The importance of cultural exchange in today’s society

I don’t know about you, but I love going out of my comfort zone. I like trying new and exciting things because they either determine you to discover a passion and talent you didn’t even know you possessed or, you know, they give you a funny story to tell it over and over again. I think the fear of living a boring and monotonous life and not taking advantage of every moment makes me say YES to almost every challenge that comes along the way.

That brings me to my latest big challenge (yet), which is my summer in Brasil, and why doing exchange now is the best time ever not only for you, but for the world as a whole. Today’s events from all over the world still shock me and although my experience in AIESEC made me aware of the importance of this organization and the exchange we proudly promote, it is the time spent in Brasil and the recent tragic events that made me realize just what kind of impact this volunteering exchanges have on people. I will explain how in the following.

 

1. Refresh your personality

First of all, volunteering in a different country gives you a “refresh to your personality”. And that’s a good thing to do in general, from time to time. Repetitive actions and even hanging out with the same people over and over again start to define you as a person. Going out of this warm and comfortable plastic bubble and facing a real challenge, in a cultural exchange, all by yourself, changes you and from my perspective, this is indeed how you grow up. It’s like taking a break from time to time only to summarize your chapter of the life, draw some conclusions, make some changes if necessary and go on with your lessons learned.
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2. Going on a cultural exchange makes you more aware of yourself

You can test your limits, discover new things about yourself, maybe try some things that you would not try at home ( because the new you= more courage= why postpone that tattoo that I wanted to take for so long? ) This list can be so long for me. I realized that I really do understand Spanish and I will start bragging with that in my CV. The second thing will be that I can work on my patience but at the same time is so hard to keep it together and not get frustrated when encountering language barriers and not being able to explain some things ( google translate was a big helper at the beginning). Thirdly, that I can work and make a certain impact in a  totally different country with a language I don’t fluently speak through a language that the others don’t understand, and the list can go on.

 

3. You can be the ambassador of your own country

This aspect, I believe it to be the most important one, precisely in the days we live in. When being a Romanian in Brasil, a territory filled with warm and curious people, they will have a lot of questions to ask. You are the main responsible for the image that most of the people there will form about your country and while Romanians have a certain way of complaining, me included, this goes away so quickly when you are far away from home, and you start to miss it. You will become a real patriot and while promoting your country you will find a profound feeling of pride towards it.

As a second aspect to this point, you will also meet a lot of little ambassadors from countries all over the world.  Some of them will become your best friends there ( in your new life away from home) some others will inspire you a lot and you will notice that by the end of the project you will not recognize them by their cultures rather by their personalities.

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When going back in your country you will be the living proof that people can live together regardless of their beliefs as long as they respect each other and you will become a little world ambassador of peace. Because it’s this kind of experience and people that make the world change step by step.

Do you want to do something meaningful this summer?
You also have a chance to volunteer abroad.

Click  here for more info!

Author: Flavia Militaruslike za blogere

Flavia has visited 21 countries in Europe, plus parts of Turkey and Brasil. She loves Nutella and books . She wants to learn how to surf,  and her biggest dream is to travel the world.

THE UNDISCOVERED WORLD

I discovered a new world. But NASA hasn’t approved yet. I think is not needed because this world is very close to everyone. If you want to go and see, it is just one click, phone or street away from you. This world is called “AIESEC”. It is still waiting to be discovered by all young people. And as a student who visited, stayed and lived there I’ll share some stories.

AIESEC is a world of Opportunities.  Why ? Because here you are not just belonging to one nation, country or region, you are becoming a world citizen. How is that ? Going on an Exchange. For me it was in Slovakia. I volunteered on project called “International Kindergarden”. I had 6 great weeks with wonderful kids.

Selin Akay

Me with wonderful kids on a project’s workshop

Actually the experience starts at the airport.  It’s the moment when you realize you are not going on a trip, you are going on an adventure.

When you realize you had an argument with your family trying to convince them, questioned yourself if it is right for you or not. Because you don’t know what is going to be next. You’ve never been out of your comfort zone. Knowing that you made this decision on your own, you will be responsible of any outcomes. Then you notice, you are on a plane while thinking about this stuff. The next thing you see is a smiling face waiting to pick you up from the airport. Don’t forget, this person is your first friend in another country and maybe you might not know now, but the same person is also going to be your best friend. And now you’re reading this and thinking about how it can be possible. I can talk, talk and talk about How I felt, What I’ve been through, How it effected my leadership journey… Even if the intensity of my feelings could be understood from this point, the only way to feel it, is to experience it.

The words can tell the story but the people create the story. People can be part of organizations and make positive impact to society. YOU can make a story for a better world.

To accomplish it you should experience a leadership journey, which includes a global environment. Because the most effective way to understand your personality and values is to be in a challenging environment. By this way you are capable of learning by doing. Why I’m telling this is cause you are the person who makes important decisions, achievements, failures in your life. To know your true self helps you grow and be an example for the other people around you.

Now, if you are thinking about why is all this important… Here is the reason, we are living in world which is interconnected.

Everything you do effects another individual or whole society in a negative or a positive way. We need people who make conscious decisions, interact with other cultures, understand their values and respect people’s ideas. In a nutshell we need people who make our world livable. And it starts with you.

 

Do you want to do something meaningful this summer?
You also have a chance to volunteer abroad.

Click  here for more info!

Author: Selin Akay slike za blogere

Selin is exchange addicted, world citizen and sport enthusiastic.