28-year old Fredrik, who is currently pursuing his master thesis in Political Science from the NTNU in Trondheim, enjoy going out of his home country and experiencing new parts of the world. Spending a year in the US at UC Berkley was a great decision, but the Balkans is a completely new level.
He had some knowledge of the Balkan region from before, but was intrigued to learn more when one of his professors claimed that many things could happen in the Balkans in the coming years. “I thought it would be good to do something else instead of jumping into another writing assignment. The Balkans is an interesting region… its political scene is quite different from Western Europe. The power structure and the alliances in the Balkans are so complex, and I look forward to learning more about them.”
Fredrik hopes his time at the embassy will allow him to get new experiences and that by listening to the perspective of others, he can challenge his own views. He also sees the work at the Embassy as a potential starting point for his future career.
His internship at the Embassy includes a variety of tasks from project-related work, case handling, administrative routines and organization of high official’s visits to dealing with media-related issues. Although he has insight in some of these things from a theoretical perspective from his studies, he will now see how an embassy works in practice.
For now, Fredrik is spending most of his time these days on trying to figure out the political processes and parties in the three Balkan countries the Embassy is covering. “There are so many names and similarities that it is easy to be confused.”
After working hours, he is enjoying the city of Belgrade. He already went to a tour on Kalemegdan where he enjoyed the view and the stories from the past. “I didn’t check the torture chamber, so I might do that next time,” he says smilingly. He was also lucky enough to experience the Orthodox Serbian Christmas when he went to St. Sava temple, which he found very impressive.
So far, he is happy with the Serbian food as well. A visit to Tri Sesira in Skadarlia did not fail to amaze his taste buds. He is yet to try Serbian traditional dishes, but plans to explore the Serbian cuisine more in the coming weeks and months. As one of Belgrade’s best assets, he cited friendliness and hospitality, from taxi drivers to land lords and people on the street.
All in all, Fredrik is looking forward to meeting the Serbian, Macedonian and Montenegrin cultures and politics, as well as to the new professional challenges at the Embassy in the next six months.