Stuart Weaver, son of John and Mary Ann Weaver, and a student at George Washington University in Washington DC, is spending the spring semester of 2008 studying abroad in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“This is my second time abroad. I spent last summer in Germany, but the Balkans is really a step out of my comfort zone and into a new and amazing culture. I love it here and I hope to eventually work my way back here in my future,” said Weaver.
“Apart from learning Croato-Serbian I’m taking numerous courses in Gender, Transformation, and Civil Society. But the main reason I’m here is to study the politics of the region; the Balkans is in an interesting transition period right now especially with the recent and highly controversial declaration of independence of Kosovo from Serbia. Since I’ve been here, there have been many riots in Belgrade, Serbia, which have resulted in the burning of the American Embassy, the fall of the Serbian Government, intense political rivalry regarding the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Serbia and the European Union, and massive campaigning movements in preparation for the elections on May 11th. It is an interesting time to be an American here and I’m trying to absorb all I can.”
Weaver has just completed his semester in Zagreb, Croatia and has moved to Belgrade, Serbia, for a month to conduct an independent study project studying the Serbian reaction to Kosovo’s declaration of independence as well as the possible future European integration of Serbia. He has also acquired an internship at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.
“My program was somewhat of a traveling classroom, we spend much time in Sarajevo, Bosnia, as well as many other smaller towns around Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now I’m in Belgrade and having the time of my life doing what I love to do. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to speak with heads of political parties as well as members of the Serbian government.”
Weaver’s study abroad experiences aren’t over yet, next semester he plans to spend abroad again but in Prague, Czech Republic. “No matter how much I love studying abroad, I always enjoy coming home to Blanco, Texas.”