Some of you may have heard of AIESEC. It’s the world’s largest non-profit student organization, which helps students do an internship abroad and gain international experience. When I started my Master studies I decided to do some voluntary work with an international aspect. That’s when I joined AIESEC. I wish I had known earlier about AIESEC, because then I would have definitely joined already during my Bachelor’s.
AIESEC offers amazing development opportunities for its members, too. Last Easter weekend I took my chance and went for an international Train the Trainer in Brussels (iTTT), Belgium. In spite of the functional things I’ve learned (thank you Birdy, you are a great mentor!), I learned so many interesting facts from different cultures, especially from our Dutch and Belgian neighbors. It is such a privilege to be a student and share your experiences with your fellow-students. That is definitely the best part of being a student.
During AIESEC conferences we have our roll-calls. Every country and every local committee has its own roll-call. So when AIESEC Germany is being called, we don’t just say ‘present’, we actually start dancing to a certain song with our very own choreography. It sounds awkward, and that is what I even thought at the beginning. But trust me, once you get used to it, it is just so cool. You get to see the choreographies of the teams in Portugal, UK, Malta and so many other countries. This is part of the AIESEC culture and loosens up even the most boring conference (not like there is something like a boring AIESEC conference).
AIESEC’s probably most popular slogan is: ‘Step out of your comfort zone.’ Some of us cannot hear this anymore, but in my opinion it is a good thing and gives me a good butt kicking every time I am hesitant to do something. AIESEC loves challenges, so on one day we had to approach strangers in Brussels city and complete a list of tasks. I, for example, had to explain to a mother in my not-so-good French that I wanted to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her kids, in order to complete a challenge. To be honest, after being with AIESEC for so long, I didn’t even feel odd singing to those little kids in the park. It is always a good thing to do the unusual, overcome your fears and challenge yourself. And a little competition never hurt anybody. I for myself had a memorable day and enjoyed the challenge so much!
Even though I did not sleep much, I loved every minute of the conference weekend. I met so many interesting and inspiring AIESECers, learned much and developed myself further. Since I came back from the iTTT I am fired up to go to another conference very soon – and this time not as a delegate, but as a trainer/facilitator. Who knows where I will end up in the next months? I want to share my knowledge with my fellow-students and inspire them the way they inspire me. I love the aspect that we are from so many different countries, with so different skin colors and ethnic and religious backgrounds – yet we understand each other perfectly and have one thing in common:
We are all children of this world and we all want to make an improvement in cultural understanding.
(If you have any questions regarding AIESEC, feel free to inbox me.)