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AIESEC Ambassador Story : Rineke Rafelia in Moscow

Hi everyone! I want to share my AIESEC exchange experience but first let me introduce myself

My name is Rineke Rafelia, but you can call me Riri. I am studying Marketing in Prasetiya Mulya School of Business and economics and am continuing to the 4th semester soon.

I am one of the EP in Young & Perspective Project in Moscow, Russia. And I know, you guys would think that it’s a very bizarre thing to go even closer to the north pole when we know that it is Winter. Freakin’ Winter.

I didn’t even have a fixed plan about how am I supposed to survive here, or even to know what it is like in Russia during winter. And when people hear about my decision to go to Moscow, they were like “The heck?! Do you even know that Moscow is closer to the north pole than London?” and even some of my closest friends were doubting about my decision so much it almost irritates me. I mean, I don’t even know the reason why but if I believe in myself, then why do you need to drop my confidence or something. And then finally, I flew to Moscow on January 19th 2014 by myself. The first time I ever flew by myself and it is this far.

And yes, okay, they were right.. The weather is BAD. Well not too bad as they said, but just bad. That’s my first thought when I arrived and going out of the airport. The adaptation phase was really really hard too. The first 10 days here I had nosebleeds, I felt tired all the time (probably because my body was working twice as hard to get through the adaptation phase). Even more, I was lonely. This was the saddest part.

The EPs of my project was separated in 2 hostels, and I got placed in the asian hostel. I mean, all of my friends in the hostel are asian. …………in which, only either Chinese or India. And they like to go out in groups, which left me by myself. I would never complain about the experience if it is only about the weather, but being somehow leftout was horrible. I tried to ask if I can come but then they said “But I’m going out with all of the Chinese. Either from our project or another project”. It’s like a non-direct “No”. Oh well.
And I realize this is the point where I should fight for my own sake. I start going out with all the European and Latin America EPs, and they are all my closest friends now. And somehow the Asians are willing to open up, and we are good now. In fact, I am starting to have the feeling like they are my new family

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Last but not least, I LOVE THE KIDS!!! In my project it is my job to teach school kids between the grade 4 – 11, and to also introduce Indonesian culture. I am teaching English in European Gymnasium School. In class, my job is to assist the teacher (to help the students individually). After the class is over, my job is to hold a tutoring class for the students. And the kids are so cute! They are very welcoming and are really nice. They are my spirit everyday to go to the school (because to school is really, really, really far from where I am staying right now).

I haven’t completed the program but this experience has already taught me a lot. I have become more independent and confident, I am also becoming a more “timely” person, this experience is basically life-changing for me. I never knew I could really care about some person in WEEKS, I mean if we think about it we never really knew about their background but somehow we get the connection, the bond, right?

So I hope you all have a good internship wherever you are right now.. And I would like to hear some stories from all of you

And also if you are interested, a local youth magazine “HAI Magazine” wrote an article about my AIESEC experience in their website, so maybe you can go and check it out! Through this link

Thanks all!

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