Returning to Bosnia

Jasmin Cesko in Mostar

Jasmin Cesko in Mostar, capital of Herzegovina, with Stari Most (Old Bridge) and the Neretva River in the background. Jasmin’s photo of this scene won first place in American Councils for International Education’s Spring 2013 Outbound Photo Contest.

Jasmin Cesko, a political science and international affairs dual major, spent last spring studying in Bosnia, the place of his birth. Cesko’s childhood was spent on the run, trying to out-maneuver Serbian soldiers. His father was imprisoned for a year in a Serbian concentration camp. Finally, his family left Bosnia and emigrated to the U.S. when Cesko was 10 years old. By that time, Sarajevo had changed and Cesko felt out of place and alienated.

A decade later, Cesko decided to study in Bosnia. “This was a chance to reconnect with my culture and identity so that I would no longer feel like a foreigner in my native land,” says Cesko, who devoted significant time outside his studies to reestablishing relationships with his extended family. After four months of immersion in the history and culture of Bosnia, Cesko found that, once again, he felt like a native Sarajevan.

Read the full story in International Educator, the newsletter of the UNH Center for International Education.

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