Ohio University

Multi-country: Environmental Peacebuilding and Sustainability: Peace Parks in the Balkans

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Program Term


Program Type

OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
Humanities and Social Sciences
Sustainability, Food, and Environment

For more information on this program contact:

Geoff Dabelko
Program Director

Danny Twilley

Emily Englehart
Global Programs Coordinator
Email: eengleha@ohio.edu


Group photo of participants on the 2019 Balkans Expedition


This 7 credit field course (in Washington DC and the Balkans) affiliated with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will provide students with a unique, experiential learning opportunity in one of the last bio-diversity hotspots in Europe, a place where the legacy of the conflict of the 1990s is being overcome with entrepreneurship, ecotourism and environmental peacebuilding. Starting with three days in Washington DC, students will gain a foundational understanding of how environmental security thinking led to a focus on environmental peacebuilding. 

Students will meet with some of our nation’s foremost scholars and policy analysts on environmental peacebuilding, sustainability and transboundary protected areas management including officials at the National Park Service Office of International Affairs, the US Agency for International Development, Conservation International, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and others.  We will visit one of the Balkans Embassies and hear a presentation from the Ambassador about regional environmental cooperation and the value of international educational exchange.   

Highlights and Excursions 

  • Enjoy day hikes on parts of the award-winning "Peaks of the Balkans Trail," which showcases the border region's stunning natural beauty. 

  • Enjoy the phenomenal hospitality of the local people in all three countries through home stays and learn from the people who work in environmental peacebuilding every day. 

  • Climb cross border trails that were previously used by Roman soldiers and Kosovar refugees. 

  • Experience the unique "higher mountain culture" and its traditional organic farming and cuisine, music and dance, traditional clothing, centuries old architecture, and rugged way of life. 

Students will see firsthand how the environment is harnessed as a tool to stimulate cross border cooperation between communities and countries and how entrepreneurship and ecotourism are providing an alternative model for sustainable development and real world livelihood creation. The field-based experiences are accompanied by faculty and guest lectures, the international policy environment in Washington, D.C. and by park officials, community leaders, and experts in Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro.  

Living Arrangements 

Students on this program will be housed in various accommodations throughout the program duration such as homestays (breakfast & dinner included), hotels (breakfast included), and cabins.  

Program Dates 

Summer 2019 : May 19 – June 10, 2019 

This program will not run in Summer 2020. Tentatively running next in 2021. 


Students will enroll in 7 credit hours during this program.  

Undergraduate students: 

  • ES 4900 Special Topics: Environment, Peacebuilding & Security (3 credits)  
  • ES 4910 Special Topics: Environmental Studies Leadership Experience (3 credits)  
  • ES 4930 Independent Study in Environmental Studies (1 credit)  

Graduate Students: 

  • ES 5900 Special Topics: Environment, Peacebuilding & Security (3 credits) 
  • ES 6910 Environmental Studies Internship (3 credits)  
  • ES 6930 Independent Study in Environmental Studies (1 credit)


The program fee for this program includes: Student housing, all meals, in-country transportation, Park Entrance Fees, local guides, translators, welcome and farewell dinner, and international medical health insurance. 

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 7 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet 2019 

Graduate Student Budget Worksheet 2019 

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program.

Funding Opportunities

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages.

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program is open to all OHIO undergraduate and graduate students from all majors in good judicial standing. The minimum GPA is 2.5 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students. 

This multi-dimensional study abroad program is designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students interested in environmental studies, sustainability, geography, community development, natural resource management, ecotourism, European history, and peace and conflict studies. 

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. 

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here