Bosnia Herzegovina (also known as Bosnia) has long opened its doors to travelers and students alike. For high school programs abroad, volunteer programs are rare but there are a couple of study abroad programs available for high school students who want to spend time abroad in Bosnia.
By choosing to study in Bosnia students will experience Bosnian culture first hand, explore Eastern Europe, build their leadership skills, and experience what it's like to live in this beautiful, Balkan country. Despite its tumultuous recent past, Bosnia is currently one of the best off-the-beaten-path travel destinations and undoubtedly one that will inspire high school students for years to come.
Bosnia Herzegovina is great for students who are interested in Eastern Europe culture and history.
Bosnia Herzegovina doesn't have too much variety in terms of high school abroad programs, but there are a couple of high school study abroad programs in Bosnia.
Students can participate in a high school abroad exchange in Bosnia, where they either attend an American school or a local Bosnian school. Either way, they will live with Bosnian-Herzegovinian families.
For both, no prior knowledge of the Bosnian language is required. However, language courses are included to help students pick up the language while they are there and walk away well-versed in all aspects of Bosnian life and culture.
Planning Your Trip
To travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina as an American citizen, no visa is needed for the first 90 days of stay. However, a student visa is required for any length of stay longer than 90 days. This type of visa can be applied for ahead of time online or at your local Bosnian embassy. Most programs assist with visa applications.
For all programs in Bosnia, students will live with carefully selected host families who are excited to receive international students and help them adjust to life abroad.
Most programs include both housing and meals in their fees. Other than that, Bosnia is a fairly in expensive place and a daily budget could be set for around $20 per day. Flights are not included and can run around $1,200, depending on where you are flying from.
Depending on where you are staying, Bosnia can have hot summers and fairly cold winters. Places of high elevations have longer, harsher winters so be sure to dust off that winter coat if heading for the year. Summers can be a beautiful sunny and 75 while the winter can drop into the 40s, colder in the higher elevations. Make sure you do not forget:
- A good winter coat
- Light layers for the summer
- Short sleeve shirts and shorts
- Jeans or long pants
- Good walking shoes
- E-reader (it's easiest to get English language books this way)
Health & Safety
Currently, the crime rate in Bosnia is at a moderate to low level. The largest thing to watch out for is petty theft, such as pick-pocketing, so keep your bags close to your side and wallets in your front pockets, avoid traveling alone at night, and get tips from your host family on which places you should avoid.
If hiking, do not wander off dedicated paths for risk of land-mines.
If you want to be proactive and protect your electronics, consider getting travel insurance.
Other than your routine vaccinations, nothing additional is required to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Note that in Sarajevo, the water is safe to drink. However, in other areas of Bosnia, particularly in the Posavina Region and Eastern Bosnia, students should stick to bottled water instead.