SELF & BLP in Slovenia

Image of city that i cannot pronounce in Slovenia
Explore engineering and business practices in the beautiful country of Slovenia. Program open to students in the SELF Engineering Leadership Program or the Business Leadership Program.
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Study key elements of Slovenia’s business and engineering culture in the unique setting of a country in economic transition.
  • Explore the cultural, political, and social differences between Slovenia and the US.
  • Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of one of Europe’s best kept secrets.

BLP and SELF in Slovenia is a joint program between the SELF Engineering Leadership Fellows Program and the Business Leadership Program.  The program offers students a unique opportunity to study the business and engineering practices of Slovenia, a key location in Eastern Europe.  Students will experience the local culture and learn about Slovenia’s most important business, engineering, and governmental practices through guided tours, site visits, and guest lectures.  The program will explore the ways in which Slovenia has embraced its strategic location, unique history, and diverse geography to position itself as an important player in Europe.

For 2023, we plan to offer two sessions of this program contingent upon sufficient student interest. The session dates are as follows:

  • Session 1: May 15-25, 2024
  • Session 2: May 29-June 8, 2024

Each program session is the same length of time and will include similar program components. There is no cost difference between the two sessions. You will be able to indicate your preferred session in the program application.

Slovenia is a small, picturesque country at the crossroads of Europe’s most important trade routes.  Located on the Adriatic Sea in Eastern Europe, Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times and can trace its history through the Roman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.  Gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia is today a member of the European Union and NATO. 

With snow-capped Alpine peaks, turquoise rivers, and medieval castles, Slovenia is well-known for its natural beauty and offers a picturesque backdrop for exploration of its business and engineering industries.  The group will primarily be based in the capital of Ljubljana, a city of approximately 290,000. Slovenia’s strategic location and influence from a variety of European cultures make it an interesting case study of globalization and integration into the European economy.

If travel conditions allow, the program may also include a day trip to Venice, Italy, known as the City of Canals and one of Italy's most picturesque cities.

Three hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.  BLP students will enroll in the course IBUS 500: Individual Research in International Business and SELF students will enroll in ENGR 360: Special Topics: SELF and BLP in Slovenia.

Course content will involve pre-trip meetings and learning about Slovenia, on-site lectures, guided tours, site visits, meetings with Slovenian representatives from a variety of sectors, readings, and personal reflection. 

Students can expect to gain knowledge of Slovenia and the complexity of its history, politics, economy, culture, and business and engineering practices; skills in comparing and analyzing different cultures; a deeper understanding of the culture of engineers and the culture of business students; insight into different cultural practices and how they relate to engineering and business practices; and an enhanced appreciation for cultural differences.

Optional SLAV 101: Introduction to Slovene Course

Students participating in this program have the option to enroll in an introductory Slovene language course. This is a 1 credit course taught by a KU instructor and conducted online in the second half of the Spring term. The course teaches basic survival language skills and is specifically designed for study abroad students traveling to Slovenia. Enrollment is optional and standard tuition fees apply.

Students will get to know the country of Slovenia and its people through a variety of program activities including meetings with executives from various business and engineering firms, site visits to Slovenian government ministries and universities, cultural activities, and more.

2024 Session Dates

Session 1: May 15-25, 2024
Session 2: May 29-June 8, 2024

Program Activities and General Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. - Group flight information will be provided to all accepted students.

Day 2: Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Day 3: Business visits begin. Sample visits include:

  • Akrapovic
  • American Chamber of Commerce
  • Trimo Trebnje
  • University of Ljubljana
  • Adria Mobil

Days 4-5: Trip to the Slovenian coast and Piran with a day trip to Venice, Italy.

Days 6-10: Continue business and cultural visits.  Sample visits include:

  • Innorenew
  • ABC Accelerator
  • Quadrofoil
  • Gorenje
  • Grah Lighting
  • Visit to Lake Bohinj and Mt. Vogel
  • Lake Bled, including Bled castle, a boat ride to Bled Island, and a farewell dinner

Day 11: Depart for US

**Program activities and industry visits are subject to change.**

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to freshman students in the SELF Engineering Leadership Program and the Business Leadership Program only. Students must be in good academic standing in their respective program to participate.

Program Cost for SELF & BLP in Slovenia

Jennifer Harrison is the Director of the Business Leadership Program and the Jack Dicus Business Honors Program at the KU School of Business. A native Kansan raised in Ulysses, Harrison holds a B.A. from KU in Philosophy and Political Science and earned her law degree at Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to KU in 2016 to teach business law, she practiced law in Colorado for more than a decade. She continues to teach courses in business law and negotiations in addition to directing the BLP study abroad program to Slovenia.

Corey Behrens is Program Director for the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program in the KU School of Engineering.