Zagreb & Koprivnica, Croatia
Brief History Croatia:
Croatia was one of the countries that made up former Yugoslavia, a socialist state with a history of communist rule. Croatia is a very young independent country; they declared independence in 1991, but fought for their independence against Serbia until 1995. Much of Croatia was devastated by the war, especially cities east in Croatia like Osijek and Vukovar, with estimates ranging from 21–25% of its economy destroyed and an estimated USD $37 billion in damaged infrastructure, lost output, and refugee-related costs. In the midst of the pain, an unemployment rate of about 20% (as of 2012), and much rehabilitation and recovery to do from the war, many are hopeful as Croatia joins the European Union in July 2013.
Croatia is quite a unique and diverse country with three distinct geographic regions: the inland, the mountains and the coast. Croatia is said to be where Eastern Europe meets Western Europe. Zagreb feels much like a Central European city, while some parts of Croatia, like the coast, feel like Venice, and then other parts of Croatia feel like a small Albanian village. Croatians seem to be a very hospitable, warm and welcoming people. Because they are a small country, they are intentional about learning about other cultures and languages. Many Croatians, especially in Zagreb, are fluent in English, as well as another language other than their Native language. The older generation of Croatians will know Russian and German better than English, but there is a big move in the city of Zagreb for Croatians to use and learn English more and more, as they continue to make the transition into becoming more of an International city. While in the more rural areas, one would still find a resistance to change or embracing an international mindset. These areas are quite traditional, and many people still earn their living in very traditional ways; farming, making goods, selling cheese or other products, like home grown figs, homemade wine, etc…
Trip Dates: May 11 - 31
Program fee: $3250
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