A group of AUC students under the guidance of Dr. Anne de Graaf are currently in Kosovo conducting fieldwork for the course Peace Lab. Using methods of experiential learning, the students will be visiting various organisations and civil society institutions in order to gain insight on how Albanians and Serbs are going through processes of reconciliation in creating the state of Kosovo.
Peace Lab is an AUC course that takes place each year during the month of June. Part of the fieldwork which students must complete is a ten-day visit to Kosovo. The course embraces teaching methods of experiential learning where theory meets practice. In this class, international relations and human rights theories come face-to-face with transitional justice on the ground, looking especially at how Albanians and Serbs are managing to reconcile their differences in Kosovo.
The class visits a mix of UN organisations, government organisations, a Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community, NGOs battling corruption and organisations fighting for LGBT rights and women’s rights. Students stay with Albanian families in Pristina and hear first-hand about what it's like to live in a post-conflict society. For many students, the experience is both emotional and exciting, as it opens their eyes to the realities of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Peace Lab is a qualitative research methods fieldwork class that ensures students are out in the field to interview, listen and finally understand.
While participating in the Peace Lab course, students will be documenting and reflecting on their activities, experiences and interactions via their blog "Crossing the Bridge". It is updated daily and you can read along by clicking the link below. You can start following the 2019 edition with the post titled "Peace Lab 2019."