On Wednesday 3 October 2018 at the Central State Office for Croats Abroad in Zagreb contracts were signed for recipients of Croatian language learning scholarships.
57 people of Croatian heritage from all over the world signed contracts will begin their studies at Croaticum at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Philosophy.
Zvonko Milas, State Secretary of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, welcomed the students and stressed that the Office, through the Croatian Language Learning Program, wants to promote and strengthen the links between the diaspora and homeland, all with the aim of achieving the necessary unity cultural communion.
“We can all be happy that you have come to the home of your ancestors to learn the Croatian language, the language of your grandparents, and thus preserving and developing the Croatian identity, which is how Croats are recognised,” Milas said, adding that the decision to come to learn the language was not simple but the love towards the country that had been built for them was certainly one of the most important reasons for their arrival.
Milas offered the students support and assistance during their stay in Croatia.
The scholarship recipients arrive from over 20 different countries around the world with the most coming from Croatian communities in South America.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Gabrijela Uzolić stressed that learning the Croatian language is not easy but firmly believed that through efforts and perseverance, and above all, for the love of Croatia, they will master the language and justify being awarded the scholarships.
For the 2018-19 year, a total of 175 scholarships were awarded by the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, of which 170 were for studying in Croatia and 5 via the internet.
Besides Zagreb, scholarships were awarded for studies in Split and Rijeka.
From 2012-2017 a total of 1,161 scholarships have been awarded by the Central State Office for Croats Abroad.
The objective of the Croatian language learning program is to connect Croatian people abroad with the tradition and culture of their ancestors through the teaching of Croatian language as the most effective link to the homeland and their roots. At the same time, this programme encourages the return of Croatian emigrants and their descendants to Croatia and their active inclusion in the economic and social life of Croatia.