The “International Year of…” program brings the culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina to students on campus. Each year, the Office of International Programs at WKU choses a new country to focus on and brings speakers, events, and art exhibits to campus for a taste of the culture. This year, the department chose the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the country’s impact in Bowling Green.
Bowling Green has been a hotspot for refugee resettlement, specifically for people from the Bosnian and Herzegovinian region due to the internal conflict they faced in the 1990s. Since then, the population has boomed, reaching nearly 5,000 Bosnian- Americans in Bowling Green. Bringing different aspects of their culture to the area, the Bosnian- American population has shaped the perceptions and ideas of international cultures held by people around the Bowling Green area. Because of this, Lauren Reyes, the Programming Coordinator for the Office of International Programs at Western Kentucky University, believes Bosnia and Herzegovina made the perfect region for 2017- 2018’s “International Year of.”
Events surrounding the “International Year of Bosnia and Herzegovina” continue on March 21st, with a presentation focused on the recovery of victims of the Bosnian conflict led by Cecily Cropper. Currently, the first floor art gallery at Jody Richards Hall is devoted to the region, hosting a photo gallery titled “Then and Now.” In future years, the “International Year of…” Program is focusing on Cuba and Kenya, as well as revisiting countries already focused on such as South Korea.