Photo Blog: Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade hosts a strange mix of Ottoman monuments, Orthodox churches, and communist architecture, commemorating its thousand-year empire under three different empires, five wars, and all the political turbulence of the twentieth century. The city’s history is ingratiated in daily life, unfolding during walks to work, to class, to coffee dates with friends, or even just …

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On the Value of Language Cafes

On Saturday, I told my host mom that her cooking “stank” instead of saying it “smelled good.” This morning, when my new professor asked me when I’ll graduate college, I heard, “when did you wake up this morning” and told him “around 8.” In both cases, the sentences were phonetically close in Serbian and I …

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5 Tips for Language Learning in Bulgaria

This past weekend, I attended a theater festival in a small village in south central Bulgaria. I’ve spent my summer studying Bulgarian language in Sofia, and this festival was sort of like the ultimate test after a summer’s worth of intensive study. I was one of several Americans at the festival and I knew it …

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Expectations and Realities

I was always “too” nervous to live with a host family. I’ve lived abroad many times before, and the opportunity certainly arose on more than one occasion. However, it always felt a bit scary. Stepping into someone else’s home, with their own customs, traditions, and daily life felt so intimidating. As a vegetarian, I also …

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Sights and Sounds of Sarajevo: A Portrait of New Beginnings

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have already passed by seemingly without me even realizing. It’s strange how time passes unceremoniously when you are faced with a change in nearly all your circumstances. A new country, new living arrangements, new teachers, new classes, new friends, new sights, new sounds—new language…it’s hardly a shock the …

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Language and Music in Sarajevo

Heading into my final week of language classes in Sarajevo, I must admit I’m finding it difficult to home in on a focus for this blog post. I have experienced so many wonderful events, met so many inspiring people, listened to and watched so many invigorating musical performances, and traveled to so many new places. …

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