My wish for a long time was to travel abroad, meet new people and see how I find myself living on a foreign continent. A colleague from Defense studies in Slovenia told me about AIESEC and encouraged me to join the organisation. I then decided to become a member as I was searching for a meaningful activity besides my studies in order to challenge myself and learn new skills by exploring a new professional environment. Shortly after I got in touch with AIESEC Slovenia and carried out formalities related to registration for the AIESEC forum, my TN Manager Dheeraj sent me an invitation for a project in India. As this was AIESEC Hyderabad's first project of cultural exchange program with Edify schools, I did not know much about what would my work placement look like. However, after reading books of Sai Baba I had a feeling that the Eastern world was entirely different from ours and had a strong desire to get to know the Indian culture, people and the country.
|Natalia with 3 other Internationals in India|
Our project commenced on December 7th when I arrived in Hyderabad. I got in touch with three other girls with whom we worked together on a project with Edify school. They are Jessica from Brazil, Salma from Egypt and Sue from China. Amazing girls. I had a feeling that we had known each other for the whole life. I was able to trust them, we have spent most of our time together and had so much fun that left footprints on my personality. Whenever I feel sad or I am in a bad mood I just spare a thought for my Indian team and my mood improves/start feeling better.
Motto of Edify schools is ˝beyond books˝. They have different activities where students can find their best inside resources. For example, ther idea is to use the concept of multiple intelligences and accepting the uniqueness of each child rather than having them conform to the traditional mode of education. I like this way of thinking and believe that every person can be successful if find their own inside resource and develop it.
Our role in this project was to present our cultures, habits, cuisine and sports to Edify´s students. We cooperated very well and tried our best to be close to students. We found differences between our cultures, but we agreed that althought we came from different continents we had a similar way of thinking. I hope that the whole world will become a big family and that there will be no wars. I believe that good people are everywhere, we just need to establish a more efficient communication and understanding for other cultures and traditions and then everyone can find their own peace.
We visited five schools, where we spent four days at each of them. It was difficult to say goodbye soon after we made new acquaintances. We traveled to Ranipet, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Amaravati.
The staff were welcoming and friendly, I felt like at home. Teachers took us sightseeing and we had a sports day. We met a famous Indian sportswoman and a lot of other interesting people. We visited numerous temples and had a lunch with families of Edify students. It was an awesome experience. Each of the schools prepared a welcome, where they made us a dot at our foreheads and sprinkled a rice. I felt bleesed. Lastly we celebrated the new year in Amaravati with principal´s family. They treated us like we were famous/celebrities.
Once our project finished we had time to travel on our own. We went to Agra (Tai Mahal), Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Pune and back to Hyderabad. After we went our seperate ways I left for Puttaprthy in Sai Baba´s Ashram.
This internship experience enabled me to combine the useful with the pleasant. I became more comfortable in speaking English, I am not scared of challenges and changes because I realized that by managing them you can grow internally.
The writer is Natalia, from Slovenia.
Natalia was on an Internship in Hyderabad. She had an amazing experience during her stay.
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