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an adventure to challenge


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We are conference edition

2017 1

Colofon All Abroad Magazine First issue Editorial staff Head editorial Thom van Oosterhout Head visuals Rico van Eekelen Editors: Katrien van Merrienboer Tim de Leeuw Robine Jochems Karlein Lavèn Tim Boetzkes Diego Fernando ter Welle Karthika Cobben

Introduction Dear reader, Are you dreaming of blue skies, the hot sun and at the same time worrying about your internship next year? GOOD! Then you are in the right place, this magazine is exactly what you need to make those dreams come true. As you go through these pages a world of opportunity will open up. How does dreaming away in sunny Cape Town sound. Or living the carefree life in happy Bhutan. Getting hungry? Korean cuisine is there to spice you back up! Maybe this all sounds a bit to good to be true. Don’t fear, a beginners guide to an internship abroad and tips and tricks from student who went abroad we’ll take away all your fears. Learning from the best. Do’s and don’ts, hotspots, personal experiences abroad will hopefully give you, the reader a wider perspective of the endless possibilities abroad. An internship is where school ends and your career begins!

Contact Editorial staff Any questions? Feel free to e-mail us! Thom.vanOosterhout@student.

Commissioned by Fontys Acadamy for Creative Industries Prof. Goossenslaan 1-04 Building P3 5022 DM Tilburg


Contents “When in Rome, do as the Romans� South Korea Korean Cuisine Q&A Abroad Storyboard Bhutan The new kid on the block Studying at the university of East London Relationship abroad Choice to challenge Values and norms

4, 5 6, 7 8, 9 10, 11 12, 13 14, 15 16, 17 18 19 20 21


“When in Rome, do as the Romans” Tips and tricks for an internship abroad.

Preparing for an internship abroad can be a tough case. What legal documentation does one need, what is foreign office etiquette and what other side business will be important when abroad? In this article you will find a quick guide to a successful internship abroad!

Social standards.

Working permits

Whereas Dutch people are quite open and direct this social behavior can get one in a lot of trouble abroad. First point of business on your agenda will be getting up to date with social standards and work etiquette in the country of choice. Your life and work will go a lot smoother when adapting to these norms.

Every country has its own immigration and working regulations. Take this in regard when applying abroad. These permits can take quite some time to get hold off. Also take in consideration for how long your internship will be in combination with how long you are entitled to stay. Keep yourself out of trouble!

Application etiquette Each culture has his own application rules. Update your resume to be cultural appropriate. For example in some country’s it is forbidden to include a passport photo in one’s resume to prevent discrimination. Withhold your resume from disappearing in the bin!

‘’Check yourself be-

fore you wreck yourself! You won’t be the first mainland European who drives on the wrong side of the road in the UK!’’

Insurances and driving. Always be prepared for the worst, accidents happen! A health insurance will play a crucial part in a carefree stay abroad. Got a drivers license? Check yourself before you wreck yourself! You won’t be the first mainland european who drives on the wrong side of the road in the UK!

Application etiquette

Office environment and behavior.

Each culture has his own application rules. Update your resume to be cultural appropriate. For example in some country’s it is forbidden to include a passport photo in one’s resume to prevent discrimination. Withhold your resume from disappearing in the bin!

You’ve done it! Landed yourself a dream internship in your dream country! But what now? Let’s start with your new environment. Different rules apply to this situation. Used to going home right after work? Don’t try this in the UK. The English like to socialize with colleagues over drinks outside of work. These after work get togethers are a crucial part of English office life.


Pace of life and business. Working with foreign clients or potential customers can become quite a drag when you’re not on the same level. Adapt your handling to the customs of your counterpart. In Italy business is done while wine and dining. Somewhere in between the deal is made. Dutch people are open where Russians are more closed to people they don’t know, even when doing business.

Keep these simple yet crucial tips in mind when applying, working and socializing abroad. Remember: When in Rome do as the Romans!

‘’Adapt your handling to the customs of your counterpart.’’


South Korea When you think about studying abroad, Asian countries might not but the ones that occur to you at first. The idea of being one of the few western students in an hugely populated continent perhaps scares most. However, hidden beauties lay where bold students dare to try and find them. One of these jewels lies at the very end of the Eurasian continent. South Korea, or the Republic of Korea as they like to call it, is a peninsula next to Japan. Like other peninsula, it’s not completely surrounded by the sea. Their neighbour North Korea is the one thing that connects it to the mainland. Though these two countries share the same name, they’re far from friends. The 4 kilometre wasteland they use as a border is everything but friendly. Fortunately, that’s the only thorn in Korea’s side.

Amongst their inhabitants they home several of the world’s largest companies such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. There’s also loads to see for the approximately 10 million international visitors they receive each year. With Mt. Bukhan (world’s most visited national park per square foot), the YTN Seoul Tower, the golden 63 building, The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain and the Sevit Floating Islands it sounds impossible to visit all these in just a week long holiday.

So what’s so special about Korea? Why would anyone want to study there? Better read the following out loud and be amazed! In South Korea they use the term “Miracle of the Han River” to describe their tiger economy, since it leaped forward with an annual growth of 10% for over 30 years! Thanks to their innovative attitude they became the fifth largest exporter and seventh largest importer in the world. Due to their advanced multi-party democracy, which is the most progressive system in all of Asia, they are one of the leading economies in Asia. They also have universal healthcare, freedom of religion and even their own pop culture called K-pop! Koreans even gave the rise of their own show and music business the “Korean Wave” And all that while Korea is leader when it comes to carbon green growth! Heard some things you didn’t know yet? South-Korea sounds like a pretty sweet country to live in. But that’s not all! We haven’t even mentioned Seoul yet. Their Special City, as the Koreans call it, is just as special as they claim it to be. Being home to over half of all South Koreans with about 10 million habitants, it’s nowadays considered as the leading rising global city.


Heard some things you didn’t know yet? South-Korea sounds like a pretty sweet country to live in. But that’s not all! We haven’t even mentioned Seoul yet. Their Special City, as the Koreans call it, is just as special as they claim it to be. Being home to over half of all South Koreans with about 10 million habitants, it’s nowadays considered as the leading rising global city. Amongst their inhabitants they home several of the world’s largest companies such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. There’s also loads to see for the approximately 10 million international visitors they receive each year. With Mt. Bukhan (world’s most visited national park per square foot), the YTN Seoul Tower, the golden 63 building, The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain and the Sevit Floating Islands it sounds impossible to visit all these in just a week long holiday. If you’re not getting excited yet about going on exchange to Korea, maybe these last facts will definitely convince you! Cause if you’re a student who likes choice, Seoul has about 38 universities for you to pick. Amongst them are even 5 women universities. The city has their own student district called Hongdae. Containing everything a student could wish for, it seems like Korea has it all. No catch, no trickery and no lies. Korea really is that hidden gem adventurous students are looking for. And on top of all that, Korea wants you to find her! Loads of universities are cooperating with western universities to promote Korea as the rising country it certainly is. Now, are you excited? Did we convince you that the Republic of Korea is worth considering going to? We definitely know that the next time you’ll think about an exchange; this little Asian diamond will certainly come to mind!

“No catch, no trickery and no lies.”


Korean cuisine Korea is one of the most innovative and progressive Asian countries. However, nobody can work on an empty stomach. So what is it that Korean people eat that drives them towards their success? We’ll take you on a little journey through the Korean cuisine. There’re a few things that really distinguish Korean food. It’s very largely based on rice, vegetables and meat. Especially chicken is one of Korea’s favourites. You basically see all 3 elements in all of their dishes, since they strive towards a well balanced en healthy meal. Common basic ingredients that definitely belong in the Korean kitchen are Doenjang (fermented bean paste), gochujang (fermented red chili paste) and Chunjang (black bean paste). These 3 pastes set the basics for every Korean meal. Of course there’re loads more of these must-use ingredients, but these paste are eminent. As most of the Western dishes would start with onions and garlic, the Koreans use their paste. Though it sounds like a lot of fun to cook in Korea, the Koreans prefer eating out or ordering food. Since they have one of the smoothest and cheapest delivery systems in Seoul, the choice between cooking yourself and ordering it is easily made. They even developed a system which gives you the possibility to already order and pay for your groceries, while you’re taking the subway back home. Is that innovative and ingenious or what?! Their way of consuming diner is also something new for the Western culture. Koreans are all about sharing. Nobody will receive a plate with his own food. There’re no Korean Joey Tribianni who `’ doesn’t share food”. Their table is filled with rice and huge amount of side dishes. One of their most famous side dishes is Kimchi. Kimchi is a almost as old as Korea itself. Basically its fermented vegetables with a variety of seasonings. They used to store their jars with kimchi underground to keep it cool in summer and unfrozen in winter. It doesn’t sound like something that would become the countries most prominent dish. But don’t let looks nor stories deceive you. The Koreans really know what they’re doing when it comes to food. Let yourself be surprised by the rich flavours of their cuisine. We included a recipe for Bibimbap for you to set those hands to work. Don’t forget that Koreans aren’t like western people when it comes to putting spice in their food. If you’re not used to using red peppers in your food, try to be careful with using them. You might just burn yourself.


Ingredients Meat and meat sauce • 100 g beef mince (3.5 ounces) • 1 Tbsp soy sauce • 1 Tbsp sesame oil • 1 tsp sugar - I used brown sugar • 1/4 tsp minced garlic Vegetables and other • 250 g spinach (mildly seasoned) (0.6 pounds) • 350 g bean sprouts – (mildly seasoned) 0.8 pounds, You don’t have to use them up if you think it’s too much but I love having lots of vegetables on my Bibimbap! • 100 g shiitake mushroom (3.5 ounces) • 120 g carrots (4.2 ounces, 1 small) • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (1/4 tsp each will be used when cooking shiitake mushroom and carrots) • 3 cups steamed rice (3 to 4 serving portions ) • 3 eggs (3 or 4 depending on the serving portion) • Some cooking oil (to cook the meat, mushroom, carrots and eggs – I used rice bran oil.) • Some Korean seasoned seaweed shredded (long thin cut) Bibimbap sauce - The below sauce might be only enough for 3 servings if you like eating it spicy. • 2 Tbsp gochujang • 1 Tbsp sesame oil • 1 Tbsp sugar - I used raw sugar • 1 Tbsp water • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds • 1 tsp vinegar - I used apple vinegar • 1 tsp minced garlic

instructions 1. Prepare and cook ingredients as below. - For meat, mix the beef mince with the meat sauce listed above. Marinate the meat for about 30 mins while you are working on other ingredients to enhance the flavour. Add some cooking oil into a wok and cook the meat on medium high to high heat. It takes about 3 to 5 mins to thoroughly cook it. - Mix the Bibimbap sauce ingredients in a bowl. - Spinach and bean sprouts per linked recipe. - Rinse, peel and julienne the carrots. Add some cooking oil and 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt in a wok and cook the carrots on medium high to high heat for 2 to 3 mins. - Clean/rinse the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Add some cooking oil and 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt in a wok and cook the mushrooms on medium high to high heat until they are all cooked. (It takes 2 to 3 mins.) - Make fried eggs. (While sunny side up is common, you can make them per your preference.) 2. Put the rice into a bowl and add the meat, assorted vegetables, seasoned seaweed, Bibimbap sauce and the egg on top of the rice. Serve it. 3. joy!

Mix the ingredients well in the bowl and en-


Q&A Abroad Welcome Katrien, first, thank you for taking time for me to interview you about internships abroad.

No problem, thank you for the opportunity.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well, I am Katrien van Merrienboer, 22 years old and I live in Tilburg. I am in my second year of International Event Music and Entertainment studies at Fontys Tilburg.

So, you already did an internship for this study?

No, before I started this study I was following the MBO study for becoming a teacher. In my third year, I had the opportunity to go to Turkey for an internship at a private school.

That’s very nice, did you take it?

I can imagine that some people don’t need to think about this question and just say yes. But I didn’t say yes immediately. It was a great chance to learn more about the Turkish culture, education, habits and language. But on the other hand, I was a little scared too. This was the first time going abroad for an internship, so I didn’t know what to expect. I talked with my parents and friends and they convinced me to go. School basically offered me a once in a life time opportunity. I was stupid if I didn’t take this possibility. So eventually…. after a lot of thinking and talking…. I said YES.

Good answer! But you were hesitating to go, right?! Only because this would be your first time or was there more going on?

No, besides that, I had absolutely no clue about the procedure. Do I need to fix my own plane ticket? What about the accommodation? Which school? Do I need to contact my attending before I leave the Netherlands? I kept asking myself these questions. But luckily, there was a weekly gathering about the turkey internship.

That’s good, so no worries about the preparations. Now, I am very curious about the differences between the Netherlands and Turkey. Can you tell me more about that?

Yes, of course! If I need to choose, it would be the difference in education. I was following the internship at a private school. The system at a private school is way different to the system at a public school. The children have more influence than the teachers. It sounds strange when I say this but sadly it is true. I was flabbergasted when I observed the first lesson from my attending.


What do you mean with the fact that children have more influence than teachers?

It seems like the children are giving the instructions, that’s like the other way around. There is absolutely no structure. Children don’t pay attention, are not making their homework and are unfriendly to each other. I knew right away that I never wanted to work at a private school in Turkey.

Wauw, that’s some heavy stuff. The difference that you are talking about, is this also a visible aspect of culture?

I must say – I didn’t expect the frankness and kindness of the people. I met some nice people over there. In fact, I still had contact with some friends from Turkey when I was back in the Netherlands.

Good to hear. I can conclude that you had a nice time in Turkey. Will you consider to do another internship abroad?

This time, the choice would be easier. I know what to expect but that doesn’t mean I would say yes right away. The support at the first face of going abroad is very important for the decision.

Thank you for your side of the story about following an internship abroad.

You are welcome!


Storyboard Karlein is a 21 years old grown up girl who started her first big adventure when she just turned 18! She left her hometown for 5 months going abroad and was ready to work in a hotel in Mallorca with totally strangers, unknown language and a different culture. One year later she left again home instead of going tot he heat, she decided to go to the snow, working as a ski-iteacher in Austria. In this interview she tells about her experiences and what she learned about the two different internships abroad. PREPARING When I asked her how she prepered herself for these adventures she started laughing and said: ‘Well actually I was so exited going abroad for a long time so I forgot to dive into lots of information, beside the information I gained at school ofcourse. ‘When I left home to Mallorca I really didn’t know what to expect, but one aspect was clear; I need to know the experiences of other students who have been there before. I planned a meeting and have spoken with a few old students where they explained me how to deal and what to do in different scenarios. For me it was very usefull, but the most important thing I remember is that they told me to find and figure it out on my own. After all I can say I made my own story with ups and downs, made the right choices and sometimes the wrong ones but in the end this period made me a sophisticated lady.

BIG CHANCE Katrien was studying Tourism & Leisure Management in Eindhoven which included two five months internships, she did both of them abroad. ‘For me it was a big opportunity to explore other countries, languages, cultures and not to forget; encounter new people. I met many nice people from many different countries and learned a lot about myself. Finally I have to admid that this was the most greatest experience I gained in my young life. Going abroad was an easy decision for me, because it always interested me to go out of my comfort zone seeing more beautiful destinations in the world. As a young girl I dreamt about travelling around the world so I would regret so hardly if I didn’t take this chance and that is why I didn’t even doubt about it’.

ADAPTING Probably everybody will know, while going abroad, things will be different. What are the differences you need to be aware of? ‘It wasn’t always easy in the beginning, I had to get used to a lot of new things. Culture is the mean one, think about the way people go along with each other, the way they greet and meet, the power distance, daily routine, different food culture and so on. You need to be flexible so you can adapt in every kind of situation, every day is another day and once you know the what’s and how’s, it goes by itself. Don’t see it as a problem, see it from a positive perspective you winened your knowlegde. It is so cool to know how to handle in strange environments which means that you are strong enough to deal with it. On the other side you really need to enterprise and need to be cheeky, in a good way, to stand up for yourself.


ADVICE She said she would immediatly do it over again if she could. ‘The experiences and profits you gain when you go abroad on your own, is that you connect easily with so many people. It is you who have to make the first step and the result of enterprise is that your confidence will grow, so the next time will be much more easy. If you are thinking about going abroad and you will have the opportunity to experience, please make sure you try it at least ONCE! You can always come back, but believe me; once you make this lifetime experience, you will never go back!’ While leaning back in the chair she sigh and said: ‘There were hard times aswell, but after all I can only see the good things in the bad things and beside that I have incredible memories I will never forget! These adventures made me the person who I am now’.


Bhutan When you do your internship or minor abroad you maybe have some time to do some traveling. For people who do their internship or minor in Asia and want to travel to a quite unknown location, we have something special for you: the Kingdom of Bhutan, Land of the Dragon. Bhutan is located in the eastern Himalayas and borders China in the north and three different Indian states in the east, south and west. Thimpu is the capital and largest city of the country and counts around 105.000 inhabitants. The whole country has about 750.000 inhabitants and Buddhism is the main religion. Over the last years Bhutan have made some big steps. In 2008 they went from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with a two-party system and they held their first general election. Nowadays there is free health care for residents and visitors of Bhutan and it’s not allowed to smoke in the country. Bhutan plans for its food production to become 100% organic by 2020. As you can read Bhutan has become quite a modern country and with values as friendship, compassion and sincerity it is very attractive to visit the country. Is it worth to pay a visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan? YES, IT IS! If you want to visit Bhutan it is easiest to book everything in advance so if you arrive you can fully enjoy your journey through Bhutan. Another great tip: hire a Bhutanese guide! Almost all the people in Bhutan speak English, because Bhutan was an old English colony, so it is easy to communicate. These guides know all hotspots and can tell you a lot about the Bhutanese culture, values and habits.


You can reach Bhutan by plane. Paro International Airport is the only international airport of the country and is situated in the west of Bhutan at 2.235 meter above mean sea level and is surrounded by high mountain peaks (around 5.500 meter). When you land at Paro International Airport you find yourself immediately in the Bhutanese culture. The airport is a beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture. From the airport it is a one-and-a-half hour drive to the capital, Thimphu. The city centre is small enough to visit by foot. In Thimphu you can visit The National Folk Heritage museum, the Changangkha Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in the Thimphu Valley), The National Memorial Chorten and a lot of beautiful places. Other great city’s to visit are Paro, Mongar and Sandrup Jongkhar. Beside beautiful cities and temples Bhutan can offer a lot more. Bhutan is situated on the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas and has much to offer for nature lovers. The country has a rich primate life, with rare species as the Bengal tiger and the clouded leopard and over 770 species of bird can be found in the Bhutanese wildlife. The country has 12 national parks and there you can fin over more than 5.400 different species of plants. From the valleys of western Bhutan you can see the tops of the Himalayas but it is not possible to climb these mountains. The Bhutanese people respecting their natural environment and they want to maintain the nature the best possible so it is forbidden by Bhutanese law to climb these mountains. Bhutan has a lot to offer for travellers: great cities and beautiful nature. Beside these two things Bhutan has one thing more to offer: Gross National Happiness. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced this term in 1972. Bhutan’s economic position has never been strong so the king decided that Gross National Happiness was more important than the Gross Domestic Product. Gross National Happiness is based on four main pillars: • • • •

Good governance Sustainable socio-economic development Preservation and promotion of culture Environmental conservation

These four pillars are further elaborated in nine domains: living standards, education, health, environment, community vitality, time-use, psychological well-being, good governance and cultural resilience and promotion. Through all these pillars and domains they want to reach realise a high Gross National Happiness. The Government, the King and Queen, schools, everyone plays his own part to realise this happiness. The Bhutanese people see the Gross National Happiness as their biggest export product. It is all about making people happier than that they were. So if you visit Bhutan let you inspire by the Bhutanese people and their way of life. Be open-minded and increase your happiness. Live the good life in Bhutan!


the new kid Cape Town is like the new kid on the block. It is still learning how to be the grownup city what it has become. Forget all the clichés you have about Cape Town. Forget the beautiful nature, forget Table Mountain and forget the lovely people. There is so much more to see. The creative industry is getting bigger and bigger. In 2014 Cape Town became World Design Capital. There are lots of small designer shops and creative schools.

A school that offers a minor is Vega School. It was formed in 1999 with the goal to convert traditional marketing towards the new mediums. It focusses on design, branding and business. Vega positioned itself to meet the rapid growing needs of conceptual, strategic and practical skills needed for a future in the creative industry.

But with a grownup city comes big boy problems. It has the lowest crime rating of South Africa, however, this doesn’t mean it is a save city to live in. Because the way the city is grown there is a lot of diversity and gangsterism. The coloured people (they call themselves that), The blacks and the whites all live in a different neighbourhood. As a result, people don’t mix together and diversity only grows.

Thys de beer is a teacher on Vega and came to We Are Conference to tell us all about it. The minor consists of courses from year 2,3 and 4. The courses you can expect are focused communication and strategy skills. Along with the Brand Challenge. The brand challenge takes up five weeks of your minor. Student teams from different creative specializations create advertising agencies and work for real clients.


on the Block Student teams investigate the brand to identify key issues in order to create a new strategy. After a series of internal presentations, the teams give ‘professional’ presentations for the clients. Over the years brands like; Reebok, Microsoft and M&M’s got blown away by student teams. ¬Studying or enjoying nature can be amazing in Cape Town just make sure to be streetwise and the new kid will treat you well.


Studying at the university of East London The university of East London doesn’t only offer you a study abroad, they offer you a life-changing experience while studying. They want to make sure your time at the university of East London is a real investment in your future and that your time over there is rewarding. The university has three campuses based in London’s East End, a diverse and multicultural area. Two of these campuses are the Docklands Campus, the Stratford Campus. The university is just 30 minutes away from the sightseeing’s and shops central London has to offer. Sightseeing’s as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, the London dungeon, Big Ben and many more you can visit while studying at the university of East London. Beside the sightseeing’s London has over 40.000 shops and some of the most famous stores and streets in the world, think of: Harrods, Selfridges, Knightbridge, Oxford street, Regent street, Carnaby street, Covent Garden and many more. Not only the shops are worth visiting, food and drinks are also worth trying, London’s food is as gloriously varied as its population. And the bars are very cheerful, kind people and lovely beers. When you are in the bar or you can get a taste of the entertainment London has to offer. The biggest bands, the hottest DJ’s. But you can also watch a football team including Chelsea Football Club. You can see everything when you are here. If you want to get the calories off because of all the eating and drinking, there are a lot of opportunities to sport as well, you can sign up to one of the football, rugby, basketball, netball or hockey teams. Besides these regular

sports there are countless other sport clubs you can join, from scuba diving to mountain biking, caving to capoeira. Besides al the things you can do in central London, there are at the university itself also a lot of things to do. Think about different clubs and societies you can join while you are here. At the campuses you can find bars and restaurants as well. Once in a week there are some events at the campuses, think about a karaoke night or a school disco to themed music nights. It is very clear when you are here you will never be bored. Besides al these amazing and fun thing you can do while studying at the university of East London you should have some requirements to enter the university. First of all, you must be an undergraduate student in your home country and you have successfully completed at least one year of your study. Second, you must be proficient in English language. And you should have a supporting reference from your university. Art and design students should submit a portfolio. When you apply it is important to send a manuscript showing what you have studied or are studying in your home country, in this manuscript you should



Relationship abroad This is the story of a girl that fell in love with a typical Australian guy. Her love for him changed her life forever. In the summer of 2015, I met a guy while I was studying abroad in Australia. This was my first time in Australia so I wanted to explore more of this beautiful country before I started my course at the University of New South Wales. I stayed in a hostel in the city center of Sydney. On the first evening, I wanted to drink something at a local bar. Because I had no idea where to go I just walked into a random bar that looked nice and cozy. I ordered a typical Australian beer, named: Carlton Draught. I was talking to a nice bartender, we had a long conversation about absolutely nothing. But I was having such a good evening and before I knew I was yours. The next day we shared a romantic day walking around Sydney, dinner at the opera house and a night filled with panoramic views of the city from thirty floors high. Unfortunately, my little holiday in Sydney was over and I was heading back to the east coast of Australia. Although we were miles apart we decided to make a relationship work and agreed to stay in touch via Whatsapp and Skype. We were getting to know the ins and outs of one another through the modern technology. But it was definitely not the same as seeing each other in real life. I missed his physical appearance, the way he looked at me and his long blond hair.

We realized that we couldn’t bear being apart any longer so he flew to the east code to be with me for a month. School wasn’t my biggest priority anymore. I ended up traveling with him for 4 weeks and during that time we grew more and more in love. Sadly, at every beginning comes an end. His time was over and he flew back to Sydney. I missed a whole month at the university and that was perceptible. My grades were very low and I couldn’t keep up with the subject. Because I was falling behind in school I didn’t stay motived. So, I probably made the stupidest decision in my life. School could f*** off, I wanted to be with my love so I flew across the country to be with him. Today is our happy anniversary. I guess we must be doing something right. We are living happily together in Sydney

with our newborn baby. Three years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever but I don’t regret any minute of it. I love being able to wake up with him every day, and going to sleep together, without worrying that our time is running out. Most of all, I love is his physical presence. I’m no longer living two half-lives. I’m enjoying being in the here and now. I feel content and happy.


Choice of challenge You are a teenager, just finished secondary school and immediately you have to choose another study, but how?! ‘Probably this will be a period full of chances and opportunities’ Teenagers, also called pubers, are in a difficult position when they have finished their secundary school. They can’t even imagine what the studies are about and what they can do with it in the future. With a bit of luck and escort from their parents or teachers they could be inspired, but there is too many pressure to start a study as soon as possible and to finish as soon as possible. ‘It will be better when teenagers make their choices as late as possible for long term’ The majority of 18+ isn’t ready for complete indepence, because they have an absolutely inadequate imagination of the world. They can’t make any imagination of different scenarios and they have absolutely no idea what the consequences will be. There is still no connection between language and imagination. This is a strictly normal fact, because the group of teenagers don’t have any emotional experience at that moment of life. Teenagers have to develop themselves, this means physical, cognitive, social and emotional. With the years it would be more easy to make the right choices for long term because of the grown confidence and life experience.. It has been proved that young people going to university

at an early age often make the wrong choices. It will be a better idea to gain one or two years work experience or going abroad before you start at university, this aspect should be more stimulated by parents and teachers. Gaining work experience could help finding the things you probably like or even don’t like. While travelling and inquiering, you make a strong personal development which will help you to make the right choices for long term. It will help tp open your world, literally and figuratively, it will give teenagers another perspective in how things are working. In the end it will make them mature more faster. Parents experiences this period of their ‘pubers’ as a period full of stress and struggles, but see this period as a period full of chances and opportunities. Try to stimulate your children to develop themself instead of pushing them in one way. Working or studying abroad would help with the process like exploring new things, encounter new people, meet other cultures, speaking foreign languages and so on. In the end they are ready to make the right choices. Don’t put the accent on the negative side, but try to focus on how to open the world of a teenager. Therefor parents and teachers are essential in their unknown lifetime.


Values and norms in all kinds of forms.. Norms and values, we have all heard of it once during a class of sociology or philosophy. The two words are often mentioned in the same sentence but why? What is the real meaning of these words and why do they always follow in the same sentence? Well… Norms and values are two very separate things but they wouldn’t exist without each other. So, a value exists throughout specific norms and a norm exists throughout specific values… *Scratches on forehead* During your exchange it is very important that you are aware of the customs they use in the country you are visiting. It is possible that there have been changes in their law in the same month that you are visiting. Besides that there is also the possibility the country lives by the standards of a religion, Buddhism for example. All by all be aware that not everything has to be logical in your eyes, what may seem normal to you doesn’t need to be normal for someone else. So when you go on an exchange take in account that you are visiting THEIR country, so you have to respect and adjust to their customs, norms and values. Definition 101 Values Explanation: Values – The ideals and motives in a society that they are living up to. These values are ideals that are being seen as desirable. Ex.: Elders deserve respect. / The traffic should be safe for everyone. (value = safe traffic → result = traffic rules).

Ex.: In a crowded bus you give your sit to an elder lady. / When the traffic light is red you are expected to stop. Norms decide to what rules people in a certain society are expected to live up to. This can be the constitution of the Netherlands for all their residents, or all Buddhists that live up to the standards of Buddhism…

On the basis of the values of a society there are often made some standards to turn the desirable into reality. This is comparable with the constitution of the Netherlands that was introduced to sustain the values safety and liveability of the entire country. To make the traffic as safe as possible there were made traffic rules. Norms Explanation: Norms – Clear guidelines for the realisation of the concerned values. The norms serve as a guidance to the expected behaviour in a certain society and/or situation.


The more knowledge the better Now you know what the differences are between norms and values it is important that you study the customs, norms and values of a country very well… Before you are going there. Because when you find out about the customs of a society when you are already there it might be too late to make up your mind. So be cautious when making a decision about your international exchange or internship. It can save you a lot of money and trouble if you find out about a countries customs before you go there. Because the work environment can be a whole lot different to the environment of a tourist, make no mistake in that! Besides that it also comes down to your own personality and interests if they match with the cultures customs or not, so you can reconsider if a certain country is suited for you or not. It is of great importance that you won’t accidently provoke or insult someone, in combination with a langue barrier there can be some major miscommunications. In the following picturing you can see one of the most recent cases where the lack of knowledge of a very important value went very bad…

So let this be a lesson for yourself so you will not find yourself in this kind of situation ever. Your exchange should be fun and inspiring to you. If you have found a place you feel comfortable with and you think it is a good fit with your personality and interests than go for it! Even if the values and norms are completely different from yours, you can still go there and who knows? Maybe you will get used to the norms and values and even take some of them back with you. Let your international internship or exchange be an instructive experience that you will talk about for many years after.


Have a wonderful trip!


All Abroad - Magazine International Week