Mia Brzaković, the Studenica Foundation scholar, was recently chosen as the International Student of the Year by the Union of Students of Ireland. Mia has been studying biomedical engineering in Ireland for four years, and during her studies, she was a member and held positions on the executive boards of several dozen student organizations, both Serbian and Irish, as well as international. She also worked at Student2Student, an organization that is supporting students who come to attend Trinity as freshmen or as international exchange students, and organized welcoming and socializing events for students. After arriving in Ireland in her first year, in cooperation with the Organization of Serbian Students Abroad, she managed to establish a branch in this country within the first few months and gather distinguished students from all universities throughout the country.
International students often face difficult challenges while attempting to integrate into Ireland, not only because they are far from family and the comforts of home, but also because they encounter significant differences in the new education system. Experience has shown that when they are supported on arrival, they very quickly acquire an important and valued role in activities on and off campus, and it is essential that their activism be supported. Therefore, Mia strove to achieve just that in her environment.
"It is a great honour for me to be recognized as the International student of the year. I am glad that through my previous work and activism, I managed to create a change in my environment that will make it easier for future generations to integrate and successfully fit into the new student life abroad. I still sincerely believe that each of us can make an extra effort and make that small change in our environment and that working together will make a positive difference for our future!” Ms Brzaković said.
At the ceremony, along with her colleagues Rachel Murphy and Courtney McGrath, who received the awards for Equality Campaign of the Year and Student Media of the Year, she was delighted to represent Trinity Students' Union as well as her University. Mia was also the student convenor at her faculty and in the past year, regardless of the challenges we faced, she managed to raise the importance of the student's voice in making important decisions at the faculty and university level. This year, as one of the outstanding students of her generation, she got a place at a prestigious university in America in order to expand her knowledge in biomedical sciences and use the exchange so that she could apply those experiences in Europe upon her return.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, Mia is also active in organisations in Serbia, where she attempts to bring our students closer to opportunities related to personal and professional development, both domestic and abroad. She is also one of the few students from the region who was chosen by the European Student Union as a student expert for the Accreditation of multi-level programs at universities and works together with accreditation bodies and organizations to improve the quality of education around Europe. In the future, he hopes to be able to combine his expertise in all the mentioned areas and continue her progress, as well as help other students fit in more easily and find their new home in the country where they come to study.