Troy University’s Tropolitan staff is partnering with students at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia to bring a new perspective to both student publications.
Beginning with this edition of The Tropolitan, students in Slovenia will contribute to the newspaper by writing articles such as perspective pieces and music and literature reviews. In return, the Tropolitan staff will provide content to the school in Slovenia.
Troy University lecturer and student publications adviser Dr. Robbyn Taylor attended the Slovenian American Virtual Academic Symposium, where she met Dr. Monika Kavalir of the the University of Ljubljana’s English department.
“When we started talking, we realized that there might be this really neat collaboration between our students,” Taylor said. “Then the students got together, and that’s when it really took off.
“We knew it could be successful because the students at Troy were excited and the students at Slovenia were excited.”
ENgLIST is the University of Ljubljana’s publication that features students’ creative writing, perspectives and poetry. The publication is usually printed twice a year and also has an online component.
Though the styles of each media group are different, both advisers are excited for the opportunity and have the same hopes for students in mind.
“I think the writers on both staffs are interested in storytelling and engaging readers,” Taylor said. “Even though the styles may be different, the goal is the same – to make people think, to make people feel and to better ourselves in the process.”
“We are mostly in touch with other European countries, communities and languages,” Kavalir said. “I think it’s a bit of a challenge to think beyond that European perspective.
“American culture is so present around the world so we get a lot of American TV series and we get a lot of American music, for instance. A lot of people think they know the U.S., but there’s no replacement for a more personal relationship.”
Karin Petko is the editor-in-chief of ENgLIST and has been a part of the publication for five years. She said she is looking forward to learning more about American culture and the insight it will bring to their publication.
“We are really, really excited about this collaboration,” Petko said. “I think that the readers will be really excited to get a different perspective.
“It will be different, not just for us, but for them as well to see things from a different angle. Especially because we want to learn more about how (Americans) see the world, and how (Americans) see things from across the ocean.”
Kavalir’s hopes are similar.
“We hope and expect to have our students get to know more about American literature and culture,” Kavalir said. “And go beyond that superficial knowledge to know people’s personal experiences.”
Taylor hopes the partnership will allow Troy students to realize that they’re not too different from other students across the globe.
“When the students got together for the first Zoom call, there was a little bit of magic that happened,” Taylor concluded. “It was nice to see the students be so excited for this partnership with people they didn’t know.
“There are different expectations and even misconceptions about different cultures. To be able to share what we are really like with people in other parts of the world, and in turn understand more about them, I think that’s beautiful and beneficial, and I’m very excited for students here to learn in a different way. This collaboration is just going to open doors for further conversation and further exploration.”
Keep up with writings from The Tropolitan’s international partners under the new category featured on TropNews.com – International Contributors.