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Monday 5 July 2004
Working abroad: Andrew Webster
Written by Andrew Webster, AIESEC member
Friends at a conference in Barcelona
At a conference - Andrew's at the back on the left

Andrew Webster is travelling to India this summer.

He's travelling with the AIESEC student organisation, and he's writing a regular diary on BBC Birmingham.

SEE ALSO

Stevie Cameron
Stevie's in The Philippines.
Introduction
Diary 1
Diary 2
CSR Conference
Diary 3
Diary 4

Andrew Webster
Andrew's in India.
Introduction
Diary 1
Diary 2
Culture Shock!
Diary 3
Diary 4
Diary 5

Jess Rudkin
Jess is working in the Czech Republic.
Diary 1
Diary 2
Diary 3
Diary 4
Diary 5

James Eder
James is sharing his marketing skills with local people in Colombia.
Introduction
Diary 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Diary 6 - Aims
Diary 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11
Diary 12 - 13 - 14 - 15
Diary 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

Working with AIESEC
Jame Eder introduces the student organisation.

AIESEC in Birmingham
Amaneeta Shokur explains more about AIESEC and how she is involved.

Scheila
Scheila came to Birmingham from Brazil on a student scheme run by AIESEC.

Students index

India
Profile of the country from BBC News.
WEB LINKS

AIESEC
Official website for the UK.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS

INDIA FACTS

Population: 1 billion
(UN, 2003)
Capital: New Delhi
Major languages: Hindi, English and 17 other official languages
Major religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism
Monetary unit: 1 Indian Rupee = 100 paise
Exports: Agricultural products, textiles, gems and jewellery, software and technology, engineering goods, chemicals, leather

AIESEC FACTS

AIESEC (pronounced "i-sek") stands for the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce.

AIESEC is the world's largest international student organisation with 30,000 members in over 86 countries.

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Before departure

As I sit in my room surrounded by malaria tablets, mosquito nets and a set of medical syringes I'm not sure how to feel about my forth-coming trip to India. I've said for longer than I can remember that I want to go to a country like India. However it has suddenly struck me that I have no real perception of what a country like India actually is. What do you think when you hear the word India? Karma, cows in the street and Gandhi. None of these things give me much of a feel for what to expect but might simply expose my ignorance.

Sharing skills

Friends at a conference
With friends

I am going to India to work in a university in Delhi for AIESEC. AIESEC is the world's largest student run organization, which facilitates a work abroad programme.

I am a member of this organization in Birmingham and have been lucky enough to be accepted onto an exchange programme where I can both learn from the local committee in Delhi, and also share my experience and skills. I expect it to be the ultimate exchange experience as I will be living and interacting with local people every day.

Culture shock

My family seems surprisingly calm about my trip, maybe they don't realize how different it is going to be or maybe I am exaggerating the culture shock I expect to find there. When the subject of vaccinations came up, my mum said, "I wouldn't get any if I was going". I didn't take her advice, but felt a little silly for worrying so much.

Nerves and excitement

If there's one thing that saves me from the nerves, it is the excitement. I will be thrown into a new culture, where I expect to experience a different way of life. I will try new food, live in a different climate and meet such a huge variety of people, all of this at the same time as doing something I really enjoy. I have spoken to people who have been on similar exchanges and the knowledge they gain and the stories they have are always something to be envious of. If anything, it is the nerves and the not knowing what to expect that is the source to my excitement and anticipation.

Written by Andrew Webster

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