Montenegrin legend Nives Bakic has a zest for life, travel, and inspiring others to live their dreams! As an English teacher AND iE’s Montenegrin agent, she worked tirelessly supporting those students who dared to dream beyond their own backyard.  She now lives in the United States and is just as supportive of student exchange as ever! 

Last month, Nives was able to visit two previous exchange students (sisters!) who have since settled in Arizona! We’ll share Dajana’s story below. Her year in the U.S. as an exchange student truly changed the course of her life! Beautiful!

THIS is Dajana’s story, in her words, because we couldn’t possibly say it any better:

DajanaAbout 9 years ago when I was only 15 years old I was sitting in the classroom in Sutomore, Montenegro and this woman was my English teacher. I won’t ever forget that moment as it changed my life. So, she was asking questions about English grammar and the use of the tenses, and I kept answering all of them correctly to what she said “you need to go to United States. This isn’t the place for you.”

I remember feeling so much happiness that she believed that I could live in the United States. I mean I was only 15 so the life in the USA was only a dream. She took initiative and talked my dad into sending me to the US at the ripe age of 16 to become a foreign exchange student.

It’s been wonderful, amazing, beautiful, challenging and hard without family 8 years but I couldn’t imagine having it any other way. Now fast forward to March 2017 and we are eating dinner in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ and reminiscing on these amazing memories!

Can you believe that ONE decision so drastically changed Dajana’s life trajectory?

It’s amazing to think of all the PEOPLE who supported Dajana to make this leap of faith possible: her parents, her English teacher Nives, her host family, and her local coordinator! All these support people came together like a magnificent puzzle to lift Dajana into her dream year as an exchange student, which gave her the footing to pursue a LIFE here!

Would you consider supporting a student’s dreams? Who knows what may come of such a gift!