The Lure of the West Bosnia Feels the Pinch of Brain Drain to EU

In Bosnia, thousands of people are learning German. With a lack of opportunity in their own country, talented young Bosnians are emigrating to what they hope will be a brighter future abroad. Entire towns have emptied out.
Young men learning German in the city of Jajce, Bosnia, as they prepare to move to a German-speaking country.

Young men learning German in the city of Jajce, Bosnia, as they prepare to move to a German-speaking country.

Foto: Keno Verseck
Josip Strkalj attending class: He will have to get his German to the "C2" level in order to get a job in Germany as an occupational safety engineer.

Josip Strkalj attending class: He will have to get his German to the "C2" level in order to get a job in Germany as an occupational safety engineer.

Foto: Jasmin Brutus
Dragana Crnoja in front of her class: With a growing number of people leaving, Jajce is shrinking.

Dragana Crnoja in front of her class: With a growing number of people leaving, Jajce is shrinking.

Foto: Jasmin Brutus
The town of Jajce in Bosnia

The town of Jajce in Bosnia

Foto: Jasmin Brutus
Josip Strkalj (right) and his father Ivica Strkalj, who once had to flee to Sweden because of the Bosnian war.

Josip Strkalj (right) and his father Ivica Strkalj, who once had to flee to Sweden because of the Bosnian war.

Foto: Jasmin Brutus
An eerie sight: Empty homes in the village of Podmilacje near Jajce.

An eerie sight: Empty homes in the village of Podmilacje near Jajce.

Foto: Jasmin Brutus
Kata Tankuljic with her son Ivan and the family home in the background. Ivan, too, would like to leave Bosnia -- at least for a while.

Kata Tankuljic with her son Ivan and the family home in the background. Ivan, too, would like to leave Bosnia -- at least for a while.

Foto: Jasmin Brutus

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mehr lesen über