The month of December is chaotic for most FLEX alumni in Serbia. With alumni rushing to finish their college obligations, they sometimes miss out on the holiday season! The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to the rescue! Working together work together with the American Councils office in Belgrade, the Embassy organized a holiday celebration so get alumni in the true holiday spirit.
On December 23, American Councils staff, U.S. Embassy representatives, and 37 alumni attended the party at the American Councils office. The event offered participants the chance to relax, catch up with their friends, and enjoy some pizza, drinks, and desserts. To evoke the holiday spirit, Mariah Carey songs played in the background and FLEX Alumni Coordinator Nemanja Miltenovic ‘13 organized the Secret Santa exchange!
The event was also an opportunity for alumni to learn more about potential funding sources both through the FLEX and GYSD grants programs and the U.S. Embassy grant program. Tijana Hrkalovic, the U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Assistant, shared information about the grants program and encouraged alumni to apply. Furthermore, she cheerfully noted that, “FLEX Alumni have always been special to me and spending time with them always makes me happy!” (Thanks Tijana, FLEX Serbia alumni love you too!)
Also at the event, the alumni community of alumni living abroad had the chance to meet the most recently returned alumni and to congratulate them on successfully completing their Re-entry program projects. This meeting was really interesting to alumni who recently started university. They talked about college with the younger alumni and it made them realize that they are not as young as they used to be! “Although I feel like an older alumna now, and did not realize how much time has passed! I am always happy to help out new alumni with tips and ideas. They look up to us now, it’s flattering!” Said Maja Brkljac ‘13
An alumni event wouldn’t be an alumni event without having a social impact. Alumni decided that they also wanted to share the holiday spirit with others by collecting holiday decorations at the event. All of the decorations made for the event, together with holiday cards made at the American Corner by alumni a day later, were collected and donated to the local children’s shelter to pass along further cheer and happiness this holiday season.
This story was written by FLEX Alumni Coordinator Nemanja Miltenovic ‘13.