Sara Dyson, Founder of Expat in Croatia

Sara Dyson, the founder of Expat in Croatia in Podstrana, Croatia

Who is Sara Dyson?

Sara Dyson is the founder of Expat in Croatia and a passionate lover of pašticada. She is also a consultant, public speaker, and proud Croatia fan girl.

Sara moved to Split, Croatia in 2012 without any connections, knowledge, or plan. After a small handful of months, she fell head-over-heels in love with this unique country and its warm, welcoming community.

At the time, there were no resources for anyone who wished to move to Croatia. Even tourist board web sites were still mostly in the Croatian language. In 2013, she launched expatincroatia.com as a free blog to help anyone who came after her that needed guidance on the Croatian bureaucracy, culture, life, and language.

Over the next 5 years, Sara worked with locals to create meticulously researched guides and responded to every message, comment, and email that came her way from those interested in connecting with Croatia.

In 2018, Expat in Croatia was formally incorporated as a company and in 2019, the first employee was hired – Marija Tkalec of Bedekovčina. As of 2023, Expat in Croatia has an international team who all work remotely around in Croatia to help others love Hrvatska as much as they do.

She is most proud of EIC’s vetted network of Croatian lawyers, which now contains 15 law practices around the country. These professionals help vet EIC’s information as well as advocate for our clients in all kinds of legal matters including immigration, property, and citizenship. This network and how it functions is one-of-a-kind in Croatia. Learn how we built this network, what makes it unique, and get your own introduction to a vetted lawyer here.

Sara gratefully holds long-term residence and is eagerly patiently awaiting a decision on her citizenship application, which was submitted on the basis of her contributions to the country through Expat in Croatia. You may read about her journey to citizenship here.

Accomplishments

In 2023, Sara Dyson was awarded the Croatian Women of Influence Award for Entrepreneurship by the Croatian Women’s Network. Watch her interview with Caroline Spivak about the award here.

In 2022, she spoke at the celebration of 30 years of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Romania held in Bucharest about why you should do business in Croatia. View the speech here.

She has been interviewed on television programs Dobro jutro, Hrvatska, RTL Danas, and HRT and in newspapers Slobodna Dalmacija, Večernji list, and Dalmacija Danas.

Expat in Croatia has been featured in international media such as CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sovereign Man (twice!), EuroNews, and International Living, and most recently, included in the Lonely Planet guides for Croatia and the Western Balkans.

Sara has also been both a panelist and panel moderator at multiple conferences and events held by the Association of Croatian American Professionals, Croatian Women’s Network, Split Tech City, Task4Come, and Saltwater Nomads.

Sara serves as the Vice President for the Foreign Business Owner’s Association of Split-Dalmatia, and is a member of the Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for the Association of Croatian American Professionals.

You can view a full list of press coverage, interviews, podcasts, and speeches here.

Before Croatia

Sara Dyson was born and raised in Dallas, Texas among horses and cowboys. Not really, she is a city mouse through and through, but there was an abundance of barbecue, big belt buckles, and thick southern drawls.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in photojournalism and political science from the University of North Texas in 2004. Shortly after, Sara moved to New York City and obtained a diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in 2007.

While in culinary school, she entered the user experience world and began working with Fortune 500 companies to improve the usability and conversion rates of their web presences. Clients included H&R Block, Citibank, FedEx, Deloitte and Bank of America.

After graduation, she continued to work in user experience while also working her way up to the role of pastry chef because sleeping was not a priority in her 20s. Her desserts have been featured in the New York Times, Dutch paper Het Parool, and Wallpaper Magazine. Plus, Brooke Shields loved her salted caramel hot chocolate and Vincent D’Onofrio ordered a dozen of her caramelized pear muffins every morning.

Between 2008 and 2012, Sara hopped from New York to Amsterdam to Orange County, California to Orlando, Florida and then finally, to Croatia, which is now her forever home. She resides in Split, but calls Istria her “happy place”.

Mission

Everything that Expat in Croatia does is focused on uplifting Croatia and giving back to its community – through collaboration with non-profit organizations, drawing attention to extraordinary female entrepreneurs throughout the country, alleviating the burden on state offices and helping foreigners assimilate through education and inspiring volunteerism.

All foreigners on our team are grateful to be in Croatia, so we do our best to give back to the community that welcomed us with open arms at every opportunity.

Reviews

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