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Wednesday 28 July 2004
Working abroad: Jess Rudkin - Week 2
Written by Jess Rudkin, AIESEC member
Group out hiking in the Beskydy Mountains
Group hiking in the Beskydy Mountains

Jess Rudkin is working in the Czech Republic this summer.

She's on a placement with the AIESEC student organisation, and she's writing a regular diary on BBC Birmingham.

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Jess Rudkin
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Diary 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
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Working with AIESEC
Jame Eder introduces the student organisation.

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

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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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This week I have settled into daily life and got into a routine of work.

Unlike last week's cool wet weather, this week we experienced a heat wave with temperatures reaching between 25°C and 30°C each day - much better!

Feeling more confident getting around the city each day, I decided to take a better look at the city centre and explore the area. The city centre is far from industrial, and shops and pubs surround the busy main square.

A couple of evenings this week, I went with the trainees to a park close to the hotel - a welcome break from the built-up landscape of downtown Ostrava where we live.

Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and quite different from what I am used to. Its cityscape is quite unlike that of Birmingham, there are very few high-rise buildings or new development in the centre.

New room-mate

Orsi and Jess
Orsi and Jess

A new trainee from Romania arrived this week, my new room-mate - Orsi.

I have not shared a room for more than a few days for a long time and so I had mixed feelings about giving up my privacy and I was apprehensive as to whether we would get a long or not.

Welcome party in a bar
Out on Stodolni Street

Fortunately Orsi and I hit it off straightaway - we had lots to talk about and similar interests. I am pleased to say I am enjoying sharing a room with my new friend! Orsi's arrival was of course celebrated with a welcome party, any excuse to visit the famous Stodolni Street!

Hiking weekend

A group of us decided to take a break from the city and escape to the Beskydy Mountains for two days of hiking this weekend.

Jess
Taking a break

We planned the trip carefully and checked the weather forecast for the weekend was good so at 6.45am on Saturday morning we left for the town of Ostravice situated in the Beskydy Mountains. This was the starting point of the hike.

The Beskydy Mountains lie to the south east of Ostrava on the boarders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. We decided to hike to the top of the highest peak - Lysa Hora.

This turned out to be quite a gruelling uphill hike in blazing sunshine. It was very tempting to turn back about halfway. Hot and exhausted, we made it to the top and we were all pleased we had persevered when we saw the view!

Sunset
Sunset viewed from Lyra Hora

Unfortunately during the night, the weather changed dramatically and it poured with rain. We decided that a second day of hiking was out of the question and made it back to Ostrava soaked to the skin and freezing cold in the morning.

Despite the rain and cold I really enjoyed the weekend, it was really nice to get into the fresh air and see the views as we climbed higher and higher up the mountain.

Feeling at home

This week has flown by! I am starting to feel at home in this country; the fact that I can't understand things does not worry me anymore - I am used to getting around things and working them out for myself.

I am making an effort to pick up some Czech words and trying to use them where I can. I know how to read the tram timetables and I'm finding it easier and easier to get around the city. I am starting to get back some of my independence as I learn more and more and the challenges become less and less.

At the end of last week, I felt as though getting through my time here was going to be a real trial and I could not wait to go home.

However at the end of this week, I feel completely different, I feel like time is passing me by and I need to make the most of each day because I will be home before I know it!

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Written by Jess Rudkin

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