Following on from part 1, we continue our adventure in Montenegro: 

Medical student Adam Hill, 25, visited Montenegro for the first time this summer. He says: “I would most compare it to Greece – good food, warm weather and a Mediterranean feel. Unlike Greece, however, Montenegro has the feel of a country that is striving to modernise itself.

“It has beautiful scenery, warm and welcoming people, and plenty of things to see and do. I would definitely recommend it as a tourist location for those looking for a country with a lot to offer.”

…language is the road map of a culture…

“Although the country has many fine points, however,” he added, “the language barrier could put off some tourists, but it is also important to note that this only exists in more remote parts of the country, away from the tourist cities.”

It has been said that ‘language is the road map of a culture’, and language certainly puts a country on the map, but you will be hard pressed to find schools that offer Serbian – Montenegro’s national tongue. It is, however, taught at two higher education institutions in the UK: Nottingham and UCL.

…the wild Balkan charm…

At both of these universities, a large proportion of students taking the course are UK nationals who fall for the wild Balkan charm. The course takes them on a year abroad to a Serbian-speaking country, to assimilate into its culture.

Jelena Calic, teacher of Serbian/Croatian at UCL, says: “Generally students have good experiences and want to go back to the Balkans.”

…They rarely have negative experiences…

“They like the fact that it is cheap to live and travel there. They like the climate and food. They rarely have negative experiences.”

It came as no surprise when the UK began introducing Mandarin at schools, following China’s continuing rise as an economic power. Therefore, we might ask whether something similar could ever be expected for Montenegro?

…we aim to tap into this current…

Dr Vladimir Zoric, Lecturer in Russian and Slavonic Studies at Nottingham University, says: “Montenegro is a small country and it would be somewhat unrealistic to expect a significant rise in enrolment merely on the account of its tourist industry.

“However, we are aware that Montenegro’s accelerated progress to EU and the development of facilities on the coast (especially the luxury yachting harbour Porto Montenegro, gigs by such celebrities as Madonna and The Rolling Stones) are starting to make a difference in terms of the country’s image abroad and we aim to tap into this current.”

Mr Morley concluded: “We’re really not Monte Carlo or Saint Tropez. This is a much more quiet, tranquil, peaceful destination. The peak season is relatively short, the land hasn’t been built up or ruined or destroyed, and people find it utterly charming.”

 

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