On March 31, 2022, I was interviewed by Ida Hamer for her series “Stranac u Hrvatskoj” on the Croatian television network RTL Danas to talk about my life in Croatia and working with the Croatian bureaucracy.
You can watch the segment that aired on April 2, 2022 below, which is partially in English and Croatian below. We’ve also included a full English transcription of the video segment, as well as an English translation of the original article that accompanied the segment.
Original article and video available here.
In this post, you can find:
- Video of the interview
- English transcription of the interview
- English translation of the article that accompanied the news segment.
The facts are these…
Jelena Pajić: How to obtain a visa, how to get an OIB or where you can have the best beer in town? An American girl in Split answers many questions from foreigners.
Adrian De Vrgna: You can meet Sara Dyson, a foreign expert on Croatian Bureaucracy, who could even advise our MUP, in the new episode of A Foreigner in Croatia, by Ida Hamer.
Ida Hamer: Do a lot of foreigners live in Split?
Man in the street: Plenty, quite a lot, but not too many.
Ida Hamer: Why do you think they have chosen Split, of all places, what do they like here?
Man in the street: It just happens to be the most beautiful place on Earth.
Ida Hamer: You think they have a good life here?
Woman in the street: I know because I have a good life here. I am from Split.
Ida Hamer: More than 3700 foreigners live in Split. Amongst them is Sara Dyson, from Texas, who has been living there for the last ten years.
Sara Dyson: There is no other place that’s right for me, other than Split. I cannot imagine living anyplace else. You can really be whoever you are. I like to refer to Split as the Island of Misfit Toys. It’s for people who don’t find a home anywhere else but somehow, they belong here.
Ida Hamer: Just a coincidental holiday stop became Sara’s permanent home, and she has turned her love for Croatia into a successful business. She has a website where she provides foreigners with answers to all the Croatian bureaucratic conundrums that are not only foreign to foreigners but also to Croatians.
Sara Dyson: When I moved here, there were no resources for English speakers, not even in tourism – most of the Tourist Board websites were still in Croatian.
Ida Hamer: She employs a team, and her website is followed and read in 185 countries.
Sara Dyson It’s not just about educating foreigners so that they can be set up for success – we’ve also taken a lot of the burden off of the government, predominantly MUP – because these foreigners are not going to them, and asking them all these questions, they are asking us these questions.
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Ida Hamer: Sara also writes about Croatian culture and history. On her Instagram account, among other things, she teaches Croatian words.
Sara Dyson: “Our phrase of the week is “Luda kuća” which means “Crazy House”, which you can use to refer to anything that’s just full of mess and chaos.”
Ida Hamer: The word that she founds the hardest is rješenje.
Sara Dyson: It feels very clunky in my mouth.
Ida Hamer: Her favorite place in Split is pazar.
Sara Dyson: “Hi, hi – how are you?”
Lady in market: “I’m good, how are you dear?
Sara Dyson: “Oh, excellent!”
Lady in market: We always chat like this – how are you, is all well, what’s up… We communicate in two languages.
Ida Hamer: Sara also loves her local coffee shop. As soon as she sits down, she is served a cup of coffee, just the way she likes it. This is where she plans her new projects with her friends. She also plans to apply for Croatian citizenship.
Andrea Čota: For Sara, we have created an application for Croatian citizenship based on a special interest in the Republic of Croatia, precisely because we believe that she deserves it for her promotion of Croatia and her love for Croatia.
Ida Hamer: She says Croatia has taught her generosity and patience and she wants to stay here.
Sara Dyson: For ever and ever, and ever. This is where I want to be, always.
American Sara has been living in Split for ten years, and she started a successful business: ‘This is my home and I want to be forever’
Sara Dyson changed her Texas address to Split, so now she helps foreigners get visas, get an OIB, but she also knows where the best beer and food in town is.
More than 3,700 foreigners live in Split. Among them for ten years is Texan Sara Dyson. She is an expert on the Croatian bureaucracy, which our Ministry of the Interior could also take as an advisor.
“For me, there is no place in the world other than Split. I can’t imagine life anywhere else. In Split you can be what you are, what you want to be, no matter how crazy it may seem outside of Split. I like to call Split ‘the island of misfit toys’. It’s a place for people who can’t find a home anywhere else, but somehow belong here,” Sara says.
The holiday city became her permanent home, and she turned her love for Croatia into a successful business. On her website, she provides answers to all Croatian bureaucratic problems that are not only foreign to foreigners, but also to Croats.
“When I moved here, there were no sources of data for English speakers, not even in tourism. Most of the pages of the tourist boards were still in Croatian,” said the Texan.
A team of people works for Sara, and the page is read in 185 countries.
“It’s not just about educating foreigners to make everything as successful as possible, but we’ve also taken the burden off the government, mostly the Ministry of the Interior. Those foreigners don’t go to them and ask them all those questions, they ask us,” she added.
She also writes about Croatian culture and history, and teaches followers Croatian words on Instagram. Her favorite place is pazar, and she also loves the local cafe where the coffee she likes arrives as soon as she sits down. She is planning new projects with friends, and plans to apply for Croatian citizenship.
“For Sara, we designed an application for Croatian citizenship based on special interest precisely because we believe she deserves it, by promoting Croatia, her love for Croatia. People have heard about Croatia in part because of her in the last few years,” said Andrea Čota from Split.
Croatia has taught Sara, she says, generosity and patience, and she wants to stay here …
“Forever. Forever and forever. This is my home and I want to be here, always,” she concluded.
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.