American Students Visit Atlantic Initiative

{gallery}newsletters/4/5/2{/gallery} Students from the University of Denver, Colorado (USA) are in a two-month visit to the University in Sarajevo and local non-government organizations. During this educational visit, students are attending lectures in English at the Faculty of Political Sciences, from State Self-Governance and Studies on Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina courses. They spend their free time doing volunteer work. The Atlantic Initiative gladly accepted to host and tutor the three American students: Michael Moreland, Sean Michael Barbezat and Peter Jacob Gorman.

Asked about his impressions of the country and their visit, Peter says: “I think this country is too beautiful and culturally interesting to be politically blocked in its development. As I learn about the politics of this country, I cannot get away from the feeling of frustration… I see that the city and the country are getting built and are advancing, but the progress should be felt internationally, and that is what the politicians are in charge of.” During their stay, our guests visited Mostar, Blagaj, Počitelj, Tuzla, and Sarajevo, where they will spend most of their time. They do plan to visit Banja Luka and some other towns.

When it comes to their volunteer work, Sean tells us that he does not know enough about NATO, and that he is looking forward to volunteering in the Atlantic Initiative as he hopes it will help him expand his knowledge.

“NATO is not a very important topic in the US, but I think it is a really good instrument for us, enabling us to fulfill our interests in Europe through the Alliance,” says Sean. “I believe that Americans think that NATO was extremely useful only during the Cold War, and because its mission has changed significantly – not so focused on the US – the interest has dropped. However, it doesn’t mean that NATO doesn’t enjoy the support of the American public, on the contrary.”

In addition to education, the US students will be able to write and express their opinions about security in the US and BiH while working in the Atlantic Initiative. Michael says that he is very interested in the security issues in the BiH society, and he is looking forward to learning more about it. “When we talk about Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, it is really interesting to discuss what is more important: development or security? I think that, in the case of your country, security is more important. To a certain extent, it will make possible further development of the state. NATO has the means to provide security, and the membership would be a good move for you. It would help rebuild trust between people and common goals would be set. It would surely strengthen the patriotic spirit, returning the faith in future to people,” says this Denver student.

Jasna Pekić

Photo: Atlantic Initiative