Belgrade Bound

In less than 48 hours I will be on my way to Belgrade, Serbia. Since I arrived home from Tunisia on December 14th a lot of my time has been spent preparing for Serbia. I had several books I needed to read as part of my course work, I had to unpack and re-pack, and I even started looking into summer internships in Belgrade as I am hoping to stay after the program ends.

Here is a map of the region so you can orient yourself.
Here is a map of the region so you can orient yourself.

I will be spending the next four months in Belgrade, but will also be traveling to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. For those of you who read my blog last semester, the program I am enrolled in this spring is very similar. It is with the same program provider, SIT.

My two main seminar courses will focus on the history of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the second will focus on the peace process in the Balkans following the wars in the 1990s. This is a subject I am very eager to learn more about. Although I studied the Bosnian wars briefly in high school, I have never studied this region in depth.

One of the things I am most looking forward to about this program is that there is a journalism component. Instead of producing a research paper for my month-long independent study project I will be producing a feature story. My research methods class will focus on how to conduct journalism in a post-conflict society and how to conduct journalism as an outsider. I have been interested in exploring journalism for quite some time and am excited for this opportunity.

All SIT programs include language study and so this semester I will begin to study Serbian. Although I am told the language is very difficult (it is similar to Russian) I’m excited to start learning a new language again!

The Serbian Alphabet! Fun fact, though Serbian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, the Roman alphabet can be used as well.
The Serbian Alphabet! Fun fact, though Serbian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, the Roman alphabet can be used as well.

From the pictures Belgrade is a beautiful city. The Danube River runs through the middle cutting Belgrade into two parts, old Belgrade and new Belgrade. Though I’m sure old Belgrade will be beautiful, I am much more interested in new Belgrade. New Belgrade was built by the Soviets and has some very interesting architecture. Many of the cities we will be visiting on our excursion will have lots of Soviet-style architecture. I’ve never been to a post-communist country so I’ll be paying extra attention to all the architecture.

Aerial view of Belgrade
Aerial view of Belgrade

I’ll also be paying close attention to the culture. I’ve never been to Eastern Europe and am not sure what to expect, but I’m excited to find out!

*all pictures in this post are courtesy of Goggle Images

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