Saturday, 9 January 2021

All Full-Time Osijek and Baranja Students Get Free Train Travel

January 9, 2021 – From this year, full-time Osijek and Baranja students can get free train travel any time throughout their own county and for travel to educational centres anywhere in Croatia, in a new deal struck by the county and the national train operator

Once a sea bed, the vast flatlands of Slavonia are perfect for farming. At one time, this area was the breadbasket for much of Yugoslavia. It really wasn't so long ago that many folks left dry and dusty Dalmatia in search of employment and new lives on this fertile ground. Now, it's the other way round - Slavonian youth travel to the coast each summer in search of seasonal work. Others move to Ireland, Germany, Austria. Slavonia is losing many skilled younger people at an alarming rate. Increased mechanisation has reduced the need for labour in the area's agriculture. And, besides, most Slavonian youths are these days educated to a degree where their ambitions are greater than joining local agricultural endeavours.

In an area with limited possibilities, limited opportunities, education lies at the heart of survival in Slavonia. Local authorities know this and try to facilitate education as best they can. It is to that end that those in the Slavonian county of Osijek and Baranja have struck a deal with Croatia's national train operator to offer free train travel to all full-time Osijek and Baranja students.

Agreed upon at the end of last year, the scheme was implemented on 1 January 2021. Osijek and Baranja County has agreed to co-finance journeys for full-time Osijek and Baranja students who study not only within the county itself but across the whole of Croatia.

Slavonija_OsijekTrainstation.jpgOsijek train station © Romulić & Stojčić

Monthly tickets for travel within the county already held a discount of up to 65 percent given to full-time students by the train operator, depending on the route. The County has now agreed to pay the remainder of the monthly ticket for all full-time Osijek and Baranja students. To meet the requirements of this deal, the departing and destination stations must both be in Osijek-Baranja County. The free monthly ticket allows an unlimited number of trips on the route, meaning that Osijek and Baranja students can also use the train for free on recreational journeys within the county.

The second deal sees the County co-finance 50% of journey costs for full-time Osijek and Baranja students who study elsewhere in Croatia, with the train operator HŽ agreeing to grant a discount to cover the other 50 %.

In order to obtain a free (monthly or individual) ticket, it is necessary to first obtain a certificate from their Administrative Department for the Economy. To get the certificate, Osijek and Baranja students must submit a copy of their identity card, a certificate of full-time study and two completed application forms (these can be found on the county's website Requests can be made in person or by mail (Osijek-Baranja County, Administrative Department for Economy, Županijska 4, Osijek or on the e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free tickets can thereafter be bought by Osijek and Baranja students at the box office, prior to travel, or on the train itself, upon producing the relevant and needed documentation.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Graduate From Metkovic Enrolled At Harvard University

September 07, 2020 - This year will surely remain in our memory, mostly not very beautiful because most of us associate it with the coronavirus, layoffs, and getting used to the 'new normal'.  But not everything is so black, at least not for Nikola Jurković, a graduate from Metkovic, who has great reasons to celebrate.

Years of work, effort, and study paid off, and the result of all this is enrollment in one of the world's most prestigious universities, Harvard University. He will pause the academic year due to the epidemic, but he is launching an interesting project through which he will try to help future graduates enroll in American universities, reports

A very small number of Croatian students decide to continue their education after high school at one of the foreign universities, and even fewer of them manage to get into one of the world's most prestigious universities. One of them is Nikola Jurković, now a former graduate of the Metkovic High School.

It is ranked the third best university in the world

Nikola will study at Harvard, the world's third-best university according to the Times Higher Education rankings. 

'I knew I'd be sorry my whole life if I didn't at least try. Some colleges are better than others, and I don’t see why my geographical location should limit my choice of colleges. In addition, studying in America opens many more doors than studying in Croatia. I decided to aim for the best possible, so whatever happens, happens' - Nikola begins his story.

During his schooling, this excellent student participated in numerous school and county knowledge competitions. He says that he competed most seriously in physics, from which he participated in two national competitions and the European Olympics. He also participated in the state of logic and several hackathons.

And at the final examination, he achieved excellent results - he wrote higher levels of compulsory subjects and Physics. In the Croatian language, he received a grade of four, and similarly in other exams. However, an excellent result on the final exam was not decisive for Harvard enrollment - the Croatian final exam is not even taken into account when ranking candidates.

'The process for Harvard is the same as for most of the better American colleges. At the beginning of the school year, I wrote standardized tests and an English language exam. Of the standardized tests, I wrote the ACT (general test) and SAT Subject Tests (electives) in physics and higher levels of mathematics. By the New Year, I had sent applications to colleges. I applied for college scholarships in January, did interviews in February, and got results in March. An important part of the application was the engineering portfolio, where I documented various projects I worked on in the high school STEM group Acervatio. It was all over before graduation, so it didn’t affect enrollment. I just had to go through it to officially finish high school', Nikola explains.

He pauses for a year because of the epidemic

In the first year, he will not have to choose a study direction, it comes only later. Nikola says he is not yet sure in which direction he will go, but his main interests are physics and mechanical engineering, especially in the context of the space industry.

Although he got into Harvard several months ago, he is still not moving to the United States. He decided, due to the current epidemiological circumstances, to pause for a year, and he also told us what his student life there would look like.

'Because of the coronavirus, I had the choice to work all year online from home or take a break for a year. I decided to take a break, so I’m going to America next fall. This year I was offered a full scholarship with pocket money and covered plane tickets, which means that my costs would be lower at Harvard than if I had decided to study in Croatia. Almost all students live on campus, and I will, if the pandemic is reduced by then, be one of them. In the first year, you live in a freshman home and eats at Annenberg, a canteen often compared to the Great Hall of Harry Potter. Inside it looks like a cathedral. I have always loved to travel, and I have a lot of the most beautiful memories from trips where I met people from other parts of the world. I will miss the Neretva valley, but I still can't wait to leave', Nikola points out.

He launches an interesting project on YouTube

The whole process of applying to foreign universities is perhaps the biggest 'obstacle' due to which many do not even dare to study abroad. That is why Nikola decided to help future graduates clarify their doubts about applying to American universities. How different - than through a video tutorial on YouTube.

'When I applied, I went directly into the unknown. I had no idea what the entries looked like, and during most of the process, no one helped me. I have a feeling that most, like me a year ago, are completely unfamiliar with the process of enrolling in American colleges, and don’t know where to start. I decided to make these videos so that it would not happen again, and so that future graduates have a place where they can easily get answers to their questions without the need to contact a counselor. They are not there to replace advisors, but to be the first step in understanding the process. I plan to make five videos on enrollment for now and am currently working on a third, which is about the applications themselves at the end of the first semester. For the animation, I use Manim, made by Grant Sanderson. At the end of the enrollment, I had a nice experience with EducationUSA (BiH because Mostar is closer to me than Zagreb), which provides free counseling, and I would definitely recommend that you contact them if you are considering enrollment',  Nikola advises.

And for all those who want to enroll in one of the world's best universities, but may be afraid of the distant and unknown, Nikola has a message:

'Do not be afraid, and do not limit yourself! If you want to get the best college possible, then I recommend you try to apply to American. Take a look at the world rankings to see which ones are the best, go to their websites and see if you like them. It may seem strange and unknown now, but a year ago I was in exactly the same position as you. Think about the chances of breaking in, winning, and investing in the enrollment process, then calculate for yourself if it is profitable. If you look at enrollment as a bet, it may be the best bet you’ll make in your life. If you have any questions, take a look at my videos, email me, or contact a consultant. Good luck! - says Nikola.

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Sunday, 26 May 2019

Zagreb Student Creates Car Powered by Pneumatic ''Muscles''

FSB's Zagreb student, Šime Grbić, has created an autonomous robotic car that uses compressed air and pneumatic ''muscles'' to drive, thrilling international innovators.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of May, 2019, among the more than 600 innovations from 35 countries around the world at the tenth anniversary of EuroInvent, the largest European innovation exhibition recently held in Romania, excellent success has been achieved by Zagreb student Šime Grbić, a young innovator and student FSB Zagreb, otherwise from the Dalmatian city of Zadar, who won six medals for his project of a vehicle powered by pneumatic ''muscles''.

This year he enrolled at Zagreb's FSB to head in the direction of Mechatronic Engineering and Robotics, and the backbone of his final work on his undergraduate studies was the subject of the designing and driving of pressurised vehicles. His mentor prof.dr. Željko Šitum recognised the potential of the project and encouraged Šime to partake in EuroInvent, which turned out to be a significant and unprecedented success. In this paper, the innovator points out, the knowledge gained during his studies was well applied, and Grbić was particularly interested in the development of robotics and autonomous vehicles.

''Given the fact that I come from a working family, I'd always helped my dad out in the garage by repairing various machines, so I came into contact with practical design and learned a lot because there was no opportunity for practical work in school," this successful Zagreb student stated. This was his first appearance at an international show and as such, his first prize. "I was helped out by my mentor, the company Festo, which donated components for making it, FSB Zagreb's Mechatronic Association, and my parents and my girlfriend who boosted my morale and sometimes financial support," Šime said.

This innovative Zagreb student returned from EuroInvent with many medals, and the top of the top is the gold medal of EuroInvent. His vehicle powered by pneumatic muscles is the model of an autonomous vehicle or a mobile robot that uses compressed air for its start up and running. The air is controlled by its valves in its pneumatic muscles, which, by their contraction, rotate the crankshaft of the vehicle and thus drive the vehicle.

"The rotation is solved by the help of a linear pneumatic stepper motor, which is a new type of pneumatic actuator proposed by a professor from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, which has enabled us to have a proper geometry of turning and rotating the vehicle's interior and exterior wheels,'' Šime states. As compressed pressure is used for the drive, the vehicle is also more environmentally friendly because it has no harmful emissions.

"The application can be part of a hybrid vehicle or as a mobile robot for inspection in explosive atmospheres where sparking can lead to ignition or explosion," says Grbić. Mobile pneumatic robots are relatively new in the world of robotics, but he believes that there is plenty of room for further development and progress.

"For the time being, these vehicles are mostly found as experimental setups and as a visualisation of engineering know-how and skills, just as there is in the field of mobile robotics and pneumatic robots as a whole, there is still room for improvement, but also for further application and for use,'' the talented Zagreb student states.

His car is now nearing completion, and further upgrade is said to be expected in the software industry where he would like to add some functions like a remote control, so it isn't only autonomous.

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Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik