- Organisation of Serbian Students Abroad
Organisation of Serbian Students Abroad (OSSI) Type Student society Founded 1997 Location Serbia Leaders Stefan Stefanovic (University of Heidelberg), President
Ana Ranitovic (Oxford University), General Secretary
Field Students' union Purpose Connecting Serbian students abroad Members about 600 worldwide Website www.ossi.rs
The Organisation of Serbian Students Abroad (OSSI; Serbian: Организација српских студената у иностранству; Осси) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation led by Serbian students worldwide, with more than 600 members..
The principal goal of OSSI is to support and strengthen the community of Serbian students in the diaspora by forming an extensive and dense network of local branches of its students at universities around the world.
OSSI was founded by a group of Serbian students studying in Europe and North America in mid-July 1997. Among these students was the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Vuk Jeremić, who was then completing a degree at Harvard University. OSSI was virtually inactive from 2002 until 2007 when it was reactivated. As of June 2010, the organisation numbers more than 600 members around the world.
Local branches are the principal units of organisation of OSSI and the focal points of its influence. Eight local branches have been implemented, in universities such as Harvard, Oxford and Donghua University of Shanghai.
According to OSSI’s mission statement, its members conduct all activity while respecting the uniqueness of cultures, communities and universities in which they live, constantly incorporating knowledge gained into the development of OSSI and its local branches. OSSI aims to be the most extensive, competent and information wealthy network of Serbian students abroad.
One of the chief activities of OSSI seeks to organise internships and placements for its members in both the private and public sector in Serbia, including the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
The "pOSSIbilIty Project" is geared towards finding adequate internships and employment in the private sector, while the "Meet Serbia" project (Serbian: Упознај Србију; Upoznaj Srbiju) sets up internships for a select group of successful Serbian students from abroad in the Ministries of the Republic of Serbia. In the summer of 2010, the project placed 46 students in all the ministries of Serbia during a four-week timespan in which they were to get acquainted with the functional organisation of the state administration, meet some of Serbia's ministers such as Vuk Jeremić, Ivica Dačić and compile a feedback report of their impressions which was then presented to the prime minister of Serbia, Mirko Cvetković., additionally signing a bilateral memorandum with the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs for further cooperation between the organisation and the Serbian government.
The second and other major part of OSSI's activity is advisory and supportive, aimed at helping out students in all three phases of their academic careers --– the application phase, during undergraduate studies as well as during postgraduate studies.
The organisation equally strives to promote dialogue and cooperation among its members, between them and their academic and local communities, as well as with their colleagues in Serbia and international organisations around the world through its multi-annual assemblies, round tables and lectures, as well as through its numerous projects.
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