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Former Ayusa Student Named Serbian Minister of Finance

One day, you’re an exchange student. And not so long after, you’re a major figure in running one of the 100 largest economies in the world. At least that’s the way it played out for Lazar Krstic, the new Minister of Finance in Serbia and a former participant in the Serbian Youth Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and operated by Ayusa.

Krstic, 29, was born in the City of Nis and graduated from the Bora Stankovic Grammar School.  During high school, he received a scholarship from the American Government to participate on the Serbian Youth Leadership Program in 2001, operated by Ayusa, and spent one month in Columbus, Ohio, where he participated in volunteer and leadership seminars and activities.

Upon returning to Serbia, Krstic graduated high school and received a full scholarship to Yale University in 2003.  He graduated with a degree in Mathematics, Economics, Political Science, and Ethics.  At Yale, he was one of the founders of the Association of the European Students, and he joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity whose former members include four American presidents – George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.  Following graduation, he was employed as a financial consultant at McKinsey and Company, an international consulting company.

Krstic has won many awards in mathematics and political economics.  Those who know him describe him as a genius.  In fact, he is a member of MENSA, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.

“Ayusa strives to accept quality students, and we love to hear of a success story like Lazar’s,” says Ayusa Executive Director Sherry Bargagliotti Carpenter.  “In our increasingly global society, participating in cultural exchange as a student or host family is an excellent way to stand out and gain valuable experience that could help you become a leader in your community – even the world!”

Turns out Lazar’s decision to become a foreign exchange student initiated an international education that really paid off. Which current Ayusa student will become the next international leader?