kosovo has been shaped by globalization, showing its increasing pervasiveness in recent years. In turn, its experience poses unique questions about this process, notably in terms of the lack of transnational mobility for its people, and pockets of response to the influx of global (Western) influences. This course will include a week in Kosovo, which will augment the academic experience with expert analysis and visits to key sites that situate globalization “on the ground” in both historic and contemporary contexts.

Politics 221: The Balkans in Contemporary International Relations

This course starts by outlining the long-term historical evolution of the region of Southeast Europe in international relations, with a particular focus on the nineteenth century and the formation of modern nation-states, and on the two world wars and their consequences in the twentieth century. The course then shifts to the post-Cold War period, taking into account global, regional, national, and local perspectives on contemporary international relations issues. Special consideration will be given to the role being played in the Balkans by the United Nations and different European organizations and institutions on the one hand, and to the concomitant foreign policies of the concerned Balkan states on the other. The course concludes with an examination of the most pressing challenges facing these states and of the prospects for regional cooperation and peace in the twenty-first century. The summer session will include a week in Kosovo, which will augment the academic experience with expert analysis and visits to key sites that draw out these past experiences and current realities.

The Balkans have been a focal point of international relations in the last two centuries, and famously referred to as the “Powder Keg of Europe,” while the line “The Balkans produce more history than they can consume” is attributed to Winston Churchill. The region is certainly been a hotbed of nationalism, a breadbasket of conflict, and a focal point for international bodies such as the UN and EU. No place exemplifies this more than Kosovo. A space near and dear to both Albanians and Serbs, it has been at the crux of many conflicts and issues, most notably at the end of the 20th century.


Instructional arrangements

The course will be taught “face-to-face,” supplemented by “on the ground” experiences. In keeping with established ACT practice, the instruction will total 44 hours. Per agreed upon arrangements, this will blend classroom instruction at ACT with expert presentations and debrief/discussion times on the ground. The initial segment of the course will be taught at ACT, the second segment on the ground, and the final segment at ACT.


Course module specifications

The course will meet the module specifications outlined by ACT. It will cultivate the specified knowledge, comprehension and skills by the specified means. The on-the-ground experience particularly will do so by exposing the students to specific content knowledge, such as the ethnic and religious historical context of the region, as well as the role of international organizations and agents in the region. It will do so by means of expert presentations, site visits, and debrief/discussion. Skills will be developed through assessment by means of exams, research/reflection assignments, and participatory activity.

As a 2018 Fulbright research grant recipient in Kosovo, I spent 9 months conducting fieldwork, engaging in local projects, and indulging in as many macchiatos as humanly possible. Aside from Kosovo’s wildly diverse cafe culture, Kosovo’s rich history, nuanced domestic political landscape, and continuously evolving the strategic relationship with the US, EU, and Turkey, among other countries and factors, make it an unparalleled place for individuals to engage in critical research that has both academic and policy relevance. For instance, while I have worked with stakeholders to explore specific security issues in the region, a Fulbright peer of mine has interviewed Kosovar women that have acted as catalysts for social change in the region. Moreover, living in Kosovo has deeply clarified how I, as an American, can best position myself alongside members of the community to address domestic and transatlantic issues. My interactions with various Kosovar Albanians, Serbians, and members of the Romani community have made me adept at navigating cross-cultural contexts in a sensitive manner and taught me a considerable amount about how to mediate difficult conversations about how ethnic and religious identity inform notions of the citizenry, sovereignty, and statehood. In transitioning from Kosovo back to the U.S., I am thrilled to bring back with me not only a diverse skill set but also, a complex narrative of Kosovo, informed by its citizenry.

support and services provided - what you will get

Supporting students while abroad is an important part of the international experience. Studying abroad should be easy, and stress free, so students can focus on learning from the environment rather than managing it. Here's some of the program support that will provided while both in Greece and in Kosovo:

  • Pre-Departure support for Greece and Kosovo Information Package

  • Thessaloniki airport welcome

  • on campus orientation

  • 2 act courses (6) credits on campus

  • act transcript

  • double/private apartments

  • transport to/from act campus

  • welcome and farewell meals at act

  • 2 night trip to athens and delphi

  • day trip to vergina royal tombs

  • bilingual act ra in housing

  • access to all act facilities on campus

  • act student id card

  • On-site Orientation


  • administrative support and coordination for the kosovo field study

  • transport to/from act campus to kosovo

  • city tours in Kosovo

  • Centrally Located Housing

  • guided historical tours

  • Co-Working Space

  • Cultural Immersion

  • In person briefings from international experts and mission personnel

  • briefings and discussions from local organizations and experts

  • Cultural Intelligence briefing

  • On-site Staff Support 24/7 during field study

  • transport provided for field study in kosovo

  • Welcome & Farewell Events in kosovo


English Language Proficiency: Native English speaker or satisfactory TOEFL scores

Foreign Language Proficiency: All Levels

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Course Prerequisites: Academic institution requirements must be fulfilled prior to the student attending the study abroad program.

Education Completed: 1 Year of College completed prior to program start