This [Serbian] Life.

“When a path reveals itself, follow it.” It has been seven extraordinary months in Serbia. Months filled with self-discovery, cultural immersion, challenges and new relationships. I arrived in Serbia full of ideas and eager to engage with the community. However, I unknowingly carried many misconceptions about myself and Serbia. Simply my ideas were naïve. In stepping outside of my comfort […]

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Surroundings

“Because I know that time is always time And place is always and only place And what is actual is actual for only one time And only for one place I rejoice that things are what they are…”                                   […]

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Triage

I dream of the cold. I dream of little cold hands and feet. I dream of none of this being enough. It’s cold outside. So, while in Niš we buy gloves. In Preševo, we distribute. We are never able to bring enough. There are endless crowds of people and almost everyone needs something. We remind ourselves to prioritize our […]

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Preševo: Serbia’s Frontline of the Refugee Crisis

I have recently returned from the “refugee camp” at the Serbia-Macedonia border. When I left Preševo on the night of 13.10.15 the situation had calmed. However, the night of 10.10.15 and morning of 11.10.15 was one of humanitarian crisis.  International and local volunteers are working 24/7 in attempt to ensure the warmth and safety of refugees […]

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Love at first sight [a week in Niš]

It is hard to believe that today marks a week since I arrived in Serbia. As I write this post, it still seems very surreal. Upon my arrival in Belgrade, the charismatic Zarko picked me up from the airport and drove me to my hotel. As we drove into the city, it seemed more familiar than I imagined […]

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The Countdown

In four short weeks I will be departing for a 9 month long adventure in Niš, Serbia. I often reflect on how I got to this place… In 2013, I remember chatting with my roommate in Budapest about the Fulbright. I had been in search of a way to return to the Balkans and this seemed […]

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About Me.

Hi! My name is Jess Collins and I am a Fulbright ETA in Niš, Serbia. I graduated from Clemson University in May 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science. I have spent the past year as a paralegal in Washington, D.C.. I am interested in Balkan history, diplomatic relations, post-conflict resolution and refugee resettlement. You […]

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