BOJANA STANKOV

My name is Bojana Stankov. I am a Serbian native, non-traditional student. I finished my secondary education in Serbia. When I was a child, English language was the most exciting thing I discovered; it represented a sanctuary to a different world. I grew up wanting to become an English teacher. At the age of 19, I took a Cambridge FCE exam which qualified me to teach English as a foreign language in a private school. I spent 4 years teaching Beginner English, across different age groups and I enjoyed every second of it despite the very low wages and the fact that I wasn’t paid for the entire year, once. Serbia’s gone through a troubling decade of wars, sanctions, inflations, institutionalized corruption and disintegration of what was known to be – Yugoslavia. The path that I chose resulted from the gloomy future that Serbia projected at the time, as a failed socialist state. I developed new interests and began to think about the world differently. This is what drove me to start thinking outside the box. In my early 20s I knew that there was something else out there for me and I began looking for ways and programs to go to the United States. I’m currently in my sophomore year. My major is International Studies and I take Political Science, Anthropology, History, Economics and Geography courses. This is a perfect blend of information that I deem necessary in order to fully understand the world. I became very passionate about the American foreign policy, why the US makes certain decisions and what strategic importance they represent. I am also interested in Russian influence in Eastern Europe. Passion and a personal experience were the driving factors behind my research topic. I speak several languages: Serbian, English and beginner Spanish; I understand some German and I can read beginner Russian.