Hear the buzz of lively conversations in the streets, and enjoy the lovely and diverse landscape with mountains, plains and rivers. Serbians are often laid back, best summarized in the phrase nema problema—no problem!  But don’t be surprised that Serbs are also outgoing and talkative, always ready to share their culture.

Young people in Serbia are usually very social, outgoing and enjoy spending time in local cafes, parks or playing or enthusiastically watching sports: soccer, tennis, and basketball. You can always join an after-school or community organized club like a Serbian folk dancing group.

People & Community

AFS students live all over Serbia, from small towns in the Pannonian Plain in the north, the more mountainous southern region and the capital city Belgrade. Serbian families enjoy gathering for Sunday lunch to discuss the events of the week, and relaxing in front of television after a busy work day.

School

You will probably attend a typical, university-preparatory high school in Serbia. School runs from September through June, (Monday through Friday) in two shifts: 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm—and your school might alternate between these two options. All high schools offer general subjects, like math, Serbian language, English and another foreign language (like German or French), biology, geography, history, physics and chemistry. Some put more emphasis on sciences; others focus on social studies. Classes are lecture-oriented with some possibilities for individual or group projects.

Language

The official language is Serbian, the only European language that actively uses two alphabets—Cyrillic and Latin. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. AFS will provide materials, links and language lessons in the first three months of your stay. Also expect have intensive language courses at AFS orientations.

Food

Serbian food is a mix of Turkish, Greek, and Hungarian ingredients and flavors. Meat (chicken, lamb or pork), vegetables, potatoes and rice make a daily menu in Serbia. Bread is commonly eaten with other dishes, like the popular sarma, stuffed cabbage rolls, ćevapi and pljeskavica—traditional minced meat dishes. Don’t miss out on all the delicious pastries, local cheeses and desserts.