10 reasons not to become a Global Volunteer

It’s been a buzzword for quite some time and still, it’s something many people don’t like to associate themselves with or that can seem downright controversial – volunteering. The notion of altruistically providing a service without any financial gain is nothing new and yet, in light of an ever-changing international context, it seems to become more relevant than ever, especially among young people.

Going abroad and working as a volunteer might not have crossed your mind before, or you may have simply thought you’re not cut out for it. If you’re looking for more reasons not to embark on what could end up being the greatest adventure of your life, keep reading:

  1. You’ll get to know a different culture, and I don’t mean just by looking from afar, as if you would watch a movie, but actually immersing yourself in everything it has to offer – understanding customs and traditions, as well as learning the meaning behind all of it.
  2. You’ll see incredible places that you might have never thought you’d end up witnessing. Whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to visit or a hidden spot, unknown to usual tourists, you can be sure you’ll remain speechless at least once or twice.
  3. You’ll be faced with a new language that’s nothing like yours and that you never imagined you’ll want to learn. Although you won’t become an expert in six weeks, by the time you return home you’ll surely have some cool phrases to teach your friends.
  4. You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone and learn to deal with unexpected situations. No matter where you decide to go, you can be sure something will pop up that will force you to rethink your course of action, and guess what? You’ll be a better, more capable person by the end of it.
  5. You’ll become more aware, not only of what things are like outside of your own reality, but also of who you are as a person, of what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can best put them to use in order to help change something in the world.
  6. You’ll meet people that will change your life, either by exposing you to a different worldview or by teaching you something about yourself or the planet. Whatever you decide to do, the people you meet along the way will always be the greatest component of journey and the thing you’ll value most after it’s over.
  7. You’ll gain a new perspective on who you are, what you want to achieve and what your role in the grand scheme of things is. You can be sure that by the end of your experience there’s going to be someone completely different staring back when you look in the mirror, because of all the way you’ve developed in.
  8. You’ll get to explore interests you didn’t think to pay attention to before. Whether it’s discovering your love for sharing knowledge with others or a secret passion for fields like photography, there’s definitely something to be gained out of having freedom to do new things.
  9. You’ll gain leadership skills that will help you in everything you do after you come back. Your studies, your career and your personal life will all have to benefit from the abilities you develop while being a volunteer. And no matter the field you want to be active in, you can be sure leadership is going to make a difference.
  10. You’ll become an agent of change by actively working on making the world a better place. Having the chance to do your part and leave your mark in the community you’ll live in by contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals will be something that you’ll always remember and that will definitely transform the way you think about world issues.

If the list we put together doesn’t appeal to you one bit, it might mean that you’re that rare unicorn that really shouldn’t try volunteering; but if it did – and we have a feeling you’re at least a tiny bit curious- then why not give it a try and discover all the amazing things it has in store for you? Go to aiesec.org and find your opportunity!

 

Sharing a Facebook post is not helping

Social media has provided a great platform for spreading information and raising awareness. We are so much more aware now about global issues and we raise our voice for them. We make posts supporting different organizations and campaigns to spread awareness to our friends and family. But is it enough?

The answer is no. Spreading awareness is incredibly important because otherwise how are people supposed to know about what problems we are facing in the world? But it cannot end there! Sharing a post on Facebook is great but that sense of accomplishment you feel afterwards is fake. To truly make a difference you actually have to go out there and help out yourself. Now, it can be hard to do that. I mean you have your responsibilities here. Your studies, your job, your friends and family are all here and you can’t just go and leave! But if you truly care about our planet and the people on this earth, which everyone should, you can take the time. Go abroad and do a social project, get your hands dirty and help people out. I guarantee that the sense of accomplishment you will feel afterwards is nothing compared to sharing that one video on Facebook.

Tiffany Madison said “If we don’t fight for what we ‘stand for’ with our passionate words and honest actions, do we really ‘stand’ for anything?” Now most of us live in this bubble where everything is great. You might have some minor problems, which is just part of life, but there are people out there who are genuinely suffering. Your phone screen shattering or your significant other ending your relationship are nothing compared to people who are stricken with poverty or trying to survive in a war zone. And because we are so privileged, it’s even more important for us to be aware of current issues and to share that privilege with those who were not as lucky to receive it.

If we want to truly see a better world in the future, we have to do something about it. We cannot hope that someone else will take care of it. We cannot think that the problems will just go away. That’s just not how the world works. Imagine if everyone thinks like that! Nothing will ever be done. So it is up to each and every one of us to get off the couch and actually do something.

It was Mark Twain who said “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

So what’s it gonna be? Are you going to continue your life as before and just ignore the millions of people in need all around the world? Are you going to continue to share Facebook posts and feel content with yourself? Or are you going to go out there and make a change?

If it’s the latter, you can look through our Opportunities Portal, see which issues you are passionate about and do something about them!

Life Below Water

Our oceans are in trouble. Due to so much waste and chemical dumping, many living animals all over the world are suffering and it’s not right. There is so much we can do to prevent our oceans from being polluted but first we need to make sure that this problem is known to everyone.

As an individual, you can make a great contribution as well.

Go abroad to Indonesia and help raise awareness about the pollution of life below water.

Reinvent Yourself

Most people plan everything ahead. They count how many years they will study, what field they would like to work in and how much they want to earn. Sometimes, however, we cannot plan everything ahead because life changes constantly. Who is to say what will happen in 6 months or in 1 year? The most important thing is to stay flexible and work on ourselves.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

Another thing we do too much is compare ourselves to others. Sometimes in life we will finish a race first or get a better grade on an exam than someone else but those achievements mean nothing if we just use them to compare ourselves with others. We shouldn’t look at how others are doing we should just look at how we can improve and reinvent ourselves.

The only person we should compare ourselves to is our past self.

But since our lives are so mapped out and we are always staying on track, how and when do we really have time to challenge ourselves? We have to take the time. Go on a trip to see a different culture, do something for other people, take a break from that daily routine and do something new. We don’t learn anything about ourselves, doing the same old things over and over again. The moment when you are put in a new environment and are doing things that you’ve never done or even thought were possible – that’s when you grow as a person and those situations help you to figure out who you are and what you want. In AIESEC we can help you to gain these kinds of experiences.

You could go abroad for our Global Volunteer Program, and help out at a social project somewhere in the world where people are less fortunate than you. Being in an environment like that will make you appreciate all that you have and maybe even teach you a thing or two about how being grateful for what you have, which is something we often forget to do. You can do all of this, while contributing to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

If you think you would rather stay here in Austria but still would like to contribute in some way, you could become a member of AIESEC and help make these social projects possible for other people and send people abroad to have these experiences, all while furthering your personal and professional development.

If you want more information or would like to sign up directly, you can do so here

It’s important to follow our dreams and strive to achieve our goals, but if we don’t even know who we are, how can we know what we want?

 

Good Health and Wellbeing


“The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right.” – Dr Paul Farmer

Access to health care is a major issue, causing millions of lives to be lost every year. This has to change!

You can go to Delhi, India and help an NGO to improve health standards and support patients in this process.

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Sustainable Cities and Communities


“In the planning and designing of new communities, housing projects, and urban renewal, the planners both private and public, need to give explicit consideration to the kind of world that is being created for the children who will be growing up in these settings” – Urie Bronfenbrenner

Many territories in the world still have unsafe housing with standards that no person should have to endure. This has to change!

You can go to Depok, Indonesia and help communities there with waste management, water and sanitation and raising awareness about environmental issues among the people.

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

 

What good is knowing if you don’t act?

We live in great times with many advantages that people before us couldn’t have dreamed of. One of these things is the internet. We have access to so much information and news from all over the world. In a matter of seconds we can find out what is happening anywhere and what issues people in different countries are facing.

This gives us many different opportunities. But it also gives us a lot of responsibility.

We are now aware of issues around the world, but how many of us are actually doing something to make things better? How many of us have actively helped other people and contributed to making the world a better place?

The answer? Not many. Especially in privileged countries, it is quite easy to see news of wars, famine, poverty etc. and just ignore it because it doesn’t directly affect us. This is where our humanity comes in. Some of us were privileged enough to be born in a place where there is no war or where they have to fear hunger or poverty, but it is those people that have the resources to help those in need and share their luck with others.

Of course, it’s hard to make a difference by yourself.

“I alone can’t change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” –  Mother Theresa.

It is not about you single handedly saving every other person that is in need of help. We all have limits. But even small acts of kindness and support can create a large impact and help in the end, to contribute to a better world.

In AIESEC we try to encourage people to do this every single day. With our Global Volunteer program it becomes easy to do so. You go abroad to a region in need and you help the people there with whatever issues they are facing. And as a bonus, you get to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and in 14 years, when they are achieved you can say that you took an active role in assuring that this goal would be reached.

Find out more about Global Volunteer here!

You are too young to make a real difference!

We see many inspirational people on TV and other media channels, talking about making a change and doing something good for the world. They often mention working in different organizations like the United Nations for example and through that helping other people.

It gives us the impression that you have to be a certain age to be able to do something. But this is not the case!

Activist and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai said ‘One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.’

Young people these days hold a lot of power, with information being accessible more easily than ever. There are many things we can do to make a real impact.

Malala is probably the most famous example, having been shot by the Taliban but still fighting for inclusive education for her peers in her country, she not only showed resilience and bravery in a frightening situation, she also showed that you are never too young to make a difference and she was since rewarded for her efforts with a Nobel Peace Prize.

In AIESEC, we encourage young people to take action because we believe that they are the fundamental solution to solving the world’s issues. We give them the opportunity to go abroad, find themselves in a new and challenging environment and through that grow and develop themselves while at the same time helping other people.

With our Global Volunteer program you are helping people in need, while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and at the same time might be discovering parts of yourself which you didn’t know before and finding a purpose.

You can find more information about the program at www.aiesec.at/volunteer.

REMEMBER: As part of our Black Friday promotion, you receive a 20 percent discount if you apply for an opportunity until Sunday, the 27th of November 2016 and if you go on exchange before the end of February 2017.

Stand up and take action now!

The Most Dangerous Foe is Apathy

We live in very fast paced times. Many people have ambition, want to get a successful job and make lots of money. But we forget that life doesn’t just revolve around us. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and the number is rising. It’s important to follow our dreams and to find our passion but it’s also important to take some time to actually go out there and help the people that aren’t as fortunate and privileged as some of us are.

Now, I know what you’ll say. “I am donating money every month to different charities. Aren’t I doing enough already?” Yes. Giving money is great. It can help a lot, even if it’s just a small amount. But it doesn’t compare to actually going out there, seeing the issues face to face, and lending a helping hand.

Not only will your contribution mean a lot to the people you are helping, you might discover more about yourself in the process.

It was William Osler who said: “By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy – indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction.”

It is not that we don’t know about certain issues of the world. With all the information and communication technologies that are available, getting news is easier than it has ever been before. Many just simply don’t care, or have the mindset that someone else will take care of it. But this is not the case. We all call the same planet home and we all deserve to have the same resources and possibilities to do whatever it is that our heart desires.

Some of you might think: “Hey, it’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t know, but I just don’t know how to help!”

If you are one of those people, then you have stumbled upon the right article.

In AIESEC we believe that everyone can help others, no matter your age. We as young people hold a lot of power and we can make a huge change. If you want to give back to our society and help people in need, then Global Volunteer right for you. Go to different countries and tackle the issues that the people are currently facing there, by contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Take an Action Now! Volunteer Abroad.

Find more information about Global Volunteer here: www.aiesec.at/volunteer

Gender Equality

SDG 5. Gender Equality.

‘In most parts of the world, when a girl is born, her wings are clipped. She is not able to fly.’ – Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala’s father)

There is still so much inequality that women are facing all around the world, not only in developing countries but also in first world countries. This is not acceptable. Our gender does not define our capabilities and our skills and we should not be judged based on it.

Contribute to gender equality by being a Global Volunteer in India.

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Zero Hunger

SDG #2. Zero Hunger.

You can’t build a peaceful world on on empty stomachs and human misery’ – Dr. Norman Ernest Borlaug


In these times, world hunger is still a very relevant issues. In many parts of the world, people are dying because of it. It is easy to ignore this, living in a developed country, where food is always accessible, but we have to act and help our brothers and sisters all around the world.
For instance, you can be a Global Volunteer this January in Indonesia, working with local NGOs.

 

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Reduced Inequalities

SDG #10. Reduced Inequalities.

“It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality, than the equal treatment of unequals” – Felix Frankfurter

The year is 2016 and there are still groups of people who are persecuted and not given the same rights and opportunities as others. This is not acceptable. We cannot move forward and achieve a sustainably peaceful future, if there are people who are treated differently than others.

If you want to take action, check out this opportunity in Brazil!

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Quality Education

SDG #4. Quality Education.

‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think’ – Albert Einstein

We have to teach our people about other cultures and to understand and accept others – We are all human and our differences make us unique. They shouldn’t tear us apart but unite us.

Everyone on this planet deserves the same level of education so that they can use their resources to their best abilities.

If you want to take action, check out this opportunity in Finland

 

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Life on Land

SDG #15. Life on Land.

We often care about a lot of different issues that us humans are facing but we forget that we are not the only creatures on this planet. There is so much life on this planet that also requires our help.

There are many ways we can contribute to preserving life on land.

For instance, you can go to Brazil and work at the ‘Planet Heroes’ Project.

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Climate Action

clouds-cloudy-agriculture-farm

Climate Action. Sustainable Development Goal #13.

“We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” – Ban Ki-moon
Our generation holds a lot of power and the negative effects of climate change cannot be ignored anymore. We live in our bubbles, not caring about throwing our trash on the ground or going by car. We have a lot of privilege but we shouldn’t abuse it.

Instead of using public transportation, we can take the bike or walk. Instead of grabbing that extra plastic bag at the supermarket, we can just put our food in our backpacks.
There are many things we can do, even if they are small – if they are all added up, it can have a huge impact.

Go abroad to India and raise awareness on climate change.

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Responsible Consumption

clouds-cloudy-agriculture-farm

Responsible Consumption. Sustainable Development Goal #12.

There are many parts of the world where food isn’t accessible and many people face the ultimate price because of it. In first-world countries, we often don’t realize how privileged we are, throwing food away when we’re full, or when the expiration date passes. This is not acceptable. We have to unite and battle against issues like these.

One of the goals of the United Nations is to eliminate this problem. It is our responsibility to stand up and do something about it. We are all humans and we share the same home – we cannot allow ourselves to be selfish anymore. There are possibilities for you to make a change.

Go abroad to Indonesia and do your part to clean up the planet.

 

And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:

Go Further

Have you ever noticed the “Go Further” in the corner of each of our Facebook posts? Or on our website pages? Ever wondered what it means?

“If you aren’t moving forward, you’re falling behind”

In AIESEC in Austria, we want to encourage young people to go further. Further than their regular studies or jobs, further than where their comfort zones end, and indeed, to go further than the borders of their country. Only then, they can grow. We want to empower young people to develop their self-awareness, solution orientation, and world citizenship, and then, in turn, to go even further, and empower others to do the same.

AIESEC offers a platform for young people to do just this. Through each of our exchanges and team experiences, we give young people practical experience in challenging environments, and with this, the chance to explore their own potential and develop leadership qualities in themselves and others. And it all starts with the conscious choice to go further.

Be it through a volunteer experience, through a professional internship or through a startup experience abroad, challenge yourself to go further than the minimum, and to develop yourself a little every day.

You can start right now, with a Global Entrepreneur experience in a startup abroad!

A Roaming Soul

‘’What are the stories you haven’t yet lived to tell?’’

That question was written on a wall in one of the busiest streets of Athens that I used to walk to reach my university. I saw it one morning almost five years ago, and it really bothered my train of thought.

I had just entered university, after trying very hard with my school exams, and I was supposed to spend the next five years focusing on my studies, taking my degree and finding a job, like any respectable student in Greece should do.  

One day though, two girls entered the classroom promoting a youth organization called AIESEC and specifically they invited us to participate in their Global Volunteer program this semester, and go work abroad on social projects for 6 weeks.

The question I told you earlier popped in my mind and immediately they had my attention. My friend Stefanos and I, went afterwards in their office, we got the basic info, and just like that, one month from that day, we were in Serbia, working on social business projects and career orientation for students that had just finished university there.

We spent almost two months in a foreign country, living alone at 19, discovering independency, new people, new cultures and most importantly, ourselves, while contributing to a better cause and supporting students in Serbia to go after their dreams and start their own business and career. Definitely a story worth being told, don’t you agree?

Coming back, I was curious about the organization, so I asked those two girls that had just given me the opportunity to live an amazing experience, what else I could do while I was back in Greece?

Well, not to take you now through the entire journey I had in AIESEC, but I started by being a team leader of a team that worked to create those kinds of social projects in Greece, and somehow ended up four years later as a team leader again. But this time, leading the national team of the entire organization in Greece. And in order to close the circle in AIESEC, after finishing that, I went abroad again, in a social project supporting refugee integration in Austria, where I am currently.

I am now 23, and I’ve spent the last five years not being an ordinary, and definitely not an average, student. I travelled the world (literally), created a huge network of people that somehow I know they will be there for me, put into practice what I learned in the university and learned more by doing, equipped myself with soft and hard skills and actively contributed in making the world a better place.

And you know what the best part of it was? I know who I am. I know what I value, what I am passionate about, what makes me get out of bed and work my butt off, what I believe in, and I’ve created a path of discovering what I want to do in my life.

So I will leave you with the same question that sparked thoughts and actions to me that day, only hoping it will do the same for you.

What are the stories you haven’t yet lived to tell?

By Renata Pylarinou

How I developed someone who was 8000km away from me

Hello. I’m Mihai and I’m a Romanian student in Vienna. I study Economics and Social Sciences at Vienna University of Economics and Business. I like to think that I’m an open and energetic person who usually likes challenges and exploring other cultures.

However, it wasn’t until this volunteering experience that all these were put to the test.

When I left for Brazil, it was the first time I went abroad completely alone. Understandably, I started my experience with many reasons to be excited but equally many reasons to be anxious about what was going to happen.

Overall it turned out to be a marvelous experience. And it was not the visiting part that made it worth remembering for, but rather the challenges I faced and the inner journey I went through in those six weeks.

Trying to teach English and civic education to children coming from a tough environment without speaking the same language was definitely not easy, but it enabled me to identify my purpose, my passion and most importantly it gave me the opportunity to live up to my values. I had an impact and I developed someone who was more than 8000 km from home. For me, simply mindblowing!

Why do I think such a journey would be beneficial for everyone?

Because one will meet beautiful people and make friends. One will experience a vibrant culture as well as culture shocks and clashes and the amazing feeling of relevancy and importance.

All these things create the perfect mix that shapes who one is as a person.  They help one identify what he/she strives for and the values he/she wants to live. They help one find out who he/she wants to become by getting him/her out of their bubble.

In the end, giving back to other people will not only help them but will also impact you and make you develop further.

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.
11750702_10153563596609623_4270383414882027213_n

 

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.

11825840_10207595841434587_5862053075174710662_n (1)

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.

An opportunity to share

Never an easy thing having friends who were part of the Global Citizen volunteering program. Listening to their endless stories, about how lucky they got during their journey, or how the experience had changed their lives, can only make you wish you knew about AIESEC’s opportunities a little earlier.

As sharing is caring, mates from my local committee wanted to tell you about their life-changing experiences.

“Going on a volunteering experience with AIESEC isn’t just an opportunity to explore the world. I know that now, anywhere I’ll go, I have family. Being surrounded by those people during my journey in São Paulo – Brazil was the best experience I’ve ever had so far. Don’t be afraid to be out of your comfort zone, away from your habits. Take every opportunity to celebrate life and create the best stories. That’s what I did!”

-Myriam Hemrit

Myriam Hemrit


 

 “My experience with AIESEC was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Everything went incredibly smooth from the beginning to the end. I was surprised how fast and easy was to find an opportunity in India, Bangalore. I went there and the local people took good care of me. I met the most amazing people that I encountered in my life. Working with children was a bit challenging but immensely fun. Getting out of my comfort zone and facing some obstacles on my own really helped me improving myself. I would recommend anyone to try AIESEC’s programs and live the same amazing thing that I lived.”

– Youssef Ben Ahmed

Youssef Ben Ahmed


Thinking about their experiences, I can picture which places I will be visiting in the future, and imagine in how many ways I can affect peoples’ lives.

I can only wait for summer to come, to cease the opportunity and go as far as AIESEC can take me.

 

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

Click  here for more info!

Author: Wala Ben Ali slike za blogere

Wala is passionate, goal-driven AIESECer from Tunisia. She has an excessive love for music, music coming from every corner of the globe. It helps her expand the knowledge of the world.

 

Let us not take this planet for granted

Leonardo DiCaprio

Image source: http://aiesec.at/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CcYF3ZXUUAEfxCk.jpg

“Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted”

-Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar acceptance speech

This is the message that’s made Climate Change a topical issue in the world. The question of man’s inexplicable apathy towards climate change. The most urgent threat facing the entire species.

The overwhelming evidence already seems apparent to the layman as well.  Most of the hottest years on record have occurred during the past two decades.

In Europe, the heat wave in the summer of 2003. resulted in over 30,000 deaths. In India, temperatures reached 48.1 degrees Centigrade — nearly 119 degrees Fahrenheit. An increase of more than 1°C in average temperature has been observed in Austria during the last century.

Glaciers are melting and rivers are drying up as you read, all this will have repercussions that transcend generations.

Alaska

A snow-covered landscape in Alaska has transformed into a deep lake, with no ice remaining in sight. Image source: http://www.refinery29.com/20-photos-climate-change-real-photographs#slide-14

United Nations is consistently working for a better planet through its initiatives across the globe. Addressing climate change is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Youth is a major priority for United Nations. We need to realise that unless we take it in our hands – all 1.8 billion of us -nothing will change.  AIESEC – the world’s largest youth – run organisation – motivates tens of thousands of young people in taking targeted action and creating sustainable results for a better world. We believe that it is our role as young people to take these issues and lead the change we want to see.

 

Climate Change is real and it is happening right now. You have a chance to stand up and take action. I am standing up, are you?

Apply now and volunteer abroad. Join AIESEC and the United Nations and help us reach the global goals.

Apply here!

Author: Pankaj Gujarslike za blogere

 

Dare to dream: My experience in China

Corinna is a student of Chinese and English studies at University of Vienna.  She volunteered on a project in Chengdu, China.

Corinna

AIESEC: Why did you decide to take part in the Global Citizen Programme? Did your experience meet your expectations?

Corinna: First of all, I love travelling more than anything else in the world. It inspires me and enrichens my life in so many ways. As I have heard a lot of great things about AIESEC, I decided to go for the Global Citizen Programme. Furthermore, I found an amazing project, which is entangled with my study of the Chinese language and besides, gives me the opportunity to teach children in Chengdu.

China

AIESEC:  Please tell us the name of your project and describe it briefly.

Corinna: The Project was called “Dare to Dream” and was held in Chengdu, China. We were a group of 10 students who tried to teach English to children in a Chinese summer school.

In order to teach them English, we had to prepare several English lessons and we also taught them about our different cultural backgrounds (our country’s tradition, food, values, etc). At the end of the project we also participated in the Global Village, an event which connects several AIESEC Projects, which was a lot of fun.

China

AIESEC: What was your biggest cultural shock? How did you deal with it?

Corinna:  As I have been to China before, I did not experience a cultural shock. Unlike other participants, I had the advantage that I had already known a lot about the Chinese culture beforehand. But nevertheless, it was a completely different experience for me. The city of Chengdu is very different from megacities in the East such as Beijing or Shanghai. Thus I received a distinctive insight into Chinese life.

China

AIESEC: What was the most impactful moment during the volunteering experience?

Corinna: There were quite a few:

  • The kids in school – their happiness and gratefulness, it was so much fun playing music with them and teaching them English.
  • The whole AIESEC community – we got into contact with two other AIESEC Projects in Chengdu and thus we were able to hang out with people from around the world.
  • Making new friends in different parts of the world.
  • Getting a deeper insight into the Chinese culture by travelling through several provinces after the project has ended.
  • The feeling of liberty when travelling in general.

China

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

Click  here for more info!

No Llamas in Colombia

“There are no llamas in Colombia,” he affirmed. This small detail caught my attention and resulted in an hour-long storytelling session in which I realised how few I know about South America.

My friend Hazar worked 3 months in Colombia. In the suburbs of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, he helped in schools and taught English to young kids. He worked together with a dozen of students from all around the world. Some of the kids had never seen people from somewhere else than South America. Most of the team could not speak Spanish, which resulted in communication problems. Hazar and his team had to adapt to the situation to create an unforgettable experience for the kids and themselves.

Columbia3

“After living in Vienna for a while, it was hard to imagine how things can get unnecessarily complicated.” he told me when I asked him about his biggest culture shock.

While they worked during the week, they explored Colombia during weekends. Soon, Hazar realized that there are no llamas in Colombia. His friends can assure you that he loves those furry, spiting beasts. Knowing this they organized a short trip to a petting zoo. So he could take a photo with one of the few llamas in Bogotá.

Columbia2

During his time abroad he lived with a host mum and her son. The advantage of living in a host family was that the mom cooks great and that he could enjoy the Colombian cuisine. Her son and some other locals taught him, on the other hand, how to get around fast in Bogotá. Because apparently the traffic in the city was terrible.

“I don’t like to travel just for sightseeing, so Global Citizen was a good opportunity for me to travel and to be of use. I had a great time there. I met some people, who will always be very precious to me and I saw great places.”

At the end of the three months Hazar had enough time to travel to the Caribbean. By swimming there he fulfilled one of his long hold life goals.

We all have great destinations and goals on our list. What is keeping us from reaching ours?

Author: Lukas Bensch

Peru: Your story is waiting to be written

Peru, one of South America’s hidden gems, is no longer a secret as toursts flock to this Spanish speaking country year-round. The land of Incas and gastronomical capital of South America has more to offer than its indisputably enchanting nature and mouth-watering cuisine. It also offers foreigners the opportunity to submerge in the Peruvian culture, way of life, and values unique to this developing Latin American country.

Chimbote, located on Peru’s pacific coast, was Austrian volunteer Mara Weiss’ destination. Peru, a large country, with rainforests, mountains, sea, and deserts, has many different landscapes and cities to visit yet Chimbote is not a popular touristic sight. ‘’As I scavenged online for information about the city I mostly got warnings not to go as it smelled like fish and was mostly an industrial city with no tourist attractions whatsoever,’’ Weiss claims. However, this didn’t stop her from wanting to explore Peru as she embarked in her long adventure anyways.

‘’I was rather nervous and insecure, but I was also curious because I’ve always wanted to go to Latin America,’’ Weiss explained. Arriving in Peru she discovered that most of her expectations were inaccurate, the city did not smell like fish and despite being a small town it was enjoyable to be there and interact with the locals.

peru3

Weiss crossed the Atlantic Ocean to volunteer with ‘’EduAction’’, a NGO bringing students from all over the world to Latin American countries to host workshops for local kids focusing on global topics and issues, such as sustainability. ‘’We gave workshop classes to children in eight different schools, all in Spanish, which made it a challenging but outstanding experience,’’ Weiss explained. The locals appreciate this as it brings the world to them through the many volunteers visiting towns throughout Latin America. ‘’The students appreciated our work and the knowledge we shared with them as many might not travel outside of Peru and their thirst for knowledge of the outside world is immense,’’ Weiss added enthusiastically.

‘’Not only do the students learn about the world, but also about themselves while enforcing their confidence, leadership, and creativity among other skills,’’ Weiss explained. ‘’ We were like their mentors and they appreciated it as they grew comfortable around us’’ Weiss adds. The students grow as individuals and begin to think differently and creatively, an important factor for impoverished countries like Peru where children are the bright upcoming future.

Peru4

‘’During my 10 weeks in Chimbote I brought change to the classrooms of Chimbote, but I also learned from the children I interacted with,’’ Weiss said. ‘’I learned that we are all similar and that this was a unique opportunity to bring two different realities together and share experiences and time together, ‘’ Weiss added. This and the countless Peruvian sights and mouthwatering cuisine make Mara miss Peru, and long for her return.

As with most developing countries in the world, Peru is in need of volunteers that are willing to bring change in any form. Mara’s experience in Chimbote illustrates the need for volunteers in Peru and how much one person willing to spend their time and energy can really do. When it comes to helping and volunteering it is the time and energy you spend that brings the change we want to see in the world. Not only do you ameliorate a community but you also grow as a person and become a global citizen that can proudly claim ‘’I did make a change’’. So what are you waiting for? Be the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi once said.

Author: Mauro Ortíz

Between Green Landscapes and Pints of Guinness in Ireland

When I told friends and professors I planned to spend part of my spring break in Ireland the most common reaction was – Why Ireland? But I say, ‘Why not’?

Ireland might not have renown monuments like the Eiffel tower or Big Ben, but it does have its own charm ranging from vast emerald landscapes to the malty and bitter taste of a pint of Guinness.

My advice? Go to Dublin with an open mind to experience the city as it unfolds to you.

First, visit the temple bar district in central Dublin. This is the most famous district of the city and deserves a visit from your part both during the day and during the night. Visit the pubs around this area to experience Irish music ensembles and enjoy a pint of Guinness. The Irish vibe provided by the lively music and people singing is truly a highlight. I would avoid Temple bar itself, and suggest you to go to The Long Hall, Fallon’s, and Whelan’s instead.

ireland-blogpost-4-800x800

If you do wake up the next day, head over to Trinity College and admire the architecture and gardens of this over 400 year old campus. Continue your architecture hunt towards Dublin Castle and admire this iconic construction situated in the middle of a bustling city. You also can’t miss the cathedral and the St. Patrick’s church while walking through the city center.

The highlight of your stay in Dublin will definitely be the tour of the Guinness brewery and storehouse. The tour lasts around 3 hours and students pay 12 euros, which includes a Guinness pint which you will be serving. The tour starts by introducing you to Guinness’ history in Ireland and the original processing involved in crafting this malty beverage. Later on, you are taken to sample small shot sized glasses of Guinness after smelling the different aromas this beverage has. This ignites both your smelling senses and tasting buds, which enables you to taste the different flavors, from hops to the creamy malt. At the end of the tour you are taught how to serve a Guinness and after you served your perfect pint you receive a certificate stating your new abilities. Finally, you get the chance to savor your pint at the storehouse’s sky bar with a breathtaking view of Dublin.

ireland-blog-post-3-e1431213863564-900x674

Ireland is not only about Dublin and Guinness. Our adventure to the famous cliffs of Moher starts at 7am as you drive west towards Galway. Before you reach the cliffs the tour stops at Dunguaire Castle. After a morning of driving through picturesque green landscapes you will most likely arrive to the cliffs at around 3 p.m. We were lucky enough to visit the cliffs on a sunny and clear day, which is unfortunately unusual. The cliffs are not only unique for their breathtaking views, but also for their beautiful and picturesque green landscapes that really portray the essence of Ireland.

ireland-blogpost-900x675

No, of course I did not forget food! Here I have a few suggestions for where to go when you need some energy or a break from beer. At ‘’Super Miss Sue’’ or SMS students) can get a large portion/box of Fish and chips for only 6,50 euros. English speaking countries in Europe are famous for their Indian restaurants and fusion cuisine and Ireland is not an exception. Go for lunch to ‘’Kathmandu Kitchen’’ to experience a delicious and inexpensive full set Indian-Nepalese lunch for under 10 euros.

Even if Ireland is not on your bucket list, plan to visit this majestic country. I promise you will not be disappointed, but rather surprised by how diverse and exciting Ireland actually is. Wait, I forgot to ask you, what are you waiting for? Go explore the emerald isle and broaden your horizons!

Author: Mauro Ortiz