CHEERS MATE!

I still cannot believe that the big luggae opened on my floor, in the room of my college, is going to be filled with all the stuff I brought here downunder. And not for going to travelling around Australia and to enjoy the beauty of this amazing country, but just to come back home, to Italy.
Today it was a good day.
I walked for the last time in the city which host me for 5 months, the beautiful Melbourne.
It was full of different colors, different sounds, different accents as every time and ,as every time, was simply outstanding.
It is hard to describe with words what this experience in Australia gave me.
Every people I met here was a story, every place I visited is gonna be an unforgettable memory.
I learned how to study in a different language, I learned to appreciate a different academic system and I deeply enjoyed the life on campus.
Border Crossings, you gave me something which is not easy to descrive by words but which is totally impossible to forget.
I wish that everyone will have the opportunity to live a project like this around the world.

Australia, this is not a Goodbye but a
“see ya soon, mate!”

CHEERS!

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Dear Border Crossings Project, thank you for your existence.

Thanks for everyone who made the Border Crossings Project possible. Those few months have been one of the best ones in my life. Although I have lived in different countries with different people, food, noises, languages, cultures and traditions, my life in Melbourne has challenged my attitudes and beliefs, but most importantly, allowed me to grow personally.

Let’s cross borders again. Now?

Amen.

/Hany

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Home is where your heart is.

With mixed feelings, I am sitting at the airport all alone. Foreigners and/or travellers are passing by and I am now one of them. Hello vagabond life (again)! I don’t know whether to laugh myself to tears about how much I enjoyed spending my last hours with my loveliest peeps in Melbourne or burst out crying because I need to leave all this behind for quite a while. But what I know is that the feeling of home is important, even of vital importance, I reckon. And yes, I’ve got to admit that besides of Malmö, Melbourne has become home for me, with a cultural, artistic and multi-cultural vibe where you can create your way of life. With people I love and have shared all my adventures, thoughts, stories, many laughs, time and love. How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/10/moving_around_without_losing_your_roots.html

/Hany

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Quo vadis mate?

How do you know that your Border Crossings exchange is on the home stretch? When you can read your friend’s posts all about saying goodbye to Oz Land and how they are going to miss it. Unfortunately, I am absolutely no exception. Frankly speaking I would love love love to stay in Melbourne much longer. If I only could of course. But this is not how it works.

During this 5 months I have learned a lot about myself and other people. Travel broadens the mind. Sounds cliché? However, it is a good oil (fyi: australian slang for honest truth). For me it is too early for any kind of summing up. I don’t think I will be able to do it anyway. At least not yet.

Leaving one place usually arrows question of what’s next? What should I do afterwards? Quo vadis mate? How about- I don’t know. It remains to be seen. There are few options…

Immigration Museum

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The question of identity: Who am I?

As you could already tell that I got very inspired by my Global Migration Stories – subject, after having visited the Immigration Museum (http://museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/) yesterday, I feel even more fascinated by people constantly moving around. Admittedly, it would have been so much wiser if I had gone there before my exam, but well, better late than never. The history of (im)migration in Australia is easily explained, so if you are interested in knowing more about that, then the immigration museum is THE place to be. After my essay on my family migration story, I truly feel I have learned heaps about my family but also about myself, appreciating the factors that are shaping your personality… your identity.

Personally, I reckon that it is important to early start dwelling upon the topic of identity. In fact, I am sure that, sooner or later, you come to the point where you ask yourself: who am I? I entered the room of “identity – yours, mine, ours” after I had read this writing on the wall:

“How well do we really know ourselves? We all come with a life story. Our story changes as we grow and encounter different people. We move closer to some people. We distance ourselves from others. Identity is how we present ourselves to the world. It embodies our memories, secrets and things we do not yet know. Discover something new about yourself. Question your assumptions. Share your thought.”

The ‘identity room’ did not disappoint me at all! I was strolling around, reading everything very carefully. I could agree with everything and have thought about those questions so many times before, but sometimes it’s good to have it written down somewhere or spoken out loud to be more aware of it. Both questions on identity and quotes by migrants were very thought-provoking and I could identify and/or emphathise with many of them. So, because ‘sharing is caring’, some incentives for mind activity, just for you:

WHAT WE ARE CALLED

“I looked quite normal, I sounded like everyone else, but I had a surname which no one could ever pronounce.” – S. Mycak

“As an adolescent growing up, my name caused me great embarassment and I hated anything that was Asian. How I wished to be Mary Smith.” – K. Vivekanada

THE WAY WE LOOK

” ‘But you don’t look like a Muslim’ would be the most common response. Do I look like a Christian then? Are we supposed to look like our religion? I prefer just to look like myself.” – Bogumil

WHAT WE SAY AND HOW WE SAY IT

“I have come to understand that language shapes the way people think and feel, and vice versa. I often felt that I could not describe in English what I was feeling. I could not find in English exact expressions matching my bodily sensations.” – Kyung-Joo

“If we lose our language, we lose a part of ourselves.”

Then, there was a photo exhibition of migrants who are still on the move. Each caption describes name, place of birth, destination and that reminded me of a project of one of my friends back in Malmö that’s called “Don’t ask me where I’m from. Ask me where I’m heading.” and exactly deals with those issues mentioned before.

This semester in Melbourne has challenged me a lot and has opened up so many different perspectives and point of views. I am delving into topics such as identity, existence, science and religion, language and communication.

I know this post is way too long than I wanted it to be, but I just felt the urgent need to share it with you, mates!

-for your consideration-

/Hany

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Bye Adelaide!

It’s been ages since my last blog, but finally I had time to write one! Just as most of the students, I guess, I’ve been busy writing essays, studying for exams, working for the internship and of course also trying to make my last month in Adelaide a good one. But now most of all these things are done, I’m packing all my stuff, and I’m leaving Adelaide tomorrow.
I haven’t written anything about the internship I did yet, and I would like to share my experiences. Together with Jan I started my internship for the Border Crossing Program at the South Australian museum in Adelaide. We worked at the family history department of the research center, mostly digitalizing genealogies. After periods of assimilation and extinguishment a lot of Aboriginal history and culture is forgotten. Working at research center made me realize how important it is to make this knowledge available again. It is often knowledge that is lost within the communities, and regaining it is an important means of empowerment of Aboriginal people.
Doing this internship, following topics at Flinders, but above all, living here in Australia was an amazing experience. I’m a little bit sad to leave maybe, but I’m sure I’ll see most of the friends I’ve made again. Australians are planning to visit Europe, and the international students I’ve met from Europe are suddenly living very close, if compared to the distance to Australia. I would love to thank everyone in Adelaide that gave me this opportunity; the people of the Border Crossing program, the lovely family I stayed with and of course my new made friends. I’m very much looking forward to the next two months of traveling with them in Australia and Indonesia. Sure that that will be another amazing experience!

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Goodbye Melbourne

Wow, time has flown! The time has come to say goodbye to my friends here and leave this beautiful city. Right now I am sitting in my room with my suitcase packed. I feel sad that my good times here have ended, but happy about my exchange period. I never expected it to be this great; to meet so many amazing people and create so many lovely memories! I am going to miss my life here a lot, but I am sure it is just the beginning of something new and better… For all the border crossings people that I met: it was great spending time with you! See you at my side of the world.

And now.. off to Indonesia!
With love,
Judith

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Don’t cry for me A…ustralia!

Well, well, well. All good things come to an end and so my semester at Griffith. I’m flying home tomorrow and I still can’t believe it. I had an amazing time, met a lot of people from all around the world visited incredible places and more and more and much more!

Until today, I haven’t realised how much I will miss The Land of Oz. There was, of course, a time, when I was a bit homesick, but the closer the end of the semester was getting, the more I was falling in love with Australia.

I wanted to say massive THANK YOU to all of the people involved in the whole “Border Crossings” Project. I think it’s an amazing initiative which literally helps to cross the borders and gives the best opportunity for students to get to know different ways of organising ‘university life’.

I cannot do anything else but hope that I’ll come back Down Under as fast as I can. Somehow I think that ‘paradise’ doesn’t only refer to the Surfers Paradise 🙂

Thank you!

Agnieszka

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Where is HOME?

I was sitting at Parliament Station waiting for the train to get home and started to take the fact more seriously of me leaving Melbourne. Heaps. It’s almost midnight over here and I came across with an online post by Malmö University:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/why-coming-home-is-hard/

This is how I feel RIGHT NOW, full stop.

Not only do I ask my Border Crossings mates, but everyone who happens to read this very short post entry: Where is home for you?!

/Hany

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My little bucket list – 5 things to do before I… leave Melbourne:

Time is ticking and now I have just realised and accepted the fact that we are all getting older and so I started thinking about things to do before I leave this young city with its vividness. The list is ENDLESS, but I would like to share some few points of my ‘to do’-list for the last weeks in Melbourne:

  • After a long coffee (and Swedish fika) rehab, Melbourne made me become a cafenatic again. No chance to get around a long black, short black, latte, flat white, the Cap, Long Mac and/or Short Mac! Starting a day with coffee sounds good. Is good. So, my mission is to try as many cafés as possible – in CBD, Brunswick, Fitzroy, Northcote, etc.
  • Then, getting on a bike, cycling through the city with a helmet (yeah, here it’s obligatory…) and handle the situation of me riding on the LEFT side. Fingers crossed. Getting around by bike would be the icing on the cake of fully making me feel home.
  • The bike tour will be followed by an art gallery marathon – from Aboriginal to contemporary art in public and independent spaces.
  • Don’t call me crazy, but going for a swim at Brighton Beach or Port Melbourne (St Kilda beach would do in a pinch), just to feel a bit of summer breeze again…
  • The day ends with a very touristy attraction – the Eureka Skydeck 88, the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere – with a fancy cocktail (or just another coffee!) and all my lovely peeps while having a reminiscent and nostalgic, but especially magnificent, view over Melbourne.
  • [to be continued]

You can’t imagine how much more is on my list, so I better use the time I’ve got left and start ticking off.

/Hany

 

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