The program is based in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Similar in architectural style to other cities in the region, including Budapest and Vienna, its smaller size and accessible cultural life, cafes, farmers’ markets, parks and recreation areas allow students to integrate quickly. Additionally, students spend approximately two weeks on the island of Vis, in the Adriatic, and participate in excursions within the region.
Based at the European Center for the Study of War and Peace (ECSWP), the program aims to form students who wish to think critically, holistically, and creatively about how to bring about justice and reconciliation. By drawing from the deep resources of Jesuit thought and practice, and by immersing students in the unique cultural, political and religious milieu of the Balkans, the program provides an environment that reveals the importance and urgency of overcoming violent responses to conflict and difference.
Students have access to cutting edge theoretical, experiential, and immersive education introducing them to focused dialogue with local academics, scholars, public intellectuals, literary figures, artists, and politicians. Through this dialogical approach, students are able to focus their vocational aspirations and develop creative solutions to challenges facing communities around the world.
All courses are taught in English by BC and ECSWP faculty. Core courses are taught by the program directors, James Taylor and Petra Belkovic Taylor, with guest lectures given by faculty from the University of Zagreb, University of Sarajevo, University of Belgrade, and other domestic and international institutions, and by notable political,
religious, cultural and literary figures. Elective courses are taught by Boston College faculty in an intensive three-week block at the start or end of the semester. Additionally, BC students may enroll in language classes at the University of Zagreb.
Ms. Petra Belkovic Taylor
Dr. James Taylor
European Center for the Study of War and Peace
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Academics & Support
In order to provide students with a broad and fundamental understanding of the patterns of conflict and the challenges of peace and reconciliation, the program employs four different disciplinary lenses: historical/cultural, philosophical/theological, socio-political, and literary. Students take five, 3-credit courses, and a 1-credit language course to earn 16 semester credits with the potential to earn up to 6 credits of major/minor elective credit toward International Studies, Philosophy, Theology, Faith, Peace and Justice and other ares.
Required courses (all students):
Introduction to the Balkans: History, Culture, Politics and Religion (3 credits)
War and Peace through Literature (3 credits)
Philosophy of Peace and Hospitality (3 credits)
Program options (choose one):
Intensive Language Course (3 credits)
Independent /small group study with local Jesuit faculty and others—through partnerships with the Jesuit University and the University of Zagreb (3 credits)
Internship (3 credits)
Electives (choose one of 2-3 available options by semester):
Philosophy of the Person I - Fall (3 credits)
Philosophy of the Person II - Spring (3 credits)
International Studies - Fall, TBC (3 credits)
International Studies - Spring, TBC (3 credits)
Theology - Fall, TBC (3 credits)
Theology - Spring, TBC (3 credits)
Students who wish to take the 3-credit internship must apply through the ECSWP. Once approved, students are matched with partner organizations based on students’ academic and professional needs and interests.
Fall Term: mid-August to the end of November
Spring Term: mid-February to the end of May
Students live in downtown apartments in Zagreb with 2-4 other program participants. The housing is located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to all amenities and to the ECSWP, where classes are held. On the island of Vis, students stay in apartments in the old stone village of Komiza. During program excursions, students will stay in hotels or hostels.
Students have lunch together as a group every day after class. The program cost covers one group meal daily (Monday-Friday), in addition to housing. Outside weekday lunches, students can prepare food in their apartment or take advantage of affordable options in local restaurants and farmers’ markets.
The program includes two primary excursions, one to Sarajevo and the other to Eastern Croatia and Serbia. Both trips are designed to help students understand the diversity of the region and to help students explore multiple perspectives on the conflicts in the region. Additionally, the program[NG5] will take students on a number of day trips such as to natural sites (e.g. Plitvice National Park) or Medvednica Mountain, as well as to places of cultural and historical heritage.
Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Zagreb, as well as all necessary arrangements to comply with immigration requirements.