Bojana Popovic has been playing piano since the age of seven. Little did she know that one of the judges she met while performing in a concert would invite her to attend Roosevelt University located in Chicago, Illinois. “I’m from Serbia. Actually Eastern Europe and I came last year to Chicago. I play piano and that is the reason why I came here,” she says.
“I met an amazing professor and her name is Dr. Ani Gogova. She is from Bulgaria and she works at Roosevelt University for three or four years and she teaches piano. And she really is actually famous in Europe. I knew about her before.
She came a couple of times in my country and she was a judge at one competition and she liked my playing and she asked if I was interested in coming here,” she says. “I was really interested in coming here and I was planning actually to come, but I needed to meet the professors so that was a great thing that happen to me”
The twenty-year-old sophomore says she is taking a full course load, and she is learning a lot that will advance her piano studies. “I am a piano performer major and I finished actually high music school so I already concentrated on piano like four years ago so I am just continuing my studies,” she says.
“I think Roosevelt is a very good school especially the Chicago College of Performing Arts. They have really good professors, which are from different parts of the world.
They have really good programs for musicians. I have so many good courses of music, which I really really need. So for right now every thing is great. I am taking sixteen credit hours which is really a lot because I have to practice a lot during the day, so I am completely busy, but I think everything is going to work out.”
Bojana says back home the music program and professors are pretty similar to the one at Roosevelt University, but the adjustment for her was realizing that people's mentality here is difference than those back home. “I met a lot of friends and I really know who my real friends are here and I already got a job at the university which has me in contact with a lot of people. So that is awesome.
I really find myself here, but over there [back home] the music program was pretty much the same like here so there isn’t many differences like from my hometown and here about music because the professors and programs are pretty much the same,” she says.
“So I didn’t have any surprises. Just more work and that is it, but the mentality [here] is different. Like people and everything is more warmer [nicer]. Here you have to concentrate within yourself. To think just about yourself and it was so hard," she says.
I mean at the beginning it was so hard for me because I had support from every side in my hometown and here, I don’t know if some moments I felt so alone,” she says. “But right now I have gotten use to it and it is not a big problem.”
Receiving an education is important to Bojana. She plans to graduate from Roosevelt University in 2009. Then she is considering graduate school. “Definitely I am going to take my master’s and after that I am going to do my best and find a really good job maybe at some other university, but I don’t know I would like to stay here maybe in the United States and develop myself, my studies and everything and I would like to perform more also.”
Bojana advice to other students wanting to study in the United States is....”Definitely pick the best school, the best teachers and I think that almost every school here has a really good organization and this is one of the things that I like here,” she says.
“Like there is so much work and be on time every time when you go to classes because it is really important for everything. So I think, actually I would advise everyone if they have courage and if they have a big and strong wish to come here then it will be amazing.”