Gavrilovic a true ‘Alabamian’

Published 3:21 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Iva Gavrilovic is a small-town girl at heart.

She didn’t know that until recently.

“I like the small town,” she said. “I think it’s lovely.”

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Gavrilovic, an exchange student from Serbia, just recently moved to Greenville from her home in Uzice. Her hometown has a population of approximately 70,000 people.

That’s about seven times as many folks as we have here in Greenville and more than three times the number of people that call Butler County home. But Gavrilovic has made herself right at home here in the Camellia City.

She’s adjusting to our strange custom of driving everywhere, even short distances. Gavrilovic is used to walking or riding public transportation to and from school back in her home country.

She’s growing accustom to all the green grass and open spaces surrounding the homes here in Greenville. She said in her hometown the houses are much closer together.

She’s learning to naviagte our big-box stores, which she admits all look the same to her.

Gavrilovic came to the United States with A-SMYLE (American-Serbia & Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange). The program, which was established in 2005, has sent more than 300 students between the ages of 15 and 17 to the United States to study at high schools across the U.S. and live with American host families.

Greenville was lucky enough to land Gavrilovic, who has easily transitioned into life here in our little town, and is a fine addition to our community.

Perhaps the biggest indicator of Gavrilovic’s adjustment to life here in Alabama is that she has pledged her alligiance to Auburn University and its football program.

“I love Auburn,” she said. “I already chose my side.”

Spoken like a true Alabamian.