American Councils Serbia organizes Balkan Language Initiative Program for American students who wish to study Serbian language in Belgrade, Serbia, throughout the year. Alexandra Karppi is one of the students who came to Belgrade to study Serbian on an eight-week long program from June 17 to August 14, 2017.
Alexandra and other Balkan Language Initiative students, as a component of this program, are placed in Serbian homes, to live with Serbian host families and thus gain additional insight about the Serbian culture.
We have asked Alexandra’s host, Dragana Pešić, to tell us about her impressions of time spent with Alexandra.
“If I tell you that I feel honored to have been given an opportunity to be a host of a young woman from a far-away America, then it says it all about my experience. It has been wonderful, and Alexandra’s and my relationship is really good.”
Because host families are obliged to speak only Serbian language with American students and in such way provide the students with the additional opportunity to learn and practice Serbian, depending on the level of the knowledge of Serbian language each student has prior to coming to the country, communication between hosts and students could potentially be challenging, especially in the beginning.
“When Alexandra first arrived, communication between us was very challenging, but my granddaughters helped us understand each other.” – Dragana commented.
About her and Alexandra’s relationship and daily communication, Dragana said this: “Alexandra is one very cultured, very responsible and hard-working young girl. Her obligation was to text me when she arrives at the language school and then again when her classes end and she is on the way home. She did not give me one single reason to worry about. Because of mobile phones, I knew her coordinates all the time.”
The hosting experience is valuable not only for the students, but also for the host families. It changes the host family’s daily routines, and provides them with the opportunity to show their own culture, hospitality, and learn about the culture of their guests.
“When it comes to change in dynamics in my own life, I walked more than usual, because I wanted to show Alexandra as much as possible of the city, regardless of high summer temperatures. Every little excursion we went on was remarkable in its own way. And her young, forever smiling face was the best prize for this whole experience.”
American Councils has an open application for Serbian families who are able to provide a separate room and two meals a day for American students who wish to come to Serbia to learn the language and Serbian culture. For more information about all the conditions of this experience, please fill out the application, and contact local American Councils office.
|BALKAN LANGUAGE INITIATIVE HOST FAMILY APPLICATION:
Language program for studying Serbian in Belgrade, Serbia – host family application in English
Language program for studying Serbian in Belgrade, Serbia – host family application in Serbian