Social Entrepreneurship – AIESEC Badung, Indonesia

I went abroad with AIESEC because I didn’t want to spend my summer holiday as a tourist.
I wanted to impact and to help people and I wanted to make a difference. AIESEC made this possible.
The Project “Social Entrepreneurship” in Bandung aimed to give economic aid to a poor village. We talked to the villagers and facilitated a workshop on how they could improve their living standards by working together as a team.
As easy as it sounds, we had some struggles to deal with. First of all, none of us 21 interns knew the language so we always needed someone to translate which made the conversations more difficult. Furthermore, most of the people in the village didn’t even know about the “better” life they could have and were more or less happy with the way it was.
I personally could develop quite some skills. I learned to be more patient, I learned about the issues coming up when working in an intercultural team (we were 21 Interns form 14 different countries) and I got to know about the Indonesian culture. Besides the main project, we also went to different high schools and presented our own culture to the students. We taught them about the canvas business model. To see them creating their own business model on their own idea was wonderful! Overall I had an amazing experience, that I would not trade for the world! The Indonesian people are extremely helpful, patient and understanding and the country has so much to offer: a rich culture, the most amazing food and a wonderful landscape. It was definitely not my last visit in Indonesia.

Indonesia

An awesome summer – Debrecen, Hungary

Last summer I got the opportunity to do an internship in Hungary. AIESEC Switzerland and AIESEC Hungary did a great job and managed everything.

I was picked up from the airport and brought to my hostel room. A single room for a reasonable price. Just like what I wanted. On the next day the responsible AIESEC member, showed me around the city, helped me to open a bank account and to get a student ID.

At the end, she even brought me to my workplace. Since then time passed quite fast. I made a lot of new friends at the office. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We went out together on weekends and we had loads of fun. I tried the traditional dishes (and beverages ;)) and went sightseeing with my colleagues.

My work was great. I had a lot of responsibility, and I carried out very interesting and challenging tasks. It was a great experience! Honstly, I have never expected to have SUCH a great time.

In Conclusion, I improved my soft-skills, made new friends, developed my English-knowledge and most important, got a lot of awesome memories for the rest of my life.

-Maximilian

Hungary

Experience the charm of Guadalajara

In summer 2014 I was happy to go on a journey to Mexico, to experience mexican culture and share my knowledge with locals and other interns in the beautiful city of Guadalajara.

From the very first day I was treated warm-heartedly and everybody was making sure I had an amazing time. I tasted delicious food, cooked by my caring host mother, street vendors or restaurants, was able to attend some salsa lessons and could pick up a few sentences of spanish.

Trips like the one to Tequila, with people from all over the world, visiting scenic beaches or stunning culture sites made my stay unforgettable.

Even in the short time of six weeks, I did learn a lot, I met people who impressed and inspired me and it became a moment, which shows me new opportunities and gives me motivation to reach for more.

It was a chance given to me to widen my horizon – and I took it!

Philipp, 28

Mexico

The best summer of my life – Hanoi, Vietnam

The best summer of my life

In 2012, I spent the best summer of my life: For eight weeks, I went on a Volunteering Internship to Hanoi, Vietnam, – the city between the rivers.

Together with 20 interns from 15 different countries, we organized the “Global Leadership Activating Day”, a conference about “Social Responsibility” for vietnamese students.

Working in such an international team was amazing and I learned a lot about other cultures and practices; also the work with the Swiss Embassy and different local organizations was very interesting.

We not only worked, but also lived there with locals. Together we traveled the country, ate the most delicious food and experienced the beauty of the vietnamese culture.

I can only recommend to all young people:

Go out into the world and dare to experience an amazing journey!

Cedric, 23

Hanoi, Vietnam

General information on going abroad with AIESEC

AIESEC aims to create an understanding between cultures through the Global Community Development Program. Our international network is organizing this exchange program to provide you a fun and meaningful experience and the chance to immerse yourself in a foreign culture. It is an excellent opportunity for you to develop your entrepreneurial and leadership skills, to experience cultural diversity by creating direct positive impact.

AIESEC’s unique Global Community Development Program provides volunteer opportunities to help foster global awareness of cultural differences and social and environmental issues within local communities. Our exchanges range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. Submerse yourself in the lifestyles of countries you’ve never been to!

Our GLOBAL CITIZEN program is divided in:

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Education

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Social Work

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Entrepreneurship

 

How can you take part in one of our programs?

Depending upon your university schedule, you can travel anytime, but the major peaks for project always are:

Winter Break: Dec-Jan-Feb-Mar

Summer Break: June-July-August

Volunteering means the position is unpaid. However, you will receive:

Accommodation: Included for the duration of the program either in a volunteer apartment/shared flat where you will be staying with a group of volunteers or at the local host family to increase the cultural experience.

Meals: Depending on the project up to 2-3 meals per day will be offered.

 

Application Process

1. Information & Application

Learn about our programmes either through an info-event, promotion or blog. Check the opportunities you have in all over the world through this website:

https://opportunities.aiesec.org/

Fill in the application form.

2. Interview

We would like to check your motivation, expectations and skills to go on an internship, we would also want to make sure that we can offer you the most suitable opportunities.

3. Preparation Seminar

In a one day long preparation seminar you will get prepared and ready to live in a different culture and get tips on how to find the most suitable internship.

4. Project Application

Start applying for the different projects. Your AIESEC coach will support you during the whole process.

5. Volunteer Experience

Start living your volunteer experience and learn about the destination’s culture, customs, history and challenges.

6. Return

Share your experience with others and inspire them to go on an internship as well. Become a member or a leader of your local AIESEC committee.

Living Diversity for World Peace

The World’s Very Real Need for Cultural Understanding

AIESEC emerged from a period in time when cultural understanding was at an all-time low. In the years following the Second World War, the whole of the European continent was ravaged to the ground. Each nation was coping with its own grave losses, and between all countries there was tremendous disconnect. Not only was there pressure to educate and create individuals capable of rebuilding their countries, there was also the very real need to repair damaged European relations.

Looking at the world today, one can’t help but notice striking similarities. Devastation, turmoil, anger, despair—none of these are strangers to us, even though it has been seventy years since the end of what is dubbed the deadliest conflict in human history.

Furthermore, what the world suffers from today is not the disconnection within a continent, but rather, the tensions within an entire planet. We suffer today from disconnect between continents, between nations, within countries, within communities. We are suffering from differences in ideology, in religion, and in culture. And it is becoming abundantly clear that such differences can have fatal consequences.

“Solidarity” (Source: ABC News)

In the first week of January, the world was deeply shaken by the Charlie Hebdo shooting that occurred in Paris—an event that has resulted in global repercussions for numerous other nations. It has also drawn attention to a number of ongoing conflicts throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

In the days that followed, the world saw two categories of reactions: outbreaks of conflict and marches of solidarity.

In the week that followed the shootings, fifty-four anti-Muslim attacks were reported in France. Conflicts escalated in reaction to Charlie Hebdo’s resumed publication with the controversial cover—in Niger, violent protests resulted in the deaths of ten people, with dozens injured, and a number of churches burned. Similar protests also occurred in Pakistan and Algeria.

Stop Charlie Niger

Source: .usnews.com

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people in France took to the streets for candlelit vigils in demonstrations of solidarity. The slogan, “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie in French), became simultaneously an endorsement from freedom of speech and a way to honour the victims of the shooting. Similar vigils took place all over the globe in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, to name a few. In what officials called the largest public rally in France since World War II, up to two million people marched in a ‘unity rally’, joined by more than 40 world leaders.

Two weeks ago, a youth was stabbed to death in Dresden, Germany—a city that has been the hotbed for anti-immigrant and ‘anti-Islamisation’ movements by the organization PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, in German). This, in turn, has resulted in numerous counter-demonstrations across the country against racism, calling for cultural acceptance and tolerance.

Dresden Germany Marches

Source: Slate.com

Looking at these stories, a ripple effect becomes clear—the current issues now are either recurring or ongoing reactions to other issues. The stories become convoluted into an overarching narrative of conflict. We must understand, however, that intolerance is equivalent to blindness. With cultural tensions on the rise, how are we to reconcile our differences?

What would the world be like if instead of differences, we choose to see similarities? Like the unity rally, which brought masses of people and a multitude of nations together—for the first time since the Second World War!—what would the world be like if we reveled in diversity, instead of seeking to destroy it?

We return again to the original mission of AIESEC: “to expand the understanding of a nation by expanding the understanding of the individuals, changing the world one person at a time”. As stated in our “Why We Do What We Do” video, “When you see the world, you can begin to understand it. And when we understand it, we can begin to change it.”

It’s a big world out there, made up of many, many individuals—7 billion of them, to be exact. Here in AIESEC, one of our six core values is Living Diversity. We believe that everyone, because of their own culture and place in life, has something valuable to offer, and we seek to encourage the contribution of each individual.

Each and every one of us has a choice every day—will you choose peace?

TEDx talks that inspire a different perspective on World Peace

We live in a world where seemingly small things like intolerance and misunderstanding of people’s differences have caused large-scale conflict, destruction and even wars. World peace can seem like an impossible thing, but we at AIESEC interpret it a little differently. ‘Peace’ should not be interpreted necessarily as absence of a major war. ‘Peace’ symbolizes a world that does not have conflicts that arise from cultural, religious, or other aspects of differences in humanity.

In short, we need to learn how to respect and understand these differences as human beings.

We’ve pulled together a series of TED talks for you listen and watch to inspire new ways of thinking on the roadmap to peace.

In the Road to Peace playlist on TED, “these speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how it just might be attainable.”

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1997 for her work toward the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines advocates for society to have a more realistic vision of world peace. The talk focuses on rethinking world peace to human security, and enabling people to live dignified lives. Watch it here

Scilia Elworthy a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and founder of Oxford Research Group that seeks to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, talks about how to deal with extreme violence without using force in return. Exploring the themes of how to overcome bullies ranging from countries to individuals without any violence in return. Watch it here

Julia Bacha a filmmaker who produced Budhrus discusses the power of attention, and how we often media and audiences pay attention to the violence, but not the non-violent leaders and peacemakers of the Middle East region that may very well bring peace to the region. Bacha advocates for us to pay attention to nonviolence. Watch it here

Progress will come, when all of humanity is awakened, moved to take action and not idly sit by to wait for change. We must be brave, but also patient in seeking cross-cultural understanding amongst people and nations.

What actions will you take to make yourself a better person and be the leader who can help make the world a better place?

One of the best ways to gain a new understanding of the world is to live, volunteer or work abroad. Learn more on how you can get involved in our student programmes that offer global experiences to create positive change in communities and on yourself.

5 things Millennials Care About the Most

We call them lazy and demanding. We judge them and find them narcissistic. However looking at raw data they are not so bad after all. Here are 5 things that millennials care about the most nowadays, according to the YouthSpeak survey powered by AIESEC.

1 . Gaining new skills

New gadgets, iPhones and tablets are not the only thing millennials care about. They are also eager to learn and experience more. Fifty percent of surveyed youth listed gaining new skills and abilities as their top priority. This indicates their awareness of the importance of soft and hard skills. They know that studying from books is not the only way of learning and more than 70% of the surveyed youth prefer to learn by doing and trying.

More than 50% of surveyed so far have chosen Team Management and Leadership as the skills they need to develop.

More than 50% of surveyed so far have chosen Team Management and Leadership as the skills they need to develop.

2. Finishing University

Nearly half of the surveyed young people are willing to finish their studies. There was some concern because last year’s education has been failing to help students in developing useful skills and preparing graduates for entering the job market, but on the other hand, millennials still have belief in education and are not giving up quickly.

Still more than half of surveyed youth perceives univerity degree as a way to reaching their full potential.

Still more than half of surveyed youth perceives a university degree as a way to reaching their full potential.

3. Travelling the world

Volunteering abroad, internships, scholarships, work and travel. These are only a few ways to experience and taste the world. Globalization means the world is shrinking and international experience is becoming a must-have in a resume of each millennial.

Above 45% of surveyed youth listed travelling the world as their top priority right now.

Above 45% of surveyed youth listed travelling the world as their top priority right now.

4. Making the world a better place

Millennial youth believe that the world can be changed and they know they can be the ones changing it. What has always been fascinating about this generation is that they are beyond ambitious and that they believe more in their capabilities than other generations.

Around 55% of surveyed youth believe that to change something, young people need to have broader understanding of the issues that the world is facing.

Around 55% of surveyed youth believe that to change something, young people need to have a broader understanding of the issues that the world is facing.

5. Starting their own business

Here’s to the entrepreneurial outlook. More than 20% of surveyed youth so far lists starting or growing own business as their top priority in life right now. Trends show that over the next 5 and 10 years more than 60% of youth want to become entrepreneurs. The increased demand for entrepreneurship may push employers to make their workplaces less structured, hierarchical and rigid to enable entrepreneurial talent to thrive.

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Fill in the YouthSpeak survey by November 30th to help us create data that speaks for young people with aims to align and find solutions to improve both education and employment. Over 17,000 youth voices have been heard, it’s your turn.

Complete the survey: Do it here
More Information: YouthSpeak Survey

Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize: Seventeen Years of an Admirable Story

More or less seventeen years ago, in Mingora, the largest city in the Pakistani district of Swat, a baby girl was born. The date was precisely July 12th and she was welcomed by her family with great love and joy. It is interesting to imagine, so many years afterwards, that the whole world would hold the same sentiments towards this girl, perhaps also with an additional touch of hope and pride.

Malala Yousafzai has earned the admiration of many people around the globe as a result of her actions and the way she has conducted her life towards one objective, and one objective only, since she was born: “my mission is to help people”, she said once during an interview with BBC. This goal–her life goal–has remained steadfast and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize she received on October 10th proves this better than anything else.

Get to know Malala

Hero_Malala_QUOTE

 

Malala may be a schoolgirl, but she was never little. Or at least, not in the childish sense of the word. Growing up in a family where education has always been praised, Malala values the importance of learning, and this has not changed even with the political instability in her country. In particular, the Taliban is known for its violent activity in the Middle East and also for their extreme interpretation of Islam, which they use to validate their own operations. As a matter of fact, a number of the group’s arbitrarily cruel actions are related to the oppression of women.

When Malala first heard that she was not allowed to attend school because she was a girl, she could have just looked down and obeyed, as so many other girls did. At first glance, her calm face and peaceful eyes may demonstrate that she is more likely to remain quiet than express her own ideas out loud. However, for Malala (and, to be honest, to me and a good deal of other people I know as well), the idea of keeping women in the shadows simply did not make sense.  How could girls not be allowed to go to school? Unfortunately  for the Taliban, school was exactly where Malala wanted to be, and she decided to spread her will to the world.

I am Malala

At the age of eleven, Malala wrote a blog for the BBC about her day-to-day life under the Taliban occupation and her subsequent desire for things to change. As she spoke for herself, Malala was also speaking up for a generation of young girls and women who are prevented every day from entering into an education institution due to the simple fact that they are female. “All I want is education”, she cried, and thousands around the world stepped forward to support this statement.

Sadly, in October 9th of 2012, Malala’s voice was almost shut down. After hearing someone call her name, she became the victim of a murder attempt. One of three bullets hit Malala and for some time the world wondered, concerned, if this little girl of big actions would become just another addition to the sad statistics.  Meanwhile, while Malala was fighting for her life, different people and organizations everywhere used the tragedy as a turning point to further the fight for women’s rights and increase opportunities for equal education.

One of the most significant instances of this was the UN petition signed by Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, which urged that every child in the world should be in school by the end of 2015. The petition used the slogan “I am Malala”, which reached all corners of the globe, and had a huge influence in the ratification of the first Right to Education Bill in Pakistan.

Malala’s legacy

Perhaps all of these positive reactions had something to do with Malala’s recovery. In 2013, she celebrated her birthday, perfectly well, by giving a speech at the UN Headquarters. Her words requested universal access to education and demonstrated that bullets will never be able to stop the struggle for a better world.

“I am very thankful that people in Pakistan and people around the world on the next day [of the shooting] raised up their voices; they spoke for their rights. Malala was only hurt in Pakistan, but now she was hurt in every corner of the world”, she said in an interview for BBC, only one year after the attempt on her life.

Some time later, the Nobel Prize committee announced that the recipient of the Peace Award of this year had a familiar name. Together with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist who works for children’s rights, Malala is sharing the $1.1 million prize and the honour and prestige of the world’s most famous distinction. The nomination states that both deserve the recognition “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

These fancy words do justice to the beautiful actions of this seventeen year old, who is the youngest Nobel prize winner in history. In the battle for equal education opportunity, Malala is clearly unafraid of being in the vanguard. Today, AIESEC congratulates Malala and wonders about the future: what else she will do, and for the first time? Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

USAID

25 Years Fall of the Berlin Wall – stories of AIESEC’s youth of 1989

The first thing you get to know when you hear about AIESEC is that it was established in 1948 with the aim of creating a new leaders’ generation: the generation which would avoid the Second World War’s horrors.

Years have passed, but our motto is still the same: “Peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential

But in the 1989, the risk of a third world war loomed like never before, and the epicentre, was once again, in Berlin.

Luckily things went differently: the wall fell down and the iron curtain itself was down for good. After one of the most dreadful times in our history there has come a new chapter in the life of many people, and AIESEC was there.

10268530_10204942813432615_5368278937817466925_nStefano Boccaletti, Leonardo Cullurà and Claudia Siracusa, three generations of leaders were in Berlin of the night of November 19, 989.

A month ago I had the pleasure to meet them and to hear their stories.

Claudia started up:

“I just became an AIESEC member and I had to find an excuse to justify my getaway in the middle of semester. I told my father that I had been awarded with a journey for my scholar merits, but the lie was definitely worth it!!!”

For Stefano that would have been one of his last international meetings since he was close to the end of his term and he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

“The night of the 9th of November, was set in my AIESECers’ agenda as an outdoor global pyjama’s party. Suddenly, someone started shouting in German, that “the wall is being demolished”. None of the Italian delegates could speak German but it didn’t take long for us to understand what was happening.”

Leonardo told us that they have managed to steal a street sign to use it as a hammer. Suddenly they saw Claudia jumping on the wall and singing it with a few Danish.

The emotion and the trembling voice while telling us the story is beyond imagination.

The year after that, Claudia has become the AIESEC Brescia’s Local Chapter President, while Leonardo was voted the President  of AIESEC in Italy. In their motivational speeches they both reminded that it is us, young people, who can change the future.

Ana Julea, AIESEC in Italy

 

See the inspiring story of AIESEC’s first Secretary General, Victor Loewenstein:

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.53.36

 

 

 

 

 

Victor Loewenstein’s Berlin Wall Story