Exactly two years ago my LC in Graz got the change to visit IAESTE India – a Twinning!
What is a Twinnig, you ask? It’s when one LC travels to another country to visit an LC abroad! We also have that inside of Austria (e.g. Vienna visiting Graz), but then we call it an Inning. Both events can be amazing, but I will never forget the ultra amazingness of the Twinning with India! It was so cool and different, but the best word to describe it would definitely be EXTREME!
We had extreme heat, extreme humidity, extreme spicyness, extreme traffic, extreme fun and extreme friendships!
Driving in an indian tuk-tuk
We went to two LCs actually – Karunya and Manipal. Both are very prestiguous universities in India (which says a lot, because it’s a huge country), located in the south of India. It was the beginning of April, meaning very hot weather! I would say we got to see the real India, because those two places had basically no tourists. The only caucasians running about were actually IAESTE trainees! We had a chance to see waterfalls in the jungle, visit temples, try out zip lining, wearing traditional Indian clothes, take tuk-tuks and eat lots and lots of delicious Indian curry with naan bread (just thinking about that makes me hungry!).
Of course, a big part of the twinning was sharing knowledge. IAESTE works completely different in Austria and India, starting with organisational structure, membership and jobraising! After participating in this Twinning, I got a much better understanding of how special is each country that belongs to IAESTE.
I truly enjoyed myself on this trip. You don’t even have to do anything touristy – just to hang out with a bunch of Indians is already so full of cultural exposure! But even if there are a lot of differences between Austria and India, we also have many things in common! We built friendships that are still intact to this day.
A few of the people we met in India ended up doing an internship in Graz the summer after our trip, so that was our version of a Re-Twinning!
Beautiful indian landscape
Personally, I think the best thing about IAESTE is that even when you arrive in a completely different country, the IAESTE family there will take an excellent care of you. You get this indescribable sense of feeling safe and welcome – an instant sensation of trust! It’s so awesome to have friends all over the world – if you are not an IAESTE member yet or haven’t done an internship, well honey, you’re definitely missing out!!
Group picture of IAESTE Graz and IAESTE India
BTW – India created an aftermovie of the whole event. Check it out!
Linda Kolb, LC Graz, IAESTE Austria