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American students embark on an adventure in Croatia 

American university RIT has been delivering American higher education programs in Croatia for more than 25 years and has campuses all over the world. Along with many advantages of American higher education, RIT Croatia students enjoy learning and growing in a truly inclusive and international environment. 

All RIT Croatia students have the opportunity to study on RIT’s campus in the USA, but at the same time, many American students come to RIT’s campuses in Croatia: either to spend one semester, as full-time students, or through specially designed programs. For example, while one group of American students is currently attending the Psychology Summer Program in Zagreb, another group of students from the American campus visited the south of Croatia.

Namely, RIT Croatia’s Dubrovnik campus recently hosted a group of 14 students from RIT’s Rochester campus who enrolled at a four week study abroad program “Ecology of the Dalmatian Coast & the Roots of the Croatian Wine Tradition”. This immersive study abroad program provided students with a unique opportunity to explore the ecology of the Dalmatian Coast and delve into the rich roots of Croatian wine tradition. 

American Students Embark on an Adventure in Croatia

American students in front of RIT Croatia Dubrovnik campus (Photo: RIT Croatia)

The program began with three weeks of intensive classes where students had the chance to engage in interactive discussions and lectures, gaining in-depth knowledge about the ecology of the Dalmatian Coast. The classes were taught by Dr. Staša Puškarić, renowned scientist and faculty member at RIT Croatia, and Ksenija Matić, RIT Croatia alumna, co-owner of the Event Lab agency and a certified sommelier, who brought the subject to life, providing students with valuable insights and hands-on experiences.

American Students Embark on an Adventure in Croatia

Field trip in Konavle region (Photo RIT Croatia)

To complement the classroom learning, the program included a series of fascinating field trips. One of the highlights was a visit to Pelješac, a stunning peninsula known for its vineyards and winemaking traditions. The Konavle wine tour offered further exploration of Croatia’s winemaking heritage, allowing students to taste exquisite wines and understand the nuances of their production. A visit to Vjetrenica cave, a natural wonder located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, provided a fascinating insight into the region’s geology and biodiversity. Furthermore, the opportunity to explore Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exposed students to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. 

American Students Embark on an Adventure in Croatia

Field trip on the Island of Mljet (Photo: RIT Croatia)

The highpoint of the study abroad program was the sailing trip led by Dr. Puškarić. Setting sail to the captivating islands of Mljet, Lastovo, and Korčula, students had the opportunity to witness the coastal ecology firsthand. They explored pristine beaches, hiked through lush landscapes, and engaged in marine conservation activities. This immersive experience allowed students to appreciate the unique biodiversity of the Dalmatian Coast and comprehend the importance of preserving it for future generations.

American Students Embark on an Adventure in Croatia

Students on a sailing trip (Photo: RIT Croatia)

Meleni Sarantos, a dual degrees major working towards her Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and her Master’s degree in material science, was one of RIT students taking part in this study abroad experience. Originally from Long Island, NY, Meleni always dreamed about studying abroad and RIT’s global campuses made it even more compelling to do so. 

“I knew I wanted to go somewhere in the Mediterranean as my family originates from this area or the world. Also, I wanted to take courses I was really interested in, and learning about the ecology of the Dalmatian coast, as well as wine traditions, seemed like two incredibly interesting courses to take. These things motivated me to study abroad, as well as the desire to push myself out of my comfort zone as that is where growth happens”, said Meleni.

American Students Embark on an Adventure in Croatia

Meleni Sarantos with Ksenija Matić and dr. Staša Puškarić (Photo: Meleni Sarantors)

When asked about her impressions of the classes and the overall experience in Croatia, Meleni said: “The classes with Dr. Puškarić and Ms. Matić have been phenomenal! Neither have been exactly what I expected, they have been so much better. Both professors were so kind, knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful. The ecology class has been very informative and interesting and has applied to so many concepts beyond just Croatia, I truly feel we have learned so much. The wine traditions class has taught me an extensive amount about the creation of wine as well as tasting of wines. The class has been interesting, interactive, and overall a wonderful experience. Overall, this program exceeded my expectations! The field trips each week were truly phenomenal. The sailing trip was truly amazing. It was better than I could have ever imagined. Between the people and places, everything was wonderful. And if you ask me to describe Dubrovnik and Croatia in just one word, it would be – alive!”

About RIT Croatia
RIT Croatia has been delivering top American degree programs in Croatia since 1997. With its two campuses, in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, this is the only US college in the country and it is the only institution for higher education granting two diplomas to its students – an American diploma, awarded by RIT, and a Croatian diploma, awarded by RIT Croatia. RIT Croatia graduates work all over the world – from the EU countries to Australia and the US. International students come from all over the world but most of them come from the U.S. Some come from the main campus from Rochester, but a lot of Americans come from Croatian Diaspora communities in cities such as San Jose, San Pedro, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York, Toronto, Mississauga, Cleveland, and many more. For more information, contact: [email protected] 

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