A group of high school students from Bosnia and Herzegovina visited Wright State University as part of an international youth leadership, community-building program.
The Sept. 29 stop was part of a three-week visit to the Dayton area by 17 selected students and three high school teachers from the southeastern European country.
The students toured Wright State’s campus and met with admissions staff as well as representatives of the University Center for International Education.
“It’s really a big deal,” said Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, director of UCIE. “The students learned what it’s like to be an international student at Wright State, what it takes to apply and what the expectations are for college students here in the U.S.”
The visit was funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo and supported by the Dayton Sister City Committee and the conflict-intervention Dayton Mediation Center.
Michelle Zaremba, manager of the mediation center, said the program is a leadership opportunity for the students and a development opportunity for the teachers.
“It’s a chance for the kids to come together, learn from each other, experience each other differently and see that they are more alike than they are different,” she said. “The whole goal is for these young people to go back to their communities and build projects that help lessen the divide in their community.”
The Dayton Peace Accords, finalized at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1995, ended the Bosnian War and brought peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international armed conflict, which occurred between 1992 and 1995, claimed the lives of an estimated 220,000 people and produced 2 million refugees.
During their stay in Dayton, the students also visited Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton, The Entrepreneurs Center, Dayton City Hall, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Council for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton and the Dayton International Peace Museum. The group also took a four-day sightseeing and education trip to Chicago.
Kristijan Stojanovic, a high school junior from Bosnia interested in pursuing business statistics or logistics, said it feels like U.S. universities provide many different career tracks and enable students to easily change majors if they choose.
“It has really opened up my mind,” he said.