Croatians explore US University
By Laura Newsome
Published , February 27, 2003, 12:00:01 PM EDT
A delegation of 11 people, including faculty and staff members from Croatia's University of Zagreb, are visiting the University to learn about its public outreach programs.
The group is examining programs at the University to learn how to implement similar programs in rural Croatia.
They will be observing many programs including those involving economic development, agriculture and urban planning.
The visiting group consists of eight University of Zagreb faculty members, two PILAR employees (a social science research institute in Croatia) and one non-government employee interested in developing tourism in Croatia.
"The intended goal is to help the University of Zagreb and Croatia's economic development," said Rusty Brooks, a professor at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and joint-director of the Croatia project.
"In Croatia, there is no such thing as a land grant university, so there are no programs in place that reach out to the community," Brooks said.
The University of Zagreb, with 65,000 students, is the principle university in Croatia.
Since their arrival in Athens, the group of visitors have met with the University's Small Business Development Center, the School of Forest Resources and many other departments within the University.
Next week they will travel to south Georgia where they will visit a University outreach program in Tifton.
The visitors also have been sitting in on classes and talking with students who are majoring in their fields of specialty.
"Through this visit, students can have a better understanding of the unique Croatian culture, and they can learn of the challenges related to Croatia's economic and political development," said Jennifer Frum, assistant director of the University's International Public Service and Outreach department.
For three weeks last summer, Brooks took a group of 10 students to Croatia to study urban development and the viability of tourism in the Eastern European country.
Although many University employees and students have visited Croatia, this is the first time the University has been able to bring a delegation to Athens.
The Zagreb visitors arrived Saturday and are scheduled to depart on March 8. Their visit is funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.