Spring graduate Abijah Ahern will explore the culture of the western Balkans through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Serbia.
The placement in Serbia is an extension of Ahern’s interests and experience in the Balkans region. In spring 2020, he spent a semester studying at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where he took Croatian language classes and courses taught in English at the university in the politics department. He also completed a winter term project on the European Capital of Culture ceremony in Rijeka, Croatia. A history and politics major, his goal is to become fluent in the Serbian language and to gain a better understanding of Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin languages.
A resident of Laramie, Wyoming, Ahern says he is looking forward to working with students and developing connections with colleagues at his host institution, and taking in the food and culture—by eating a lot of Čevapi (Balkan minced meat sausage) and watching "the eternal derby" between soccer teams Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade. “It has a reputation for being one of the most intense stadium atmospheres in all of sports, and it would be really exciting to experience.”
As he prepares for the teaching aspect of the Fulbright, Ahern says he will have his favorite classes and professors from Oberlin in mind. “In addition to providing me with theoretical and historical schema that will be extremely valuable when I go to Serbia, Oberlin has also shown me what high quality and engaged teaching looks like.”
Outside of academics, Ahern has hosted multiple radio shows and served as a past director of the news work group for Oberlin College and Community radio station WOBC-FM.
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