Join us for a 12-day journey of discovery through the Balkans. The Balkan Study Trip program offers the opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of this fascinating region, with visits to four countries: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo. This is an educational tour with the main aim to educate visitors about the history and what it looks like living today in the Balkans. Along the way, you will have the chance to meet and engage with guest speakers, professors, students, innovators, and tour guides. Don’t miss this unforgettable experience.
Educational tours are ideal for academic institutions, NGOs performing activities, students, master/PhD students writing a thesis, historians, educators or everybody with an aim to learn something new about Balkan.
The topics covered in this tour are divided into several categories, but they are all interconnected in some way and can be modified to suit your interests. These categories include History, Politics and Economy, Art, Culture, and Innovation, as well as the Discovery and Experience section, which offers outdoor activities, practical workshops, and the opportunity to experience a traditional dinner with a Bosnian family.
Whether you are an academic institution or a high school, college, or university student, writing a master/PhD thesis, NGO or simply someone interested in exploring the Balkans through this tour, we understand the importance of reliable materials. All of the information and content we present is based on factual and scientific evidence. Many of our speakers and guides are also academicians, and we will do our best to provide you with research and study materials for your exploration.
These materials may include collections of articles and papers compiled and translated into English by our speakers and guides, as well as extensive bibliographies and references. If you wish to use these materials for academic purposes, our company staff will provide you with instructions and assistance. Our goal is not only to educate younger generations but also to foster connections across the globe.
Materials are divided into two categories: free and paid. Free materials are often simplified for ease of reading and may be provided upon request or during the tour. Paid materials typically include books, personal notes, bibliographies, references, local research papers, and collections of unpublished authentic UNPROFOR photos taken during the war in Sarajevo.
Read below the full educational tour itinerary and details about the ultimate 10 stops on our study tour journey.
The Balkan Tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse cultures of the Balkans. The tour begins in the culturally rich and vibrant city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, where you will be picked up at the airport by our tour guide. Zagreb is renowned for its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture.
Some must-see attractions in Zagreb include the Kaptol and Gradec Old Town, the Cathedral Dolac marketplace, the Blood bridge, the Stone gates, the St Mark Church, and Ban Jelacic square. For museums and galleries, we recommend visiting the Technical Museum of Nikola Tesla, the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, and the Museum of Chocolate. The day will conclude with a relaxing dinner at a hotel and free time to explore the city.
Jasenovac was a concentration camp located in Croatia during World War II. It was run by the Croatian fascist Ustase organization and was one of the largest and most notorious concentration camps in the Balkans.
The camp was established in 1941 and operated until 1945, during which time it is estimated that tens of thousands of people were killed or died due to the inhumane conditions at the camp. The majority of those who were imprisoned at Jasenovac were Serbs, but there were also significant numbers of Jews, Romani, and Croatian anti-fascists who were held at the camp. The exact number of deaths at Jasenovac is difficult to determine, but it is widely accepted that it was in the tens of thousands.
The camp was liberated by Yugoslav Partisans in 1945, and the Ustase leaders responsible for running the camp were later tried and convicted for war crimes. During Balkan tours, this location is often skipped due to its dark nature, but this is absolutely a must-see place for those who wish to know more about the Balkans and for those who wish to learn about the culture of reconciliation after all the horrors.
The third day of this Balkan Academic Study tour is reserved for the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, renowned for its beautiful lakes, cascades, and waterfalls, is a must-see destination on this tour. From Zagreb, the tour continues to the small town of Ostrožac located in the heart of the Dinaric Alps in Croatia.
Ostrozac is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, with notable attractions including the Ostrožac Castle, the historic St. George’s Church, and the Ostrožac Waterfall. The tour then proceeds to Bihać, a charming and historic city in Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and magnificent fortress, as well as the Una National Park. Dinner and overnight accommodation are included in the tour.
On the fourth day of the Balkan Tour, we visit the stunning cities of Travnik and Jajce. Both cities are rich in history, including periods of the Bosnian Kingdom and Ottoman rule. In Jajce, we visit the Pliva Lakes, wooden watermills, and the beautiful Pliva waterfall, as well as the medieval fortress and catacombs.
Must-see sights in Travnik include the Travnik Castle and the historic Travnik Mosque. From Travnik and Jajce, the tour continues to Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo is a vibrant city known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and diverse culture.
On the Balkan Tour, you will have the opportunity to visit many beautiful cities and places, but none is as vibrant and beautiful as Sarajevo. This city is a melting pot of different cultures and religions. After breakfast, you will have the chance to take a walking tour of the Old Town, which includes highlights such as the Sebilj fountain, City Hall, Gazi Husrev-bey’s Mosque, Catholic Cathedral, Jewish Temple, Old Orthodox Church, Kazandžiluk, the oldest street in the city, and the Latin Bridge, the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
After lunch, you can take a break in nature while visiting the Springs of the River Bosna. An unmissable attraction is the Tunnel of Hope, where you can view an original audio and photo exhibition about the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After a long day, you can relax at the hotel or explore the city before and/or after dinner.
The duration of the stay in Sarajevo will depend on the planned activities. The first day is typically dedicated to exploring the city, while the second day is often reserved for workshops, webinars, visits to various organizations, and a traditional dinner with a Bosnian family. Outdoor activities and free time can also be arranged based on the interests of the group.
A day trip from Sarajevo to Srebrenica is a poignant and memorable experience that offers visitors the chance to learn about the Bosnian War and the Srebrenica genocide. Srebrenica was the site of the worst mass murder in Europe since World War II when over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men, women and children were systematically murdered by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.
Today, Srebrenica is a town that is still struggling to come to terms with this dark chapter in its history. One way to experience Srebrenica on a day trip from Sarajevo is to visit the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery, which is dedicated to the victims of the genocide. Here, visitors can learn about the events that took place in Srebrenica through exhibits and memorials and pay their respects to the victims at the cemetery. Another option is to participate in a specially organized lunch with a local family, which offers an opportunity to learn about life in Srebrenica before and after the war.
Many local families have firsthand experience of the war and the genocide, ad are willing to share their stories with visitors. A fireside chat with genocide survivors and war veterans is another way to learn about the events that took place in Srebrenica. These individuals can provide firsthand accounts of what happened, and offer insight into the lasting impact of the war and the genocide on the community.
Konjic is a small town located about an hour’s drive from Sarajevo, and is known for its rich history and natural beauty. One highlight of a trip to Konjic is a visit to the ARK D-0 bunker, which was built during the Yugoslav era as a top-secret underground military facility. Today, the bunker is open to the public and offers a fascinating look at the history of Yugoslavia and the Cold War
After visiting Konjic, the trip to Mostar is a scenic one, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside along the way. Mostar is a city located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ad is known for its historic Old Bridge, which was built in the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Bridge is a symbol of the city and is a popular spot for tourists to take pictures and enjoy the views of the Neretva River below.
Dubrovnik is a city located in Croatia that is often included as a stop on a Balkan study tour. The city is known for its stunning coastal setting, with beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding islands.
Once you arrive in Dubrovnik, there are a number of cultural and historical sites to visit. One highlight is the Dubrovnik Archives, which contain a wealth of information about the city’s rich history, as well as almost all pieces of information about the medieval Bosnian Kingdom.
There are a number of other important cultural sites to visit in the city. These include the Dubrovnik City Walls, which were built in the 13th century and offer panoramic views of the city, and the Dubrovnik Cathedral, which is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.
For our next destination on this Balkan Study Tour, we’re going on a night drive from Dubrovnik to Prština, the capital city of Kosovo. Upon arrival in Priština, there are a number of interesting sights and activities to enjoy. A walking tour of the city is a great way to get a feel for the local culture and history.
During the tour, you may want to visit the National Museum of Kosovo and the National Art Gallery, which are two of the most famous museums and art galleries in Priština. The National Museum of Kosovo is home to a wide variety of exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Kosovo, while the National Art Gallery is a great place to see works by local artists.
It is important to note that, due to the current political situation in Kosovo, it is always a good idea to check the latest travel advisories and be aware of any potential safety issues before planning a trip to Priština. While the city is generally safe for visitors, it is always better to be cautious and well-informed.
As our final destination on this Academic Study Tour, Belgrade and Novi Sad are on the list. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a city with a long and storied past and is home to a number of famous sightseeing spots.
Some of the top places to visit in Belgrade include the Kalemegdan Fortress, which offers panoramic views of the city and the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, and the Knez Mihailova Street, which is a pedestrian-only street lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The walking and panoramic tour are the highlights of the day. It is additionally possible to organize a day trip to Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia, which is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, as well as its cultural attractions.
In addition to exploring the cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad, you may also want to visit the grave of Josip Broz Tito, the former leader of Yugoslavia, which is located in the town of Kumrovac. Tito’s grave is a popular tourist attraction and offers a glimpse into the history of Yugoslavia.
After finishing all of the sightseeing and hotel check-out, airport drop-off is scheduled, as well as the end of the service.
This tour offers a guide to the ancient history of the Balkans through a museum visit and a guest speaker. You will have the chance to learn about the ancient history of the Balkans, which is often overlooked in other tours that tend to focus more on medieval and modern periods. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the roots of Balkan history.
Ottomans, and Habsburgs, with a focus on the history of Bosnia and the external powers that ruled over it. This topic also covers the medieval history of Serbia and Croatia, as well as international relations from the middle ages to the present.
Have you ever wondered why Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand? Would the First World War have occurred if he had not? While it is likely that the war would have occurred regardless, our tour and guest speakers will provide a deeper understanding of not only the Great War but also the socioeconomic changes that took place leading up to the conflict.
After the Great War, the political landscape in Europe underwent significant changes. Four empires (German, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian) that had once been powerful ceased to exist, and new countries emerged from their ruins. The Balkans were no exception to these political shifts. In the following decades, Yugoslavia rose to power and became a feared but respected European nation, reaching its peak under the leadership of Marshall Josip Broz-Tito as the head of the Socialist Federative Republic.
However, Yugoslavia ultimately fell in the late 1980s and 1990s. Our tour will explore the reasons for the fall of Yugoslavia and the subsequent events, including the 1990s war in Bosnia, the Srebrenica Genocide, the Croatian Homeland War, the Kosovo War, and even the NATO bombings.
While this tumultuous period is often associated with war, it is important to also recognize the cultural, artistic, musical, agricultural, architectural, and trade developments that took place. Hear stories about the first female doctors, the emancipation of women, and artistic and musical movements, among others. It is important to remember that although there were wars, there was also prosperity in the Balkans.
One of the biggest mistakes made during Marshall Tito’s rule, according to a lot of historians, was his death, which led to a surge in nationalism and ultimately resulted in the Siege of Sarajevo just a few years after the Sarajevo Olympics. In this section of the tour, we will delve deeper into the atrocities that occurred in the Balkans during the 1990s, with a focus on the Bosnian War and the Srebrenica Genocide.
It is important to learn about these dark times in order to prevent the negation of genocide and ensure that perpetrators are properly prosecuted. The wounds of the war remain open, and understanding the events of the 1990s is a crucial step in the process of healing and reconciliation.
During your academic tour to Herzegovina and Dubrovnik, you will have the opportunity to learn about the medieval Vlach tribes and their impact on trade in the region. You will hear stories about the import and export business in the medieval Balkans and how the economy was shaped by these tribes.
The international relations of Balkan countries are an important aspect of modern politics. Through this Balkan Study Tours, you will have the opportunity to learn about the current political affairs of the Balkan region and how these countries are interacting with the rest of the world. This includes understanding their relationships with other nations and their involvement in international organizations and events.
Additionally, you will gain insight into the foreign policy goals and priorities of these countries and how they are working to advance their interests on the global stage. Examining the international relations of the Balkans also provides a lens through which to understand the region’s history and how it has shaped its current political landscape.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a unique political system with three presidents. This can be a confusing and complex structure, but our guides and speakers will do their best to explain how it came to be, its pros and cons, and how it may impact the future stability of both Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans as a region. Understanding the political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is important for gaining insight into the country’s history and its current and future trajectory.
During Yugoslavia, nationalism and religion were often closely connected in the Balkan region. Many people in the region identified strongly with their ethnic and national groups, and religion was often an important aspect of that identity. For example, the majority of Serbs are Orthodox Christians, Croats are mostly Catholic, and Bosnians (Bosniaks) are Muslims.
These religious differences have often been tied to national identity and have played a role in conflicts within and between different ethnic groups in the region. Overall, nationalism and religion have been intertwined in the Balkans, and have played a significant role in the region’s history and politics. The same thing is mostly applied in today’s politics.
Terms like Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism are often misused and misunderstood in contemporary society. Through this tour, we aim to provide a deeper understanding of these concepts and how they have affected the Balkans. You will have the opportunity to explore the transformation of the region from a Socialist nation to a Capitalist one, including the events that occurred and their consequences.
Another topic of discussion will be the cult of personality surrounding Tito and how his ideology shaped the country. Was he a dictator or a people’s hero? Additionally, we will delve into the socialist examples of other countries, such as the USSR, and their international relations with Yugoslavia. By examining these ideas and their implementation, you will gain a more nuanced understanding of the history and politics of the Balkans.
The post-1990 Balkans remain in a state of disrepair and have yet to regain their former status. Many individuals who experienced life during the era of Yugoslavia continue to harbour feelings of nostalgia for that time. While the region has achieved a state of negative peace, characterized by the absence of conflict and coexistence among its inhabitants, it has not yet achieved positive peace, marked by the presence of justice and the ability to build a functional society.
This sense of longing for perceived security and improved quality of life during Yugoslavia has come to be known as “Yugo-nostalgia.” Our guide and speakers will delve into these concepts in greater detail, providing relevant examples for illustration. Politics is an important structural part of the educational tour to the Balkan.
The itinerary for this program includes visits to several sites of historical and cultural significance, such as the Jasenovac concentration camp, the Lyra Hotel i Lika (Croatia), the Technical Museum of Nikola Tesla, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the War Childhood Museum, Tito’s bunker (ARK D-0), the Memorial Complex Srebrenica, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), and the Innovation Lab. These visits will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about and reflect upon the history and contemporary issues of the Balkans region.
For all of our Balkan Study Tours, our speakers and guests include high school and university professors, historians, museum curators, innovators, industry specialists, “live books” (individuals who have survived a particular event and can share their personal stories), and tour guides.
The format of the webinars may be hybrid, depending on the time of year and the availability of the speakers. These individuals bring a diverse range of expertise and perspectives, providing attendees with a well-rounded understanding of the topics being discussed.
Workshops are optional and must be scheduled in advance upon request. A variety of workshops are available, covering topics such as cooking, copper crafting, wailing, and cultural exchange. These workshops provide hands-on learning opportunities for attendees and include options such as a workshop at the War Childhood Museum and a workshop at the Innovation Lab. Up to two workshops may be included in the Balkan Academic Study Tours.
The concept of a “fireside chat” is a casual conversation with one of our available speakers or guides on a topic of interest related to the Balkans, such as its history, politics, or economy. Alternatively, the conversation may cover a more specialized or niche subject. These chats provide attendees with the opportunity to engage in informal dialogue with our experts and to deepen their understanding of the region.
This program component is designed for those interested in learning more about marginalized groups in the Balkans, as well as the process of women’s emancipation in the region. Given the rich history of the Balkans, the focus will be on marginalized groups from the 19th to the 21st century, including women and children (particularly unmarried women, children born outside of marriage, orphans, and prostitutes), the Jewish population, the Roma population, individuals with illness or disabilities, prisoners, and veterans.
One notable achievement in the liberation of women in the Balkans was the efforts of socialist Yugoslavia to promote the participation of Muslim women in everyday life. Study materials on these topics may be provided upon request, or attendees may choose to engage in an open discussion with one of our speakers.
Balkan Academic Study Tours offers the opportunity to explore the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the lens of innovation and business. Lab visits and STEM speakers may be included in webinars or workshops to provide insights into these fields. Additionally, webinars on specific topics of interest can be arranged, featuring speakers who are experts in those areas.
This program component allows attendees to gain a better understanding of the role of innovation and business in shaping the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Choose various options of activities offered by Meet Bosnia Travel Agency and bring fun and adventure to the perfect educational tour of the Balkans.
Day & Night options
Fun and adventurous
Through beautiful sceneries
Choose various options of craftwork offered by Meet Bosnia Travel Agency to spice up our educational journey.
Dinner with the Bosnian Family, a Fireside chat with our in-house historian or war survivors.
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I took this tour with my study group as we are doing a research paper on the 90’s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We agreed with the agency on the materials we needed for the tour and they did their best to fulfil our requirements. The tour was a total success I must say. Looking forward to visiting Balkan again! Thank you Meet Bosnia.)