Today I would like to promote this initiative that some young Italian volunteer has ideated. They try to help people with different types of disabilities to find different ways to express themselves through dance, music and drama. The purpose of this project is to help people to express themselves better using their bodies, emotions and help them to grow self-esteem. In the end, all the people involved in this project will create more shows. I think this project is awesome and we should always help each other as much as we can. There will always be someone that needs help and remember that everything that comes around goes around. Below you will find a better description of the project in Italian. I just made a small summary in English. 


Quando le arti si incontrano

Una realtà nata dall’incontro di quattro giovani volontari, legati da un’unica passione: l’arte a 3600
Tutto è iniziato con l’ideazione di un nuovo percorso culturale, mirato a promuovere l’inclusione sociale di persone diversamente abili, affinché possano sperimentare una forma di educazione culturale basata sull’analisi e la gestione di differenti linguaggi espressivi.

La compagnia teatrale si compone di un team dinamico, formato da un esperto per ogni disciplina: danza, canto, musica e teatro. Il progetto “Naturalmente Abili “ ha come intento educativo-formativo quello di creare una didattica di tipo laboratoriale, improntata all’operatività in cui ogni individuo diventa protagonista di se stesso e del proprio saper fare.
I laboratori proposti avranno una grande valenza comunicativa e pedagogica nella struttura dell’ Associazione ONLUS “CON PAOLA” ( sita a Marano Marchesato, CS). Attraverso la pratica teatrale, specchio di vita, gli utenti scoprono se stessi, le proprie potenzialità ed instaurano con il prossimo relazioni positive, di confronto e fiducia reciproca.

L’obiettivo finale del progetto è la realizzazione di spettacoli teatrali, frutto dei vari laboratori. Attraverso esercizi, giochi fisici ed espressivi orientati a lavorare sull’ascolto di sé (corpo ed emozione) in uno spazio condiviso e vissuto insieme ‘’all’altro’’, si guida l’utente ad una nuova percezione di sé nel mondo. Si è pensato di utilizzare il corpo come mezzo per comunicare ed esprimersi, rendendo la danza fondamentalmente unica. 
Attraverso il coinvolgimento di tutta la persona, offriamo la possibilità di esprimere ed esplorare la propria sensibilità emotiva, favorendo l‘autostima. Si lavorerà per sviluppare una tecnica di canto che permetta ai partecipanti di sviluppare una basilare conoscenza della propria voce, intesa come prima apertura verso il consolidamento di una personalità indipendente. Di fatto, la musica è uno dei pochi linguaggi in cui le differenze si appianano perché è di tutti e per tutti.

Associazione Onlus Con Paola

Via Morroni n.36
87040, Marano Marchesato (CS)
associazione@conpaola.it



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I was a bit scared of them, but I still got the selfie, such a Cliché 



Hello,
It is time for me to tell you more about my adventure in Australia and how my experience as an exchange student went. I hope my story won’t be too long.

Why I chose to go to Australia?


Well, I didn’t. I wanted to go to Spain to improve my Spanish and get the Erasmus plus grant 😊. A few days before applying for the exchange program, something happened in my brain and I said: ‘you know we only live once, and I always wanted to go to Australia, so I am going to put Australia as the first choice on the application form’.
To be honest, I wasn’t expected to be chosen since there were only 2 spots available in the whole university. But, against all the odds, I was picked to fill one spot. I was so happy that I ran across all university smiling and jumping like a crazy girl. I was happy for days, and no one could take the smile off my face. In a matter of days, everybody knew I was going to Australia. Some of my friends were a bit surprised since I always try to play it safe, truth is I like to take risks.

Before departure


After receiving all the documents from the university in Australia and signing them. I had to apply first for the insurance and then for the student visa, which was quite expensive. For both, I paid around 500 euros. When applying for the visa, I was quite anxious, mostly because I knew how strict they are regarding foreigners. I was lucky, and I received it soon after I applied for it.  I also bought the plane tickets and waited for the day to come.

The departure day


I am always scared of airport security, especially the Australian one. I watched a TV show called “Airport Security.” when I was still living in Italy, and I knew that they can be strict and harsh. I was terrified so I washed all my shoes and clothes so they can be clean, especially the shoes, since I read that they should not have mud on them. I also avoided taking any food or drinks. I do not smoke, and I do not know how many packets of cigarettes you can take with you.
During the first flight, I was ok, it was short, about 6 hours and I chatted with a guy from Syria, that grew up in Qatar and studied medicine in Romania. I enjoy talking with people on the plane, they have crazy stories, and besides that, I talk a lot. Who knows me personally, knows what I am talking about, and look at how long this post is going to be. On the second flight from Doha to Sydney, I spoke with a flight attendant from Croatia, and we had some long chats, in between sleeping. The trip was long about 17 hours, and I had the impression that when we had only five hours, the clock was stuck to that time and it wasn’t going down.
After we landed, I started to panic, because I had another flight to catch in one hour and 30 min. Luckily my experience with airport security wasn’t like the one on the TV show, and I caught the second flight to Brisbane on time. I was alone on the seat, and I didn’t disturb anybody 😊, but when I arrived in Brisbane, the transfer driver was my victim, and I talked to him the whole time. I don’t know where I got all that energy from, after travelling for more than 27 hours and sleeping only 2 hours on the plane.

The adventure begins


Waking up in a new room, in a new city is always strange for me. I love it, and I always feel fresh. This time I was fresh and jet-lagged. Only after three weeks, I got used to the climate. I left Europe in February, during winter and in Australia I was hit by the heat of summer. I was also bitten by a fire ant during the first week. It was so painful that I thought it was a spider. Silly me to believe that ants can be harmless in Australia. I also discovered that on campus, we had strange species of birds that I never saw before, giant bats and almost no spiders. The university was like a small zoo, and I loved it.
During the orientation week, the University does a lot of events, you also get to know the lecturers and the university staff. I studied at the USQ, and I lived in the smallest campus, there were only two buildings.

University life


As a requisite from my Danish university, I had to attend four courses, since each one of them would give me 7.5 ECTS points, enough for me to complete my semester requisite. Talking with other students, I discovered that they rarely pick four courses, and they prefer to do 2 or 3 per semester. I was a bit sceptic, and I thought they just wanted to chill a bit and not be stressed. I was wrong; four courses require a lot of dedication and home study and work. Fun fact, I am an undergrad student, and I was supposed to pick undergraduate courses, which I did for three of them. One class that I chose was a master course, and I realise that too late, and I could not change it.
Overall the classes were easy and fun to attend, you can interact with lectures and debate at all time. Everyone is involved in the conversation and have a voice. Teachers are funny, friendly and try to do everything to help you. You can also see the mentor assigned for the class if you fall behind or write to the lecturer, and you will receive an answer right away.
On your student page, you have everything, from class recordings, video and audio, presentations, study materials. There is also a forum where you can interact even with online students. The faculty shares everything with the students, and I think being transparent is the most important thing.

Assignments


During the semester, students must complete three or more assignments for each course, which will contribute to their final marks. I had 12 assignments to complete, and it was, time-consuming and stressful. On the bright side, I improved my English, which is still broken but not like before😊.
Usually, the assignments are written essays or reports and quizzes. I had only two questionnaires, and the rest was written. Each assignment was longer than 10 pages, and I had to finish it in 6 days because each week, I had a deadline for one assignment.

I can say that luck was on my side because I only had to do two exams, one for the master course and one for the undergrad course. Each exam can be taken only once if you fail, you must retake the course. The exam is handwritten, and it lasts 2 hours and 10 minutes of perusal. The exams can be open book or not, but that doesn’t matter because you do not have time to open your book.
Before the exam, they give you some useful materials to prepare yourself. You can also contact the lecturer or mentor anytime if you have doubts.
I am proud of myself because I am a College student and I attended a University, and I passed all the courses.
Unfortunately, like always I procrastinated a bit during the semester, and I had little time to travel. About my tourist experiences, I will talk in another post, this one is getting way too long 😊. 

I was happy because I met beautiful people, especially two of my flatmates. This experience made me grow a lot. More than I thought, and I will do it again. If you genuinely desire something make use all your energy and strength to get to it.

If you have other questions, write to me, and I will answer them :).
Have a beautiful day:)!
 













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Hi

Long-time, no see. I have to apologise for that :). Unfortunately, I underestimated the Australian University and the amount of work I had to do during the semester. I will tell you all about it in the next blog post. 

But now, let me tell you about one of my last assignments and how it disappeared from the USB drive. 
It was a lovely Saturday afternoon, I was working on my assignment from the library PC because it had a bigger display. The university PC reset itself after you log out and everything that you worked on, including internet searches is gone, so the next user will find a clean PC, and you will not have privacy issues. I was prepared, and I had a USB drive connected to the PC in which I was saving everything. Unfortunately, I was lazy, and I did not log in to my google drive to save the documents there. 

At some point, I got hungry, and I decided to go home and eat, I safely disconnected the pen drive, and I left. One hour later I came back, connected the pen drive, and the computer shows a warning saying that the pen drive is corrupted and I did what I always do in this cases, I "repaired it". After it got repaired, I opened the folder, and I discovered that my assignment was gone. I had two-thirds done and my 3 days work was gone, it was Saturday afternoon and the due day was Monday. 
I panicked like never before, and I started looking online for programs that can help me recover the lost word document. I found two, but they were useless. The IT office at university was closed, so I was desperate, I called some friends, but they also had no clue what to do. 
Luckily I remembered that at the shopping near the campus there is an IT shop that has qualified technicians. I rushed there with my laptop, pen drive and hope. It took me a while for me to explain what happened because I was panicking, and in the end, I told him I lost a document from the pen drive, and I would like it back. 
I cannot be more grateful to this guy because he was honest and told me: "I do not know if this will work for your problem, but we have this programme, and I can try to recover the document using that".  I was ready to say yes, go for it when he told me that this would cost me 89 AUD + 29 AUD for his assistance. At that moment I started thinking that I will be fine, I will work for the next 48 hours without sleeping and I will finish it. But it wasn't a good idea since also all my research and sources were gone. 
I said to him that I am a jobless student and if he can find me a cheaper alternative. He was also a really good person and told me that he can download the free version on my laptop, and I agreed to that. He installed this life-saving programme, called RECUVA, that I will never uninstall and I will cherish forever. He ran the programme, and my assignment was saved. 

RECUVA is the tool that saved my life at that moment. My laziness cost me 29 AUD, and I was not happy, but since then, I try to save documents in multiple locations and devices. 
It is useless to say that I wish you to do the same, save your documents and your work, on clouds, ped drive, send it as an e-mail to yourself to make sure you will never lose it. But if something similar to my experience happens, you can use RECUVA. It can save your work, and the free version works just fine. 

Probably you are curious what grade did I get on my most expensive assignment. Well, it went surprisingly well considered that it was a master course, and I am a bachelor student. I got 94.50/100.
I was lucky, and I had a happy ending, and I hope this tool can help you too. 


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Hi and welcome back to my blog, this time you will read about Andrada’s study experience in Australia. This amazing young girl is 17 years old, and she is in her second year at university. I am not going to spoiler anything else, and I will let her told you her story. 


Hi, Andrada can you tell my readers how did you end up in Australia? 
Hii Georgia!!|! My family and I moved to Australia because of my dad’s job.

How were your early years in school in Australia compared to Italy?
My early years in Australia were great fun, really! I completed my ESL program in 3 months, I had made many caring friends. School wise, my school always had events and fun activities going on and school trips. This made Year 6 (Elementary School) very enjoyable. 
In Italy, the school was not as fun. My School there gave us homework twice per week in year 5! Events occurred only a few times per year. Education in Italy was much less intuitive and interactive. 

How did the opportunity of starting the university at 16 has arisen? 
The opportunity of studying at university while I was still in Year 11 in high school, came about from my grades. My university emailed me and offered me a spot in studying 1 semester in whichever degree I wanted. I accepted the offer, and it was then that I began my Bachelor of Laws. The following year in Year 12 I completed my second semester at university. Meaning, as I graduated high school that year; I had already completed units from my degree. (In Australia to get a law degree you need to complete a total of 19 units and 5 elective units)

Did you find it challenging or overwhelming?
In all honesty, at times it was challenging to balance high school, university, having a casual job and to maintain a social life. What really helped me was managing my time and staying focused on why I wanted to achieve my goals. For example, my goal was to graduate high school because I would be the 1st person in my family to do it. I wanted to continue studying at university as it has always been my dream to become a lawyer and I wished to keep my job as it offered me the opportunity to support my studies and have some coin in my pocket.

How is the course that you are studying organized (lectures, exams, relationship with teachers)?
Bachelor of Laws at my university is organized with modules, lectures, readings, exams. 
We have 1 lecture per week per unit. The lecture Powerpoint slides are posted on our “StudyDesk” uni website 2 weeks before the lecture, but this highly depends on the lecturer; some post them for the entire semester and some 1 week before the lecture. The modules are “extended information booklets” with 1 module weekly containing 1 to 2 topics. Studying law, the lecturer gives us a lot of reading from the textbook, articles, and cases. This does sound overwhelming, but the university does offer a lot of support; for instance, we have Meet-Up Leaders who are students in their 2nd and 3rd-year law students helping 1st or 2nd year. They explain you concepts you may not understand, they provide advice and answer general questions. The lecturer is also available to help, they answer emails very quickly, or you can just walk into their office for a chat. Uni also provides academics to help you with your assignments, this does require a booking though.  
As for exams, generally 1 online test, 2 assignments, and 1 exam but this does change and vary depending on which unit you are studying. But its 4 items per unit every 6 semesters. Also, I forgot to mention that 1 unit lasts 1 semester. 

Is it expensive to study at an Australian university? 
Law is quite pricey, but it purely depends on what you want to study. The payment is based upon the cost of the individual units and however many units you are studying. 1 to 2 is for a part-time student, and 3 to 4 units are for a full-time student. Each unit has a set price, but sometimes some units are a little bit cheaper. The students have the option to pay upfront or to pay their degree off once they graduated, and have a job with an income of $51,957. This is called the Hecs. On their website, they also state that: “loan repayments are then made through the tax system. If you wanted to pay off your debt faster, you could make voluntary repayments, regardless of how much you earn.” 
If you are interested in Hecs, here is their link: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help

HOWEVER, international students or permanent residents’ students have to pay upfront because only Australian Citizens or New Zealand Special Category VIsa are eligible to apply for Hecs. 

Universities also offer different varieties of scholarships. Not all are based on grades, some depend are about age, lifestyle, interests, etc.

What will you do after you will finish your bachelor, a master or you will be able to work?

Once I finish my Bachelor of Laws, I am sure of wanting to find a job. Nevertheless, I am considering the option of working and studying part-time for my Masters. I have time to evaluate that, thankfully! 

What is your opinion about Australian universities based on your experience?
Based on my experience, Australian universities are wonderful. My university provided me with a 1 in a lifetime opportunity, it has supported me and currently it is allowing me to follow my dreams and turn them into reality. The good thing with Australian university education is also valued internationally.  I have made many international friends from all over the world who chose to come to study in Australia, and I also have friends who graduated in Australia and have jobs overseas. 
Andrada Kacso


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I am one of those people that let themselves carried by the wind sometimes, and I let everything to destiny or fate or whatever. Sometimes (rarely) I feel like going out of my comfort zone, but it is not easy because like you and many other I fall into the routine and is so difficult to get out. It is like everybody hates it, but nobody does something to get out of it. But when I finally decide to get out of my comfort zone, I go big, well kinda.

Since the university offers the opportunity to do a semester abroad, I decided to go for it. I was planning to stay in Europe, so I can get Erasmus plus, obviously and enjoy the experience maybe without working. I was planning to go to Spain and attend the classes in Spanish and learn it at a mother tongue level. But things didn’t go exactly that way. I was thinking about Spain for months, planning everything, searching for apartments and one week before the deadline for the exchange semester application I started to think about Australia because I saw it on the list with the options. When I sent the form, I put Australia as the first priority, and then the other countries, South Korea, Spain, and Austria, just to be sure I will get somewhere. I really didn’t want to stay another semester in Denmark. I had to wait a few weeks, and then the big news arrived, first to my classmates, and they were super happy. But 10 min after they received the news, I also received an email saying that I was eligible for Australia and they offered me a spot. I was soooo happy that I ran all around the campus with a freaky smiling face.

Long story short, I got the visa (expensive AF), plane tickets and I also think I have a place where to stay. Next semester I am going to be in Springfield, Australia. BTW if you hear someone yelling is me, I saw a spider or another creepy creature.

Often life surprises us, sometimes positively or negatively but it is up to us to adapt to the new plan and to never give up. We need to let ourselves do mistakes and wrong to learn and grow. We do not know what might happen the next day and our plans might get ruined. Be bold and do everything with the same energy and motivation that you were supposed to put in your scheduled programs.


Do not be scared by the unexpected, embrace it if it’s positive or kicks its ass if it’s negative. 
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I discovered a new culture, food, and traditions- I haven’t adapted to everything, but hey I am human so bear with me 😊
I learned to be independent – before I always lived with my parents and this as my first alone experience.
I started to speak 4 languages daily – let me tell ya, it is exhausting, and you can easily make mistakes and have blackouts.
I spoke more Spanish than Danish 😊 – I talk every day with my friend Adriana.
I am making money 😊 – well sort of, I have to pay rent, bills and food and other stuff but I have been able to economically sustain myself without depending on my parents, and this is great.
I went on a road trip with my lovely friends, Jurgita and Mike from Denmark to Italy.
I lost my curly hair – noooo this is a tragedy, I do not know how this happened but this summer something changed in my body, and now my hair is lifeless, flat and almost straight.
I started to walk more and more and more 😊 – when I was living in Italy, I was walking max 8km per day, now I am walking more than 15 km daily.
I found a cool part-time job, learned some new things and became more confident.
I started to go to the gym and put some effort – I cannot see the significant results yet, but I am working on it.
I also become more depressed during winter, when the days are shorter, and there is no sun, but as soon as the day is sunny, my mood goes up.
I am super happy and full of energy in summer when the day starts at 4 am and ends almost at midnight
I opened this blog and believe or not people are reading it, and some of you actually came to study at my University, the rest went to Odense, Copenhagen, Arhus, and other cities.
A lot of other things have happened some good, some bad but the most critical part is to keep going, fight everything and everyone that comes into your way and try to stop you from reaching your goal.
Since I moved to Denmark and I lived here for 2 years, I had fun, I learned a lot, I met a lot of people, but now it is time to move forward. Guess where 😊 you will find out on my next post…





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In 2016 I was so happy to come and study and live in Denmark, but after 2 years and a half, things have changed, and I cannot wait to leave this country.

Before Denmark

When I looked for information online and found pictures and read stories and articles, everything seems so positive, and I started imagining how my life would be in Denmark since in Italy I had no future. I also found less positive experiences, but I thought that those were isolated cases, and maybe people were exaggerating. I was overexcited that I could study for free that I wasn’t processing other information.

After my arrival in Denmark

When I arrived in Denmark, I was so lucky to have friends that supported and helped me, and I am going to be forever grateful to them for this. I hope that someday I will be able to change their favor. I was lucky to live close to the university, and during the first semester everything went smooth, and I liked the programme and the teaching method. The exam period was a bit stressful, but everything went more than fine.

Before Christmas I also applied for a marketing related job and just before Christmas Eve, I discovered that the job was mine. I worked in Trendhim since then, and I am so lucky to do this experience during my school years.  I was also surprised to discover that besides offering free education, the Danish government also offers economic help to EU students that work more than 44 hrs per month. I chose to apply to receive help, and I got it.

My experience with the Danish language school

I forgot to mention that since my arrival in Denmark I also started the language class to learn Danish and to become part of the society. During the second semester, I had to give up on the language classes due to time issues. I had lessons twice a week from 5 pm to 7.50 pm, and it was pretty difficult to manage my time with the university and the job. I mover the classes to Saturday morning from 9 am to 1.30 pm, but this didn’t work either. We also changed teachers, and the new ones weren’t engaging. I had to give up on something, and I decided that this would be the Danish classes.

When everything started to fall apart

During the 4th semester, we had to do a 3-month unpaid internship, and I was fine with it. Nowadays it is normal to have unpaid internships because people need to build careers and make experience working full time, but nobody asks them how they pay rent or buy food. I was ok because I still had a part-time job that I decided to keep during the internship period to receive help from the government and have an income.

Please notice that with only my salary after taxes (salary 2900 dkk) I pay the rent (rent 2850 dkk + laundry 50 dkk) and that’s it, then with the help from the government, I can live through the month. I try to be as honest as possible with you.

Since the first week I started to feel tired, I was working 11 hrs in front of the pc and walking 10 km (I suffer from car sickness and I use buses, trains and cars only in extreme cases or when necessary). During the 2nd month, I took one week of vacation from work in order to focus only on one thing. It worked but by the end of the internship, I was physically and mentally exhausted. During this period, I also had to write the bachelor project 😊.

Since I had pain everywhere, I decided to go to the doctor for the first time since I came to Denmark. Worst experience ever. I cried after I walked out, I couldn’t imagine how a doctor can speak like this to a patient.

I have a small issue since I was born, one of my legs is bigger and stronger and this causes pain to my back, legs and feet. I live daily with the pain but when it was too much, I decided to book the appointment.

The doctor seemed nice when I went inside, and I started to describe my history since it was the first time that we met. She also measured my leg and saw the difference was significant between the 2 legs and I was hoping she will send me to an orthopaedic but no she said that a physiotherapist would be enough, and I should look for it on google. I was like ok but can I also have some blood analysis to check why I have so much inflammation in my tendons and she said to me that this is not possible for Romanian and Polish students, because our national insurance doesn’t cover the cost in DK. I immediately stopped her and told her that actually I am registered in Italy and with Romania, I have no ties. Then she changed her answer by saying that I was too young for blood analysis that I am healthy and in Denmark, they do not prescribe blood analyses for people as young as me. I immediately left and called my mum and said to her to book a visit to Italy ASAP. I went back to Italy and my doctor ordered a full check-up and she gave me some medicine to fight the tendon inflammation and the blood analysis shown some worrying news and I had to take some other medicine.

In autumn the problem returned, and I went again, this time I met another doctor and he sent me to an orthopaedic surgeon, that told me that the tendon is not inflamed enough, it is shorter than the one in the right leg and if the pain and issues persist, I should come back in one year to do a surgery and then he sent me away.


This was my awful experience with the Danish healthcare system, and I know that out there are cases worse than mine. Unfortunately, I decided that I cannot stay in a country that treats patients with superficiality, especially if they are foreigners. Since my problem might get worse, I prefer to live in a country when I am sure I will receive some sort of attention and cure.

 And yet another reason

But this negative experience is not the only reason why I decided to leave. Denmark is a rich country that offers many possibilities, but its people culture is not for everybody. Everything depends on the city you live in, the bigger the city the better. People are closed sometimes, and it is difficult to approach them and create a friendship. I am lucky to have many international friends. I do not socialize as Danes do and that is why I will not stay here longer than needed.


I contributed to the society in these 2 and half years, by working and I also received a lot and for this I am grateful, but I have to change chapter in my life.










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