Hello, readers! Today we are sharing with you the story of one of AIESEC in Switzerland’s Exchange Participant, Nina Bianchi!
Nina went to India to work as a volunteer and you can find out more about her Leadership DeVelopment journey with AIESEC here:
“I’m Nina, 21 years old. I went on an Global Volunteer exchange in Kolkata, India, in August 2015 (so I was 19 then). I was already a member of AIESEC, and I had just started my term as LCVP (Local Committee Vice President).
I decided to go abroad to volunteer with AIESEC because I had some time in the summer, and I wanted to do something different than just travel or work here in Switzerland. For me, it was an opportunity to discover a new culture I was very curious about, and to do that from the “inside”, from a different point of view than a tourist. As an AIESECer, I also wanted to live the kind experiences we offer, so that I would be even more motivated to work for it and allow others to live it as well.
During my exchange, the main challenge for me was definitely the cultural differences, especially the work culture. Since I was working and living with Indians, I had to adapt a lot my habits and my way of thinking and working. It took me a week or two to get used to it and be able to work without getting frustrated or uncomfortable. But I would definitely say that I learned a lot from it and became much more easy-going and adaptable in my work in general, even once I was back in Switzerland.
AIESEC in Kolkata really did everything to make my experience as smooth and rich as possible. I saw them a lot, they made me visit the city and their favorite places, and I got the opportunity to attend a lot of events from the Local Committee there, which was very interesting for me as an AIESEC member. They were also very available to answer my questions and concerns and to make sure that the communication with the school I was volunteering in was going well.
I would definitely say that this exchange allowed me to develop myself, both on a personal level and in my professional experience there. Working and living in such a challenging environment definitely made me learn a lot on myself and the way I engage with others, whatever their culture and background can be.“