Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2 UMass Kosovar students seek host families

Here's a great opportunity for the Boston Albanian community - including Kosovars - to host 2 students coming from Kosova to study at UMass Boston. Who can help?


Dear Mr. Van Cristo,

Genti Rapi, head of the Albanian Students Association at the University of Massachusetts Boston thought you might be interested in a project we are sponsoring to bring two students (one Albanian and one Serbian) to UMass from Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica. Both students, Ardiana Osmani from the south, and Milos Golubovic from the north, plan to matriculate as undergraduates in fall 2011. Ardiana will likely begin her studies here with ESL classes. We are looking for host families for both, to whom we will be able to provide a monthly stipend, and I hope you might have suggestions for contacts who might be interested in hosting these two and in supporting their stay here.

A little about the background:

One year ago, from 24 to 28 May 2010, the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) welcomed representatives from ten cities from four continents to a working week in the city of Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica. The opening panel included distinguished guests from Belgrade, Serbia and Pristina, Kosovo, who do not often meet in public, and Padraig O’Malley of University of Massachusetts Boston. The delegates discussed the challenges and successes of municipal administrations in cities in transition from conflict. They spoke of how their municipal services function and how to improve them, including issues such as housing, business development, water and electricity, citizens’ engagement, and policing, and they were facilitated by experts from all over the world.

Delegates experienced life in Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica and visited projects and sites where citizens had come together to overcome difficulties in their everyday lives. They stayed in hotels both north and south of the River Iber/Ibar, and they ate and socialized throughout the city. The program included visits to high schools in Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica, a picnic along the banks of the river, a talent contest of young people, and many other events.

Conference delegates were guided through the week by a team of international and local volunteers. Ardiana and Milos, the two students we plan to bring to the University of Massachusetts Boston, each headed up a group of student volunteers, one from south of the Iber/Ibar, the other from the north. The students, who were at first wary of one another, were key to the success of the effort launched in Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica in May 2010, and by the end of the conference they had become good friends.

The FCT was established in Boston in April 2009 by representatives from Kirkuk, Nicosia, Derry/Londonderry, and Mitrovice/Kosovska Mitrovica at a conference hosted by Padraig O’Malley, Moakley Professor of Peace and Reconciliation and by the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. The next FCT will take place in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in May 2011.

The McCormack Graduate School is raising funds to pay for tuition and fees, but we are also getting in touch with the local Serbian and Albanian community to help the students secure room and board, books, and find a helpful social network here in Boston.

I hope this description does the project justice. And I hope it might be of interest to you and that we might talk further at your convenience.

With best wishes,

Patrricia Peterson
McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies

PS more information about the FCT is available at


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