As of right now, I have no clue what I am doing this summer yet, and oh man is that stressful. While my friends all around the world have their road trips written out day-to-day, secured internships and signed up for summer classes, I am still in search of my own lovely journey. But a bit of uncertainty here and there is okay sometimes, even for the most organized people on this planet. In addition, I don’t know a single successful person in history who would always be sure about their even nearest future – Mark Twain almost died on a duel even before writing Tom Sawyer. I’m not comparing myself to Mark Twain, but I think I’m good where I am. 🙂
My initial plan as the Christmas holidays had passed was to intern this summer somewhere else in Europe (not in Croatia). I’ve started researching options, but as in turns out (wow surprise!) – the probability of finding an internship without a) speaking the language and b) having some business contacts is almost equal to zero. I still had some options for top employment spots, around France and Germany, but decided to give a Croatian internship search a shot. Even before my arrival here (call me a weirdo) I already started to think about how difficult it would be to leave. Seriously, isn’t it harder to ‘live the experience,’ when you have your ticket back and a scheduled time of something else (like an internship, or a vacation) starting? For me at least it is – so I got a one-way air fare, and settled in for the idea of interning in Zagreb, or – worst case scenario – taking summer language courses. Honestly, either way, I would really love to stay here for at least a month once the program is over, and here are some reasons why.
Zagreb has a lot of amazing things happening this summer. Its tourist exposure is growing outrageously every year; earlier, people who visited Croatia would just fly into the country, skip its capital completely and head down to the coast. Now, however, more and more visitors are being drawn into the city – by its rich and complicated history, cozy streets and broad range of museums, exposition & concert halls, open-air events to choose from. For us, residents, tourists are actually doing a huge favor – I will disagree with all of my friends here, who say Zagreb has become “too touristy” – they are bringing the life back into town, forcing the tourist board to organize fun events all over the place. Among my favorite projects and things I am excited for the most:
- Summer on Stross – Strossmartre. One of the main promenades in the upper town turns into a huge show – life music in the evenings, artists, entreatment, an open bar and even a cinema under the stars!
- InMusic Festival on Jarun lake – named as the best buy festival in Europe, because of its affordability and a cool line-up. It lasts for three days, and people from out of town come and sleep in tents right in the park near the lake! Luckily, I have an apartment here 😀
- Zagreb Time Machine – a series of events popping up at the major spots of interest, telling the old tale of the city. A kumica (a peasant woman) walking around the biggest market Dolac on Saturday morning, a folklore performance on the main square, changing of the guard in order to give honor to the past – and many more. They even have a schedule of what is going to appear, when and where, for the most curious visitors, who don’t want to miss anything 🙂
- Red and Blue cycles of the Zagreb philharmonic – okay, for music nerds like me, this is a great series of concerts. I am excited for the opportunity to finally see Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, where all the major classical music events happen – and also excited to see a Russian conductor on one of the concerts. #pride
- Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival – open air festival of different genre films (thrillers, short films, fantasy), on a wonderful cinema-under-the-stars venue, Tuškanac, not far from the city center. One of the screenings for the festival will be organized on the mountain Medvednica – with a beautiful view over the city.
There is obviously a lot more things going on, I just mentioned several that are on my must-do list. In the meantime, my university (ZSEM) just held a Student Future Day, where we were able to talk to some local & global employers, participate in case studies and make some last-minute summer internship decisions (and get some – yes yes – free stuff! 🙂 ). Fingers crossed for me being accepted by this advertising firm I really liked, and cheers to ZSEM for organizing an awesome career fair and bringing in some big players in the game!