FLEX Alumni in Montenegro started off the month of March in the best way possible: meeting with the new U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro Judy Rising Reinke to discuss exchanges and the future of Montenegro.

Alumni of various U.S. Government sponsored programs including UGRAD, the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship, and FLEX gathered for a round-table discussion organized by Public Affairs Officer Jeff Adler and U.S. Embassy staff member Jelena Vojnic at the Ambassador’s residence in Podgorica, Montenegro.

American Councils Country Representative Ivan Vuksanovic ’07 acted as a moderator of the discussion, sparking memories of exchange years of all alumni. FLEX alumni Klaudija Abat ’16, Dina Abazovic ’15, Zerina Bosovic ’16, Bogdan Malavrazic ’18, Danijela Mrkic ’18, and Teodora Vucetic ’17 and shared personal stories from their experience living in the U.S. Alumni were encouraged to reflect on both the good and the challenging aspects of the year, focusing on the impact that the FLEX program had on their lives after returning home. Alumni also shared their first volunteering experiences, noting the impact this left on their personal lives and the ones around them.

The sense of community was very strong during this discussion. Finding that they had many similar cultural adjustment experiences that the Ambassador had, alumni felt comfortable to share what they see for the future of Montenegro. With a room full of young, successful and hardworking alumni, it was clear that the potential of Montenegro is great.

While always working on making positive changes in their communities, alumni sometimes need a push in the right direction. Meeting with successful professionals who play a big part in a program that changed their lives is definitely a strong boost in their motivation.

Written by Klaudija Abat ’16