Markets, Plays, and Festivals in Belgrade

As I sit down to write this blog, it's still difficult to wrap my head around the fact that my two months here have come and gone. My time here has worked wonders for my language development. On my first day of class, I was having trouble with the most basic communication with my teacher …

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Grammar or Speed?

I’ve recently been thinking about how an aspect of my personality—namely, my perfectionism—makes me a great Bosno-Croate-Serbian (BCS) speaker, but also really holds me back. Before studying Serbian, I lived in Bulgaria for a year and gained a great deal of skills in Bulgarian. “Who said Slavic languages are hard?” I thought. Then, 3 years …

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Religion and History in Novi Sad, Serbia

When you walk into the Church of the Name of Mary, you are struck by a certain lack. There's something missing here, something's different, you might think. Then you realize - there's no iconostasis! And why are there pews?! This beautiful, iconic cathedral that stands in the center of Novi Sad is in fact a …

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The Importance of Letting Go – Keeping in Touch with Friends and Family back home while Abroad

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Christopher Columbus Your decision to study an academic-year abroad will undoubtedly leave an impact on your loved ones back home. While communication and reassurance is important, I’m here to remind you how critical it is for you …

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Could We Be Doing More to Minimize Our Use of Plastic?

Protecting Our Planet: From a Cultural Perspective It was the weekend before my departure to Belgrade, Serbia that I watched the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean,' and couldn't believe how rapid our environment is degrading and how much effort was lacking towards its protection. The proliferation of plastic products is developing a "disposable" lifestyle and an …

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You’re Going Where To Do What?!

That was the question my each and every member of my family asked when I told them I was participating in this program. They couldn't believe that I, a Belgrade-born native/heritage speaker of Serbian, was going to spend the summer in Belgrade taking language classes. They could not stop laughing. Naturally it sounded like a …

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A Rock Pilgrim’s Progress

Students doing foreign study generally don’t like to see themselves as tourists, and in my first week in Belgrade, I thought of myself as a pilgrim. Anyone who has ever drawn parallels between religion and rock music ought to appreciate the history of rock in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ). During the new …

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Every Day a New Adventure

I have had a wonderful time in Belgrade these past few weeks. Since the last time I wrote a blogpost for American Councils I took part in an academic conference, interviewed with a local newspaper, and began volunteering with a humanitarian organization for refugees in Belgrade. Though I could probably write a five thousand-word essay …

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