Boris Pavic is currently a student at California State University, Fresno and is majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish in hopes of going to medical school. Boris was born in Fresno, California but his family is from Serbia and he loves to travel.
Why did you pick this program?
I chose to participate in the 2014 Fiji trip with Madventurer because I knew that I would have an incredible opportunity to learn more about a culture that I knew very little about by living and helping in a small remote village.
This program was organized with Madventurer and my university which made it very appealing and accessible. I quickly realized that this trip was not going to be an ordinary volunteer experience but rather an immersive cultural exchange, and that is what I really wanted.
What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?
Do it!!! It's a must! I think that every student while in college should have the joy of some type of abroad experience, be it studying or doing community serve. Going abroad gives you a whole new perspective on life, your goals, your dreams, and what you believe in. It will most certainly have an incredibly positive impact on you and will leave you a more understanding, caring, and compassionate individual.
Many believe that going abroad is out of their budget but there are so many grants, scholarships, and donors that want you to have the experience. You just have to be motivated enough to look for them.
What was the hardest part about going abroad?
I think that the hardest part about going abroad is the change is your daily schedule. This will be evident whether you are studying abroad or doing a community service project in a village. Your routines will change and that's fine, so just be ready for that.
Embrace this change and it will make everything so much easier and more enjoyable. While on this service project I saw many individuals struggle to hold on to their "little worlds" and keep everything under wraps. It is so much more fun and exhilarating to just let go and dive into these new experiences and emotions.
There is nothing holding you back and no one for you to be afraid of. Going abroad gives you the incredible opportunity to learn about other cultures but also about yourself and about your own culture. It will allow you to reexamine how you behave, how you should behave and what kind of individual you want to be.
What made this experience unique and special?
The trip to Fiji was special for so many reasons but I think the what made it so incredible was the people that were part of the trip. Going abroad you will meet so many people from different walks of life that all have one common passion, traveling. With this one similarity, you will have the opportunity to make such amazing friends.
This love for traveling and culture is something that is able to bring groups together and help you ease into new and possibly uncomfortable situations. What made this Fiji trip so unique was also the villagers that we worked with. They were so accepting of us and so kind and friendly. They enjoyed having us in the village and we were so incredibly thankful for that.