Peace and Conflict Summer Program

Fred Cuny Peace and Conflict Summer Program

Kosovo - Run Dates: 26 June to 28 July, 2023
Application Deadline: Open for Applications / Final Application date: May 31

The program opens with a one-week study tour to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina where students meet officials and activists and visit historic and recreational areas in the beautiful Balkans.

Upon return to Prishtina, students work in Kosovo’s ‘living laboratory’ of history in the heart of the Balkans to explore the origin and resolution of armed conflict, reconstruction and institution building at the end of wars.

Courses are taught by senior civilian and military officials, NGO activists and academics with hands-on experience in the Balkans, Middle East and elsewhere.

Students meet Kosovo Government senior officials and activists, as well as senior officials from diplomatic and international missions. They visit historically significant sites in Kosovo, take part in informal late-afternoon seminars on current issues, and participate in workshop/simulations of peace keeping operations.

This Year's Summer Program Theme is: The War in Ukraine and its Implications in the Balkans.


(3 credits)

  • This course explores the process by which states disintegrate and fail, the armed conflicts that follow, and international peacekeeping and subsequent efforts to build institutions at the end of armed conflicts. It will considers cases that include the wars of Yugoslav Succession, conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Syria and others. Students will consider the role of domestic and international actors, such as NATO, the US Government, the UN, and others. They will explore these efforts through readings, class discussion, debates, presentation of research, and role-playing exercises. The first portion of this course will cover the conflicts that arose from the disintegration of Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia and Kosovo, and the USSR, particularly the war in Ukraine. It will be taught by a former US diplomat who participated in many of these events and will include the role of domestic and international actors, international peacekeeping and subsequent efforts to build institutions at the end of armed conflicts. It will conclude with a role-playing exercise on Ukraine.

(3 credits)

  • This course provides an introduction to the dynamics of post war stabilization and reconstruction. It addresses the complexities of the transformation from war to peace, including interdependent politics, security, legal and economic aspects. Students will discuss these patterns through case studies from Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa. Students will learn about analysis, planning, operations, and reporting used in national and multilateral agencies.

(3 credits)

  • This course explores the theoretical meaning, both domestically and internationally, and the institutional and political aspects of human rights. Issues covered include the definition of human rights; the relationship between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights; the meaning and impact of humanitarian and international human rights law; the impact of cultural relativism in the definition and assessment of the promotion and protection of human rights; the significance of different religious perspectives; the question of the legitimacy of humanitarian interventions and the effects of globalization on human rights perceptions and practices.

(3 credits)

  • This course examines the causes, methods, and responses of non-state groups attempting to establish new political orders. The combined use of violence with the tactic of terror distinguishes these groups from others seeking political change. Special attention will be given to national and international efforts attempting to resolve such conflicts.

(3 credits)

  • This course provides an introduction to development economics, which focuses on the problems and challenges faced typically but not exclusively by the developing countries. In this course we will study the economic transformation of developing countries by focusing on the characteristics of land, labor and credit markets in rural areas of developing countries. We will survey the large literature on modeling economic growth and discuss relevant case studies from developing countries.

(3 credits)

  • This course introduces you to the role that emerging digital technologies known as PeaceTech** are playing in traditional international and local peacebuilding efforts and reconciliation processes. It examines this new role beginning with the Digital Humanitarians’ response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, to their emerging global use to strategically support locally led peacebuilding that includes online/offline peacebuilding activities that are influenced by or interact with digital technologies.
  • It concludes by identifying the potential benefits and ethical challenges of using digital technologies to promote sustainable peace and reconciliation processes for both international and locally led community organizations engaged in the humanitarian and peacebuilding field. PeaceTech refers to a range of digital technologies that include but are not limited to social media platforms, smartphone apps, cameras, video games, drones, virtual reality headsets, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) used to support locally led peacebuilding messaging. Online/offline peacebuilding activities that are influenced by or interact with digital technologies (legacy media, actions based on digitally transmitted information) are included.


  • Basic Course in Albanian Language.

Note: Availability of courses will depend on the number of registered students. RIT Kosovo reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient number of registered students.

 Summer Program Regional Tour

A study tour at the start of the program enables participants to visit important historical and cultural sites in the region and to meet officials and activists in the region. Our tour goes from Albania, Montenegro, Croatia (Dubrovnik), and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Day One: Kruja (Albania) & Ulcinj (Montenegro)

Visit the Krujë castle and the Skenderbeg national museum: the castle in the city of Krujë, Albania, and the center of Skenderbeg's battle against the Ottoman Turks. The castle withstood three massive sieges from the Turks, with garrisons usually no larger than 2,000-3,000 men. Mehmed II "The Conqueror" himself could not break the castle's small defenses. Today it is a center of tourism in Albania and a source of inspiration to Albanians.


Day Two: Dubrovnik (Croatia)

​​​​​​City tour of Dubrovnik, the Old Town. The walls were built and rebuilt over the centuries as the destructive forces of nature and enemy armies required - today, they surround gleaming stone buildings and the 300-metre-long pedestrian street called Stradun. You'll flit between the city's main gates of Pile and Ploče, cobbled streets dotted with charming boutiques and sea-to-table restaurants. As you step through the gates of old city walls, you will be taking a step back in time, losing yourself in the grandeur and beauty of this culturally influential city. We will not only tour the main streets and squares but also the intriguing narrow side streets where locals are still living and is this way you will be thoroughly introduced to Dubrovnik's Old City, the "Grad", how the locals call it, meaning "The City", as you embrace its history, legends, culture, monuments, way of life.


Day Three: Mostar (Bosnia & Hercegovina)

Visit the OLD BRIDGE MUSEUM, KOSKI MEHMED PASA MOSQUE. Carsija (traditional market) Mostar has a rich history characterized by the peaceful coexistence of three peoples: Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Serbs, and Catholic Croats. The city is most well-known for its iconic UNESCO-designated Old Bridge, or Stari Most (Old Bridge), a reconstructed medieval arched bridge.  The nearby alleys are full of shops and market stalls. A narrow staircase leads up to the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque’s minaret for panoramic city views and free time for lunch.


Day Four: Sarajevo (Bosnia & Hercegovina)

Visit the Office of the High Representative. Sarajevo Sightseeing. Cultural and touristic attractions in the city of Sarajevo, city tour of Sarajevo, Old Town, Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a compact city on the Miljacka River, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and is a charming city in a valley which wears its heart on its sleeve and shows its scars on its buildings. This Balkan city is often cited as a place where east meets west. Its center has museums commemorating local history, including Sarajevo 1878–1918, which covers the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an event that sparked World War I. Landmarks of the old quarter, Baščaršija, include the Ottoman-era Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Continuing with the Tunnel of Hope. The Sarajevo Tunnel, also known as Tunel spasa and Tunnel of Hope, was a tunnel constructed between March and June 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War. During the time it was used, it is estimated that 20 million tons of food entered the city, and 1 million people passed in and out of it. From July 1993 until the end of the Siege in late February 1996, the Sarajevo War Tunnel was the only connection besieged Sarajevo had with the outside world.


Day Five: Srebrenica (Bosnia & Hercegovina)

A guided tour of Srebrenica. The Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, officially known as the Srebrenica–Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Genocide, is the memorial-cemetery complex in Srebrenica set up to honor the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.


Day Six: Return to Prishtina (Kosovo)

A detailed route plan will be available upon completion of registration.


Professor Louis D. Sell

Louis D. Sell worked as a Foreign Service Officer for 28 years with the U.S. Department of State, including eight years each in Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union or Russia.  He served as US representative to the Joint Consultative Group in Vienna, Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis, Chief of the office of US-Soviet Bilateral Political Relations, and as Executive Secretary of the US delegation to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.  From 1995 – 1996 he served as political adviser to Carl Bildt, the first High Representative for Bosnian Peace Implementation.  In that capacity he attended the Dayton Peace Conference and participated in the first year of implementation of the Dayton accords.  In 2000 he served as Kosovo Director of the International Crisis Group. Serving as Executive Director of the American University in Kosovo Foundation (AUKF) from 2003 to 2007, Louis Sell helped establish the American University in Kosovo.

He has a B. A. from Franklin and Marshall College (1969) and an M. A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  Mr. Sell’s political biography of Slobodan Milosevic, Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, was published by Duke University Press in 2002.  His book, “From Washington to Moscow: US-Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR,” is due to be published by Duke Press in the fall of 2016.   He has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and an associate at the Harvard Davis Center for Russia and Eurasia.  He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine at Farmington and lives with his family in a 200-year-old farm in Whitefield,Maine.


Michael Hess joined MPRI as Vice President for Development and Stability Operations in August 2009 after serving as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Hess was in that position from June 2005 until January 2009.

Prior to his appointment to USAID, he worked as a Senior Risk Reviewer and Vice President at Citibank, responsible for monitoring and evaluating 15 areas of risk for corporate finance units at Citigroup Inc. in New York.

Hess has over 30 years of active and reserve service in the United States Military. He received his commission from the United States Military Academy in 1971, and has served in humanitarian operations in Turkey, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Hess served in both command and staff assignments in the U.S. and Germany and taught European History at the United States Military Academy.

In April 2003, Colonel (Ret.) Hess was recalled to active duty to serve as the humanitarian coordinator in the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Coalition Provisional Authority, assisting in the establishment of the 2,000-person multinational organization responsible for establishing a representative government for Iraq as well as for rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure.

Hess has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in European History from Columbia University in New York, a master’s in business administration and international finance from New York University in New York, and is a graduate of the National Strategic Studies Program at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Professor Jock Covey

Jock Covey served as Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General at the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) 1999 to 2001 and as Deputy High Representative in Sarajevo from the creation of the Office of the High Representative in 1995.

He was Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Bechtel Corporation until 2010, where he was responsible for external affairs and issue management, security, and sustainability services, and closely supported Bechtel’s work in Iraq.

He also served twice as Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council — first in the Reagan administration for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs and again in the Clinton administration for implementation of the Dayton Peace accords.  As a commissioned Foreign Service Officer, he served as Chief of the U.S. Mission in Berlin, as Deputy Chief of Mission in Cairo, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. He negotiated the military portions of the Israel-Egypt-US Treaty implementing the Camp David Accords, was a member of the Habib cease-fire team in Beirut following the 1982 Israeli invasion, and served in Jerusalem and Pretoria.

He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the US National Defense University, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served in the US Army, taught high school in Uganda, and co-authored Quest for Viable Peace: International Intervention and Strategies for Conflict Transformation.


Marcia Byrom Hartwell is a social scientist, researcher, practitioner, author whose expertise includes identifying underlying dynamics in early post-conflict transitions, low intensity conflicts, and political cooperation between former enemies; civil-military relationships in volatile environments; ethical and security challenges caused by massive data flows generated by social media, digital apps, AI, and robotics during humanitarian interventions; processes of violence and peace; protection of civilians in complex crises and cascading disasters. Her interests include identifying international policies and laws drawn from both a top down and grass roots perspective that will effectively address these current and future challenges.

This work builds upon earlier experience as a civilian advisor embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq (2009-2011) working on reconciliation, transition from military to civilian leadership; field interviews in Iraq with U.S. Institute of Peace; research and fieldwork undertaken in Northern Ireland, Serbia, South Africa examining perceptions of justice, identity, forgiveness and revenge in early post-conflict transitions for completion of a DPhil (PhD) International Development, University of Oxford, UK. Coursework and research on Complex Emergencies (global poverty, inequality, civil war, role of international institutions, humanitarian, aid strategies) including interviews in Northern Ireland was completed for a M.Sc. in International Development, London School of Economics, UK. A BA in economics and government, Smith College U.S.A. focused on economies (Eastern Europe, Northern Ireland) emerging from crisis.

 She has been an Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Maine at Farmington (part time/adjunct); visiting scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, DC and US Institute of Peace, DC; intern and summer employee of the International Finance Corporation/World Bank, DC; author of numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, working and conference papers, and book including:

 Negotiating Civil-Military Space: redefining roles in an unpredictable world (June 2016) sole  (Section I: Looking Back (Chapters 1, 2) Overview of civil-military experiences in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan , Section II: Reframing the Issues (Chapters 3 to 5) negotiating civil-military roles in real and virtual space, dilemmas in protecting civilians, coping with violence, Section III: Looking Ahead (Chapters  6 to 8) responding to” new war” challenges, role and impact of new voices using social media, interaction between new technologies/humans, renegotiating civil-military models), Routledge UK/US

 Violence in Peace, Understanding Increased Violence in Early Post-Conflict Transitions and Its Implications for Development” (2007) peer reviewed book chapter, Advancing Development Core Themes in Global Economics, editors George Mavrotas, Anthony Shorrocks, Palgrave Macmillan. 

 “The Concept of Justice in the Early Post-Conflict Period: a comparative perspective” (2004) chapter, Democracy and Ethnic Conflict: advancing peace in deeply divided societies, Adrian Guelke ed, Palgrave Macmillan, results from colloquium, Research Committee (Politics and Ethnicity) of International Political Science Association, Belfast, N.I., 25-28 July 2001

 Strategic Approaches to Building Civil-Military Trust in Unstable, Dangerous, Chaotic Environments”, chapter exploring military relationships supportive to nonviolent democratic movements On Strategy: A Primer, ed Nathan K. Finney, Army University Press (2020)

Professor Leonard R. Hawley

Len Hawley served on the policy team of the National 9/11 Commission.  He was responsible for investigating U.S. counterterrorism policy in State, Defense, Justice, OMB, and the FBI from 1998 through the attacks of September 11, 2001.

He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration where he directed U.S. engagement and political-military preparations for multilateral interventions to regional crises including Kosovo, East Timor, Lebanon, Congo, Sierra Leone, Eritrea-Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.

He worked at the White House on the National Security Council staff as Director for Multilateral Affairs where he coordinated U.S. political-military planning for multilateral complex contingencies.  He was also responsible for U.S. government efforts to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to respond to crises. Prior to serving at the White House, he acted as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Len worked as a congressional staffer in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.  He served in the US Army for twenty-five years where he deployed with ground combat units overseas in Vietnam and Germany, and he was a research fellow at the Naval War College and also at the National Defense University.

Before he died, Len advised US officials at the National Security Council, State Department, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense on contemporary policy issues and interagency pol-mil planning.  And he served as a senior mentor for executive leadership courses sponsored by the State Department and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

  Program Details

The RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) Fred Cuny Peace and Conflict Summer Program gives students the tools to analyze the history, politics and economics of contemporary, violent conflict.  Participants will increase their understanding of conflict dynamics, establish new networks of friends, and have fun in a safe, multicultural environment. The program focuses on the background to Balkan and other conflicts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, on the dynamics of ending armed conflict and on continuing challenges to conflict transformation and development.

Courses are taught by senior civilian and military officials, NGO activists and academics with hands-on experience in the Balkans, Middle East and elsewhere

Participants come from all over the world with a common interest in studying war and peace in a newly born country that has not yet fully recovered from its own violent conflict.

The classroom experience is enhanced by regional travel, a practical workshop testing skills developed in courses, and day trips that highlight the Balkan’s cultural diversity.

The program opens with a one-week study tour to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia (Dubrovnik), and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants meet officials and activists and visit historic and recreational areas in the beautiful Balkans. 

Major topics include:

  • Refugees, Migrants and Humanitarian Crises
  • Humanitarian Intervention and State Building
  • Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism
  • Reporting and Documenting Change
  • The Balkans and southeast Europe
  • Ethics, International Law and Human Rights in conflict zones
  • Culture and technology in conflict zones
  • Economics of conflict, reconstruction and development
  • Identity, belonging and conflict

The program gives students practical training and experience with:

  • Political reporting, policy analysis and planning
  • Managing peace-keeping operations
  • Ethical dimensions of decision making in peace operation
  • Negotiating outcomes and employing international humanitarian law
  • Role-playing based on real-world examples

Internships can be provided through Isla Abroad before and after the summer program. For all those interested please contact 


Program Brochure


  Housing and Travel

Countries that can enter Kosovo without visa: Visa Free

Special Categories Exempted from Visa Requirements

The exemption from the visa requirement applies also to the following categories:

  • Citizens of the countries which are required to obtain a visa for Kosovo but hold a biometric valid residence permit issued by one of the Schengen member states or a valid multi-entry Schengen Visa are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Visa to enter, transit, or stay in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo for up to 15 days.
  • Citizens of: EU and Schengen Zone Member States; Holy See; Principality of Andorra; Principality of Monaco; Republic of San Marino, Republic of Albania, Montenegro, and Republic of Serbia are allowed to enter, transit, and stay in Kosovo for up to 90 days for a six-months period with a valid biometric identification card.
  • Holders of diplomatic and service passports issued by Russian Federation States, People’s Republic of China, Egypt, Indonesia and Ukraine shall be allowed to enter transit or stay up to 15 days in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo.
  • Holders of valid travel documents issued by Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China: Hong Kong and Macao are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa.
  • Holders of travel documents issued by Taiwan shall be exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa provided that they preliminarily notify the Diplomatic or Consular Mission of the Republic of Kosovo.
  • Holders of Travel documents issued by EU Member States, Schengen zone States, United States of America, Canada, Australia and Japan based on the 1951 Convention on Refugee Status or the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, as well as holders of valid travel documents for foreigners, may enter, pass through the territory and stay in the Republic of Kosovo up to 15 days without a visa.
  • Holders of Laissez-Passer, regardless of their nationality, issued by United Nations Organizations, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe and European Union, are also exempt from the visa requirement.

All participants are strongly advised to ensure the adequate medical insurance. Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.

Note: All medical expenses in Kosovo or outside Kosovo will need to be paid by the student.

Check in date:   June 25, 2023

Check out date:  August 1, 2023

Meals will be provided at the convenient Restaurant Omël located at the RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) campus from Monday – Friday.


There are several taxi operators in Kosovo, fares are cheap and official taxis are marked and metered.  It’s preferable to book your taxi in advance by calling. Taxi Roberti, London, Beki, Urban, City, Golden, Blue are all reliable operators.  In general, it is advisable to use taxis from a reputable company if possible.

Car Rental

Renting a car in Kosovo is also possible, with a choice of several internationally-recognized rental companies as well as local operators.


Bus travel is the preferred means of public transportation as it is frequent, clean and cheap. Routes cover most of the country with major attractions mostly within an hour or two from the capital. Pristina is the country’s hub for bus travel and also offers service to international destinations in other Balkan countries such as Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Greece and others.

Within Prishtina, several bus lines cover all the districts, although the downtown can easily be explored on foot.

For more information contact the summer program team at

Please note that all students attending the program will be provided with a monthly bus ticket. This ticket is valid only for bus number 4.

Bus #5 (a private bus line) also travels to campus for Euro 0.50.  

  Program Price

The program package covers the following:

  • Six transferable credits (two courses) from the Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
  • Seven-Day Regional Study Tours to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia (Dubrovnik), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia (including transportation, hotel, meals) 
  • Two-day cultural excursion in Kosovo
  • Seminars and Workshop
  • Basic Course in Albanian Language (15 hours)
  • Accommodation throughout the entire five-week program. This includes accommodation in Pristina.
  • All meals throughout the program: breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday through Friday at the RIT-K canteen.
  • Bus ticket from the hotel – downtown – RIT-K campus.
  • Phone card: each student will be provided with an IPKO sim card including (€3 credit).

Total: €3,995 



  • Round Trip Airfare to Kosovo
  • Books & Supplies: € 90 ($ 100)
  • Phone card refill: Students can refill their IPKO card at the local IPKO offices in Pristina. For those coming out of countries with locked phones, please unlock before arrival to Kosovo – or inexpensive phones can be found in Prishtina.
  • Transport to/from the airport: The ride from the airport to RIT-K campus is 20 minutes and costs € 15 ($17). More information will be provided closer to date.

Note: The additional costs are to be covered by the applicant.

Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending.  While most of the meals are covered in the package fee, weekend meals and personal transportation costs differ depending on student preferences.   Meals in Kosovo are very reasonably priced from a range of €2 – €5 ($3 – $6) a dish.  Public transportation €0.40 cent ($0.50) and taxis from €1.50 – €5 ($2 – $6) in the surroundings of Pristina. Please contact our Program Coordinator for more information about pricing in Kosovo at
Please note that evening and weekend events organized by students will be at student own expense.

If students would want to take a third course the Total Cost for an extra course is: € 1098.00.

Extra Course = 3 Credits.

There is no application fee. To reserve a place in the program, students should pay a non-refundable reservation fee of 200 EUR. This fee will then be deducted from the total of tuition payment.
Based on the student's needs, the full tuition fee and the deposit can be made via bank transfer in the US in USD (NOTE: Please use the most updated exchange rate to match the requested amount in Euros).

Bank Name:          Citibank N.A., New York
Routing number:  021000089
FBO:                      Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Account number: 4055-3953
Bank address:      399 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022
For further credit to: Account # 6453-5147 American University In Kosovo

To pay through PayPal please click the button below:

Summer Program


Also for international bank transfer use:
Bank Name:    Raiffeisen Bank, Prishtina, Kosovo
IBAN Code:     XK051501001003342712
Acc. Number: 1501001003342712
Account Name: RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) College
Address:         Dr. Shpetim Robaj Str. NN,Prishtine

The Deadline for making the full Tuition payment is May 31, 2023

For information on group discounts from a university and on Faculty-led programs at

Our Team

  Robert Muharremi
  Program Director
Alba Cikaqi
  Program Assistant