Having an older brother and a lot of friends is a great thing for many reasons. You can learn from their experiences and mistakes, you can ask them for advice and help in any situation, but also you can somehow put yourself in their skin and envision your future if you took their steps. That’s how, as soon as I have enrolled in my bachelor studies, I knew I will conduct my master studies abroad. I had no idea where it would be, or even in which field, but I knew it would eventually happen.
As soon as I recognized that I want to undertake that move one day, I decided to start working on various skills necessary for enrolling in international universities, but also for living abroad and becoming a successful global citizen.
Different volunteering activities, practicing sports, mastering my English and French, attending diverse seminars, conferences and extracurricular courses were just some of the things on this path.
I remember that, one summer day after my first year of bachelor studies, my family friend Vladimir Parezanović was visiting my family and he had some great news. He was telling us how he was accepted to an amazing master programme called IMFSE. At that point, I had no idea what fire safety actually was, but from the first moment I was impressed while listening about the structure of the program. Changing 4 countries during 4 semesters, and studying at 4 great universities, but at the same time meeting cultures and people from around the globe seemed like a programme tailored just for me 😊. Also, since physics has always been my favorite subject, finding out how related fire safety engineering and physics actually are made me attracted by the programme so much more.
So, the autumn has come, and Vladimir’s adventure had started, and through time, listening to his experiences, I was becoming more and more sure that I would like to enroll in that programme. By the time Vladimir has graduated, I was already certain that I would apply for IMFSE. The fact that he had a lot of job opportunities in several countries immediately after graduation made me my decision even easier.
So, the time for my masters applications has finally come. There I was with a list of universities and programmes I was interested in, and among the top of the list was also IMFSE. Since being accepted to IMFSE and other top programmes is quite tough, and obtaining a scholarship even harder, I knew I had to put in effort. Writing motivation letters, putting my CV in order, getting recommendation letters, translating the curriculum and other documentation to English and sorting out other bureaucratic things was time consuming, but my resolve to keep improving myself in a global setting was strong, so there was never a lack of motivation.
Positive replies from other universities started arriving in February, but still no news from IMFSE. And then, on the 10th of March last year, I was informed that I was among the 48 best applicants for the programme and that we are entering the second round – interview with one of the board directors. I was so happy, but also I knew that the hardest part was yet to come. I immediately started analyzing the whole IMFSE website, reading through the description of all the courses, also talking to Vladimir about his interview experiences, and searching interview examples on the web. As the D-day was approaching, I felt more and more confident. I knew that I didn’t prepare myself for so long for nothing. Although I was a bit nervous, the interview went smoothly, and as soon as it was finished I had a really good feeling about it. After a couple of weeks, when all the other candidates had been interviewed, I got an email informing me that I was nominated for the full scholarship. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. After spending years hearing about the programme, and daydreaming about studying it one day, there I was, finally, preparing for embarking on a new adventure in my life.
And here I am, somewhere at the half of it, and I can only say that I am more than loving it so far. Without a doubt this is by far the most interesting and most dynamic period of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Neither was I the student with the highest GPA, neither was I the most talented engineer in my generation. I was only a good student, but a good student with a clear plan and an enormous motivation for pursuing a dream. And it seems that passion and focus can make the dreams come true!