Serbia Alumni Update by Uros Todorovic

Global UGRAD is a wonderful opportunity that will prepare you for many future life endeavors. Whether academically or just handling a new life situation, the Global UGRAD experience will carve your skills in such a way that you’ll not only be able to handle it all, but to do it in the best possible way and be creative on the path to success. For me personally, this opportunity helped me grow academically and see science at its top-notch level. Not only that, but I also enjoyed classes very much, as all teachers were so excited about their syllabi and you could tell that they are working hard to provide us with the best possible learning experience.

Comparing education in Serbia and United States, a big difference that pops out is how you interact in class. As Serbian college is more of a stationary type of interaction in the class approach, while the U.S. educational system is all about making you think and making you say something. After all, that’s how life works – you will have to speak up, take actions and responsibilities for everything you do.

Global UGRAD made me feel stronger and more secure about myself and the way I interact with everyone around me. The international setting at the campus is a life-changing experience. Seeing different cultures interacting together as a one and working together towards common goals is a beautiful thing. I had an opportunity to be exposed to a diverse cultural system, and all I can say is that it is very much a wonderful experience. I do have dreams of becoming a future leader in my area of study (organic chemistry) and I am not sure if I would stay on the right path if it wasn’t for Global UGRAD. It gave me all the tools necessary to keep working towards my goal – I found out many new things, made very important academic connections, and met wonderful friends along the way.

I would definitely recommend this program to all Serbian students who wish to become future leaders in their own manner and who find the joys of discovery an elementary need. By discovery, I mean getting to know yourself and the people from different cultures. After all, isn’t it wonderful when we all work hard to understand one another and share each other’s mother’s bread recipes? – Jokes aside, by those bread recipes, I mean getting to know the person and their culture. Also, while I was in the U.S. I was the only Serbian student on campus, so I represented my country on several occasions on campus (informally). I was trying to get people interested and I did manage to do so with quite a few of them. The feeling when you meet someone and they don’t even know where Serbia is, but after a few days they start greeting you in Serbian… Well, let me tell you, the feeling is fantastic! Once you melt in that melting pot, you become a millionaire (if soul richness was expressed in money). And that is something that no one can take away from you. I also joined a research group and volunteered on various events. Volunteering is a wonderful way of meeting people and spending some quality time while benefiting the community.

Thank you, Global UGRAD, for this amazing experience that could not be replaced with anything!

Written by Uros Todorovic, University of Arkansas, Global UGRAD 2016-2017

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