Study Abroad Blog http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “El Artista” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/07/el-artista/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/07/el-artista/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 05:16:33 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=591 That’s it! We’re back from our first workshops in Saltillo (Northern Mexico). It was complicated but it went better than expected! Today I will show leave you with some pictures of the engraving workshop with the kids of the school Melchor Ocampo.   HEAVY WEIGHT!!! This is our beloved “printing machine”! We also carried 3 cans […]]]>

That’s it! We’re back from our first workshops in Saltillo (Northern Mexico).
It was complicated but it went better than expected! Today I will show leave you with some pictures of the engraving workshop with the kids of the school Melchor Ocampo.

 

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HEAVY WEIGHT!!! This is our beloved “printing machine”! We also carried 3 cans of paint +120 blank cards + 40 acrylic sheets +35 metal tools +1 paint roller +35 pencils +35 notebooks +40 bags+40 deodorants+40 antibacterial gel +40 pairs of socks +40 toothbrush +40 packs of shampoo +100 pins…

 

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Even if the pictures look calm, it was quiet a mess to carry out the workshop, but the kids loved it and so did we. By the way, our group was composed by Eszter and me (Hungary and Spain), and Milagros and Mauricio (Peru and Mexico), so it was really international, and both kids and teachers loved it. They also liked to see us wearing a uniform like them! :)
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Before the artistic part we organized some outdoor games with volunteers of the migrant shelter. This games focused on migration, crossing borders and getting to know our brothers and sisters from central america.

 

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At the end of the workshop the kids chose one bag each and filled it with some basic products for the migrants and put their engraving inside with a message. We gave them also some certificates and drawing books with our logo designed by Eszter of course :)

 

I will show you in the next days more details about the workshop, also some of the artistic wonders done by the kids. We were also able to not only give the bags and cards to the migrants, but carry out the same workshop with them!! I’m going to do a video with everything I recorded whenever I had a free moment, we even did an improvised rap video with the migrants!!!

That’s all for the moment, we are still preparing for the next stop: Tapachula, next to the border with Guatemala, there we will spend a week living with sick, injured and mutilated migrants that are recovering in the Shelter “Jesus, el buen Pastor” and of course giving them the opportunity to express themselves through art in our workshops :)

Chau!

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“Tres veces mojado” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/06/tres-veces-mojado/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/06/tres-veces-mojado/#comments Sat, 08 Jun 2013 07:09:04 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=579 Ok, now Tigres del Norte is the perfect soundtrack for this posts and those that will follow. After many many problems, my new project is on the way.   This project focuses on one thing: creating ties between people through art. It will take place in three different cities of Mexico, Tapachula, Huehuetoca and Saltillo, […]]]>

Ok, now Tigres del Norte is the perfect soundtrack for this posts and those that will follow.

After many many problems, my new project is on the way.

 

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This project focuses on one thing: creating ties between people through art.

It will take place in three different cities of Mexico, Tapachula, Huehuetoca and Saltillo, following the route of “La Bestia”/”The Beast” (the train that migrants from central america take to arrive to the US border). We will carry out a workshop in a school in each of these places. The school is in the same area as a migrant shelter. During the workshop a fellow volunteer that works with migrants will explain kids about their situation, after that we will proceed to teach them drawing techniques and specially graphic techniques (engraving). With the new tools acquired we will encourage them to do a small engraving each with a message for an anonymous migrant. Finally we will give them several essential products for the migrants (socks, toothpaste, bottle of water…) and each one of them will arrange a backpack with those products and the engraving with the message.

After all this we will go to the shelter and give a backpack to each migrant, showing and telling them how the kids did it.

This will be done in each city, later on Eszter and me, we will organize and exhibition with the copies of the kids works, a “making of” video and a series of engravings done by Eszter portraying migrants life and this experience.

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It was impossible to contact the shelters because of violence, and the bureaucracy to arrange workshops in schools is incredibly slow. Anyway, we are almost there. For the moment I leave you with some pictures of our visits to the shelter in Huehuetoca.

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Chau!

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“Sin Fronteras” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/04/sin-fronteras-without-borders/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/04/sin-fronteras-without-borders/#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 06:43:07 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=563 (Without Borders)

Hello, it’s been a long time I don’t write here, let me tell you why.
I had the incredible opportunity to go to work one month in Haiti! That’s right, I could never have imagined such a thing.
It’s been an incredible experience and I made a video for all of you to see what a wonderful country it is, no matter how many obstacles they face!

 

By the way, I’m delaying my project until I finish the lessons because after Haiti I can’t take more time off. BUT, I have great news, Eszter and me, we decided to start another project which isn’t any less complicated but it demands less time out of te city. It is related with migrants that make their journey across Mexico to arrive to the US. This saturday we’re going to a shelter so I’ll keep you informed!


Chau!

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“Allá nos juntamos” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/02/alla-nos-juntamos/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/02/alla-nos-juntamos/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:46:14 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=544 First trip with other international students from my university! We went to Teotihuacan, an ancient city that predated the aztecs! The city was the most populated in the world at the time, even more than Rome!! Amazing experience less than a couple of hours away! Eszter and me on the Moon Pyramid! With other exchange […]]]>

First trip with other international students from my university!

We went to Teotihuacan, an ancient city that predated the aztecs! The city was the most populated in the world at the time, even more than Rome!! Amazing experience less than a couple of hours away!

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Eszter and me on the Moon Pyramid!

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With other exchange students from Guatemala, Norway, Spain, England, US, Brazil, France, Germany, Canada, Argentina…and even other cities of Mexico.

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A Xoloitzcuintli, a genuine mexican dog, they used to eat them (even if they deny it) and of course, one of the awesome gods!

Chau!

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“Mi buena suerte” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/01/mi-buena-suerte/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/01/mi-buena-suerte/#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:29:19 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=512 Well, I’ve been really busy finding a place near the university, arranging my new lessons and so on. I was living 2 hours away from the university, now it takes me 10 minutes to arrive. “Mi buena suerte” (My good luck) Yes, indeed, I’m quiet pleased with this new semester. I managed to arrange my […]]]>

Well, I’ve been really busy finding a place near the university, arranging my new lessons and so on. I was living 2 hours away from the university, now it takes me 10 minutes to arrive. “Mi buena suerte” (My good luck) Yes, indeed, I’m quiet pleased with this new semester.

I managed to arrange my “learning agreements” and get the opportunity to assist to great courses:  “International Organizations and Negotiation” (in english), Middle East and Africa, Social Theory and Communication, Social Problems in Mexico, International Cooperation and Film Scriptwriting workshop. Yes, scriptwriting! The first time I’m actually taking a film lesson and I managed to get it accepted by my department in Spain.

Anyway I’m also pleased by the great facilities of this university, it has one of the biggest libraries in Latinamerica (if not the biggest) including a bunch of unique historical documents from Porfirio Diaz, the mexican revolution… And, even if it is a religious university (founded by the jesuits) the eduction is strictly secular and it’s private, so the fact that there is a church inside the campus doesn’t annoy me.

Concerning the project, Eszter and me are probably going to travel to the Mexico-Belize border the first days of February, I can’t miss my lessons so we’ll spend few days there (going there by bus is 22h one way…) trying to arrange the first school. Here I’m getting to know people from all around Mexico that will hopefully help me.

Ok, even if I had these financial, bureaucratic and academic issues in Colima I must admit that I was also lucky and, as I forgot to share pics from the first semester, here they go (some highlights only):

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I didn’t take pictures from my faculty, but I found these. The first one is from my chinese lesson and the other one shows my surprise birthday gift, yes: eggs (I was complaining about how their prize is raising here in Mexico and they were thoughtful enough to buy for me jaja).

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Ok, this picture was taken our last day in Colima. We needed a picture with one of the greatest and more misunderstood sculptures I’ve ever seen. It’s called “El hombre obsceno” (The obscene man) and it was a gift to Colima from one of the most famous recent artists in Mexico. Everyone hates it!!!!! But I love it!!!

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These are from Manzanillo, the other big city from Colima state, it is actually much nicer, and its next to the sea :)
(yeah, I didn’t find now my pictures from Colima city I’ll check later)

Ok, the rest of the pictures were taken during our only trip this first semester, we were hitchhiking half of the way which is not the greatest thing to do in Mexico (specially Michoacán). Yes, we went to Michoacán to witness the “Noche de muertos” (Night of the dead) celebration!!!!! We went to Pátzcuaro, Janitzio and Tzintzuntzan (yes, not the easiest ones to pronounce!).

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Here we were in Janitzio which is a small island in a big lake called Pátzcuaro lake. It’s a beautiful and colorful little indigenous fishermen community. They actually speak in “purépecha” and have a funny accent in spanish. But it’s not a good place to visit during the “Night of the dead” because even if it’s a magical experience it get’s soooooo crowded, filled with disrespectful tourists.

 

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And of course the skeletons are everywhere, specially Catrina, the elegant skeleton woman with the big hat!

 

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Here we can see how incredible is this night. The families of the dead spend the night in the cemetery lighting candles and accompanying them. Ir’s quiet magical when they start to sing at midnight!
And well, that’s me eating the typical sugar skull (calaverita de azúcar).

Finally, I can’t skip this pic from a costume party: Eszter was Frida Kahlo and I was Trotsky :)

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Chau! :)

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“El fin del mundo” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/01/el-fin-del-mundo/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2013/01/el-fin-del-mundo/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 22:17:50 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=501 Ok, I was going to post this the 21st but, as I had to move from Colima to Mexico DF, I didn’t have time nor internet connection :s (the song is actually about drug lords (“narco corrido”) but hey…at the end they mention the “end of the world”) The world didn’t end but my exchange […]]]>

Ok, I was going to post this the 21st but, as I had to move from Colima to Mexico DF, I didn’t have time nor internet connection :s


(the song is actually about drug lords (“narco corrido”) but hey…at the end they mention the “end of the world”)


The world didn’t end but my exchange in Colima did, so it’s been a unique end of the year. I’m here in Mexico DF with a completely different weather and trying to adapt to the pace of this massive city. Next week I start my course in the Ibero-American University of Mexico; it’s actually a really good private university and I’m really lucky to come as an exchange student here because I don’t need to pay their extremely high fees. I chose it for several reasons, the first I must admit it’s related with the recent political involvement of it’s students during the presidential elections, in this university originated a fresh and promising movement called “#yo soy 132″ (“I am 132″) struggling for the democratization of the country and specially the media. Secondly I was looking for quality international studies here in Mexico and, even if the UNAM is one of the most prestigious institutions in the spanish speaking world they don’t shine so much in that branch of political studies. I also wanted to experience living in this city because it has a great cultural life and so much to see. And last but not least, one of my brothers lives here and I never got the chance to live in the SAME COUNTRY AS HIM :S , so not only will we spend some great time together but, as he is a filmmaker, he will help me to film my first ultra low budget (no budget would be the term…) feature film before I go back to Spain :) I’m starting my script right now and as soon as I finish the project I will focus 100% on it, I will let you know.

So Eszter and me, we spent this Christmas with the family of my brother’s mexican girlfriend, enjoying all kind of delicious mexican meals. Pozole, Tacos (de pata, de carne con romero, frijoles…), Mole, Tequila, Mezcal… I can’t complain…

Anyway, december wasn’t very productive, I was really busy moving out and arranging the papers for my university in Spain, and I couldn’t reach the schools I wanted for my project because of holidays. Now I’m staying with my brother but I hope as soon as I find a place to rent and I start my lessons I will be able to arrange everything. I even tried to film an “episode” of a fake turkish series I want to make every time I visit a new country, but I could only shoot one scene :s This idea started 2 years ago when I arrived home (Turkey at that time) back from volunteering in Palestine, I started to shave my “mullah” kind of beard jajaja and I thought I should film something that same morning, so, I borrowed the camera of a friend and this was the result:

…and this are stills of what we started to film this december:

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This Sunday I’ll just post some pictures of the time I spent in Colima, so this blog can have a fresh start with me in the Iberoamerican University.

Chau!

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“El otro México” http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/12/el-otro-mexico/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/12/el-otro-mexico/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 08:40:18 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=479 Here it goes, my first post.

(Before you continue, watch the video)

As you may know I’ve been recently awarded with the first prize of the 2012 Travel Video Contest which will help me to carry on an incredible project all around Mexico and also keep on discovering it as I’m already here as an exchange student. First of all, looking back at some damn elegant posts done by other students (like Sandy Florez’s italian lessons for exemple) I just decided that each post will have the title of a “Tigres del Norte” song. They are one of the most famous bands in Latin America, they play norteño music and their importance goes way beyond their music. They reflect the life of millions of mexicans and also people from Central America; their popular and social messages have accompanied them all their life, particularly on the dangerous journey towards “american dream”. Anyway, let’s see if I manage to get one for each post…

By “El otro México” I mean I intend to discover a different Mexico, different from the bloody drug war or the 5 de Mayo postcard… But different doesn’t mean indifferent, what I want, and I’m already discovering, is that this is huge beautiful multicultural country, with a lot to be done and also a lot to learn from. I’m quiet tired of the old ignorant colonial point of view we still keep in Europe, specially us, the “glorious” conquistadores… That’s why I decided to come here as a student (not a tourist, not volunteer, not a hippie willing to get his/her huichol peyote ceremony while twitting it on his/her iphone…). Of course, while I’m here, as I get involved in the country, I realize there’s stuff I can do, and I will let you know in this blog :)

I arrived here to Mexico in August. I came here to study one semester in Colima and the second semester in Mexico DF. As I finally arranged my immigration papers (I’ve been an ilegal immigrant for a few months here…) I’m planning to stay until my visa expires, say September 2013. Last week I finished my semester in Colima University and I’m pretty satisfied with the experience. I met a lot of people, tried to avoid other spaniards, and was surprised to discover that koreans have invaded the university! I study international relations as a branch of political science and administration, and I enjoyed the specialty here which is Latin America and Pacific Asia relations (I could also continue studying chinese which I had to quit longtime ago because in Spain there is a trend called “let’s fu#%ing cut all the education budget and double the price of every lesson”).

There’s too much to say, so I’ll be posting more about it later.

Finally, related with my project, I must say I’m just starting. First of all I have to organize the most complicated part which is arranging the schedule. If I’m planning to spend 3 school days (Monday-Friday) in each school, that makes 30 days if I don’t count weekends and holidays, so I need to have god’s arrangement skills to make every school’s permission fit with the rest of the project and my own university calendar. Furthermore I have to contact a bus company to see if we can get a special price since we’re going to travel thousands of km (I would rent a car, but there’s no point in being exhausted after driving hours and falling asleep during the workshops…) I also have to be really careful with the parent’s permission for the videos…etc, etc. But it’s cool, there’s a lot of enthusiasm!

Ok, I think I bored you enough already, I’ll keep on bombarding you with structureless thoughts as often as I can.
Chau!

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Mess of mixed emotions http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/mess-of-mixed-emotions/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/mess-of-mixed-emotions/#comments Fri, 27 Apr 2012 12:52:30 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=428 ХудожникподаръциI leave in two days and I cannot begin to describe my emotions right now. I’m like a coin right now, two sides completely different. Heads is ready to see Indiana and tails isn’t ready at all to say goodbye to anyone.

I’ve built so many close friendships in the span of four months. Everyone I lived with in Eleanor Rathbone, everyone from my classes. I’ll never forget all the nights I spent over at Chris, Mark, Stev, Greggs, and Lewis’s place. The ridiculous amounts of FIFA we played, most of the time because I wanted to see if I could beat you guys. Had some pretty intense training sessions with you guys. I can’t even explain how much I’m going to miss that house, that couch and I have shared many nights.

It’s still crazy to me I even made it here. And now that’s its nearly over I’m so glad I did. I don’t think glad is the right word, but it’ll do for now. Until I get the chance to see all of you again.

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Malta http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/malta/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/malta/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2012 18:17:05 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=423 Откъде да купя иконаI’m a bit slow on posting these, but keeping so busy with production work for Uni as most of English friends would say. So take a look at some of the beautiful scenery I enjoyed in Malta.]]>

Откъде да купя иконаI’m a bit slow on posting these, but keeping so busy with production work for Uni as most of English friends would say. So take a look at some of the beautiful scenery I enjoyed in Malta.


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The dot with a lot. http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/the-dot-with-a-lot/ http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/2012/04/the-dot-with-a-lot/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 17:50:44 +0000 http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-abroad/blog/?p=419 Greetings from the island of Malta! If you are unsure of where Malta is don’t feel bad, before I met Shawn James last semester at ISU I had no idea Malta existed. It’s just below Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve been here for a little over a week and really am enjoying the sun, the food, and the culture. Many pictures to come soon. I titled this post the dot with a lot, because on Easter Sunday while having lunch with Shawn and his family, his uncle told me, “Malta is a small place, like a dot, but we have a lot.” I find this to be very true, though it’s very small, it has everything you could ask for, beautiful scenery, beautiful women, and delicious food. I’m not hard to please, but even the people that are, would have a great time on this beautiful island. Until next time, ciao!

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