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AIM Overseas Blog



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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February 9, 2017 Program Testimonials, Students

The real work started on the Friday of the first week. After spending the first few days being introduced into Mexico as a country through numerous cultural visits and historical overviews, we begun to focus on what we came to Mexico to do; learn about immigration and human rights within the Northern American region. Anyone even remotely interested in the current global political climate can see that this is very relevant, topical and emotional material which affects migrants worldwide. On the Friday morning of the second week we visited Casa de Los Amigos, which offers housing, food, community support and even Spanish classes to make integration into Mexican society easier. We had a chat with an 18 year-old called Frank who had made his way to Mexico City from Cameroon. He was aiming to reach the US but upon arriving at Casa de Los Amigos he decided to stay in Mexico City and make a life for himself here. Next stop was Casa Tochan, which houses male migrants who are transiting th ...

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Here we are, week 1 of Inclusive Education in Graz done! It’s been a fast-paced week, but we have also all settled in well, so it feels like we have been here, studying in Graz, for a while now. Let me take you back through our week. Saturday afternoon we all trickled into the hotel – some of us arriving from other travels, some fresh of the plane with a good dose of jet lag. Some of us are experienced travellers, and some of us hadn’t left Australia before. We are all studying education and psychology, and most of us are about halfway through our courses. These are the things we learnt that night as Georg, our Austrian activities coordinator, met us in the lobby and took us out for dinner and drinks to get to know each other. The next day dawned bright and early but most of us had a late start before meeting up at noon for some ice skating adventures. Some of us took to skating more naturally than others – some were doing loops and others struggled to let go of the wall – ...

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The foundation of any town, city, state or country is its citizens- the established and the newcomers. The citizens are responsible for creating and maintaining a sense of community that is inclusive and inviting. In Australia, an RSL, CWA, Lions and Salvos are associated with nearly every locality, along with many independent community groups. In Mexico, Casa de los Amigos, Casa Tochan, Las Patronas, Cafemin and Casa Del Migrante (to name only a few) extend their community’s hospitality to Central American diaspora and internally displaced Mexican migrants as they seek refugee status or continue north. Often, the only payment community volunteers such as the Vázquez matriarchy of Las Patronas receive for their work, is the brightest of smiles from the train riding migrants as they reach out for their first proper meal in many days. The Las Patronas experience was cushioned by a tourist weekend in the artistic, colonial Spanish city of Puebla. We sampled the mole poblano specialt ...

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As we returned from Budapest to our home away from home in Brno, all our hearts were heavy as it began to sink in that this would be a final week on the program. The count down was on. 6 DAYS: Monday began as per normal and after lunch a group of us excitedly headed off to an escape room. These rooms are notoriously prominent around Europe, and involve players being ‘locked’ in a room and have to use the elements of the room to solve puzzles to try and escape the room within a set time limit. If in Brno and you and your friends find yourself with a spare afternoon, I would highly recommend attempting one of these rooms. Not only did we immensely enjoy ourselves with the afternoon being full of jumps, of joy and screams of satisfaction after each puzzle was completed, but we also brought a smile to the organisers of the room, as they loved our enthusiasm and aussie slang. That night, Boomi and Karel, two student members of the team assigned to look after us and show us around, offe ...

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