MARIA HRVATIĆ & Internationals Bratislava

Coming from Croatia, she moved to Slovakia to start a new life. Nowadays, she is a founder of organisation called Internationals Bratislava which brings together Slovaks and foreigners. Moreover, Internationals Bratislava is organising a huge amounts of different events and is contributing to the mutual understanding of different cultures. Read more about life in Slovakia from her own perspective.


My arrival to Slovakia was not easy. I came on my own 3 years ago, carrying 4 suitcases heavier than my weight. I have never been to Slovakia before and I didn’t know anyone here. I spent first two weeks at Immigration Police Office to sort out visa issues. I was a stranger and I was starting a new life. I couldn’t really imagine how it will look like. When one decides to change life usually all the positive hopes will take a place. In fact to move into another country is one of the most difficult steps one can take in life. So – suddenly I was here. I didn’t speak Slovakian, I was facing not just the new culture, but whole new mentality. I was looking for my place in certain society and not every Slovak around me was open minded or willing to speak English. I remember feeling of loneliness like it was yesterday. As a stranger in the new country you are on zero point. Thus I never gave up hard work to find quality people and establish new friendships.

marijaLots of Slovaks think that a person from Croatia can understand Slovakian very easily, but that is not exactly correct. To understand of simple sentences in Croatia, pronounced slowly , focused on tourism doesn’t mean one speaks Croatian. Also for me to learn Slovakian means at least one year , or two of a hard work . To me personally it took about two years to learn Slovakian but still I experience communication problems. Mentality of Slovakian nation is also different as in Croatia. Myself as a Croatian – I have a bit bossy appearance, which is very acceptable and direct in Croatia. Slovakians however , consider it as rudeness. Thus I became impolite in their eyes. To swap Mediterranean kitchen for heavier Slovakian food wasn’t also very easy for my body.

So really, one must pass the test of a time and prove his own value. We all have our settled lives, but sometimes we feel it’s time to get to know new people,discover new things and places. Unfortunately not all of us can travel. As my curiosity grew with every new person I met and their brave stories fascinated me. Why would one come and live in Bratislava? Was it love, work or a destiny? And what was that result if this step? Slowly I started to know more and more people like me. And the feeling of loneliness slowly started to vanish.

I established a little group I called Internationals Bratislava to organize small meetings, trips, parties for foreign people as well for Slovakians. On the beginning we were little group of 50 people. Within one year we connected people from 90 countries which made us grow to a party of 8000 people!

“In love lives, in new friendships of all age categories, we put a whole new vibe into cultural life in Bratislava.”

Being a part of this amazing group is lovely, life changing experience. If you are curious to discover more, press like on the facebook website and you will be always updated about new and interesting things. Lets make change together. Hit like on facebook and never miss their activities