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I already feel like our [future] kids are going to be Wildcats.” This sense of school spirit is uncommon in Serbia, Yoka clarifies.With the exception of some athletes, students do not form an attachment to their university.

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The friends she has made at UNH have become a surrogate family for her.

“Being this far away really made me think about who I am and what I consider family,” she explains.

Yoka remained in Serbia where she awaited news of her acceptance to UNH. She had been offered a full assistantship to study at UNH. It was an opportunity that both Yoka and Milan agreed was too important to pass up.

By the time she arrived at UNH in September 2014 to begin her program, Milan was already engaged in his research in New Mexico, and Yoka settled into life in New Hampshire alone.

If there’s an opportunity to engage with the university community and give back, Yoka is probably involved.

She sits on the Graduate Student Senate, the Faculty Senate, the Alumni Board, and she created and runs a linguistics group as well as a writing group for graduate students.Despite being an ocean away from New Hampshire, many of the faces smiling back at them on their special day were familiar faces from UNH. Some of them had never heard of Serbia, and some had heard of it but didn’t know what to expect,” Yoka recalls.“There was this moment when we walked out onto the terrace and I saw them all together, and I couldn’t believe it.“We bring all decisions together, and I love that,” she continues.“We can share what we think and feel about things, but we respect what is best for both of us, not just one of us.” With her fiancé living half a continent away, Yoka began her life at UNH. While Milan was busy dedicating himself to his research, Yoka was becoming a fixture at UNH.After dating for only a year, Milan would leave Yoka in their home country in January 2013, to begin his Ph. Several months after Milan left Serbia, she traveled to UNH to visit him.

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