Hello! My name is Anna, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Washington. I’m an Eastern European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures major, and I hope to do an additional major in Linguistics and a German minor as well. I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, and I came to UW because of the strong Linguistics program. This summer I’m going on an exploration seminar to Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. I’ll be taking an English class focused on contemporary Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian literature, and I’ll be taking two CHID classes about politics, history, and culture of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. We will be focusing on hurtles between the countries entering the European Union and relations between Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats.
I have been always interested in traveling and I have always had a particular love for Eastern Europe. Both my parents emigrated from Poland about twenty-five years ago, and I frequently travel to Poland to visit relatives and friends. At home as a young girl, I ate Polish food, spoke Polish, watched Polish Sesame Street, and read Polish children’s books. However, when I ventured out of my Polish bubble to go to school, I was exposed to American culture. Since I lived in two worlds, I began to see similarities and differences in Polish and American culture. Through my numerous visits to Poland, I gained the ability to see issues such as homelessness, nuclear technologies, and health care on a more global scale, and most importantly, I learned to respect and understand other cultures. I also quickly learned cultural differences between Poland and the United States and learned how to make comparisons. I hope to use these skills often during my time in Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.
I’m very excited to go to Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. I do not know much about the Balkans. Also, those countries are next in line to join the European Union, and I am particularly curious to learn about what effects joining the union would have on the former Yugoslavia. As a lover of languages, I’m excited to hear how south Slavic languages sound. I also like hearing about the differences between Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian.
I’m anxious to travel to Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia because I’ve never been to that area of Europe before. I have a lot of close friends, family, and a boyfriend at home and I am worried about being able to communicate with them while I’m on this trip. Nevertheless, I am extremely excited to go on this seminar, and I know I’m going to have a wonderful time.