Being from Serbia has influenced the way I saw me

Katarina Sovilj
Katarina Sovilj
13 February 2020

About me: Katarina

2020 Ambassador

Back in high school, the attributes I would have used to describe myself would be –introverted, a little naïve and just a tiny bit timid girl with a lot of unused potential, hungry for adventure and eager to do something grand, from the country that all the bad guys in movies are from and with a bad reputation among the rest of Europe.

Being from Serbia influenced the way I view myself. You can generally expect one of three reactions from foreign friends once you tell them where you are from:

  1. “Siberia? Do you also have some polar bears for pets haha”
  2. “Jesus, are you alright? Is it in war right now?”*
  3. in my least favourite scenario, they don´t say much and just give you “the look”.

What do I mean by the look? Most probably they have heard of it, and for sure not in a good context. There are so many stereotypes about my people supported by the history and perpetuated by the media that more likely than not, we will face some silent judgement.

I could go on about this topic for much longer, but this time I will go straight to the point. Thanks to my journey as an ex-pat in the Czech Republic I went through a couple of phases regarding the way I view myself, and my attributes have now changed. I am a girl who's mission is to break the stereotypes through positive impact and leading by example. I am still an introvert, but also a people-person, I am still naïve, but a little more experienced. I am pushing the boundaries of my potential every day and I aspire to live the adventure.

And I would like to share that adventure with anyone interested to embark on a similar journey, by studying in the Czech Republic.

*A common mistake, but Serbia is not Syria.