The Contract Fairy
Today was my first contract fair, an event in which all of the SCORE active (research exchange) and SCOPE (professional exchange) NMOs are present in order to sign contracts for those exchanges. These contracts allow us to determine how many students we will send to each of these NMOs, how many students we will receive from them, and during which months. This seems stressful, but keep in mind that the number of contracts to be signed with each country is entirely predetermined by the spam emails I send to the other NOREs in the weeks before the GA. Nonetheless, the task of filling out these already printed and filled out contracts was set to challenge mode when we saw how small the room for the contract fair was and how absent the air conditioning was. A little bit of context: the running water to the entire city of Desaret had been cut for over 24 hours at this point, which made the event more fragrant than I would have liked. It felt like early adolescence all over again, what with me sitting at my NMO table and wondering – should I call first or should I wait for him (the NMO) to call me? I started by being stubborn, sitting firmly at my table and waiting for the slow trickle of NOREs visiting me to die down. But then it stopped and I started getting worried and waddled over to the other NMO tables with my contracts to have them signed.
I was easily identifiable at first, what with my IFMSA-Québec polo shirt and my fleur-de-lis adorned jester hat. As time went on, a phenomenon of globalization occurred: macarons from other countries started being pinned to my shirt. NOREs began to stamp my arms with their official NMO stamps, until I felt not unlike a human passport. They showered me with cookies and sweets from their home countries until I forgot where I was from and what I was supposed to do. They tried to steal our Quebec flag from our table, as we tried to steal theirs in return. Thankfully, by that point I had already finalized all the contracts I had planned and could fully commit myself to the selfies other NOREs wanted to take with me. Conclusion: 41 bilateral contracts, 8 unilateral contracts and 1 postpone, which means that 50 Québécois students will get to go on research exchange in the 2016-2017 season!
Tara, the Contract Fairy
Pour les non-intimes…
NMO = National Member Organization, often representing a country or a national (ex; IFMSA-Québec, PorMSIC for Portugal, Associa-Med for Tunisia, etc)
GA = general assembly, held twice a year, once in March and once in August
SCOPE = Standing Committee on Professional Exchange
SCORE = Standing Committee on Research Exchange
Bilateral contract = a contract in which we send one student to a country and receive one student in return
Unilateral contract = a contract in which we send a student on exchange without receiving one