Ivan Kosolvo visits from Nitra, Slovakia to talk to students about Slovakia history and culture


Metea students had the honor of meeting a representative from Naperville’s sister city of Nitra, Slovakia on Thursday, Feb.22. The students met with Ivan Kosolvo

in the large forum room, where he led a presentation and participated in a Q&A about his country and city.

Some of the major focuses of the presentation also included the historical and economical development of Slovakia. Slovakia’s past as a part of the Soviet Bloc has shaped the country’s progression to what it is today, as it stunted a thriving economy and forced mass industrialization. As the country still recovers from the fall of Communist control, its businesses and economy grow but it continues to have complicated relations with Russia.

Students asked about the cultural differences between student life here in the US and any trends he has noticed in Slovakia.

“I think the young people are more progressive than the older generations, and there are many students who study abroad. They go for one semester to other countries, which I think is very important for the young people to bring more understanding between nations” Ivan Kosolvo said.

Some of the other cultural differences between America and Slovakia that were discussed was the education differences. Students in Slovakia have both ‘general’ high schools that are similar to the tracks and courses offered in Metea, but they also have specified high schools for career tracks and vocational schools (and you thought having to pick your track your senior year was scary- imagine committing your freshman year!)

One of the major goals of the visit was to strengthen relationships between Nitra and Naperville. There are exchange programs between the two countries, previously run by Neuqua and the Young Naperville Singers. Neuqua’s partnership with the Sister Cities Commission has helped them facilitate exchanges and provide a life-changing experience for students in both countries.