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EDITORIAL Dear Reader, We are delighted to present to you the second edition of „ПИГEOH”. What was this month for „ПИГEOH” in a nutshell? Well, we are still in the process of changes, chaotic minds…in the circulation of ideas. Creating. Developing. Sharing. Growing. Different people bring different views. The time of movement…always it is new, thrilling but in the same time exciting. Mobility. This month we want to talk about it. What is mobility in Novi Sad? How is Volonterski centar Vojvodine connected with mobility? What does mobility mean to you and to your life? We - Philip, Aurelija, Izabela, Valerie, Aleksandra, Dragan and this month’s guest - Charlotte - present different forms of mobility and develop this topic in different dimensions: To express various views, we are excited to present to you a new chapter – Philozofija - in „ПИГEOH”. It will represent a critical and academic view from our English EVS volunteer, and politics Masters graduate Philip Pajevic. Valerie and Izabela in their articles discuss voluntarism as a way of mobility including the benefits for local and international communities. Aleksandra will share her personal experience in workcamps, Aurelija develops the idea of mobility in professional and personal level and Dragan gives the different view of mobility based on couch surfing and hospitality. We choose different ways of mobility. Find yours. Aurelija Rimkute „ПИГEOH”, chief editor.

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SADRŽAJ/content

4....American Volunteer In Serbia - My Time At Vcv 7....EVS Mi Odgovara 9....No Borders For Peace 12....Moj Prvi Kamp 14....Philozofija 16....meet your neighbour, Meet The Roma 17....Surfovanje na krevetu 18....I Love To Study Abroad

ПИГEOH team Editors Nataša Šaru Stefan Janjić Writers Aleksandra Vlaisavljević Aurelija Rimkutė Charlotte Sall Dragan Tasic Izabela Giczewska Milica Milović

Philip Pajević Valerie Weidinger Design & Photos Aurelija Rimkutė Jovana Amidžić Production & Coordination

Contact Volonterski centar Vojvodine Njegoševa 3, 21000 Novi Sad tel/fax: +381 21 528644, mob. tel. +381 63 11 828 04 pigeon@volontiraj.rs The office’s working hours 10 - 14 h

Aurelija Rimkutė The cover page is made by Gabriela Sigeti ПИГЕОН 2012 March 3


Exchange International Volunteering in VCV

AMERICAN VOLUNTEER IN SERBIA - MY TIME AT VCV I distinctly remember walking into Volonterski Centar Vojvodina for the first time on a pleasant September day and wondering what would become of my time at VCV.  The office is a colorful and energized space that invites volunteers to make big ideas happen with little to no budget.   And, from September through December, I learned to do just that.  VCV has exposed me to so much more than just the non-profit sector in Serbia.  I’ve taught English classes, worked in an international team, planned

princeton.edu/bridgeyear) is designed for roughly 20 students per year to take a break from the standard academic environment and live, volunteer, and learn in one of four countries – Ghana, India, Peru, or Serbia.  Beginning in September 2012, new program sites will open in China and Senegal and only the current programs in India and Peru will continue.   Even though I will be the last Princeton student (for the time being) to volunteer at VCV, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that Bridge

city. On top of the cultural immersion, the program has really helped our group to come together as a family. Even though we have different backgrounds and interests, we have grown to be dependent on one another and, as a result, have formed our own little Bridge Year family. The coordinator of our program, Svetlana Kijevcanin, makes all the magic happen. “We have different backgrounds and interests, Although based in Belgrade, we have grown to be dependent on one another Ceca moves to Novi Sad and, as a result, have formed our own little and then to Nis to be Bridge Year family” with us – running weekly meetings, visiting us in our city-wide events, and— Year provided for me.  VCV host families and at our above all—learned about is a wonderful organization organizations, making us Serbian culture. that taught me a lot about costumes for Halloween and Serbia, non-profit work, special slippers for when we visit her apartment, among My name is Charlotte Sall and me. a million other things. and I was born and raised in a suburb of Boston, For the five of us here in Massachusetts. Before Serbia, the program is “I think that this program is starting my education at broken up into semesters – very important,” Ceca says, Princeton University, I the first spent in Novi Sad “because it helps Serbian elected to go on a university- working with NGOs and the youth to experience a real funded gap year called the second in Nis working with presence of some American Bridge Year Program and to Roma organizations.   We peers which, for many come to Serbia and volunteer take Serbian language years and due to various for nine months.   The classes and live with reasons, wasn’t always Bridge Year Program (www. Serbian families in each possible here. That’s why this program and other

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programs that build bridges between countries are so important – they serve as a reality check for youth who sometimes idealize foreign

Our country is creating its national identity and trying to find its place in the world, and these Princeton students get to be a part of that.” “Without this real contact with

learned so much about this country and its people.

The first role that I assumed back in September was that of a workshopper.   I planned my first English American teens, our local youth’s Through my Conversation Class and impression of America is based on volunteer work at was overwhelmed when 20 stereotypes” Volonterski Centar people crowded into the Vojvodina, I was workspace eager to practice able to breathe the the language.    While I opportunities based on world that Ceca explained. knew that VCV provided limited resources like movies My idea of volunteerism opportunities for Serbian and TV shows. Without this changed, I combatted certain youth, I didn’t realize that real contact with American American stereotypes, and I “youth” here meant ages 18 teens, our local youth’s to 30.   Acknowledging impression of America is based on stereotypes”. “It’s not a black and white world where happiness is out there beyond Serbian reach,” Ceca emphasizes. “Maybe by meeting some American peers, our youth can see that happiness is attainable wherever you are.” For the American volunteers, too, this experience is totally worthwhile. “The experience helps to redefine or better understand the concept of volunteerism,” Ceca explains, “Serbia definitely offers a different type of service work than the other sites. The service here is at the same time challenging and rewarding for the students. They aren’t only building roofs and feeding the hungry, but also participating in subtle societal changes in terms of creating new patterns of democracy and being a part of Serbia as it develops. ПИГЕОН 2012 March 5


VCV is an incredible organization full of inspiring people who are impacting youth culture in Novi Sad day by day.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer there and to see and be a part of the big changes that a small NGO can make.  

International Volunteer Day (December 5th).   During the process, I worked closely with three other international volunteers from Great Britain, Lithuania, and Poland in addition to “My international journey has incredible Serbian surely been a life-changing one, and locals.  For December I look forward to what lies ahead “ 5th, we launched an international Facebook campaign asking our friends (in that I should say for the over 30 different languages) entire 90 minute class) and to “be the change they want engaged in the group rather to see in the world.”   We than the four page document also organized the first ever I had prepared.   That was flashmob to take the streets my first powerful learning of Novi Sad as an advertising moment: sometimes you tool for the fair we held on have to throw aside the plan December 5th.  Planning and go with your intuition. International Volunteer Day in an international team For the whole month of was definitely fitting, and November, however, the we were all satisfied with main project that I worked the energy and excitement on was the planning of a that resulted from our hard city-wide event to celebrate work. that I was the youngest in the room, I quickly threw aside my embarrassingly over-worked outline (it literally detailed every word

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With six months already behind me, I only have three more before returning to the states and resuming some kind of normalcy, if you could call it that. My international journey has surely been a life-changing one, and I look forward to what lies ahead. Without a doubt, I know that my experiences at VCV and in Novi Sad have helped to shape the volunteerismloving, creative-minded person I am. For more on Charlotte’s adventures in Serbia, visit her blog at http:// thebigserbzzz.tumblr.com Charlotte Sall


Dugo sam razmišljala o tome koju formu mogu dati ovom, delom   ličnom, delom zvaničnom izveštaju o mom EVS projektu (European Voluntary Service project). Patetiku ne podnosim, te sam rešila da se u ovom izveštaju poigram formom mail-a. Hajdemo iz početka: Ćao prijatelji, ćao poznanici, poznanici poznanika i svi ostali, potencijalni poznanici poznanika, potencijalni poznanici, a možda i prijatelji!

Pravljenje lutaka i scenografije od vune za dečiju predstavu, Art Klinika, Novi Sad, decembar 2011

Exchange International Volunteering in VCV

EVS mi odgovara

„odgovornost” ponovo ide u paru) ukoliko hoću da se angažujem na ponuđenim mi projektima, koliko duboke odnose hoću da uspostavljam sa ljudima koje upoznajem, biram koliko svoje energije i iskustva hoću da uložim u kreiranje novih ideja, projekata i menjanje postojećeg stanja. Biram šta od toga šta sam naučila vredi da primenim u mom okruženju u Poljskoj. Biram sa kim idem na kafu. Biram kafu. I kolačić. I još nešto o mom doživljaju lokalnog multikulturalizma. Zapravo, više interkulturalizma, jer smatram da ovdašnja stvarnost više nalikuje  na neku mrežu, nego na puku akumulaciju različitosti. U svakodnevnom životu puno saznajem o samoj sebi kroz susrete sa kulturološkim razlikama, susrete sa drugačijim

Prošlo je već četiri meseca od kako sam počela svoju avanturu u Srbiji, kada sam, sasvim slučajno, postala volonterka Volonterskog centra Vojvodine u Novom Sadu. Posle svega šta sam ovde doživela, mogu da kažem da je to bila jedna srećna slučajnost. Ovom osećanju sreće doprinosi mnoštvo faktora, ali jedan, koji dominira ostalima, jeste svest o odgovornosti koju preuzimam na svakom nivou. Odgovornost počinje od sitnica: u koliko sati ustajem (da li uopšte uključujem alarm  na telefonu?), šta jedem za doručak (ukoliko ga uopšte  jedem), a nastavlja se suočavanjem sa svakodnevnim obavezama koje me čekaju u kancelariji. Takođe, pod odgovornošću podrazumevam i maštanje o  budućnosti, kao i (sic!) preuzimanje odgovornosti za odluke koje će uticati na ovu budućnost. Pa ipak, meni ova odgovornost nekako uopšte  ne pada teško. Naprotiv, sa radošću je nosim na rukama, na glavi, na leđima, ponekad njome žongliram, igram se, a ponekad čak i plešem s njom. Sa svim gorenavedenim, ali i sa nekom vrstom preuzimanja inicijative, povezana je rečenica koju sam nekoliko puta čula od drugih dugoročnih volontera: „Na EVS-u sve zavisi od tebe”. Verovatno ne zavisi baš i sve, ali svakako zavisi mnogo toga. Biram (a sa mojim izborom, prijateljica ПИГЕОН 2012 March 7


Obuka za Volonterski menadžment, Volonterski centar Vojvodine, novembar 2011

„normalnostima”.. „Da, uvek jedem topao puding.” „Izvini, naručila sam čaj, ne nanu.” „Hvala, neću kesu. Neću plastičnu kesu. Stvarno ne treba, hvala.” „Kako to da nema WC-a u restoranu?” Moj generalni zaključak o velikim i malim različitostima je takav da one uopšte nisu bitne. Ispada da bliži može da   mi bude čovek odavde, nego drugar iz iste klupe u srednjoj školi. Umesto fokusiranja na ono što razdvaja, nalazim veliku zabavu onome

šta me sa lokalnim ljudima povezuje. Već zajedno dekupažiramo, pravimo nakit i druge ručne radove, kuvamo, sviramo gitaru i iznad svega, polako i opušteno se družimo. Nadam se da ćemo uskoro zajedno i da pevamo. Radim ono što volim. Tako je jer biram ono što volim. Zato EVS preporučujem svakome i u potpunosti podržavam ovu ideju. Vidimo se u VCV-u ili u nekom kafiću :) Ljupci poljupci :*** Izabela Lektorka: Tanja Gavrilović

ACTIS, in collaboration with the Alliance for Global Sustainability (a university partnership between the ETH Zürich, MIT Boston, University of Tokyo and Chalmers University), the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW) and the Environmental Engineering Group from Serbia, is pleased to announce the opening of the applications for the 2012 Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES) course in Serbia.   The YES course aims to sensitize participants to the complex issues of sustainable development in a global context, through course work, field trips, workshops, group work, and discussions in a practical, international learning experience, combined with social and cultural activities. The course brings together an inspiring group of upper level students and young professionals from different disciplines, cultures and nationalities to learn together in a unique environment. The program builds on 10 years of experience successfully running YES in 10 different countries. ACTIS is an ETH spin-off organization created specifically to expand the YES program and related activities. YES Serbia 2012 29 June – 16 July (18 days) Kostunici & Novi Sad, Serbia Application Close: 10 April 2012 Early Application Close: 10 March 2012 For more information see web page: www.actis-education.ch 

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The Peace Caravan 2012 Peace can mean many different things to many different people on our planet. Indeed, it can mean many different things to people working inside an organisation such as ours (SCI) that professes to be part of the international peace movement since its founding over 90 years ago, and associates “working for peace” with almost everything that it does.

minority, who desire to either enrich themselves or gain power at the expense of the majority and at the expense of our natural So in view of all the environment. Unfortunately enormous challenges and there are many examples governments and obstacles to peace, can of companies an organisation as small, multinational and with as little resources in the world today working as SCI, meaningfully together to achieve just contribute to prevent such that. For the latter, human violence occurring, and rights or respect of nature are therefore “Well, the first thing to say is that obstacles that need f we look at the real fortunately we are not alone. Our vision to be trampled on world around us, we or disregarded, in can all see many things of peace is shared by millions of ordinary order to achieve that are not at all citizens across our planet, indeed by the their objectives. peaceful. Outright wars vast majority of the human race” Apart from like in Afghanistan, that peace also Iraq & Libya, or the pending promote a culture of peace? begins with each and every threat of war with Iran, are - Well, the first thing to say one of us and how we act the most visual illustration is that fortunately we are in our daily lives. That is of this, as well as unrest not alone. Our vision of why peace education must within countries like Syria peace is shared by millions become an obligatory part and the violations of basic of ordinary citizens across of every school curriculum, human rights in many other our planet, indeed by the and why organisations like places. But besides war, vast majority of the human ours should promote nonwe can observe many other race. No one is born violent, formal and informal peace examples of non-peace, like and nobody by birth or education at every junction for example when peasants origin wants to kill or harm and in any way we can are driven from their land another person. People creatively do so. to make way for companies turn to violence because who want to exploit natural they see no other way of The SCI Peace Caravan resources or build new power protecting themselves, their 2012 sets out to achieve plants, when hundreds of family or their close friends, exactly that: In Summer thousands are forced to or else because they have 2012 groups of trained flee their homes because been trained to discard or international “peace of threatening starvation disregard their basic needs messengers” will travel or lack of water, when and feelings. across thirteen European discriminated minorities like countries from Helsinki to Roma are physically beaten If we want to create peace, Spain, in order to spread or terrorised, or else when however, we cannot ignore SCI’s vision of Peace. They conflicts arise between the political and economic will stop in many cities, ethnic communities. interests of a small towns and villages, in order Non-peace also occurs in everyone’s daily lives, within the family, in school or at the workplace.

International Volunteering

No Borders for Peace

ПИГЕОН 2012 March 9


etc. Each country will also connect the topic of peace with another topic, like e.g. ecology, minorities, etc., and base their work on this.

For example in Austria you will have the opportunity to visit the Workcamp Paths of Peace, which takes place in the mountains of the border to Italy, building an openair museum by reconstructing and telling the story of paths that lead through the mountain during the first World War. to run peace workshops and other actions together with local peace activists. They will try to engage normal citizens in debates about the best ways to achieve peace and what each and everyone can do themselves to promote this goal. They will support refugees and discriminated minorities

strengthen the overall effort of civil society organisations to really make a difference, and help pave the way for a sustainable and lasting peace for future generations.

VCV will be a part of this Peace Caravan – hosting it in the end of July for five days and we also have the “So the Peace Caravan is a unique opportunity for you to cross borders, learn opportunity to send volunteers and share about peace and other related who will travel fields, and all of that in the name of No with the Peace Borders for Peace” Caravan for three weeks, visiting three or and also collect signatures four countries in this time for an international “Peace and taking part in the peace Manifesto” that will be education sessions. Each handed over to EU politicians country that will be visited in Brussels and elsewhere. will provide workshops, give you the opportunity It may represent just to develop further sessions one small contribution to and to perform in street Peace, but hopefully it will actions, visit workcamps, 10 ПИГЕОН 2012 March

So the Peace Caravan is a unique opportunity for you to cross borders, learn and share about peace and other related fields, and all of that in the name of No Borders for Peace. The application forms will soon be written and distributed – but if you are interested in this project you can already check its history on the blog www.no-more-war.net and you can send an email to VCV (addressed to Valerie) and will be put on a list of people who will get the application forms as soon as they arrive here. Peaceful greetings, Philip (outgoing placement officer), Aurelija (incoming placement officer), Sonja and Valerie (coordinators of the workcampseason in VCV)

Kick-off Workcampseason Dear volunteers, VCV is happy to announce that the season 2012 is starting – get in front of the computer, go to the database of camps - http://www.workcamps.info/ icamps/ - and start looking! Not all the workcamps have been uploaded yet – VCV is in the process of doing that now – but most of them are already there and waiting for motivated volunteers to send applications! :-)


Working with asylum seekers in Belgium The centre of Florennes is an open centre for asylum-seekers. The residents of the centre benefit from social and material assistance and medical care during the waiting period of their application for asylum. The centre hosts 400 people from various origins. The aim of the workcamp is to propose new activities to the residents of the centre during school holidays, and to promote intercultural dialogue. Work: Organization of workshops for children and youth. During two days volunteers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the center life, following members of the staff in their tasks. Then they will propose activities (such as sport, art, games, etc.) for the kids and youth. (Number of camp: BE-SCI 1.1)

Meet us – don’t eat us (Iceland) SEEDS volunteers will take part in a whale-awareness and protection project run in cooperation with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). This mainly consists of distributing information, conducting a survey, having people fill out postcards that will be taken to the government at the end of the workcamp. The group will take turns wearing a whale costume and walk around downtown Reykjavík. The purpose of this project is to raise awareness among tourists (and locals) that by tasting whale meat in Icelandic restaurants they encourage whaling. (Number of camp: IS-SEE 6.22)

L’Aquila Foto Festival Pescomaggiore is located 15 km from L’Aquila (Abruzzo) and it is partly destroyed by the earthquake of April 2009. Since it is going to take years to bring the town back to the way it was, people may be left alone with the risk of being forgotten. Some citizens from Pescomaggiore and towns nearby have decided to create a group and accelerate the rebirth of their land. “L’AquilaFotoFestival” is a way to promote L’Aquila cultural revival. Volunteers will support “L’AquilaFotoFestival” event, helping the set up of Steve McCurry exhibition (http://stevemccurry.com/) and in welcoming people during festival activities (music, movies and conferences). (Number of camp: IT-SCI 9.1)

ПИГЕОН 2012 March 11


International Volunteering

Moj prvi kamp O volonterskim kampovima prvi put sam čula kada sam se priključila VCV-u 2010. godine. U izboru mog prvog kampa pomogao mi je Ernest. Pošto volim životinje pitala sam ga da mi predloži neki kamp koji uključuje rad sa njima. Otkrio mi je da u Hrvatskoj postoji eko selo Kuterevo, koji za cilj ima spašavanje mladih medveda, kao i promovisanje ekološkog načina života sa minimalnim zagađivanjem prirode. Tema kampa je bila ‘’No more war’’, gde smo imali za zadatak da putem radionica, naučimo kako da komuniciramo i funkcionišemo bez nasilja. Cilj je takođe bio da se sretnu ljudi iz zemalja stare Jugoslavije koji će razgovarati o situaciji na Balkanu, a usput se lepo družiti i pokazati da smo i dalje složni bez obzira na situaciju koja nas prati prethodne dve decenije.

Zasadili smo čajeve koji rastu na tom području, pravili klupice za posetioce, kućice za ptice… Po završetku pravljenja staze, organizovano je svečano otvaranje koje je gospodina Ivana, osnivača ovog prihvatilišta, skoro dovelo do suza. Stazu smo nazvali Balkanska ulica. Niko od nas nije imao priliku da radi direktno sa medvedima iz bezbednosnih razloga ali smo na drugačiji način doprineli njihovom opstanku.

Druge nedelje kampa proveli smo na planini zajedno sa ostalim volonterima koji su dolazili iz raznih delova sveta, a najviše iz Belgije. Tamo smo radili na uređenju šume, prirodnog staništa medveda, vukova i risova a usput smo i organizovali tradicionalni festival koji se održava svake godine krajem leta između tri susedna sela koji pored verske osnove, simboliše i Drugi naš zadatak je bio uređenje zatvaranje volonterske sezone. prirode koja okružuje prihvatilište.

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Pored radnih dana organizovali smo pešačenje po Sjevernom Velebitu, nakon čega smo se spustili na more, posetili mnoge lokalne zanatlije, kao što je baka Dragica koja pravi coklje (starinske zepe), zatim gospodina koji ručno pravi tamburice kuterevke. Naučili smo kako se na stari način pravi hleb, muzli smo kravu, probali odličnu domaću rakiju, prisustvovali festivalu na izvoru reke Gacke… Iako većina ljudi na kamp ode kako bi imalo priliku da proputuje svet, tek nakon prvog ovakvog iskustva shvatite da nije samo lepota u tome što ćete videti neku zemlju nego pravo zadovoljstvo leži u tome da znate da ste doprineli zajednici koja treba pomoć, da ste doživeli bar delić onakvog života kakav nemate priliku da osetite u gradu, da ste se družili sa fenomenalnim ljudima i da ste pre svega stekli novo iskustvo i nova znanja. Aleksandra Vlaisavljević

Unlocking Doors to Recognition -Setting up strategies for better recognition of youth work and non-formal education The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre (SALTO SEE) is one of eight SALTO Resource Centres which have established by the European Commission to support the implementation of the Youth in Action Programme in different priority areas. SALTO stands for Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities. The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre has been hosted by MOVIT NA MLADINA since April 2002. It aims to facilitate and increase the participation of project promoters from the countries of SEE in the Youth in Action Programme.. • BiTriMulti (BTM) Training on Youth Exchanges in France The training course focuses on developing Youth Exchange for the first timers. Activity date: 6th – 10th of June 2012 Application open until: 25th of March 2012 • Training Course on European Citizenship in Croatia The training course aims to explore European citizenship by extending participants’ critical understanding on the concept, experiencing its potential and facilitating its integration to youth work.   Activity date: 11th – 17th of June 2012 Application open until: 1st of April 2012 Participants from South East Europe will be selected by SALTO SEE, and high priority is given for those who have not participated in international events organized by SALTO or NAs recently. The opportunity to take part in more than one event per year is limited. For more information about the above calls or other activities organised by, and in cooperation with SALTO SEE, please consult our website http://www.salto-youth.net/rc/see/ activities2012/ or contact our office at: SALTOYOUTH South East Europe Resource Centre MOVIT NA MLADINA, National Agency for the Youth in Action Programme in Slovenia Dunajska cesta 22, SI - 1000 LJUBLJANA Tel: + 386 (0)1 430 47 47

ПИГЕОН 2012 March 13


Philozofija Mobility - “ The movement of people in a population, as from place to place, from job to job, or from one social class or level to another” What is mobility? Taking the above definition, we can assume that it refers to some sort of sociological motion – whether this be geographical or not. Throughout this VCV newsletter articles, interviews and announcements have been written promoting the opportunity for young, local people to travel, work and study abroad, thus broadening their understanding of the world and cultures around them. For me, in 2011/12, mobility implied this same opportunity – in the opposite direction. After 22 years of living in London, UK I decided to ‘return’ to my origins, by volunteering in Novi Sad, Serbia. Why, you may ask? What could possibly motivate someone to return to this ‘post-conflict’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘poor’ country of ours – particularly as “everyone is looking for a way to get preko”? Within VCV’s Volonterski Klub, I hold workshops of English Conversation Class (Every Tuesday 6pm, please apply through VCV’s website), which is attended by some fifteen participants, boys and girls, students and professionals, ranging from 17-30 years of age – in other words, a microcosm of Novi Sad’s prospective youth population. Two weeks ago I held a class (in English, of course), asking precisely these questions. I divided the participants into those who saw their future in Serbia, and those ‘who lost hope’ and wanted to continue their studies/careers abroad. The second group had the task of listing 5 main reasons for wanting to leave, and those who wanted to stay had to try and guess the 5 factors which the other group would list. The results were just as I predicted: More opportunities. Better education. More money. Improved organization in the workplace. Higher living standards. In other words – everything roughly connected to the hope that in Western Europe people have greater chances to develop and establish themselves economically. And what else could I expect from a society in 14 ПИГЕОН 2012 March

which the average wage barely touches 300EUR, compared to the 2500-3000EUR across Europe’s elite countries? However, “Is everything about money?” I asked my group, considering nobody mentioned ‘way of life’, ‘values’, ‘tolerance’, ‘social harmony’…’better climate’, even. By the logic of what they listed, I must be incredibly foolish for swapping ‘vibrant, professional London’ with this rupa (I’ve heard it all). The truth is – or at least how I see it – is that that there is actually something uniquely special about this part of the world. Before I start giving my examples to explain my point, I’ll offer one told by my one of my participants – a young nurse from Novi Sad. Not so long ago she had a patient from London, ironically, who shared his experiences of medical care in the UK and Serbia with her. Whilst, he claims, resources, equipment and general hospital quality were at a far higher standard back at home, he felt something in Serbia which made him feel far more comfortable in his hospital bed – a human touch. Doctors and nurses alike were constantly in communication with him, sharing experiences, talking through their mutual problems - even if just moaning – but generally just giving his treatment a more human feel to it. Take this same norm and put it in a residential situation and you will probably get something which looks like my grandmothers Blok in Novi Beograd. The older generation religiously meets for coffee in the morning, discussing everything from how late their pension is to who they have seen in Politika’s daily Citulje. The little ones are busy at the basketball courts or, what often looks like, just screaming and running around (I mean, Serbia’s sporting success has to come from somewhere, right?). And that middle generation are doing grown-up things, like making money – or not. The point is there is communication. There are


fights. There is kucni red. It’s what you call a real komsiluk. I have lived in the same block of flats in north-west London throughout my 22 years of life, sharing my floor with 7 other families; 2 English, 2 Indian, 1 Pakistani, 1 Somali, 1 Nigerian, and us ‘the Serbs’. Apart from the Nigerian mother and kids who live immediately next door, we have hardly held a conversation, let alone visited the house, of any of our other neighbors. Everyone goes about their own ways, and that’s it. So much for inter-culturalism. Societies in which people go about and prioritize their own business have their strengths, of course; members are encouraged to work the system, high professionalism is demanded, and generally things get done – properly and on time. Bump into a long-lost friend on a train in central London (or Berlin, Paris, I assume), and you’ll probably get them looking in their diary to see when they are free, when you can arrange a catch-up. Compare this with the ‘Balkan attitude’ where you are more likely to drop what you are doing at that moment and go for a quick beer/coffee and, obviously, as a result, the economy must suffer. Maybe this why this region is where it is, whilst Western European states dominate the global political/economic scene. Maybe this is why when you buy a Jaguar or BMW, you can have full confidence that each model was constructed to perfection and efficiency, whereas a Zastava has no guarantee that it will even get you home without breaking down. Maybe this is why offices blocks, health and fitness centers and shopping malls seem to be springing up on a daily basis in London, whilst in Serbia only kafane are getting busier and busier. As much as these societies appear to be ever-growing, however, once again this human contact seems to get lost.

product; coffee which you can drink whilst you walk!! We instantly started comparing this to the Starbucks/Costa ‘culture’ which has almost infected ‘western’ society, and the thousands of green/brown empty take-away cups which flood every city train, bus and underground on a weekday morning. Coffee in the West is a process; an instrument for a successful, efficient day. Rushing from home to work, from meeting to meeting, from work to gym, you just ‘pick up’ an Americano, to give you that added energy needed to fulfill your daily responsibilities. Now just picture Zmaj Jovina, Novi Sad on a Monday 11am. Coffee is that moment in the day where people can sit down, relax, smoke a cigarette, reflect on the day ahead, meet with a friend or partner, read a newspaper, deliberate politics or whatever – in any case, no urgency whatsoever, and definitely no take-away cups. One drink, two completely opposite life concepts. Again, it is more than obvious which of the two is more professional and ultimately better for the development of a prosperous, growing society, but then again, it comes back to that question I asked the two groups in my English class: “is everything about money?”

It is in no way the purpose of this article, nor my intention, to discourage people from moving abroad, from travelling, from exploring the unknown, from meeting people from all four corners of the world etc. These qualities are irreplaceable, for they can broaden one’s vision and cultural awareness like nothing else – especially if such move opens up doors for opportunity and prosperity, as it so often does. The point is, however, to appreciate that there are differences in norms and values, and to learn to adapt to these. Also, it is useful to recognize that abroad does not necessarily mean better life, even if the bank account may think so. Living a ratTake, for example, drinking coffee as a race as a stranger in a foreign land can concept. Recently an American colleague often make ‘home’ appear like la dolce of mine at VCV and I observed a sign vita. No, it’s not like they show it in the outside a shop in Novi Sad reading ‘Novo films… people really don’t drink tea at 5 – Kafa za Poneti’. It was as if this business o’clock! Philip Pajevic-Merrell was proud of their brand new, innovative ПИГЕОН 2012 March 15


meet your neighbour, Meet the Roma! Activists from GAIA Kosovo & Dosta! campaign organized 18th -19th of February ‘’Meet your neighbor, meet the Roma!” “Dosta”, a Romani word meaning “enough”, is awareness raising campaign which aims a bringing non-Roma closer to Roma citizens. “Dosta” means that this campaign wants to stop prejudices and stereotypes not by denouncing them but by breaking them, showing who the Roma really are.  The Dosta! Campaign started as part of a wider Council of Europe/European Commission Joint Programme “Equal Rights and Treatment for Roma in South Easter Europe” and has been implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Macedonia, during 2006 and 2007. Launched as a regional campaign, “Dosta!” raised the interest of other Council of Europe Member States. Consequently, in 2008-2009, it is launched in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as opened to partnerships in other Council of Europe member States. Thus, Italy, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia have joined the campaign in 2008, followed by Latvia in January 2009 and Bulgaria and France in April 2010.  Finally, in October 2011, Dosta! campaign was launched in Kosovo, by our partner organization GAIA.  As follow-up of the Dosta! campaign GAIA organized Flash Mob, simple, powerful and VISIBLE ACT to show that people should no longer tolerate discrimination and exclusion of their neighbors, friends or themselves. Participants walked down the Mother Theresa Boulevard (main street in Priština) wearing the T-shirts with the slogan ‘’ Meet your neighbor, meet the Roma!’’.   The campaign is launched and financed by the Council of Europe. During the campaign as an outcome a song was made “Come meet your neighbor” that can be downloaded from GAIA Kosovo website gaiakosovo.wordpress. com. Milica Milović 16 ПИГЕОН 2012 March


SURFOVANJE NA KREVETU

Z

amislite da imate nekog novog zanimljivog prijatelja gde god da idete – bilo da je to 2000 milja daleko ili u vašem rodnon gradu. Zvuči zanimljivo? Upravo ovom rečenicom sajt couchsurfing. org pokušava da motiviše nove surfere da mu se priključe i stvalja u prvi plan svoju osnovnu vrednost – sklapanje prijateljstava među ljudima širom sveta. U poslednje vreme sajtovi kao što su couchsurfing.org i hospitalityclub.org dobijaju na značaju i to ne samo među mladima već među svim generacijama. Kaučsurfing se ukratko može opisati kao onlajn udrženje putnika koji traže besplatan smeštaj preko interneta. Ali, kaučsurfing je svakako više od toga. Sa više od 230 zemalja i teritorija i preko 3 miliona surfera prerastao je u svojevrstan pokret otvorenih ljudi koji su spremni da podele svoj životni prostor (svoj kauč), pokažu svoj grad ili bar da popiju kafu sa drugim surferima koji se zadese u njihovoj blizini.

ostvari kontakt sa domaćinom što može biti zanimljivo ako su surfer i domaćin iz dva potpuno različita kulturna kruga. Preko 80 % surfera je mlađe od 34 godine i najčešće govore engleski, dok je najmanje upotrebljavan znakovni jezik iz Nikaragve, koji na veliko iznenađenje znaju samo dva surfera Samo prošle sedmice se preko 30000 surfera upoznalo oči u oči, ustupilo svoj kauč, fotelju ili pod drugom članu ovog sajta ili zajedno popilo kafu. Ali, gde je Srbija u svemu tome?

U ovom trenutku u Srbiji postoji 2491 surfer, od čega u Novom Sadu preko 400. Kao jedan od njih, imam samo reči hvale za ovakav koncept putovanja. Pošto nemam dovoljno prostora, još uvek nisam nikoga ugostio, ali sam spavao na tuđim kaučevima, bračnim krevetima i na podu. Prvi put sam na kauču bio u Valensiji. Čim smo drugarica i ja izašli iz metroa udario je grom i ponoć je prošla, tako da ni meni ni njoj kao novopečenim surferima uopšte nije bilo svejedno što ćemo prespavati u nepoznatom gradu kod totalno nepoznate Većina ljudi koji prvi put čuju za kaučsurfing osobe. Ali, Sara (devojka koja nas je se verovatno pitaju da li je potrebno ugostila) je bila sjajna, napravila nam je da imaju baš kauč da bi primili surfera ćufte za večeru, dala nam ključeve od putnika-namernika koji im je poslao zahtev. stana i sledeći dan nas odvela da probamo Iskusni surferi bi se verovatno nasmejali tradicionalnu špansku hranu u centru. kada bi ovo čuli, ali odgovor je ne. U obzir Rekla nam je da je ugostila preko 30 ljudi, dolaze i fotelje na rasklapanje, kreveti svih a da su po njenom mišljenju najbolji kauči veličina, bračni kreveti, dušeci, a ponekad u Kolumbiji. I na ostalim putovanjima je dovoljno da nekome ustupite i svoj pod sam imao sreće sa surferima. Jedan na kome će on rasprostreti svoju vreću za mi je pokazao obližnji nacionalni park spavanje i osećati se kao da je u hotelu. automobilom, dok su u Turskoj surferidomaćini već prvo veče napravili večeru, a Bitno je istaći da je couchsurfing.org potpuno kasnije i žurku za moje prijatelje i mene. neprofitabilan sajt koji funkcioniše na osnovu dobrovoljnih priloga surfera širom Verovatno je većina ljudi zabrinuta zbog sveta. U današnjem vremenu kada je sve bezbednosti, ali sajt pruža određeni komercijalizovano, ohrabruje činjenica da stepen sigurnosti zbog toga što imate uvid postoji jedan ovakav volonterski projekat u pozitivne i negativne komentare koje su sa toliko učesnika. On podstiče mobilnost surferi davali jedni drugima. Komentari i interkulturalnost i rušeći predrasude čini se ne mogu izbrisati, tako da ukoliko svet boljim mestom za život. Prednosti ste nekoga loše ugostili i od njega dobili kaučsurfinga su u tome što je on potpuno negativan komentar teško da će vas iko besplatan, a surferu se pruža prilika više kontaktirati da prenoći kod vas To da odseda na nekonvencionalan način i isto važi i ako ste bili loš gost. Ali, retko ПИГЕОН 2012 March 17


kad ćete videti da neko ima negativan komentar na svom profilu, tako da ćete pre biti u nedoumici za kog surfera sa liste da se odlučite. Kada mi se negde putuje, odem na couchsurfing.org i satima pretražujem ima li neki zanimljiv surfer koji bi me ugostio

kada nekad odem u njegov grad. Naravno, uvek pronađem nekog zanimljivog. Svakome preporučujem da postane deo ove ili neke slične internet zajednice, jer svet je manji nego pto mislite pa je šteta ne istražiti ga. Dragan Tasić

I love to study abroad. Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding educational opportunities you can experience while in college, therefore it is important that students from all backgrounds get the necessary information they’ll need to take advantage of this opportunity. Study abroad can make a significant impact on your understanding of the rest of the world, while also making a positive impact on citizens in other countries and fellow study abroad students from throughout Serbia. University of Novi Sad supports and promotes student mobility as an integral part of the process of internationalization of higher education, in accordance with legislation requirements and generally accepted European standards. You may hesitate in studying abroad because you don’t know how you will be able to afford such an experience or you are concerned that you will be away from your family for too long. These are valid questions and concerns, which is why this article was created. Interview with Ivana Đokvučić, student Mobility Officer working at International Relations Office at the University of Novi Sad. What is the goal of international students exchange programs? The major goal is to improve scholars’ career prospects and promote intercultural communication and understanding through cooperation between EU countries and Western Balkans. By exchanging students, researchers, professors, the EU institutions and the Western Balkans share their knowledge and best practice in specific topics, promote higher education, including academic recognition and mobility management.

18 ПИГЕОН 2012 March

According to the statistics of TEMPUS-office in Serbia, there were 257 students in total from Serbia who were granted Erasmus Mundus scholarships in the period of 2004 – 2011.


What is your impression about exchange students programs abroad and in Serbia? Recognition process still needs to be improved in certain aspects and allow for a greater comparability of degrees in Europe and Serbia. Greater offer of English programs in Serbia is highly needed to attract more foreign students and therefore reduce a mobility imbalance between incoming and outgoing students. Could you briefly describe which programs do you provide? This year from the University of Novi Sad overall 205 Serbian students applied to go to study abroad through Join EU- SEE program which is a part of Erasmus Mundus Action 2. This is the exchange program supported by European Commission which allows exchanges among Serbian students and EU countries. Erasmus Mundus Action 2 continues to be the most popular exchange program among our students, mainly due to scholarships being offered, among other things. There are Campus Europae, CEEPUS III program, Basileus and Stem programs too. More information you can get here: http://www.uns. ac.rs/sr/. Importantly, other student scholarships are available through www.s4wb.eu that is supported by King Baudouin Foundation. How will these programs contribute ideally to long term success? The Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programs are very significant for the development of tertiary institutions in Serbia. These programs prepare us for the participation in Life Long Learning Program and Erasmus Programme, in particular, it is given that Serbia is close to gain entry to the EU. This would increase the range of educational opportunities

for both students and staff. Through the exchange programs students develop not only academic skills but also communication and intercultural skills and improve their adaptability to new environments. These skills seem to be more and more appreciated by employees, especially foreign companies in Serbia. However, further work needs to be done in strengthening links between universities and job market.

This year the University of Novi Sad hosted 45 foreign students.

A chart of Serbian students studied abroad in 2010

ПИГЕОН 2012 March 19


WHY to study abroad? Aušra (21), Lithuania, BA History//JoinEu-SEE at University of Novi Sad Aušra: I always wanted to exchange university for some time, to run away from my university a little bit and to experience something quite new. I had heard a lot about studies in west European countries and that didn’t look exciting enough. Balkans is still kind of a unknown region for us, so I found it very attractive. Impressions:First thing I’ve received from this experience was deeper historical, cultural, economic and social life knowledge about this region. I’ve realized how different it is and enjoyed that. I’ve met a lot of great persons and I’ve travelled a lot and there’s a lot more which is hard to explain. It must be experienced :) Though sometimes it was hard to get along with new life style and to find some free time activities, it was something diverse from the country I came from.

Karolina (28), Poland, PhD Landscape Architecture // Erasmus Mundus Action 2 at University of Novi Sad Karolina: Since I got bored with living in Poland I decided to go abroad. During my master studies I’ve already been on one Erasmus exchange program, in Germany, and I enjoyed it. Impressions: In my opinion students’ exchange programs are more for our personal than professional experience. It is a chance to get to know other cultures, both of the host country and countries of other international students. Most of us couldn’t afford staying abroad without the scholarship. International students have to communicate with citizens of the host country, both sides can get the knowledge that there’s no big difference between them. For ‘Western’ Europe Serbia is a wild and dangerous place where is nothing interesting to visit. Students came back home can prove their friends that there is nothing to be afraid of and people are just the same as anywhere else. That’s why student’s exchange programs should be continuing

Tomaž: I came up with the idea because of pure curiosity, in the end turned out to have been the best idea ever. I have been an exchange student twice in a row now, both in places I had no experience with, it was just things you hear from people which also have no experience with the places. In my opinion, if you just continue studying at home university full time for the whole duration, you are surely missing out on a lot in your life. University can basically just prepare you for a job; no Tomaž (24), Slovenia, school will prepare you for your life. MA Electrical Impressions: Exchange programs have a tendency to broaden your mind. engineering// JOINEU You meet people from nations you could never imagine, you make friends SEE at University of with people from places you would - best case - just make acquaintance Novi Sad in 2011/2012 with, were you not an exchange student. In the end it turned out that Serbia was nothing like what I have been told. Actually, exchanges programs in my experience don’t really help you in an academic sense. But if you are looking for personal experience and feel like you could use a new point of view on the world, and believe me you will get so many new points of view it will be hard to pick one, this is something you just have to do. I could not live with the mindset I had before I departed for my exchange program.


Kristýna: I wanted to go to study abroad from the very beginning of my university studies but I knew just about the Erasmus programme. In the third grade I found out there is the JoinEU-See programme which focus on western Balkan countries, offers paradoxically higher scholarship and is more available because not many people know about it. Impressions: My overall experience is positive. The town character is familiar since there are many local people who are interested in Kristýna (23), Czech meeting foreigners and also enough of cultural events. I have to admit Republic, BA Musicology// that I really had to stand on my own feet and manage such things JoinEU-SEE programme at which I was not used to before as for example searching for a place University of Novi Sad to stay, university formalities, white card, then visa, paying bills etc. I also gain some knowledge of Serbian which is improving as the time pass. Regarding to the bad experiences - I consider them to teach me. I would just keep trying to improve imperfections which are also here of course but that is exactly, as I noticed, what the coordinators are trying to do. Adrian (22), Serbia, Ecology at the Faculty of Science // “Buddy” Adrian Why? I’m a buddy for two polish students, who are staying here for two semesters. My job is to help them to feel comfortable in the city. I had two internships, one for two weeks in Germany, and one for 2 months in Thailand. I know how it’s important to have somebody to rely on when you go abroad, I had a buddy when I was in Thailand, and I thought how nice it would be to meet friends from different countries, and also to improve my English language. Impressions: I really support these programs, in fact from this year I became one of the Students representatives for the Campus Europae program. You actually get a lot from these programs , you got to know a whole new culture, language, you are somehow independent, relying on yourself in some way, meet a lot of people from all around the World , who suddenly became your very best friends. It’s really fun, and would encourage everybody to go on an exchange program.

Ana (23), Serbia, MA English Language and Literature //JoinEuSEE at University of Groningen, in the Netherlands in 2010/2011 Ana: Why? My friend and I decided to apply for the JoinEU-See, accidentally, because we saw they extended the application call. I consulted with my professors, who told me to put the Netherlands as the first wish, because they are well-known for linguistics, which was my module. I had nothing to lose, so I applied. Impressions: It was the opportunity to expand my views concerning different ways of teaching and studying. I enjoyed Groningen and their university so much, that I am planning to continue my studies there. Also, after this experience, all I do is encouraging students to go abroad, apply for any program, and see for them how this is actually possible and doable, not to mention how it is life-changing. I became a student ambassador of the University for Serbia (2011/2012). Aurelija Rimkute ПИГЕОН 2012 March 21


The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Volonterski centar Vojvodine. The opinions of the others people who mentioned on the articles do not resemble the values of Volonterski centar Vojvodine. Please think twice about our environment before printing out this newsletter. Do not hesitate to contact us in case of questions, comments or remarks about the articles. We would love to hear your feedback on what you like or dislike about ПИГEOH. We would also love to hear your suggestions on what topics you’d like to read on ПИГEOH to make it an even better and more interesting newsletter. Your opinion matters to us!


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