AIESEC-the global youth voice
According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of weekend is: Saturday and Sunday, especially regarded as a time for leisure. But my weekend was very far from “time for leisure”..
This weekend I was on a seminar of AIESEC because I was thinking about joining this organization. But before continuing with the story of my weekend, a little introduction about AIESEC.
AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales) is a global youth organization that offers international student exchange and internship programs for students and graduates from all over the world. Furthermore it provides internal leadership programs to develop leadership capabilities through their internal leadership programs. It is a non-profit organization run by students (only!). As of July 2011, the AIESEC network includes over 60,000 members in 110 countries and territories, meaning areas which are involved in contentious issues of territory (e.g. Taiwan, Israel). AIESEC is present in over 2,100 universities across the globe-in Berlin it is present at the TU and HU.
After World War II, the situation in Europe was very tense and in order to reduce these barriers between the European nations, students from Scandinavian countries and Czechoslovakia founded AIESEC in 1948 with the mission to expand the understanding of a nation by expanding the understanding of the individuals, changing the world one person at a time.”Today AIESEC identifies itself as an international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. If you would like to know more about AIESEC, visit its official web site here.
But back to my story: During the AIESEC seminar, which was from Saturday at 8 a.m. until Sunday 4 p.m. by the way-therefore no time for leisure actually, my opinion about this non-profit organization changed completely. My impression was that AIESEC is just another weird organization with hippies as members, who are trying to save the world and stop starvation in Africa. But during this weekend my view of AIESEC changed totally, I noticed that AIESEC is actually a great organization which gives young people the opportunity to go in a foreign country to make the best experience in their life. And surprise, surprise-the members of AIESEC weren’t hippies-these people were responsible and really willing to change something in the world through their engagement. Because of AIESEC a lot of students are able to connect, experience and learn about other cultures and countries which in the end reduces discrimination between nations. Just to name several famous AIESEC members: Helmut Kohl, Bill Clinton and Junichiro Koizumi.
Like Luca Nizzola, a few AIESEC Alumni are sharing their experiences and telling their stories on the AIESEC blog. Maybe Luca’s story can convince you to joining AIESEC, so just take some time and read over it.
I have to admit that the mission of AIESEC to change the world sounds utopian and a little bit naive but I think this student organization needs to be heard. It seems so easy to become active and to participate in such great things but since we are living in a world of globalization it is still difficult to come up to all expectations. But that does not mean that students do not have opinions and visions of how the world supposed to look like. Therefore we need to support and participate in organizations like AIESEC. So maybe one day the young generation will have a global youth voice and will get the seat in the UN back again and represent us the world.