An exchange journey to India!

This week we are bringing an exchange story shared by Calliope Karavgoustis, a 23 years old AIESEC member who has decided to chellenge herself and volunteer abroad in Baroda, India, on July 2016.
What motivated you to go? I was already a member of AIESEC and I wanted to experience our products. Furthermore, I love traveling and at that time I really needed a break to discover another reality, I wanted to explore something completely new, meet new people, be in another environment. I also wanted to challenge myself by going to a country that is completely different than what I knew and India was fascinating me. Also, I knew that by going with AIESEC it would be easier to be integrated and take the best out of it. Finally, combining the discovery of a new country with a volunteering project seemed to be the best option in order to feel “useful” and to interact with the local community.

What were the main challenges for you? Everything was completely new to me and it was hard in the beginning to adapt to all that. It was challenging to figure out what behavior would be the most suitable. Everyone was looking at me since I was a foreigner and it was weird and a bit uncomfortable in the beginning. However I got used to it and once I started talking to people, most of them were really friendly.
Another challenge was that things don’t always go the way they should and when it is in a different environment, you need to adapt and be resilient to find solutions. My project changed somehow during my stay and I had to adapt to it, but in the end it turned out well.
Another challenging element was basically that I didn’t know anyone and I had to  “find my place”, make new friends, etc. But step by step and after the first days, I felt more comfortable and I had met already some very nice people.

How did AIESEC helpe you? AIESEC was very helpful especially during the first days because they helped me feeling more integrated and it was easier to understand their culture by being with them. Since we are the same age it’s also more convenient to spend time together. And they are used to welcome EPs, which makes everything more natural. Another good thing was that before leaving I could ask them lots of questions to get ready and feel more reassured.
During the whole stay, AIESEC Baroda invited us (the Exchange Participants) to any event they had and for any inquiry, I knew I could ask any of them, they were always ready to help.

In general, my stay was very enriching. Everyday I was discovering new things, learning a lot by myself as well as from others, I met amazing people, I could integrate the community and have a better overview of how is life in India. It was also a great journey for myself because I was put in a challenging environment that made me grow a lot!

How AIESEC develops the skills you will need by 2020

It is a given fact that the world we live in today is not the same one we will live in tomorrow or five years from now. This constant rhythm of changes is reflected in different aspects of our lives, including career development and skills seeked by the market.

An article released by the World Economic Forum points out the Top 10 seeked skills by companies by the time we reach the year of 2020. As the top 3 we have complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity, different from 2015 when these last two were represented by coordinating with others and people management skills.

AIESEC is aware of this constant changes and the need to adapt to the younger generations that come in the organization every year. Given that, the organization works with five years visions that guide us towards specific goals. Currently, AIESEC is working for the 2020 vision and one of its statements is ” Shaping what we do around what the world needs”. So, how is AIESEC providing to the world these specific needs and skills seeked?

By developing young leaders through practical and challenging experiences.

And how is this leadership developed?

AIESEC’s leadership development is based upon the Leadership Development Model (LDM) and its four qualities: Self awareness, Empowerment others, Solution orientation and World Citizenship. Each one of these qualities is based on the following skills:

IMG_0156
The top one 2020 quality brought by the World Economic Forum’s article, Problem Solving, for example, is very much connected to AIESEC’s quality of being Solution Oriented and the skills of resilience, positivity and taking risks. People Management, another important skill pointed out by the article is related to the Empowering Others quality, by engaging a group of people towards one same goal, working to develop the people from the team and having an effective communication.

So, by enabling youth to develop these leadership skills, AIESEC is contributing to the needs of the near future ahead of us! Want to be a part of this and enable more young talents to develop their leadership potential?

Register at http://bit.ly/AIESEC_4_Companies

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.

The Skills of 2020 and Changing Leadership

The societies we live in today are vastly different from what they were twenty, or even ten, years ago. The pace of the world is increasing exponentially, due to technology and its effects on the daily life of human beings. The most prevalent of these effects is no doubt the capacity for global connection.

TIME Magazine recently published an article with an infographic detailing the projected ten most important work skills required for the workplace in the year 2020 — which alarmingly, is only a little over five years away. Five years might feel a long way away for now, but in today’s fast-paced society, time flies.

2020 skills

Success lies in preparation, and so we must ask ourselves, what does this mean for today’s skills training and how we can keep up for 2020?

What may set the individual or leader apart is the ability to adapt and innovate, a keenness for learning, and zero tolerance for complacency.

There are a number of things expected to change by 2020, including increased longevity (longer life spans), the heightened role that technology and computation will play in our personal and professional lives, and intensified globalization. Simply put, the world is finding ways to do things better and to get more out of it. If we are optimistic, we can expect to live in an “improved” society by 2020.

For leaders, however, it is important to realize that this improvement begins right now at this moment, not five years later. When the skills of 2020 demands people to own a wider sense of social intelligence, computational thinking, cross cultural competency. In addition, it requires leaders to be capable of new media literacy, virtual collaboration, and transdisciplinary work — the learning curve begins now.

Those we deem worthy of leadership are those who are “one step ahead”, and who are “leading the way”. They are the ones who are willing to take risks and able to adapt to change, and in doing so, become role models for those who wish to follow.

Leaders in today’s world must have a solid knowledge of both the past and a future, and secure understanding of where they themselves fit in between or bridge the gap. The world is expanding, and people need to grow along with it — as the world becomes better, so must we.

Here at AIESEC, we also wanted to identify some of the top skills young people were wanting to develop today, and our YouthSpeak survey with 25,000 millennial respondents showed that leadership / team management, new languages, critical thinking and problem solving skills were still the most in-demand to help them get ahead over the next few years.

The skills you need today versus in the future are rapidly changing. Are you prepared for the skills of 2020?

Tweet us @AIESEC or comment below