Meet Our Teachers
In every business, people make a difference. In our business, it’s our teachers who really make a difference, alongside our hardworking office staff.
Every student is special, all our teachers are special, and we are proud of all the members of our team. Our teachers are native English speakers, which helps greatly when learning a language.
DOMAGOJ | Croatia - UK
Domagoj was born in Osijek. When he left for London for a few months, he didn’t expect that he would have stayed there for 14 years and that it would be an experience that would change his life forever. He completed the CELTA Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Adults. He came back to Zagreb in 2009 for love, and the first door he knocked on was that of our school, Inicijativa. Since then he has been teaching English at our school and loves his job. You can see him in the city, riding his bike speedily from point A to point B. When he isn’t at the school, he lives for music and travelling.
After gaining her Journalism Degree, Ema returned to her roots and decided to trade Sydney for Split. This Aussie has been with us since 2008, teaching and running our school in Split. The blogs she writes for our students to make learning English easier have attracted many readers. She loves going to concerts, watching Hajduk matches and hanging out at the beach.
BRANIMIR | Australia
Brane is another Aussie in our crew. He moved to Croatia from Sydney in the mid-90s. He had planned to stay for a few months, but of course, he fell in love with Croatia. He studied English at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. In his free time, he likes to cook, play cricket, football and kickboxing, and spends long weekends by the sea.
ALAN | Ireland
Born in Ireland, Alan has been travelling the world since the age of 18, and fell in love with Croatia and Zagreb. He likes the relaxed and chill nature of Croatians, and of course, the great weather. He didn’t expect to enjoy being a teacher so much, but says he loves seeing the improvement in his students. He is a bookworm, and loves taking walks and hanging out with friends.
ANTHONY | Canada
Anthony is from Canada and has been living in Croatia since 2017. He spends his free time learning Croatian, swimming, cycling and playing football, which has replaced his beloved hockey. He likes to travel and takes every opportunity to visit neighbouring countries.
IVANA | USA
We like to say that Ivana grew up on the ‘Streets of Philadephia’. She is a musician (virtually a Croatian Bob Dylan) and singer-songwriter, and her new album is being released soon. She performs and sings in English, and you can find her by her artist name – Billie Joan. When she gets coffee, she can be a true Splićanka and enjoys sipping it for an hour.
STEPHEN | Ireland
Stephen is from Donegal, Ireland. He studied singing and music at the Royal Academy and University of Ulster. He has taught singing and choir singing for three years. Stephen is also a chef, and he completed culinary school at the Institute of Technology in Letterkenny. He moved to Croatia a few years ago to work as a chef, and subsequently fell in love and remained in Croatia. In his free time, he likes to travel and cook – of course! He has been with us since 2018, running our school choir in English as well.
TAMARA | Croatia
Tamara comes from a small town near Našice. After having studied Croatian and English, she decided to explore different methods of teaching, and in 2018, became one of our teachers. Besides teaching, she likes to explore Asian culture, learn Chinese and travel.
Croatia - Canada
Natalia is from Zagreb, and moved to Canada when she was 22. There she perfected her English and discovered her love of poutine – a meal consisting of french fries covered in cheese. In 2019, she started studying psychology, and she also loves photography, cooking and knitting.
MARIA | Canada
Maria was born and raised in the multicultural city of Toronto, Canada. She gained her Master's Degree at the University of Toronto, and studied Confectionary Arts at the Culinary Institute in Switzerland. She loves teaching students and tracking their progress. She enjoys exploring and discovering new international cuisine, hidden places in Croatia and nature, as well as travelling.
The Republic of South Africa
When he started working on a cruiser, Adam had no idea that on his ship, called 'Miracle', he would meet his future wife – a Bosnian girl with whom he would settle in Zagreb a decade later. With a TEFL Certificate, he joined the Inicijativa team in 2018 and astounded us with his performance. When he isn't teaching, he loves exploring his new home, and makes 'hobbit' houses and furniture from rocks and pebbles he finds in nature.
MICHAEL | UK
Michael was born in London. In 2015, he decided to leave the grey city of London for sunny Split. In his free time, he works in NGOs. When he isn't busy, you can find him hiking in nature or drinking coffee.
LIDIA | Australia
Lidia comes from Melbourne, Australia. After numerous visits to Croatia, she gave in and decided to move to Croatia in 2012. She loves travelling, walks in nature, relaxing at the beach and enjoying long cups of coffee with friends.
DANICA | Canada
Born and raised in Canada, Danica completed an MA program at the University of Ottawa. Until recently, she worked at a consulting firm in Canada, after which she returned to her roots in Split. She loves cooking while music or a podcast plays in the background. Her favourite topics of conversation are food and healthy living.
Laura comes from Samobor, a town famous for for its delicious cream cakes. After completing her education in Boston, USA she decided to move to Rome where she got CELTA Certification and began teaching English courses.
In her spare time, she can be found ordering a macchiato, watching a theatrical performance, or hiking on Sljeme.
Laura feels most at home in the classroom, surrounded by the building blocks of language and motivated students.
KRYSTLE | Australia
Krystle is from Canberra, Australia. She came to Croatia 14 years ago and has been loving her life in Dalmatia ever since. She previously taught English to children and is great at getting adult students to speak freely and confidently during class. A real people-person!
ANDREAS | New Zealand
Andreas comes from New Zealand; a place so far you will find Hobbits and all other kinds of creatures 🙂 He's been teaching at Inicijativa for 3 years now and loves meeting new people and hearing their stories. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, music, going to the gym and joking around! He says that he enjoys Croatian summers and can’t wait to be on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun.
ANITA | Zimbabwe
Anita was born in Zimbabwe, of South African parents. She has a BA Honours Degree in English Language and Literature from Open University (London) and a TEFL Certificate from Rutgers University (USA). After over 20 years of teaching experience, she can say she truly loves this profession! In 2019, after deciding to settle in Zagreb, she joined Inicijativa.
SANJA | Croatia
Sanja was born in Rijeka, but has lived abroad for 16 years. Her love for Asian cultures and Eastern philosophies urged her to pursue a new path. Becoming TESOL certified, she got an opportunity to teach in countries such as Italy and the UK, as well as in places as far as India and China. She has taught a wide array of students, from Buddhist monks in Nepal to businessmen in China, and can confirm that learning another language is like becoming another person. In her free time, she enjoys playing music, preparing for marathons, and free diving.
Find out who is part of our team!
Our office staff work hard to make sure the school runs smoothly.
Anja is a social studies major with a great interest in adult education and projects which have social influence. As a co-owner and director of the school, she takes her calling as a challenge with the belief that everyone can strengthen their confidence in all areas of life, including learning a foreign language. She enjoys hanging out with friends, excursions and trips, and playing with her small kids together with husband, Tibor.
Sean is the director and co-founder of Inicijativa. He comes from Ireland, but fell in love with Zagreb 17 years ago when he decided to open his own language school. After many years of teaching English, he discovered his passion – marketing – which is what he has been doing for the past 6 years. He spends most of his day thinking up campaigns for foreign and local clients, and when he isn't at the school, he's educating entrepreneurs at marketing workshops. He spends his free time with his family and friends.
A journalism major who has worked with foreigners in television production, school and marketing. Her love for English won over, and Željka has been with us for many years. When she isn't working on the school's marketing strategy and developing new ides, she does marketing for other schools and develops marketing workshops. In her free time, she enjoys going on excursions and trips with her family.
Having studied Economics, Petra is the school coordinator, and as the teachers like to say, 'the queen of the schedule'. There is a huge chance that almost every student who contacts us and comes to the school will speak to Petra. When she's not working, Petra loves nature and horse-riding.
Social policy major that leads the project team of the Initiative. Most often you will find her diligently typing and devising new projects or relaxing by arranging our school and offices. She enjoys nature, hiking and traveling, and spends most of her free time in the company of close friends and her pet Sonja.
Originally from the outskirts of Virovitica, Monija came to Zagreb via Rijeka because of her love of cognitive linguistics and art history. She loves good puns, lame jokes and the small things in life. Like a typical introvert, she spends most of her day in front of her computer screen surrounded by papers, but her favourite thing is deep, coffee-fueled conversation. Approach her carefully, and only with a cup of coffee.
Dženana has a Master's Degree in Law, and is focused on protecting and improving the rights of marginalised social groups. Throughout her career, she has worked on workers' rights, tenants' rights, Roma ethnic group rights, as well as other economically and socially excluded groups. She is now part of the Initiative project team, where she works with Jelena creating programs focused on supporting vulnerable groups. In her free time, she sings in a choir and hikes through forests.