Some thoughts from Sarah

So, tell me a bit about yourself and why you came to Slovenia.

I am generally your excitable, practical, people person and at Melbourne Uni I got very involved with the Christian Union there – Something that has helped transform my life for the better. I spent my first two years diving in to knowing God better (something that I had never really understood before then) and learning about how to lead other Christians, how to engage with the culture around me as a Christian, how to explain the Christian faith better to others and more. After having lived in Italy for a year after I finished high school, and before that travelling a lot, I had always felt connected with travelers and people from other countries. At the end of my second year I was already considering traveling again for work or study and was wondering how I could combine that with living for God and serving His people wherever I was living in the world.

At the end of the year I went to our Australian national student conference – NTE – and there I heard about Slovenia and the work of the group ZVEŠ. Brane and Nenad told us about a German girl, Christina, who had done Erasmus (European exchange program) in Slovenia and had greatly helped ZVEŠ – simply as an active believing student. They made a casual invite to all the students there at the conference that maybe they would consider studying in Slovenia and helping in a similar way. I left that session with just one thought in my head…

“..I could do that..”

It took me another 6 months full of questions, checking out possibilities, general life planning and making big life decisions before I knew that I definitely wanted to go. However now when I look back (oh, hindsight!) I see how much God was leading me there and how much it was exactly where I needed to be.


In what ways was being in Slovenia a blessing to you?

Being in Slovenia for those 6 months was such a blessing in so many ways, many of which I’m sure I don’t realise yet. Going there, Liz and I really had no idea how involved we would be with ZVEŠ or what we would be doing other than studying our subjects. We had some ideas about starting a Bible discussion group, but our main aim was just to go there as regular students, and just live as Christians and we knew God would provide opportunities to glorify Him.

When we got there the ZVEŠ team (which itself was basically new) encouraged us to take initiative where ever we saw opportunities. They were more than happy to support us and our ideas. ZVEŠ as an organisation is much more limited in activities amongst students as it can not be a University affiliated group as in Australia.

It gave us a freedom but also responsibility that maybe we weren’t expecting and I wish now (hindsight again) that I could have utilised those first few months better. But as always once you get into the swing of things it’s basically time to leave.…and how was it a struggle?A personal struggle for me (as a love-meeting-new-people-and-becoming-friends type person) was that as my dormitory was very quiet and people stuck to themselves, combined with my classes that were in Slovene with students who were more reserved (compared to Australians and Erasmus students), I found I didn’t make as many friends as I would normally be used to in those settings. Seeing as connecting with people was a big part of what we were all about, my instinct for numbers meant I was a little disheartened at first. But actually I think this was one of the biggest things I needed to learn and constantly need to remember; that people are not projects to be worked on, but real people like me, who I needed to invest my time and energy into knowing if I wanted to genuinely ‘connect’ with them.

In fact this lead to the highlight of my time in Slovenia being that I could really appreciate the genuine friendships that I now have with some of the people I got to know there. And of course as I got to know these few people well, opportunities arose to share my story and parts of the faith with them or invite them to a Christian event, which in the Slovene context is abnormal.

What did you think of Slovenia?

Slovenia is a really great country. You are so near to the rest of Europe. You have beautiful nature including sea, lakes and mountains all within an hour or so of Ljubljana. Even after having traveled much of Europe now, which certainly holds some treasures in terms of cities, Slovenia is that unknown country where you’ve got everything and I miss it a lot!

Any final advice for people who are interested?

My advice if you’re interested in coming to Slovenia… just do it!

But really; pray about it, write down your skills, interests and personality and think about how you might be used in Slovenia as a Christian student. There are opportunities for all types of people, but it helps to get started thinking about what you might do there.

You should have two aims as I see it:
Encouraging Christian Slovene students to be involved with ZVEŠ and help give them the vision of what a functioning Christian student group can be like;

Share the Christian faith with other students in whatever way you are comfortable.
Thank you Sarah!
Sarah has kindly said that if you would like to contact her with questions or information, you may do so.


Here is an article that appeared on the Australian bible society website, which tells some of Sarah’s story, and where Sarah talks about her experiences in Slovenia.