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Tajikistan

Tjk

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Kara Grellmann


Home country

Austria

Internship city and country

Khuland, Tajikistan

Internship employer

Arkon Education Centre

University study field

Environmental Science

Year of internship

2019

Internship length

12 weeks


Work

My work consisted of teaching German and English at an intermediate level to groups or individual students. Although my work didn’t have much to do with my studies, the teaching position I took on helped me a lot with my personal development. I learned important leadership skills and how to manage tasks. My students were bright and motivated to learn German and English, and this encouraged me greatly. I also learned a lot about Tajik culture from my daily classes with the students.

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Experience

My experience was amazing from start to finish. I made many friends, both international and Tajik, and who worked both with IAESTE and for my company Arkon. IAESTE LC Khujand planned several cool trips in the summer, for example to the pristine lake Iskandarkul and a trip to the capital Dushanbe. We also had an international cooking evening. Other activities in Khujand included bowling, swimming in the Qayraqqum Lake and getting dinner at a traditional tea house. My accommodation was provided for me: it was a flat-sharing setup with two other international teachers at Arkon, one of whom became a really good friend of mine. The food was amazing—fried dough with filling, rice pilaf, and fried noodles were some of the highlights. Also the ice cream, cake, and fruit was some of the best in the world.

Discover

I learned so much on my trip to Tajikistan, but the main achievement was adapting to a completely foreign culture. Tajikistan is so different to the “western world”, and most of its people cannot even hold a simple conversation in English. Learning how to communicate with them as well as adapting to the different culture were my main challenges, and I conquered them! My trip changed me in a few ways: firstly, it taught me how a society that is not as capitalistic and materialistic as we are in the Western world can also be happy; thus I learned how to be more satisfied with the simpler things in life.