August 24, 2018

  Front of Stormont Upon arriving in the city and catching a taxi to Queen’s, fumbling about with my suitcases and my newly appointed key to the student village building, I navigated my way over to the spot I was shown on the little diagram and hoped for the best.  As one of the first to arrive here in Belfast on Sunday, the 24th of June, it was quite the spectacle to observe several Australian students roll in off the back of 24-plus hours of flying, dazed and confused, as we soon realised the AIM students had been placed in....

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August 15, 2018

Upon being accepted into the AIM Overseas Forensic Psychology course at Maastricht University, I realised I didn’t know anything about The Netherlands or Dutch culture other than vague images of windmills, tulips, bikes, and stroopwafels. I flew over from Barcelona with little idea of what to expect, comforting myself with the fact that at least I would be well-adjusted to the time zone and somewhat used to walking to the right.   However, my first challenge arose sooner than expected. I flew into Brussels airport and strikes meant that few trains, if any, would take me to Maastricht! Luckily I....

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August 13, 2018

We came by plane, by train, by overnight bus – 16 Aussie law students with very limited knowledge of the German language – ready to conquer the city of Graz, Austria, with the Google translator app in hand. Before our first day of class, our lovely on-site coordinator Julia took us for an unofficial welcome dinner at Gösser Bräu Graz. Most of the ladies tried a ‘Radler’ (a beer-lemonade mix), which appeared to be the safest way for a non-beer drinker to tick ‘drinking beer in Austria’ off their to-do lists. It was surprisingly delicious, as were the pork schnitzels....

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August 10, 2018

“Florence Syndrome is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significants, particularly when viewing art and beauty.” Now, I’m not saying I have a psychosomatic disorder but this place is intoxicating. Florence has already surpassed my expectations, and its only week one. The food, people, art and natural beauty of Florence and Tuscany really is unparalleled. Hi, my name is Sarah. I am the Program Blogger for the Fashion Events and PR course based in Florence this July. I am so excited to....

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August 09, 2018

    We had a very eventful first week in Vichy! After arriving Sunday evening, I met my host family and the Armenian who was staying there as well. We all sat down to have dinner together and (with the help of google translate) managed to get to know each other a bit.   Monday morning, I sat down to a typical French breakfast of bread and jam. At 8am, we had to sit the placement test to see what classes we should be in during our time at Cavilam. This took about 3 hours and after, we had a....

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July 18, 2018

Week 1 of Rome Architectural Sketchbook Program The Rome Architectural sketchbook is finally here, the excitement of going to Europe for the first time is overwhelming. The orientation day was just a hint to how much fun this program is going to be. I went to meet everyone in the program. It's nice getting to know people from different universities and their background. We met Barbara and the elective teachers, they were so friendly and accommodating. Barbara greeted us with “ciao baby, let’s go drawing baby!”, it always makes the class laugh how carefree and humourous she is. She briefly....

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April 12, 2018

It’s nerve-racking traveling overseas as a solo traveller, and you can take one of two options. Since you don’t know anyone, you can; strike up a conversation with another fellow traveller or be a complete loner. I personally would recommend option one because, you learn a lot by listening, and you may find common interest which hopefully develops into a friendship. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I can’t do it…… Me? Talking to a stranger?” Well, how did you find your best friend? You had to start somewhere and they too were once a stranger. It takes 10....

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March 29, 2018

Leading up to Italy, I had many things on my mind. My sister had recently gotten married and four days after her wedding, I was flying overseas for my first international solo trip. Not going to lie, I was really concerned for mum and how she would cope with losing two daughters within a matter of days. The day before leaving Brisbane to fly to Italy was interesting. I was excited yet extremely nervous at the same time, and didn’t sleep very well leading up to my trip, as my mind was running a million miles an hour. I didn’t....

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March 21, 2018

Reflecting on my trip to Italy, I think my favourite place would have to be Venice. The bright colours, sweet sound of romantic music, bold and flamboyant costumes, the decked-out boats and the city were all so incredible and very memorable. However, my adventure started long before I went to Venice. Before coming to Italy, I was unsure if I was going to be able to go to Venice because of the time, distance and money. Everyone was telling me that I needed to go to because it’s so beautiful and it’s something that everyone should go and see in....

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March 14, 2018

Monday the 22nd of January to Wednesday the 24th of January were our last three days of official study at the university in Graz, these three days were jam packed with activities including our group presentations and exam which most of us were glad to have completed by the end. The last day of official study come around surprisingly quick which was somewhat bitter sweet as we all had enjoyed our experience and did not really want it to end. Thursday the 25th of January was our last day of excursions organised for us to explore the culture of Graz in more depth, our first visit was to the Styrian Armoury where we met our tour guide and were given a private tour through the four levels of the amazing Styrian weaponary and armour on display. After the armoury we had some time to explore together so we decided to finally try the famous ‘Sacher Torte’ cake and take one more trip up the Schlossberg hill in the gondola to take in the surrounding views and famous clock tower ...

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February 09, 2018

Monday the 22nd of January to Wednesday the 24th of January were our last three days of official study at the university in Graz, these three days were jam packed with activities including our group presentations and exam which most of us were glad to have completed by the end. The last day of official study come around surprisingly quick which was somewhat bitter sweet as we all had enjoyed our experience and did not really want it to end. Thursday the 25th of January was our last day of excursions organised for us to explore the culture of Graz....

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February 05, 2018

Vichy is a small town in central France (for those struggling to pronounce Vichy, it’s like “fishy” but with a “v”). I use “small” very lightly because while you can walk anywhere here in 20 minutes, each street is dominated by a plethora of shops and attractions - so never feel like you’ll be lost for things to do in this “small” town. Vichy is well-known in France for several reasons, the strongest being it’s “magical healing” water. You can drink or bathe in the water from these hot springs from a couple of locations and the locals fill up....

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February 05, 2018

We are now at week three here in Charlotte. We have just returned from New York, which was unforgettable. At this point, the home sickness starts to settle in for me. Even through it has only been two weeks gone, I just seem to be stuck in the funk. Don’t get me wrong, I have some great friends here surrounding me; they’re just not my family. Early on in the week, I spend most of my nights after school winding down with a chat to some family members and close friends. This makes me feel refreshed, reminding me that I....

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February 01, 2018

Week two beings with my 20th Birthday. I was nervous coming on this trip having it be my birthday when my family is on the other side of the world and I am surrounded with people I had only just met. It turned out to be one of the best days on this trip so far. During the day, we had conferences with experts in Business, whom I had learned a lot from. Later in the evening, we were having a taco truck come to the hotel so everyone could have tacos to celebrate the occasion. When walking back inside....

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January 29, 2018

Well the blog entries are getting later and shorter as we near the assessment part of the course. Classes were more intensive this week, but being taught in such an interactive and engaging manner, they did not have us feeling burnt out, but ready and waiting for the next snippets of information to take with us into the rest of our degrees and more importantly our lives. With a presentation due next week, the past seven days have included lots of sugar and being holed up in our rooms going over research to back up the theories we have on....

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January 28, 2018

Another week in Lisbon has flown by! Looking back on the week I can’t believe we’ve done so much, and made such amazing friendships, I’ll be so sad to leave this gorgeous city next week! On our first whole weekend, we were taken on a guided tour of Sintra, which included visiting the Pena Palace, Monserrate Palace and Cabo da Roca, the most western point of continental Europe. The Pena Palace was our first stop, and after climbing a very steep and very winding hill in our little bus, we were treated to a view of the gorgeous palace, painted....

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January 24, 2018

Business Communication commences at UNC Charlotte. A week where I make new friends, eat my first corn dog and see snow for the very first time in my life. And this is just the first seven days. Growing up, it had always been a dream of mine to study at College in the United States of America. A dream I never thought I would be able to live. Then one day, the heavens answered my prayers and AIM Overseas was introduced into my life. I had first heard about AIM when I was in one of my lectures at university.....

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January 23, 2018

Monday the 15th of January, we were able to sleep in a little bit as our next planned excursion was not until the afternoon which was great considering the weekend just gone was so jam packed with activities we all needed a good sleep in. In the afternoon we made our way to a small primary school called ‘Volksschule Viktor Kaplan Primary School’ which is a mainstream primary school, here we got to observe and learn more about the Austrian schooling system. After our excursion as a group we all went to an Irish pub for dinner. Tuesday the 16th....

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January 22, 2018

On arriving at Vichy, it wasn’t long before my French host family was there to welcome me to the town. I took my time in the afternoon to relax, and prepare myself for the ensuing test the next day, for placement, to begin my French in the appropriate level. I landed in A2, which works for me! The classes have been a perfect match but the workshops became far too easy for me by the end of my first week. Not to worry because the teachers are super friendly and amicable! If there is space, I’ll be moved up on....

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January 22, 2018

A lot has happened since leaving Sydney. I have been only in Florence for less than a week, and it already feels like my home away with home. It has become normal to wake up with the picturesque cityscape outside my window, and down the road, where I could stroll down for a pizza, pasta, soup (my ABSOLUTE favourite) or gelato, and never getting bored with my surroundings. I have always been the one to wear a dressing gown in summer, but I have surprised myself: it has been maybe 15 degrees and I am loving it, probably because I....

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January 22, 2018

Flying into Lisbon reminded me of the things I love about European cities – their uniformity, their quirkiness and their colour. Lisbon is lined with houses and buildings with terracotta coloured roofs, but the buildings themselves are often painted with vibrant shades of pink, purple or yellow. When I arrived in Lisbon it was still too early to check into our hostel, so a few of the other students and I dropped off our bags and headed out to explore until check-in time. Stepping out onto the cobble-stoned streets, we were immediately greeted with an abundance of restaurants, shops and....

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January 21, 2018

What a memorable first week it’s been studying in Peru! We’ve seen Inca sites such as the Qorikancha, learned all about pre-Inca cultures and Peru’s colonial past. On our first day, both our History group and the Biodiversity group were treated to welcome gifts, morning tea and a welcome dance with some amazingly vibrant costumes. These dances ended in an invigorating group dance, with most joining in, but some who were not quite yet acclimatised to the altitude (like me), had to sit this one out. Cusco is 3,400m above sea level; much higher than our bodies are used to,....

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January 17, 2018

Another wonderful week has just been signed off on, with 37 Australian students energised and ready to get into another week of learning. Academically, our classes have been wonderful, with knowledgeable positive psychology pioneers as lecturers and tutors- how can you go wrong? We have been introduced to a style of learning (problem-based learning) that would be appreciatively implemented in Australian University's country wide assisting in both interpersonal and academic growth. Culturally, we have seen incredible sights. When Australia was not even on a map yet, the Dutch were fighting off the French and constructing architecture that would stand the....

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January 17, 2018

Saturday the 6th of January marked the beginning of our study tour in Graz, Austria. After we all checked into the Das Weitzer hotel, settled and met our room mates most of us went off exploring for a place to eat! Others slept away their jet lag and joined us the next morning for breakfast (Which has been amazing!) Sunday the 7th of January practically nothing was open due to Austria’s religious views, this did not stop us from exploring as we wandered around the empty streets of Graz. On our travels we found a café that was open, this....

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January 15, 2018

What a week it’s been so far! Most of us arrived in Cusco on the weekend, a little jet lagged and a little weary due to altitude sickness. Apparently being over 3000 m above sea level is a bit different to being back home in Australia. After settling in to our accommodation at La Casa de Don Ignacio and meeting our fellow students we ventured out to see a little bit of the city and get our bearings. Cusco was the capital of the Incan empire and the city really speaks to this incredible heritage, as well as the Spanish....

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January 15, 2018

Well, we are officially four days in and I feel as though, even before classes have begun, I’ve learned A LOT. For instance, I should probably be wearing two shirts, two pairs of socks AND have multiples of everything because it can take a little while to figure out a washer and dryer in Dutch (unless that’s just me, hey I’ll cop that). I’ve learned that the one inch gap between the top of my boots and the bottom of my rolled up jeans is enough to ruin my entire life, and rolling them down is definitely the most practical....

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January 12, 2018

Apart from taking an embarrassingly long time to understand the correct way to look before crossing roads, I’ve had an incredible first week in Maastricht. The week was mostly about learning about Maastricht and its surroundings. Our adventure started on Thursday the 4th of January, everyone arrived at our Guesthouse excited to be having such a fun and exciting first week of 2018.  We are all in Maastricht to study International Environmental Law, but a lot of us are at different stages in our law degrees and are all from different towns and universities. After settling into our rooms and....

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September 07, 2017

Well apparently the time has finally come! How has 3 weeks passed so damn quickly? Despite it sadly being our last week in Mexico City, it was such an epic week that flashed by way too quickly! Free Day We were lucky that again on Monday we were granted a free day! It was perfectly timed because man did we need a breather (especially after our hectic weekend – click here to check out what we got up to). I decided to go on a solo mission to Soumaya, an incredible art gallery owned by Carlos Slim (one of the....

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September 07, 2017

Hola chicas! Cómo estás? As you can tell, my Spanish is going quite well! My stomach on the other hand, not quite. Our 2nd week in Mexico City has been equally full on as our first week (if you missed what happened, you can catch up here). We’ve learnt a lot, visited numerous museums and cultural sites and had one of the scariest nights of my life. Let’s have a look at what we got up to this week! Free Day Woo! We finally got a day off which meant an epic sleep in. Most of us used this day....

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September 07, 2017

Mexico, that country that speaks Spanish, is renowned for its tacos and tequila and apparently Trump doesn't like people from there. That's about the extent of my knowledge of Mexico before arriving and commencing my studies in its capital, Mexico City. So how did I end up here? Well you may recall that around this time last year, I was completing a short course in La Rochelle, France, with a company called AIM Overseas (you can read about my experiences in France here). And after having such a life changing and incredible experience in France, I looked into their programs....

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July 19, 2017

Four months of waiting and it was finally here – arrival in Granada! I’d like to say that my first impression of Granada was the incredible Sierra Nevada mountains, the beautiful architecture, or the cute and colourful streets. However, after three previous international flights putting me through Dubai and Madrid airports, and a few days in Madrid, Granada airport was the opposite of what I was expecting. We landed in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by fields of crops and animals. We got off the plane straight onto the tarmac and I mentally prepared myself for the ordeal of....

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July 18, 2017

Just kidding, it was about 3000 degrees too hot for a cuppa. This has been our first week at MSU and what a week it has been! A few of us had some airport induced dramas in arriving at MSU but we all arrived in one piece and those who had made it in prior to 9pm went out for a bit of a mingle. Orientation is usually such a dreaded word. We were all presently surprised and relieved that orientation was fun and interactive. We broke off into our groups to participate in the scavenger hunt (shout out to....

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April 26, 2017

Well, we’re back home in Australia. We’ve finished our exam, said goodbye to our Austrian lecturers and our Australian fellow students, and flown halfway around the world back to summer here in Oz. Our last week focused on wrapping up our learning around inclusive education. On Monday and Tuesday we were presenting in groups on a number of different education systems from a variety of different countries. Then we held a mock ‘World Summit on Education’ and used what we had learnt in the last three weeks to put together a number of priorities for education and some new structures....

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April 21, 2017

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....

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March 14, 2017

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.....

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March 08, 2017

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....

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March 08, 2017

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,....

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March 08, 2017

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....

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February 23, 2017

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....

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February 09, 2017

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....

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February 06, 2017

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 off 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....

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February 06, 2017

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....

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February 06, 2017

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....

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February 02, 2017

The past week has absolutely flown by, which means that we’re somehow at the halfway point of our program. As usual it was jam-packed with all sorts of shenanigans, so I’ll try and do it all justice! Sunday was a day trip to downtown Mexico before watching the Ballet Folklórico de México in the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes at night. Mostly it meant getting treated to even more amazing architecture both ancient - like the preserved Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor - and modern - the stately National Palace that houses the politically-charged murals of Diego Rivera, the Cathedral....

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February 02, 2017

I'm starting to think people are changing the clocks in my sleep and I'm missing multiple days at a time – this trip is going so fast! I know people always say the most exciting things go the fastest but it's honestly so true. The days at school seem to pass as normal (potentially even slower) but suddenly before you know it, the week is over and it's time to plan the weekend again! It's potentially because my brain has reached bursting point from the non-stop French and now I'm just delirious, but who knows. Although this week’s classes haven't....

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January 31, 2017

It’s been an intense time here in Peru! Finally got a chance to sit down and recount the events from the last couple of weeks. The short course had pre-organised a class trip to Machu Picchu over the weekend and a 4-day trip to the amazon the week after, both of which were responsible for some of the most amazing sights and experiences of my life. While I’m sure nearly everyone has seen the cliché selfie at Machu Picchu, it does it absolutely no justice! It is an awesome place with mystical vibes that will stay with you for a....

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January 31, 2017

It is now my third week studying in Florence, and also the very last week of this amazing course. Studying media and communications for the fashion industry in the fifth fashion capital of the world is beyond amazing. So let me fill you in on what this past week has involved. Day 15 Sunday, aka sleep-in day, consisted of more site seeing and shopping. Florence is basically a bottomless-pit of high-end fashion stores and markets selling everything from belts to hats to handbags. If you ever visit Florence, be prepared to shop until you drop (and I mean literally drop....

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January 31, 2017

16 of us represent almost every part of Australia- from Perth to Katherine to Wollongong and between. We have never met before, yet we all have one thing in common- the voice of a loved one that lingered through the 30 hour journey from Australia uttering “Why do you have to go there? Don’t go to Mexico.” It is “dangerous, violent, unsafe, corrupt, and led by gangsters and drug cartels.” It is not an unreasonable assumption given the size of the country (the population of Mexico City alone exceeds Australia’s). These societal issues do exist in Mexico, just as they....

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January 31, 2017

Our first day in Mexico City we checked into the hotel. This was a very welcome change from the past few weeks of sharing rooms in hostel dorms with communal bathrooms. An actual shower with hot water is like something you only hear of in movies. Our hotel is located in the suburb of Condesa which gives off a fantastic vibe through the mix of different cultures present in the city. The constant hub of traffic, people and animals never leave the city quiet. You can smell a different type of food on every street corner with vendors selling everything....

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January 31, 2017

After arriving back in Brno from Prague, a lot of us took the opportunity to relax and unwind. We then began our normal routine on the Monday with class starting at 9:30am. After class and lunch (of course), we all settled down in cafes or our apartments with the intention of studying for the upcoming test on Tuesday morning. Dinner that night was quiet with us all grabbing something close by, after inhaling our brain food, we once again settled down in order to study a little bit further. Our test began at 9:30am on the Tuesday morning. Tensions were....

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January 30, 2017

It has only been a week but I know for a fact that coming to study in Lisbon has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. From what I have seen, Lisbon is a city that just breathes love and soul. It is filled with such rich culture, where you can find passion on every corner through the countless talented musicians, dancers and artists ready to express their creativity to everyone that walks by. Every day as I walk through the cobbled stone streets, I am overcome with an array of new sights, scents, and feelings....

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January 30, 2017

Deciding to participate in the Public Health in Mexico program was on pure impulse. It’s now been a week since I arrived in Mexico City, and every day has been a whirlwind of new experiences. After fumbling through airport customs with an abysmal grasp of Spanish, I met up with some fellow students and together we were taken to our homestays by shuttle bus (we didn’t know it at the time but our bus driver, Arnoldo, would make repeat appearances not only as our guide but as our Mexican history lecturer!). As night fell, Arnoldo navigated us safely through the....

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January 24, 2017

And so here we are, another week down. I can’t believe I'm already halfway through! This past week has gone by so fast, but in amongst a blur of classes has been some amazing excursions.   CAVILAM organised a day trip to one of the nearby towns, Ambert which looked like it had come straight out of a painting. During the drive you could slowly see the fresh snow taking over. It started with a little bit dotted on the side of the road and continued to grow until everything was white. On our way we drove past another town....

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January 24, 2017

I honestly didn’t think my time in Italy could get any better, but I was wrong. So very wrong. Let me update you on what I’ve been up to this past week. Day 8 My Saturday in Florence was spent hiking up to the Piazzale Michelangelo lookout, visiting the Boboli gardens, and exploring the museums in the Pitti Palace. The exploring did not stop there as I made the most of the gorgeous Sunday weather and took a train to Pisa with some friends. Seeing the leaning tower was something I wanted to tick off my bucket list. Not only....

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January 19, 2017

As we enter our final week in Charlotte, the week starts off with our placements in the designated Elementary schools.  It is amazing getting to know these fantastic students and teachers, there are so many similarities and just as many differences!  Our first cultural activity for the week was an Ice Hockey game at the Bojangles Coliseum.  So fast paced, the cheerleaders were amazing to do their routines on the ice and of course, Charlotte won!  I think we were the lucky charm for each sporting event. Friday night was a treat going to the Epicentre and watching a movie....

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January 19, 2017

Day 1 Taking part in the Media and Communication for the Fashion Industry course this past week in Florence, Italy, has been nothing less than amazing. The week started off with a chill as I flew into Rome to see snow falling at the airport, a bit of a shock after leaving the 40 degree heat in Australia. My first glimpse of Florence was absolutely gorgeous. Despite the fact that it was pitch black at 6pm, the fairy lights scattered through the trees made the city sparkle. Upon arrival at the hotel, I met the other girls and guys from....

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January 19, 2017

Arriving in Cusco was an experience in itself, when I stepped off the plane I was suddenly intoxicated by the city. Not in the passionate way that Paris might intoxicate you, but rather the silent suffocation of a home intruder. The thin air 3,400m above sea level is certainly noticeable, but nothing a few Coca leaves (or Soroche pills) can’t fix! However, the beautiful scenery, ancient civilisations and amazing nightlife soon take your mind off the altitude and instead fill it with wonder and adventure! Although people from all over the world travel to Cusco as it offers so many....

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January 19, 2017

It’s hard to believe that we are already one-third through our way in our uni course – it feels like we only just got here! But Florence is starting to feel familiar and homely, and so much has happened in this short amount of time. We are lucky to be staying in a hotel so close to the city centre and to our uni - it’s about a 15-minute walk, which serves us well since we’ve consumed so much pizza and pasta since we got here! Most of us arrived the weekend before the course started, and dove right into ....

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January 19, 2017

It’s 9.25pm on Sunday 15th January, which means that the first week of the International Law and Human Rights program has concluded. The week started on Sunday with everyone involved in the program finding his or her way to the apartment center in Brno, which is only second to Prague in size. After settling into our rooms, we headed out to a close by pub, ‘Zlata Lod’, for the intro dinner. Here we began introductions between each other and also with Martin Glogar, the program coordinator and his team as well a faculty member and most importantly we were introduced....

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January 18, 2017

One week down?! It feels like only 2 minutes ago that I was stumbling off the train in the dark, absolutely exhausted after nearly 30 long, lonely hours of travel. With a week of classes now under my belt I can already feel my French improving immeasurably! I never appreciated just how much being surrounded by the French language would help to get the gears in my head turning. I will admit, getting to Vichy wasn't the easiest feat. After travelling by plane for 24 hours the thought of having more travel ahead of me once I arrived in Paris....

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January 16, 2017

Yesterday I went to my first ever ice hockey match. The atmosphere was amazing – chanting, beer, pizza slices the size of your head and a stand out mascot. Very similar to Aussie rules except about 20 degrees colder. And to top it off ‘our’ team won (Praha Sparta). Unlike the opera, I would definitely make an effort to go to another ice hockey match. This morning we ventured out for a walking tour of Prague. To be honest I don’t remember a lot of what our tour guide said, but he was entertaining and after our coffee stop the....

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December 22, 2016

Week 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA): We started the day off visiting the fantastic Charlotte Country Day school and the Charlotte Lab School - both fantastic and inspiring schools.  We were treated to an NBA Hornets game, fantastic energy in the stadium - Charlotte won! We had our first placements this week, which was amazing to be part of an Elementary classroom.  I brought in some vegemite sandwiches and caramello koalas for the students to try - they liked the caramello koalas the best!!  The staff like the Tim Tams that I brought in for them to try more....

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December 15, 2016

We all arrived in Charlotte pretty much the same day and all very excited and surprisingly awake considering the long flight. On our first day we were introduced to the beautiful campus at UNCC.  We were all impressed with the amazing buildings and manicured grounds. The visit to Charlotte Early Engineering College demonstrated the 21st Century learning vision in action and was a very inspiring experience for everyone. We were privileged to be able to walk through the impressive football complex, led through by the groundsman, Michael. We were even lucky enough to throw the football around on the field!....

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September 08, 2016

Week two began with continued picnic lunches and a talk on British politics and history, in a talk entitled Britain & Europe - The Outcome. It was a really great talk that looked at the past and present of Britain’s relationship with the European Union, before discussing some of the future implications. One of the best parts of Cambridge’s program was that it continually provided us with opportunities to explore current issues from varied perspectives. This proved to be true both outside and inside of classes. For example, in Creative Writing this week we were encouraged to experiment with different....

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September 01, 2016

The start of the week seemed to be the same as any other. A 9am seminar on Monday morning followed by a lecture and then a free day. However, we could all sense that this was the start of the end. Today would be the last Monday, tomorrow the last Tuesday, until finally we would all be saying goodbye and heading home come Saturday morning. However, the overall sadness of this thought didn’t stop us from having an amazing week. Again the extraordinary lectures continued this time with Julie Hearn speaking on Young Adult Fiction, Shaun McCarthy on the rules....

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August 31, 2016

Today we were all planning to head to Bath to explore the ancient city! However, this trip hit a snag when the bus didn’t arrive, only for us to discover that the company had made a mistake and scheduled us in for Sunday, tomorrow. With the day free we decided to do some exploring. First, heading to the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum before heading to Checkers, a local pub, for lunch. We followed this by heading to an Oxford street party before winding up at another local pub, The Rose and Crown, for a casual....

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August 23, 2016

So I can't believe that it's our last week already?! Just when you're getting into the swing of things, finding a good coffee spot, riding your bike to class every morning, learning more and more phrases… it's time to pack up and go. But before we get to that, let's recap on my last week in beautiful La Rochelle. Class Monday was quite different because a group of American students (the ones I went to Paris with) had returned home which left us 8 of us in the class. Monday morning we had our 20minute presentations as well! It was....

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August 23, 2016

Well we are finally here! After months, years for some of us, we are finally here in ROME. Everybody arrived at different times over the weekend, yet with everyone finally all settled into our three apartments in Trastevere (the 13th rione of Rome), we all went out to dinner as a new and excited class. We were welcomed by our passionate and loving teacher Barbra and some other academics as well. With our welcome bags on our shoulders and being refreshed by local snacks, we headed down into the uni garden to draw the two thousand year old Aqua duct.....

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August 23, 2016

Week One at Cambridge! :) Cambridge is so beautiful. I had some time to wander around town later in the week, but even the university campus is stunning. Although they have modernised most of the lecture halls, the College I am staying in during my program still maintains its ornate architecture. The garden is also lovely - the design and maintenance must take ages, but it is so worth it! I managed to see most of the ‘Old Court’ where I am staying on the first day, taking in the sights as I walked around.   After unpacking my bags and....

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August 23, 2016

Arriving in London brought on a complete mix of emotions. However, exhaustion after hours of flying did nothing to dull the excitement of being a world away from home and in a beautiful country entirely different from our own. Joyfully, I trudged from the airport to my hotel room where I would spend the night before heading to Oxford. Even with everything I had heard about England there was nothing that could have prepared me for the beauty of the city. A mix of majestic old buildings intertwined with a more modern aspect was beyond comparable to anything in Australia.....

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August 23, 2016

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. And if that’s the case then I think I’m having the absolute time of my life because the days are absolutely flying by! Week 2 held some pretty awesome things in store for us, leaving us with a jam packed week and scratching our heads on Sunday afternoon thinking where the week had disappeared to? Class This week has been pretty intense with coursework but it’s been extremely rewarding. I did a 10 minute presentation about a town in the South of France, and not only did I learn a lot....

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August 23, 2016

And at the drop of a hat, or should I say the flip of a graduation cap, our three week American College experience was all over. In 21 days, we completed one whole subject, celebrated the 4th of July at a traditional American baseball game, saw Niagara Falls during a weekend away in Canada, explored the streets of Chicago, ate ‘elephant ears’ at a County Fair, ice-skated in the infamous Spartan hockey stadium and last but not least, made amazing life-long friendships. It was all surreal when we first entered our dormitories to think this was our home for the....

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August 23, 2016

Ooh la la… I think this week has been my favourite so far! It’s hard to believe that so many incredible experiences can even squeeze into just 7 days?! Mon anniversaire! (My birthday) Yay! It’s my birthday! And how lucky I am to get the chance to spend my 22nd birthday in beautiful La Rochelle! And I think that all of my stars aligned because scheduled for the date of my birthday, was a day trip to Île de Ré (meaning no class, and wonderful exploration times around a beautiful island). We all met at the station and hopped on....

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August 19, 2016

Studying at Cambridge is well worth it; even simply for the impressed looks you get from the Uber driver picking you up from Heathrow Airport. But of course, the value of my experience extends well beyond this. It is genuinely impossible to walk through the University for longer than 2 minutes without the word “WOW” slipping through your lips. The architecture, the gardens, and the general ambiance of the campus is absolutely inspiring. Undertaking the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Summer Program through AIM Overseas was certainly the way to go. I felt supported throughout the entire preparation process. So when I finally....

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August 10, 2016

None of us here in Belfast can quite believe that another week studying “Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland” has come to an end. A few days ago, everyone realised our course had reached its halfway mark, and there were definitely some long faces around. However, I think we’ve all done a pretty good job picking ourselves up because there’s never a dull moment around here. The weekend kicked off with another field trip – a drive to the Antrim Coast, Glens of Antrim and Giant’s Causeway. We drove north along the River Bann, and then stopped East for a tour....

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August 08, 2016

For the International Relations & Threats to Global Security group studying in Brno, Czech Republic, this was our first weekend away! Come Friday at the end of week 1, it was time for our first excursion to Budapest, Hungary with a stop in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, on the way. In Slovakia we took a tour through the main attractions of the city including Liberty Square, Bratislava Castle and Parliament. We were fortunate with our timing through Bratislava as it was the day that Slovakia took over the presidency of the European Union for a period of 6 months,....

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August 08, 2016

Our second week in Brno began with an increase in our workload and a plethora of social activities to keep us occupied. Attending university in an environment where it is socially acceptable to go out for a few drinks with your lecturers and course coordinators is definitely something I could get used to. Monday was all about Military Park, after we class we took the epic journey of a tram and bus to the Military Park, an epic journey because we got lost on the way, but once we arrived it was definitely worth the journey. Military Park was once....

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August 08, 2016

Wow, I can't believe we're at the end of Week 2 already and halfway through our course! In between keeping up with our assignments, we've managed to find time to explore more of Florence by getting lost in the hills across the river and taking a trip to the local pool.   We were given a day off on Tuesday and we decided to leave our maps at home and attempt to find the local areas by crossing the Arno River away from the city centre. Quite quickly we realised that getting lost meant a very steep walk uphill in 37-degree....

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August 01, 2016

“Pop. Six. Squish. Uh-uh. Cicero. Lipschitz”. MSU is coming, oh yeah we’re coming, Chicago won’t quite be the same. From Niagara Falls to Chicago, this week was non-stop; our week spent studying ended by two different, yet amazing cultural experiences. After a long bus ride from East Lansing, our week began in Niagara Falls, with close to the entire contingent of students descending on the TGI Fridays next to the hotel. After having been cooped in our dorms for the previous week, when we finally saw our rooms for the stay, we were overwhelmed with the luxury. We had gone....

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July 30, 2016

AIM Overseas is passionate about many global issues. We periodically support a wide range of causes and organisations. Our previous donations include (but are not limited to): Study Overseas Foundation: $10,000 (2013) Plan International: Ongoing child sponsorship (since 2009) Red Cross International: Ebola Appeal 2014 ($500), Typhoon Haiyan Appeal 2013 ($500), General donation 2012 ($500), Japan and Pacific Typhoon Appeal 2011 ($260), Pakistan Monsoon Floods Appeal 2010 ($1000), Nepal Earthquake Appeal ($500) Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad: $500 (2014) Movember Foundation: 2015 MAF (www.maf.org.au): 2016 Charge Syndrome Association of Australasia: $120 (2016) Bravehearts: $100 (2016) Room to Read: $7,000 (2016) Room....

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July 25, 2016

This week at Cambridge University we found ourselves well accustomed to the routine at Selwyn College. Waking up at 8:00am to the gorgeous dining hall where we had a wonderful hot breakfast each morning before heading off to our lectures. We had already become good friends with all the wait staff at the College and got to know them really well over the past two weeks. I started my classes on “How the Immune System Works?” with Jonathon Lippmann an Undergraduate professor of Immunology from Cambridge University who gave us an incredible week discussing what the immune system is, its....

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July 25, 2016

Studying in Granada in Spain has been one of the most transformative and eye-opening experiences in my life. I can't believe a week has already passed and so much has happened. After spending some time prior to the Intensive Spanish program begun in Italy, I flew from the airport in Florence to Granada, and took a bus to my host family's house. They were so welcoming and nice, and constantly speaking to them in Spanish has really improved my knowledge of the language. [gallery ids="7809,7806,7807"] On the second day, my host mum and another guy doing the Spanish intensive program....

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July 22, 2016

It was a Sunday afternoon and upon arriving in Brno I could not contain my excitement. I had just spent three days in Prague and I was already in love with the Czech way of life. Our lovely course coordinators planned a great dinner for us at a traditional Czech restaurant complete with schnitzels, potato pancakes, lots of meat and soft drinks (in Czech, beer and wine are soft drinks as our convenor Martin told us). It was so great to be welcomed in such a humbling way. The next morning, I awoke for my first class. Full of anticipation....

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July 22, 2016

Is it just me or do the weeks just get crazier here? Allow me to explain: My cohort and I came here at the perfect time! This program also runs in January during winter, but now, during the June/July program, we can enjoy the French summer, as well as do summer activities in our spare time! Also, for you soccer fans out there, we’ve been here for the 2016 Euro Cup, where France was in the final with Portugal! For the semi-final earlier in the week, when France won there were fireworks, flags, music and cars driving around, and people....

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July 15, 2016

It’s hard to believe our first week studying ‘Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland’ (Belfast) is almost complete. Let’s just say it’s been a busy (but fantastic) week full of luggage, learning and lots of laughter. The journey to Belfast was long, with a total of 30 hours spent flying and transiting through various airports, but in the end it was definitely worth it. When I arrived at Belfast airport, I was fortunate enough to locate another girl from my AIM program. We decided to brave the foreign city of Belfast together by sharing a taxi to our accommodation. Once we....

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July 15, 2016

So after arriving the night before Cambridge International Summer Program, I met up with another international program student where we visited a Pub called The Eagle famous for being the discovery location for Watson and Cricks DNA model which they frequently visited after long hours at the nearby Cavendish Laboratory. We enjoyed a lovely meal of classic English pub-style burgers and chips before getting a good night’s rest. The next day we registered for our Science courses and checked into our accommodation, at Selwyn College. After a short break we quickly took advantage of the beautiful sunny 20-degree weather here....

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July 15, 2016

The time is finally here! I'm fulfilling a life long dream of spending Summer in France! So let's rewind a tiny bit... I just finished my French minor at university, and whilst studying French for two years was of course useful, I found it really difficult when it came to speaking with French people. After talking to some friends and doing my research, I realised that the only way to really improve my French skills would be to go to France myself and fully immerse myself in the language, culture and lifestyle. And that's where AIM Overseas comes in. They....

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July 14, 2016

East Lansing Michigan, population approximately 48 500 - plus around one hundred Australians. We flew from all over, from Sydney and Adelaide, the Gold Coast and Melbourne, and even from New York, Chicago and Canada for those of us who were lucky enough to travel before the program began. On Sunday the third of July, we were greeted by all the ambassadors and stewards for the American Semester Program here at Michigan State University, including program coordinator Kellie Clock, whose enthusiasm and smile rejuvenated our travel wearied selves. The nightlife did not wait for jetlag, and the first night we....

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July 14, 2016

It's been one week living in the beautiful city of Florence and it’s beginning to feel like home. I am staying in an apartment with 3 other girls from Australia and we are located very close to the city centre so it's an easy walk to the Duomo and our university - Instituto Europeo di Design. Classes began on Monday and we were introduced to the brand that we would be creating an event for as our final project - BISBAG. BISBIG is a company creating leather bags and accessories from repurposed leather off cuts. The Tuscany region in Italy....

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July 07, 2016

Hello Brno! Once we had dropped our luggage at the accommodation it was time for our first introduction to the Brno lifestyle including food and, most importantly, beers. The dinner was held at Zlata Lod, a restaurant off the main square in Brno, and the spread was unbelievable, all kinds of traditional Czech cuisine and pork that has continued to haunt my dreams. This gave us the opportunity to meet some of our lecturers, get to know our guides and celebrate the fact we had arrived! Classes began with us bright eyes and bushy tailed, mostly, and Ricky kicked us....

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July 07, 2016

Has it really only been a week that I’ve been here? It feels like a month! I arrived Sunday afternoon (June 26th, 2016), and Monday morning I had my placement exam to put me into the French language class appropriate for me. My friend and I were placed into the B2 level, which is intermediate bordering on advanced! Aside from the fairly large Australian community here, there are many people studying French with us from Switzerland, Italy, Russia, China and India. Here in Vichy, English is not the communal language, it’s French. If I ever felt we came from diverse....

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March 01, 2016

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  While I risk sounding like a cliché, this sentence sums up my exact feelings as my final week in Granada winds up.  I have had an absolutely incredible month.  I have met the most amazing people - many who I know I can call lifelong friends and I have done and seen some extraordinary things (the best of times).  But, all good things must come to an end and now it is time for me to leave Granada (the worst of times) but before I leave, let me....

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February 29, 2016

"Last week I drove up to the Massif Central with a couple of friends, blasting 'electro swing' all the way. (The best thing to have happened to my Itunes library in a while, without any doubt: particularly enjoying the song 'Belleville Rendezvous'). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wstA1AXH5M When we arrived in the glistening light I really could have cried, it was so glorious and fresh. I ran around like a three year old and buried my face and my hands in the powder and squealed and went a bit mad, and then when I'd worn myself out we took a tour of a crater....

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February 24, 2016

Just like that, we were facing our last week here at La Rochelle Business School, studying ‘International Management & Global Leadership’. It surely felt like yesterday when we walked into our first class. In the two previous weeks we had nearly completed half of our overall assessments– what a good feeling it is to keep crossing them off! To start off our last week: Obviously the technology was having a bad case of the Mondayitis and was not our friend in class today. It seemed that every time we switched PowerPoints, something would happen – gotta love how reliant we....

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February 22, 2016

With this week now ending, time is passing by rather quickly. This past week has been busy with classes, exams, cultural classes and short trips to Malaga and Ronda. This Monday night my fellow Vegemites (that is our team name) and I regrouped for another night of trivia at Hannigans & Sons. I am pleased to announce that rather than losing and placing ninth last time, we came fourth! Although we did not win anything, we were very proud to represent Australia for this victory. With this much improvement who knows what next week's trivia will bring! On Tuesday we....

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February 20, 2016

Imagine a job where you love coming to work. It's a job where every day you work towards helping people have a life-changing experiences. The people you work with are fantastic - dynamic, hard working but fun, always wanting to learn and always looking for ways to do things better. Outside of the rewarding work tasks, there are great benefits and you are respected and acknowledged as making an important contribution. The company is always trying to improve every aspect of what it does, so it listens to your ideas and suggestions. This is what we strive for at AIM....

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February 18, 2016

So I’m writing this after spending the most wonderful time of my life overseas in France. I met so many amazing people with the same interests as me, visited scenic places and most of all, discovered how to live like a real French woman! For the last week of Intensive French, our class moved up another level from B1(1) to B1(2) which was fantastic since it had only been three weeks since we started learning French, and we were already making so much of an improvement. After our morning class, we were all very much looking forward to enjoying sunny,....

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February 15, 2016

This was my final week overseas on the Biodiversity in Peru program. While watching a parade in Cusco on one of our final nights, I got caught in the rain, yet nonetheless was fortunate enough to enjoy a late night walking through the city centre. I have acknowledged that this place (Cusco) is beautifully historic. The lights that cover the hill at night shine like dim stars which complete the perfect cultural puzzle I've been searching for.. This week we completed our final exams and submitted our final group paper. Saying goodbye was challenging, over the past month the group....

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February 11, 2016

On Monday morning we fully felt the impact of a typical French strike. We arrived to class at 9am and there was no teacher, 1.5 hours later he arrived due to the farmers protesting against cuts to their produce and as the French do, they blocked off a couple of roads that lead into La Rochelle with their tractors. That afternoon we headed into La Rochelle’s Port where we met our French teacher. We split up into pairs and had four different places we had to find and take a photo of it. I was with Stephanie and we couldn’t....

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February 10, 2016

Week 3 in Granada, Spain! :) ... As I said in my previous blog, time is flying past quickly, and I am clutching at every opportunity and moment to experience all that Granada has to offer. I am so very settled into life in Granada and feel completely at home with my host family. I love coming home after class to have lunch with everyone and see what Carmen (my host mum) has cooked for lunch. Carmen is an amazing cook and everything she makes is delicious. What I like as well is that when we have lunch, the television....

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February 09, 2016

I cannot believe how quickly the past two weeks have gone by. Although I have not been here for long, it feels as if I have been here forever. Granada has become my second home in such a short time. I think that can be attributed to the fact that it is such a welcoming city. I have met some great people and I am staying with a wonderful family for my homestay. This may seem cliché but I do feel very lucky to be having this experience, and wish I was staying here longer than a month. I guess....

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February 08, 2016

Hello everyone again! Welcome to Week 3 on my Biodiversity in Peru Program :). To start the week we went to a bakery on the way to university for some energy. A friend and I are feeling pretty exhausted from all the cardio over the past couple of days. We are being treated to a bbq lunch to celebrate an early Australia Day, before we head to the Amazon tomorrow. The weather is beautiful and sunny. Unfortunately I fell rather Ill and was diagnosed with an intestinal parasite, so I missed out on the barbecue lunch. The true excitement of....

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February 08, 2016

Our third week in Florence was packed with visits to a number of different Florentine artisans who hand make their products in workshops dotted around the city.  We visited The Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio (Lisio Foundation), a textile factory that uses ancient weaving techniques that are entirely carried out by hand on a traditional Jacquard loom. The factory recreates fabrics inspired for traditional designs and has partnered with Fendi to create designs for the iconic baguette bag and a number of museums to restore aging exhibits. Only 10-20 centimeters of the incredible hand-made fabrics can only be completed per....

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February 05, 2016

The last week of any program is the hardest of course, and not even necessarily based on the curriculum. You go into a course overseas with a few friends, and it feels like it’s never going to end – you’re having fun, pushing each other forward, and making these new bonds. Unfortunately, whether the course is three weeks or 6 months, the end will come before you know it and you will have to walk away from all those new friends. It’s a hard, sad truth of any overseas course. Of course, the good news is that with today’s day....

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February 04, 2016

Welcome to La Rochelle! Our first day of class came around pretty quickly and just like that we were immersed into Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle (La Rochelle Business School) where we would be studying for the next three weeks. La Rochelle welcomed us with a rainy, overcast day – luckily for us the following days were sunny and warmer. The morning was dedicated to getting to know the University, the staff, and of course croissants for breakfast. By the end of the day we all agreed that it definitely takes a little getting used to studying again after....

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February 02, 2016

What a wonderful life! I’m feeling so inspired by the fine craftsmanship of the artisans and the Italian lifestyle. On Monday we visited the Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio, a textile factory situated in the hills surrounding the city of Florence, which utilizes the finest and oldest hand-weaving techniques for silks, velvet and precious metals. The company’s founder, Giuseppe Lisio opened his first workshop in 1906, supported by only a handful of handlooms. Lisio had many years of experience in weaving silk in Milan and quickly helped his company to grow and obtain recognition for their high quality products and....

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February 01, 2016

Hello again! Starting the working week on Monday, we attended university from 10am – 1pm, where we learnt about worldwide hotspots and centres of origin of crops. There was a protest going on in the centre square of Cuzco about the low wages of the common people who were being used from independent mine companies. People gathered together who made speeches and danced. You could hear the passion in their voices! In between listening I asked a local about the specifics of the protest and she said that the gold mining companies wanted to drill and extract gold from their....

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January 31, 2016

The two weeks of la vie française (French life) were two weeks of settling in and trying to find the Vichy rhythm, and by the end of this week I found it. Commencing week 3, our routine morning class was followed by afternoon adventures and lunch either at the nearest boulangerie near uni, Kebab Man (my original fave) or our newly discovered Chicken Man who could speak an petit peu d’anglais. After this would always be afternoon class, followed by night activities at L’Académie or Le Gaulois. Monday mornings were bearable thanks to the 11am starts, because Mondays were usually....

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January 19, 2016

The start of my second week here in Vichy was marked by a little sadness, as it dawned on me that after this week, I'd be halfway through the program and that meant, "bye Vichy™ and and "hello, real world". It was also accompanied by a slight temperature change (snow!!) which meant that it was totally fine to sing the line "Baby it's cold outside™. Armed with full winter gear of gloves, beanie, scarf and a coat, I headed off to CAVILAM to my 8:45am class with Marie on Monday morning. I grabbed my daily hot chocolate from the vending....

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January 19, 2016

Hola chicos y Bienvenido a Peru! On our very first day, we were welcomed very sincerely at the Universidad of San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) from our hotel by our university supervisor. We were then greeted with a presentation on how diverse Peru is based on its traditions and customs which are well known, and what was to be expected of us while learning in Cuzco. Then we were treated to a group dance, which got everyone quite invigorated and excited to start the week. The teachers were really warm and welcoming, and assured us that we would have an....

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January 18, 2016

Week 2 of our 'Media Communication for the Fashion Industry' sure has come quickly! Starting Monday, we only had one trend forecasting class, which left the afternoon free to explore more of beautiful Florence. One of our classmates led us to a beautiful old cathedral, Santo Spirito (St. Mary of the Holy Spirit). We lit candles in the church, which was a beautiful moment as it reminded me of my church back in Adelaide's candlelit service. On Tuesday we completed our workout for the month by climbing to the top of the Duomo. Although we didn't die climbing up, the....

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January 18, 2016

Granada is the kind of place that leaves an everlasting impression on you. In the months leading up to my departure, whenever I would tell someone that I was going to Granada, their faces would light up with excitement. These kinds of responses made me feel incredibly excited to be going to a place that everyone spoke of with so much love. I also could not wait to begin learning Spanish at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas at the University of Granada. From the first short but busy week that I have spent in Granada, it is hard to believe....

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January 12, 2016

Almost a decade ago, my wife and I decided to start a business. At the time, aged 27, we were thinking about a few life options and had narrowed down what we wanted to do to two possibilities: start a business, or take a year off and go travelling around the world. Thinking that it would be easier to try to start a business without having kids, and that if the business didn't work out we could go travelling anyway, we decided on the former option. Funnily enough, when you start a business you start hearing statistics. "90% of businesses....

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January 11, 2016

On our first Sunday, most of us arrived in Maastricht in the early afternoon after around 24 hours of travelling to get here. I was surprised to see how homely the guesthouse was and how spacious the rooms were. After settling in a bit, all three programs (International Environmental Law, International Relations and Politics, and Positive Psychology) met together for an introduction to the program coordinators, along with receiving our textbooks. We then had a walking tour of the groceries, which consisted of Hallo Jumbo and Albert Heijn (two of the most popular groceries in Maastricht). The day ended with....

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January 11, 2016

After a lengthy and exhausting journey via two planes and two trains, the amazing city of Firenze was well worth the wait. The lovely Michelle our contact at the Institute of European Design (IED) collected us from the Santa Maria Novella Train Station, along with Marco, our driver who somehow managed to navigate through the narrow, frenzied streets! Seriously, hats off to Marco who chauffeured us through for evading wandering shoppers, push bikes scooting along side us and tiny cars slipping in and out of the alleyways. Italian commuters do not dawdle. Chaos aside, the drive through the sparking cobble....

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January 11, 2016

Before the course even starts, the first part of the trip is the travelling part, and travelling by yourself, landing in different countries, and struggling through customs can be an exhaustive exercise. Sydney to Dubai is 15 hours, and then Dubai to Amsterdam is another 6 hours, and then Amsterdam to Maastricht is a few hours on top of that. Now try to do all that by yourself! Ultimately, it's not difficult - make friends with the stewards and stewardesses, they make great conversation and can give some fantastic tips as well. Talk to other passengers, you may be able....

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January 11, 2016

After nearly thirty hours of travelling, almost walking into a prayer room instead of the bathroom in Dubai, watching random movies and getting Italian lessons from a one and a half year old, we arrived in rainy Florence! We were greeted by Marco our AIM Overseas driver and were met by Michelle from the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) at our beautiful, old and surprisingly roomy apartments to give us the key and welcome us to Firenze. After the three floor trek carrying our heavy suitcases we stumbled into our apartments, we dropped off our bags and headed straight out....

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January 11, 2016

The two weeks before leaving for France were two weeks filled with anxiety, anticipation and most of all nerves that would just not settle. Every thought of going away excited me, yet at the same time I could not help but wonder about all the little things that could go wrong. Would I be robbed? Would I get lost and if I did would I ever find my way back? What do I do if I end up in the other side of the country? What happens if I lose my luggage, or my phone or any of my belongings?....

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January 05, 2016

After all the fun we had on the weekend, we were a little bit tired going into the next study week. On Monday, our first class was about negotiation skills. We were divided into groups of two and each of us received a piece of paper with a description of our task. My group partner and I had the task of selling a house to the other group. After a long day of classes we all went back to the hotel and started working on our assignments. On Wednesday morning we all went to visit a museum as part of....

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January 02, 2016

Way back in 2007, when we started AIM Overseas, we had a decision to make. We were pioneers. Founders of the first independent overseas study provider for Australian university students. So what kind of programs did we want to provide? First, we decided that our whole purpose needed to be about establishing the highest quality programs that were unique and meaningful, and that were different from a student's experience studying at uni in Australia. From there were worked out the elements that were essential to great programs. Our programs would be taught at universities around the world. They would be....

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December 22, 2015

AIM Overseas office will be closed from 24th December and re-open at 9am on the 4th of January 2016. We will endeavour to get back to all enquiries and applications upon re-opening in the New Year! For our January 2016 program participants who need to contact us in case of emergency, please call our 24/7 emergency line on +61 488 824 667. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year :) Kind regards, The AIM Overseas Team

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December 22, 2015

It soon began to sink in that we were in our final week of our Austrian adventure. On Tuesday, we had morning classes and then reassembled in the afternoon to meet up with our buddies to discuss our first assignment. In the evening we watched '12 Angry Men' and then had a discussion on the communication issues associated with the socio-economic background, amongst other themes like standing up for what you think is right, despite pressure to do otherwise. On Wednesday, we were supposed to go visit Eggenberg Palace but it was closed in the winter, so instead, our contact....

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December 14, 2015

The second week consisted of intense classes. The longest day was on Tuesday where it seemed like a 12-hour day! We covered a lot of material from the lectures, readings, video clips and revised our basic statistics knowledge. Most of the novelty of exploring Graz was grinding to a halt as we became more focussed on our studies and began to visit the same places for a second or third time. We had quizzes on a daily basis and enjoyed our movie nights. We were all invited to the 'Psycho Party' and a few of us headed to an apartment....

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December 07, 2015

Our first week in America so far has been amazing! The whole group is staying in a hotel called the Drury Inn for the entire three week duration of the program. The hotel is located nearby the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and has many different restaurants close-by on offer. For all the sports junkies out there the hotel has a gym, pool and a Jacuzzi. We are all looking forward to discovering the American culture! On Sunday we went on a campus tour with two other students from UNCC. We all have been amazed by the size....

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September 11, 2015

The New Colombo Plan turns two years old in the coming days. Many long-time staff in Australian universities that look after outbound student mobility could probably define their career into two distinct 'periods': the 'pre-New Colombo Plan' period and 'now'. Why? Because the New Colombo Plan (NCP) has fundamentally changed the way that most Australian universities approach outbound student mobility. The change has been about more than just an increase in workload and greater numbers of students participating on programs to Asia. The NCP has created a shift in the way that international offices and sections of universities collaborate with....

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September 08, 2015

"AIM Overseas is the Australian Institute for Mobility Overseas. It is an independent organisation supporting educational institutions with their outbound student mobility initiatives. The company has two core functions. The first function is to increase the number of Australian students participating in international education programs overseas. The second is to support the outbound mobility industry in Australia." From the Executive Summary of AIM Overseas' original business plan in 2007 ...

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August 17, 2015

And so our time at Oxford begins to draw to a close. I've got very bittersweet feelings about the entire thing; I miss my family and friends (and Australia) so much, but I never want to leave this beautiful town. Assignments have been submitted and we're in the process of having one-on-one feedback tutorials, which are just as terrifying as they sound. In the midst of all this, I've done the silly thing where I've decided that I'm going to actually start my novel, which is an idea that has been churning in my head for years now, but never....

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August 10, 2015

Scottish Country dancing involves a lot of skipping, swinging and 'whoo'ing. I know this because, according to the instructor, I was a very good Scottish Country dancer. Not me, personally. I wish I had the co-ordination for dancing. But as a group, she promised us, we were quite talented. I could put it on my resume. You know, if writing doesn't work out for us, we'll start a touring Scottish Country dancing crew. We'll sell merchandise. It's very energetic. Some people did it in heels (they're probably people you shouldn't cross), some people did it in sneakers (the wise ones),....

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August 05, 2015

Picture the scene: you wake up slowly, in an old room. It smells old, even though you've been there for a week now. Sun pokes through the curtains, and you've barely seen the sun all week, so you welcome it. You sit up, you get up, you start to get dressed. You haven't put your glasses on yet, so you hope your clothes match, but you can't really be sure. You're running late for breakfast, but not by much, so you don't worry about it too much. Through the wall, you hear the alarm of the girl next door go....

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August 03, 2015

It dawns on you suddenly and all at once, the realisation of how far from home you are. Sitting stagnant on a plane for twenty six hours makes you forget that you're even moving. If the rocking of a train can put you to sleep, you don't see the countryside whizzing past you at 100 kilometres an hour. I've forgotten about the hundreds of visa applications and grade transcripts prepared. Sixteen Thousand Three Hundred Is the rough number of kilometres from home that I am. I've met people from Nashville, Tokyo and Liverpool. Because writing traverses the world. As writers,....

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August 03, 2015

I am in love with Oxford. It's only been a week, but this place is so beautiful, I wish I could stay forever. The town is filled with so many gorgeous old buildings, rich with history. There's so much to do and see, I've barely had a quiet moment all week.   The first night we had orientation and then reception drinks, where we got to meet our tutors and the other students. I did manage to make a fool of myself and trip as I came down the stairs into orientation, so I made a solid first impression. The reception....

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August 03, 2015

Hey! It's just Fi this time around, recapping what my third week in the Cambridge International Literature Summer School has been like. If you've read earlier posts, you'll know that I was sharing blogging duties with fellow Adelaidean buddy, Brooke. Sadly, she was only staying for two weeks, and has since returned back to Australia. Now, I don't want to sound over dramatic, but since Brooke left Cambridge, the weather has been appalling. The skies are always grey and cloudy, and it's rare to go a day without rain. Suddenly, shorts have been put away and everyone is wearing coats....

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July 30, 2015

I am typing from within a train on its three-hour trek from Stockholm to Linköping, Sweden. The English Literature Summer School Program at Exeter finished yesterday, and before heading home I decided to pop on over to Sweden to visit friends. One of the great things about the UK and Europe is the close proximity of all its countries; I would've been a fool to not take advantage of that. A plane ride from Heathrow to Stockholm took merely two and a half hours; I wouldn't even be able to fly across Australia in that time. I stare out the....

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July 30, 2015

By the third week of the Summer School, you feel like you are really starting to settle into what feels like a home away from home. You become comfortable with the routine of each day, you've formed friendships with the people around you and love hanging out with them, you're starting to get familiar with the town and know the quickest route to the best food. And then you realise that at the end of the week it will be all over and everyone will be going back to his or her homes in very different parts of the world.....

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July 29, 2015

Be prepared to walk. A lot. One night I was chatting to a friendly porter at Newnham who told me that the Colleges own almost all of the land around Cambridge and they have an irrational dislike of trains and buses, so there's basically no public transport near the Colleges. From Newnham it's approximately a 20-minute walk to the bus stop, and an hour to the train station. Or you can pay a private taxi £6 to pick you up from College and drive you to the station... so if you like exploring, which lets face it is one of....

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July 27, 2015

After pulling myself out of bed with fours sleep on Saturday morning, we were headed to Bath for a weekend adventure. This trip was much anticipated, as I was very excited to see and experience the famous Roman Baths. The English Literature group were also excited as Bath was home to Jane Austen for a number of years and the basis for two of her books, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. An hour and a half drive from Oxford and we arrived in the beautiful city, which was built up around the hot springs discovered by the Romans over 2000 years....

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July 27, 2015

On the first afternoon, I checked into Newnham College, which fortunately turned out to be right across from the Sidgwick teaching site. Other colleges may have ensuites and kitchens, but I don't have to leave until ten minutes before class starts! We had a welcome talk in Lady Mitchell Hall, before being turned out to get ready for our first dinner in College. We had dinner and all that sort of thing, then most people went back to their rooms to deal with jetlag (or in my case residual tiredness from Contiki!). On Monday we had our first day of....

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July 24, 2015

Well my second week at Oxford has been just as busy as the first but in more of an academic nature this time. I have two 3000 word essays due in the first half of week three, so the week has been focused on research and writing for those essays and trying to get somewhat of a head start because its Oxford and this probably isn't the place for last minute writing. Thankfully, everyone around me has been in the same boat so it has been a very productive environment! Now as an official Bodleian reader (you can read all....

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July 23, 2015

It's funny how quickly a place starts to feel like home. Two weeks into the English Literature program at Exeter and already Oxford feels like a special part of me, a home away from home. By the middle of the second week, everyone gets settled in. Those colourful tourist maps that we clutched so close and never let go during that first week have made their way into desk drawers and out of sight; every street has become easy to find and walking around the city in the midst of thousands of rushing tourists actually feels relaxing somehow, because we....

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July 23, 2015

Day-to-day life at Cambridge follows a pretty set structure. Each morning, breakfast is served in the beautiful Newnham dining room. Through the windows, we can look out onto the stunning gardens - the weather has thankfully continued to be great. For those of us in the Literature Summer School, our first lecture begins at 9:15am. It didn't seem too early at first, when we were jetlagged and waking up at 5am every morning... but we definitely started struggling as the week went on! We took the same class in both weeks; a study of British fantasists, and then American fantasists.....

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July 20, 2015

This week, our crazy Roman life settled down a little as we began our specialisations. Instead of running around Rome everyday, we all walked to the university campus together every day (after our breakfast of course, pictured above) and began work on our final projects. This course allowed us to choose from three electives - model making, photo and video production, and fine arts. I chose the photography elective and am working on my final project, for which I have to collect videos and photos of my Roman adventure - not too shabby! My teachers are experts in their field....

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July 17, 2015

Hi! We are Brooke and Fi, two students (from Uni SA and Adelaide Uni, respectively) who are currently studying at the University of Cambridge, thanks to AIM Overseas. We're only here for a few weeks, but we wanted to share with you some details about the incredible time we've been having, and all the things we've learnt. Here's a few little tips and tricks for getting the most out of your own overseas study experience - whether at Cambridge, or anywhere else. 1)    Pack for the weather Although it's currently summer in the United Kingdom, it's also the United Kingdom;....

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July 16, 2015

It's been over a week since I left for Italy and in that time, I've experienced more than I sometimes do in a month. Life here has not been slow—I've spent countless days with my family learning so much about my heritage and all the while appreciating every moment of it. Italy can be quite polarised in parts. The tourist areas, though architecturally impressive, is not where the true beauty is. The beauty of Italy lies between the cracks; in the places where people are often too afraid to look or too ignorant to see. I spent from Tuesday to....

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July 15, 2015

This past Saturday, the Exeter College Summer School was kind enough to organise a weekend excursion for us to the quaint little town of Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. It was a lovely day full of history and amazing weather! So I thought I would share a little of my day with you. Stratford upon Avon is a small market town with more than 800 years of history. It developed along the River Avon (hence the name) and the town still contains many buildings that have survived from medieval times. Many of which would have been familiar....

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July 14, 2015

As soon as I arrived into Oxford on the train from London, signs of university life surrounded me. Even in the summer, when the majority of Oxford's 22,000 students have gone home, the university remains an overwhelming part of this English city's history, culture and attraction. Arriving a day early, I had time to wander around the city streets and enjoy the English summer sun as I explored my home for the next three weeks. Oxford is full of amazingly beautiful buildings dating as far back as 1040; the oldest structure is the Saxton Tower of St Michael, which stands....

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July 14, 2015

Buongiorno from sunny Rome! Another week has passed, and with it more buildings have been explored and sketched, gelato has been consumed and memories have been made! We are finally getting into the groove of the Roman lifestyle, with most of us having the traditional cappuccino e cornetto for breakfast every day. We felt even more Roman when we attended a real Italian fashion show on Monday night. We were all invited to witness the beautiful creations made by the fashion students at IED Rome. The show was called 'Frames', and it had been mentioned on the Vogue Italia website!....

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July 13, 2015

Week 1: Met Maria Belgae We started our week with breakfast with myself, Avril, Christina and Nina. We then had our first lecture with Paavo Wiro. Our class is combined with students from USA and Canada so we have met some wonderful people. Homework and groups assigned case study to present Tuesday morning. After lunch we spent the afternoon with our French teacher, Phillip Oguet learning French language and culture. On Tuesday the last of the Australian students arrived, now a total 5, American students 5 and one Canadian student makes up our summer school class. Wednesday morning we had....

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July 13, 2015

Hi everyone! I have just completed my first week here at the University of Oxford in England and I'm so excited to share all of my experiences with you, so lets jump right in! A little bit of history... There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096! For those of you who were confused like me, the structure of this university is very unique and it is best understood as a federal system. The University is the umbrella and each of the 38 Oxford colleges are self-governing and financially independent institutions....

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July 07, 2015

Week one and the adventure begins. After arriving at our accommodation Via Dei Benci 10 (an amazing old apartment building with huge wooden doors and a copious amount of stairs, like, a ridiculous amount of stairs) first stop is La Carriera, the gelato shop just outside our apartment. Can I get an amen! This week has been a non-stop expedition of pizzerias and gelato shop hopping but with all those stairs, 110 to be exact, I don't even feel bad... Our first visit to IED Firenze (Instituto Europeo di Design) is our orientation and with so much excitement as well....

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July 07, 2015

Wow what a crazy start to the trip! We arrived in Florence with a few days to settle in and get over the jetlag. We had our first official 'family' dinner on Sunday and got to know the rest of the group. There are 13 of us, from all around Australia, ranging from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. There was a lot of food envy when all the dishes came out - there are not enough meals in the day to try all the Italian food! We woke up early thanks to jetlag and decided to make the most of....

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July 06, 2015

Its hard to believe that one week has already passed since we began our study adventures in Rome. The past seven days have been a whirlwind of cobblestoned streets, sketchbooks, slices of pizza and of course, stunning architecture. We began our course on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday) by visiting the IED Roma (European Institute of Design) and meeting our teachers. I'm sure that all of my classmates would agree that we were immediately charmed by our lovely teacher, Barbara. She is a very talented artist who has illustrated many books and drawn designs for famous jewellery brand, Bvlgari.....

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May 12, 2015

The IEAA Outbound Mobility Forum has become Australia's standout student mobility professional development event. This year it was held at UTS in Sydney on April 23rd and 24th 2015. Notes from the session on From Risky Business to Best Practice: Private/Public Partnerships in Student Mobility can be found here: From Risky Business to Best Practice. To lead in a session about how Australian universities can work with third party providers of overseas study programs, Rob Malicki and Jooliet Lau (AIM Overseas) performed a song, Under the Pump. Under the Pump Sometimes I feel like There's no exchange partner Sometimes I....

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May 11, 2015

AIM Overseas will be moving to a bigger premise on Thursday 14 May 2015! In preparation of the move, our Office will be closed from Wednesday 13 May 2p.m. and all day Thursday 14 May. Please expect delays in responding to emails during this period. In the event of an emergency, we can still be contacted on 0468 472 000 or 0488 824 667.

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April 30, 2015

[gallery ids="3153,2387,2373"] John Ross' short article "Overseas Study Brings 'Little Career Benefit'" (The Australian, April 22, 2015) discusses the findings of a recent study from the US. This study looked at how a selection of 'high impact' activities undertaken by some US students during their studies (one such activity being studying abroad) affected selected attributes of the jobs those students obtained post-study. Whilst the work from the US is a good piece of research, unfortunately it is unlikely to live up to the journalist's hyperbole of 'sending ripples through the Government's New Colombo Plan'. This is because what the article....

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April 07, 2015

We've all encountered it. The Vice Chancellor wants more students undertaking outbound mobility programs. It's in the institutional strategy, the Dean is on board, but somewhere, buried deep inside the faculty, is The Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper doesn't particularly like mobility: it takes time away from their other duties, it costs the faculty money and there are too many students emailing through questions. You, the mobility practitioner, have a good relationship with The Gatekeeper, but haven't yet managed to convince them as to why outbound mobility is so valuable to the institution. It always comes back to one thing, "Sure, it's....

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March 05, 2015

Monday So I can't believe it but we are now in our final week of the program. I think we are all feeling a bit tired by now as the course has been pretty full on, but I personally have enjoyed every minute. Our lecture this morning was rescheduled for tomorrow so the time was spent enjoying a sleep in and having breakfast in a cafe in the nearby bohemian distinct of la Condesa, which bustles with life of a morning. As we passed through the tangled streets, we were met by vendors selling freshly cut flowers, morning joggers making....

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March 04, 2015

Monday and Tuesday We had the first two days of this week off due to Constitution Day on the Monday and free time on the Tuesday. I think everyone was relieved to have a break after the busy weekend in Puebla, and we each dispersed in our own direction. Some went to visit Taxco, a Mexican town renowned for its silver jewellery. Another girl organised to do work with the Mexican Red Cross, a truly amazing experience! Myself and three other girls took it upon ourselves to visit the butterfly sanctuary, Mariposa Monarca, in Valle de Bravo. After an early....

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March 04, 2015

Monday: So today marks the first day of our program at La Salle University in Mexico city. Dazed and jet lagged, I must say that it all seems like an overwhelming blur, and yet, I cannot wipe the smile off my face. On the weekend most of us flew in from Australia. After getting a bit lost at the airport I finally managed to run into the two students who were picking me up, and from that moment the warmth and hospitality of the Mexican people has constantly amazed me. After big hugs and greetings, off we went to the....

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February 25, 2015

If you are still traveling overseas for the January 2015 intake, please note that the emergency hotline has been changed to Chubb Response 24/7 assistance telephone +612 9929 2216 (insurance policy number: 93125716) instead of International SOS.

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February 25, 2015

Monday 2 Feb - New classes and birthday glasses Exams were completed so for our final week we were mixed up and put into different classes to continue practicing our Spanish but with a new group of people. There were a lot of others who were completing longer programs that were only just beginning their semester so there was a whole range of students. (Mostly Americans again - they were basically taking over Granada).The classes were still really fun and it was great to meet another crowd. Later in the evening, it was our host mum's son's 18th birthday so....

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February 23, 2015

Monday 26 Jan - Go pro in the snow Australia day back home! We had to do something awesome in Granada to celebrate it so we decided to do a day trip to Sierra Nevada and go skiing. After watching the sunrise on the bus trip up, (only a 50min drive!) it was a beautiful 15 degrees and sunny on top of the mountain which was the perfect day to be there. It was also my first proper attempt at skiing so I was a bit nervous but incredibly excited! As soon as we arrived we couldn't help admire the....

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February 19, 2015

Monday 19 Jan - Spanish wines and practicing lines I finally picked up a 'University of Granada' jumper as a take home memory and it also didn't hurt to have extra layers on during the cold days. The now traditional Monday night language exchange night was here again, we dragged a few of the others out with us this time to meet some native speakers so we could all practise our Spanish. Having my practice oral tomorrow was also the perfect excuse to go so I could speak as much Spanish as I could and carry out conversations. It was....

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February 19, 2015

Monday 12 Jan - Orange trees and no English please Our first Monday of classes was a struggle getting out of bed for an early 10am start (no it really was, the sleep patterns were still all over the place). I arrived early at the other university so I had sat outside before class and admired how many orange trees surrounded the building, it was beautiful! The entrance looked like more of a large cottage than a university. The classes were intensive straight away, if we didn't know how to say a specific word we would have to try to....

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February 17, 2015

Work for AIM Overseas! We pride ourselves on being an awesome team to work with. We're currently hiring casual staff, who have had overseas study experiences, to work with us at the following universities: 1. University of Wollongong 2. La Trobe University (Bendigo and Bundoora) 3. Griffith University (Nathan and Gold Coast) 4. University of Tasmania 5. University of South Australia 6. University of Technology Sydney 7. Flinders University 8. University of Adelaide 9. University of Newcastle If you're not from one of these universities please drop us a line too - we'd love to hear from you! For more....

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February 03, 2015

Our final week began in slight chaos, with most of our assignments due and our final all taking place, the hotel common area was filled with tired eyes but as always a lot of laughter and wonderful conversations. Our final project presentations went ahead, some were hilarious but all were brilliantly creative. However, as the end of the week approached we all began to dread the goodbyes that were approaching. Without missing a beat our final assignment was due on Friday, "Warm and fuzzies". One of the many amazing people in our study group came up with a gorgeous idea....

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February 03, 2015

After embarking upon the longest aero plane journey possible (approximately 17 hours from Sydney to Dallas followed by 2 hours domestically) I had arrived in Charlotte to meet and greet with the UNC intercultural outreach program PA's Dion, Anna and Steph along with the self titled 'party bus' of Aim students, it was evident that although the excitement of travelling to the US was compelling, we were ready to reach our destination. After a warm welcome from the staff at the Dury Inn, we lugged ourselves into our rooms, ready to dispel the layers of clothing and baggage that accompanied....

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February 02, 2015

This week we ventured out of Cusco city and into the jungle. The Amazon jungle that is, and it was amazing! For your average student this would be an amazing experience, but for a group of students interested in biodiversity in Peru, this was an amazing and educational adventure. We arrived to our Eco-lodge on Tuesday afternoon hungry and ready for adventure. So first point of call was to settle into our rooms and lunch. We then met our guide and went for s brief three-kilometre introduction to the Amazon. With vast amounts of plants, birds and insects pointed out....

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January 27, 2015

This last week has completely flown by and I am very saddened to be leaving Europe at the moment. This week started with a trip to Amsterdam, which was a lot of fun as I've never seen another city like it before. The tour around Amsterdam was so interesting, especially learning about why the houses are so thin (the government used to tax by how wide the front of your house was) and how they managed to get furniture in. They managed to get furniture in their thin houses through hooks on the front of the house and lifting the....

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January 26, 2015

Week two has been amazing, back to classes and it has all really become real, we are studying biodiversity in Peru. Our routine has been set and classes have been filled with a whorl wind of information. We all stroll into the dining area first thing in the morning, enjoy some eggs, fruit and coffee, then the quick walk to class begins. Three hours of class, and we are done for the day by lunchtime. Our afternoons are generally spent getting lunch at one of the many culinary spots Cusco has to offer and everyone begins afternoon study sessions. This....

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January 26, 2015

I first heard about the International Environmental Law program from a friend who completed program two years ago, and had nothing but good things to say about her experience here in Maastricht. The people, the place, the classes, and, of course, her time travelling through Europe. Having now spent some time in Maastricht, I can say she was completely right. Maastricht is an old, beautiful, quaint town, with windy cobblestone streets, historical buildings, bicycles everywhere, cute cafes, and friendly locals that don't mind pointing lost tourists in the right direction! I arrived at the International Student Guesthouse a little earlier....

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January 21, 2015

The days are flying by as we've now finished our second week of classes! It's becoming increasingly important to find a balance between working hard and exploring this city; the pressure is on! We've still managed to take some time out to shop, wander, drink and eat out, but it's been surprisingly difficult to find establishments that accommodate to vegetarians!   It's amazing to see how positive psychology is rapidly gaining momentum and becoming integrated within clinical psychology. One of my favourite aspects of the program is that I can directly apply what I'm learning to my everyday life. We explored....

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January 19, 2015

Where did this week go? Slightly less hectic than the first, we have settled into our class routine, familiarised ourselves a bit more with beautiful Maastricht and gotten to know our fellow students better. Monday 12 January, Day 10 And on that day, the Australian students rested. Monday was the chance to catch up on some much needed z's and knuckle down to study for our upcoming exam on Wednesday. A welcome break came in the evening, when we went to the local cinema for a private screening of the film Black Book, an incredible insight into the Dutch Resistance.....

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January 19, 2015

'Studying overseas opens your mind. It shows you a different perspective on life and allows a person to see outside of the box' says Meaghan Smith who studied her undergraduate degree at Monash University. Meaghan, now a self-employed photographer, spent a semester studying at the University of Gajah Mada Yogyakarta in Indonesia as part of her degree, making her one of the 30,000 Australian students who go overseas each year to study. The number of Australians studying overseas has been rising over the past few years as more young people decide to pass on the ritual 'working in a London....

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January 18, 2015

WEEK 1 Tuesday 6 Jan - Survival upon arrival After a long day in transit, I arrived in Madrid to catch a 5 hour bus to Granada. There was going to be a delay in my arrival to my Señora's house so I needed to give her a call to let her know before being a disruption in the middle of the night. As I had only just arrived I didn't have a working phone so I had to ask the guy sitting next to me to borrow his. I hadn't spoken proper Spanish in a good 3 months since....

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January 18, 2015

Another week here in Maastricht absolutely flew by.  Sadly only one week left! We left very early Saturday morning on our way to Brussels, and when we finally arrived in Brussels we did a walking tour for about two hours. Which began and ended with in the grand square and I couldn't believe how lovely and very old the buildings are. After the tour we had free time to go see some of the suggested museums if we wished. However, a few others and I decided we preferred to go shopping. After a long day shopping we went to Delirium....

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January 15, 2015

International Relations and Politics in the EU Blog Post Friday 9th January The IR life Living the International Relations lifestyle back in Australia is difficult, there are not many institutions regarding the European Union (geographically I understand, however take our performance in Eurovision last year as a sign for us wanting to be able to be more a part of things) Brussels on the other hand, was richly prepared for our IR brains. Our trip to Brussels began in the early hour of the morning because it would appear that is the way the Dutch live their lives (power to....

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January 14, 2015

Saturday 3/1: International Environmental Law is only one of three AIM programs running simultaneously at Maastricht University during the 3 week intensive course. The University Guesthouse was therefore inundated with over 100 Australian students picking up their room keys and making their way to either building P (shared rooms) or building C (single rooms). Roommates quickly got acquainted and everyone settled into their rooming situations quickly, a relief for many who had taken the opportunity to travel beforehand. Within an hour of the scheduled arrival time the groups met down in the foyer again to await further instructions. 'Introductory packs....

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January 14, 2015

The past week has flown by! We are feeling quite at home in our comfortable Guesthouse abode, friendships have been made, new food and drink experienced and of course there is the matter of familiarising ourselves with the international relations and politics of the European Union. Here is a little bit on what we have done so far... Saturday 3 January, Day 1 Goede avond, Maastricht! This was the day a group of rowdy Australians descended upon your fine city. With half of us jet lagged and the other half already well traveled, we gathered together at the Guesthouse, initially....

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January 14, 2015

It's hard to believe our first week in Vichy is done and dusted! This time last week we were still reeling from our 3 hour train rides from Paris and starting to settle in with our host families. The initial hellos went smoother for some than others: those of us who were more proficient French speakers attempted a 'bonjour' while some of our beginner friends had to resort to mimes and google translate when they realised their host families didn't speak any English. CAVILAM, the French language school we're attending, also has a strict policy of not housing students who....

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January 14, 2015

I've just completed the first week of my Positive Psychology journey and I'm so captivated and inspired.  Maastricht is a charming old Dutch city near the borders of Belgium and Germany with 17,000 students and 'more pubs than days of the year' (as I've heard a few locals boast!) Shortly after arriving at the guesthouse I looked out of the window of our room and saw a light sprinkle of snow falling. I was so excited because I've never experienced snow before, so I'm hoping it might happen again before I leave. On our second day we were guided on....

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January 14, 2015

Our first week went off with a great start, full of new meetings, exploration of the city of Cusco and cultural excursions. We all arrived of the course of three or four days and from different directions of the globe, some people having been traveling through North America others Europe. A few of us did have some tiring times battling with the time zone difference and altitude sickness, but within a few days this all passed and we were set to start our exciting new journey. Cusco city is a beautiful place to be studying, already experiencing many of the....

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January 14, 2015

Hello Maastricht! This week went by so fast I can't believe it is already at its end. This was our first week in Maastricht and most of the week was spent settling in and introducing ourselves to the new course. I arrived a day earlier than most others and spent my time settling in and getting used to my new surroundings as I had never stayed in dorms before. This gave me a chance to get to know those few others who had arrived early and were on my floor. This small group went out on the Friday night for....

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January 03, 2015

'Studying overseas opens your mind. It shows you a different perspective on life and allows a person to see outside of the box' says Meaghan Smith who studied her undergraduate degree at Monash University. Meaghan, now a self-employed photographer, spent a semester studying at the University of Gajah Mada Yogyakarta in Indonesia as part of her degree, making her one of the 30,000 Australian students who go overseas each year to study. The number of Australians studying overseas has been rising over the past few years as more young people decide to pass on the ritual 'working in a London....

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December 09, 2014

Our time at Michigan State University commenced with pickup from a local bus stop by the student mentors. Although I had some idea how big the Michigan State campus was, I wasn't prepared for how lost I would constantly be for the next week. We rolled up to our dorm halls, known as the "Snyder Phillips" building. Like most of the buildings at Michigan State, they're grandiose heritage looking mansions made up of windy hallways, countless dorm rooms and common areas. All the nearby dorm halls are identical - always fun for a confused international student. The first week was....

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December 09, 2014

As this is my first trip outside of Australia ever and being alone in another country, I felt a bit of culture shock and homesickness for the first day or two. Fortunately, the travel to apartment was rather easy from Fiumicino airport using the train to Tiburtina then catching a taxi to Residenza Conti. I managed to get myself some fungi pizza on the first night, some peaches and a dessert speaking little Italian to the locals. I want to admit that Roma at first sight, is, well, very different from Australia. For example the traffic is pretty crazy here.....

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December 09, 2014

Prego! I have been practicing my Italiano, can you tell? With the help of some friendly locals of course...whilst travelling through the colourful Cinque Terre! After harassing one boy asking how to say every ridiculous phrase you can think of in Italiano, it's safe to say he will be avoiding anyone with blonde hair from now on! What a perfecto weekend getaway! The girls and I bonded with another group from the course who joined us and we all managed to hike from Montorosso to Vernazza in the sizzling, summer heat. Working off that pasta! There was a moment when....

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December 09, 2014

Ola! Barcelona - wow! Think long, stretches of sand, tree lined streets, tapas bars on every corner, and good-looking Spanish boys. A weekend was not long enough, I'll be back Barca! Launching straight back into a busy week at IED, I can't believe we have just one more week left! First thing on Monday we had our communication strategy to present to our client, La Rosa dei Venti. I had the role of putting together the presentation on behalf of the group, which I did using the program Prezi. I was feeling the pressure! After a stressful morning making last....

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December 09, 2014

[gallery columns="2" ids="3129,3130,3131,3132"] I just cannot believe it is week two of the program already, and we are off to Budapest! First up however we made a visit to a Slovakian NGO based in Bratislava called the Partners for Democratic Change. We spent a really interesting hour discussing issues relating to international security, in particular conflicts in sub saharan Africa. We learnt a lot about the valuable work the NGO does in terms of supporting democratic change. After our short stopover in Slovakia, our next stop... Budapest! Naturally, we immediately climbed up a huge hill (which some of us found....

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December 09, 2014

Having settled in Florence, PR and Fashion Events students found themselves immersed in the fashion world claiming some professional work out of an ordinary classroom assignment. ...

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September 24, 2014

It's a bit of the classic 'chicken and egg' situation: you need better data in order to justify more resources, but you need more resources in order to collect better data. Every business knows the value of data and the ability to draw meaningful conclusions from it. Just ask Google! Over the years, Australian universities have gotten pretty good at collecting strong data for recruitment purposes - AUIDF benchmarking conducted by Alan Olsen of SPRE Pty Ltd has provided world-class, industry- and institution- level trends. Other professionals, like Keri Ramirez and Dimity Huckel of Study Move Consultants have done incredible....

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September 15, 2014

I've gotten attached to this city already. I've been in Cambridge since Sunday, and even though today is only Thursday, I feel like I may have found the greatest place on earth. Before getting here, I spent four days in London, and I didn't think it could get any better than that, but one short train ride through the English countryside north, and it can. It's the peak of summer, so Cambridge is covered with tourists, music, sunshine and an awful lot of surprisingly beautiful things. Take Kings College, which I just got from visiting. I learned in my lectures....

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September 11, 2014

After three flights and far too many hours, I land in Mexico City late at night. Before I even disembark on the plane, I am reminded of the friendly and welcoming nature of the Mexican people, as I get chatting to a girl across the isle who promptly gives me her phone number and offers to help me out, answer questions, etc. Landing was no different- our smiley logistics coordinator Oscar is there waiting for the large group that arrived on this flights, and we are all distributed to our various host families via minivan. After saying a brief 'hello'....

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August 26, 2014

I arrived in Mumbai late Saturday night after 2 connecting flights from Sydney to Singapore then Singapore to Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai GVK airport, I was truly impressed by the pick-up service from the Four Seasons Hotel. As soon as I walked out from customs I was greeted by two friendly Four Seasons Hotel staff, waiting for me at the arrival hall wearing grey suits. After confirming my name, the friendly driver took me to the car park where the BMW limousine was parked.  There was Wi-Fi connection and refreshments in the limousine and the driver made sure I....

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July 22, 2014

Today I awoke from my slumber raring and ready to go for my first day of school. I felt like an over excited preppy as I rushed around gathering all my design essentials for the class ahead. Today was actually a brilliant day now I think about it. It was inspirational and informative and that's exactly what I'm here for. Today we began the first day of an extremely intensive, learning month and the start of our exciting studies at the IED here in Florence. Our professors know their stuff and it's so good to know we are in good....

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July 22, 2014

  These installments of seeing Italy through Greta's eyes are starting to become me. I walked to the supermarket yesterday and subconsciously as I was walking, I began thinking as if I was writing (if that makes sense). Describing everything I saw in my mind and locking it in my memory bank to write down once I eventually got the chance. This new blogging addition to my life is taking over my whole thought process as I think ,"Yes I cannot wait to write this down or explain how incredible these all are in my blog". The only thing is,....

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July 22, 2014

Picture this for me...a glistening river running through a city, beautiful arched bridges taking vespers from side to side and designer flagship stores displaying the latest luxuries in narrow stone streets. Welcome to Florence! Otherwise known as the city of Firenze to the Italiano's. This beautiful city is like no other, with it's beautiful architecture and charm, the city has truly exceeded my expectations. What a lucky girl I am to have the opportunity to study here! Traveling all the way from Newcastle, Australia, (via a cheeky vacay in Dubrovnik, Croatia), I arrived in Firenze on the Saturday with three....

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July 22, 2014

When you travel abroad by yourself, you're either enthralled with a deep sense of fear due to the unknown or a tingling barrage of excitement at the prospect of traveling to a far and foreign country. For me it's both. Boarding the plane to Florence was a grueling effort. A 22-hour flight from a dry continent to lush and versatile land called Europe. I landed in Florence after a week in Paris with both feelings of fear and excitement due to the ambiguity that the city and the course entitled. When you land in Florence, perhaps the most important facet....

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July 22, 2014

[gallery ids="3111,3112,3113,3114,3115"] After weeks of excitement, summer school in the town of Brno has finally arrived! Welcome to the Czech Republic, the land of castles, beautiful churches, donut milks (the most delicious food known to man, see picture for clarification) and of course the Czech version of water, beer. Just a fun fact for you, the Czech Republic is actually beer capital of the world, the average person consuming over 160 liters of beer per year :o... Since our arrival in Brno we have already been introduced to fabulous Czech cuisine, namely delicious potatoes, meat and an abundance of sauerkraut...which....

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July 22, 2014

Good morning Aussies :) It's 9.40am on Sunday the 22nd 2014 and I just woke up from the most magical dream where I was given the most amazing European, cottage apartment overlooking all of Florence..... Hang on. This isn't actually a dream? This is actually too good to be true that's what it is. Somebody, please pinch me! I actually can't fathom how I got soo lucky and I am not for a second taking any of this for granted. This is already the time of my life and I wish every single one of you were here to share....

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July 22, 2014

I have officially been out of "The land down under" for just over a week and it's fair to say I'm already head over heels. Now I know what you're thinking, You all think I've found some Italian stallion and become infatuated...but not quite! I've actually fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with this beautiful country and everything it has to offer. The people, the personalities, the nightlife, the IED, the street art, the architecture, the old buildings, the food, the gelati, my apartment, my friends here ... Ahh! the list goes on. I've only seen a small portion but....

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July 22, 2014

Wowee what an extremely emotional, exciting and overwhelming 24+ hours that was! I am finally in the big boot country of Italy, Rome to be exact and I'm absolutely pooped but as giddy as ever! Whoever is reading this, I want you to firstly take into consideration that my grammar and punctuation will definitely not be up to scratch by any means as I'm struggling to get back into the swing of things with all these time zones and foreign languages. However, my bottle cap goggles are secured on my flustered big head of ratty hair and pre-sun kissed skin....

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July 22, 2014

Dobry den! (Hello!) I'm preparing the beginning of this blog post from the comfort (I use that term loosely) of my hostel in Berlin. Just yesterday I was back in Prague, continuing my post-program travels. This is just a testament as to how easily one loses track of time whilst travelling - and also how amazingly easy it is to fleet from one country to the next in Europe. Walking along the Charles Bridge brought back so many unforgettable and fond memories of the time we were there on the program only a few weeks ago. Now winding back time,....

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July 21, 2014

I've decided that in my next life I'm going to be an osteopath. It's not because I've got a dicky back and would love to know how to fix it, and it's certainly got nothing to do with the healthy billable hourly rate for experienced osteos. Instead, it's got everything to do to with the osteopathic 'boot camp' that I attended this weekend with students from RMIT and VU run by AIM Overseas' partner, Salt Health Solutions. The weekend was a cool mix of philosophy about osteopathy expertly blended with practical exercises and advice. As the non-osteo in the room,....

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July 13, 2014

For many years there has been a large (and growing) body of evidence of advantages that students gain as a result of having an international study experience. Enhanced soft skills (like cross cultural skills, flexibility and adaptability), better creativity, improved academic results (and likelihood to complete their degree) are all part of the mix. Whilst research about employment outcomes for students that have studied overseas are positive (though not a lot of research exists), this recent article in the Fairfax media would seem to suggest that graduates are going to need all the positives they can get on their resume....

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July 06, 2014

I'm sitting at Singapore's Changi airport waiting for my flight to Sydney to be called. As applications open in the morning, I'm heading home to rejoin the team after two blissful weeks of holidays on an Indian Ocean beach. It seems fitting to be writing a blog post from an airport when we're about to start the process of helping hundreds more students to head to an airport (or two!) themselves. The whole team at AIM Overseas is really excited about the upcoming intake. Over the past 7 years AIM Overseas has truly redefined overseas study programs for Australian university....

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June 25, 2014

So this is officially the start of my travel blog! I'm a 21 year Greta goofy and curious grapho with a big imagination and crave for adventure. And like many, longs to travel and see the world has not yet been given the chance ... until now. So here's my deal. On the 18th of April 2014 I received the letter of acceptance telling me I was one of few to be selected to study for 4 weeks at theInstitute of design in Florence, Italy! I applied, not expecting anything to come from it, but left shocked and overwhelmed with....

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February 11, 2014

The last week of our program we spent at our internships at Vance High School, James Martin Middle School and Carolina International School. Unfortunately school was cancelled for us all on Wednesday and Thursday due to the weather being so bad. It only snowed a couple of inches on Tuesday night but that was enough for the superintendent to make the decision that it was unsafe for schools to operate on those days as well as a half day on Tuesday. This was very disappointing for us all as we wanted to spend time with our teachers and students but....

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February 11, 2014

After an amazing trip to Prague, we were all geared up for our second week of classes. This week went by considerably faster than the first - perhaps due to the anticipation for Budapest! It's often forgotten that we are all here on a study program when there is always so much to see and do. So when it came around to our first test early in the week, it was a friendly reminder of the fact that we're ultimately here to study - but thankfully it was a breeze, even with the last minute revision. The night before our....

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February 11, 2014

Bonjour à tous! This last week has been very up and down, and it seems like the experience is pretty global for those who left Cavilam and France after 4 weeks of classes. After high school, it's surprisingly easy to forget how much we get attached to the people that we share a classroom with 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. They're the same people we spend the 2 hours lunch break with, and the same people that we spend our weekends with. Admittedly I felt like a bit of a twit for getting emotional at the end....

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February 11, 2014

Bonjour à tous! As we enter our final week of the Cavilam Program, I reflect on the activity that has taken up the vast majority of our time in Vichy - classes. I realise I haven't explained in great detail what actually goes on in classes and, honestly, makes the program worthwhile for a budding student of French at university. It's my personal opinion that this kind of intensive language course is better suited to a languages student at uni, especially in my case! (I'm poor, prone to homesickness, and with a baby on the way a longer exchange would....

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February 11, 2014

Bonjour, je m'appelle Lauren. Parlez vous Anglais? After a month in France, this is close to the only sentence I can construct in French... Thankfully these words have invited kindness and almost everyone has been able to speak some English. The past 3 weeks have been amazing, with the program exceeded my expectations. Managing Brands in Europe and Global Leadership where excellent subjects to study in France. I have a new perspective on marketing, which I will use when I go to University at home. As for Global Leadership, I now feel inspired to do further study into this topic....

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February 03, 2014

Bonjour à tous! After a second week at Cavilam that was just as hectic as the first, I have decided to base this blog post around two themes - being a tourist, and mixing languages like an amateur. This past week, I've really settled into a routine - wake up early for classes (I've never been one to enjoy an 8:30am start), break at midday for lunch, back into afternoon classes until 3:30, homework until 6pm, return home, eat dinner, sleep, repeat. Seems like a crazy way to spend my summer holidays - but let me tell you, it's completely....

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February 01, 2014

Back from Cusco, Peru and I definitely miss the place.  I enjoyed having all the tours and the amazing places to see.  I have come back with a taste of adventure and I want more.  Last week of the program was pretty busy, focusing on the last assessment tasks and exams we had to do.  We all reminisced throughout the week about the enjoyable time we had and that we would all miss it. Everyone expressed that they would be keen to come back again if they had the opportunity.  We partied to farewell one of the group, then the....

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January 29, 2014

Settling in to the pace of things here after about a week hasn't been difficult, at all. It is hard to believe that there are only 7 days left for this program, what with this intense week, and the coming week ahead. Finishing off where we left off, last Sunday saw an (apparently) intense soccer match, Wogs v. The Rest - and seeing as I couldn't attend, I could only deduce how intense it was from the miserable state of the soccer ball. Most days have settled in to a routine of attending class, either followed by a professional visit,....

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January 28, 2014

Bonjour a nouveau! This week I've been feeling lucky. Lucky to have this opportunity to study overseas, lucky to travel around France and lucky to share the fun with good people. We are fortunate to be enjoying a 4-day long-weekend. Everyone has chosen an adventure: Paris, Spain, Switzerland, Berlin, London and snow boarding in Austria. For me, I chose to stay local (over four hours on a delayed train). We made a girls trip down to Bordeaux, south of Tours. Previously I didn't know very much about the city, aside for it's reputation as a distinguished wine region in France.....

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January 28, 2014

"You are in the centre of history itself".  Is what our History of Inca Civilisation teacher, Miguel Landa said to us on our first day.  As I wonder the streets with the friends I've made from the program I see it all around me and I am astonished and amazed at the beautiful history around me.  If you can make the effort to climb up a steep hill to the Blanco Christo (White Jesus), you will come across a picturesque view of Cuzco and the mountains that surround.  The near three day journey and the brief loss of my luggage....

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January 28, 2014

Can't believe that we have been in Charlotte for 2 weeks and only have one week of the program to go! It has flown by so quickly but we have all experienced so much and have been having so much fun. The past week has been filled with more visits to American schools, educational lectures at UNCC, neighbourhood visits and cultural activities. We have all survived the cold so far and are loving every minute of our program here in the US! Sunday: A lot of us took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep and then headed out....

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January 27, 2014

Are you a first or 2nd year students passionate about overseas study? Are you proactive and outgoing with exceptional presentation skills? If so, then AIM Overseas has got the perfect job opportunity for you... We are looking for Campus Liaison Officers ("CLO") to be our representative on campuses across Australia. The CLO's main role is helping get the word out to students and academics about AIM Overseas' international study programs. It's a casual job that's well paid with other side benefits. Commitment is approximately 5 hours per week for the first 8 weeks of your semester. Interested? Email Ellie (courses@aimoverseas.com.au)....

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January 22, 2014

Having been here in the town of Brno, Czech Republic for a week now, that's about as far as I'll go with the poor "Czech" puns. It's been a wonderful first week, and many of us share a mutual disbelief in how fast time has been flying over here. Things all began on the Sunday for many of us as one by one we all checked in to our residence at Hotel Garni in one of Masaryk University's campuses. Having survived a long train ride from Berlin (who ever thought up that brilliant idea?), my fellow classmate and travel buddy....

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January 21, 2014

Ooh la la! My first week in Tours, France has been enchanting. The cool weather is a welcome treat in comparison to the summer heat wave back home. This past week has invited new friendships with our fellow exchange students and French students. We've had a good balance of study and play, although not a lot of rest for most! Tours city, affectionately known by locals as 'Little Paris', is simply gorgeous. I instantly fell in love with the harmony and grace of this small city and its friendly locals. It is hard to choose a favourite place from the....

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January 21, 2014

Week two has come and gone, the week starting with relaxing after Machu Picchu.  I have never been more out of breath, sweaty or sun conscious in my life.  There were so many steps that everyone. But it was worth it.  The most achieving part was climbing to Huaynapichu where you could look down at Machu Picchu.  I have never had a fear of heights until that point in time.  With that said, it was still an astonishing sight.  Into our second week we have realised that we have to study whilst we are here, so we start a study....

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January 20, 2014

Well, week one is done and dusted and 26 Aussie babes have made their mark on Mexico City. Or would it be more appropriate to say that Mexico City has made its mark on us, for some more literal then others (crazy Mexican viruses). From the amazing street food or so I am told (inexperienced vegetarian reporting) to the revenge of montezuma's (Google it, but please steer clear of google images) to the crazy Mexican traditions (kitchen knives in the garden to ward off rain) to the loving host families and of course as sappy as it sounds the new....

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January 20, 2014

Ah, America, also known as the land of opportunities and, well fast food chains. I have been here for a week now and I can definitely verify the latter, there are restaurants and bars everywhere!     I am currently in Charlotte, NC, attending the University of North Carolina. My first impression of Charlotte is that it is, very clean. The roads were spotless and the buildings are all neatly designed to compliment each other. The people here are all extremely friendly and helpful, an example is, on my first day here, I got lost whilst trying to find the university and....

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January 20, 2014

Week one of our program has flown by! We have been kept super busy with lots of fun cultural activities and of course our school visits and university lectures at UNCC. Monday: First off we had teambuilding activities with the business students as well which helped us to all learn each other's names and get to know each other better. We participated in many fun activities including: dodge ball, a blindfolded "minefield" obstacle course and jump rope. Next we had a tour of the UNCC campus and were shown where our lectures would be held. We also got our UNCC....

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January 14, 2014

May I begin this blog by saying what an absolutely mind-blowing experience the Cavilam Intensive French program has been so far! My friends back home were not lying when they said that being exposed to another language all day is exhausting - I've definitely found it to be true (keeping my eyes open past 9pm is currently a mission of epic proportions!!!) but I've made some very interesting new friends, realized just how much French I don't know, and stammered my way through more conversation en français in a week than I have in my life, bad accent in tow.....

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January 14, 2014

The past few days have been exciting for us all on the AIM Overseas teaching program. We have all been arriving over the last three days and are quickly (or slowly for others) recovering from our long journey from Australia. There are a few of us who have been to the States before but for most it is a first, there are many differences in the Australian and American cultures as we are all finding out. Our new home for the next three weeks is the Drury Inn and it is located in University Place, close to the university, Walmart....

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January 14, 2014

Our story begins in Maastricht, an almost close-knit city brimming with history and culture, which despite its regal Roman origins is not unwelcoming of the visiting stranger. I mean really, here is the scene that welcomes you as you walk out of Maastricht train station: The Dutch are a funny people, but most in Maastricht seem accustomed to having foreign students around and show little more than curiosity when hearing the Aussie accent.  Generally, people under the age of 50 speak good English and have little trouble giving directions to the nearest shopping strip or cafe scene. Fashion is foremost....

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January 13, 2014

I speak for myself when I say that this is my first overseas experience, though for many people joining this program was only a small part of their travel experiences. Several members of the group arrived earlier than the official starting date of the program, giving us the opportunity to get to know other participants and get to know our way around Istanbul. Bogazici university has a beautiful campus, which brought to mind my own university back in Sydney. What was interesting was the number of animals freely strolling around, which as we later learnt are all vaccinated and taken....

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December 19, 2013

Do you love taking pictures and videos? Want to get your clips and photos produced and branded? Would like to create a fantastic portfolio that makes your CV stand out? Here is an exciting chance for you to tell your overseas study experience through pictures rather than words! We are looking for an official program photographer/videographer to capture the magical moments of your overseas study journey. As an appointed official photographer/videographer, you'll be required to send us a range of clips and high res photos that cover all aspects of the program you are undertaking including shots of: -       Classrooms,....

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December 11, 2013

It was one of those rare role moments of bipartisanship in Australian politics. In front of a large audience in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched one of the Government's 'Signature Policies', the New Colombo Plan. The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, was there accepting the role of Patron of the scheme, as was the Deputy Opposition Leader, Tanya Plibersek, representing Labor leader Bill Shorten who was in South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral. In Julie Bishop's own words, the goals of creating a scheme that would last 'in perpetuity' and be 'above politics' certainly seemed to....

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November 27, 2013

by Rob Malicki, Director, AIM Overseas Back in March I was fortunate to be invited to join part of the advisory process for the Coalition's New Colombo Plan, eventually joining the Steering Committee to contribute ideas to the shaping of this critical policy to help more Australians to study overseas. It has been a great privilege to be involved in this process and to see first hand how seriously political parties and Government take the development of policy. Over the past months there have been calls for submissions, committee meetings, public and private consultations (with all manner of stakeholders) and....

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November 04, 2013

In October 2013 AIM Overseas ran two webinars for Australian universities on behalf of Universities Australia about the value of outbound mobility experiences, like exchanges, short courses, study tours, clinical and practical placements and internships. Recordings of the two webinars can be found in the accordions below. The webinars are: Graduate Better: The Huge Benefits of Studying Overseas, and Fund It! Financial and Other Support for Outbound Mobility Outbound mobility refers to Australian university students participating on outbound student exchanges, study tours, practical placements and other international study experiences. More than ever, Australian universities are trying to get their students....

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September 30, 2013

Maria, AIM Overseas' marketing and communications coordinator, auditions tomorrow for the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Hear her singing 'Voi Che Sapete' from 'The Marriage of Figaro' in this short clip, recorded in the AIM Overseas office this afternoon. Incredible! Good luck Maria!

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September 17, 2013

Outbound mobility refers to Australian university students participating on outbound student exchanges, study tours, practical placements and other international study experiences. More than ever, Australian universities are trying to get their students to have international study experiences. Over 50 years of research explains why: overseas study experiences provide students with exceptional 'international skills', make them more employable, and generate significant value for universities too. The Australian Government has also acknowledged the high value of this activity over the past decade by introducing schemes like the OS-HELP loan scheme and AsiaBound funding program. Webinar 1: Wednesday 2nd October - 10am EST....

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August 24, 2013

Thanks for attending one of my AsiaBound, OS-HELP and the Value of Outbound Mobility sessions at your campus recently, I really do appreciate you coming along! If you haven't yet completed the post-session survey (2 minutes), it would be great if you could do that here. Value of Outbound Mobility Handout You can download the electronic version of the 'Value of Outbound Mobility' document that I distributed here. Please use this document however you wish and feel free to take any quotes and stats from it as you need! Presentation You can download my presentation as both a PDF and....

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August 22, 2013

AIM Overseas today released a literature summary on the outcomes of outbound mobility experiences, also sometimes referred to as 'study abroad'. The paper, commissioned by Universities Australia as part of the Australian Government's AsiaBound information campaign, summarises some of the key pieces of academic research from the past 50 years about the impact short- to medium-term overseas study experiences have on both students and universities. "There are enormous benefits for both students and universities" said Rob Malicki, Director and lead researcher at AIM Overseas."Research dating back over 50 years shows life-long outcomes for participants of overseas study programs like student....

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August 08, 2013

Universities Australia is hosting workshops and roundtables on AsiaBound around the country. Find out more here. ...

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July 31, 2013

It has been a busy second week at Oxford as every single student here tries to cram in as much as we possibly can before our time flies by. In between the hours spent preparing for class, attending lessons and eating meals this week, my fellow peers and I have managed to get acquainted with Oxford's pub scene, see a Fabulous Bach concerto at the Holywell Music Hall and even get to know the local haunts of some of Oxford's famous ghosts, with Bill Spectre's Ghosts trail tour! I don't think Mr Bill Spectre quite got what he expected when....

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July 30, 2013

How many exchange partnerships do the Australian universities have? According to a recently completed research project by AIM Overseas, the 38 universities studied had a total of 4,457 exchange partners all around the world. "This is the first time that the total number of exchange partnerships of the Australian universities has been specifically analysed, as far as I'm aware" said Rob Malicki, Director of AIM Overseas. "This is a strong number and shows that the Australian universities are strongly linked, through student mobility activities, to institutions all around the world." The data was obtained through analysis of the Australian universities'....

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July 26, 2013

The third week of living here in Florence has been a little more testing than the previous two. With our fashion event fast approaching and a five day weekend we've found ourselves in a variety of different places around the country. Having only had two days of class this week due to scheduling difficulties we decided to take advantage of the travel opportunities with girls heading to Rome, Venice, Siena and Milan to soak up the sunshine. We've been enjoying local music, testing out our culinary expertise, exploring various fashion museums such as the Gucci Museum, enjoying dessert at the....

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July 26, 2013

Living in Florence now for two weeks has seen us fitting in as some of the locals, we've been stopped and asked for directions by other tourists so we must be doing something right! We're loving the Italian lifestyle of freedom and rich culture. It's been funny learning how opposite Italy really is from Australia, you can ride a scooter anywhere without a helmet, take your dog ANYWHERE (including inside shops like Tiffany & Co. and restaurants), drink alcohol in the street, smoke anywhere you like, McDonald's have self service and pizza on the menu as an option, yes the....

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July 26, 2013

During my first day at Michigan State, I got to meet Nina, my housemate for the next three weeks here at Michigan State. Everyone is staying in Abbot Hall, on campus. We headed over to orientation, where we got to meet the rest of the people in the Big Data program. There's eleven of us in total - me, Nina, Yamini, Anna, Callan, James, Simon, Tom, Gary, Matt and Charles. I'm the only one from Adelaide University; all of the others are from a variety of universities around Australia. We got a small tour of Michigan State's gigantic campus -....

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July 26, 2013

I arrived in Milan yesterday afternoon, having travelled from the first leg of my European adventure. That included me seeing London, Paris, Lucerne, Nice and finishing in Barcelona. I spent the afternoon half asleep, preparing for my first week as a student of IED Milano. After meeting up with some of the other AIM girls we went, cameras in hand, to the first of our many Metro trips together. We headed into what we thought was the centre of town and when we walked up the stairs from the station were amazed by the incredible sight of the Duomo Milano....

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July 26, 2013

A final blog post to salute my two weeks spent at Cambridge - an experience that ended much too soon! As for final weeks of anything new and exciting, I made sure to balance excitement whilst juggling writing an essay - which was kind of the whole reason I came here, right? ;) Last Sunday we took a trip to London to visit the British Museum. All my expectations were exceeded, with the most exquisite exhibits available for the public to view. The museum itself was huge! It was impossible to see everything, though I made sure I found my....

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July 26, 2013

It's hard to believe that it's the final week of the American Semester program! Time really does fly when you're having fun. Week two passed by so quickly. It wasn't as eventful as the first week as I think the hype had settled, but there are always group activities and outings to choose from. This week I went shopping at the local mall with some of the girls. There are Michigan State University apparel stores everywhere and it still surprises me how everyone wears the green and white clothing with pride. We had our first industry trip and travelled to....

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July 21, 2013

The AIM Overseas team are excited to announce that we are hiring for a new role in our office - an Assistant Marketing and Communications Coordinator. This role will be an integral part of our small and passionate team, supporting the Recruitment Coordinator with AIM Overseas' marketing and communications activities. We're looking for someone with a great attitude: pro-active and ready to learn. The job is based in our office in Frenchs Forest, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Position Description: Marketing and Communications Assistant Coordinator For more information, please contact Marine (02 9975 7792).The job description and contact details....

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July 17, 2013

It's not every day I am excited about studying for the day, The Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), however, is different. Studying the AIM Overseas Fashion Events and Public Relations summer course in Florence, Italy is like no other ... literally. Walking to and from the IED every day is magical; the shutters, the street, the surroundings, the shop owners and the atmosphere is spectacular. What better way to be inspired for the day than walking towards the Duomo on your way to university?! If that's not enough to wake you up and look forward to the day, then perhaps....

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July 17, 2013

After six months of planning, organising and anticipating my trip to America and 48 hours of travelling I'm here, safe at Michigan State University! What an adventure and it's only been one week. My nerves have finally subsided and excitement has well and truly kicked in. I can't wait to learn new things, meet new people and experience a new culture. I'm so thankful and lucky to be apart of this amazing experience. The MSU students are great and performed some skits to introduce us to American culture at the orientation. We participated in some group activities to get to....

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July 15, 2013

Scientists, historians and literature enthusiasts from 44 countries have taken over Cambridge, in what has been a surreal first week of academic and social adventure! Over the next two weeks, I have the pleasure of painting a picture of the Cambridge summer school experience from a science student's perspective. As per my luck, I got lost finding my college accommodation. Everyone else around me was also a tourist, but those who I asked kindly unfolded their maps and helped seek out a path. While    it was a pain dragging my luggage upon the cobblestone streets, I got to appreciate the....

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July 15, 2013

To be honest, there aren't many things that would persuade me to spend my holidays at university. The chance to study at Oxford however, was never a matter in which I needed convincing! As my first week of studying International Human Right's law at this great institution comes to an end, I can safely tell you that it's definitely been worth the 32 hours of travel time it took to get here. These past few days have gone above and beyond any expectations I had for this program. [caption id="attachment_1198" align="alignnone" width="300"] The beauty that is New College[/caption]   Allow....

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July 12, 2013

Friday 5th July: F.L.O.R.E.N.C.E. Wow what a city! Last Saturday the 29th of June, the majority of Fashion Events and Public Relations students (myself included) met to begin our amazing experience of a lifetime together. Arriving at the Santa Maria Novella train station I was met with my driver, hands flying in the air to greet me with two kisses ... (Note to self, Europeans kiss on both cheeks). Smiling/mouth wide open, as we were driving to the apartments, I was absolutely mesmerized with the narrow streets, lack of road structure, businessmen on bikes and the amount of Vespa's driving....

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July 11, 2013

Friday 28th June 2013 Caio! Ill moi nome e' Lucy. Vengo dall' Adelaide, Australia. Or rather, hello my name is Lucy and I am from Adelaide, Australia. Now the formalities are done... I'll start off by saying I am so enormously grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me to study Fashion Events and Public Relations. The fact that we have all travelled halfway across the world to Florence to complete this course is a massive bonus. The experiences we will share together are endless and I will be sure to make the most of every opportunity. Another....

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July 10, 2013

Not many people can say that they found themselves starting their first week of study in Florence, Italy, at the European Institute of Design to be studying Fashion Events & Public Relations. Well... we can! Sixteen girls from around the world including Australia, Switzerland, India, Greece and Columbia came together under one roof, all with an eager passion to indulge themselves in the fashion industry and unique culture that Italy, especially Florence, has to offer. Our week began on Monday with orientation, where we were able to meet other students from other courses such as Leather Design through various social....

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July 03, 2013

I have four days in London before heading down to Oxford on the train, and so far I have been filling them with shallow pursuits (shopping, drinking and light sightseeing) to delay my total fear of the impending study I may or may not be capable of. I am lucky enough to have been to London before, which means I have done most of the cool sightseeing already and know roughly where stuff is. After finding my friend's new flat in the lovely district of Bermondsey I have tried to settle into pretending-to-be- English (Made a cuppa for the gas....

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June 12, 2013

Test Flight: Virgin Australia Route: Sydney - Los AngelesDate: May 2013Duration: 12 hours 30 minutesSeat: Economy 29-GSeat layout: 3-3-31:30pm departure - arriving 10:20am in LAX (ten minutes ahead  of schedule)Tested by: Rob Malicki (at own expense)Virgin Australia is definitely the first-choice airline when flying from Australia to the USA - the planes, still very new by industry standards, are comfortable and stylist, complete with mood lighting and sumptuous leather seats. I flew economy. The leather seats were very comfortable compared to many other airlines and there was plenty of bin space overhead for hand luggage. All passengers receive a small....

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May 20, 2013

Christine Barge, liaison for the AIM Overseas' Vichy Intensive French programs running in January and July, popped by Manly in Sydney to visit the AIM Overseas team. A great time was had by all and it was lovely to meet Christine in person.     After a few weeks holidaying and soaking up the Australian sun, Christine is back in France eagerly preparing for our next cohort of Australian students participating on the Intensive French program taking place this July 2013.

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May 07, 2013

After 2 weeks in Mexico I have come to realise some very standout differences between Mexico and the mother-loving land of Australia.   1)   Public toilets, possibly the wrong subject to start with but it is encountered all too often. Firstly Public toilets usually cost roughly 15 cents to use and the toilet guard will give you a few slices toilet paper if required. After doing your business and prepared to flush many toilets will have already flushed for you due to futuristic flush sensors, pretty damn cool if you ask me. Now if you do not meet toilet guard....

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May 01, 2013

A friend and I went to Nepal on a recent holiday and flew Air Southern China. We were meeting up with our tour guide in Kathmandu after a connecting flight from Quanzhou so it was fairly important that our plane from Sydney wasn't three hours late making us miss that connection. When that inevitably happened, we were told it was due to 'bad weather' in China. All reports we heard in Quanzhou was that the weather was fine. Oh well - these things happen. We got the feeling Air Southern were trying hard to get into the international market, despite....

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April 30, 2013

After 3 great weeks visiting Australian universities, delivering lectures and attending exchange fairs, Pavel is heading home. This morning he popped by the AIM Overseas office to shoot an interview with Rob and Marine and to debrief on the trip. Tonight Pavel has his last speaking engagement, talking about the Prohibition of Torture to the Brennan Leadership Program at the University of Technology Sydney. Videos of Pavel's interview will be available shortly.

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April 16, 2013

We've been thrilled this week to welcome Pavel Molek to Australia. Pavel is one of the leading academics in the International Law and Human Rights program at Masaryk University each January. Pavel is in town for nearly 3 weeks visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. He'll be delivering special guest lectures at Victoria University, University of South Australia, Newcastle University and UTS, as well as attending the Outbound Mobility Forum at Murdoch University. You can see a media release about Pavel's lecture at UniSA here. [gallery ids="987,986"]    

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March 18, 2013

This article first appeared on the La Salle University blog.   Mexico City, Feb. 15th 2013. Universidad La Salle was host to 50 Australian students during the month of January 2013. This is the largest cohort of students from "down under" that the university has ever received. The Center for International Education, Special Programs and the Faculty of Architecture, Communications and Design offered two very different programs to Australian students. The Public Health in Mexico is a program that has been in place for 4 years and is focused on health issues in Mexico. Students attend health related lectures, go....

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January 25, 2013

We arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday 12th January. We were picked up from the airport by UNCC students and taken to the Drury Inn, which will be our home away from home for the next three weeks. Everyone came during the day so by the end of the night we had all gathered in the lobby and were getting to know each other. The rest of the weekend was spent exploring the neighbourhood and for some of us adjusting to the time zone. UNCC campus at night Monday morning we were picked up and taken to UNCC for....

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January 25, 2013

After many weeks of my mother freaking out, a goodbye to my amazing, gorgeous girlfriend and a twelve hour plane ride I had almost reached Mexico [...] ...

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January 23, 2013

The city of CuscoSo we have now been in Cusco for just over a week so far. It's the low season here at the moment so not a lot of people are out and about, which has been good as it feels a little more intimate. The local people have been so accommodating and friendly and always willing to have a little laugh with us when trying to order food off a Spanish menu or barter on goods from the street. There is so much available here in Cusco, anything from the usual souvenir stuff such as alpaca scarves, jumpers....

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January 23, 2013

My first week in Vichy has been better than I could have anticipated. The train from Vichy to Paris was a very pleasant ride. I shared a carriage with a little girl and her father and on my left sat an old man whose face carried many stories. I was captured by the gentle nature of the young girl opposite and the way she ate her baguette.  To my right I looked out the window, green grass, grey skies and brick country style homes. I surprised myself by carrying a conversation in French with the two gentlemen for a good....

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January 15, 2013

Me and fellow AIM Overseas students in front of the Hagia Sophia  After departing Australia shortly after Christmas, embarking on a long flight to Europe, I found my self exhausted and in need of some appetising food that did not replicate that of airplane food... but regardless, I was ready for a journey that would be both adventurous and enthralling.After spending some time in Germany, it was time to depart for Istanbul. I was feeling rather nervous and unsure on what to expect, but was ready to embrace the culture!Arriving was much like arriving at any other airport, until I....

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January 14, 2013

After spending an action-packed New Years in Amsterdam with all the CRAZY fireworks, I finally packed my bags on the 3rd of January to head to Maastricht, a 2.5 hour train ride south of the capital. Our arrival in Maastricht was greeted with a light shower of rain that would remain constant over the next couple of days, but even that didn't lessen my excitement - after so much anticipation I was finally about to start my Positive Psychology journey!The main entrance to Maastricht trainstationI caught a taxi to the guesthouse accommodation with another student, but as the taxi began....

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January 09, 2013

I arrived in ´the Paris of South America´ on New Year´s Eve after spending 32 hours in the air, stopping in Dubai and Rio de Janeiro. This is Rio airport. It has three gift shops selling nothing but Havaianas, no airconditioning, and architecture that appears to have been influenced by shipping containers. The excitement of Rio AirportAt the airport in Argentina, I loaded my overstuffed backpack onto my back before realising that I was supposed to remove it to go through a security checkpoint. Unfortunately, there were no chairs for me to sit down and dump the backpack. An unfriendly-looking....

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January 08, 2013

It is new years day and I have slept very little after spending the night out at the beach with some friends and I have to get on a plane and fly to Buenos Aires at 8:45pm. My stomach is churning a little at the thought of it, I have only ever travelled overseas once before and it was not alone. But I am very excited. The plane trip was less than enjoyable being very packed out from Brisbane to Dubai (14 and a half hours), but after getting through that first half it wasn't as bad, on to Rio for....

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January 06, 2013

Lima!Having never travelled out of my birth state of Western Australia I was far from knowing what to expect when arriving in Peru. People thought I was crazy (as did I), my first trip out of my home state and I go to a non-english speaking country, land in a city which is far larger than I have ever experienced, and alone! What was I thinking? So far it has been such an awesome experience! I arrived early in my host country and spent a few days in Lima, the capital of Peru before going to Cusco for the program.....

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November 26, 2012

Our second week at the Oxford creative writing summer school has come to an end, and how quickly it by as well!This week was a interesting one. We went out on a weekend excursion to Blenheim Palace on Saturday the 4th of July.  The palace is a monumental home situated in the town of Woodstock in the Oxfordshire.  It is one of England's largest houses and the seat for the Dukes of Marlborough. It is also notable as the ancestral home and birth place of the celebrated Prime minister Sir Winston Churchill. The estate also houses many a stunning garden.....

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September 07, 2012

Welcome to IstanbulTaksim Square, IstanbulIstanbul - it is one seriously awesome city. A perfect destination for students. We've been in town here for a few days now, visiting Bogazici University and some other organisations, as well as getting in a bit of sneaky down-time to scope out some of the incredible sights that this place serves up. If you're coming here on one of AIM Overseas' academic short courses you are in for the adventure of a lifetime!Istanbul = a unique, perfect place to study and embrace history and culture. So let's talk a little bit more about it. First....

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August 15, 2012

As I write this blog I am sitting in my amazing hotel room in the windy city of Chicago! Our last week at MSU was incredible and as much as we didn't want to leave, we couldn't wait to experience this beautiful city for a few days before we all began to head home, and onto new destinations.Last Saturday brought the opportunity to head to Kellie's hometown, Muskegon, for a day trip to the beaches of Lake Michigan. While I wasn't feeling well that day and disappointingly couldn't go, everyone came home exhausted, looking like lobsters, and very happy. Needless....

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July 31, 2012

 After 2 long days of travel and a couple of wrong turns later I finally stumbled, heavily jet lagged through the grand entranceway of Exeter college.  I was relieved to meet some of  the other students joining the course -  'phew' I'd come to the right place! We were greeted at the door by the college porter. Who presented us with our room keys and directed us towards the summer school office, where we were given our welcome packs and names badges. After which people either went straight up to their rooms to relax or hung chatting in the front....

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July 30, 2012

The sun is shining in Oxford today.Blue sky frames the many spires and turrets that soar around this beautifully calm 8th century city - although my new friends and I agree it feels more like a town. There is an air of tranquillity around the place - it puts you in the mood for classical music and literary fiction (which I guess is appropriate). It's amazing being able to walk around the same places as such figures as J.R.R. Tolkein and Oscar Wilde.Speaking of friends, here's a picture of us before setting out on our pub stroll (I don't think they like....

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July 30, 2012

Wow, what a week! A lot has certainly been happening since I last updated you all. This week's classes were mostly spent learning about the different areas of international human rights law, focusing on international humanitarian law; international criminal law; and gender and sexuality. We also learnt about the role of non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders. One very important message, which was emphasised in our classes, was how, besides the relevant legal mechanisms, people power really is the key to making a difference in the realm of human rights. My afternoon classes were about the practice of targeting killings;....

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July 30, 2012

I'm in London and the sun is shining.Wait - no it's gone again.Since arriving here a few days ago I've taken a while simply to soak in the atmosphere of the place. The beautiful, old brick houses with their iconic chimneys. The classic double-decker red buses. The interchangeably rainy weather.And the tea. The cliché doesn't prepare you enough for the truth. The English really, really like their tea. I think I've drunk more tea in these three days than I have for the entire year.I told my English friend my thoughts and she responded with a very puzzled - "But...if....

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July 26, 2012

It's hard to believe that we are past the halfway mark and there is only 1 week left of both our class, and the adventures that we've all been having. The weekend brought a chance for us to check out the local Premium Outlet stores and to do a little too much shopping, and, after we filled the school bus with bags and bags of purchases and presents, we got to experience (my) ultimate enjoyment at a store called Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth - Michigan's Little Bavaria - that is the home of the most amazing Christmas shop I....

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July 24, 2012

Week 2 of the program has certainly been busy! This was the only week where we were scheduled to have classes every day so Friday was a welcome relief for most of us. This week saw us learn about the different human rights systems in the world - we learnt about the African, Inter-American and European systems, something which made the Australians amongst us frustrated at the lack of human rights protection and enforcement mechanisms at home. We also spent time discussing the role of the United Nations in protecting human rights. My afternoon classes focused on 9/11, the NATO....

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July 24, 2012

The week began with a field trip to Piacenza for our SME and Industrial Clusters class. It was a fantastic day.  First we visited a small family run winery, La Tosa. Stefano, one of the brothers who initially founded the winery as a hobby which has now turned into a full time job, took us on a tour. He was a character and he talked the whole time...without even stopping for a breath! The passion for his work really came out in the way he described his wines, describing the flavours as if he was talking about a person. He....

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July 19, 2012

The Front of the British Museum - it's very impressive!On Saturday I went on an excursion with the summer school to the British Museum down in London. It wasn't a guided tour; we were in charge of ourselves, and didn't even have to stay in the museum if we wanted to go elsewhere in London. I wanted to stay at the museum, and did so all day. These photos will demonstrate why; they are a sample from over two hundred that I took!The original Rosetta Stone The British Museum is incredible, if you ever have a chance to visit it, even....

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July 18, 2012

Well what a disappointing start to the week. We attended the Euro Cup grand final, where despite all the support and cheering Italia was defeated by Espana 4-0.There was a very sombre atmosphere that night. I have never seen Italians so quiet! It was surprisingly eerie. On the plus side, we all finally got a good nights sleep!During the week classes were as normal. So too where the evenings, with many late night gelato runs complimented by a spot of window shopping :)We discovered one of the best things that Italia has to offer....aperitivi! A concept offered by many bars....

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July 18, 2012

Now that our first week of the New Media course at MSU has been and gone, there is plenty to fill you in on about what has been happening, and the fun that we have all had so far...After arriving in East Lansing at midnight on Saturday the 7th, and after an incredible amount of mishaps with flights and delays, I was greeted with the humid heat that is the American summer. Everyone had been slowly arriving all day and most people were asleep already (it had been a long day for all), but I met my roommate along with....

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July 18, 2012

As I type this I am literally about to board the plane for my first leg to Singapore.This is possibly the last time in a while I will have internet/power/consciousness until I arrive in England.I am travelling first with the delightful Scoot airlines (here's a picture of the crew in their lovely bumblebee costumes).I have recently come into possession of the next two Game of Thrones books, so the 8 hour flight time should pass in a whirl of arrows, swords and political drama so thick you would have to lay siege to it.And that's it! The final boarding call has sounded....

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