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A Look Through Milan Simic’s Lens

June, 2009

Milan Simic

The Exchange Visitor Program is proud to announce Milan Simic as June’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Milan is featured this month for being the winner of the EVP Photo Contest! The winning entry, Rush Hour in Times Square, is pictured above.

Milan, 30, of Belgrade, Serbia is a J-1 exchange visitor in New York, NY training with Central Business Solutions, Inc. in the field of Information Technology. The transition to life in the Big Apple went smoothly for both Milan and his family.

“Before my training program I used to come to the States very often. The company I work for was sending me on annual software development conferences. So, pretty much I knew what I can expect in New York, even though living here for almost a year is a totally different experience.”

While living in New York, Milan has had the opportunity to take advantage of the many museums the city has to offer. It was on one of these trips that he discovered his appreciation for photography, an art he calls his “express highway” to American culture.

“One day after work, I visited the International Center of Photography and stayed there until they closed. I still remember falling in love with the work of Walker Evans, Robert and Cornell Capa.”

This was the jumping off point for Simic’s photographic explorations. Though his father is an artist, Milan has always seen himself as a more technically-oriented person. To his surprise, photography turned into a “very long and adventitious journey.” His entry to the photo contest, Rush Hour in Times Square, is a great example of Milan’s explorations of both photography and his temporary home in New York City.

“I was always amazed about all that activity of Times Square. No matter if it’s 5 PM or 3 AM, Times Square is full of rush. The picture tells an urban story emphasizing that activeness.”

As exchange visitors, it’s important to get out and explore the area where you live during your stay in the US. Having fun outside of your training or internship will show you a more complete picture of life in the United States. Activities outside of work can also be a good way to unwind and relax after a busy day.

Though Milan admits that “the learning curve at the beginning of the program is tremendously steep,” he has thoroughly enjoyed his time in the United States thus far thanks to a good training environment and exciting outside experiences. His advice for maximizing the experience to other J-1 exchange visitors is to be open to new ideas and ways of life: to “accept the unexpected and not to expect the accepted.” In other words, to be open to diversity and look at the world with curiosity and, in doing so, to build some great life experiences.