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European Perspectives on Integrated Security

Street in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland


Steger Center for International Scholarship - Riva San Vitale, Switzerland

Summer Session I 2020 (May 26-July 2)

As part of Virginia Tech’s Integrated Security Destination Area (ISDA) initiative, this study abroad program will explore integrated security from European perspectives. The program will identify and discuss European security issues, examine regional conflicts, and explore questions related to European security governance. In addition to studying these issues and pursuing experiential learning projects at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship, students will travel to Brussels (Belgium), Kyiv (Ukraine) and Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), as well as meet with security experts in other European locations.

Six to Nine (6-9) hours of course credit, will build toward the Pathways Minor in Integrated Security. Students in all majors are welcome.

For the majority of the program, students will be housed at the Virginia Tech Steger Center for International Scholarship in Switzerland.

The program includes two or three major field excursions:

Brussels, Belgium

To familiarize students with the European security governance, they will travel together to Brussels for meetings and lectures. Students will visit the US Mission to NATO, the NATO Headquarters, the Headquarters of the Allied Command Operations, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. In addition, students will visit sites of historical battles in Belgium. 

Kyiv, Ukraine

To understand the impact of identity politics and complex security challenges, students will travel to Kyiv. The center of the historic Kievan Rus forms the center of two societies currently engaged in a conflict. This excursion will include visits to historic sites, museums, meetings with NGOs, OSCE, and other government officials. Students will walk through the street battles and protests that raged in 2013-14 and learn about the conflict currently taking places in Ukraine’s East. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina (potential)

Students will visit Sarajevo and possibly Mostar. Due to its long, rich and prosperous history of religious and cultural diversity, Sarajevo is often called the "Jerusalem of Europe" or "Jerusalem of the Balkans." It is one of only a few major European cities which has a mosque, a Catholic church, an Orthodox church and a synagogue in the same neighborhood. Students will visit various historical and cultural sites and especially those associated with the recent conflict in the Balkans, such as Mostar and Srebrenica. It is worth noting that today, both Sarajevo and Mostar remain politically and culturally divided cities. Students are encouraged to explore research questions in their independent research projects that ground as well as grow out of knowledge gained on these field trips.

The excursion details may change.

Click here to view the program flyer.


Aaron Brantly
Assistant Professor
Political Science
540-231-7614 |

Caitlin Cook
European Programs Coordinator
Global Education Office
540-231-3675 |