YFU Serbia is part of the global YFU network, consisting of Member Organizations in more than 50 different countries, united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. YFU Serbia started with exchange programs 2010, and since then over 130 students have participated in the program, supported by more than 100 local and foreign volunteers who have been active in our organization last 10 years
If you have wondered what Serbia is about… don’t worry, you are not the first one! But, we are sure that after an exchange in our country, you will be able to answer that question pretty quickly! So, how to know if Serbia is for you? Easy…
If we say Novak, does it sound familiar at all? Serbians love sports of all kinds and we feel very proud about our national teams or sports people, like Novak Djoković, who is a world-wide one of the best tennis player, or the Red Star basketball team. In our schools we play football and mostly basketball: pretty much every neighbourhood has their own court! On the other hand, since the winter gets quite cold we have awesome ski centers for those who aren’t afraid of going outside even when it is -10°C.
Do you enjoy nature and being outdoors? Well, we too. Serbians are known for being unable to stay quite and inside, even our history is like this! We love being outside, surrounded by nature that’s why our cities have big parks and natural forests, there we enjoy family picnics or even yoga lessons. Speaking about the climate we are in a perfect geographical location as we have warm summers (17°C-40°C) and cold winters (-15°C to 5°C). As we have different kinds of terrains, temperatures may change depending the area: winters are much colder in the mountains with heavy snow, for example.
If you like being around people, feel comfortable having new friends, and enjoy long Sunday meals with family, then you should give it a try to Serbia. We are known as a very social society, don’t panic if someone talks to you in the bus to ask you where you are from! This is just because we are a very curious nation and like getting to know new people. Also, we have a really close relationship with our family members, and this means our parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and a long etc. A fun fact about this is that we call all our cousins “brothers” or “sisters”! Actually, also our close friends, or friends of friends... So be ready to have many Serbian relatives!
Do you like challenges and pushing your limits? Our language is really interesting to learn since it is useful for all the Balkan area. We write in both cyrillic and latin, and even though it might look similar to Russian, it is not so close! Actually, there are many words that are said in the same way but mean completely different things! Even though many people speak good english, especially young generations, many people don’t so the learning of the language is fast as you have to learn to communicate as soon as possible.
By now you might have an idea of how we are, but in case you need some more details…
Did you know that Nikola Tesla was one of the most important Serbs in history? He was an inventor, a visioner, a futuristic mind who helped in the developing of the world as we know it now. As the crazy, passionate and intellectual person he was, he created some cool stuff in the electromagnetic field that is still nowadays in use. He is one example of how passionate Serbs are; we follow our feelings and aren’t afraid of that... this applies to many aspects of our life but the most visible one, is sports and art.
Did you know that the oldest known civilization in Europe was located in the territory of Serbia in Lepenski Vir (6500-5500 BC) and Belgrade/Vinca (5500-3500 BC)? Our history is really long: we had kingdoms, wars, political differences… our story is alive in every street and in the Serb’s hearts. However, we are proud of our freedom and we value it with our lives. We are considered to be a defiant society, who protected and helped even in occasions where we were expected to remain calm. Many people might call us crazy, but we love it. Almost as much as we love our food…
Did you know that for Serbs food is a really important symbol of caring and love? We enjoy having lunch or dinner with our families and like to express our feelings through food. The best way to start your day is to go to a local bakery and eat burek, with meat or cheese, with yoghurt mandatory. For lunch? Ćevapi. It is one of the main dishes in the Balkans, and here we just love it! How to describe it? Just eat it. We also have our version of schnitzel: Karadjordjeva šnicla. And if you are a vegetarian, don’t worry (too much) we have delicious salads like šopska salata. Ready to taste this?
All in all, we can say that in Serbia everybody can find something to drink, eat and do, whether by yourself, with your hundred brothers or sisters, or with strangers from the bus stop. If you are still considering, google some pictures of our views, our natural attractions and you will see that our country is breathtaking. So, adventurer, are you up to this life changing experience?
Connect with YFU in your country
Learn more about the opportunities to go to Serbia by connecting with the YFU organization in your country. They will be able to tell you more about the exchange programs available, staying with a host family, and the benefits and challenges of studying abroad.
YFU offers the journey of a lifetime, an adventure that reveals the best in people, and enables you to make lifelong connections that will change the way you see the world. What are you waiting for? Find your YFU and make the Serbia your new home!