A discussion with Liz

So, tell me a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Liz and I’m in my fourth year, studying Psychology and Chinese at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Why did you choose to come to Slovenia?

I remember being moved at the thought of there being so few active Christian students in Slovenia. When they asked us to think/pray about studying in Slovenia, I said to God that I would go if He wanted me to, but I didn’t actually think it was possible for me to fit an exchange/study abroad in to my degree. In September 2012, I found out that one of my friends, Sarah, was going to study in Slovenia in 2013. I thought that was great, but still didn’t think of going myself. However over the next month (with the help of what seemed to be little pointers), I found myself thinking of Slovenia a lot and eventually checked out the process for study abroad in Slovenia. I found out that I could actually fit it into my degree if I went in February 2013, as the study abroad process is much more lenient than exchange. With prayer, I decided to apply in November 2012. It was only after everything was already settled that I remembered what I told God at the CU conference in Dec 2011.

Tell me about one highlight, and one disappointment or struggle during your time in Slovenia.

There were many many highlights! Since I’m gonna talk about serving God in the next question, let’s go with the friends I made. The ZVEŠ team are such loving, welcoming people. I felt so encouraged and supported by them and that they were truly my family in Christ. I also made friends with some really lovely Slovenes and exchange students!

A struggle: I had a bit of a culture shock at first when I went to Slovenia. The Slovene culture is not as outwardly warm as others – strangers are usually polite but may not return smiles etc. However, younger people (like students!) tend to be friendlier.  I was also on a party floor in the dorms in Slovenia, and as I don’t tend to go to parties very often, and had not lived in dorms before, this was quite new for me (and they partied hard, late, and fairly often). But this was also a really good thing because it meant I could get to know lots of people on my floor!

How do you think you were able to serve God and others in Slovenia?

I think the main thing was just living as a Christian amongst other students. I think most people I got to know knew that I was a Christian. They could tell I lived differently (in some ways). I also had some opportunities to explain my faith in Christ with some friends, and with acquaintances at the parties!

Sarah and I also started a Bible discussion group – we were mostly international students, one of us was Slovene. It was really wonderful – we could encourage each other to keep following Jesus and get to know God better through the Bible! Sarah and I also helped out with ZVEŠ events and hosted a couple of pancake parties – so I guess we helped to fill some tummies and provide a fun alcohol-free event (which can be rare!)

Looking back, how do you think you grew closer to God during your time in Slovenia?

God really gave me strength whenever I was feeling tired/low. It was obvious that nothing would be effective without Him, so I knew I needed to rely on Him. I also saw His goodness in the work he was doing in Slovenia!!!

On a lighter note, what would you recommend as a “don’t miss!” when visiting Slovenia?

OHH so many!!! Cakes at Café Zvezda on Kongresni Trg, AMAZING ice cream from Cacao (near Presernov Trg), eating Kremšnita at Lake Bled (can you tell I love desserts?), the view from the top of Ljubljana’s token ‘Skyscraper’, Lake Bohinj and the Slovenian countryside! (sooo greeeen and pretty)

Finally, any last advice for people considering Go Slo?

Pray about coming to Slovenia! I didn’t think I would end up going – but it seems God took me up on my offer! If you do go, remember to always rely on God. And if you can’t actually go, please pray for Slovenia (and ZVEŠ!) Feel free to contact me if you have questions about it!