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Friday 6 August 2004
Working abroad: Jess Rudkin - Week 3
Written by Jess Rudkin, AIESEC member
Jess (centre) out with other trainees
Jess (centre) out with other trainees

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.


Stevie Cameron
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CSR Conference
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Andrew Webster
Andrew's in India.
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Culture Shock!
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Jess Rudkin
Jess is working in the Czech Republic.
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James Eder
James is sharing his marketing skills with local people in Colombia.
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.

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

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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 (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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Once again this week has passed without me even realising it - the time is flying by! I am being more productive with my work as I have really got the hang of using the Czech version of Windows and started to get some results form my projects.

Orsi, Sangharsh & Jess
Orsi, Sangharsh & Jess

Three new people have arrived: Cigdem from Turkey, Mircea from Romania and Nune from Armenia. Nune is working for AIESEC with me whilst the other two are working for external companies. Unfortunately we had some departures this week too and had to say goodbye to Alena from Germany and Nick from the Ukraine. Sangharsh has been educating us in Indian cuisine with a variety of traditional dishes-quite different from what I am used to in Birmingham!

Archery & team spirit

This weekend I spent some time in Krakow, Poland. AIESEC in Krakow was hosting the International Meeting of AIESEC Trainees 2004 (IMAT 2004) and so I decided to go along. There were about 60 AIESEC trainees from all over the world, and we all met in the famous Krakow Market Square to start a weekend of fun!

Jess tries archery
Jess tries archery

It was an excellent weekend. I made some friends who I intend to meet up with again and also met up with some friends from the UK. We tasted Polish food, had a glimpse of Polish culture and visited some really interesting places, all in beautiful sunshine.

We started with some sightseeing, visiting the Mariacki Church and the National Museum. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting to know the historic city centre and visiting different sights around the area. The day was of course finished off with a party!

The second day was spent out of the city doing outdoor games and a little more sightseeing. We took a guided tour round Szczawnica a small spa town situated in the mountains before travelling to Sromowce Nine where we tried a bit of archery and some team games before rafting on the Dunajec River.

The team poses for a photo

None of us really knew what to expect when it came to the rafting but we all gave it a go. Rafting turned out to be really hard work but we eventually got the hang of how to go in a straight line and made it back.

When we got back to shore there was a bonfire waiting for us so we could dry off and eat some food. After we got back to the hostel in Krakow, we all went out into the city centre for more partying.

Laura, Jess & Sara at Wawel Hill
At Wawel Hill

On the third day, we went to Wawel Hill. This is the site of the royal castle and cathedral, not to mention home to the legendary Wawel Dragon's Lair. We climbed to the top of the cathedral tower and took in the view of Krakow and followed in the tradition of touching the bell for good luck.

I decided to stay one more day in Krakow to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau site and museum along with Laura from the UK and Olga from Germany. I didn't really know what to expect at the museum and had heard mixed opinions of other trainees who had been before.

The exhibitions were very interesting and gave a good historical background of the camps. There was a lot to see, from the SS Buildings, barracks where the prisoners lived and their possessions, to the gas chambers, crematoria and gallows.

At the Dragon's Lair
At the Dragon's Lair

The trip proved to be both moving and educational and although I can't say I enjoyed it, I am glad that I went.

I am having a fantastic time here and I can't believe I am halfway through my stay! Its clichéd but true-its been an emotional roller coaster, I have gone from feeling alone and unsettled to being surrounded by friends and feeling completely at home!

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