Croatian Graduate Perspective: The View from Bruno in Metkovic

Croatian Graduate Perspective: The View from Bruno in Metkovic
Croatian Graduate Perspective: The View from Bruno in Metkovic Private Archive

April 11, 2021 - A weekly dose of positivity in our Croatian Graduate Perspective series with Bruno in Metkovic, who thinks that "everything is possible anywhere if you work hard, are ambitious, and have a clear plan of what you want to do in your life." This is his full story.

With many young people emigrating from Croatia, what keeps those who decided to stay (at least for now)?

The emigration of young people from Croatia in search of better business opportunities and living standards, unfortunately, is a well-known story. Each of us young people in Croatia knows at least a few people from their environment who, at one point, said that enough was enough and decided to seek happiness somewhere abroad.

According to official Eurostat data, from 2015 to 2019, Croatia's population decreased by 4.26 inhabitants per 1,000 citizens only thanks to emigration. Therefore, the Croatian emigration rate is the second-worst in the European Union (after Lithuania).

These data indicate that economic prosperity influences population decisions to emigrate. Besides, due to the exodus of the young and working population, there is an additional reduction in GDP per capita that closes the cycle of poverty and decline in Croatia.

However, there are many who are aware of the poor position of young people in Croatia but still do not want to give up and decide to stay in Croatia. We're wondering what do those young people, recent graduates, think about this whole situation and what are their reasons for staying in Croatia.

We continue our series with Bruno from Metkovic in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

First of all, please introduce yourself. What are you studying/what did you study? Do you have a job currently? 

My name is Bruno. I'm currently finishing my master's degree at the Faculty of Economics, Business, and Tourism in Split. I have a part-time job, but I will hopefully move on to a full-time job by the end of April.

What is it like being a student/recent graduate in Croatia during this coronavirus time?

Well, being a student during the coronavirus pandemic means that you have to attend classes from your bedroom. I'm really sorry for first-year students who can't experience the first year of faculty as I have.


Bruno has a bacherlor's degree in Economic, Business and Tourism

What are your experiences searching for a job in your profession in Croatia?

I'm specializing in marketing but have been working in tourism for a couple of years. Regarding tourism, there are plenty of opportunities for students in Croatia.

What do you think of the Croatian Government's efforts to provide opportunities for graduates?

In my opinion, the Croatian Government is not doing everything in its power to make our future brighter. I think that many jobs are coming from the private sector, but that doesn't mean that the Government can't make plans or projects for employing recent graduates.

Many young people your age decide to emigrate from Croatia to find a better job opportunity and/or life standard. What do you think about it?

I'm fully aware of the situation in Croatia. People outside Dalmatia and Zagreb are struggling to find jobs. The only reasonable action is to pack your things and try to make a career in foreign countries. But the coronavirus crisis is happening all over the world. It is becoming harder to find jobs outside of Croatia.


In your opinion, what would encourage young people to stay in Croatia?

Money. Jobs. Even if this sounds extreme, the family is not encouraging people to stay in Croatia. This only shows how bad the times really are.

Have you ever considered moving out of Croatia and why?

Yes. It's not only about job or career opportunities. I want to travel and see other countries, learn about cultures and meet new people. I believe that is the key to personal growth. I don't want to have regrets when I get old. Also, I was living in Prague for four months as part of an Erasmus student mobility program. That was such a great experience which affected my plans to go outside of Croatia.

As a recent graduate, what is your impression of the education system in Croatia? What do you think is good about it and what could be better?

Overall, I think the system lacks professional practice. We are learning too much about the theoretical side of jobs. After we finish schools/faculties, we are so unprepared for what is coming next. I think that students also need to be more specialized about one segment. I don't understand why you need to attend accounting class if you want to work in the sales department.


Based on your own experience, can you say that everything is possible in Croatia if you work hard, work on yourself, are educated and ambitious?

Everything is possible anywhere if you work hard, if you are ambitious, and if you have a clear plan of what you want to do in your life.

If you could change only one thing in Croatia, what would it be, and why do you think it's important?

I think we should change our mentality towards work habits. Croatians (especially people from Split) are very lazy. We are not productive like Scandinavians, and we try to make more money by working less. That is when you think of all the illegal ways to make that money.

As a young Croatian, what are you most proud of in Croatia?

The Adriatic Sea and everything it represents. Period.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Croatia, and will it be a better or worse place for your children?

I am optimistic about the future of Croatia. I think it will be a good place for my children to live and raise their families.

Are you a student or recent graduate who would like to contribute your voice and experiences to this series? If yes, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject "Graduate."

To read more from the Croatian Graduate Perspective series, follow TCN's dedicated page.