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Thread: First job in another country

  1. #1
    Member
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    Paris, France
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    First job in another country

    I am a French student in master degree in urban planning at the Institute of Urbanism of Paris. I am about to leave France, to work for 6 month as intern at Auroville, an Indian city. I am very happy to work in another country but I am worried about the next step after my internship: my first job.

    I do not want absolutely return in France, I am young and I want to see the world and work and live in an English-speaking country (USA, Canada, Australia, …). But I am afraid that my career-plan would be a dream, and that no planner would like to integrate somebody like me (young stranger without work experience, just an internship in India) in his team.

    Could you reassure me? Do you have some examples to show me that is possible?

    Thanks for your help and advises.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Jul 2005
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    T.O, Canada
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    That sounds spectacular actually; your international experience should add to your qualifications. Better an internship in Auroville than no internship at all right?

    Speaking of which, what are you going to be doing in Auroville? I visited it in March this year, and was slightly perplexed by the entire thing. At the information centre, I met a French lady there who'd been living there for the last 20 years. She seemed a little...for the lack of a better word, odd.

  3. #3
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    I’m not surprised; I think that kind of place brings together this kind of “spiritual” persons. But it’s not for my spirit or other untouchable things that I go to Auroville, I’m a fieldworker! So over there, I’ll work for the urban planning office of the city to carry out some mobility and infrastructure plans and identify some “development nodes”.
    What do you think about that kind of job? I hope that it will be interesting; it is my first and only internship.
    What did you think about Auroville ? You were there as a tourist?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Well to be honest, I was only there for a few hours since Auroville is extremely limited if you come in as a tourist. I was in Pondicherry hanging around when a bunch of Brits who I had lunch with asked me if I wanted to join them and since I had nothing to do, decided to tag along.

    Given that I was there for such a short period of time, my impressions of it are clearly not going to be the ones that you'll get from living there, but for what it's worth: Auroville seemed a little cultish, a bunch of people who came together to form this odd globalized 'nation-free' village yet that is still on Indian soil. The people came off as a little anti-social, spiritual and slightly contemptible for their hypocrisy (they want to cut themselves off from the world and are rather hostile to outsiders yet still rely on tourism to fund projects and the like). I don't quite get it, though I haven't really spent hours pondering over it either.

    What do you mean exactly by the mobility and infrastructure plans? Are you digging out pipes and wells and the like? Or are you more in the office section planning for this?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Nov 2007
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    montreal
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    As someone who has had her fill of working in India all I have to say is - you'll have an amazing time as long as you don't get discouraged by miscommunication or "inefficiency" (in quotes because these organizations can be just as productive but sometimes it doesn't feel like that coming from a different work environment). You need to be persistent and assertive about what you want to do otherwise they will either a) give you a lot of free time to gchat or b) only assign you to do things that are unrelated to your field of interest.
    Last year I had a bad experience because I wasn't firm on what I wanted to do and this year I'm calling the shots so I'm having a much better time at work, and also helping them out more than if I sat around waiting for them to assign me tasks.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2008
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    Thank you very much Timeo and Nvijaya for telling me your experiences which are very interesting. I had read a lot of information about Auroville and some feelings are the same as yours, it is clear that some people there are weird. I will see and make my own idea about it in few months.
    Actually, I will work at the office section planning. I am a “fieldworker” but not as much

    What Nvijaya has told is my biggest fear. I thought about this contingency as soon as I decided to work as intern in India. But as my friends told me, it is a risk which I can meet everywhere, even in my country. So I will be watchful and, as you advised me, react as soon as the situation is problematic for me.

    Thanks for your answers.

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