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Samo Alajbegović Fellowship - Funding for Summer Internships in Countries Bordering the Adriatic Sea


The Samo Alajbegović summer fellowship supports University of Michigan undergraduates in the LSA Honors Program pursuing research and internship opportunities in one of the following fields: marine biology, biology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, and the humanities. The summer fellowship honors the legacy of Samo, a native of Slovenia, who spent his life studying his beloved Adriatic Sea. The summer fellowship allows students to immerse themselves in the physical and cultural beauty of the region, thus broadening their understanding of both the natural world and the human experience. The Alajbegović family chose to establish this fellowship at the University of Michigan to create a connection between their two homes, Ann Arbor and Slovenia.


Fellowship applicants must be students in good standing with the LSA Honors Program. LSA students not currently in the Honors Program but who may wish to pursue an Honors Major or HELA project are encouraged to reach out to to discuss eligibility. Graduating seniors are eligible to apply if your expected graduation date is August (not May).

Eligible Countries:  Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please visit the Global Michigan website to determine if travel is permitted to these countries. Read the information in the Requirements for international travel funding dropdown box below.

Eligible Fields:  Marine biology, biology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, and the humanities

Dates & Deadline:  Applications open at noon on the first Monday of January and are accepted until the last Monday of March at midnight. Application reviews start in mid-February and continue on a rolling basis as long as funds last.

Summer Proposals

Proposals are accepted for summer internships and research opportunities in the region. Student travel, if allowed, is subject to university policies (see Global Michigan website). Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they have secured an internship or research opportunity.

2023 application will open in January 2023.

Before you access the online application form, please be prepared to submit:

  • A brief (300 words or less) description of your internship or research opportunity including whether it is virtual or in-person.
  • Other sources of funding to which you have applied (if applicable), noting the amount and whether these have already been confirmed. 
  • Information about your engagement with the LSA Honors Program (300 words or less).
  • A statement about why you are excited about this opportunity. How will it impact your future academic and career plans? How do you intend to engage with the natural and/or cultural beauty of the Adriatic region? (300 words or less).

Applications are editable until application reviews begin. Keep the email confirmation of form submittal to access the application.  

Questions:  Contact Henry Dyson at to set up an appointment.


Requirements for international travel funding

Any student who receives funding from a U-M unit for their travel abroad must follow the directives of the U-M International Travel Policy and the specified guidelines regarding U-M Travel Warning and Restriction locations. Please visit Global Michigan to check the current travel designation for the destination country. Travel to a restricted or high risk destination is prohibited for undergraduate students. Steps for completing requirements are outlined in this step-by-step guide.

If an Honors grant is awarded to a student for eligible international travel, the Honors Program will not disburse funding until the following conditions have been met by the student. The student must:

  1. Register their travel in the U-M Travel Registry
  2. Purchase mandatory International (GeoBlue) Travel Health Insurance and upload a copy of the GeoBlue card to MCompass
  3. Complete the "Trip Emergency Contact & How to Find Me" Questionnaire in MCompass
  4. Have a Safety Plan or Travel Health Plan approved before departure (ONLY required for certain destinations). The Safety Plan must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to departure. The U-M safety plan process is designed to help U-M students traveling internationally to develop strategies to mitigate health, safety, and security risks while in higher risk locations. Safety plans prepare travelers for their destination by making them aware of potential risks they may face and create strategies to handle such risks. 
  5. Complete any additional requirements pertaining to the destination country

The LSA Travel office will notify us that the requirements have been completed.

For travel registration and useful online travel resources, please visit the LSA International Travel website.

Resources for finding summer opportunities

Visit the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) website to check out exciting summer programs which qualify for the Samo Alajbegović Fellowship. In 2022 the following programs were offered:

Food Security & Nutrition in Montespertoli, Italy

Italian 230 in Siena

Multidisciplinary Studies in Italy

For more research and internship resources visit:  


International Center

LSA Opportunity Hub

Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia

Blue World Institute - The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (BWI) works to protect the marine environment in the Adriatic Sea. BWI offers internships to students from many different disciplines related to marine science and conservation.

Marine Biology Station Piran - As a part of the National Institute of Biology, the Marine Biology Station Piran is the only institution for marine research and monitoring of sea water quality in Slovenia. 

International Internship Program at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice - The internship program is designed for students and recent graduates in art, art history or related disciplines, who are interested in gaining first-hand experience of how a museum is run and familiarity with an important collection of modern art.

The Gabii Project - The Gabii Project is an international archaeological initiative under the direction of Nicola Terrenato of the University of Michigan. It was launched in 2007 with the objective of studying and excavating the ancient Latin city of Gabii, a city-state that was both a neighbor of, and a rival to, Rome in the first millennium BC. 

Archaeological Field Program in Zadar, Croatia - This 30-day course offered by the University of Maine is based in the 3000-year-old Croatian city of Zadar along the Adriatic coast and centered on the nearby archaeological site of Nadin. Students of the course will gain practical experience in archaeology and an understanding of its application to contemporary issues of urbanization, landscape change, and climate. 

Post-Conflict Research Center - PCRC provides internship opportunities to local, regional and international youth in an effort to educate them about Bosnia’s conflict history and post-conflict present.



Read what former Honors students had to say about their fellowship experiences!

“I was given the chance to intern at the Marine Biology Station in Piran, Slovenia, thanks to the Samo Alajbegović Fellowship, named in Samo’s memory. I applied because I wanted to observe biology and ecology from a new perspective. Working in the same facility as Samo gave me perspective on how lucky I was to have been given the chance to come to this internship. When I first arrived, I was a bit overwhelmed with the unfamiliarity of my surroundings. But meeting Samo’s family and seeing their kindness in person helped me find a way to view this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was my duty to honor his spirit and push myself to discover both Europe and the field of biology.” - Hal, Intern at Marine Biology Station - Piran, Slovenia, Evolution, Ecology, & Biodiversity Major

“I love that I’m challenged to put my Italian to use. When you’re in a classroom there’s a disconnect between learning it in a controlled environment and speaking it. I’ve only been here for a little over a month and I really do feel like I can talk about the majority of the works in the collection.” - Grace, Intern at Peggy Guggenheim Collection - Venice, Italy, History of Art and International Studies Major


"Professionally, I gained first-hand experience of what it is like to work in an NGO. Personally, I experienced a part of the world that I would have never considered otherwise." - Hunter, Intern at Post-Conflict Research Center - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, History and Sociology Major


“One of the biggest lessons I learned from this internship is to adapt...Adaptation definitely [comes] with great rewards... Words cannot describe how much I’ve grown in the last month.” - Tommy, English teacher at V. Bellini Music School - Tradate, Italy, Biomolecular Science Major

Additional Fellowship Recipients                                                  
Honors Student Major Destination
Aliya Undeclared Rome, Italy
Anabela Business Administration Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Helena History Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nicholas Archaeology Rome, Italy


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