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Marek Ulč, CTU Prague,ročník 2
About the country
Location of the place
Tajikistan is a mountainous country in Central Asia. It shares borders with Afganistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is a former member of USSR .
Dushanbe. It is the capital city of Tajikistan and it is surprisingly modern, clean and well developed. You can find there anything you ask for. Cafes, restaurants, aquaparks, theater, supermarkets, nice park etc. The further you go out of the city center, it gets dirtier and more rural.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
93% of Tajikistan is covered in mountains. With Iaeste members we visited lakes in Fann mountains, we had some good time in resorts near Dushanbe - Romid and Varzob. You can also visit Hisor fortress and the city of Nurek with one of the highest dam in the world.
Open Stock company Shahrofar. It is a big construction company in the center of Dushanbe. My colleagues were very friendly and we soon became friends. There was no internet in the company which I found quite interesting.
I worked as an architect on various designs. My main focus was only on exterior and rendering. I designed some family houses and parks for recreation. It's recommended to know ArchiCAD. I worked on my own laptop and then I switched to a Russian version of ArchiCAD 16. They didn't expect me to do much work and always gave me advice when I needed it.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
I got 500 somoni per month. It is sufficient if you only go to work, pay your lunch and come back. If you want to have some fun in the city and go for trips at weekends you should bring your own money.
Speaking only English is not really comfortable. YOu should expect that most of the population speak only tajik and russian. I would recommend to learn some russian before your arrival otherwise you will be very dependent on the members of Iaeste. As a Czech citizen I picked up basics of russian language very quickly and it helped me a lot with communication on daily basis.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
My accommodation was for free and I lived with a mother of one of Ieaste members and other intern(s). It was very comfortable. My hostmother cooked for us very often and she was very kind - she didn't speak English, though.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)
Iaeste members put a lot of effort in their work and organised events almost every weekend. They kept in touch with me and helped me with all problems i had during my internship. The pick-up at the airport went well even though I got stuck at the airport for visa check.
Meeting other foreign students
There were not many of us at Dushanbe (2-4 during my stay). We were meeting each other any time it was possible and spent a lot of time together.
Sport and culture
I played football twice a week with my coworkers. In Dushanbe you can find any sport facilities you can thinks of. There are many outdoor gyms all around the city. As for culture there is a theater, opera house and sometimes you can find musicians on the streets.
Food, local specialties
I loved everything about Tajik cuisine. The food is quite cheap and you should be prepared to eat a lot. They eat a lot of bread, soups and meat. However, be prepared to have some digestion problems in first two weeks of your internship. Some of interns had quite big digestive problems, some only minor ones.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Internets is often slow but there was no problem with communication. Few of social networks were blocked for some time - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and maybe other ones as well
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Try to learn basics of either russian or tajik before your arrive. DOn't be afraid of trying anything and communicate with locals. People are very friendly.
What not to forget with you
Your passport with internship visa. Diarrhea pills are recommended as well.
Benefits of the internship
Plenty. It was exciting, I discovered a new culture and made many friends. I learned some new things and work as well.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Everything was fine with IAESTE members in Tajikistan. They were always very helpful.
Overall experience with IAESTE
Great. I recommend you to give it a try
No internet in the company.
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