October 22, 2015
The Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade teaches both linguistics and philology (the study of language in written historical sources). Philology was first studied in conjunction with the high school beginning in 1808 in Serbia, and the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade came into existence in 1960 when it was separated from the Faculty of Philosophy.
There were many things to remember about the University visit. Hospitality was fantastic. They were very friendly and open. The lunch was fantastic and generous. This was not the first time that I experienced a food overload in Serbia, but was always impressed. It was interesting to listen to the dean and hear her plans and look to the future. I liked the dedication of those that were continuing their education not knowing if they would be able to get jobs in the field because of the hiring freeze. Again a positive and encouraging group of people we were able to meet.
My undergrad was fairly small, so when I heard some of the numbers from Dean Vranes it was shocking. There are 500 members of staff, 13,702 students, and they teach 35 languages and 1,100 subjects. The newest language added to their curriculum is Roma.
The library program was originally started in 1962 and only two classes went through. It was restarted in 1982 and has been going strong ever since. Dean Vranes also talked about how the library classes are very popular and students from other programs are often taking library classes so some of the classes can have up to 300 students. Considering there are only 52 library science students a year, 300 is a lot! There are also seven teachers in the program, and this is the only program in Serbia.
After the meeting with Dean Vranes we went to lunch with some of the staff members. We were not sure what we were about to get, luckily I was near someone who mentioned that the amount of silverware meant there would be multiple courses, and she was right! Three large courses and then dessert, there was no way I could eat it all so I tried to at least sample everything. It was delicious; I really enjoyed the opportunity to experience the company, as well as the meal itself.
I really enjoyed meeting with the faculty here. I enjoyed learning about their goals for their department, how the school was set up. It was surprising that this is the only university with a library science major, and that only 52 students a year are enrolled in the major. I was also really excited to learn that they had just introduced the study of Romani and were the first university in Serbia to offer this language.