By Alejandra Pavisich
The annual public call for partial scholarships granted by the State Office for Croats abroad has been published. The purpose of the scholarship aimed at students of Croatian descent around the world, is to encourage the study of the Croatian language a in face-to-face classes in Croatia or online for the academic year of 2017-2018.
The public call is for descendants of Croatians, their spouses, and friends of the Croatian people who foster Croatian identity and promote the Croatian cultural community. Applicants should be at least 18 years old, have completed high school and reside outside the Republic of Croatia.
Some of the new issues relevant for this 2017-2018 academic year are the following:
- Student Guidebook. The student guidebook is fairly complete guide about the duties and responsibilities of students who have been granted the scholarships, as along with administrative procedures to be carried out by students. Students are provided with information on university dormitories, restaurants, offices for registration for Croatian medical insurance and assistance provided by the State Office for Croats Outside Croatia to students who wish to apply for their Croatian citizenships while in Croatia, which allows them to live, study and work in Croatia and the European Union.
- Croatian course online, granted only for 1 semester. The online Croatian course will be subsidized for a single semester at the beginner level. Students do all their reading and exercises online through the Moodle platform at the University of Zagreb, and have one on one Skype calls twice a week, with their Croatian language professors to go over the material and practice their Croatian.
- Opportunity to apply and study for a 3rd and 4th semester of Croatian language for students who have obtained the maximum grades of As or Bs in their 1st and 2nd semester of studying the Croatian language. This is a new incentive for young professionals who not only want to get their Croatian citizenship, but also want to work in the Croatian labor market. The extra Croatian courses will help the student to attain a very good level of the Croatian language, to be competitive candidates for jobs in Croatia. Upon completion of one or two semesters, the beneficiaries may receive a scholarship for the third or fourth semester, provided that the recipient shows their intention to reside, study or work in the Republic of Croatia, as well as providing a certificate from the Educational Institution where they studied in Croatia where they achieved grades between As or Bs.
- Prove your family relationship with your Croatian ancestor using the documentation of birth certificates, and other documents that connect you to that ancestor. If you are a Croatian son or daughter, grandchild, and great grandchild, you must prove your family relationship by sending your birth certificate, the birth certificate of your father or mother of Croatian origin (with the name of the Croatian grandparent) and the birth certificate or other document of your Croatian grandparent. “It is also necessary to prove the family relationship with that person by presenting a birth certificate from the parents, or their parents, all the way back to the ancestor with Croatian nationality.”
- Applicants who already have the Croatian citizenship, that were granted a scholarship for learning the Croatian language by the State Office in previous years do not have to provide proof of Croatian citizenship.
- More points are awarded in the criteria of the selection table to the applicants of the partial scholarships that received the best marks (15 points) and Bs (10 points). “The candidate who has already completed a one-semester course at the expense of the State Office with an A or B (demonstrated by the contract signed with this state office and the certificate of the institution of higher education in the Republic of Croatia where he/she took the course).
- Applicants who are active members of their Croatian communities in their home countries receive 20 points in the selection criteria. The applicant who is an active member of the Croatian or Croatian emigrant community or association, proves his/her volunteer activities by providing a certificate issued by the community / association operating out of the Republic of Croatia.
- Proof of sufficient financial resources to cover your stay in the Republic of Croatia if you are selected for the scholarship. For the processing of your temporary residence visa, which allows you to study in Croatia after you enter with a tourist visa, the selected students for the partial scholarship must show proof of their financial means of subsistence (proof of the scholarship granted and proof of monthly financial subsistence means that a student must show that he/she has a minimum amount of HRK 1,000 or US$ 150 per month. The proof will be that the student will attach a bank statement of their bank account, showing that he or she has all the funds needed to cover your stay Croatia. Page 7 of the student guidebook.