Centenary hosts student delegation from University of Prishtina in Kosovo
SHREVEPORT, LA — A delegation from the Student Parliament of the University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” in Kosovo visited Centenary College this month for a learning exchange with students, faculty, and staff. The students received funding to travel to the United States to learn about American higher education and student government and selected Centenary as their partner institution. Nisa Ferati, vice president of the Student Parliament, is leading the delegation that also includes student representative Leonita Jashari.
Visar Rraci, a native of Kosovo, is a current Centenary student and active member of the College’s Student Government Association (SGA). Rraci helped initiate the discussions that ultimately led to the learning exchange. Both institutions hope to develop future partnership opportunities as well as a potential trip for Centenary students to visit the University of Prishtina for a learning exchange or summer study.
After arriving in the United States on September 13, the students from the Kosovo delegation attended and spoke in several Centenary classes as well as SGA committee meetings. They gave a presentation on the history of Kosovo at a general SGA meeting and also explained the structure and function of their university and its Student Parliament, the equivalent of Centenary’s SGA. The students participated in a joint leadership retreat with SGA officers and also met with Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman and Louisiana state senator Barry Milligan.
The students also had the chance to explore Shreveport and sample local food, and even attended a high school football game. They were impressed by the close and caring relationships they observed between Centenary professors and students, in contrast to the much more formal interactions that they have with their own faculty members at the University of Prishtina.
“I think when we go back and tell everyone about our experiences, they will be excited to start and create new possibilities to incorporate what we saw here,” said Ferati. “We want everyone back at home at our university to share our experiences.”
Kosovo, geographically the smallest country in the Balkans, declared its independence in 2008 following nearly a decade of United Nations interim administration. Prishtina is the capital and largest city in this nation of approximately 1.8 million citizens.