Meet a Student from Bosnia

by Haris Silic

Photo: Haris in his Computer Applications class.

(Haris photo)I'm Haris Silic. I'm from Bosnia. I came here two months ago because there is a war in my country. My country is in southern Europe. Five years ago there was one big country with six parts. But then almost all the parts wanted to be independent.

My country, Bosnia, is a mixture of three groups (like three nations). Each group has a different plan. After three months people of my country said that they wanted a country for each of the groups, but their leaders didn't want that. Then we had a war there for about five years. There were more than 100,000 dead and about 1,000,000 refugees in and out of the country.

Now there is the "Dayton Peace" which is not very good. Everybody is scared for a new war. All that is the reason for my coming here.

Schools in Bosnia

Schools in my country are very different from schools here. We start going to school at seven years old. Then we go to eight grades of elementary school. After eighth grade you can continue your education in high school. There you choose your future. You can choose Electricity High School, Construction High School, Accounting High School, Cashier High School, or Gymnasium High School (which is the one I like). All the high schools have some similar subjects but some are different.

In ninth grade there are thirteen subjects but just one class of ninth grade, one class of 10th grade, etc. You just sit in that class all day and teachers come in. In that class everybody has the same schedule. After one year you have about thirty good friends.

In Gymnasium High School we studied three languages and our native language. There was also chemistry, biology, physics, history, geography, P.E., music, art, and mathematics. There were seven different schedules for each day of the week.

School is very hard but we have a three week vacation in January and two months in the summer. We have a five minute break between periods and fifteen minutes between 3rd and 4th periods. Also school is not too fun like here.

Trying to Adjust to the U.S.

Here I'm in the 10th grade. When I came I felt culture shock. I saw that everything is different and I had to learn almost everything about everything. Also there is just me in my family who speaks English fluently. My brother, Pedja, speaks some but my parents here just started. Also I translate for most families from Bosnia.

In my country I was the youngest actor. I acted in a lot of dramas. I was in national plays that were in the winter in Sarajevo.

In the U.S. I have found a job and work twenty hours a week. All that makes me think that this country is very fast. But I like that. I hate when time is so long.

Now you know a little about my country, my school, and my life.

Copyright © 1998, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA

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