– By Lela Draganic, YES Programs Local Coordinator, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Although we have already welcomed the new generation of YES Abroad students in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more particularly in Banja Luka, there is one trip that our previous students took that we want to highlight and that stayed very dear to us.
Back in April, as their year was nearing its end, YES Abroad students Kelton and Leah had the chance to visit Prijedor, a city close to Banja Luka, after a local high school extended an invitation that we come and visit for a day. We were very excited to meet the students and staff at Srednjoskolski Centar Prijedor but we had no idea what a great day they had planned for us.
Not only did they prepare a special quiz about Bosnia and Herzegovina for the YES Abroad students, the school, together with the principal and senior staff, decided to rent a bus for us for the whole day, so we could go on a tour of the area, together with them and their students.
Quiz about Bosnia
Life in America
Students of Srednjoskolski centar Prijedor
During the tour, the students got to hear about the history of the area that has been ethnically diverse, as well as visit churches and buildings that were made solely out of wood, without a single nail used in the structure. They got to practice their BCS, see more of the Bosnian countryside and witness more of local traditions and what life is like in rural areas.
Old, wooden church with students
Statue, ancient oak tree and old wooden church
Students getting a lecture on the customs in the region
Kelton, Leah and their YES Abroad Coordinator Lela
We ended the day at the Kozara National Park, a mountain that is a ski resort, but also an important historical site for Bosnia. During WWII, people living on the mountain and in areas around it fought Nazi invaders almost during the whole war and suffered massive losses. As a result, the mountain houses an impressive monument, built in the brutalist tradition, as well as a museum and old weapons are scattered around it.
Of course, we topped off this history lesson and a day full of activities with a hearty, traditional lunch. The hospitality, patience and generosity shown to us, our students and the program by the staff, students and teachers of Srednjoskolski centar Prijedor is truly amazing and something we will always remember. We hope to bring more of our students to Prijedor, so this can become a tradition, but we also can’t wait to return the favor and host them in Banja Luka now that our new YES Abroad generation is in town!
Monument in Kozara National Park
Armored vehicle from WWII