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The Kuwait Towers, Kuwait's most iconic tourist attraction providing 360 degree views from the top. Photo: Finn McHugh

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One of the greatest gifts my exchange semester gave me was the opportunity to travel. From the burning sands of Grecian beaches, to the snowy ski slopes of Japan, I was incredibly fortunate to have the option to explore new places and take part in some invaluable experiences. For my time in Dubai, I expected to stay in the city for the duration.

Instead, each week was a new adventure.
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View from our hotel in Kuwait City. Photo by Alison Xiao

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During our time in the United Arab Emirates, my fellow intern Natassia Chrysanthos and I were profiled by Gulf News for a piece on why two Australian interns chose Dubai to live and work. The feature also included a video segment on five tips for newcomers to the city! In the piece, Natassia told the reporter:

“The multicultural aspect of the country is a really great reason to work here..if you see the newsroom at Gulf News, or look around at people in Dubai, you see people from all over the world and they’re genuinely collaborating. Everyone has a different accent, speaks a different language and it feels like a more genuine kind of multiculturalism.”

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A Sydney Opera House replica at Global Village, a popular tourist attraction in Dubai. Photo by Natassia Chrysanthos

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“Hello, I’m Alfred Nobel. Nice to meet you.”

I am greeted at the Nobel Museum by Peter Sundh, a full-time Nobel impersonator, who is here in Dubai for the opening ceremony of the museum.

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Peter Sundh, 58, has made a career out of his Alfred Nobel impersonations. Photo: Atiq-ur-Rehman

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On the first day of my internship, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, better known as the 'Muslim ban’. The pages of Gulf News were filled with news articles, human interest stories, opinion columns, explainer pieces and more, including one of my own.

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My article on a family in Dubai affected by the Trump Ban. Photo by Alison Xiao

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The 15 minute wait between trains at my local station in Sydney seems far too long after a month and a bit of efficient Bangkok sky trains with TV monitors running ads about Singha Beer and animated hot pots with dancing beef strips.

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Singing 'Hey Jude' at JJ Green Markets. Photo: Shon Ho

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“What do you want to eat tonight?”

The woman waves at me from a stool in front of a counter lined with condiments and ketchup. She had helped me two weeks ago to order chicken fried rice with an omelette at the restaurant across the road without an English menu. The shop is box shaped - pale green on the outside with yellow walls on the inside. A TV hangs above the counter playing Thai soaps.

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About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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