Dominique Ibekwe - Bridge Year Serbia
Well hello there folks! I’m Dominique and I hail from the “bustling metropolis” of Waxhaw, North Carolina. Although I’ve lived there for the past five years, I still consider myself a Jersey girl at heart, having been raised in Laurel Springs for the majority of my life. I graduated from Marvin Ridge High School, where I earned my International Baccalaureate diploma and participated in student council, varsity lacrosse, and National Honor Society. These activities sparked my interests in community service and cultural diversity, which I hope to further explore during my time abroad. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching ‘90s Nickelodeon cartoons, snowboarding, and spending time with friends. Even though I was over the moon about matriculating into Princeton for the 2011-2012 school year, an indescribable gut feeling inspired me to apply to the BYP; and now, I’m off to Serbia for an international adventure! I’ve travelled internationally before to Nigeria (where both my parents emigrated from), but I know that traveling to Serbia will be an entirely different animal. There are probably not enough words in the English language –but maybe there are in the Serbian language– to express how stoked I am for this opportunity!
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Posted May 01, 2012
If I had the chance to be any professional for a day, a diplomat wouldn’t particularly be my job of choice. That’s not to say that the duties and responsibilities of this internationally political career path aren’t interesting; it’s just that if I had one day to be anything, I would like to try something unconventional –something along the lines of a chef or a snowboarder or even a violinist in a world-class orchestra.
Posted Apr 02, 2012
In any society, language is a key component of communication. But when everyone around you is speaking a language you don’t understand, it can surely be easy to abstain from any interaction with people for fear of misunderstanding or being unable to effectively share your thoughts and feelings. I’m learning that’s not the proper mindset to maintain when living in a foreign country for an extended period of time.
Posted Dec 20, 2011
My time in Novi Sad has been spent volunteering at Omladina Jazas-a Novi Sad, a very “for the youth, by the youth” oriented organization primarily focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention but also on drug abuse education. In 1994, the first Omladina Jazas-a in Serbia was founded. Two years later, a group of young people –sponsored by Jazas– came to Novi Sad and organized a campaign for World Aids Day on December 1st.
Posted Nov 16, 2011
On our first full day in Novi Sad, we took a scenic tour of the city via the Danube River. Sailing from dock to dock, we saw the three bridges of Novi Sad, the Petrovaradin Fortress, and the Plaža Štrand and learned about the Danube: runs through seven countries (from Germany to Romania), provides two of the three ways to enter Novi Sad, and claims a special place in the hearts of locals. The spectacular views and the wonderful weather elicited a rush that had the five of us in disbelief about Serbia being home for the next nine months.