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NEWS

14.09.2009

Experiencing Europe 2009: Introductory Module and Cocktail in Belgrade

Belgrade, September 14, 2009. From August 31 to September 11, the 49 participants of Experience Europe: Serbian Young Professionals in Austria – Zoran Djindjic Internship Programme attended the Introductory Module in Belgrade. The project, which is financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Serbian Dr. Zoran Djindjic Fund and implemented by WUS Austria, takes place already for the third time and offers excellent final-year students and young professionals from Serbia the opportunity of gaining three months of work experience in Austrian companies and institutions.

The Introductory Module consists of a two week German language course and of classes on European Integration. The participants attend the language classes in five small groups at the Austrian Institute in Belgrade where they were able either to learn the basics of German or to upgrade their previous knowledge in order to facilitate their work and life in Austria. The classes on European Integration were held at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Belgrade on September 5 and 6, and gave the participants an insight in the political, environmental and cultural status quo of Serbia in the process of becoming a member of the European Union. In the frame of seven different lectures held by highly recognized Serbian experts, the participants were made familiar with the history of Serbia’s way to the EU and with the necessary prerequisites for Serbia for joining the EU. At the end of the lecture circle, Alumni of the programme provided the new candidates with relevant information on life and work in Austria, and shared their experiences with the new generation.

The highlight of the INM was the traditional farewell cocktail organized in the villa of the Serbian National Bank on September 12, where the Serbian President Boris Tadic and the Austrian Ambassador Klemens Koja held speeches on the value of the programme for the Serbian youth and for the relations between Austria and Serbia. Boris Tadic again welcomed the project as a valuable tool for Serbian students and young professionals to contribute to Serbia’s EU Integration and the democratization of the country which had always been the main objective for Zoran Djindjic; Klemens Koja underlined that such projects did not only help young people from Serbia to start their career, but also facilitated the knowledge transfer between the two countries and encouraged Austrian companies to expand their business to Serbia. The last speech was held by Igor Dencic, law student and participant of the programme, who gave an insight of what it means for the Serbian youth to take part in such projects and who underlined that all participants were eager to expand their knowledge and establish auspicious ties with potential employers in order to make Serbia a better place to live once they return from their internships. During the following buffet, the participants had the opportunity to meet with the Alumni from the previous generations and with different figures of the political life in Serbia.

On September 20, the first group of 25 participants will leave for Austria where they will start their internships one day later in companies and institutions in Vienna, Graz and Villach. The second group will attend the internships from January 18 to April 16.