Letters from our students


a letter
from Bozo Skoko
University of Zagreb, School of Political Science
written in his sophomore year, 1996

I’ve been at the university for a year now, I’ve completed all my course requirements, and I expect to enroll in my second year of study. On the surface it all seems so simple and ordinary. However, this is indeed extraordinary for me and my twenty or so colleagues who have received CSF scholarships for this academic year. 

From various parts of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia, we have come to the metropolis of all Croatians, Zagreb, to continue our education. In this way, a new life has opened up before us, which, in the past, we could only have dreamt of: we’ve become participants in academia and more valuable citizens to our nation – all of which was made possible by the Croatian Scholarship Fund.

I, myself, am from a small, rocky Hercegovina town, from a war-torn area, born of a family which makes its humble living by cultivating the dry and stingy earth and which cannot offer its children the hope of a higher education. In spite of the fact that I dreamt, as did all my friends, of a modern life in the big city (the kind we see in American movies) and of the career of my choice, I knew this would remain only a dream. Although my high school grades were quite high, I always quietly reminded myself that a university education is, after all, not for everyone. I saw myself in all those around me who, regardless of their abilities, remain far from school and spend their whole lives performing the simplest of tasks, albeit back-breaking labor, and following in the footsteps of their parents. But then the Croatian Scholarship Fund allowed me to organize my life differently – according to my own aspirations! This scholarship has offered me the possibility of making something of my future life, attaining a career I love, and benefiting my people and homeland.

My acceptance of this scholarship is taken with grave seriousness and I am very cognizant, as are my CSF colleagues, of the magnitude of the gift we have received. It means a great deal to me, and I haven’t the words to thank you or to express the depth of my joy. I am deeply grateful to my sponsor, John Grcina, who so unselfishly financed my scholarship! I also thank all the other benefactors and contributors and the people who make CSF possible with their time and effort in this very much appreciated enterprise. All these people together have granted us a better future! Because of them, I strive to be a better person and to help others. Through them, I have seen that there is still goodness in this world. When I complete my studies and begin my career, I will try to be as helpful to my homeland. You have made me forever indebted to return the kindness which you have bestowed on me! You are probably not aware of the magnitude of your deeds, but you have done an extraordinary act and we will never forget it.

Thank you, and continue to have faith in your Croatian youth – we will not disappoint you!

Bozo Skoko


A letter from V Plantak

Ova stipendija za mene, kao i za moju obitelj, znači mnogo. Meni osobno vaša stipendija pomaže da si platim stanarinu u studentskom domu, da si platim tramvajsku kartu, autobusnu kartu za povratak kući i nazad u ZG, da ju koristim u svrhu prehrane..Mojim roditeljima vaša stipendija uvelike olakšava također s financijske strane. Nažalost, rade u takvim tvrtkama da su im mjesečne plaće na minimalcu a još kod kuće imam mlađu sestru koja se također školuje. Tako da upravo zbog vaše stipendije nisam, u financijskom smislu, “veliki teret” za svoje roditelje. Osim te financijske strane, vaša stipendija mi uvelike pomaže i u moralno-psihičkom smislu. Zbog nje se osjećam samostalnija i odgovornija. Svjesna sam da sada imam svoje novce i da sama odgovaram za njih te na koji način ću ih utrošiti. Također me vaša stipendija potiče na kontinuirani rad i učenje da što bolje i uspješnije položim ispite te tako zadovoljavajuće prođem semestar. Neizmjerno sam vam zahvalna na njoj. Nikada u životu vam neću zaboraviti to što činite za mene, kao i za ostale stipendiste vaše stipendije. Smatram da zbog vašeg truda i vaše pomoći mnogi, pa tako i ja, uspjevaju studirati I školovati se da postanu fakultetske osobe koje će davati veliki doprinos HR te će moći jednog dana odgajati svoju djecu bez primisli i briga u glavi kao što su npr.: “Kako ćemo dalje?”, “Kako ćemo izgurati do kraja mjeseca?”, “Hoćemo li ih moći financirati da se školuju?” Nadam se da ću uspjeti i nadalje svaki semestar imati prosjek >3.5 tetako zadovoljavati uvjet za primanje vaše stipendije. Nemogu zamisliti koliko bi mi bilo teško, a mojim roditeljima pogotovo, da nemamo barem vašu financijsku potporu. I kao što na onoj vrečici sa sjemenkama, koju sam dobila na 25.godišnjici postojanja CSF-a, piše: Flowers of Tomorrow Are Seeds of Today”, upravo to mogu usporediti i sa primanjem ove stipendije. Sve ono što ćemo postati jednog dana,rezultat je toga što vi danas činite za nas.

~ LP, Valentina Plantak



A letter from Matea Marušić

Dear Mrs. Brekalo,

For long time we didn´t have any contact and I sincerely hope you´re doing fine. The sound of your name and writing this e-mail brings very nice memories back. Couple of days ago my mother informed me that I received on my family address in Široki Brijeg an invitation for celebration of CFS 25th anniversary in Zagreb. I wanted to thank you and CSF in general for the invitation, but unfortunately I was not able to come. I actually don´t live in Croatia any more. Since I finished my masters in Zagreb 2013 I was looking for a job in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but after some time I got an offer from a German company located in Regensburg (Bavaria) and I accepted it. It´s been less than a year since I´m here and as it happened I was in Zagreb just a week before your Gala and it was too much to travel back again the next weekend. I hope there´ll be other opportunities for us to meet. I have plans in the future to join your organization as a sponsor, hopefully I will be able to do that. At this moment my younger brother and sister are in college in Zagreb and I am a sort of sponsor myself. I help my parents as much as I can to provide them opportunities that you helped provide me. 🙂

I want you to transfer my greetings to my sponsor Mr. Ujdur and his family. I wish all of you in CFS the best and sincere thanks for your help. If it wasn´t for you, probably today I wouldn´t be in such a place.

Best regards/ Lijep pozdrav, Matea Marušić