The William & Mary American Bosnian Collaboration (ABC) project, based at W&M’s Global Research Institute, brings together W&M and Bosnian students to foster cross-cultural understanding and work towards positive change for the youth of Bosnia.
Since its founding in 1998, over 100 William & Mary students have worked with the project, which in 2015 won a national award for Best Practices in International Education from the leading association of student affairs administrators, NASPA.
The W&M volunteers partner with education students from the University of Sarajevo to teach English and media skills to children. A month of teaching culminates in two weeks of video production workshops. Volunteers help the students create short films that allowed them to demonstrate their creativity in a way that they are unable to within the traditional Bosnian education system. By learning to express themselves in the medium of film, students are able to practice their intercultural communicative skills and provide the world with a window into the Bosnian perspective – one which has been largely out of the public eye since the war in the mid-1990s. From 2011-present, Bosnia Project participants have lived, taught and learned in Sarajevo. By helping young people develop a positive self-image and respect for differences, the Bosnia Project aims to lay a few blocks in the foundation of a lasting peace.