Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia, a small country in Europe bordered by Croatia, Austria, Italy and Hungary. During the day, you can find people enjoying a cup of coffee or sampling dessert on the banks of the Sava River that runs through the center of town. In the evenings, the city turns into a magical, romantic place with lights strung up the streets and musicians providing entertainment late into the night hours.
This is the scene that Carolyn Adams, a marketing and management major, describes from her three weeks of studying abroad at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. Two other Drury students and Dr. Paul Nowak, professor of finance, joined Adams on the trip in July.
During their stay in Slovenia, the students attended classes during the day, enjoyed activities planned by the program in the evenings and explored the city and surrounding countries during the weekend.
“While in Slovenia, I learned it is not only important to work hard, but to play hard too,” said Adams. “I learned so much outside of the classroom from spending time with my new friends from Finland, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Australia, Slovenia and Serbia. I learned about their cultures, their countries, governments, what they enjoy doing, and what their life experiences were.”
Dr. Nowak, who taught a finance course during the trip, says that the same vibe was echoed amongst the faculty, “I enjoyed the rest of the faculty, they invite them from all over the world.”
Collin Klages, an accounting major, says that he found Slovenia unlike any of the other countries he’s visited in Europe. “It is much cleaner and the people are much more friendly there than the others I’ve visited. The nightlife in Slovenia was a lot of fun and really relaxed. People sat outside of pubs and café’s at all hours of the night,” said Klages.
Drury’s strong relationship with the University of Ljubljana also opens opportunities for students in Slovenia to do a semester exchange program at Drury.
Matej Podlesnik, finance major, says that he hopes this study abroad experience will show him first hand the differences between the United States and Slovenia. So far, Podlesnik says that one of the biggest adjustments he’s had to make is academic. Unlike the “American system,” which requires a lot of student input and involvement through out the semester, in Slovenia academic structure focuses less on homework and places the most weight on the final exam.
Another exchange student, Dario Radosevic, is working on his master’s degree here at Drury. Originally from Rijeka, Croatia, Radosevic attended college in Slovenia. According to Radosevic, studying abroad is an important aspect of the student experience.
“As the process of globalization connects us, we are becoming citizens of the world. In business you never know where you can get a new idea or opportunity, so connecting with people is the best way to find that out,” said Radosevic.
Whether the students are studying here or in Slovenia, due to the opportunities offered by Drury, they are able to take their education to a whole another level, building a strong personal and professional network worldwide.
Story by Yelena Bosovik, senior finance and economics major.