Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Bosnia, is a little country in Southeastern Europe that seems relatively unknown in the international community. However, it remains one of the best-kept secrets in the Balkans, and boasts an impressively high life expectancy, literacy rate, and education level.
As an intern in Bosnia, you'll be able to experience this country firsthand while getting professional experience. Typically, the main industries for internships in Bosnia center around business or political science.Photo Credit: Alen Djuderija Photography
Most interns in Bosnia choose to expand their business knowledge and experience while abroad. Obtaining an international business internship is a great way to dip your toes in the professional world and build an eye-catching resume. Interning in Bosnia can help you to explore the various fields within business like marketing, finance, accounting, and sales. It is a great idea to gain some practical experience while enjoying your travels abroad in Bosnia.
Ever since its split from the Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Bosnia’s political climate has undergone several recent developments. While the young country is not considered an international political heavyweight, interns have much to learn about the evolving laws and governmental structures.
For those interested in international political science, law, government, or human rights, interning in Bosnia is a good way to gain some hands-on experience working in a country with an active political atmosphere.
When and Where to Look for an Internship
Most people find internships in Bosnia through either individual research or by applying to internship programs. There are several internship program providers that have contact with organizations in Bosnia and can help you organize your internship overseas. Internships tend to be offered year-round, but you should be sure to begin your research and planning as early as possible. If you are planning to obtain an internship in Bosnia through a program provider, be sure to heed the application deadlines!
Cost of Living in Bosnia
The cost of living in Bosnia is relatively low compared to other places in Europe. After years of war in the 1990s, Bosnia’s economy has been constantly rebuilding. Living costs in cities such as Sarajevo tend to be higher than those in more rural areas, but for the most part, groceries, education, and rent are relatively affordable, although that is subject to change based on the country’s economic situation. Below are some examples of living costs in Bosnia. Keep in mind that 1 US Dollar is approximately equal to 1.5 BAM.
- Rent (1 bed apartment): 500 BAM
- 1 inexpensive meal: 7 BAM
- 1 way subway ticket: 1.60 BAM
Work and Labor Laws in Bosnia
Bosnia’s work and labor laws lay out basic guidelines and conditions for employment in Bosnia. While most international interns in Bosnia will not be paid, they should be subject to the same laws as Bosnian workers. The benefits of working in Bosnia will vary upon different businesses and organizations.
Why Intern in Bosnia?
Bosnia is a crossroads of multiple cultural identities and religions, often described as the “European Jerusalem”. A country where the east meets the west, Bosnia’s unique blend of culture and people sets it apart from the rest of Europe. Visitors from around the world are increasingly attracted to the possibilities available in this young nation in Southeastern Europe. If you are interested in exploring an exciting center of cultural exchange and getting some professional experience at the same time, go intern in Bosnia!
Bosnian work culture is relatively professional and formal. Traditional values of respect are practiced in the work environment, as the same principles are held in family life. Dress conservatively and professionally—suits are the norm—as many Bosnians also Muslim or Christian and may hold slightly more conservative views. Women in Bosnia are expected work outside of the home and are given equal political and economic rights.
The three official languages spoken in Bosnia are Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, while a minority of the population speaks Turkish. The difference between the three is simply a matter of identity politics, so as long as you are familiar with one of the languages, you should not have much of a problem communicating with the Bosnian locals.
Professional networking in Bosnia is not as strictly emphasized as it is in some other countries; however, that isn’t to say that it is not important. As an intern in Bosnia, it does not hurt to begin building your professional network at a young age.
For business and political science interns in Bosnia, learning how to network is an extremely useful skill you'll continue to use in your professional career. If you’re interested in growing your international professional network while in Bosnia, look at groups like the Bosnian Business Network.