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AIM Overseas Blog



This blog documents and summaries Kari Seeley's first week on the AIM Overseas "Empowering Women in the 21st Century" program taught in Lisbon, Portugal which runs in the January university holidays! Warm Welcome and Sunny Skies (Sunday 15 Jan, 2017) [gallery ids="10286,10287,10285"] I had been warned: Lisbon in winter is cold and possibly wet. Be prepared! I’ve worked in the northern hemisphere during winter, so I’m used to dressing for snow and ice but I’ve never worked near the Mediterranean in winter, so I was not sure what to expect, other than ‘cold & wet.’ I had an umbrella in my hand luggage and another one in my suitcase. I had carried a heavy wool overcoat all the way from Adelaide in case. But to tell you the truth, I had wondered on more than one occasion during transits, if I should have left such a hefty and bulky item home. As the plane taxied into the Lisbon terminal I was very pleasantly surprised to see blue sky and sunshine. I probably should hav ...

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I’ve just arrived back in Australia following my three weeks studying abroad in Milan. I participated on the AIM Overseas short course called “Patterns of Change and Resilience in Middle Eastern Politics” taught at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC). As I reflect on this simply amazing experience and write this blog, the first thing that comes to mind is the incredible life-long friends that were made. Although there were only eight of us on the program, we all became very close and all of us are already looking forward to meeting up in our home towns around Australia. The program, Patterns of Change and Resilience in Middle Eastern Politics was incredibly engaging. I learnt so much about historical and contemporary Middle Eastern Politics and it was amazing to see it from a different perspective. Our lecturer, Alessandro, was incredibly engaging and innovative with the creation of our assessments which made the program very memorable and unique Milan was a b ...

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As week two draws to a close, we’ve definitely settled into life at Graz and are beginning to know the city like the back of our hands. We are well and truly on our way to having a broader understanding of inclusive education and this week was particularly fun because we enjoy a weekend away to Vienna. Monday was spent focusing on our coursework, we had a 4 hour class Monday morning which provided us with some valuable strategies for inclusive education and were able to experience them first hand during group work in the class. After class we headed back to the hotel to refresh our minds before everyone met up with their small groups to do work on our presentations focusing on Inclusive Education in another country, we soon felt we’d accomplished enough for the day setting out a plan of attack and gathering resources. As a treat for our hard work some of the group headed out to a local wine bar to relax and continue to bond as a group. The wine bar was cosy and warm, we chatted ...

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It feels like time is flying by – do we really only have a week to go? Here’s a recap of Week 2 in Graz studying Inclusive Education. It’s been a busy week for classwork and assignments – we’re heading towards our presentations on Tuesday and our final exam is not long after that. So we are starting to settle in and get down to work on all our assignments and presentations. But there’s still been plenty of fun and cultural experiences, the highlight of which has been our weekend trip to Vienna! Monday and Tuesday mornings we had classes, where we were looking further into Inclusive Education. Together we reviewed all the UN Declarations outlining the rights of disabled people, the rights of children, the rights of everyone to an education, and then started investigating how different countries have put that into action. For our presentations next week each group will be summarizing the education system of a country and how that country has implemented (or not implemen ...

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So in the blink of an eye, it's over! These past four weeks have flown by in a blur of classes, confusion and even more French than any of us could have ever expected. This has been the most amazing and rewarding experience ever and I don't think I would change a second of it. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time. I've not only improved my French beyond what I imagined, I’ve also learnt so much about myself. Being thrown headfirst into navigating the French metro system alone, trying to lug a suitcase up multiple staircases that weighs almost three quarters of my own body weight, and living with a family I had never met before and was struggling to communicate with due to nerves, taught me so much about resilience and how strong you can be in the moments you need it the most. I never imagined I could feel so much older after just one month. With plans to travel at the end of this month I anticipated that all the learning and growing I would be doing would be during ...

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If you want to see a full-on technicolour town then Puebla is the place to go. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss the bright orange church located on top of the Pyramid of Cholula (well, actually now a hill ever since the Spanish covered it because they thought it was used to worship the devil). We were lucky enough to get a weekend in Puebla, so aside from exploring the church and the historical city centre, we spent the rest of the time doing things like eating a three course meal in a restaurant whose interior looked like something straight out of a medieval castle, then having thick hot chocolate… then dulce de leche from the markets… then pizza with assorted alcoholic beverages… then freshly made churros smothered in melted chocolate… you get it. If it wasn’t for all the walking and many, many flights of stairs this trip I swear I would return home at least twice as heavy. Acquiring cardiovascular disease aside, there was also plenty to learn; with Arnoldo guiding ...

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