How YES Abroad students brought Halloween to Banja Luka

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American tourists

YES Abroad students Bryca, Chloe and Ella dressed up as American tourists to host a Halloween party for children at the American Corner in Banja Luka

As Halloween was approaching, our YES Abroad students in Banja Luka eagerly decided to share some of the Halloween spirit with children and their peers as well. At the American Corner in Banja Luka, Bryca, Chloe and Ella facilitated activities for children who came prepared: all dressed up in their costumes! Some were ready to join Ella and play musical chairs with Halloween music in the background, while others enjoyed “Pin the Face on the Pumpkin” game with Bryca. With her talent for art, Chloe offered kids face painting with Halloween designs, all of which children  enjoyed!

Musical chairs

Children playing musical chairs with Halloween music in the background, with Ella as a facilitator

None of that would have been possible if it was not for ideas and assistance of the American Corner director, Sonja Pržulj, and another colleague of ours, this year’s English Teaching Assistant in Banja Luka, Lee Wilson! You might be wondering where the pumpkins were–those were taken to another venue, a youth center in Banja Luka where our YES Alumna, Jelena Pilipović, PY 15/16, organized a Teen Halloween Party together with Chloe, Bryca and Ella.

“This was an exciting opportunity for us to show people here what the US tradition for Halloween is like, but it was even more fun adapting it to this context. As we realized some of the food we wished to have couldn’t be bought here, we decided to be creative and improvise—so, we made it!”, said Bryca.


Bryca in a costume of a baba (grandmom) with a friend during a Halloween Teen Party

“Even though we may have been miles away from home and people we usually spent our Halloween with, participating in all these activities did make us feel at home in a new way. I was delighted by the interest for American culture that people showed here”, concluded Ella.


Chloe with her host sister, Eva Martina, at the Teen Halloween Party

Thank you to everyone who helped us share the Halloween spirit in Banja Luka this year. We look forward to many more holidays spent together! And, YES, they did bring pumpkins! 


This is Halloween!